Wednesday, February 13, 2013

557. Cigar City Cucumber Saison

So the De Ranke was our opening salvo in an evening of indulgence. Next up: Cigar City’s Cucumber Saison. We’ve seen Cigar City before—often provided by Jeff Fortney—and this evening was no exception. This is our fourth reported beer from Cigar City (plus a visit to the brewery!), including Marrón Acidifié (the collaboration with the Bruery), Guava Grove, and José Martí American Porter. All in all, fine, fine beers. Like this one.

Cucumber Saison pours a pale hazy straw with a thin white head; the nose is—as one would both hope and expect with a beer carrying this name—cucumber front and center. As the beer opens up, it moves from fresh-cut cucumber towards pickle, although it never quite gets fully there. The skin character of the cucumber aroma continues to grow as the beer warms. Flavors open with a soft dough-y sweetness that gives way quickly to the cucumber along with an almost vegetable peppery spiciness. The cucumber continues throughout, with flavors moving towards pickle—like in the nose. There is a slight touch of bitterness in the finish, but it is restrained, allowing the cucumber to remain the dominant flavor. The mouthfeel is chewy but the body is well attenuated, creating a bright, clean, crisp and refreshing beer. I can see how many would balk at the idea of this beer, but, well, those people are wrong. Dead wrong. This beer is awesome, and would go fantastically with food—grilled summer food, specifically. Here’s to Cigar City for pushing the envelope on craft beer in interesting and productive ways. Kudos to Wayne and company. 

From the bottle: “The humble gherkin. Usually we encounter this unassuming green fruit pickled or sliced and flung atop a salad. But the cucumber has so much more to offer us. It is a remarkably refreshing gourd with the power to cool a dry tongue and when just two sliced wheels are placed atop the eyes of a lounging lass in a stock ad for the spa the mystical cucumber has the magical ability to justify obscene spa service fees. Truly an amazing botanical gift to the world! We chose to employ the cucumber in a low gravity Saison to create a refreshing seasonal ale redolent with notes of honey, tropical fruit, lemon bitterness and of course cucumber. Brewed as a survival tool for the Florida Summer, this cucumber creation features Citra and Sorachi Ace hops. So put some cucumber wheels on your eyes, lean back, relax and enjoy. Ahhhhhh.”

ABV: 6.0%


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