Style: Saison with Cherries
Appearance: Mostly clear beer with just a touch of haziness. The liquid is an orange color on the red side with clear edges.
Aroma: Strawberries and tart cherries immediately come to my nostrils. The beer is bright and has a Belgian spiciness to it, almost with a hint of white pepper. Lemon is underneath it all and sticking to a lightly sweetened malt backbone that pulls all the brightness together.
Flavor: Mild mustiness and that sweet malt backbone take over before the notes of lemon, tart cherry and strawberry race back in. The spiciness also returns towards the end with a note that is a touch metallic.
Mouthfeel: Bright and with medium carbonation levels. Acidic finish.
Aftertaste: A tart ending with the slightest trace of hop bitterness.
Currently Enjoying With: Cheese ale soup. OK, so this soup is much saltier than it normally is. Actually, it’s salty to the point where it’s inedible and I cough every time I take a bite. However! Tartness from a beer like this Saison reduces the effect of salt and makes it more manageable. In return, salt brightens acidity of this beer and makes it even more flavorful, and this is the perfect example of such a reaction.
This does not pertain to just these particular food items that I have in front of me, so look out in the future for pairing acidic beers and salty items. Also, have you checked out a Gose beer before? It’s a historical German beer style that is tart and salted, which pulls both ideas into one item.
In this particular scenario, beer saved the food item. Yes, beer can do that for you. It can happen time and time again. Yes, I am saying that if you have a poorly made meal, not all is lost! Grab yourself a beer that that would make a good pairing and use the brew-y goodness to fix those mistakes.
Overall: The Saison is fairly well crafted and the cherry character is pleasantly subdued. I don’t care for overly sweetened acidic beers, and thankfully the brewers at Rochester Mills did not go that route with this style of beer. The brew also has a great malt backbone, which too many people forget about when making tart concoctions. Overall, a solid stab at a cherry Saison, making me excited to test out any of the Mills’ other acidic offerings.