Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Tasting : Raspberry Zombie Printemps

Now, I'm not really sure WHY it took me so long to post the tasting notes for this beer. I mean, look at the picture - I took the damn thing in the summer, for crying out loud!

This was my first time brewing a Saison. A "Super Saison" with a high-ABV I brewed it in August of 2012, and bottled half of it a few weeks later (tasting notes for that portion here). The other half I tried to get a bit creative, aging it on raspberries for over four months. I also pitched the bottle dregs from a delicious Fantome Saison, just to see if I could coax a bit of funkiness into it.

Well, as you can see from the picture, the raspberries definitely came through in the color. I'm pleased to say they came through in the aroma and flavor as well, without making the beer too syrupy or cough medicine-like. I really don't think the Fantome dregs added anything, though, but this doesn't surprised me - the beer's FG was already at 1.004 at that point, and it only dropped a couple points more to 1.002. There just wasn't a lot of sugars left for the dregs to work on, even with the raspberries present.

Still, the beer is pretty tasty, and is shockingly drinkable at 8.9% ABV. It definitely encourages me to work with fruit in a Saison again in the future; and maybe add some Fantome yeast before fermentation has completely finished.

Appearance: Pours with a moderate-sized, white head that begins to fade very quickly, before settling in at 1/2 cm or so. The body is hazy and bright red; very pretty-looking.

Aroma: The raspberries definitely come through, here... the first few bottles smelled a little too-much like some raspberry-flavored cold syrup, but luckily after a bit of time it mellowed out a bit, so it's now not sickening at all. There's a hint of spiciness from the yeast as well. No hop aroma.

Flavor: Again, raspberries. Quite refreshing, even with the high ABV. A bit of alcohol warmth on the way down, but it's not hot at all, and is pretty easy-drinking. Moderate-low bitterness in the extremely dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied, with high carbonation. Spritzy.

Overall: This beer wouldn't be for everyone; I guess you could call it a fruit Saison if you had to call it something. I like it; again, no need really to pitch the Fantome dregs, but I tried. Next time, pitch the dregs before the fermentable sugars are mostly gone.

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