Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sour Apple Saison, Epic Brewing

This is really my first exposure to any Epic Brewing beers (Salt Lake City, Utah) apart from a few samples when they first arrived on the Minnesota beer scene, not enough to make an educated judgement. I was intrigued to try this - I like apple and I like saisons so what if it seems like an unlikely pairing for a beer? Worthy of further exploration, I think.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a "Blanche De Chambly" glass. Label description : "Sour Apple Saison, Belgian-Style Ale, Malt beverage brewed with natural flavors". Bottle conditioned, this is from the top of the line (and thus most expensive) range that they call the "Exponential Series" (Epic uses a somewhat unique three tier sytem for it's beer releases, "Classic", "Elevated" and "Exponential"). Bottle also proclaims that I am holding something "special" - one of only 1,800 bottle released and numbered. While I couldn't find a number I did find it stamped "Release #3". 8.1% ABV.

Upon pouring I was surprised at how light in colour the beer was - lighter than a pilsener or lager even,  a light straw yellow, with a bright white head, that dies quickly. Cascading bubbles, champange-like, racing from the bottom of the glass. Smell was hard to pinpoint, musty but nothing too discernable. Taste was another thing - a rather unpleasant funky, tartness with a hint of spice (cinnamon, coriander)? Light mouthfeel with a very acidic aftertaste. This was not what I expected. I found it barely drinkable.

Rating : D

Perhaps a bit harsh but I really did not like this beer and found it hard to finish, normally not a problem for me. I've heard great things about their "Brainless on Peaches" in the same series but I'd be wary to try it after this experience.

Upon further research I found that Series #3 of this beer has the following notes on the Epic website :

Sour Apple Saison-Style Ale Release #3

Brewed on October 28, 2010.

This is a gorgeous saison, it has a nice mild sourness with a slight kick of apple and cinnamon.  It has a very dry finish from the classic sainson yeast that gives it a little earthy, pepery and spiciness.  This beer is fantastic for aging in a climate controlled temperature.

The Malts

Weyermann Pilsner is the base malt on this beer followed by Briess Flaked Oats and Muntons Wheat Malt.

The Hops/Spices

Saaz, Tettnang, ground Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Anise Seed, Grains of Paradise, and Coriander.

ABV 8.0% (my bottle said 8.1%ABV)

More info :
Epic Brewing Company
825 S. State Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
'PH: 801-906-0123

1 comment:

  1. I've been wondering about this one myself, intrigued about the sour apple part, but wary of the saison part (just not a style I typically like). With this I may avoid it unless I'm at the bottle shop and someone else wants to try it.
    As far as Brainless on Peaches or Brainless on Cherries, try to forget that they are made by the same brewery and pick them up if you can find them. I've had them both (and bottled and on tap) and they are solid fruit beers. If you disagree, I'll owe you a beer!