Saison Sauvin
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 02.08.11 in bottle
74 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a russety-copper colour with off-white head, nice and dense. Feel like the head could be darker. Density is nice, but only thin retention. Lace is lovely, bead is steady. Looks nice.

Wow, didn't expect that. Mango to the max on the nose. So fruity, with dried mango, passionfruit, apricot, orange peel, peach and pear all vying to be fruit supreme. Tangy, but it's really just sweet and fruity. Could use more tartness or funk, but still, points for gathering the complexities they have within what is ultimately just a very light, fruity aroma.

Taste is pretty damn tangy, also with the fruit thing. Lots of mango on the front that magnetises peach, passionfruit and guava towards the culmination. Lots of almost roasty bitterness on the back, might just be the combination of the funk and hops but it just tastes like there's been too high a roast on the malt. Nice balance. Touch of tartness late-mid and finishes more chocolatey than anything but it's a nice weird palate; it reminds me of those dark chocolate blocks where they mix in mango, lime and chilli. Rich, fruity, but still predominantly weird.

Fairly full-bodied, and smooth. Really nice texture actually.

This beer is too weird for me to love. But at the same time I have to admit to having a soft spot for weird things. And did I mention this is weird?
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Saison Sauvin
Reviewed by Jez on 30.07.11 in bottle
95 / 100
(Best of the Best)
Thanks to @epiclurk for the bottle for my birthday. Shared with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a very dark, almost amber-copper colour, way off for a saison, with a pock-marked head of lazy white foam. Lacing is good—solid and consistent, forming in rings as the beer goes down. Body is light, especially for 7% ABV, but that probably goes with the slightly twisted New Zealand style.

Nose is, yeah, wow, getting freaky with shit. Huge Sauvin Kiwi hop character of passionfruit, biting green redolence and vinous acidity. But along with this is a slight bodily organic funk that lends savoury and unsavoury characters in a wonderfully anarchic mish-mash of hedonistic chaos. Oh hell yes you can do this with a saison thankyou.

Taste is... oh god it works, but it's so weird, and it bastardises a style I hold so dear. The saison funk and acidity is present, but it's warped and twisted with the slight acidity from the Nelson Sauvin hops, giving a perverted clinging bite to the basis of pancake sweetness, throwing up weird characters of smoky barbeque sauce, melon, passionfruit soaked in bourbon—it doesn't stop. Every sip gives you something weird and unique; pummeling you with characters that shouldn't exist, and then showing you just how awesomely they work. It's sacrilegious.

Holy shit, what a beer. It does something so wrong that turns out to be so right. It makes me want to cry into my glass—but whether I'm crying with joy or with sorrow, I can't tell.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 5.0 | taste: 5.0 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5