|Highest Rated||Cuvée Bleu (97 / 100)
||Average score||71 / 100 (Very Good)|
|Lowest Rated||Paradoxe (44 / 100)
97 / 100
(Best of the Best)
Tried on tap at Odd Culture at the Taphouse.
Pours a deep, opaque and staining crimson/purple—intensely coloured. Head is a subtle ring of mulberry inflected lace. Carbonation is very fine, but fast through the body. The weight is fairly light, but there's a slickness to the body. Looks very good, especially that colour.
Nose is excellent. Lots of wood right on the forefront. Oakiness comes through quite strongly, but there's also lots of freshly hewn timber and sawdust. Sweet fruit provides a broad sweetness underneath. But there's loads of complexity unfolding all over the top. There's obviously blueberry, but there's also notes of celery, cocoa, black raspberry, currants and aged balsamic. It's seriously wonderful.
Taste is also amazing. Soft tannins on the front, with a little vinous bite that develops into rounded, dark fruit. The back palate has wood and tartness, with juicy characters of stewed blackberries, overripe blueberries and pinot noir. It's sweet and slick through the mid palate, but livened by a judicious acidity in the finish. Feel is slick, and slightly grippy in the finish. It's so complex, but perfectly crafted.
This is almost certainly the best Australian beer I've had all year, and it's probably one of the best I've ever had. It's so amazingly complex, but with such coherence to its form. I'm incredibly impressed. No matter how high my expectations are for La Siréne, they always seem to find some way to exceed them.
44 / 100
375ml green bottle purchased for me by Sam for a birthday or Christmas some time.
Pours a clear, moderate golden: the colour of clear apple juice, with an initially fizzy head which dissipates to nothing as fast as champagne. Carbonation is surprisingly slow through the body.
Nose is pleasant, but quite unusual. It has some tart characters, which provide a little lactic bite, and which combine pleasantly with that slight lightstruck green bottle character. But atop this it has a pronounced flinty character of phosphorous, smelling like matchheads and fire. It's actually not unpleasant, but I'm also not convinced it's meant to be there.
Taste is disappointing. It starts out with a flat acidity, a little bit like soda water that's lost its carbonation. In the centre, there's a pleasant classic sour character, with a little plastic acidity reminding me of some of the nice characters of lambics. But on the back it veers weirdly into sweet territory. Leaving a sickly, overt wet grain character that lingers for much longer than it should.
Feel is very flat, despite the persistent carbonation. It gives it a character like uncarbonated cider.
Overall, I'm seriously disappointed. La Sirène are one of the finest breweries in Australia, and a new release from them is always a treat as far as I'm concerned. I really hope that this is an off bottle, and not indicative of something they decided to actually bottle and release like this.
Blended barrel-aged wild ale. Bottle given to me by Jez for Christmas 2017, tried on NYE 2017-18.
Cloudy orange colour, chunky sediment in the body. Head took some pouring to promote, but settles out to a thin rim of large bubbles. Lacing is really nice but otherwise looks nothing special.
Smells pleasant; bretty and oaky. Big buttery french oak character with some notes of vanilla as well. Big, tart, vinous kind of character with a hint of some citrus - maybe kumquat- and underripe berries as well. Pretty nice melange, well reined-in.
Tastes quite a lot on the tart and wild side. Quite vinegary really with a sharp spike of astringency halfway through and a long, lingering citric acidity to finish. Some nice fruit characters midway that give a freshness, and a pleasant bretty wildness follows on from this, but it's ultimately very acidic and needs refinement. What's really lacking is the oak; so much character on the nose but on the palate it's gone walkabout, and the lack of sweetness/woodiness is really what's allowing that wild acidity to take hold for the most part. It's a pleasant flavour but it really goes a bit overboard late on the palate.
Mouthfeel is a little tingly, with a decent body to it. Feels dry at the back from the pucker but I don't really feel it otherwise than an after effect. Pretty decent.
Yeah it feels very tart upfront but then it grows on me. The lack of oak is noticeable but it's not a shortcoming as I drink because the wildness is well-rounded. It's just the finish and the linger is a bit harsh and tart.
Tried on tap at GABS 2017.
Pours a dark-brown colour. Lovely nitro head, retaining a good half-centimetre in my sampler cup, tan colour with clear body. Looks lovely.
Smells, basically, of fruity coffee. Coffee and chocolate are strong but there's a slight acidity to it like underripe berries or something. Touch of cinnamon and subtle roast bitterness too. Nice.
Taste starts off like a conventional coffee dark beer - definitely coffee on the front that develops roastiness towards the mid and then turns tart and sour on the back, with a big barnyard character and a fresh passionfruit character. Definitely an odd twist on the palate, and I'm disappointed by the lack of oak given it's meant to be oak-aged. But otherwise not bad.
Full body, nice texture.
Decently constructed but I'm not sure it really works.
Based on scores, I retried this and shortlisted this beer but it didn't end up cracking my top 20 of the festival.
72 / 100
Sampler tried on-tap at GABS in Melbourne.
Pours an ebon black colour, with good clarity and a solid weight—surprising for a 5% sour beer. Head is pale brown and beautifully creamy, leaving sheets of lace.
Nose is very pleasant. Toastiness surrounds the aromas and provides structure, while the stars are notes of light roasted coffee and berries. Smooth, fragrant notes of banana leaf are also present. Very nice.
Smooth vanilla entry on the palate, which provides a stark contrast once the tartness comes through. This is present on the mid-palate, with a slight acetic bite. The back brings in the coffee notes—long and languid with a contrasting twang of metallic acid, that lingers into the finish. Feel is very, very smooth, which is a lovely complement to the rest of the beer.
In many ways, this isn't my cup of tea—I'm honestly not a general fan of sour beers unless they're very good. And coffee is an overused flavour. But this is good, and I should just learn to accept that La Sirène just generally know so well what they're doing.
75 / 100
Bottle given to me by Jez. Had intended to hold onto it for a while but my 10-month-old was playing around with it and he shook it up enough to compromise the cap seal, so I felt forced to open it to avoid oxidation.
Pours a pale golden colour with lots of sediment that settles in clumps on the bottom. Head is white but maybe due to pre-shaking, it just settles out to a fizzy crown with no real lace. Looks alright, nice colour.
Smells saisony, but with a gorgeous tangy fruit character. Barnyard funk and a phenolic base, with orange sherbet, pineapple juice and a hint of banana. Some nice sweet characters as well, with pie spice and biscuity malt. Beautiful.
Taste is tangy for the most part here. Definitely that sherbet note with zesty citrus - orange and grapefruit on the front that gets bitter midway, phenolic and funky, with a grassy and herbal piquancy late-mid. Finish is dry and somewhat vinous, with just a touch of subtle acidity to pucker the slightest amount. Lovely complexities all smoothed out to a stable and level palate. Maybe just a touch flat on the midway where the rest is so jumpy.
A bit too much fizz, and again unsure if it's due to my son's accidental shaking. But it doesn't quite have the body to cover it. Maybe they should up the malt base, to cater to those customers who have 10-month-old sons who might shake up the bottle to dangerous levels. This is definitely a failure of the brewer and not me.
Drinks very nicely, good tartness and good mellow construction with plenty of complexity to enjoy as well.
Bottle given to me by Jez for Christmas, reviewed by myself on a Saturday night.
Pours a pale orange colour, clear. Head is white, foamy, sinks quite quickly but retains a nice little crown of lace. Looks pretty standard, could have used a bit more head.
Smells wild, phenolic. Good spice with a fair piquancy and a large dose of barnyard. Some oaky vinous characters as well; woody, fruity and herbal with a big undergrowth character.tart and fertile overall, very refreshing and complex and nicely Belgian.
Taste is tart and yet bitter as well. Big boozey character even on the front that gets drowned in acidity, with some grapefruit and young Riesling character. Develops some rindy bitterness midway, and then some phenolic character late. Finishes dry, somewhat woody and actually quite tart, which is a nice cleanser after that bitter mid-palate. Still quite vinous with a slight tannic side note. Develops a good fruity complexity as it warms up a bit more. Pretty decent.
Mouthfeel is a little tart and somewhat foamy. Little too much carbonation for the style, gets a bit prickly.
Nice drinking beer for the size. The tartness freshens it up and cleanses but it's quite a big and ballsy Belgian style drop otherwise.
77 / 100
Can gifted to me by Jez for Christmas. Would have shared, but my visitors cancelled on me, so all the more for me.
Pours a pale orange-tinged gold colour with large voluminous head, froths up in nice dense column of white foam. Excellent trails of lace as it sinks, and it retains a thin half-finger crown. Pretty damn good.
Smells lovely. Big hoppy character with a sharp tangy citrus - lemon, orange and mandarin that blends nicely with the very slight barnyard character on the back. Slight spicier horsey note underlying at the front as it warms up a bit. Pretty damn nice too.
Taste is very barnyardy, possibly to a fault. It's still very pleasant but it really just goes all in on the saison notes rather than continuing with that hop-saisony blend of the nose. Slight dank lemon note hangs over it all with a pithy bitterness upfront and then late-mid, but the front and mid is otherwise all organic earth, lucerne and some peppery spice. Finishes nice and clean with a lingering fruity note. Definitely an interesting drop, big on the saison notes but just cleansed up to make it sessionable and accessible. Could use a touch more freshening up but it's very pleasant.
Mouthfeel is very strongly textured, big and chewy but ultimately fluid and clean. Great for the style.
Very approachable drop, with interesting flavours delivered in balance. Excellent Summer brew.
80 / 100
330ml can purchased from Slowbeer in Fitzroy.
Pours a really pleasantly haze pale yellow colour, with a frothy, fine head of white that leaves excellent lace and a fairly fine gauze across the top of the glass. Carbonation is beautifully fine, as it always is in La Sirène's beers. Looks great.
Nose is also really good. It has a broad Belgian aroma to the beer, leaving sweet floral characters and fruity tones of ripe banana and carrot. But there's a slight tingle of sharpness as well, giving a faint metallic zing, which cuts through and also sets off the other characters. Yeah, it's really damn good.
Taste is less complex, but it absolutely then matches what it's trying to do, which is to be clean and refreshing. There's smooth, lightly fruity tones on the front, which gives aromas of funky pineapple juice, but dries out slightly towards the back, going slightly vegetative with flavours of grated carrot and banana. Finish is actually quite broad. There's a hint of acidity, but no sharpness, which means the flavour lingers until it peters out—there's no punctuation to the end.
Overall, it's a really great brew, and a lovely easy-drinking addition to La Sirène's stable. These guys genuinely have a beautifully unique place in the Aussie beer scene, and I can imagine that Urban Pale has it in it to become and absolute Australian classic.
84 / 100
750ml green bottle purchased from Slowbeer.
Pours an extremely clear golden yellow colour, with boisterous, large-bubbled streaming carbonation, which creates a rocky, loose head of crackling white. Body is extremely light and fluid, but vivacious due to the extreme effervescence. Looks very refined.
Nose is good, although it's subtle, and it took about three or four good sniffs before I started to get what it's about. There's a demi-sec dryness about this, that promotes itself from the yeast notes, reminiscent of a fine champagne. Similarly, the other notes turn slightly vinous as well, with hints of gooseberry, hay, sour cherry and plasticine. It needs time for some of the CO2 to burn off, and for it to open up—when it does, this is a delicate, finely balanced and wonderfully complex nose.
Taste is similar. It starts off very dry, almost with a floury note on the front that you fear will just dissolve into fizzy carbonation on the back. But the carbonation is tempered, despite the look of the thing, leaving the back rather soft, with a slight semi-sweet, semi-tart fruit character providing ballast to the otherwise light and delicate flavours. There's a slight earthiness on the back, turning a little medicinal (and almost a little tannic), and bringing back memories of that sour cherry note on the nose with a pleasant quirk of tarragon. It's really nicely crafted.
Feel is soft and light, despite the very lively carbonation.
Overall: this had a slow start, but sitting back and appreciating it I can say with great confidence that it's a truly excellent beer. There's a subtlety to it, but the craft and balance is superb. This is yet another fine example of La Sirène's commitment to doing something niche, but doing it exceptionally well. In fact, this might be the finest example to date.
88 / 100
750ml dark green bottle purchased from Slowbeer.
Pours a beautifully bright yellow golden colour, with a slight haze that just seems to capture and refract the light. Head is very fine and pure white, providing a lively crest and some long circular lines of lace. Carbonation is languid. Looks the business.
Nose is extraordinary. Buckets of fragrant organic saison characters, giving cut green fruit, hay and sap. But this is complemented by an almost gueuze-like bite that gives it a slightly rubbery, peppery intensity. It's all reined in so beautifully though, and it makes a balanced, coherent whole. Holy crap this is an amazing smelling beer.
Taste is much more subdued, but it still makes a huge amount of sense. It's clean and light on the front, which just a mild yeast funk giving it some savoury qualities. The back is driven by earthiness, along with a touch of pepper, and a bright carbonation which is perfectly suited to the palate. Feel is pretty light, but very enlivened by the carbonation, which comes in at just the right time.
Overall, this is a genuinely brilliant beer. This has craft and finesse in every fibre of its being. It's balanced, amazingly drinkable, complex and well thought out. This is the refined kind of beer everyone must wish was more common from Australian breweries. La Sirène really are doing something no one else is. This is merely the latest (and possibly greatest) example of it.
Pastry-inspired Biere de Garde brewed for GABS 2016. Tried at the festival in Melbourne.
Pours a reddish-amber colour, slightly cloudy with foamy cream-coloured head. Sticks around nicely. Looks pretty good.
Smells sweet, yeah like a millefeuille. Caramel, vanilla and sweet desserty spice notes. Weird phenolic note towards the back though which is unwelcome.
Taste delivers what the nose promised. Vanilla-infused caramel sweetness on the front that continues all the way through the palate. Gets overridden towards the back with a weird lingering Belgian phenolic character that turns the sweetness quite medicinal and ascerbic. Otherwise it's a little too syrupy for me and I'd like maybe a different character to cut through it. Decent construction but I think the style chosen is an odd match with the malt flavours.
Decent texture, touch of alcohol on there is quite welcome.
Mostly tasty, but definitely a bit odd. I'm just made a little uncomfortable by the particular flavour combinations.
78 / 100
750ml dark green champagne-style bottle, purchased from Annandale Cellars.
Pours a very dark brown colour, including the head, which is fizzy and effervescent, but almost dark chocolate black-brown when it's forming. Body is surprisingly light and fluid, and there's only limited carbonation left after the head fizzles out. It ends up looking a little dormant.
Nose is potent. It has all the characters of the original Praline, but they're all intrinsically laced and entwined into a boozy headiness, which makes them feel volatile, and lends a slight zing of metal to the mix. Still, loads of vanilla, toasted nuts and milk chocolate, with undertones of lavender and crushed rock. It's impressive.
Taste is also very good, and it's beefed up in interesting ways. All of the overt chocolate and nut notes are here again, providing a sinewy, tightly drawn sweetness on the front. But there's a noticeable booze flavour as well as heat, that gives a slight metallic cut through the centre of the palate, and a little anise and bitterness on the finish. The bitterness is slightly medicinal, but it works with the sweet notes to make it feel like high-cacao chocolate—a refined finish.
Feel is indeed a little thinner than I might have expected. But it has certainly enough weight to support the flavours, so much more and it might have felt stodgy.
Overall, I like it. It's not just an amped up version of a good beer—it takes some of the ideas and pushes them in slightly different directions to make a different, but related experience. Good work, as always, La Sirène.
On tap at the Royal Albert.
Pale orangey-amber colour, very cloudy. Dense white head, retaining decently. Bit of feed from below. Pretty sedimenty, but nice overall.
Smells funky and tart. Big wild aroma, bretty with metallic undertones. Slight floral hints and some underripe apple. Pretty decent but can't shake the slight coppery edge which is less desirable.
Taste is a bit tart, but a lot yeasty, especially on the back. Rips into the front with barnyard and bretty funk. Gets some floral notes midway, rosey mostly and some peach, vinegar. Finishes very yeasty though, slightly grainy with a sour mash character overall. Pleasant, but not quite enough body to carry off the full effect of the wild yeasts.
Yeah a fair sizzly bitey tartness, rips back on the tongue. Quite a nice sensation but it could be padded with some more malt presence.
Refreshingg but intriguing. Despite its faults it's very drinkable.
58 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a definitely rhubarb-tinged pinkish red, with solid hazing. Head is light and whitish, forming a fine loose ring. Body is light. Looks decent but not exciting.
Initial hint gives fake berry notes like Redskins lollies, red cordial or Allens red frogs. It's a bit vegetative as well along with the raspberry fruit note. It's OK, but not great.
Light flat entry on the palate, slightly bready and almost neutral by the centre. There's almost no sour character and no kick to it. This leaves the finish like flat raspberry with all the sweetness and acid taken away—it's almost just leafy bland in the end.
Feel is very light, but then it doesn't have much to work with anyway.
Overall it's light and assumably drinkable as a result. It's decent enough in its way, it's just empty. It's certainly no Praline, and I think it's fair to say that many people (myself included) were pretty disappointed with last year's People's Choice winner.
A 'Belgian Red Ale' brewed with berries for GABS 2015.
Pours a red colour, slight cloud to it and decent foamy off-white head. Has a pinkish tinge to it; not bad.
Smells mostly medicinal. Lots of berry notes with blueberry and raspberry that has a slight tang to it. Maybe a slight vanilla edge to the medicinal sweetness? Nice enough.
Taste is also very medicinal. Big berry notes to it though, with a nice tangy character. Blueberry and raspberry again, maybe some tart blackberry as well. Fairly light on overall. Fruity with a touch of oomph but nothing special.
Decent body, has a slight edge as it goes down, possibly tartness.
Not bad; it's not a particularly exciting follow-up to the Praline but I don't think that was the intention. It's drinkable and pleasant.
73 / 100
Pours an amber colour, steady bead. Small white head, just a thin crown, light lacing. Decent saison.
Smells funky but sweet. Light tartness with cherry notes and raspberry. Some mild sweet spice, mild barnyard. Very pleasant but could up the funk a bit.
Taste is more funky. Big rubbery notes and some champagne character with barnyard notes. Fair boozey whack late-mid, and trails off with berry and mild coconut flavour. Bit big, but lots of pleasant saison character. Not too phenolic or strong but a big bold palate overall.
Decent carbonation texture, bit of booze warmth on the mid. Bit too much going on for me but not bad for the style.
Nice big saison; classic flavours dialled up. Pleasant vinous drinking.
750ml green bottle purchased from Oak Barrel in Sydney.
Pours a massively effervescent pale straw, with massive numbers of carbonation streams racing through the light body. Head is crackly and very full, fed by those relentless bubbles. At 3.8%, it's unsurprising that it's light-bodied, but even so when tilting the beer looks like it moves in fast motion.
Nose is great. Peppery and green, with a lot of pleasant, fragrant herbal characters to it. I get a little crushed lime leaf, green pickled peppercorns, Granny Smith apple and a touch of dried oregano. Carbonation is noticeable too, with a mild carbonic acid quality in the edges. Nice stuff.
Taste is much lighter in terms of complexity. But it has only a short period to work with, so it's understandable. Light crisp entry gives a suggestion of acidity and a little aspirin bitterness, which develops to a vague phenolic character on the back—almost a little rubbery or chlorine like. It's the only unpleasant note, though. The rest is light and quaffable, if a little bloating from all the carbonation.
Feel is certainly hindered a little by the excessive bubbling—it makes it prickly, while also lessening the drinkability a little as well.
But I love that La Sirène is getting a lower ABV beer in this style out there. This is a very worthy beer, and most certainly worth trying. I guess I'm a little disappointing it didn't hit all of its notes just right—I have an image in my head of how good a sessionable beer this could be, and that would have been truly phenomenal.
375ml dark green bottle purchased from Barny's in Alexandria.
Pours like it says on the bottle, a deep, blooded hazy red colour, with a very full and frothy head of off-white, almost tinged with pale orange. Body is light, almost thin in its fluidity. Carbonation is also quite fast. It looks quite vivacious.
Nose is pleasant enough, without really grabbing my attention. There's a nice mild saison funk to it, with a good dose of black pepper. But there's a sweetness and thickness suggested by the malt character, which is certainly more present than in their regular saison. It's an interesting twist, but I'm not sure one that does it any favours over the original.
Taste follows a similar path, but with a diversion of fruit that I didn't expect from the nose. Here, there's a fragrant sweetness, almost like hibiscus or karkadeh, that's actually a nice addition to the palette of flavours. Otherwise, there are some nice mildly floral characters bringing some more aromatics like a true saison, and some deeper, maltier notes that still, I'll admit, feels a little out of place. Carbonation is very high, which gives an unpleasant bite on the palate.
Overall, it's a decent brew, but were it not for that mild floral character it would almost certainly seem like a fairly pointless beer. It feels something like the less attractive sibling of La Sirène's regular saison for the most part, but there's just enough lurking under the surface to pique my interest nonetheless.
On tap at the Local Taphouse during the BoOoOoB crawl in SCBW.
Pours red, with pink-tinged white head. Large bubbles, sinks quickly. Some lace. Nice colour, looks OK.
Smells lovely. Cherry and sour, but a big desserty vanilla yoghurt character as well. Raspberry, black cherry and touch of funk. Bloody lovely.
Taste is quite sweet upfront; lots of cherry fruit that descends into a compote kind of character midway. Develops some tart character late but not really enough; ends up fairly sweet and fruity. Certainly not unpleasant, but feel like it's missing something, especially on the back.
Fluid, touch of bite on the back. Bit soft drinky maybe with a nip from the yeast and bugs.
Tastes like other krieks from Belgium I've had. That's worth some credit. But yeah feel like it's lacking on the sour stakes, also like other krieks I've had.
71 / 100
375ml green bottle, as is La Sirène's wont. Purchased from Barny's Fine Wines & Ales in Alexandria.
Uncaps with an almighty hiss that immediately gave me the adrenaline rush of a potential gusher. Fortunately, that doesn't happen, but it does form a massive head despite a delicate pour down the side of the glass. Body is a fine, cloudy yellow-golden with lots of streaming carbonation through it. The head is frothy and crackling initially, but this settles out to a slight foamy mess after a few minutes. Looks pretty good—certainly as alive as La Sirène often is.
Nose had lots of hay and dry grain characters, laced with a weird perfumey sweetness—possibly honey or elderflower. It gives it a slightly organic edge that's quite different from the standard funky organics you can get in a saison. Very bright and aromatic, and a pleasing twist on their standard saison.
Taste is also pretty good: light and fragrant for the most part, but with the organics lending a slight astringency towards the back, and a weird metallic character around the edges of the palate. Back is frothy with carbonation, which masks a lot of the aftertaste, but there is a fair bit of that astringency sitting around. Feel is frothy for the most part, and very highly carbonated.
Overall, though, this is yet another very interesting beer from La Sirène, who are one of the more interesting breweries in Australia right now, even though (or perhaps because) they focus on one particular style. I'm always pleased to drink more of them.
87 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2014 in Melbourne.
Pours a deep brown colour with a lightish weight to the body. Hazing is fairly pronounced. Head is beige and forms a firm ring around the edge of the glass that leaves streaks of lace. Carbonation comes through a little. Looks pretty good.
Nose is lovely. Rich sweet fatty chocolate cake batter characters mingle with nuts and cherry characters to give it a little brightness. Sharp, fragrant sweetness is also very strong. It's an impressive opening.
The flavour is even better. Very smooth entry, stacks of sweet praline nut characters: peanut and almond with a touch of sharpness like ink. Toasty sweetness comes through on the middle of the palate along with a long, burnt toffee character towards the back. The back is balanced by a pleasing char and coffee note smoothed by the sweetness, leaving the aftertaste clean but still ringing with fragrance. Feel is smooth and lovely.
This is a really gorgeous beer—so smooth and sweet, but with subtlety and complexity. The Praline ended up taking out the People's Choice award at the festival, and it was a worthy winner. This is truly delicious stuff. I only wish I had some more of it right now.
Pours a pale golden colour, slight cloud. Head is white and fluffy. Lace is fairly sparse, but still looks nice.
Smells spicy, with wildish barnyard characters. Slight cherry back note, with pepper, a touch of vanilla and almond meal. Phenolic tartness on the back. Decent but standard.
Taste is big and saisony. Odd sort of funk throughout, with tangy peach overtones, crisp apple and mediciney, cherry-cola notes. Red pepper, capsicum and beetroot, even. A little too phenolic on the back for my liking, but nice natural flavours and esters coming through.
Fluid body, with a bit of texture. Not bad.
Decent, but quite phenolic saison. Very Belgian in style.
Pours a burnished bronze-ish colour, fairly sedimenty. Lovely dense pillow of white head. Looks very nice.
Smells spicy, lots of nutmeg, star anise. Funky saison notes on there as well; fresh grass clippings and some stewed stone fruit. Nice, but a bit by-the-numbers saison, I would like the spice to pop out a bit more.
Lots of star anise on the palate. Quite peppery upfront, slightly tart. Aniseed myrtle, some nutmeg, cinnamon that blends well into the funky saison back. Quite fresh and pleasant towards the finish, but darker and more complex upfront. Bit of sweetness underlying with a touch of rubber on the back. Yeah... not bad. Again, delivers what it promises but only the minimum, doesn't really go further.
Smooth texture, bit of champagney edge to it as well.
Tastes like you'd expect; drinks like it too. Nice beer.
78 / 100
375ml green bottle, similar to the regular saison, but capped and covered with gold foil. Available during the Australian summer.
Pours a gorgeous deep golden colour, with solid hazing and a very fine bead. Head forms a pleasantly fine crest of just off-white; it crackles down to a solid persistence. Body is light bit smooth. Very solid stuff for the style.
Nose is clean but clear. Bright sweet stonefruit aromas, some spicy pepper, but very minimal funk. Smooth malt forms a slightly earthy, grainy basis, but it's subdued, and just provides structure to the aroma. It's very good stuff.
Taste is clear and sweet on the front: light but with a pleasant depth from the malt. Mild astringency, some slight slight spicy overtones, but with a big, pleasant marzipan sweetness pulling it back and making it comforting and warm. Feel is very smooth, but frothy and light.
The delineation between this beer and the regular Saison does indeed seem to be the sweetness: clear fruity characters tends to dominate this beer, whereas the regular has a pleasant funk underlining everything. This beer seems less of a saison as a result, but damn it's still very, very good.
375ml green bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Uncaps with an elongated hiss, followed by several inches of foam out of the bottle and onto the table top. Once it's caught, it's a pale, slightly cloudy, and incredibly effervescent golden hue, with a crackling, frothy head of white. Lacing sits in clumpy chunks across the inside of the glass, but clearly the main event in the appearance are those bubbles: masses of tiny streams running through the beer and making it look wild and alive.
Nose is clear and slightly acidic, with a hint of almost lambic-like funk to it. Slight apple cider characters come through, along with a zest of carbonated water, even a puff of chlorine. Something peppery as well. It's quite subdued, but reasonably pleasant.
Taste is very mild and light, surprisingly, much more so than their regular Saison. Slight pepper notes around the edge of the palate, and on the back, with a rounded Belgian fullness to the palate. But apart from the feel, and the structure, there's not an awful lot of real flavour to it. That's really quite strange because I expected this to be amped up over the regular.
Feel is good, however. Smooth and clear throughout, despite the visible carbonation.
Overall, this is solid, drinkable and enjoyable stuff. It's clear and clean and quite refreshing. However, it also seems more bland and tepid than the original La Sirène Saison—I was expecting this to be more extreme, and more risky (and hence potentially less successful). I was a little disappointed that it was less successful just because it's less interesting.
85 / 100
Bottle purchased for me by @LaitueGonflable. I'd previously had this at Beer Deluxe in Melbourne, but had not reviewed it.
Pours a lovely clear golden colour, with a massive foamy heady of snow white. Lace is webbing and thick, leaving big streaky lacework down the inside of the glass. Body is pretty light, which is good for the style. Overall, I really couldn't hope for better appearance.
Nose is bright and fresh, with a clean crisp funk and a crushed vegetative aroma. Some mild grainy malt gives its odd earthiness: its connection to the farmhouse. It's quite pleasant.
Taste is better. It has a sweaty sweetness to it, mingled with all the sharp, crisp but fresh characters apparent on the nose. The funk is just right, it gives it an oddity, a sharp rustic note like ripe cheese, but it also leavens the palate while giving it its purpose, its gravity.
Feel is light, but pleasant, and perfectly suited to the beer.
Yes indeed. This is a very, very good saison. I'm impressed (and let's face it, a little proud) that Australia has produced such an exemplary Saison. This is easily the best Saison I've had from our shores, and it's a very, very damn good one too.