Can given to me by Jez for Christmas. Tried by myself on a Friday evening sometime. Well it was last Friday, if you really care. Look at the date I submitted this review. Now you can determine the exact date I drank it. Happy?
Pours a pale vibrant gold colour, with head that's a bit stupidly big, it foamed over the top of the can and goes big in the glass but sinks quickly. Good cloud, slippy specks of lace. Not bad, but a bit insubstantial-looking.
Smells saisony slightly, but more kind of generic Belgian, with phenols and a slight wet lucerne character. Nice sweetness - slightly fruity but also takes on a bit of a caramel malt character. Tangy, phenolic and sweet. Really quite pleasant mix but not huge on the saison character.
Taste is somewhat dry and spicy; slight malty front then midway is all earthy, with a slight woodiness that gets slightly phenolic towards the back. Tropical fruit on the finish, very subtle tang but its mostly-sweet tropical character elevates the potentially bitter finish but also kind of eradicates it. As such the sweet finish is a little insipid with not a lot to balance it out. Interesting palate journey, but a couple of wrong turns. No dire consequences though, it ends up in a pretty good spot.
A bit drying and slightly bitty on the tongue. Finishes dry but mostly clean without a lot of linger. Pleasant.
Nice drinkable drop; the fruit could be moved a little forward on the palate with more saisony notes on the back; it ends up feeling a little off-kilter with somewhat underwhelming saison character.
78 / 100
16oz tall can, purchased from Slowbeer. Canning date printed on the label is February 15 of this year, so it's about 6 months old.
Pours a pleasant ebony brown, with a beige head that persists as a very fine ring. Tiny specks of lace form leopard spots. Body has a bit of weight, despite being quite fluid. Carbonation is very fine. It's a pretty pleasant looking beer.
Nose is toasty and sweet, with perhaps a little more weight towards the sweetness. This comes through as a dark brown sugar note, edged perhaps with a little instant coffee and cigar tobacco. It's really nicely integrated overall, but it is very sweet.
The flavour is much better, because that brown sugar note evaporates, leaving a lovely dry, toasty palate, filled with complex dark malt notes. These lend themselves to slight smokiness, more tobacco notes, dark chocolate, cacao and even hints of liqueur. But it's dry as well, leaving the back palate beautifully lean. It makes it super drinkable.
Feel is also good. It has weight to support the flavours at the front, but these taper off, leaving just enough to support and enhance the complexity through the middle and back.
Great beer. This is really well put together, well-integrated and with subtle, coherent complexities. I liked it a great deal, and I'll certainly take notice of any beers from Collective Arts that cross my radar in the future.