This post is part of a series of twenty-three discussing beers brewed by members of the Merri Mashers brewing club for their 2015 case swap celebration.
This beverage was brewed by Dara, a new member of the club fresh from Ireland, and is called “Tis the Saison to be Jolly”. Its label bills it as an orange/ginger Saison with 90% pilsner malt and 10% wheat.
A piercing clear straw, burgeoning on gold coloured beer announces itself in the glass for this tasting, accompanied by a rather dramatic thunderstorm outside. I hope my sunflowers survive the wind. Carbonation is whizzing and a firm head of microscopic bubbles subsists delicately on the surface of this professional-looking beer. Dare I taste?
The aroma of this beer is unusual with a high-pitched herbal lime mist dominating sort of citrusy orange lemonade and banana inputs … quite unlike any other saison aroma I’ve experienced. I can’t find the ginger anywhere in the aroma, but there’s a veritable mess of citrus and banana in there, at once smelling nothing like an IPA “fruit salad” yet entirely fitting the description “fruit salad”.
The ginger is more prominent in the flavour of the drink, backed by a surprisingly robust bakehouse muffin flavour that melds very well. I am used to dry ginger beers, or those done at least with a minimum of maltose – that, this beer is not. There may be DMS in this beer to the most sensitive taster, but I found the malt sweetness just right.
What else is going on? The citrus is less prominent in the flavour of this beer, a slightly slick, oily mouthfeel generates after a few sips and some unusual mint hints also develop. Vietnamese mint.
This is a wacky beer that I would enjoy sharing with friends. I don’t think it would sell at the local bottle-o, but more power to it.