Once again, I received a call from G-LO regarding his weekly booze mail shipment. I’m not sure who he knows, but it’s abundantly clear that we are not on the same mailing list. I may get the occasional Vermont Country Store catalog, but I haven’t found too many bottles of beer sent to MY house. I suspect something nefarious from the postman, but that could just be the paranoia kicking in. Anyway, G-LO called and I came running (well, it is actually more of a shuffle; maybe a bit of a shamble; at best, a canter; definitely not a run)!
In his most recent delivery was a bottle of the Selene Saison (not to be confused with Celine Dion) from our friends at Victory Brewing Company. As a Saison (or Farmhouse Ale), this brew will be big on flavor (a bit earthy with some tartness and some spice) and a little higher in alcohol content (7.5% ABV). This type of beer used to be brewed in the winter to be enjoyed in late spring and summer but is now more of a year-round brew. Victory’s version blends in some pale chocolate and chocolate malts to give it more of a wintry heft.
Here’s what Victory has to say about their Selene Saison…
Dark as the night sky and fermented with unique yeast, this Saison delivers earthy and spicy undertones to warm your senses all winter long.
And here are our impressions of this beer…
- Appearance: Deep dark mahogany color. Thick, fluffy, tan foam that lingers for quite a while. Nice lacing. Think La Perla (G-LO’s words, not mine. He has issues).
- ABV: 7.5%
- Limpd: Wow! Wheat bread, cocoa nibs & coriander. It’s almost as if a Stout and a Saison had a baby!
- G-LO: Surprisingly chocolaty for a Saison. Also getting candied orange peel and a subtle bit of that delightful Saison funk.
- Limpd: A flavorful if somewhat muted Saison. I expected a more robust chocolate/coffee flavor to come through. Very mild sweetness to counter the earthy, herbally Saison. The finish was a little sweet, a little bitter and a good bit drying. Very nice and very easy drinking. My better half wandered by and while Bogarting my glass (I tell her to nose it and she starts guzzling it; what am I to do?), thoroughly enjoyed it. I fear that if our research session had started sooner, she would have seriously cut into our pours.
- G-LO: Smooth and creamy with a lightly fizzy carbonation. Subtle chocolateyness (so now, G-LO makes up words) at the start. A bit of citrus in the middle (that candied orange peel coming through). A touch of bitterness in the finish which quickly fades and is replaced with a lightly funky, dry Saisonness (also, probably not a word).
- Limp: I’m not a huge fan of Saisons as I find them to be a little too salad dressingy (see, I can make up words, too), and I find the coriander note a bit off-putting. This was certainly not the case here. The introduction of chocolate malts upped the ante and moved it into a whole new category for me. A more subtle chocolate/coffee flavor than the Allagash Black but no less well-crafted. This was really well-balanced and almost dangerous in how easy it went down given its ABV. Me likey!
- G-LO: All I can say is “Mmm mmm mmm!”. This is one seriously easy drinking and delightfully mellow beer. It dwells somewhere between a chocolaty Stout and a dry Saison. Bravo Victory!
And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, the incomparable Celine Dion…