Poured into a 7 oz snifter tasting glass. At first, the beer creates a lot foam action as it’s being poured, creating a thick 1-inch head. However, this slowly recedes to a thin lace. The color of the beer is a very bright gold with shades of orange from the very small amounts of crystal malt that was added. It is amazing what even a small amount of crystal can contribute to the beer.
Whoa! What an intense and complex nose from the yeast. Very aromatic and smells like a strong Belgian ale. There are notes of earth, hay, and funk, with many different esters prevalent. I was warned not to go high in fermentation temps with the Belgian Saison strain that I used (3711), and even at the lower range of temperatures for my fermentation (64°F -67°F), this yeast produces a complex estery nose. Not much in the way of hops and malts are barely detectable.
The final gravity finished at 1.006, so the pilsner malts provide a background for the yeast to shine. The taste, like the nose, is a complex play from the yeast. There definitely is some funk and a lactic acid-like quality, but clearly not from some other contaminating yeast. Macerated apricots and ripe peaches come to mind, tastes great. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, but finishes dry.
For an 8% ABV brew, this Saison drinks like a session ale; the alcohol is barely noticeable. The beer is really quaffable, especially during the warmer weather. Originally, Cuvee de Bonhuer was going to be our wedding beer, and though I love this brew, this may not be everybody’s cup of tea. I may still offer this at the wedding, but I think I’m going to brew a Strong Wit instead.