Houblon Saison by Meilby Brewing, Saison, 7.5 % ABV, 50 IBU.
I’m not very familiar with the saison style, but I’ve liked the few I’ve had. The India Saison from Nøgne Ø however, was exceptionally nice, and therefore I was delighted to receive another generously hopped saison from Meilby Brewing. It might be a bit unfair to compare M with the best brewery in Norway, but anyway…
A very large, white, creamy head with some big bubbles forms very easily, I have to pour carefully. Beneath this fully lasting head dwells a mysterious, cloudy, orange body. This looks tempting! The lacing is good, although not as extremely impressive as the lacing of e.g. the Amarillo Pale Ale.
The aroma is strong, and as expected from a beer from Meilby Brewing, very pleasant! It’s unusually crisp and refreshing, and at the same time very complex and sweet. More so, the aroma never fades out as I empty my glass, it’s always present and I keep noting new nuances and subtleties all the time. I’m this close to reward a 9 in Aroma to this one. The aroma is very fruity, with citric notes as the most obvious, but I also get hints of grapes. There is also a refreshing spicy touch, herbs, belgian (?) yeast and a fun whiff of white wine. Lovely!
The taste is moderate sweet, light acidic and the long-lasting finish is rather aggressively bitter with an alcoholic sting. I found the first sips a bit rough: the quite obvious alcohol together with the lively carbonation seem to enhance the biting bitterness. After a while my palate has overcome the initial shock, the carbonation level has decreased and the mouthfeel becomes very pleasant. The light alcoholic finish is there all the time, but after a while I find it very fitting. The flavours are unusually delicious, although slightly less intense than I’d hoped for. I find fruits, grapefruit and bitter orange marmalade, spices, refreshing herbs, resin, alcohol and honey. As the beer warms up I also get sweet tropical fruits.
Conclusion: a very nice beer with an amazing aroma and flavour profile. Not only is this a delicious brew on its own, but it also smells and tastes exactly what it’s supposed to be: a very hoppy saison. Returning to the India Saison from Nøgne Ø: I did like that one better, but to me it was closer to an IPA than to a saison. So in one way Meilby Brewing is more skilled than Nøgne Ø!
Ratebeer score: 3.8