With summer in full swing I’m happy that my Love Buzz Saison Clone (without Brett) is ready to go. I kegged about three weeks ago I believe but it took about a week to have consistent carbonation and then the next week was me taking pours to remove all of the sediment in the bottom of the keg…aka hops. I’m very happy with how this one turned out. I wish I had done some extra water chemistry to bring out the hops a little more but I didn’t think about it at the time. This review is for the non-Brett half. In a couple of months I’ll either keg or bottle the Brett portion and give a review for it as well.
Appearance: Hazy orange-yellow with a thick white head that slowly fades to a thin lacing on the top of the beer and clings to the side of the glass. There are still small traces of hops and hot break floating around in the beer. The head is built of small tight fitting white bubbles.
Aroma: Tropical fruit intertwine with spices: mango, pineapple, orange, a touch of guava and citrus with black pepper and coriander. I’m surprised how much orange aroma I got from the zest of the orange that I added. I think they play very well together and I can’t wait to see what the Brett will add. I’m not sure if the rosehips are adding any aroma at all, but it could just have been masked by the dry-hops and yeast.
Taste: It may be slightly too bitter, but nowhere near IPA territory. Orange and citrus are the predominate flavors with a spicy black pepper finish. The beer is slightly sweeter then I would have preferred but I’m sure the Brett will clean that up in the other half.
Mouthfeel: A little on the thick side for a Saison but not so thick that you would find it not refreshing. Medium high carbonation and a lingering bitter slightly astringent finish.
Overall: There are a few aspects that I would like to improve for future batches. I would change the hopping, maybe move it to 45 minutes instead of 60 minutes to decrease the bitterness. I would probably also remove the hops after the boil is completed to help cut down on the astringency. As discussed earlier I would also perform some water analysis to help with the hopping and hopping aroma. I would also have preferred for the beer to be a little drier. I guess I assumed that the beer had fully attenuated, but this is a Saison strain so you can never assume anything. I’m still pleased with it but there is room for improvement.