Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stone Saison - Instant Classic

Stone Brewing's new Stone Saison is an instant classic.  This dry, zesty beer is brewed with herbs from Stone Farms. You can smell the yeast and floral herbs as soon as the bottle's cap is popped.  The aromatic beer is nearly as good to smell as it is to drink.  The saison poured a bright orange with a fast disappearing white foam.  Upon tasting the beer I immediately picked up the Belgian yeast, lemony citrus, fresh herbs -  and a faint sweetness.  The hop bittering arrives late to round out the taste, but it serves only as a complement to the other ingredients not a major player.  You are not buying this Stone beer for its hops.  The feature that stands out on the finish is Stone Saison's peppery dryness.  The dryness is present throughout but sharpens its acuity on the finish, and the finish lasts a long time (I was still enjoying this beer a couple of hours after my glass was empty).

Stone Saison is refreshing due to its citrus and strong carbonation.  It is full bodied even though its abv is only 6%.  A big factor as to why this beer is so good is that despite the herbs it never becomes vegetal.  It's amazing how much flavor, complexity and approachability Stone coaxed out of this beer. Stone Saison is available in six-packs and on draft, and it's one of those beers that I want to make sure I always have stocked in the beer fridge.

Stone Saison, with all its herbs reminded me of a softer Saison du BUFF, a Stone collaboration beer, which was intensely herbed.  I am not sure whether Stone Saison is a new seasonal or a year-round beer, but use of fresh herbs makes me think it's a seasonal.

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