14 June 2008

Southern Tier Cherry Saison (NY)

The Southern Tier fruit beers I've had -- Pumking and Raspberry Porter -- aren't shy about allowing the fruitiness to come through. I might have expected the same thing from Cherry Saison, but that's not the case at all. If you fed this to me blind, I might not have guessed either cherry or saison (although the only saison I've ever tried is Ommegang Hennepin, so who knows?).

This pours a thick honey-color with no sign of cherry redness. No cherry aroma either, and ultimately, only a faint cherry taste. The bottle says it was aged with oak, and even here, I have to strain to sense this. Possibly the oak adds to what I perceive as bitterness that runs trhough it. The alcohol is noticeable. It claims to be Imperial, and although its 8% isn't much higher than Hennepin, it feels iy. Is that what you want in a saison? I don't know. ST Cherry Saison isn't dull, but it doesn't seem Belgian to me. It doesn't have the yeastiness, spiciness or tartness I might have expected. Earthy? Maybe. Funky? Not really. Sweet? Not so much. Still, fidelity to style isn't everything, and this doesn't taste bad at all. I do love the creamy body.

Southern Tier recommends drinking this at 40 degrees in a chilled glass. I went a little warmer, but am not sure whether I should have taken their advice to mute the booze or gone warmer still to bring out more flavors. Overall, I'd say this is a minor disappointment from Southern Tier (@ $7.50 a bomber).

No comments: