Thursday 1 May 2014

Beer Tasting: Brew By Numbers 12/01 Barrel Aged - Saison

The Brew By Numbers boys have been nailing saisons since day one so, as we head towards their 'Super May Day Celebration', it seemed only fitting to try out one of their newest saison creations.

The beer I tried last night is one of the first outputs of BBNo's barrel-aging program. The 12/01 Barrel Aged - Saison uses the Motueka & Lime Saison as a base beer (01/06 for anyone keeping score); it then spent a few months sitting in Burgundy white wine barrels.

As you can see in the photo above, this 12/01 is a very attractive beer. It pours mostly clear, bright yellow-gold, moderately effervescent with a sturdy, creamy white head. The aroma has a nice bit of juicy lemon, doughy pale malts, light straw, touches of white grape, and faint urine (thanks, motueka!). The flavor is lightly sweet and exceedingly clean, with dried hay, mild bitter white grape skin, slight herbal and grassy bitterness, some zesty lemon and lime. Light bodied with fine, massaging carbonation and an airy mouthfeel, it's quite easy on the palate. It finishes clean and crisp with more lime essence, some further grass and dried herbs, a bit of woody and tannic dryness, and lemon rind. It is highly drinkable and quite graceful. In its subtlety the beer certainly impresses. Though at 5.7% ABV it has enough heft such that it never comes across as overly delicate. It's fine work. This beer augurs well for the BBNo barrel-aging project. (Score: 4.1/5.0)

The 12/01 Barrel Aged - Saison, in addition to 14 other beers, will be available this weekend for the Brew By Numbers party. The action kicks off at noon on Sunday, 4 May, and you would be wise to get there early.