Alesong Brewing & Blending - French 75
- ABV: 7.2%
- Bottle Size: 500-ml
- Serving Temperature: 44–52° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Small Nonic or Chardonnay Glass
Here we go... If you’ve ever tried gin-barrel-aged beers along the lines of Gigantic Brewing’s incredible Pipewrench, you probably have a pretty good sense of what gin’s botanicals bring to the right base beer. Here, nine months or so in Old Tom gin barrels from Oregon provide this French-style saison with incredibly herbaceous outfittings, and those additions of lemon zest and a mix of actual gin botanicals ensure that you’re getting the full experience. If you’re into complex gins (we’re big fans of St. George’s stuff in Alameda, California)—we definitely have a beer for you. An exceptional marriage of barrel-aged saison and special additions. Just 45 cases were made.
While similarly refreshing to the Touch of Brett Mosaic, this one’s more herbal than tropical, and brings a bit more potency throughout. The aromatics are full of juniper and lemon, as a complex mixture of freshly cracked pepper, herbs and spices provides this with a huge level of intrigue. As it warms, those botanicals continue to amplify. No evident alcohol. No sorts of rough edges. Just some of the most impressively integrated gin character we’ve ever had.
If you’ve ever tried Finnish sahti, a traditional beer made from juniper, you might find some key parallels in this beer from Alesong. But this one’s also a lot smoother and more mellow than many of the brusque sahtis we’ve tried over the years, and those additional elements of soft barrel character and lemon zest take this in a wholly unique direction flavor-wise. There is an effervescence similar to Touch of Brett Mosaic, which keeps this feeling lively, as notes upon notes of herbaceous and peppery contributions play out across the tongue. Following the aroma: nothing sharp here—just an effortless display of the very best qualities of potent gin atop a perfectly tuned French-style saison. A nicely dry, bitter finish lands this perfectly.
We’d be inclined to allow a little more of a cellaring window for this than Touch of Brett, as the core flavors seems a bit less volatile, but we’re also more likely drink it fresh given how it happens to be tasting now. The herbal focus suggests pairings of baked fish or roasted duck.
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