Southampton Publick House - Cuvée des Fleurs
- ABV: 8.20%
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass, Tulip, or Oversized Wine Glass
Pours a deep straw color, capped by a small but sufficient just off white head. Smells like a saison should, with perhaps a bit more earthiness than your average sample. Expect big yeastiness and hints of banana. It’s quite herbal, a bit tea-like (chamomile) in aroma, with suggestions of dandelions and not surprisingly, lavender. Look for a honeyed malt sweetness that keeps things from getting overly herbal; all makes for a very inviting bouquet. There’s a slight suggestion of cannabis as well (provided by its botanical cousin, hops), and as it warms, it kicks up a soft peachiness. The first sip needs a few moments for the complex floral cavalcade to fully unfurl. We’ve had beers with flowers in them before, but nothing nearly this complex. Starts with nice malt sweetness, then jumps to a minty, almost mentholated spiciness, followed by a very herbal, flowery, stem-like, musky blend. Quite a ride! It does taste like eating flowers, and if you’ve never eaten flower petals (we tasters just do things like that), this is your chance. Expect medicinal, very forwardly powerful phenolic flourishes, rose water, cloves and white pepper. Finishes with suggestions of fresh ginger, cardamom and coriander, as well as quite a bit of alcohol warmth as it warms. Brewer Phil Markowski was not bashful in his addition of these edible plants, and as a result, they’re very forward in the flavor, becoming very tincture-like at times. This could have ended up being a train wreck, but in the skilled hands of an artist brewmaster, it is instead very smartly assembled and a rare work of art. Think well-hopped gruit (we realize that’s a contradiction in terms, but it’s not far off). Complex, very intriguing and an exceptionally unusual experience that we can’t recommend highly enough. A beautiful botanical beer with bravado and balance.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. ††
††But this beer was evaluated and won a 1st Place Gold Medal at the 13th Annual Great International Beer Competition (in 11/2009)!
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