Wednesday, 25 January 2012

MONA Saison Du Moo

Style: Saison 5.5%

Saison, what a sexy word for a sexy beer.  I’ve only recently discovered its delights, having cracked the cork on my first bottle of Saison Dupont a few short months ago.  This was a joyous experience, and although my tasting notes become quite incomprehensible about halfway through the bottle, allusions to Sofia Vergara’s chest do appear several times.  Dry and crisp as an autumn’s morning, these are refreshing ales, perfect for the warmer months.  Australian examples of this style are a bit thin on the ground, Bridge Rd’s Chevalier Saison and Temple Brewing’s Saison are two of the most notable examples, as well as the exceptional example recently released by Victorian gypsy brewers, La Sirene.    
Sofia Vergara's Chest
On a recent trip to Tasmania, after experiencing the subterranean horrors of the Museum of Old and New Art, I stumbled blinking into the sunlight with an acute case of post traumatic stress disorder.  Things once seen can never be unseen.  Desperately in need of a drink to restore my frayed sanity, my figurative chopper out of the jungle came in the form of the Moo Brew brewery, located within the museum/winery complex.  I took a seat at the wine bar and promptly downed a pint of Moo Brew’s Imperial Stout, for only the 8% goodness of the Velvet Sledgehammer could possibly erase the memory of the last few hours.  I was about to order another when I noticed the seasonal on offer, the MONA Saison du Moo.

I’ve noticed Saison’s tend to go one of two ways, leaning towards the sweet or edging more towards the sour.  Moo Brew’s falls in the latter category.   This Saison pours with a lovely large head of purest white, gifted of excellent retention, atop a body of pale gold.  The nose is classic Saison, a medley of spicy yeast, with banana, bubblegum and citrus characters, backed by a hint of sour apple and cherries.  True to style this is a light bodied and spritzy beer with a water cracker like dryness, flavours of bread and banana transition to green apple tartness followed by a peppery finish and a lingering sour aftertaste.  

This is likely my favourite Australian Saison, sadly it is only available in limited venues on tap.  As a style, Saison is an exciting proposition, being quite removed from what the average person thinks constitutes a beer and matching exceedingly well to grilled fish or chicken.  With its delicate flavours and crisp mouthfeel, Saison is the sort of thing you could introduce to the palate which would usually prefer a white wine over a beer.   

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