Lemongrass Saison - Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
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Ratings: 1 | Reviews: 1
4.05/5 rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
Sun-faded lemon peel topped by two fingers of fluffy, eggshell colored froth. A little murky yeastiness would have been great and would have added a great deal of visual character. That said, I did like the beer's simple clarity. A smattering of sea foam lace was visible on the sides of the tulip glass once it was (quickly) emptied.
The nose escaped the next lowest score for two reasons. First, the glass was only half-full to start (it was free). Second, it was both distinctive and interesting. Ingredients included lemongrass (natch) and chamomile, an herb in the sunflower family that is commonly used to make tea.
First, a little background. Lemongrass Saison was offered at the brewpub approximately two years ago... and I missed it. This keg is from that original batch. wdmrock has been chosen to take part in an upcoming festival (competition?) in Washington, D.C. that pairs food with beer and he's taking this saison with him. Has it held up? Keep reading.
The first half of the first mouthful was just okay... and then the lemongrass came on with a rush. Every gulp from then on was full of delicious lemongrassy goodness. The beer was soft and delicate, lightly sweet and pale malty (pils malt to be exact), and wonderfully tart and tangy due to its signature ingredient. Lemongrass is underutilized in the brewing of beer, there's no doubt about it. Can't forget the hops: Czech Saaz and aged Goldings.
Another layer of depth and complexity was added by the use of chamomile, which lent an exotic spiciness to the beer, and Dupont yeast, which lent it a true Belgian vibe. Without having tasted it initially, it's impossible to say whether time took a toll on this keg of saison or not. It did, however, probably break down the body/mouthfeel a little.
The beer was a trifle thin and could have used more bubbles. Boosting this attribute to something lightly creamy and mouthfilling, something worthy of a 'brewed in Belgium' saison, probably would have rocketed this ale through the roof and to the moon.
Lemongrass Saison is wonderful in its current state and has aged much more gracefully than any relatively low-ABV beer has a right to. I have a sneaking suspicion that if Eric brews a fresh batch, it will be absolutely killer.
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Earlier today, I had a snifter of this now 3 year old ale, re-named Vieille Saison. My notes, as it turned out, were strikingly similar to the review seen above. Interestingly, my scores were identical (good to know that I'm consistent), with the exception of the mouthfeel. It's now 4.0 since the beer had a sparkly carbonation that was exactly what it needed. Good stuff! (12-4-08)
Serving type: on-tap
@ Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, 4508 University Ave, West Des Moines
05-13-2008 21:34:36 | More by BuckeyeNation
Lemongrass Saison from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
- out of 100 based on 1 ratings.