Grassroots Arctic Saison - Grassroots Brewing
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Ratings: 490 | Reviews: 85 | Display Reviews Only:
3.1/5 rDev -23.8%
Appearance: Clear light rose color with a decent head; slightly hazy.
Barnyard aroma with some much more inviting fruity aspects. Mild tartness, light funk and mixed fruits dominate the taste.
Feel: Body should be both livelier and a bit fuller.
O: Moderately complex and nicely original.
06-16-2014 13:43:58 | More by chinchill
3.16/5 rDev -22.4%
Snatched this one up earlier tonight; I'm really excited to try my first faux-Hill Farmstead (Hill Fauxstead?). I don't really get the whole subsidiary structure nor do I pretend to understand what the implications are for the beer, but because it kinda sorta has Hill Farmstead's name on it, my expectations are sky high. This is my first Hill Farmstead beer, if we're considering it one. Cost was $10.99 USD. Batch #1. May 2013. "Ale fermented in oak tanks with brettanomyces." Sign me up! 6% ABV confirmed. Distributed by the Shelton Bastards. 750ml brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire cap (aka cage) over a cork served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.
Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
Yields a light plunk upon opening; carbonation is indicated to be adequate but not too high.
A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of nice creaminess and frothiness. Plump lightly supple complexion. Appears soft. Retention is superb - about 8+ minutes. Light even lacing as the head recedes. A pretty standard head for the style but a well executed and attractive one.
Body colour is a cloudy yellow-copper. Transparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It isn't the hazy milky appearance I've noticed in the best saisons, but it's appealing overall.
Sm: Subtle oak notes with traces of a very light buried toasted wood character. Brettanomyces are certainly detectable, with a pungent diverse funkiness that definitely seems more complex than your run of the mill American brewed saison. Grainy and grassy. Lemongrass. Touches of lemon zest and other citrus. These fruity notes are nicely complemented by the floral and lightly fruity hop profile, which imparts some nicely adhered juicy citrus character. Pear. I'm hesitant to say pineapple, but there's something a bit sweeter and juicier here. Clean malts, straw, pilsner malts. A sticky wet aroma of above average to mild strength. It's pronounced for a saison and anything but ubiquitous, though I don't know that it's necessarily unique. Well executed for the style. Not getting the white pepper and milky notes you'd find in the best examples of the style, nor is there much in the way of complex subtle spicing, but I'm optimistic given Hill Farmstead's reputation alone.
T: Hm. Definitely more fruity and juicy than the style conventionally calls for - especially in the second half. Funky throughout in a general sense, but it never really evokes the intricacies or nuance of brettanomyces yeast character. As far as the yeast goes, I don't get any white pepper, clove, biscuity character, or deep complex funk. Just a sort of middling attempt at a backgrounded funkiness.
Body is interesting. Lots of pear fruit and some lemon bouncing around over top a healthy base of clean pils malts, light filtered wheat (?), and straw. A clean flavour profile which unfortunately lacks the subtlety and complexity inherent in the best beers in the style.
Hopping is primarily floral and complements the body nicely. Bits of fruity wisps don't amount to much.
It actually feels like it has more alcohol than it does. Where is the oak?
Balance is alright. Flavour intensity is average for the style, as is flavour duration. Honestly, I'm pretty underwhelmed. I like it in a general sense and it's pleasant, but there's just nothing remarkable about it.
Mf: Smooth and wet. Soft. Lightly juicy on the back end. Nice body. Way too thick for a saison, though - especially one with such limited depth and diversity of flavour. Overcarbonated. Suits the flavour profile kind of, but I'd say the execution is actually below average. There's something off about it. Not oily, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.
Dr: Boy. I don't know if this was just an off bottle but I'm not at all impressed with it. If Hill Farmstead's other beers are this pedestrian I'm in for a lot of disappointment. I definitely wouldn't get this again - especially at its high price. The alcohol could be far better concealed. The thickness impedes drinkability. Wouldn't recommend it to friends. I'm withholding judgment of Hill Farmstead because this is both a collaboration and a weird subsidiary situation but I have to say I'm let down.
07-19-2013 05:25:55 | More by kojevergas
3.16/5 rDev -22.4%
Batch 1, May 2013.
A: Pours a hazy golden-orange. Enormous and fluffy white head. Head fizzes out slowly, leaving thick streaks of lacing everywhere. Some of the heaviest lacing I've ever seen in fact. Big island of foam too. Nice.
S: Big tart citrus notes, orange peel and sour lemons. A bit of graham cracker, making it almost like a lemon meringue type aroma.
T: Quite tart/sour citrus notes up front. Lots of it. Kind of a lactic sourness in the middle like spoiled milk...lingers for a long time. Very funky. Light bready malt in the finish but mostly overpowered by the sour notes. Kind of a bad milk aftertaste.
M: Medium bodied, sour and crisp.
O: A very tart/sour/funky saison. Too much, pretty much overshadows the normal saison characteristics and not in a good way. It's not horrible but not great either. I drainpoured it - not worth teh calories.
09-21-2013 03:43:51 | More by Dope
3.46/5 rDev -15%
A: Pale, semi-opaque gold with a firm lasting head.
N: Plenty of earth, pine, banana. Some mustiness. Lemon and oak. Very well balanced with its floral and wood elements.
T: Soured and quite bitter. Really falls apart for me here. Wood adds another bite. Too many hops, not enough malt balance. Yeast and funk are prevalent.
M: Crisp, but biting. Feels like this is stretched out too far on the tongue.
O: Not my favorite example of the style. Leans too far towards the funk and oak without any balance to bring it back to enjoyable.
08-21-2013 16:32:16 | More by writerLJBerg
Grassroots Arctic Saison from Grassroots Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 490 ratings.