THE EDITOR’S DESK :: Rabbid Rabbit Saison – A Tail of Two Beers (or Two Me’s) from Three Floyds

by Harvey Gold on July 15, 2013

Chase Cutting

Chase Cutting

Cutting directly to the chase:

Matt, from The Havana House, presented me with this offering from Three Floyds. I’m not a totally conservative beer guy, but I always approach saisons and shandies with zero expectations as the whole fruit thing makes me wary. You may recall, I started out this journey as a Guinness and Bass Ale guy, so the exotic has been a revelation.

Now you also know I love me some Belgian beer, certainly dubbels and trippels, the  spice and sweetness in so many variants helping me come in the back door with weissbeer and other, sweeter offerings. So in the face of Matt’s deadpan “they make this with Pop Rocks,” which frankly, knowing what some of my brewer friends have thrown into the vat to achieve flavor notes, I would NOT discount for a second, I found myself, along with my pal Eric, who has been with us for a couple other tastings, both really interested, and cautious, working hard to carry no expectations into this.

Described as a “Franco-Belgian style Farmhouse Ale”, the Rabbid Rabbit poured a nice light golden color with a sweet, white, “candy” head. Now I could note that at no time during the tasting did I feel there was anything revealing or distinctive about the nose, but today, doing my customary “a little left in the bottle” sipping and sniffing, I found it to have a delicious, sweet Belgian nose, fruity with some spice, and a notable alcohol (7.4%) vapor.

photoLast night, starting cold and working it as the temps rose, I found it to be mild, the confluence of whatever they put in it leading me to one dominant flavor note, and Eric agreed… pineapple. I’m not big on some reviewers doing what I think may be identifying flavors that only serve to make them appear to have palates supremely more evolved than everyone else around. I understand there are earth elements from the water used, the soil the hops and malts were grown in, certain subtle characteristics brought out by the temp and length of a boil, the speed of chilling. But unless I’m told they put in pineapple, well… lets just say that whatever the flavor elements, some reviewers speaking of pear, apple, banana, chamomile… for us, it was pineapple, and it made me blink. The malt gave it a big sweetness, and whether it be the hops component, or the Belgian yeast, a discernable and welcome bitter end. The sweetness itself did NOT appear to come from fruit sugars. Very cool.

Eric saw it as a nice  accompaniment for food. We’d eaten, so I lit up a little Upman Aperitif to serve as my meat course. While the saison served well as a cooler for the smoke, it presented a paradox. It seemed, at first blush to be overwhelmed by the smoke, serving only as a cool carbonated liquid. But surprisingly, it rose back up, the sweetness and fruitiness holding. While I couldn’t really speak to complexity (perhaps my failing), I could certainly detect some strength here.

This morning, I took a sip at room temp. and discovered, as I did with the nose, a formidable Belgian, hitting me more like a fine, strong Dubbel than the interesing but not as distinguished Saison from last night. Delicious, spiced cake with a wonderful full bodied mouthfeel… I’m loving this. The little bit of bitter was still there, but more integrated. There was still that little bit of tart musk that suggests… well I just have that image of pineapple in my head. Topping it off was a fine heat coming from the alcohol.

So, cold and fresh from the bottle, a higher alcohol unassuming (with a suspicious squint) and very nice summer brew.

At room temp with a goodly minute to breathe, an excellent Belgian Ale.

Love it, and one of my faves of the year thus far. Big thanks to Matt.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: