Honeymoon Saison is an ironic choice tonight, because my wife left me. Okay, yes, she’ll be back in four days, but even so, ironic. The latest offering in Summit’s unchained lineup, batch 07, was made just in time to be ready for brewer Sam Doniach’s wedding, thus the name. Cleverly named on so many levels, the brew also uses Minnesota-made honey to sweeten up the beer.
The initial presentation is impressive. Not quite a bride down the aisle, but definitely a good looking brew. It is a deep golden orange with a creamy head of wedding-dress-white that’s got enough staying power to linger longer than the typical wedding ceremony. It is crystal clear, with a rushing core of bubbles escaping through the center of my glass. The nose is sweet and yeasty, a lemon zest punch that feels lively and fun. There’s the ever so slight funk of a farmhouse, too, hidden just under the initial aroma.
That funk is much more prominent on the finish, ironic that the end of this beer’s marriage with my mouth is the harshest. I’m too skeptical and I digress. The mouthfeel is bright and spicy, but the finish is really what is of note. The funk, a blend of dirty socks and bark (but not as bad as that sounds), is slightly overwhelming and I lose the nuances described by the brewer here. However, I sip again and seek the depth of flavors a bit more and do indeed discover the bitingly refreshing grapefruit and a very soft orange that stays past the funk, in a thin layer that coats my tongue. There is a bit of pepper too, and hints of sour pear. It feels more filtered than other saisons I’ve had, but its not unpleasing and the more I drink the better my overall impressions.
Yet again, the Unchained Series does right by me. While Honeymoon Saison isn’t my soulmate of this style, if you asked me if I liked it, I would definitely say ‘I do.’