Over the past year, Massachusetts has seen the openings of numerous breweries: Backlash Beer Company, Jack's Abby Brewing Company, Somerville Brewing Company, Blatant Brewery, Idle Hands Craft Ales, and the brewery that is rethinking the functionality of yeast, Mystic Brewery. Situated in Chelsea on the Island End Inlet of the Mystic River, Mystic Brewery is fermenting a very interesting saison that has, and will go through, differing fermenting techniques. The first batch of this saison was extremely boozy and acidic leading to an unpleasant experience. The second batch, which is being reviewed here, was fermented at a lower temperature changing the profile of this beer (more to follow later). Currently, the brewmasters at Mystic are barrel-aging their saison and refermenting it in the bottle with a wine yeast strain.
Ah the innovation and craftmanship of craft brewers.........
Batch number two of the Mystic Saison poured a rustic, hazy orange, which was much darker than I was expecting. I was a expecting the straw color of Dupont or Fantome because of the amount of buzz that followed the fermentation of this beer. I now know this presumption of an authentically colored saison was widely distorted. A big fluffy, airy head pillowed instantaneously, but quickly lowered leaving a one-finger head.
The aroma that flows from this saison is very peppery. Along with this spiciness, there is a definite acidic quality that has been harnessed from batch one. Finally, the yeast has contributed a very nice pear accent to the spiciness.
As was expected, this saison had an intense yeasty spiciness. The spiciness was complemented very nicely by the same pear notes in the nose. As the beer warmed and the carbonation receded, these pear notes came to the forefront of the taste, which I really enjoyed. Also, there is an earthiness to this beer that comes through as a pastoral hay/straw quality.
The feel is light and extremely carbonated, which I enjoyed. The taste was very short, dry, and didn't linger. Probably not the best beer for the late fall, but excellent for a hot summer day.
Although batch two is far superior to batch one, I found myself consistently wanting to like this more as I kept drinking, but I couldn't. I think the acidity was overwhelming, dominating the flavor profile. It left me lingering for a fruit complexity. With all that being said, I anticipate the shelving of the sauvignon blanc barrel-aged version of this local saison. Hopefully the aging process and the addition of the wine yeast strain will subdue the acidity and add minor oak and tannin characteristics leading to a very complex product.