Mountain Saison #2 Review

Mountain Saison #2 was the first of two entries brewed for the 2020 National Homebrew Competition (which was ultimately cancelled due to COVID-19). The recipe was heavily inspired by Ed Coffey‘s Farmer In The Rye Saison but featured several modifications (Mecca Grade Estate Malt, SafAle T-58 Yeast, and four-step infusion mash).

Appearance – It is a beautiful orange-yellow colored beer with a big, frothy white head that leaves behind dense, sticky lacing. The beer is very effervescent at 3.0 volumes of CO2 with continuously rising bubbles.

Smell – Lots and lots of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit and Bazooka bubble gum aromas. It actually smells more like the bubble gum wrapper than the gum itself. There is a faint aroma of fresh bloomed spring flowers and maybe some allspice if you really dig deep. I don’t pick up any black pepper.

Taste – The flavor is overwhelmingly Bazooka bubble gum. I also pick out a Saltine Cracker flavor from the Mecca Grade. There are some fruity elements as well – squeeze-bottle lemon juice and pear skin. I get vanilla as it warms.

Mouthfeel – Light and thin, but not sharp or drying. Despite the 82% attenuation there is a rich malt touch from the Mecca Grade.

Overall – This recipe is a great representation of a true-to-style classic saison. I really enjoyed this beer and think it would fair well in a homebrew competition. Unfortunately, it’s missing some of the personality that I strive for in Third Leap Mountain beer brands.

Changes For Next Time – If I were to rebrew this recipe again, I would use The Yeast Bay Wallonian Farmhouse Yeast¬†instead of T-58. I think the earthy and tart elements from the Wallonian yeast would help give the beer some of the personality it’s missing. Additionally, I might enhance the citrus flavor by utilizing Centenial, Motueka and/or Sorachi Ace hops in the whirlpool. But to be honest, I am not sure if I will rebrew this recipe. Mountain Saison #2 was brewed specifically for NHC 2020 and therefore is much more true-to-style than I prefer for the Mountain Saison brand. Mountain Saison #3 will be more in line with Jester King Brewery‘s Le Petite Prince and utilize my foraged yeast.

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