Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.
Tarpon Springs, FL
Saison Athene is a rustic farmhouse ale brewed with rosemary, chamomile, and black pepper. The Belgian-style beer is unfiltered and bottle-conditioned, with a dose of wild yeast added at bottling.
Original gravity: 1065
Saison Athene promises a lot. And it delivers … most. Pouring a hazy, dark honey with a white-pillow puffy head that quickly fades to a thin lace, Athene leaves her mark along the sides of the glass. Spicy, peppery aromas meet the nose, along with hints of citrus and grass, plus grilled pineapple and toasted malt that support the spice and alcohol. Flavors border on flowery before giving way to the alcohol and spicy-peppery tastes that predominate. Unfortunately, this is where St. Somewhere should have gone elsewhere: This saison delivers a lot, but misses the dryness that usually accompanies a saison. Still, Saison Athene is an enjoyable beer that would go well with a wide variety of food.
My bottle arrived late, so the pour may have been cloudier than normal. There’s certainly plenty of carbonation from the natural conditioning, which leads to a fresh, spritzy, light-bodied impression on the tongue. There’s also a lot for the taste buds to wrestle with―creaminess from the malt, suggestions of pineapple from the fermentation, and lemon notes for good measure. But it’s the spices that dominate. Swallow, and the throat tingles. No, hang on: it actually burns. Ginger? Coriander? Could even be chili, in a modest sort of way. This is a saison with a real kick. I like it.