Red Sky At Night Saison AleNovember 1, 2004 Baltimore, MD
Clipper City Brewing Co. Baltimore, MD Available: MD, DC, VA, PA This saison is the newest member of this brewery’s “Heavy Seas” line of beers. It is a saison, brewed with European pils malt, two strains of Belgian yeast, and Belgian candy sugar. Alcohol (wt.): 6.6 Alcohol (vol.): 8.25 Color: 4 Bitterness: 20 Gravity: 1072
Good color, bristling head, and an inviting nose lead directly to a finely balanced, richly satisfying palate. There’s so much here that I am at loss for words to match; but the saison quality is at once set forth. The gentle, spicy Belgian character settles in softly and follows itself strongly, gliding down with a friendly (not overwhelming) call for another. It begs for company from a nice cheese like gruyere.
- Fred Eckhardt
Saison—dry, bitter, spicy and often chunky with yeast—is one of my favorite beer styles. The neck label says there’s yeast here. Okay. The beer is deep gold with a slight haze. The aroma is intriguing, with layers of orange, gingery spice and a meaty whiff of yeast. The beer tastes strong, with moderate bitterness balancing sweet malts. Fruit is restrained and the finish is a little astringent. An interesting beer, but I wouldn’t recognize it as a saison. Try it with Chinese crispy duck.
- Garrett Oliver
I loved the creations of Hugh Sisson when he had his brewpub in Baltimore. The beers from his Clipper City micro are a little more mainstream, but full marks for attempting this difficult Belgian Style. Color: deep gold. Aroma: essential oils of orange and coriander. Palate: quick surge of juicy coconut, becoming spicy, developing to a sharply quenching finish. Body: creamy and desert like.
- Michael Jackson
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer Style and Saké.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.
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