By Iron Chef Leftovers
I can really appreciate the complexity of a saison – on the surface it looks like it is going to be a light beer with not much going on, but once you get past the looks, you discover that you are drinking something that can have as much complexity as any other beer on the planet. Saison has been made for hundreds of years and is not a beer that you usually see with much variation in the recipe – you will find very different tasting saisons from brewery to brewery, but they don’t generally deviate in their ingredients too wildly. When Reuben’s decided to do their take on saison by including rye, I had to give the beer a shot.
The beer pour a very un-saison like beautiful brown in color with notes of sugar and malt on the nose with mild fruit and hints of chocolate. Despite the lack of rye on the nose, there is no question that it is in this beer. The beer has roasted rye notes upfront before yielding slowly to a more saison-like back end with notes of grain and citrus in a slightly sweet, subdued finish. There is a very long, slow fade back into rye at the very end of the beer, producing something that just a touch dry at the very end.
I had some major doubts about this beer – saison’s appeal comes from subtlety of character and I was worried that the strong flavors of rye would overpower the beer completely, but Reuben’s did a great job balancing the beer out so that you get the strong rye character while still having enough of the saison character to appreciate the beer for what it is – an amped up version of a saison.
Reuben’s Rye Saison brings you back to the countryside with a stellar 4 farmhouses out of 5.