Monday, March 7, 2011

Reviews: Saint Somewhere Brewing Company

While in Florida a couple of months ago I had the chance to pick up some beers from the Saint Somewhere Brewing Company.  Saint Somewhere is a small brewery in Tarpon Springs, FL that specializes in traditional Belgian-style ales.  Since Belgian-style ales are my favorite I picked up the three bottles that I saw at Tipple's bottle shop in Gainesville! 

Up first was the "Saison Athene"... which I poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay goblet.

This one had a nice pop to the cork, one of the easier to pop off I've experienced. It's a pale yellow color with a fizzy head that dissipates quickly. There is some nice pooling on the surface of the beer but no lacing on the sides at all.

The spices dominate the nose... cinnamon, ginger, coriander, and a little orange peel to it. It's delicious, but missing a little base or hop balance.

The taste is more of the same, except with a sour kick... kinda like a winter warmer meets an American wild ale. The sour notes provide a nice balance to the spices that was missing on the nose. I really like this one a lot as far as the palate is concerned.

It's easy to drink, and the alcohol content of 7.5% is barely noticeable.
My Rating: A

I followed up the Saison Athene with their "Pays Du Soleil," again a saison or farmhouse ale.  It's a cloudy amber color with pretty much no head at all. Just a few bubble on top... very interesting to note the lack of head on this one.

It smells like an amber ale... with just a hint of sour funk. Mostly I'm getting the malt sweetness and just a slight bit of fruit sour. It's not bad, but it's nothing too special.

There are much stronger sour notes on the tongue than on the nose, and the malt is a little in the background. It's tart, has that sour fruit flavor to it and hardly any aftertaste. Much better than the build up to the taste.

All in all it's a good beer... it's not flat so I'm not sure what's up with the lack of head, but it still tastes fresh. I'd go for another for sure. 
My Rating: B

The final Saint Somewhere beer I tried was the "Lectio Divina" which is a saison the same as the first two.  Served the same way as the first two, it's a cloudy red-amber color with a LOT of bubbles and small white head that dissipates quickly. Still a lot of bubbles coming up a few minutes later.

It smells of malt and sour notes... a little caramel hint in there and some sour fruit smells. Not bad.  The flavor is a lot more sour than the aroma... with a little woody note at the end of the sip.

Okay... this is a lot more sour than the typical Belgian-style Ales that I've had before, which is also typical of the other two Saint Somewhere brews I tried.

My Rating: B-
I've been wanting to get more into sours, so it's nice to try these but they're a little rough to start out with.  The Fifth Element Farmhouse Ale I had way back in January was one of my introductions to sour ales, and these three from Saint Somewhere provided another learning step along the way.  Part of the goal of this 365 in 2011 resolution was to learn about new styles and new breweries, and I'm certainly doing that!

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