“Untried, Experimental, Limited” is the motto of Stone & Wood‘s Pilot Batch series. At first taste, that motto about summed up this particular brew for me. Saison en Chene, made in collaboration with Jilly Wines from nearby Clunes was not immediately a great match for my palette.
The overwhelming aroma is of yeasty sourdough and at first I thought this was a wheat beer (of which I’m not a great fan). Had I read the label properly, I would have realised it was a ‘Saison’, traditionally a strong, fruity, pale ale with plenty of spice and fizz. The fruit that comes through most strongly with this one is bananas, reminding me somewhat of Hoegaarden ……. strangely a wheat beer I’m quite partial too. However, this beer grew on me as I worked my way down the glass and, like most beers, by the time I’d finished it, I was ready for another! Warning: at 6.7% this one could creep up on you.
From the Saison we get season. Here’s a very thirsty Paul Weller with the wonderful ‘5th Season’…….
Another rare chance to sample a craft beer on tap. Another great find on the Untappd. The Quarrymans Hotel in Sydney’s Pyrmont has over 20 craft beers on tap (or 23 to be precise on the night I visited). When you’re looking for the right yoghurt in a supermarket, sometimes you can have too much choice. Luckily this doesn’t apply to beer …….. I’ll start at the top of the list and work my way down!
Of course I wouldn’t dream of working my way through the list in one night. Young Henry’s ‘Wee Heavy’ tips the scales at a healthy 8.8%. It ain’t wee but it certainly punches its weight ! This is a cask ale that tastes like it was conditioned in a whiskey barrel. Served at room temperature, with no carbonation, it’s a novelty in an Australian pub. It’s a substantial brew, smooth and sweet without being syrupy, it tastes like Christmas come early.
My big mistake was to pair it the Quarrymans’ cheese platter, 4lbs of cheeses served with dried fruits, chutney and cracker. Utterly delicious, it took two whole days to digest.
I was going to chose a track by the Beatles precursor ‘The Quarrymen’ or perhaps Echo and The Quarrymen, but instead I’ve opted for the world’s greatest living non-Scotsman, Paul Weller with the epic ‘Heavy Soul’