Searching for something different or perhaps a bit adventurous? Salt Lake City’s Epic Brewing Company features a fascinating series of solutions for your tired palate with their Exponential Series of beers, a line of products designed to push the thresholds of traditional brewing. Their Sour Apple Saison combines a pilsner malt base with a cornucopia of spices including ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, anise, nutmeg and grains of paradise to create a tart, refreshing, funky Belgian-style ale sure to invigorate your weary senses.
This Sour Apple Saison was poured from a chilled 22 ounce bottle into taster glasses, splashing its clear, golden straw color against the walls of the vessel. A bubbly white head froths up for a moment, dissipating quickly, but leaving a few spots of lacing and filmy retention behind as evidence.
Scents of crisp green apple and fruit skin awake the senses with licks of with funky yeast and spice. Citrus peel, zest and soft sweetness with hints of ginger, cardamom and clove follow with light, glowing warmth.
Tip back the glass for an initial splash of refreshing apple-fueled tartness on the tongue with a mix of citrus peel and lemon zest. Coriander, clove, and nutmeg come through in the backbone alongside toasted grain and biscuit malts. Interludes of funky yeast, cracked pepper and soft spiciness punctuate the profile. The beer finishes with tart apple skins and the oh-so-familiar notion of dry saison yeast.
The textures are slightly pronounced, with a lighter medium body, higher carbonation, and a dry, bubbly feel on the tongue. One aspect drinkers should understand going into this beer – do not get this confused with a fruited wild ale, because it simply isn’t. Rather, Epic successfully incorporates a more natural, spice-based fruit tartness along with funky yeast, creating an interesting interpretation of the Belgian-style saison.
Look for Epic’s Sour Apple Saison in 22 ounce bottles for about $9 each wherever quality beer is sold. These are produced in limited batches, but still fairly regularly, so tracking this down should be easier than some of their barrel-aged ales (i.e., Big Bad Baptist).