As mentioned in a previous review, Mystic Brewery in Chelsea, MA is brewing beers with the intention of resurrecting simple, old world brewing styles for a modern palate. Part of the brewing method involves using an in-house Renaud yeast strain, similar to the Table Beer, also in the farmhouse family of beers. Yet while the Table Beer was meant to be a low alcohol beer that could placate the wife and kids, the Saison Renaud does a good job of providing flavor, as well as a floral, spicy kick that can win over any Saison fan.
According to the brewers, this is a beer best served at 45 degrees in a tulip glass, which can be achieved by letting the beer sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes after being removed from the fridge. This is recommended for most yeasty beers because it allows the yeast to bloom and round out the beer's overall flavor. It pours out as a light tan beer with a strong head that gives off a nice aroma of lemon and spice. This is an improvement over Mystic's Table Beer, which didn't feature much of an aroma at all (and even less in the taste department).
Speaking of taste, this Saison lived up to its name. The Saaz hops and Pilsner malt combine with the house yeast to elevate the fruity, spicy notes in the beer, while allowing it to remain crisp and clean while providing a good flavor profile. It is as drinkable as the Table Beer, but thanks to the 6.5% ABV, it has more flavor, and an all-around better drinking experience.
The main downside with this beer is that, along with the Table Beer, the Renaud yeast might not be used to it's full capacity here either. It came across in the Table Beer as a bready, almost flat taste, while the Saison allowed it to work in tandem with the malt and the hops. It tasted good, but it also felt like there was something being held back. The flavors never really hit a crescendo, even at different temperatures, which is kind of disappointing given the growing competition in the style from other local breweries.
Mystic Brewery doesn't quite hit a home run here, but it still looks good as an off-the-monster double. A very well made Saison, but just needs a little more to put it over the top.