The Perfect Crime
The Black Saison (a fairly disturbing trend if ever there was one) is much like the Red Ale for me — it’s a beer that I’m not really all that fond of, but one in which I will give a second, third, fourth (you get the picture) try in appealing to my taste buds. I don’t know why I continue my search, but I guess I’m just not willing to give up on either style yet, though I’m leaning heavily toward abandoning my search for the perfect Black Saison.
In my mind, a Saison should be golden blond in color, crisp and refreshingly yeasty with plenty of light fruits and a subtle funk. The arrival of the Black Saison goes against everything I believe the Saison should be. That said, I present here my review of a collaborative effort between Evil Twin Brewing, Stillwater Artisanal Ales and Stone Brewing — The Perfect Crime, a 6.8% ABV smoked Black Saison.
As far as the few beers of this style go, this is the least offensive. It carries with it the base features I want from a Saison while adding in the dark, smokier malt to give it the “black” moniker. I made it through the bottle just fine, but it hasn’t convinced me to pursue more examples of this genre.
The Perfect Crime pours a very dark, reddish brown in a large, long lasting mocha head. It looks more stoutish than any Saison I’ve had.
Well it’s got a strong Saison character than most black varieties — light yeast, subtle funk. There’s also a distant roasty malt presence and (thankfully) only a hint of smoke.
The smoke definitely makes more of an appearance on the tongue than it did in the nose, but is still fairly light. This allows for the saison funk and hop bite to show through. There’s a low-to-moderate acrid character late in the lasting, drying finish. It’s fuller than most Saisons with a medium body and moderate crispness.
I’m glad that I tried this beer out just to see what a little bit of smoke would do to a Saison. I’m not really a fan of the outcome, but still pleased that I didn’t let pre-conceived bias keep me in my sheltered hole. At any rate, I’m sure there will be many people that really like this beer. I’m just not one of them.