Monday, October 8, 2012

Lost Abbey Carnevale

Type: Saison/Farmhouse Ale
Origin: San Marcos, CA
Price: Don't recall
ABV: 6.5%
NSP: ?

A few months ago, I went through a little brett saison phase, inspired by the delicious Logsdon Seizoen Bretta.  I had this one at Ritual back then based upon reader Jeff's suggestion, and I wasn't all that impressed with it- not because I thought it was poorly crafted or anything, but because Logsdon set the scale so high that it couldn't help but be a letdown.  As it turned out, however, that disappointment wasn't unique- the Logsdon was the only one of the type I found during that period that I actually enjoyed, and the rest (particularly Brett Dream, to which I won't stop linking until something surpasses it in shittiness) just didn't do it for me.  So I gave up on brett saisons for a while.  But I bought this when it was released (it's a Lent beer, so five or six months ago) and it's been taking up space in the fridge ever since.  I've had it long enough that I've completely forgotten what I paid for it.  I'm hoping the 'cellaring' will have taken some of the rough edges off the brett.

It looks like beer, so that's good.  The website says that it has the color of a 'proper Mimosa'...really?  That's what you decided to compare it to?  It looks like straightforward beer.  The nose is, as expected, quite yeasty, but I'd say it's split pretty evenly between brett and regular Belgian funk.  But the yeast is not so powerful that it obscures the typical saison pepper and citrus, which are present in abundance.  So the smell is a good start.

Two pats on the back for this one- first to Lost Abbey for their skill, and second to myself for having the patience/cowardice to wait this one out for a few months.  Because this is now the second brett saison that I've liked.  The time spent in the bottle definitely smoothed the brett out- it's miles better than when I had it at Ritual right after Lost Abbey released it.  The brett's now a nice accent flavor rather than the somewhat overwhelming feature it was when I had it at Ritual.  So it ends up tasting like a complex (more than usual) saison rather than a saisony brettfest- and the saison base they created would be delicious on its own.  The body's nice and light too, so all in all, it's a tasty and refreshing warm Sunday afternoon beer.  Definitely recommended.

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