What’s better than a saison that’s light, zesty, and a little funky? A saison that’s light, zesty, funky, and wine barrel aged. Enter Casey Brewing & Barreling. A small operation located Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Casey is quickly making a name for itself in the beer world by creating intriguing saisons, spontaneously fermented beers, and fruited wild ales. Brewed with only local ingredients, their saison is fermented in open oak vessels with two different bacterias and a saison yeast. It’s then transferred over to oak barrels where it matures until it’s tartly perfect. Enough talk, and more drinking – let’s run them numbers…
Smell: Lemon and lime zest, yeast, and sourdough bread are the three most prominent flavors coming off the teku. It also smells very clean and tight, especially considering this was a open fermented barrel aged saison. A faint presence of oak rounds things out.
Taste: Just incredible. Much more tart that I was expecting, but that’s a great thing in my book. Huge notes of lemon and lime dominate the sour flavor of the brew and it just bursts all over the palate in a very clean and orderly way. Every element in this saison has its solo and nobody is competing for stage time in this brew. The flavors stand out individually, but come together better than The Beatles. After the sour launch, things start to mellow a bit and more of the classic saison flavors emerge from the beer like that of yeast, pepper, and coriander. As the bottle neared its end, more of the yeasty flavors seem to come out (obviously since the yeast bed was packed on the bottom of the bottle) making it more of a saison than a sour. The water used to brew this beer must be high quality Rocky Mountain H20 as it’s thirst quenching and packed with minerals. I think this helps to contribute to the clean smell found in the aroma and also makes the beer very drinkable. The brew finished with a touch of mustiness from the oak, but I’d say it was by design and wouldn’t consider it an off flavor of the beer.
The body on Casey’s saison is light and thin. This is typical of most saisons, however the fact that this is barrel aged and tart only helps highlight the lightness of the beer. Additionally, there is only 5.5% alcohol by volume in this making it borderline sessionable. The beer was well carbonated and fit right in that Goldilocks range for a saison.
Overall: My first beer from Casey has left me with a good taste in my mouth. Light and tart with very traditional elements of a saison coming through, Casey makes a damn good beer with its flagship ale. This beer would be perfect for a relaxing afternoon in 80 degree weather and would make you a lot of friends while enjoying it. I’d have to give it an A. There’s not much keeping back the + here, other than the fact that its nearly impossible to find. Well done Casey.