Total Score: 8.4/10
Every once and a while you find a brewer at the top of their game and for La Sirène is one of those brewers. They simply don’t seem to know how to put a foot wrong. Yes, yes, I get that all their brews are basically a variation on the same style: Saison, but I say if you can nail one style consistently whilst adding new elements to it then why would you give that mojo up? Alternatively there’s a time and place for being a revolutionary mad-brew-scientist like Ross Kenrick @ Bacchus as well. Frankly I love that there is one Aussie brewer out there who can ace a Saison like La Sirène can. This is Urban Pale – their first canned beer and I admit I tried one last night and it was so damn good I then proceeded to finish off the entire 6-pack [yep!].
Poured from a 330ml can into a Duvel tulip.
A: Cloudy tangerine body with a decent 2 centimetre off-white head that uniquely has a mixture of dense/sea foam bubbles – the head soon subsides to a splotchy lace blanket. This is one attractive Saison here. 8/10.
S: Punchy aroma of orange peel, floral hops, coriander spice, grapefruit hints and a tinge of bubble-gum… it’s quite an ester-driven brew thanks to some superb yeast action: The original La Sirène yeast strain was bought back from northern France and has over the years had Australian wild yeast introduced to give it a touch of funk… it’s obviously working – James Brown would get down with this funk! 9/10.
T: Begins lightly tart, floral hop notes come mid-palate, leading on to a citrus orange and grapefruit light bitter rind finish and a touch of pepper. Do what I did last night and let this baby warm up to 12°C and you’ll get more of a bubble-gum note and touches of clove – that’s the temp a real Belgian Saison should be drunk and it’s telling here that Urban Pale improves as it draws inexorably closer (in this Queensland summer heat!) to 12°C [Bill: Listen to this dude Doc, he knows what he’s talking about.]. 8/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a fairly dense and creamy carbonation. 8/10.
D: Hot damn, not since this La Sirène Urban Pale has a brewer of Saison reminded me of the brilliance of Brasserie Dupont. Beg/borrow/steal to get your hands on this exceptional Australian Saison [err, actually don’t steal, stealing is bad mkay]. Price-point-wise at $28 a 6-pack it’s a touch on the dear side… but it is mighty tasty… that old drinkers dilemma. If I had anything to constructively add in my critique – it could be ever so slightly sweeter. That’s it. 9/10.
Food match: Bit of an all-rounder flavourwise, let’s spin the wheel and go: Sushi!