Total Score: 8.55/10
To Øl. I love saying it. It rolls off the tongue: To Øl… To Øl… actually I lie: I’m still a bit fuzzy on the “Ø” pronunciation… I’ve heard that it’s said like “or”, but then “or” doesn’t work with an “L” after it… “To Orl”? (someone from Scandinavia help a brother out here!). ANYWAY I’m expecting another tasty drop from this gypsy brewer – To Øl certainly doesn’t f**k spiders (to coin a popular Aussie bogan euphemism) when it comes to brewing, so I’m expecting BIG flavours without compromises. Their DIPA Underground was like a punch in the pancreas for me and I’m hoping this being 8% ABV (instead of 8.5% of the DIPA) will mean that the sugar content isn’t so diabetes inducing… here goes!
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Spectacular cloudy Harvest gold body with a firm and slightly creamy half centimetre white head that leaves some lace scrawl on the side of the glass. Bit darker than the average Saison, but this is To Øl so all bets are off. 8/10.
S: Brett funk from the get-go which leads on into a floral/earthy and an acidic noted aroma. There’s nothing outstanding about the character of this Saison, it could be a Belgian Saison if I was blindfolded. Waiting for something to jump out I noticed a slight hospital disinfectant touch lingering in the background… weird or am I overthinking it now? Perhaps that’s the band-aid smell other craft beer reviewers have noticed – I’ve never noticed it before, huh, I get it now. 7/10.
T: That acidity noted above is ever present here – herbal bitter lemon throughout the profile. Starts out with a hint of Brett funk (barnyard character as I like to call it), follows through to pepper/floral/earthy notes… actually this is one of the easiest drinking 8% brews I’ve had. Balance is sublime and no alcohol noticed in the profile. Pretty damn tasty… too damn tasty! Aftertaste has a slight menthol note – Aha, a hint of alcohol! 9/10.
M: Medium bodied with a nice dense/creamy carbonation, goes down like liquid-silk (patent pending). 9/10.
D: Kinda glad this doesn’t come in a 500ml can (or 750ml corked/caged bottle!) as it’s dangerously easy-drinking this one. I finished the bottle like it was a soft drink, I’ve struggled more with light beers than this one. If you’ve ever liked a classic Saison and thought “I need to get drunk a little bit quicker” then this is the meal ticket for you. To Øl nailed this one. 9/10.
Food match: Chicken is your main meat with this bad boy.