8 Wired Rendition

Total Score: 8.95/10 Clove1Flowers1Bubblegum1Tulipglass1

Hmmmm, “Dry Hopped Belgian Style Ale with Brettanomyces” sounds right up my Belgian alley, this should be a pretty decent drop to add to my many reviews of pretty decent drops. Now, I already know that this beer is going to be good, as I’ve already reviewed their Wireless 100% Brettanomyces IPA (even gave it a 9.1/10!)… plus Brett is great… unless you’re a wine-maker, in which case it can be a real problem… but ‘yay Brett!’ regardless. Pro tip for those of you who have never had a Brett yeast beer: Open it over the sink, trust me on that 😉. So let’s crack open this “rendition” of an age old monastery beer already, my throat is feeling parched with all this talk of Brett brews.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: She’s a gusher as expected – my pro tip came in handy with some beer foam finding its way into the sink. When it settled the head was a nice cream-coloured affair with fairly large bubbles, with a cloudy orange body also pleasing to the eye. 8/10.

S: That classic nose-smack of funky/spicy Brett yeast that never gets tired (at least not yet for me), followed by floral and bubblegum notes, and a hint of medicinal herbs – for a dry hopped brew the hops are fairly in line with the yeast/malt characters, surprisingly so. Nonetheless the aroma is spot on full of Belgian goodness which is hard to fault. 9/10.

T: Exceptionally tasty! If you love a Saison with a bit of kick then put this review down right now and go out and buy a bottle of this. Flavours are funky/spicy/barnyard right from the get go, with floral/bubblegum notes, hints of caramel and a decent long dry finish. Aftertaste throws in a light medicinal herb bitterness, other than that though the Brett is a bit subdued with less tartness than usual – not that I’m complaining, this is trucking tasty. 9/10.

M: Brett beers tend to be highly carbed: This is no exception. Medium bodied. 7/10.

D: Let me get the dad joke out of the way first: This is one extraordinary rendition. Yikes, that was the worst kind of dad joke: A dad joke in bad taste. Overall as a Saison lover (my #4 beer of all-time is Dupont Cervesia) and Belgian beer lover in general (6 in my top 10 are Belgian) of course I am destined to fall in love with Rendition. The one problem I had with this is: It should be corked & caged in a 750ml bottle – then instabuy every time 8 Wired! 10/10.

Food match: This is a perfect pairing for a cheese platter.


La Sirène Urban Pale

Total Score: 8.4/10 Flowers1Grapefruit1Bubblegum1Tulipglass1

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!