La Sirène Fleur Folie

Total Score: 8.45/10 Honeycomb1Peppercorns1Flowers1Tulipglass1

Time for another from Australia’s most veritable Belgian craft brewer: La Sirène. These guys (and possibly girls) have been hitting it out of the park with each beer they brew, and even though I’ve only reviewed their Hazelnut Praline – one of my favourite chocolate beers, I can attest to the exacting qualities of several of their brews. Fleur Folie (or “flower madness” if my cursory knowledge of French is correct) is in actual fact a Saison Miel (miel = honey) – a style that set off my “why didn’t I think of that before” brain reflex, surely this will be grand then.

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy with speckles of yeast floating around the pale golden body, with a lively white sea foam which drops back from 1 inch to 75 mm. So it’s right in that delightful farmhouse zone – big, fluffy head, yeast particles, there’s nothing not to like really. 8/10.

S: Peppery cardboard yeast upfront, lingers on for a long while, followed by notes of orange blossom flower, hints of honey and five spice. Aroma then is a classic Saison with that hint, though muted, of honey towards the back. There’s something else in there that I’m amiss to describe, something spicy (which is why I ended up going with five spice – the catch-all spice term). 8/10.

T: Well the honey really comes through in the flavour and imparts an overall sweet floral/woody tone throughout the entire palate. The peppery cardboard yeast comes through as well. The balance is sublime, sweet/bitter/dry/sour all make an appearance though no one flavour dominates. Finishes with an Ethyl Acetate (nail polish remover) aftertaste – don’t worry, this can be considered normal in a Saison. 9/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a decent amount of carbonation, ala the Saison style. 8/10.

D: This is a cracking Aussie Saison from the southern hemisphere kings of Saison: La Sirène. What indeed impressed me though is how the honey characters of this brew really “popped” in the flavour even though they felt quite muted in the aroma, yet another example of a beer that tastes better than it smells. Overall, at a better price and a bigger bottle, I would definitely get this fine Australian Saison again. La Sirène, you beauty! 8/10.

Food match: A traditional bouillabaisse or ratatouille niçoise will suit this hearty Saison.