Minimise (3.2%) is a Table Saison, and it’s far better than I was anticipating.
In fact it’s really rather good.
A sticky caramel and brown sugar, wholemeal bread and honey malt body gives that beer plenty pf backbone, while German hops provide a dash of prickly herbal undergrowth and a pithy woodiness.
And underneath a gentle mix of earthy yeast and coriander bubbles away, making the beer feel warm and cosy.
I’m really impressed with how big this beer feels considering it’s low ABV.
Halmos (4.2%) is Solvay’s Pale Ale that pours with a frothy little head and an aroma of apricots and honey.
The malting is light and subtle, all French bread, candy floss and buttery Wurthers’ Originals, making the beer feel smooth and creamy.
There’s a flourish of freshly chopped herbal leaves from the hops, along with a sherbet lemon tingle, pithy mown lawns and green apple skins.
All this leads you into a finish that’s long and bitter and super dry.
Summer Saison (4.5%) was brewed as a single mash which was then split into two, one half left unhopped and fermented with a house yeast, the other being hopped with Amarillo and fermented with a Saison yeast.
These two halves were then blended and had rosemary added.
“That’s a lot of information but how’s the beer?” I hear you wonder.
Well, it’s as good as it sounds, pouring a pale gold with an aroma full of lemonade and farmyards, the malting is creamy and dreamy, soda bread and brioche and a drizzle of Demerara sugar syrup, while the hops bring lemons and redwood, bright and resinous.
The yeast provides a level of dank and spicy fungal undergrowth and the rosemary brings a distinctive woody floral bite.
Autumn Saison (5.5%) is an interesting mix of pale and chocolate malts, hops and Szechuan pepper.
The use of a chocolate malt in this instance doesn’t give an overly chocolatey feel, but it does add a rich darkness, moving the malt flavours from toffee and into treacle and gingerbread.
Sweet and sticky, round and chewy.
The Simcoe hops do what Simcoe hops do, and that’s to bring a heap of pithy tree sap and zingy lemon zest, orange rind and hedgerow greenery to the party, while the mix of Saison and wild yeasts give the beer a hefty dose of earthy forest floor mulch.
As for the Szechuan pepper, well that prickles away subtly in the bitter finish.
Tritium (7.5%) is the pick of the bunch, and not just because it’s the strongest.
This is a Pink Peppercorn Rye Tripel.
Yes, you read that correctly.
There’s a thick and gloopy runny honey and doughnut malt body, some vanilla ice cream smoothness and lots of sherry trifle from the malting.
The hops add flashes of hedgerow greenery and a zap of bitter lemon peel, but it’s the Pink Peppercorns mingling with the damp woodland wander of the yeast that makes this beer something special.
The peppercorns are piquant and fruity, almost sweet in their prickling warmth, and this is buoyed up by the fug of earthy yeast, all of which is pushed along by a woody Brandy warmth that the hit of alcohol brings to the soft dessert like finish of this lovely little beer.
Source: Solvay Society