While the Brett version of this beer is still in secondary and nearing its bottling date, the straight version of this beer is running down to its last few bottles just about a month after bottling and less than two months since the brew day. I'm hoping there will be some of this version left once the Brett version is ready, so that I can compare the two side by side, but it's hard to guarantee that with a beer that goes down this well in the summer.
A- Hazy light gold with a very small but very stable half finger head that leaves a little lace. I likely poured a bit too much of this one out of the bottle as others I've had have had quite a bit less haze and sediment.
S- Up front is definite melon, pine, white wine, French Saison yeast funk, and just a touch of onion. The hops are definitely the centerpiece, though the yeast seems to add to the overall spiciness and funkiness.
T- The taste is much more subdued than the nose, while still being very flavorful. Smooth kiwi/Sauvignon Blanc and moderate pine lead the way with a touch of melon, some earthiness, and light fruitiness mixing in. The onion and melon from the nose don't seem to have as much presence in the taste, making the flavor much less "dank" than the aroma. The finish is very dry and leaves a piney bitterness that seems to hang around on the back of the throat and build in presence moments after the finish.
M- The carbonation is fairly low, but, surprisingly, this doesn't hurt the beer at all in my opinion with the flavors still fully shining through and hitting all parts of the mouth and nothing about the beer coming off as watery or weak (though it doesn't seem as strong as it's 7+% abv). The body is nicely dry and smooth, exactly what I would expect from this yeast strain. It's hard to tell how much the water chemistry (moderate additions of gypsum and phosphoric acid in the mash) plays in but it seems to have helped accentuate the moderate bitterness and hop character.
O- For a recipe so simple, this beer has a ton of complexity and character. The combination of the hops and yeast, with the malt tame enough to completely stand out of the way, this beer is a really easy drinker that has me trying to figure out what the flavors are and where they come from. The bitterness in the finish draws me back for refreshing sip after refreshing sip. Definitely a good beer that I could see myself brewing again or using as a basis for other beers in the future with additional hops/spices/fermentables in the mix.