Beer of the Month: Uinta Farmside Saison
Brewery/Brand: Uinta Brewing Co.
Serving Style: 12-oz. bottle
These are good days for a beer nerd—it’s like a personalized Christmas designed just for me! It’s damn frigid this morning, and Uinta Brewing Company is my destination. The description that Uinta provided back in December made this beer sound too good—delaying, for me, is not an option. I strolled my ass into Uinta’s bottle shop where the bottles and other people clamoring for beers awaited me. A six pack for $8.99? Not bad for a seasonal craft beer—I’ll commit to six. Let’s see if this beer can live up to my own hype.
Description: The label screams summer, which is helpful because saisons are typically summer beers, and a little summer right now sure looks appealing. As I crack the bottle open, I immediately notice that it’s crystal clear. Red flags start waving in my mind: This beer should not be filtered—not this much, anyway. The clear, pale-yellow color with the bubbles reminds me a little of champagne. As I hold it up to the light, it takes on more golden hues as the head goes from two fingers tall to a thin ring in my snifter glass within a minute. This is a good-looking beer, but the head and lacing were a little weak.
As I stick my nose deep into my snifter glass, the aroma smacks of grapes and a honey sweetness. The grapey notes hang around for a while, which is most welcome. Next comes that signature, spicy saison yeast with nice lemon-citrus aromas. Wheat and pale malts are nearly hidden underneath, but there’s enough to impart balance. This beer has a good aroma, and the grape must (the skin and peel of the grape) works well with the saison base.
The taste is fairly similar to the nose. It starts out with a malty sweetness, but the grape must still asserts its dominance. The same white-grape aspect that I got in the nose returns, and it’s followed by a little bit of vinous tartness. Up next comes the saison yeast, which imparts spicy coriander and clove-like yeast flavors followed by a slight malt flavor with some pale malts and wheat showing up. A great citrus flavor comes toward the end, with lemon still sticking out the most and a little more tartness and some slight earthy flavors, with a sweet, white-grape and saison-yeast aftertaste. This is a pretty well-balanced beer. It juggles the grape must and the saison base handily. It’s quite smooth and refreshing in the mouth. It’s crisp and clean, on the lighter side of being medium-bodied with a medium to high carbonation level. The mouthfeel is quite inviting, and it works well with this beer.
Overview: This new offering from Uinta is nice, and it’s a great example of a fruit-infused saison. Sometimes, the base beer can get lost in the fruitiness, but that is not the case here. The grape must isn’t too overpowering, and it worked well with the saison yeast, plus the alcohol is hidden well. The overall palette did a good job at holding my attention—I don’t think I would have a problem drinking this whole sixer by myself. I hope to be enjoying this beer in the coming summer when summer’s heat will really make it shine. What I like the least about this beer is the appearance. It isn’t bad, but damn, it’s clear. I keep wondering what this would have tasted like had it not been filtered, but that’s an issue that is easily fixed. The price point on a six pack is about what you’d pay for any beer of similar quality—maybe even a little less. I’ll also note that you can buy the beers by the bottle, too. I would recommend this beer to anyone who likes fruity saisons. Basically, I enjoyed this beer and am glad I spent the extra quatloos on the full six-pack. Good job, Uinta: This is a unique-tasting saison. I like the direction you’re headed.