Every week, we take a look at a craft beer brewed in Florida. Follow #FloridaBeerFriday for more reviews of Sunshine State brews. Get out there and #DrinkLocal.
This week I'm taking you to Palm Beach Gardens to Twisted Trunk Brewing to highlight Cloud 9, their foudre-aged saison.
This is a saison that's been brewed with heather, lavender, cardamom, and chamomile, and then aged for two months in the large oak foudre barrel that sits at the west side of the bar. This aging process allows it to pick up some of the characteristics of the wooden barrel.
Historically, saisons are pale and effervescent beers that hail from the farmhouses in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. Nowadays there are some varied techniques behind the style, but generally they will be beers that are fermented warmer than typical ales, which helps to produce larger concentrations of spicy notes. The addition of herbs and other spices is not atypical, so it's exciting to see a local brewer go all out with a concoction of earthy additions.
For this beer in particular, it pours with a deep orange color, hazy with a sticky white head that lingers for quite a while. Aromas are strongly herbal and minty, with the lavender really coming through. Taking a sip, there is a lot of barrel character evident, predominantly woody and herbal flavors. Hiding around are hints of acetone (or ethyl acetate) and some lingering wood and spice on the palate. The beer is lightly carbonated at this point, and the whole package comes together as an incredibly complex piece of work.
It's very drinkable at 5.8 percent alcohol by volume, which means it's a beer that can be enjoyed over the course of an evening.
Originally tapped on April 13, Cloud 9 is still available in the Twisted Trunk tap room. For those interested in the intricate and complex nature of foudre-aged beers, this is a must-try.
Twisted Trunk Brewing, 2000 PGA Blvd. #5506, Palm Beach Gardens. Call 561-671-2337, or visit twistedtrunkbrewing.com.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers. He is a Certified Beer Server and has been a homebrewer since 2009. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.