It’s the end of January, 64 degrees and I’ve spent the entire afternoon outside. If there was a day that could cause spring fever, it’s today. Fortunately, I had a few other options in the beer fridge that weren’t stouts or winter warmers. The next seasonal from Highland Brewing Company is on deck tonight.
Saw-Whet Saison Ale. I do enjoy Saison’s and I had the opportunity to try an experimental batch of this beer a month or so ago. I remember vividly that the hops were more pronounced than I expected but not in a cloying way, more subtle as if to enhance the spiciness that often accompanies this style of beer.
This beer pours a gold to pale color on the old SRM chart with a slight head. On the nose I’m getting orange, a little tropical fruit and a little bit of hops. On the tongue the hops burst forward calling attention to the spicy and citrus notes of the beer leaving a dry finish. It’s the dry finish that makes it very easy to go for the next sip, and the next, and the next…. This beer clocks in at 6% ABV with 50 IBUs – which is pleasantly on the high side for a saison.
Before finishing up, let’s take a second to talk about where the name of this beer comes from. This beer is named for the Saw-Whet Owl which can be found not only in North Carolina but also in Tennessee as well. This beer is meant to raise awareness of the Southern Appalachian Highland Conservatory’s (SAHC) efforts to protect the owl’s habitat. Highland just so happens to have a partnership with the SAHC through it’s For Love of Beer and Mountains partnership. (Pic below from Audubon.org) Pretty cool connection. What can’t beer do?!
Final snobs: This is another fantastic beer from Highland. Pilot Brewer Paul Rollow and Head Brewer Hollie Stephenson did a great job delivering an American interpretation to a classic style.