Brew Review: Le Merle
I picked up this big bottle at Whole Foods in Clarendon ($8) because Squirrel had excitedly texted me a photo of it one night and raved about its amazing qualities.
Well, upon further review during a recent holiday, she recanted, and I confirmed. Squirrel succumbed to the equivalent of beer-googles for the tongue. It happens to all of us; it gets close to the end of the night, you order that one last beer that you’ve been wanting to try and just saw be put on tap or in the cooler, it’s the most amazing thing in the world, you tell your friends (hell, you even order it for them the next time y’all go out), and… it’s blah. To be honest, I wouldn’t have tried this, but I (1) heard some good things about it and (2) trust North Coast Brewery based on Old Rasputin, Acme, Scrimshaw, and Red Seal. The beers coming out of Fort Bragg, CA are definitely worth trying; however, Le Merle’s description had one word that made me worry about buying a big bottle of it: Saison. I’m just not a big fan of that style.
Enough rambling, on to the review:
Color: Cloudy golden yellow with a thick white head and a good amount of carbonation
Aroma: Seems to be all over the place. At the same time it smelt sweet, I would also get a little sour. In terms of fruit, I got a little citrus & apple.
Taste: From my notes, “Sour fizz. Nothing spectacular, nothing terrible but definitely not on of my preferred styles.” Sorry, I can’t be more specific, but it really seemed overly sour/tangy for a saison, and I wanted to finish it off quickly.
Body: A thick, fizzy body
Overall, it appears to be a carbonated/fizzy, not so balanced, or great, saison, and I wasn’t the only one who thought that. Squirrel took a couple of drinks before turning to me and apologizing for recommending the beer. Late night beer remorse happens, just make sure it doesn’t stop the beer adventure.
P.S. Perhaps Squirrel was playing a joke on me like some of us did to the other writers with Shiner’s Ruby Red-craptastic summer beer…