Nøgne Ø / 京A Imperial Koji Saison – Imperial Saison at 14% ABV | 25 IBU

Nøgne Ø / A Imperial Koji Saison Imperial Saison at 14% ABV | 25 IBU (C$10.20 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 500 ml, bottle date 4-May-2015, acquired 13-Dec-2016, reviewed 27-Jan-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with a short, short-lived fizzy ivory head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: bready yeast, stone fruit, caramel, orange peel, alcohol. (4/10) Taste: high sweet, moderate alcohol and umami, low bitter, light sour. (6/10) Palate: medium body, lively to moderate carbonation, off-dry lightly funky and warming finish. (3/5)

So, “koji” is a Japanese term meaning “grain or bean overgrown with a mold culture” (specifically, Monascus purpureus, which produces statins, making this medicinal, right?) and can be used as an ingredient in sake, of which this is a hybrid. In other words, this is a Canadian review of a Norwegian/Chinese collaboration on a Franco-Belgian/Japanese hybrid. Confused yet? Good, me too – though the 14% ABV might have something to do with that. And yes, that totally triggers my standard rant against high ABV Saisons. You can also insert my standard complaint against Council Brewing’s yeast, which smells like nothing so much as standard baker’s yeast. I’m not sure about this – I might be doing it a disservice simply because it’s so very, very strange – but it’s just weird to the point of unapproachability. Maybe if I was a big sake fan, this would be more my style -but I’m not, so it ain’t. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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