Friday, May 13, 2011

Review - Upright Brewing Six 6.7%abv

Time for my first review from the bush. Before I get started I should probably mention there may be some limitations to my reviews now that my existence consists of working as a wildfire fighter and living in a van. It's entirely possible, for instance, that my glassware may not be as clean as would be ideal, so if I mention a beer's quickly collapsing head, take it with a grain of salt. If I start to talk about overpowering aromas of diesel fuel and wood smoke, well... it's probably not the beer's fault. With that being said, let's get onto the review.

Upright Brewing, as I've mentioned before, runs a pretty cool operation. Whether its open fermentations, highly unusual seasonals, or their great brewer's blog, I like these guys' style. Six is their rye beer which, like many of their brews, is made with saison yeast. As usual with their beers, and appropriately for a saison, this is a highly carbonated beer. The carbonation is not as extreme as I've experienced with other Upright beers I have tried, but this may be due to the yeast in this particular bottle having worked through less of the beer's fermentables, as Upright bottle conditions their beer and the yeast they use is a real monster (Non-beer geek translation - the bubbles are made in the bottle, so the carbonation can be a bit variable).  The aroma has that great spicy, lightly fruity character that comes from this yeast that I've also used to brew some of my beers such as The Harvester and Saison du Cornwall. Somehow the aroma seems to anticipate the tart, dryness of beers made with it. Six pours an opaque, very dark brown that is almost muddy looking. It has a sharp, fruity entry that leads into flavours that go beyond tart, into the realm of sour. Its finish is very long with sour tastes lingering long on the palette. The high level of carbonation works well with the sour flavours contributing to a very pleasant mouthfeel. Six is somewhat less dry than many saisons, and its rye character quite understated, only detectable on the finish. This light flavour works surprisingly well with the sour notes of this beer. The extreme tartness will likely appeal to the fans of lambics, but I feel its flavour could use some more complexity, but maybe this is just my bias about how dark, relatively strong beers should taste. I also found Six somewhat hard to drink, and I had some trouble polishing off the bottle. The sourness of this beer really dominates its flavour and if this is something you enjoy, then you'll probably like this beer
Rating: Good

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