Valencia Saison is a beer I designed in late 2013 to be brewed at Premium Beers from Spain, the brewers of La Socarrada and Er Boquerón. To date (December 20, 2015) two batches have been brewed. Recently the guys at Premium Beers from Spain asked me for tasting notes. Tonight I dug my only bottle of batch 2 out, put on my impartial tasting notes hat, and came up with the following.
Name: Valencia Saison Brewer: Premium Beers from Spain ABV: 7% SRM: 12 IBU: 46
Aromas: Fresh orange juice, soda bread, honey, clean earth, citrus oil, and orange blossoms.
Flavors: Lightly toasty, crisp and slightly tannic graininess in the malts. Hops are floral, citrus, orange/tangerine, and slightly spicy. Yeast is bready and peppery.
Mouthfeel: Medium light mouthfeel and carbonation is bursting when it hits the palate. Long lasting slightly astringent, citrus and white pepper spice finish.
Overall Impression: All the rustic, crisp, and peppery characters of a classic, old world Saison as the backbone – with inescapable Valencia orange aromas and flavors. Reminds me of sourdough toast smothered in orange marmalade. Simultaneously rough and crisp – the contrast of juicy orange characters and a dry spicy finish balanced nicely. A very unique and extraordinary Saison.
Frankly I'm a tough critic of beers I design. In this case, I'm really pleased. The head brewer, Rafa Suñer, at Premium Beers from Spain has once again done an excellent job brewing this beer. I hope others enjoy this beer as thoroughly as I do.
Beancurdturtle Brewing LLC is looking forward to collaborating with Pirate Brew GmbH to brew a Russian Imperial Stout with Cacao nibs, Vanilla Beans, and a little spice. Pirate Brew GmbH will brew it in Europe, and we'll brew it at BCT Brewing Project.
It will take a little time to get it into rotation, but when we're ready...
Damn the Reinheitsgebot - and full speed ahead! Maybe we'll call it "Captain Jack Turtle".
This last medal is from the World Beer Awards. Daniel 29, a collaboration between Beancurdturtle Brewing LLC and Mateo & Bernabé & Friends, was awarded a Bronze Medal. And this isn't some obscure non-event competition. There's some horsepower behind the competition, and the competitors.
The World Beer Awards is a truly international competition with commercially released beers from the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa – basically all over the world. We're quite pleased to share this honor with Mateo & Bernabé.
Don't forget, I'm also brewing small batch at the BCT Brewing Project brewery and tasting room. So come on out and try some beers I am making.
Here's the deal about this White Juniper IPA, or whatever you want to call it. The label says "Pine and Resin forward American White Ale with Juniper Berries and Floral Aromatics". I like the pilot batch - quite a bit actually. But I keep checking, and double checking. Sharing with my beer savvy friends and checking. And checking again.
You may ask "why?". And I don't blame you for asking. So, here's why. I am crafting this beer for Cerveses La Gardènia, one of the most successful craft breweries in Spain. More importantly, I am crafting this beer for Ramon, the head brewer. So why is that a big deal?
When I walked in to Ramon's "office" (brewers don't really have offices, they have spaces where they keep themselves and stuff when they are not brewing) in late 2013, I saw things on shelves in jars. Buddha hand in neutral spirits, bitter herb concoctions, and unidentifiable things... like an Alchemist's den. And I thought – I would like to make a special beer with this guy.
Long story short. We are making a special beer. And I tasted the test batch once again tonight – and it is, without a doubt, a special beer. Tomorrow I will serve the pilot batch to a crazy mixed group – and finally tweak the recipe to hand off to Ramon at Cerveses La Gardènia.
It will astonish, it will astound, it will test the limits of beeriness while still being a beer – that's what Beancurdturtle Brewing is mostly about. If beer could be an extraordinary Gin, or Gin could be an extraordinary beer – this would be it. And it looks pretty tasty too...
Someone - who will remain anonymous for reasons that will become obvious - sent me a text message to tell me they were going to open the first bottle of 29 Daniel to be opened in the USA, and would give me their quick impressions. This someone knows beer and has a great palate, so I was excited to get the feedback.
Note: If you are offended by "colorful" language, I recommend you stop reading this right now and find some charming cat pictures instead.
Here's the transcript of the text message conversation, straight up:
-------- Anon: *sends photos*
Anon: 1st official tasting in about 30 mins
Anon: *sends photo*
A few minutes passed, then... Anon: holy fucking shit balls
BCT: Is that your official verdict?
Anon: jesus crap on a stick
this beer is the best thing you’ve even done
best fucking ever fucking great
I've never had Jesus crap on a stick. But I'll take your word for it.
Then a cooler head and less colorful descriptors followed... Anon: its a lovely beer
a little funky
Anon: its creamy almost luscious
BCT:That's what she said
PERSISTENT rocky head
perfect spritzy carbonation
like prunes and dried dates
BCT: Like a Flanders red?
Anon: a little cacao
and dark rasin bread
yes, much like a lightly tart flanders red
truly, this is as good as beer can get
my socks are officially knocked off
Very nice to hear.
Anon: is this on untapped?
Anon: i am NOT kidding about how good this is
not even a little
Anon: with as little bias as i can have/being as objective about reviewing it as possible, i can honestly say it could not be better
So I'm reasonably sure that "someone" liked the beer. Which means, I'll be happy with it too.
It's expected to be ready for very limited distribution in the USA late December 2014. The importer is Sublime Imports, and the California distributor is Lime Ventures. If you are in California you can ask your bottle shop to call in to Lime Ventures and request it.
Mateo & Bernabé has a line of beers they branded "Parking Beers". Now I've had the reason for the brand explained to me a couple times, but it gets lost in translation - like a play on words or something. Nevertheless, it's where they do their experimental and small batch beers. They can move the popular ones into permanent production. My last two collaborations with them are now Parking Beers.
• Parking Beer C Pelícano, is the White IPA. By my calculations this should be a big 7.1% ABV, hoppy 42 IBU, American styled White IPA. I'm actually scaling this one down and brewing it on the pilot system this weekend.
• Parking Beer C Murciélago, is the Double IPA. This is an American west coast styled DIPA approachig 10% ABV, and 100 IBUs. This is a very aggressive beer for the Spanish Market, but I think it will be a real eye opener for many hop fans in Spain.
These first batches are slated for European distribution only. We may see some imported to the USA if they catch a wave of popularity and sell well in Spain. Let's hope they do.
Well, not really. But maybe a celebration for the first keg tapped in California. Unless Bar Mikkeller in San Francisco is first. Rumor is, they have a couple kegs in their deep queue. And The Brew House in San Juan Capistrano has a keg too. But I'm willing to bet that the first keg tapped will be at Out of the Park Pizza.
So bottles of Valencia Saison were already released and sold out in Southern California. And you may not have had a chance to try it. Well, fear not my intrepid wanna-be Valencianos. A flood (a 30 liter flood) of Valencia Saison will be tapped at Out of the Park Pizza on Thursday, September 18th.
Out of the Park Pizza
5638 E La Palma Ave
Anaheim, CA 92807
Date and Time:
September 18th, 2014
OotPP opens at 4:00pm
Here's the deal. Dan, one of the partners at OotPP, is a huge supporter. He brought in a 30 liter keg of Valencia Saison. It will be tapped and ready to pour when they open the doors. So sure, be there for the beer. But there's even more incentive to be there.
Dan is great in the kitchen so you won't find a better American style pizza in "The OC". He manages (to do it right you have to put effort into it) one of the best stocked wall of taps you'll find in Orange County. And he's a homebrewer who I once collaborated with to make a really nice IPA level hopped Imperial Witbier.
Why do you need to know all this about Dan? Well, you don't really. But don't you want to come to Out of the Park Pizza even more now?