Drawn from Oak and Cast Upon Fruit
After a year in oak, we draw straw-gold saison from barrels that once held wine. This beer has fermented bone dry (almost zero grams of residual sugar) thanks to our house culture of diverse yeasts and bacteria which have consumed all the sugars of the barley, spelt and buckwheat used to make this beer.
This complex mixed-fermentation presents an array of flavours that we love in barrel-aged saisons – notes of lime zest, cut or dried flowers, stone fruit, a soft tang of acidity, flutters of vanilla, white pepper, toasted oak, bales of hay left in the sun, and a plethora of aromatic herbs.
To blend saison, we taste and make considerable notes on the flavour profile of each barrel. These flavours are often of those listed above but are also sometimes unique and beautiful flavours; inscrutable as to how they came to be.
From our notes, we create blends to complement the fruit upon which we cast our beer. For last year's blackcurrants, we took inspiration from the French town of Cassis, and its namesake blackcurrant liquor Crème de Cassis. The blanc-cassis cocktail, more popularly known by its greatest ambassador, Felix Kir, is recognized as the Kir – and is a blend of crème de cassis and white wine, such as Chablis, or other Chardonnay.
We found our pale saison that had been housed in Chardonnay barrel for a year displaying lime zest, dried herbs, light pear notes and a hint of soft, round vanilla. After the aged beer was drawn from the white-wine casks and set on local blackcurrants, the beer reminded us of drinking that famous cocktail in the hills of Cassis.
The mouthfeel is luxuriously bodied, with the wine-dark sea colour of which Homer wrote. Aromatically, it is everything we love about blackcurrants – bright berry notes with the signature earthiness that rings like no other fruit.
Blackcurrants For Bells started its journey in oak, then onto fruit and into steel before being bottled for you to enjoy in glass. We hope you enjoy this beer in laughter and in stillness.