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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lost Abbey Carnevale Saison Ale

Today was a big beer day... I bottled my first batch of home brew porter, I drank a few fantastic original (and clone) brews of my brew buddy's past endeavors, and cracked open (belatedly, perhaps) a fancy bottle my family picked up from The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, CA, Lost Abbey Carnevale.

Lost Abbey Carnevale poured a golden honey hue in the glass, with a thin, fizzy head propped up by strong carbonation.  The nose was dominated by wheat, raisins, and fall spices.  

Lost Abbey Carnevale was bright in the start and invigorating in the mouth, and mellowed into a wheat base complimented by notes of honey, spices, and a pleasant sourness that increased as the temperature raised.  Carnevale had hints of sweetness throughout, but maintained a dryness that kept the drink crisp and light.  The ale ended on a fizzy, spicy note.

The surprising sourness of of Lost Abbey Carnevale places it somewhere between a traditional Saison-style and a Belgian Sour Ale; not quite as sour as a traditional sour ale but not as dominated by yeast as many Saisons.  Carnevale is clearly an ale that changes it's character based on temperature (about 55f seemed to be perfect), highlighting it's depth of nuance for such a light ale.  Highly recommended.

A quick note about another beer I tried last night, Coney Island Human Blockhead Lager, a member of the Coney Island Craft Lager series from Shmaltz Brewing in New York- My track record for bonding with lagers isn't great, but his was a fantastic, hop forward, tropical fruit tasting beast of a beer well worthy of it's own review... 

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