Cynthiana - Saint Somewhere Brewing Company, Tarpon Springs
Saint Somewhere is a small brewery in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Last year they produced less than 400 barrels of beer. Two of Saint Somewhere's Saisons are distributed here, despite being 1500 miles away. I don't understand the magic behind the distribution game but I'm thankful we can get these small batch beers in the Midwest. This bottle of Saint Somewhere Cynthiana is especially exciting because it is a Saison brewed with Norton wine grapes. Norton (aka Cynthiana) is one of the styles of wine I really enjoy because it is so bold and dry. I'm hoping to find a little of that in this beer.
Saint Somewhere Cynthiana pours a pinkish red with a cloudy body and a thick white head. That head fizzles out quickly and the beer in your glass resembles a darker rosé wine. The aroma hints at the grape addition, but mostly you smell the pale malts and a dry finishing Saison yeast strain. The Norton/Cynthiana grapes really come through when you taste this beer.
The flavor of this Cynthiana is very much what I was expecting, it's a dry French style Saison with a tart red wine grape kick. My only complaint with this beer would be how dry it is. Using a more neutral yeast, or a strain that would add a little farmhouse funk would have mitigated some of the additional dryness of the grapes. It's a small complaint though, because this beer really is quite good in every other regard.
If you have a hankering for a dry, semi-tart Saison, this beer is for you. I really enjoyed how well the Saison base was put together, the red wine grapes were just the icing on the cake... I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys Saison style beers or any red wine drinkers looking to find a beer that may appeal to their tastes.