APPEARANCE: Glowing, hazy gold
HEAD: Big, pillowy, off-white and long-lasting.
LACING: Excellent, as you would expect from a cask.
NOSE: Very fruity and even more spicy. Loads of clove, bananas, unripe green apples and an undercurrent of yeast and bread dough. Very little hop presence.
TASTE: A little sweeter and spicier than other Saisons. More like a Belgian Golden Ale. Clove, coriander, apples, and bananas all floating on a bed of soft, warm, biscuits. A hint of alcohol makes the finish a touch drying and bitter. I suspect the cask improved the flavor immensely, but all I can do is judge based on what I was served. I’m sure a bottled version would be very different.
MOUTHFEEL: As with all good cask-conditioned beers, the mouthfeel is frothy, creamy, and smooth. It’s a medium-bodied brew…not heavy in the slightest.
DRINKABILITY: First of all, props for naming this beer after a well-known maritime verse that brought back memories from the halcyon days of my youth (like Doc and Suday, I grew up in a small ocean-side town in New England). The verse begins “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight / Red sky at morning, sailor’s take warning.” What’s it mean? I have no idea. And what does it have to do with drinkability? Absolutely nothing. But I like the name so the beer gets a ratings boost for that. In truth, this may not be a great Saison, but the cask-conditioning mellows out all the rough edges and leaves a nice, drinkable brew.
RATING: 3 Hops