Today’s review features something slightly different. I received this bottle in the mail two weeks ago, and I have been really excited to get it open, but I didn’t due to stout month. With that now in the past, I thought this week sounded like a great time to finally pop this open. A little over a month ago I celebrated my 29th birthday. I received many great presents; however, one that was slightly delayed was a couple of months membership to a Rare Beer Club. With this club, I receive two bottles a month that are considered rare or hard to obtain. One of the really nice things about this club is that it comes with an entire write up on the beer as well. This goes over the beer, its origins, and a lot of the tasting notes as well. One of the most interesting things contained in the write up is that this particular beer this month was actually specifically brewed for this club and can not be found anywhere else. So I guess you’re out of luck if you’re not a part of this club.
Saint Somewhere is a small brewery out of Florida. You really don’t get a whole lot of beers coming out of Florida, but they do a pretty good job with their brews. They tend to brew solely Belgian beers, and if you look at their site, you’ll see that they actually only have three beers in their line up. The Saint portion of their name is in reference to the abbey style ales they use as inspiration for their beers, and all of their art work was at one time found on a travel brochure for Florida. The marriage of Florida and Belgium in their advertising.
Cynthiana is called a dark stong farmhouse ale. The dark and strong part more refer to the fact that the beer is a bit darker than your normal farmhouse ale, and the strong part, although not unheard of, refers to the fact that this beer is slightly on the booze heavy end of the farmhouse style. A farmhouse ale is traditionally brewed in the winter months to be consumed throughout the summer months. That is why this beer is typically slightly lighter in both color and booze. Cynthiana in particular is unique because it is named after the Cynthiana grape that is included in the brew. The Cynthiana’s fresh pressed skins, seeds, and juice is added to the secondary fermentation of this beer. Therefore, this is a Belgian beer with some very fruit filled characteristics.
This one pours out a really dark auburn color with a deep rich amber hue to it. From the second picture, you will definitely be able to see the incredibly ample amount of head that develops on top of the beer. It is a big white fluffy cloud of head that takes quite a while to die down on top of the beer. The beer has a really hazy quality to it, and you see tons of visible carbonation in the glass as well. Interestingly, there is no lacing despite all that head, and you really don’t get any sticky residue either.
The aroma coming off the beer has a lot rich dark red fruits. Looking up the cynthiana grapes, I think the big rich fruit smell could be due to these. These combine with an ample raisin smell with some hints of citrus. The citrus is definitely orange and some lemon peel. There is some ample booze scents here as well. I pull out a little light hopping, and a lot of the yeast as well. This is pretty typical of the Belgian style. Combined with the spicy nature of the yeast, I also get some spicy clove scent.
I get a lot of sweet malts right off the bat; however, they definitely combine with the sweetness of the grapes as well. The grapes combine with some dark raisin and fig flavors as well. Before the big yeast flavor comes in, I get a little hit of the spicy cloves, which provides a nice transition into the spicy yeast as well. The yeast brings in the big citrus and orange flavoring. There is your taste of Florida in the beer. It finishes with some of the remaining grape flavors, some of the dark fruits, and a light sweetness that seems to have some of the sweet molasses quality to it. The booze is most present on the finish of the beer.
This beer has a lot of mellow sweetness overall. The sweetness isn’t too overpowering on the mouth, but the ample spiciness of the cloves and yeast are really important to creating a balanced mouthfeel. There is tons of carbonation here as well. It definitely helps keep the sweet quality in check. There is a little slight syupiness on the ending; however, it helps keep the rich boozy quality on the ending in tact as well.
I don’t promise you’ll be able to find anything from Saint Somewhere anywhere around you; however, if you happen to find a bottle of their’s somewhere, you should definitely check it out. If the art work isn’t enough to get you interested, you should definitely check it out for a brewer who started their brewery with a starter kit from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They create a good beer, and I’ll definitely buy something from them if I can find them again.
Teacher Grade: B