Pink Mist may be a violent name, but this is a delicate beer.
Black Hops have been brewing a raspberry saison since the early days of their existence. But when they launched their AWOL barrel program, they started ageing Pink Mist in French and American oak barrels for six months at a time… and the result is satisfying. Like the final piece of the puzzle locking into place.
Pink Mist pours a gorgeous reddish pink (pinkish red?) with a wispy head that takes a bow and leaves. One sniff and you’re met with a bouquet like a punnet of squishy raspberries; it’s not until you take a sip that the saison yeast makes itself known. Soft farmhouse esters are carried along by the undercurrent while the raspberry tartness is the rippling surface. With each swallow, the saison pops its head up and looks around before retreating and letting the raspberry wash over the top again.
Don’t expect the brash tartness of a fruited kettle sour; this is subtle and slow, with the berries’ juiciness kept in check like there’s one or two underripe berries in the punnet. There’s freshness, but there’s also refinement. I have to imagine the Aussie and NZ hops are contributing something to the rounded fruitiness, but this beer is obviously not about the hops – it’s about yeast and fruit and oak and time.
- Barrel-Aged Raspberry Saison