Tasting Notes: Selene Saison from Victory Brewing Company

victory_selenesaison_tapsticker_060916This week’s Tasting Notes journeys into the dark side of Saisons with a look at Selene Saison from Victory Brewing Company (Downingtown, Pennsylvania).

Created as the sister beer to Helios Belgian Farmhouse Ale from Victory Brewing, Selene Saison is a dark example of the style filled with notes of “chocolate and clove funk, while rye blends with herbal and spicy whole flower East Kent Goldings hops to produce a smooth finish.” In order to add even more dynamic depth to the brew, fermentation was achieved with Blaugies and two strains of the wild Brettanomyces yeast.  Selene Saison was released back in the fall as a limited offering available in 750ml bottles and on draft.  Although it has been several months since this beer made its debut, there is always a chance of stumbling across a few bottles sitting on shelves throughout Victory Brewing’s 35 state distribution area.  With those particulars now covered, it is time to pop this cork and get into some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Selene Saison from Victory Brewing Company

Appearance: Selene presents herself as an incredibly dark brown, seemingly black color.  Held to direct light, the deep brown hues gain strength and push through with more force at the top and bottom of the glass. Although opaque, a lively carbonation can be seen coursing at the edges.  A gentle pour resulted in two, fast building fingers of dark tan head that proves to have wonderful retention.  The foam has a good amount of stick to it and sheets the glass with lace.

Aroma: Clove and barnyard funk pleasantly greet the nose first.  Dark fruits, black cherry, banana and freshly cut grain rise gently and mingle nicely with the funk.  Complexity abounds as rich leather, spicy rye and earthy hops round off the aroma.  Everything here is enticing and fresh.  A good descriptor of these aromatics is comforting . . . soothing even.

Taste: When it comes to flavor, Selene proves to be a different, but equally beautiful creature.  The solid malt profile establishes itself first with notes of fresh grain, earthy rye and dark chocolate.  The earthiness of the rye provides a smooth transition to the musty funk character – tobacco, wet wood, and barnyard – of the yeast.  Clove steadily emerges alongside spicy and herbal hop tones to finish off each sip.

Mouthfeel: This Saison is medium bodied with a medium to high carbonation level.  This allows the beer to have a slightly creamy texture while still drinking like a much lighter brew.  The ABV is light in presence and only displays a soft tinge of heat at times.  The beer dries out slowly and nicely.  The remaining aftertaste is nothing but the beautiful funk supplied by the yeast strains.

Final Thoughts: Selene Saison is powerful and striking right from the pour.  The aroma is a wonderful balance of pronounced intensity and inviting comfort.  Just as each inhale makes you feel like you have this brew figured out, the flavors have their own direction and unique characteristics.  This being the case, somehow everything still manages to come together into an alluringly cohesive experience. Although the choice to take on a dark Saison adds some complications to many purists of the style, Selene shows off just enough Saison character to keep everyone happy.  That said, this stunner’s overall intention is to break the mold by teasing the drinker with a ridiculous amount of unexpected twists and turns.  Mesmerizing.  Tantalizing. Gorgeously executed.  Prost!

Selene Saison to Make its Debut for Victory Brewing

selenesaison_750mlbottle_rctransVictory Brewing Company (Downingtown, Pennsylvania) announced this week that they are set to launch their newest specialty offering, Selene Saison.

As the sister beer to Helios Belgian Farmhouse Ale from Victory Brewing, Selene Saison has arrived to explore the darker side of the Saison style.  This Dark Saison leads with notes of “chocolate and clove funk, while rye blends with herbal and spicy whole flower East Kent Goldings hops to produce a smooth finish.”  In order to add even more dynamic depth to the brew, fermentation is achieved with Blaugies and two strains of the wild Brettanomyces yeast.  All of this comes together to create a wonderfully “complex and captivating celestial ale.”

“When we were dreaming up Selene Saison we had a great canvas in Helios Ale. Because Farmhouse-styles focus on individuality, we had a lot of creative license to make an enjoyable, yet completely unique, Saison. We wanted to showcase the dark side foil against the sunny side of Helios which resulted in a delicious, wild-fermented celebration of the season for all to enjoy,” says Bill Covaleski, Founder and Brewmaster of Victory Brewing Company.

Selene Saison is officially available now at craft beer establishments in Alabama, Florida and throughout Victory’s 35 state distribution area.  Look for this one on shelves in 750 ml bottles for the suggested retail price of $9 per bottle (price may vary upon location) and pouring on draft.  Get your bottles while you can because Selene Saison will only be hanging around while supplies last.  Prost!

Vital Information on Selene Saison from Victory Brewing Company

Availability – Limited/Specialty, available September 1st
Style – Dark Saison/Farmhouse-style Ale
ABV – 7.5%
Malts – Pilsner, Pale Chocolate, Rye & Chocolate
Hops – East Kent Goldings
Packaging – 750 ml bottles (suggested retail price of $9) and on draft
Fun Fact – Helios is named for the Greek God of the Sun.  His sister is Selene, Goddess of the Moon.