Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Allagash 2009 Fluxus

Sitting on the shelf at Beverage Warehouse with a pricetag of $17, I had a pretty huge eyebrow raise when I saw Allagash's 2009 Fluxus.  However, it was too late, having noticed the inclusion of sweet potatoes and black pepper in the brewing process had picqued my curiosity enough to cause me to toss it in with my basket of goodies.

I tend to be a little fickle when it comes to Saisons.  Most of the standards that have been ranked as classics throughout the years don't do much for me.  I appreciate the history and the craft, yada yada yada... and thus I tip my hat.  However, when it comes to my own personal drinking preferences, I need a little more spice, bitter, or flavor than your standard bread and malt fare.

If you didn't have the bottle to tell you otherwise, from all appearances this looks like a standard Saison.  A nice golden color with tons of head and beautiful lacing.  The aroma is like many other Saisons I've tried, raisin like sweetness and nondescript malt.  Yet the taste of this beer is very different.

Surprisingly light bodied, but full flavored, it hardly opens up to your taste buds until the end of the sip, but then opens with full force on your palate, like someone sneaking up behind you and walloping you at the last second.  That wallop is what carries this beer above and beyond for me.  It's a complex mix of an earthy sweetness and a sharp bite, which I can only assume comes from the pepper.  It's an interesting evolution that leaves ricochets of the spicey bite in your mouth long after your sip is finished.

I assume that this is what Allagash was after when they called this the fluxus, doing us the courtesy of defining it right on the bottle as 1. a flowing or flow, 2. continuous change, passage or movement.  It definitely changes and incredibly so, but I dont' think I'd go so far as to call it continuous or even.  Surreptitiously strong at 8.3%

2009 Fluxus: ****

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