Panhead Batch 206

Now here’s a saison with all the trimmings.  Fermented with a mix of Brettanomyces and conventional Saccharomyces, then aged for a full year in ex-bourbon oak.  The wood is hugely expressive on the nose, casting a layer of spicy vanilla and buttered popcorn over the sharp lemon citrus and subtle brett funk.  Initially gentle and curiously light-bodied (6.2 per cent), the palate has more citrus and a light drying tartness.  The flavors gently unravel into the finish, revealing oak tannin and char alongside citrus blossom and elderflower.   Big, long and complex; possessing many of the esoteric flavors present in barrel-aged sours without any particular sourness of its own.  A great one to take one’s time with and really get into that complexity.  Just make sure that bottle is fully settled out and decant carefully; there’s heavy yeast sediment here and too much in the glass will dominate the flavour.

Panhead Batch 206

A couple of years ago I visited Panhead brewery, the jewel in the crown of Upper Hutt’s Brewtown.  As with all such visits, when it came to the taproom, I skipped straight past the core range and got stuck into tasting the experimental one-off brews that I wouldn’t...

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