Name: Mousseux Alban
Brewers: Side Project Brewing, The Bruery Terreux (United States)
Style: Mixed-Style Beer (Base Style: Saison)
Review Year: 2020
Mousseux Alban is a “Missouri Saison” brewed by Side Project Brewing (Missouri) in collaboration with The Bruery Terreux (California). The shared love of wine inspired the brewers to create this barrel-fermented “farmhouse ale.” Mousseux Alban was refermented in a Missouri Oak Foeder on California Viognier Grapes before being naturally conditioned in the bottle.
This beer is being evaluated as a Mixed-Style Beer (34B), combining Wood-Aged Beer (33A) and Fruit Beer (29A), with Saison (25B) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.
Broadly clear straw; thin white head with poor head retention. Medium-low aromas of ripe mango peel, apple cider, and lime peel. Faint aromas of fermented peach, spice, white grapes and alcohol surfaced secondarily. Medium-bodied, moderately-high carbonation with subtle oiliness. The flavor is composed mainly of partly-ripe mango and white grapes. Tartness or acidity is light and vibrant albeit more intense for the pours with the sediments at the bottom of the bottle. Finished slightly dry, i.e., low sweetness with some stickiness and impressions of oak and white grapes that lingered a bit.
Mousseux Alban is an excellent illustration of what brewers can achieve by concocting “farmhouse ales” with grapes. The head is thin and has poor retention– a visual deviation from the long-lasting and dense ones associated typically with the classic Saisons. Despite the white grape addition, Mousseux Alban can still be recognized as a Saison due mainly to its effervescence, spicy-fruity aroma, lightly vibrant acidity (subtle relative to those noted in mixed-fermentation sours and lambics), and slightly dry finish.
The California Viognier grapes were evident and may have even contributed to the tropical fruit qualities. However, this fruit may have flourished at the expense of the hop aroma, flavor, and bitterness. Lastly, the barrel used imparted subtle wood qualities as noted in the finish was not overpowering. Enjoy outdoors with friends on a summer day.
- The Difference Between Saison and Farmhouse Ale (The Beer Connoisseur, 2019)
- Brewing with Wine Grapes (Craft Beer & Brewing, 2018)
- Brewers’ Perspective: Using Grapes in Beer (Craft Beer & Brewing, 2018)
- What is a Foeder? (Beer Connoisseur, 2016)
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