I picked up a six pack of Clipper City Red Sky at Night last week, and have been looking forward to a relaxing evening to crack one or two open. The opportunity presented itself this evening. This Saison Ale is part of the Baltimore brewery's Heavy Seas lineup. Regular readers will know that I am quite fond of this extrAARGHdinary line of bottle-conditioned beers. I've tried all eight of the Heavy Seas beers and have never been disappointed. In the past few months I've even had the opportunity to enjoy three of the series served from fresh casks! First, Winter Storm "Category 5" Ale here, then most recently, Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale and Peg Leg Imperial Stout here. (Hint for Clipper City fans: Watch the events listings at Yours For Good Fermentables to find out where Tom will be showing up with casks.)
I served tonight's selection in my Heavy Seas shaker glass. It pours a nice straw-yellow color with a thick white head that drops fairly rapidly, leaving little lacing. The aroma is familiar Belgian yeast, with a fruity (banana, grape) background. The taste is earthy and fruity with an ever so slight citrus zest. There are spicy peppery notes at the finish. The flavor lingers pleasantly in the mouth with a light mouthfeel and very light carbonation. The 7.5% ABV is well-masked and barely noticeable.
As is typical with such a refreshingly-flavored beer, I enjoyed this one pretty quickly. That often happens when I'm trying hard to pick out the nuances in the aroma and flavor. The mild spices and lingering flavor profile are enjoyable and quite refreshing. Clipper City Red Sky at Night Saison Ale and a few slices of Havarti with chive cheese made an enjoyable evening snack. These beers are from the 2008 bottling and it is reasonable expect the flavor will change with time, although I don't really expect to keep them sitting around to find out just how it will develop.