Goose Island Sai-Shan-Tea
Saison, 7.5% ABV
Sayeth the Guys:
Ryan: This intriguing Saison is a collaborative effort between Goose Island’s Clybourn brewpub, Chuck Sudo from Chicagoist and Rodrick Markus of Rare Tea Cellar.
“From the first time I sampled the lemon meritage tea, I had an idea for a take on a shandy, only with some character and heft. I thought a saison spiced with the tea could be a great summer beer, coming in at around 7-8 percent ABV, but with that lemon flavor it would go down like a session beer.”
This is what Goose Island had to say about the finished product:
This beer is as advertised and as intended. You do get a ton of citrus and lemon AND it is rather sessionable despite having a somewhat high ABV.
The Sai-Shan-Tea, as you can see above, poured a very vibrant orange in color with a few fingers of white, fluffy head that slowly dissipated leaving a sticky ring around the inside of the glass . Dip your nose in and you get a huge whiff of lemon, a bit of spice and some orange peel. So far so good.
The taste is very interesting. You get a lot of the lemon but it is different than any other lemon flavored beer I’ve had. It’s not quite like a shandy, not as sweet, rather more of a spicy lemon flavor. I’m not sure if that is from the tea used or the spices of the Saison – or both. Either way it works. I’m honestly kind of floored by this. The lemon and the tea really do stand out and make a bold statement. It’s not overpowering, but it is definitely noticeable and pretty enjoyable.
This beer had solid carbonation and was a bit creamy too making for a very easy drinking Saison. It would be a piece of cake to put a few of these back in one sitting. No prob.
This was a well done collab and a very interesting twist on an already enjoyable style.