Wild Rose The Midnight Son

Reviewed by on July 22, 2014 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Wild Rose Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: July 17, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 4.2%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Sahti

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Sahti is a traditional Finnish-style farmhouse ale, made by steeping the grain in a bed of juniper branches, with hops and juniper berries used as possible further flavourings, both of which the Wild Rose brewery of Calgary, AB, has done to create this somewhat wild seasonal amber ale.

This 650ml bottle pours a rather hazy, medium golden yellow hue, with three pudgy fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat creamy eggshell white head, which leaves some decent electrostatic pattern lace around the glass as it slowly and evenly subsides.

It smells of sharp earthy yeast straight off, followed up by some mildly astringent pine, spruce, and well juniper, I suppose (gin is my only reference here, and gin is what I’m getting) green vegetation, bready, crackery pale malt, strangely gamey orange preserves, chewing gum, overripe lemon, and muddled savoury spice. The taste is semi-sweet, grainy pale malt, gritty farmhouse yeast, musty orange and lemon, an almost saline-like warm spiciness, further fruitiness from the berry-like juniper twigs, with additional pine, wet leaf, and woody herbal hop notes. The carbonation is fairly tight in its slowly reeled out frothiness, the body medium-light in weight, and pretty plain in the smoothness department, the acridity of yeast and forest floor detritus equally culpable. It finishes off-dry, the fruitiness and malt sweetness carrying enough extra ammo to maintain a low-grade ground war with all that lingering green, woody flora character, if need be.

From my limited experience with the style (and one of them was from Dogfish Head, which, as much as ya gotta love them, wasn’t all that adherent to traditional style, despite their effective marketing to the contrary), it seems like the fictional (?) Albertan Midnight Son did well in dredging up the goods in Suomi. What comes after that is simply a pleasant assembly of the constituent ingredients, rendering a yeasty, fruity, and, er, ‘twiggy’, Belgian-adjacent ale.

Brady White

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