I took the day off work for some Valentine's day "special time". What kind of self-respecting person doesn't have a beer on a day off? I ask you!
We went out to a nice Italian restaurant that has become a special place for us due to the little private celebrations we have had there. But we skipped on dessert and went across the way to Gambrinus for some post-dinner snackies instead. I was tempted to have dinner there, but I gravitate there enough as it is. Beer with dessert was enough.
I don't know what it is but I have largely lost my sweet tooth, especially after eating a whole meal. Especially if the meal is Italian. If you aren't undoing a button or walking funny because you stomach is heavy after an Italian restaurant meal then you are doing it wrong. I can do about 3 bites of Cheesecake. Tops.
So I passed on the sweets and went for something special: Oysters. Marina had Tiramisu and I had a bite or two. I may have to go back and try the Tiramisu with some beer. Some porters and stouts came to mind. Maybe the right Rauchbier (we will be covering the amazing world of Rauchbiers and the mecca of Bamberg, Germany in future posts) would be good here. But that is neither here nor there.
I chose Black Oak Brewery's (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) Summer Saison to go with the oysters and it did not disappoint.
Black Oak Brewery
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Saisons are a style of Belgian Ale brewed with Wheat and are renown for their spicy, zippy, flavour. They are great summer beers, very quenching and refreshing. Black Oak is an excellent brewery. The bottle says this beer is unfiltered, yet the beer just barely has a haze in it. [Note: Cloudiness is an effect caused by any of either cold temperatures, wheat or yeast. If it is intended there is no cause for concern. In fact there is cause for celebration--welcome to flavour country!]
The beer is spiced with coriander and either lemon or orange peels. It says on the bottle but I neglected to note this :( In any case, I found a lemony flavour to be present. The bitterness and peel flavours are in the finish especially, along with the seediness of the coriander. The lemon flavour became more distinct as the beer warmed up a bit. The body thinned out a bit as it warmed, too. This wasn't such a big deal. The lemony-ness was great with the salt and lemon flavours of the oysters. I had a spot of horseradish in there too and this was a hit with the subtle, prickly spiciness of the beer. The wheat and coriander were more prominent in the nose and in the middle of the sips. I suppose it could have had a bit more body and spiciness, but I will not complain. The beer is solid and was a great food match here. Break it out in the summer, as the name suggests.
Overall, I'd say this beer (all on it's own) was Nice. With the oysters and a hot date, however it became Awesome.