FestiveAle—another fine and slightly unusual beer from Rogue. Why unusual? It’s a Saison style beer brewed with, among other things, Grains of Paradise (which is actually a spice from West Africe similar to cardamom), myrtle leaves, bitter orange peel, and ginger root. I think I can honestly say I’ve never had anything (much less a beer) with Grains of Paradise in it.
I thought it was a good beer, though. The BeerAdvocates don’t entirely agree, but hey, you can’t win ’em all. My notes:
Appearance: It poured highly carbonated—the first pour was half a glass full of head. It’s moderately hazy, the color of orange straw.
Smell: Floral, citrus. Has a phenolic sour aroma that reminds me of Belgian beers.
Taste: Rich, grass, spicy, perhaps plum… it’s a Saison through-and-through. Buttery and creamy. Bitterness might be coming from the orange peel, otherwise there’s a low hop presence.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied (I need to work on this description… I use this a lot). It has a rich feel, though airy and a bit sparkly due to the carbonation.
And yes, I’m sure someone will point out the spelling discrepancy between the label image above and on Rogue’s site with the way I’m spelling it here (I’ve added an extra "E"). The bottle I have is actually spelled with the "E" also, so I’m guessing Rogue has since updated the name and not the website. Just so you know.