430. 4 Hands Brewing – Prunus Saison

4 Hands Brewing - Prunus SaisonI’m in St. Louis for the weekend, visiting my dad and taking the kids to the zoo.  Since the kids had the day off school, I took the day off work and took them to the zoo.  However, my wife had to work and is taking the train in to meet us.  I headed downtown to pick her up fron the train station, and since her train was delayed a half hour, I stopped in at 4 Hands to have a drink and pick up a growler to go.  According to the menu, “The name Prunus originates from the genus of the cherry tree. Prunus is our spring and summer saison brewed with sour cherries. Prunus pours rose in color with aromas of cherry, vanilla, and spice.”

Location: On tap and served in a tulip shaped glass at 4 Hands Brewing Co. in downtown St. Louis, MO.

Numbers: 6% ABV, ~ 180 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: The beer was a slightly hazy, golden-orange color and had almost no head on it, only a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.  The aroma was lightly peppery with some honey-like malt smells and hints of earthy hops.

Taste & Feel: The body was light-medium and the mouthfeel was fairly smooth.  The flavors up front were semi-sweet and honey-like malt flavors.  IN the middle, the the familiar saison peppery flavors came in, along with an earthy bitterness and light cherry flavor.  In the finish, the cherry flavors became a bit more prominent, as the peppery and bitterness took a bit of a back seat.  There was very little aftertaste as the flavors faded almost immediately.

Food Pairing: The flavors in this beer were somewhat light and I think it could be a great beer to enjoy with a very rich chocolate/fudge dessert.  I think the light sweet cherry and peppery flavors would add some complexity to the dessert, and yet it would be light enough that it would help cut down on the richness of the dish.

Overall Impression: I enjoyed the honey-like flavors up front, as well as the cherry and peppery flavors, and found the beer light and drinkable.  However, for me the cherry flavor wasn’t bright or bold enough, as they were a bit light, sweet, and muted from being mixed with the honey malt flavors.  I think I was expecting a bit more bolder sour cherry flavor, but they came off too light and sweet for me.  Don’t get me wrong, this is still a decent, drinkable summer beer, I was just hoping for a bit more flavor and aroma from the fruit.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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