Review #75 – Mad Hatter Sichuan Saison 68/100
I remember when I tried proper Sichuan food for the first time, and it was in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. Never in my life had I experienced a flavour like a Sichuan made Gong Bao Ji Ding (Kung Pao Chicken). The little Sichuan peppercorns that they added to the dish in generous quantities sent my mouth into a fit of mini electric shocks, it feels like having pins and needles on your tongue. There is no burn like with chilis but there is the most oddly satisfying tingle that fills your mouth. My past experiences with Sichuan peppercorns had me eager to try this Sichuan Saison.
Out of the bottle and into the glass the beer pours a fiery copper colour with quite tall off white head with a slight biscuit colour, carbonation looks medium to high. Not much lacing of the glass, the beer appears to have medium to low body.
On the nose there are aromas of rich, biscuit malt, slight aromas of sharp citrus fruits, a little pepper and spicy ester filled yeast aromas, almost barn like. The nose isn’t too complex on this one but it’s not bad.
On the palate the yeast flavours are quite musty and very apparent up front, slightly like damp hay. The citrus that was present on the nose is here on the palate too – clove spiced orange marmalade comes to mind. The Sichuan pepper creeps in and steadily grows, providing a slight tongue tingling feel. Finish is dry with a very long spicy linger.
I am probably one of the few people who think this could have done with more Sichuan peppercorn spice. A good beer but not one of the more impressive expressions from Mad Hatter.