Darkness Falls Saison
1 bomber, $? 8% ABV
Purchased at the Brewery, Plainville
When were “dark saisons” invented? Have they always been around? Because to me, they are a bit of an oxymoron – albeit an often delicious and complex one. They seem to be a thing now, so let’s roll with it.
And rolling with it with Relic is probably a good idea, since Mark at Relic has a bit of an obsession with Brettanomyces and Belgian styles. With Darkness Falls, he went a little bonkers with the “dark” aspect, but it all came together quite well.
Another thing that came together well here is the label. Another beautiful effort from the Connecticut brewery that prides itself on beautiful labels. Just look at this thing up close.
It’s creepy. It could be a Stephen King novel dust jacket. Or, perhaps, a horror movie poster.
Dark saison ale with Brettanomyces.”
Hmm, a horror movie poster? Hell, the movie could be called “Darkness Falls” and, let’s see, it could be about a vengeful spirit that has taken the form of the Tooth Fairy to exact vengeance on the town that lynched her 150 years earlier.
Ooh, that’s good! And… and… her only opposition is the only child, now grown up, who has survived her before!
That sounds so good that it probably IS a movie already!
Okay, okay, it actually is. There was a terrible and unwatchable 2003 horror movie called “Darkness Falls” with this description. Mark from Relic states unequivocally that this beer’s name does not have any relation whatsoever to the movie.
(For the record, I believe him 100%. Knowing Mark and his NPR and foodie and indy film loving ways, there is no way he had even ever heard of this dreck, let alone have watched it.)
But that label certainly is foreboding. Look at it again – with that evil dark smoke spirt creepy crawling over the bucolic New England town; perhaps an idealized version of Plainville, Connecticut? Hmmm?
And let’s break down this beer: It doesn’t make sense and yet it does. (Ah, Relic.) A Brett saison with loads of caramel malts and weird fruity cherry, raisin and prune notes. In the end, the malts and the raisins dominate the yeast and saison qualities, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.
It just means it’s an impossible thing to nail down.
And now that I think about it… with the horror movie tie-in… is this beer “raisin” the dead? Hmmm?
I should have this disclaimer on every Relic review: I had Darkness Falls from one particular bottling run. My description and tasting notes and thoughts on it may not pertain to the particular bottling or brewery run you drink from. Mark tinkers with his recipes a bit here and there, so no, I’m not crazy and you’re not crazy. That’s just they way Relic is – and why we are always eager to see what’s next.
Overall Rating: B
Rating vs. Similar style: n/a