Tonight’s Tasting: Cain F and Saison Rue Belgian-Style Ale


Saison Rue Belgian-Style Ale, made with Rye and Brettanomyces

What a find in my own backyard.  Just a month ago I discovered and wrote about the wonders of a yeast called Brettanomyces, or “Brett” for short, that is normally viewed as a contaminant.  As the Orval beer I was drinking demonstrated, this “contaminant” can be used to add distinctive flavors to beer.  I sadly reported, however, that few breweries are courageous enough to take on the Brett challenge and that Orval is the last Trappist monastery that uses Brett in its the beer making process.

But tonight I selected a beer I have never tried from The Bruery, which is located right here in So Cal, in the City of Placentia.  Right there in black and white (actually more of a maroon and yellow), the label says it is made with brettanomyces and rye.  I feel like such a noob for not knowing a local brewery offered a Brett beer, but in my defense the label also says that it is offered only occasionally.  (Pretty brilliant actually.  When a vat gets contaminated with Brett, you bottle the stuff and call it a seasonal.)

But enough background; to the beer!  This is great stuff.  I am really becoming a fan of Brett if these two beers are illustrative.  The Brett provides a earthy taste that is unlike any beer you have likely tasted.  I didn’t like this Saison Rue as much as the Orval, but it is still very good in its own right, and the Orval is much more expensive.  You’d do well to give this one a try.  I give it an 89.

Cain F Straight Ligero (6 x 60)

I don’t often crave a specific cigar, but this one has been calling to me since I spotted it in my humidor.  It’s a dark, massive beauty, and the Ligero is the slowest burning part of the tobacco leaf, so I had to wait for sufficient time to devote to this stick.

Ligero refers to the leaves from the top section of the tobacco plant. Exposure to the sun creates a stronger, robust flavor, while producing an oily texture.  The Cain F (by Oliva) is made of three different Nicaraguan Ligeros, in a dark Nicaraguan wrapper.

The cigar presents with a perfect construction, with no soft spots and minimal veins and seams.  Upon lighting, it produces copious smoke with a strong spice/pepper and a slightly sweet taste.  Given the content, I anticipated some harshness, but it was very smooth.  Indeed, the strength can be deceiving, because the taste is medium in strength but it soon hits you right between the eyes.  By midpoint, the strength of the cigar is more evident. 

I was right about needing time for this monster; it was a two hour commitment.  But it was time well spent.  A very good cigar, earning it a 90 on The Morris Scale.


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