Our Missouri Saisons are delicate, complex, nuanced and so enjoyable to drink, you will often hear me say that they are my favorite Side Project beers. In an attempt to create our own path, when we started Side Project, I had the plan to maybe one day create a 3-year blend of our flagship Saison du Fermier. This Gueuze-inspired process, yet done with Missouri Saisons would be a unique way to showcase our terroir, but in our own way. This plan hasn't come together (yet), but out of it did come the idea to age our Missouri Saisons, longer than one might initially plan, with the focus to create a superior blend in the future. The result of this process, planning and patience resulted in one of my favorite beers Side Project has create thus far, Tête de Cuvée.
With the first blend of Tête de Cuvée, I took what I believed to be the best Saisons that Side Project had produced and created a blend that elevated the beer in the bottle, a blend worthy of the distinction Tête de Cuvée (a term used for Champagne to distinguish Champagnes sourced from the finest vineyards - the Premier Crus and Grand Crus - the Champagne producer's best).
Back in February of 2016, after months of bottle conditioning, we released the first blend of Tête de Cuvée that consisted of:
Oude du Blé
Saison #1 (this recipe is now called Tête #1)
Saison #2 (this recipe is now called Tête #2)
For the second release of Tête de Cuvée, I chose a blend that was 76.3% of Tête #2 that was fermented in and aged in the exact barrels that contained all of the threads from Blend #1. Hoping that the magic of those original barrels would once again impart their unique impressions on the new fermentation in them. This recipe is a slight variation of our Saison du Fermier recipe and the barrels were a mix of 225L French Oak Chardonnay and 500L French Oak Pinot Noir. Barreled on November 14, 2015.
The remaining 23.7% of the blend was our classic Oude Fermier that was fermented in and aged in 225L French Oak Chardonnay barrels. These barrels were first use for us, imparting bold notes of almond, vanilla and the classic French Oak spice. A flowing mouthfeel and subtle acidity resembles more of a Burgundian White Wine than beer in this blend. Barreled May 30, 2014.
After 3 months of bottle conditioning, we feel as though this vintage is ready to share with you. The result is an aged Missouri Saison that is our deepest expression of our Saison-inspired beers yet. Billowy mouthfeel, a complex acidity that falls right between the first blend of Tête de Cuvée and our Saison du Fermier from Pinot Noir Puncheons, and endless, layered expressions and nuances round out this exciting beer.
For this release and all Tête de Cuvée releases going forward, the bottles will be vintage dated as the year of the youngest barreled thread of the blend. Thus, Tête de Cuvée Vintage 2015 will be released to go at 12pm on Saturday, July 1st, at our brewery - 7458 Manchester Road in Maplewood.
Along with the release, we will have both Tête de Cuvée Blend #1 and Tête de Cuvée Vintage 2015 available for on-site enjoyment all day at both The Side Project Cellar and the Brewery to celebrate the release.
We appreciate all of you who love our beers and we are excited to share this special beer with you. See you Saturday!
Cory and Karen King