Beer: Fluxus 2017
Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company
As a way of celebrating the anniversary of their first beer ever sold in July of 1995, Allagash Brewing Company began the Fluxus series. Each year Allagash puts a different spin on their Fluxus brew, and each year is always a surprise. The first of the Fluxus series I’ve ever tried was the 2014 edition… and I haven’t had one that’s been as good since. Don’t get me wrong, the past few years each Fluxus presented itself with new and distinct flavors, but the last two just didn’t hit home for me as much as the 2014 masterpiece did. Fluxus 2015 had some distinct pineapple notes while 2016 was a spicy gin aged ale brewed with ginger. Both were unique and successful in their own right, but nothing could match the smooth and delicate flavor of the Fluxus 2014. With its mix of spruce and honey it made for a perfectly balanced brew. I bought so many bottles to stock up before the tragic moment it was no longer on the shelves of my local distributor. To this day I still have two bottles hidden away for a special occasion (keep an eye out, once I open them I’ll let you know how well they still taste). Meanwhile, I try the Fluxus each year in hopes of something as magical as the 2014 edition.
That was until this year’s Fluxus stole my heart (and my taste buds) after just one sip. Fluxus 2017 is a saison-styled ale, but what makes it special is how the Brettanomyces and saison yeast come together to give off a mix of subtle but fruity notes underneath the traditional saison malt flavors up front. Something else that makes it distinct: it’s brewed with rhubarb. When I first heard this I was not sure how rhubarb would compliment a saison but I’m sure glad Allagash tried it. Fluxus 2017 pours light in color yet the fullness of its flavors almost brings me back to the flavor profile of Allagash’s Dubbel ale. But while major components of Fluxus 2017, like its spicing and biscuityness, remind me of Dubbel this is a much lighter beer. At the beginning of the first sip you can taste the spice and oatmeal body, and then the fruit and rhubarb notes flow into this golden nectar. The Brett tartness was not too evident which was a nice changeup for Allagash, it only brought out the fruity flavors of the rhubarb and wasn’t all that sour, just smooth. All in all, it was nice to see another expertly done saison by Allagash, I’ve been trying a lot of their sours recently and having something that brought me back to some of their original year-round brews made me really happy. Although, it is a Fluxus which means it wont be around for long. I guess it means I’ll have to stock up again before it’s too late.
Until next year, Fluxus.