Cellargeist | Supermoon Beer Company
Sometimes it really doesn’t take much to get me psyched about a place. Supermoon Beer Company out of Milwaukee mainly produces small batch saisons in an awesome space – a house converted into a brewery. (Listen all about it here.) They’re a stop whenever I hit Milwaukee now, provided they’re open and pouring beers. So when I returned from Central Waters anniversary party this year, I looked forward to stopping by Supermoon and 1840 Brewing. Just my luck, Supermoon was open, pouring and selling beers, so I grabbed a Cellargeist.
On our Barrel-aged Saisons show in December we featured There Is A Plot, a gin barrel-aged saison from Supermoon. Cellargeist also features a gin barrel, but is dry-hopped with grungeist hops and bottle conditioned with Champagne yeast.
Champagne yeast, you say? Tons of head on Cellargeist when poured, with big soapy bubbles that slowly leave the glass. A nice burnt golden color emanates from the glass while you can see your finger on the side. Not crystal clear vision, but you can see it. Those soapy bubbles rest nicely atop the beer when finished.
As typical for a saison, Cellargeist hits you with lemon, grains, and, of course, gin notes. The juniper really pops and combines with the barrel to add some wood notes to the beer. While lemon does show, a winter melon aroma springs forth as well. Can you smell tart? I don’t really think so, but some tartness (or what I would call tartness) does show up in the smell. There’s a certain crispness to the aroma (a bite, if you will) that really adds to everything going on.
Cellargeist doesn’t hide it – gin all over the place. Kind of like Revolution’s Vanilla Deth (but with vanilla instead of gin obviously), Cellargeist features what tastes like a layer of gin atop the beer. It still manages to be refreshing and finishes very dry, keeping you going back for more. Only a slight hint of lemon shows up though; more of that melon/winter melon note really pops and shines. Some light bitterness on the end also keeps the consumable factor fairly high. Some oak woodiness rounds the beer off nicely.
Cellargeist goes for a bigger mouthfeel than I was expecting. I went in expecting something similar to There Is A Plot – light and crisp. While this one’s definitely not low carbed or molasses level of mouthfeel, Cellargeist does keep it in the medium range. All those lovely gin botanicals linger on the tongue long after you’ve finished the sip. An interesting but not unwelcome change of pace.
I’ll get my complaint out of the way first – I’d like the base saison to show up a bit more. Some more of what I would presume to be lemon on the tongue would’ve really made Cellargeist pop even more than it already does. If you’re a gin drinker, you’ll love Cellargeist. Big gin botanicals meet a lovely melon flavor with an all-around wide mouthfeel. I would firmly put this in the fall or winter saison category as it gives you that big (for a saison) mouthfeel while still retaining its other saison-like qualities. I prefer There Is A Plot to Cellargeist, but I would definitely buy another bottle of it. Any saison lover should try out Supermoon.