Beer Review: Tallgrass Brewing Company Songbird Saison

Brewery: Tallgrass Brewing Company
Beer: Songbird Saison
Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale
ABV: 4.8%
Character: Brewed as a Belgian-style Saison that is dry-hopped with Centennial hops
Ratings: BA: 85 | Untappd: 3.58
Metal Connection: ACCEPT – Sick, Dirty & Mean

BeerMetalDude Rating: 3.25/5

In 2016, Tallgrass Brewing Company from Manhattan, Kansas began distribution of their beers here in San Antonio. Before this, some of their beers were always making their rounds in trades among the craft beer junkies in this town.Songbird Saison is one of the offerings that were made available here, so I grabbed a 4pk of 16 oz. cans, and I finally got around to drinking these.

Saisons as some of you may know is one of my favorite style of beer. I usually like to try as many Saisons as I can get my hands on, so of course, I was very happy to get one from Tallgrass, as I do enjoy some of their other offerings. Well, I do give them an “A” for effort here, but this particular beer fell short of my expectations, which was a bit disappointing.

As usual, as much as I love beer itself, the artwork on each can or bottle is also something I highly enjoy. This can is a simple, yet elegant looking one. Very simple colors, as the main color of the can is white with a blue ribbon on the top. The words Belgian-Style Ale scrawled across the blue top. The main art piece is a blue outlined bird looking like it’s singing with musical measures wrapped around the can. As I said, Simple, but to the point with this beer name.

Poured into a tulip glass, Songbird appeared a semi-hazy bright golden yellow topped with a large 2 inch white frothy head. The fluffy head stuck around as a thin layer, leaving soapy lacing down the glass.

The aroma had an unripe green banana overtone backed up by citrus orange, lemon zest, pineapple, some floral/herbal notes, whipped cream, and some white bread. There was a lingering orange and lemon peel with banana aroma left within the nose.

Songbird has a flavor profile similar to the nose. For me the upfront and dominant characteristic is that of unripe bananas. There is a nice blend of flavors like citrus orange, lemon zest, pineapple, with a faint hint of floral/herbal notes, and white bread. Also just like the nose, I picked up a taste similar to whipped cream in there. The aftertaste was orange and lemon zest mixed with pineapple and unripe banana.

The body was light and thin which was a major put off for me with this style of beer. I like Saisons to have a bit more body behind them. The mouthfeel was slick and smooth with moderate carbonation, and a dry finish

Overall, there wasn’t something quite right with this beer. The light, thin body was one thing that didn’t sit well with me. I also wish there was a bit more spice, and farmhouse presence. It was lacking some of my favorite characteristics of a Saison. As stated earlier, I applaud Tallgrass for creating a beer within this style, though. After reading the brewery’s website, it looks like Songbird has made the Past Releases page, which lists all of their “Out of Production” beers. Not sure if they will brew this one again, but I will give it another shot for sure, and hopefully my mind will change on this one. We shall see.

Metal Connection: My search for a Metal song with the word Songbird in the title was unsuccessful, so I did a little digging within some lyrics, and found a doozy of a song. Thanks to my Uncle George (R.I.P.), I grew up listening to a lot of Rock and Metal when I was a young little bad ass. The German band, Accept was a band he particularly loved as the songs “Balls to the Wall” or “Fast as a Shark” were regularly played on the Rock stations here back in the day. Of course, the song “Son of a Bitch” was one of his favorite songs to sing around me when I was around 5. Click here if you don’t know the song, and you’ll see why. He was such a joker with me!

We’re actually going to fast forward in Accept’s career to 1993, with their album Objection Overruled, and the song “Sick, Dirty and Mean.” This is a total fuckin’ rockin’ tune, which mentions being a songbird will get your wings axed off. Udo Dirkschneider’s very raspy voice delivers these lyrics with full metal force.

Accept is still alive and rocking out, but without Udo Dirkschneider, who is doing his own thing with his own band U.D.O. Not to worry, Accept’s current vocalist, Mark Tornillo has a nice rasp to his voice, delivering a similar but not exact vocal style.

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