Sunday, September 28, 2008


Now when most people think of Toledo, they seem to think of "that place" at the Michigan/Ohio line that slows up traffic flow as they head further south. Or, perhaps they think of Jamie Farr Max Klinger on M*A*S*H. Even people I know who live there describe their hometown with a rousing and enthusiastic "".

From this point forward, however, one must consider it the home of the Maumee Bay Brewing Company. If you like beer, this place is a must.

Prior to Tuesday, I have had 11 of their beers since I was first officially there in the fall of 2005. My 12th beer (#505 overall) was, hands down the best one yet.

The Naked Saison ("Saison" is French for "season") was a spectacular deep amber color as a result of the malt (different malts yield different colors). All told, the drink was the perfect balance of aroma, sweet or floral), taste (sweets and caramels), body (medium or so) and carbonation. The finish had a barely detectable bite of hops (not that "pucker until you fall over" sort of bite you sometimes get).

In my opinion, this is a superior beer. 5 out of 5. No doubt about it.

One thing puzzled me for a short bit. The literature on site mentions that it is "spiced with sugar and seeds of paradise". The sugar part was certainly obvious. But a seed of paradise?

A quick Google search brought up one possibility. Yup, you guessed it. That 'ole botanical favorite of so many people (not me). You know the one. It has a palmate leaf arrangement with serrated margins....

Of course that can't be it, so, it must be Amomum melegueta from Africa's West Coast. They are about the size of a cardamom seed. As I understand it, they taste bad if used as singles. So the solution? Get this: grind it up and add alot! Go figure!

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