Tagged: saison

North Coast Puck

PUCK: 88 Points

Never withhold my beer

Never withhold my beer

This Petite Saison is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “First brewed to celebrate our 25th anniversary, the beer now known as PUCK, a petite saison of 4% ABV, won a place in our hearts and in our year-round portfolio of beers. Brewed with premium Pils and wheat malts and fermented with the same yeast strain used to make our renowned Saison, Le Merle, Puck is sharp and spritzy with a delicious flowery, spicy dry-hop aroma—the perfect accompaniment to any celebration, big or small.”

My Description: This beer is refreshing, easy drinking, and satisfying. It begins with a good sized, white colored head that fades to a film that holds most of the way leaving behind some spotty lacing. The aroma is welcoming and bright with an earthy presence accompanied by some lemon tart, a touch of funk, and some floral notes as well. Puck is light/medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile follows the nose closely. A mild funk note intertwines with subtle hop notes and herbal notes. An overall earthy backbone is detected throughout and the aftertaste is slightly bitter giving this beer a good balance. Faint spice notes start to develop as the beer warms adding a welcoming flavor note. Overall, this is a great session ale when looking for something Belgian and flavorful. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with goat cheese, light salads, or grilled Cod.

ABV: 4% Color: Gold Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

North Coast Le Merle

LE MERLE: 95 Points

Flavorful

Flavorful

This Farmhouse Ale is released year-round in 12 oz. and 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Le Merle is a rustic ale, pale in color, inspired by the rich brewing traditions of the Flanders region. Abundant hops and a Belgian yeast strain contribute exotic aromas of tropical fruit.”

My Description: North Coast manages to create a wonderfully balanced Farmhouse Ale. It begins with a good sized, white colored head that fades to a thin film that holds for a minute leaving behind some lacing. The aroma in welcoming and slightly complex with notes of citrus, black pepper, floral, and some hints of funk. Le Merle is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is highly enjoyable and very refreshing. An overall earthy presence is accompanied by notes of orange peel, tropical fruit, and yeast esters. The finish is slightly bitter and the alcohol is nicely hidden making this very easy to drink. An easy choice for the Summer, this Farmhouse Ale is crisp, smooth, and flavorful. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled asparagus, sautéed shrimp, or a fruit parfait.

ABV: 7.9% Color: Golden Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

Ommegang Three-Eyed Raven

THREE-EYED RAVEN: 95 Points

"From the darkness I watch you."

“From the darkness I watch you.”

This Saison is a limited release for the premier of Game of Thrones in April 2015 in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Push through the thick brambles and present yourself to the Three-Eyed Raven. Abiding in the shadows of the Three-Eyed Raven lies this deceptive Dark Saison. The ominous Three-Eyed Raven inspired us to brew a Dark Saison ale, a hybrid style open to brewer’s imagination. In the end it is neither a pure saison nor your typical dark beer, but instead a delectable blend that both deceives and thrills the senses.”

My Description: This beer is delicious and very easy drinking. I could see putting down a bottle without even realizing it when you are watching an episode of Game of Thrones. It begins with a very large, beige colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is complex and welcoming with dark fruits coming through nicely accompanied by some yeast spice. A mild hint of chocolate does creep in which blends cleanly. Three-Eyed Raven is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is real nice and it doesn’t necessarily reflect that darkness of the beer; this beer has similar flavor notes to a traditional pale Saison. Notes of dark fruits like raisins and black cherries come through but also earthy notes and some pepper spice. A clean and subtle herbal hop note comes through and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. A crisp finish with a hint of bitterness is an excellent way to end this beer. I recommend getting a bottle of this, it’s not just marketing. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with roasted chicken, spicy pork tacos, or grilled vegetables.

ABV: 7.2% Color: Black with Red Highlights Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

Boulevard Tank 7

TANK 7: 99 Points

World Class

World Class

This Saison is available year-round in 12 oz. and 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Most breweries have at least one piece of equipment that’s just a bit persnickity. Here at Boulevard we have fermenter number seven, the black sheep of our cellar family. Ironically, when our brewers were experimenting with variations on a traditional Belgian-style farmhouse ale, the perfect combination of elements came together in that very vessel. You could call it fate, but they called it Tank 7, and so it is. Beginning with a big surge of fruity aromatics and grapefruit-hoppy notes, the flavor of this complex, straw-colored ale tapers off to a peppery, dry finish.”

My Description: This ale becomes addicting at first sip. It is so smooth and flavor profile is delicious. It begins with a large, white colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind a wall of lacing. The aroma sucks you in immediately with pleasant notes of yeast spices, pepper, light fruits, and bread notes. This beer smells clean and even though the aroma is complex, it doesn’t feel jumbled. Tank 7 is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is just as complex as the aroma and expertly well balanced. Bready malt notes build the foundation with yeast spices taking center stage. Hints of malt sweetness and grapefruit hops can be detected and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. The funky notes and barnyard notes are subdued here allowing for the spices to shine through. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with lingering pepper notes that delight. This beauty is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with herb roasted chicken, grilled pork tenderloin, or funky cheeses.

ABV: 8.5% Color: Straw/Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

Samuel Adams Harvest Saison

HARVEST SAISON: 86 Points

For the masses

For The Masses

This Belgian Style Saison is available in the Autumn Variety pack in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “With every autumn comes the hope of a bountiful harvest and this distinctive take on a traditional saison delivers with a crop of barley, oats, rye, and wheat, a malty aroma and golden amber hue. The crisp taste of this Belgian style brew is a perfect match for a brisk fall day.”

My Description: This is more of a cautionary brew by Samuel Adams, in the sense that they spiced it up while leaving out the funk to please more of a general beer drinking audience. I love the true Saison style with lots of barnyard notes and dominating hay and hop flavors, this beer doesn’t really have those characteristics. However, on its own it is still a pleasure to drink and the flavor profile is satisfying. It begins with a good sized, white colored head that fades to a film that holds most of the way leaving behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is dominated with yeast spice notes along with bananas and hints of noble hops. Harvest Saison is light/medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavors follow the nose nicely with spice notes dominating as well along with hints of hay and some minor citrus notes. I can also pickup on the spice notes that come from the rye grain as well, very nice. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with some lingering pepper notes. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with kale salad, grilled asparagus, or sautéed shrimp.

ABV: 6% Color: Hazy Golden/Orange Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

The Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale

RED BARN ALE: 92 Points

over yonder

over yonder

This Saison is available year-round in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This Farmhouse Ale traces its roots to the small rustic breweries of Southern Belgium. The word Saison comes to us from the French language and it means Season. Lightly spiced with Organic Ginger, Orange Peels, Black Pepper and Grains of Paradise, this brew promises to quench your thirst on the hottest Southern California days or wherever your travels may take you.”

My Description: This beer is very subtle; the funkiness, the spice notes, and the earthiness are all there but they are not over powering. This ale begins with a very large, white colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is clean and pleasant with notes of grass, citrus, and faint barnyard spices. Red Barn Ale is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a very dry finish. A well balanced flavor profile delights with a slight complexity. Upfront, there are notes of citrus, yeast spice undertones, earthy hops, and soft pepper notes. This transitions smoothly into an aftertaste that is minimally bitter but does take over the minor malt sweetness. The alcohol is nicely hidden with only minor hints shining through which adds a welcoming layer. Overall, this a well blended Saison that is refreshing and enjoyable. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with spicy pasta dishes, fish tacos, or sautéed zucchini.

ABV: 6.7% Color: Hazy Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

Stone Saison

STONE SAISON: 92 Points

Definitely Stone

Definitely Stone

This Farmhouse Ale is available seasonally in the Spring months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “In spring 2011, Stone bought the farm, literally, taking over 19 acres of fertile Southern California soil where we now grow pristine fruits, vegetables, herbs and more for our Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurants. A taste of our homespun farm-to-tableism is provided in this farmhouse ale stoked with lemon zest, plus lemon thyme and lavender straight from Stone Farms. This spring-to-summer saison is citric and herbal on the palate with a dry, peppery finish. Thanks to the infusion of fresh West Coast ingredients, this isn’t your everyday saison. It’s our saison—100% Stone. Celebrate the sunny season with an authentic taste of our farm and, with it, our commitment to quality.”

My Description: This Farmhouse Ale has Stone written all over it with their signature hops and bitterness taking center stage, in a good way of course. It pours a good sized, white colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of pale malts, lemon zest, some earthiness, and hints of floral and funk. In fact, the funkiness that is normally associated with a Farmhouse Ale is kept at a minimal in Stone’s version. Stone Saison is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. Smooth, tasty, and not overly complex, the flavor profile gives this beer a sessionable characteristic. Upfront, there are notes of pale malts and lemon along with floral and citrus hop notes. There is also another floral flavor that is most likely the lavender that this beer is brewed with, a very nice touch. The beer finishes moderately bitter with a pepper spice flavor that linger slightly. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with a Caesar salad, deviled eggs, or roasted chicken.

ABV: 6%  Color:  Gold/Straw  Sweetness: 1.5/10  Bitterness: 4/10

Sweetwater 17th Anniversary

17TH ANNIVERSARY: 85 Points

Good but not quite there

Good but not quite there

This Farmhouse Ale is a limited release for their 17th Anniversary. It is available in 22 0z. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This year’s anniversary ale has everything in it but the pitch fork and a bale of hay. With over two months of fermentation and cellaring time, this saison plows the field as it harvests spicy farmhouse overtones from its primary Fraunch saison yeast. That funky monkey delivers a strapping alc 9 % by vol, seeding a perfect foundation for secondary Brettanomyces fermentation, which hoes a cornucopia of tart and effervescent flavors. Distinct citrus notes from the finishing hops cultivate a naturally freaky fresh palate tweaker. Here’s to the next 17 trips around that burning ball in the sky.”

My Description: This beer is enjoyable and a good take on the style but it just isn’t attenuated enough because there is a noticeable sweetness that hurts the overall drinkability of this ale. Granted it has a higher IBU than most Saisons but I need this beer to be a lot drier.  It begins with a good sized, white colored head with a decent retention level but it leaves behind hardly any lacing. The aroma is slightly complex with notes of coriander, orange peel, earthiness, some funk, and a touch of pine hops. Saison is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. Spice notes dominate the flavor profile with notes of pepper and maybe cloves. Tart notes are subtle and the sweetness is definitely apparent, which is balanced nicely by a bitter finish that satisfies. However, the sweetness is just a bit too much for the style. Citrus, malt, and some hints of light fruit such as pears round out the flavor profile along with a slightly noticed alcohol taste. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with jerk chicken, sauteed snapper, or BBQ ribs.

ABV: 9%  Color: Gold/Amber  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 3.5/10

Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam

WEIZEN BAM: 91 Points

Wild yeast meet Hefe yeast

Wild yeast meets Hefe yeast

This Farmhouse Style Ale is released seasonally in the Summer months in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The fourth in our Bam Farmhouse series, and perhaps our most adventurous; a traditional farmhouse style hefeweizen. Weizen Bam seamlessly blends traditional German style hefeweizen yeast with our own local wild and sour cultures, for a melange of the most flavorful sort. Ruddy golden, with yeast driven esters of banana, spicy clove, and nutmeg all wrapped up with a generous dose of good-natured rapscallion delight.”

My Description: It excited me to learn that this beer uses German Hefeweizen yeast along with the wild yeast that Jolly Pumpkin normally uses. However, it feels like the wild yeast dominates the Hefe yeast so much so that the German notes are hard to detect. None-the-less, this is a great beer for the Summer and very refreshing. It pours a large and fluffy, bright white colored head with an awesome retention level and it leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma delivers plenty of Farmhouse notes such as hay, some barnyard funk, light citrus notes, cloves, and a hint of bubblegum. Overall, the aroma is pleasant and inviting. Weizen Bam is light/medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. A complex and wild yeast flavor profile dominate with apparent notes of sourness, lemon, green apples, grass, and some funk. Wheat malt is also detected as are faint spice notes like cloves, unfortunately the spice notes are too faint and hard to detect unless searching for them. The aftertaste is smooth and clean with little to no bitterness. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with sauteed shrimp, grilled asparagus, or baked Sea Bass.

ABV: 4.5%  Color: Hazy Gold  Sweetness: 1.5/10  Bitterness: 2/10

The Bruery Saison Rue

SAISON RUE: 98 Points

Great Harmony of Flavors

Great Harmony of Flavors

This Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale is released year-round in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Saison Rue is an unfiltered, bottle conditioned, Belgian/French-style farmhouse ale. This is a beer of subtlety and complexity, with malted rye, spicy, fruity yeast notes, biscuit-like malt backbone and a slight citrus hop character. With age, this beer will dry out and will become more complex with rustic notes of leather and earth from the contribution of a wild yeast strain. Being a saison, Saison Rue is ambiguous unto itself as it is a different beer when fresh and when aged.”

My Description: The Bruery has created a delicious and satisfying Farmhouse Ale; the flavors are on point, the quality is great, and the beer is attenuated nicely. It pours a large, white colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind a wall of lacing, very nice. The aroma is extremely inviting with typical farmhouse notes of hay, lemon, apples, bananas, yeast spices, and a touch of sour. Saison Rue is roughly medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is just as complex as the aroma, if not more. A clean pale malt backbone holds up delicious notes of lemon, grass, light fruits, and some earthiness. The spices in this beer blend beautifully; yeast notes of clove and pepper are matched by the rye malt creating a plethora of spice notes without overpowering each other. The alcohol is almost completely hidden and the tart notes really add a refreshing quality. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with roasted garlic chicken, endive salad, or grilled salmon.

ABV: 8.5%  Color: Deep Gold  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 2/10

SORACHI ACE: 96 Points

A load of sunshine!

A load of sunshine!

This Saison uses only Sorachi hops first grown in Japan. It is available year-round in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The unique flavor of Sorachi Ace was bypassed by the big brewers, but we thought it was pretty cool. So we made a special beer with it, and added the beer to our Brewmaster’s Reserve special draft beer program last year. Most Brewmaster’s Reserve beers are only available for a short time, and then they’re gone. But we liked this one so much, we decided to bring it back and give it the star treatment. Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a classic saison, a cracklingly dry, hoppy unfiltered golden farmhouse ale, but made entirely with now-rare Sorachi Ace hops grown by a single farm in Washington. We ferment it with our special Belgian ale strain, and then add more Sorachi Ace hops post-fermentation. After the dry-hopping, the beer emerges with a bright spicy lemongrass / lemon zest aroma backed by a wonderfully clean malt flavor.”

My Description: Considering this beer was created to showcase the rare Sorachi Ace hops, Brooklyn did not just take the usual route by creating an IPA. They showed how wonderfully this hop can used as a bittering and flavoring agent in a beer that would welcome the sunshine, a Saison. It begins with a very large, white colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind a beautiful amount of lacing. The aroma is fresh and reminds me of summer with notes of lemons and citrus accompanied by hints of hay and light spice notes. Sorachi Ace is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The taste is clean and refreshing, this beer is easy to drink. The flavor profile is finely constructed and delicate with lemon/citrus notes prevalent along with hints of pepper, pears, and other light fruits. This beer also has earthy undertones and the aftertaste is slightly bitter. This a great choice for those warm nights. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with fish tacos, sushi, or fresh goat cheese.

ABV: 7.6%  Color: Hazy Gold  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

SÉANCE: 72 Points

Do not communicate with this beer!

Do not communicate with this beer!

This Saison is released seasonally in August and September in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Séance is a dark, complexly concocted Saison, rich with earthy hues and flavors. A mild tartness begins the journey, and an underlying hop bitterness sweeps the senses through a newly opened door of the mind, where you will soon find subtle hints of ripe fruit, bringing you to a place few dare to roam.”

My Description: It is never a good sign when the head of a beer is its best feature. This beer has a very large, light beige colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind a great amount of lacing that glues on. The aroma is interesting enough; it is dominated by malty notes like caramel and tobacco but there is also some spice and earthiness accompanied by a touch of funk. Overall, the aroma is intriguing. Séance is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. Although the beer has flavor, it feels thin and very lackluster. The flavor profile is similar to the aroma in that it is dominated by malty notes with some hints of toasted bread and tobacco with some earthy notes but that’s about it. It is lacking Saison notes like Brett, funk, grass, light fruits, etc. This tastes more like a crappy Brown Ale with harsh hops. I would not repurchase. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with roasted turkey.

ABV: 4.4%  Color: Dark Brown  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

BAM NOIRE: 90 Points

Smooth, dark, and easy drinking

Smooth, dark, and easy drinking

This Saison is available year-round in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “One of Bam’s brown eyes is, in fact, black. When mischief reigns supreme, it positively glows. Dedicated to the dark side; smooth, dark, incredibly delicious as only a Jack Russell with bat wings can be.”

My Description: This delicious, funky, and easy drinking ale is worth seeking out if you enjoy the barnyard flavors. With such a low ABV, it is not a problem putting down a whole bottle, as long as you take your time and enjoy the ride. It begins with a very large, almost too large, light beige colored head that lasts for a long time and leaves behind an excellent amount of lacing. The aroma is complex and interesting with notes of yeast spice, barnyard funk, cherries, plums, and some bread notes. The beer is medium bodied with a high carbonation level and a dry finish. This ale has wine like characteristics and a complex flavor profile. There are notes of spice, bread, plums, some earthy notes, and some typical barnyard notes. It finishes smooth with hardly any bitterness. It is best enjoyed around 50°F and pairs nicely with smoked salmon, grilled chicken, or a caesar salad.

ABV: 4.3%  Color: Deep Mahogany  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 1.5/10

MAGGIES’ PEACH FARMHOUSE ALE: 85 Points

Nice Peach Note

Nice Peach Note

This Farmhouse Ale is released seasonally in the Spring in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Maggie’s Peach Farmhouse Ale delivers a wholesome host of peach flavor and a refreshing spiciness that will get your juices flowing. Brewed with Georgia grown peaches and a lot of love, this Old World style of beer will take you back to a simpler time.” “Just like Granny used to brew.”

My Description: Be careful pouring this Saison, I didn’t shake the bottle at all and the head was around 6 inches. After the white colored  head settled down a bit, it held on the whole way leaving behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is peachy with some barnyard funk and some yeast spice notes, it smells rather pleasant. It is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile of this beer is almost more fruity than Saison but overall it was enjoyable. The peach flavor stood out the most with the farmhouse flavors playing a supporting role. These flavors include some funk, floral notes, a subtle spice undertone, and a hint of sweetness. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with coconut shrimp, grilled zucchini, or shrimp fajitas.

ABV: 5.3%  Color: Hazy Gold  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 1.5/10

ÓVILA SAISON: 92 Points

Farmhouse Love

This Farmhouse Saison is a collaboration between Sierra Nevada and The Abbey of New Clairvaux.  It was released in June, 2011 in 750 ml. bottles.  A portion of the sales goes towards restoring the Santa Maria de Óvila chapter house on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux.

Brewer’s Description:  “Hazy blonde in color, these rustic ales are designed to be complex and contemplative but also refreshing and drinkable after a day in the fields. With earthy and spicy aromas this Saison has notes of green grass, and a faint citrus tang. The body is light and layered with fruit and spice accents and a dry, peppery, and refreshing finish.”

My Description: This is a nicely done saison that is super smooth and really enjoyable. It starts off with an amazing head that is huge and fluffy like a cloud that stays around for a while but produces minimal lacing. The aroma is earthy with some citrus and grass notes that is accompanied by some minor spice. It also has the fragrance of Belgian yeast that is similar to the aroma of a Belgian Wit Ale.  The body feels light and is highly carbonated. It starts off with a nice and mellow earth flavor that is accompanied by some grassy notes and citrus notes.  You will also pick up on some spice as well and I couldn’t taste or smell and alcohol which is nice because if this is an everyday beer it needs to drink like one. The aftertaste is where this beer shines. It is semi-dry with a pepper flavor that is refreshing and delicious. Everything about this beer screams quality. It is well done and enjoyable. It is best served around 40°F and would pair nicely with salads, ratatouille, or fish. The bottle is around $13.

ABV: 7.0%  Color: Hazy Light Orange  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 1/10

TART LYCHEE: 94 Points

Deliciously Tarty

Part of their Lips of Faith Series, this American Wild Ale is available in limited quantities in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Lychee Fruit is so insanely sweet and flavorful you almost can’t stand it alone. Sour to the rescue! The combination of our barrel-aged sour beer, Lychee Fruit puree, and cinnamon sticks pours a frothy head of tart perfection.”

My Description: This is one of the better American Tart beers that I’ve tasted; the flavors compliment each other nicely, the body is smooth and airy, and the sweet mixes beautifully with the tart. It has a good sized, white colored head that retains decently and produces some great lacing. The aroma has a hint of tart in it with a bright lychee presence that pleases the senses. It is medium bodied with an average carbonation level and a dry finish. As soon as the beer hits your lips you will get that strong tart presence accompanied by a minor taste of oak and cinnamon. The alcohol is nicely hidden and the beer goes down easy. The flavors really work great together and you’ll wish you got another bottle. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled chicken, sausage, or a strawberry cheesecake.

ABV: 7.5% Color: Hazy Light Orange Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10

SUPER CRU: 77 Points

Lips of Faith

This is a more elaborate version of the Fat Tire ale they produce. This is a limited production under their “Lips of Faith” series. It has 266 Calories.

Brewer’s Description: “Our 20th Anniversary! Let’s roll a bunch of New Belgium together and put it in a bottle. Start with the backbone of Fat Tire, but double the malt and hops; Add in crisp Asian Pears, a very Belgian thing to do; and bring it to life with a Saison yeast. It’s New Belgium Super Cru from us to you! “

My Description: For a beer with this much alcohol it has a nice and thick head that lingers; the lacing is also pretty good and lingers for a little bit. The aroma is definitely complex with notes of hops, a little pear, and some sweetness. It is medium bodied but not that smooth. The alcohol is definitely apparent which drowns out whatever pear flavors you can pick up. Malt notes make their appearance initially but disappear to a slight hop aftertaste. This brew just doesn’t live up to the expectations I put on this. The pear flavor is minimal, the alcohol taste is always there, and overall the beer is just not satisfying. A 22 oz. bottle goes for around $10.

ABV: 10% Color: Amber Sweetness: 5/10 Bitterness: 4/10

PRICKLY PASSION SAISON: 79 Points

Prickly with little passion

This Saison is part of the Lips of Faith Series. It is available in limited quantities in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Prickly pear and passion fruit mingle together for New Belgium’s return to farmhouse ales. Prickly Passion Saison is truly a beer for Belgian inspiration. The combination of passion fruit and prickly pear juices with the tropical esters of a traditionally earthy Saison yeast create a wonderfully broad and reaching mango-like character. Ostentatiously amber, this Prickly Passion Saison is sure to provoke the palate with a passionate prick, turn that bottle over and take a sip.”

My Description: This is a decent farmhouse ale that is flavorful and refreshing. It has a sub-par head that diminishes quickly leaving an off-white film that produces decent lacing. The aroma is pleasing and decent for this style. It smells of fruity esters with a little spice and bubblegum from the yeast. The beer has a slightly higher carbonation level and is medium bodied. The alcohol level is pretty high and it is only slightly noticeable which is nice. What’s interesting about this beer is that it tastes flavorful but you can’t really nail down a flavor. You will pick up on some cactus fruit, some tropical fruits, and some yeast esters with the addition of spice notes. The aftertaste could have been better, the flavors seem to bland out real quick and you are really not left with anything satisfying. It’s an all around good beer that will get you pretty buzzed if you drink the whole bomber (22 oz. bottle). However, I can only image myself drinking this once a year. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with spicy salads, pepper shrimp, or fresh fruit.

ABV: 8.5% Color: Light Amber Sweetness: 5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10

BIERE DE MARS: 85 Points

hmmm, Brettanomyces

Part of their Lips of Faith Series, this ale has 22 IBU’s and 195 Calories. It is available in limited quantities in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brettanomyces, a wild yeast strain, added for bottle-conditioning creates a refreshingly sour flash across the palate. Lemon peel coupled with the lemon verbena imparts fruitlike character and a citrusy finish.”

My Description: This is a pretty good brew for the Spring season; it’s refreshing, flavorful, and a nice change from your everyday beers. It has a decent off-white head that fades quick but holds a thin film the rest of the way. The lacing is good though. The aroma is mild with notes of lemon, citrus, grain, and a hint of sourness. It is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level. Up front there will be flavor notes of citrus, lemon, grain, and a slight hint of tart and sour from the Brettanomyces. It has a semi-bisquity aftertaste with a touch of spice and a hint of bitterness. Overall, the flavors are nice but I feel the beer could have been more enjoyable. It is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with salads, grilled fish, or fish tacos.

ABV: 6.2% Color: Hazy Orange Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10

BAM BIÈRE: 95 Points

Farmhouse Love

Farmhouse Love

This Farmhouse Ale is available year-round in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Golden, naturally cloudy, bottle conditioned and dry hopped for a perfectly refreshing balance of spicy malts, hops and yeast..”

My Description: This is one of the finest examples of a Saison; it is smooth, delicious, and traditional because these beers were designed to be lower in alcohol so that farm workers could guzzle these all day without getting drunk. It has a ridiculous head that is massive and off-white in color. The retention level is amazing, it never fades and it leaves behind lacing that glues on the glass. The aroma is pleasant and clean with notes of sour funk, lemon, grass, and what appears to be a hint of pears. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavors work harmoniously together. There is a strong lemon funk throughout that is accompanied by a mild and welcoming spice note.  There are hints of wood and floral notes with a touch of malt that add to the enjoyment of this beer. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and helps bring balance. This very smooth farmhouse ale is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled salmon, shrimp stir-fry, or a fruit salad.

ABV: 4.5%  Color: Hazy Gold  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 3.5/10