This is the benchmark Saison, brewed in the traditional way since the early 1800’s for French farmers who would add whatever leftover grains and spices they had laying around in to their brews. Over the years this Saison has somewhat become the face of the style.
Served in a beer tulip the light brown pour reveals a deep copper hue when held to the light. The 1 finger beige cap holds on but eventually reduces to a thin film that laces poorly. We had to take a few long whiffs to get accustomed to this aroma as it is quite complex. Our first thoughts were a mix of earth, dust and grains with a chewy undertone of toffee, berries and sourdough, although the depth is properly uncovered when we begin to pick up muted wafts of fruit cake, brandy, plum and Barley wine-like residual sugars. Wow, this is a really interesting aroma. In the mouth it’s silky smooth with mild carbonation. The body is quite light on making for super easy drinking. After a few sips we can surely say the flavour doesn’t follow the aroma as a mild tang balances out the sweet, bready taste of brioche. As the beer moves down the mid-palate displays chewy caramel with a hint of brown sugar, delivering a doughy finish with a touch of cherry tartness on the back end. Good length. They say that the 5.5% ABV is quite low…..gotta love the Belgians. All in all we have to award points for originality and complexity, and it may well be the new world craft beer drinker in us talking but give us a light, spicy and sour Saison any day of the week. Still, a good brew worthy of it’s tag.