“From the darkness I watch you. All of you, all of your lives, with a thousand eyes, and one. Abiding in the shadows of this dark saison lie beguiling and entrancing aromas and flavours – girded by crisp lasting herbal hop notes and a yeasty, spicy finish.”
May we just say that we aren’t big fans of the Game of Thrones series. What we are huge fans of, though, is this brewery who are, you could say, the American arm of the Duvel/Moortgat family. No explanations needed there. The artwork must also be commended. Very detailed. Uncaged and uncorked then served in to a beer tulip. The deep cola pour strived to disclose an edge of dark mahogany while a big, puffy two and a half finger head formed on top. The head persists stubbornly, only peeling off a centimetre or so before settling to a good 7-8mm cap. Tonnes of thick, soapy residue is left clinging to the glass. Looks attractive. A good ten minutes have passed us by and we’re still dumbfounded by this aroma. What we can detect is a really viscous, glutinous character of cookie dough along with undertones of play doh, clove, subtle banana, phenols, cooking chocolate and lemon/lime juice. A real mixed bag of aromas. But you know what though, it somehow works…..well. In the mouth it has a nice density, really filling it out with a soft, moussy texture. The Co2 levels are medium-high and the body is about mild-medium. We have to give credit for the brilliant masking of the 7.2% ABV. Literally undetectable. Upfront we get a complex fusion of peppery spice, fruity esters and lightly roasted malt. As it carries forward through the mid, doughy notes are picked up as suggestions of Belgian yeast provides candy-ish flavours of banana and spicy clove. Completing this slightly complex brew are hints of stewed pears, earthy spice and a touch of hop bitterness that boasts some pretty good length. To summarise would be quite hard. As this is, from memory, our 2nd ever crack at a dark saison (2nd to the Stillwater dark saison) so the simple overview is…we liked it. So much to like about the complexity, the spicy overtones and the light roasted malts to balance it all out. The 750ml bottle to yourself may be a little too much though. Goes great when it’s shared. Not bad at all.