TheBeerGod (5007) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JUL 25, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle courtesy of Immy at Immy’s Backyard Throwdown. Labeled 2008-1, Batch #09752 of 11950. Very turbid gold pour. Tall white head grows like a thunderstorm cloud. Aroma brings the funk! Strong Brett notes, perfume, flowers and fruit notes. Taste continues with more funky notes, dusty yeast, perfume, dried flowers, citrus notes, fruit and earth. Very bubbly and light mouthfeel. Ends with more Brett notes, funk, slight sourness, fruits, and dusty yeast. Very tasty stuff! Enjoyable!
ChainGangGuy (4274) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - JUL 21, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Appearance: Pours out a light, straw-colored body flecked with fine particles and topped by a very large (seriously), white head.
Smell: Delicate malt base to support notes of honeysuckle blossoms, melon juice, citrus, and spice. The funkiness remains light, with lessers notes of well-maintained horseblankets, fresh leather, and only a teeny tiny drop of butyric acid.
Taste: Pilsner malts, light pale malts, and maybe even some soft white wheat garnished with a dusting of sweet table sugar. Fruity tastes of melon garnished with lemon zest. Light florals throughout. Restrained hop bitterness. The funkiness from the Brettanomyces, though pleasant, present, and appreciated, is fairly understated, providing refined tastes of top-shelf cobwebs and recently-cleaned basements. Very small pinch of pepper. Drying, fizzy finish with some lingering fruity hints.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Highly carbonated.
Drinkability: Give it a try! Boulevard’s standard saison was all-well and fine, but the kind addition of Brett really helps it to sing.
MaltOMeal (1088) - Land of Sugar, Texas, USA - JUL 21, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 26, 2009 bottle shared at july BA tasting. Pours a cloudy, pale yellow with a white head. Nose is of citrus, funk, floral and perfume. Taste is same as nose. Mouthfeel is dry. Decent saison.
zizzybalubba (1303) - Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA - JUL 20, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle 2008-1, Batch #09752 of 11950. Shared by Immy at Immy’s Backyard Throwdown. Highly carbonated saison, very light in color, with a very fizzy white head. Ever so slight sour taste but mostly just a solid saison. Nothing particularly exciting here in my opinion. It’s a very good saison but nothing overwhelming.
imadeadguy (378) - back in NJ!, New Jersey, USA - JUL 20, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sample thanks to corby. Pour is lighter golden with a fluffy white head. Aromas of citrus, dry brett funk, and some yeast. Flavor is very drinkable and smooth. Dry finish and some nice fruit also. Nice brew overall.
kitschy (326) - Nebraska, USA - JUL 19, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tasted at 2008 Sunfest. Very clear, clean light golden color with a bit of white head. nose: lemon peel. A multi-textured beer. Delicious flavors include citrus and grassy hops.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 19, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 20, 2010 Original Rating (well, apparently not, but...) 7/19/2009: Shit, I just lost my rating. Here’s a condensed version. Thanks dr. Bill. Pours hazed yellow, big lacey white head. Nose ball. Flavors mirror nose, dry, somewhat bretty, more tennisball. Good,refreshing stuff (3.9)
re-rate Bottle, sampled 5/20/2010...bottle from Sir Kevin Scott, the Frenchman: I think this has at least a good 6+ months on it, at least. Pours yellowish with too large of a head...must pour carefully! Nose is hay-like, spicy, with a spike of brett weaving throughout the olfactory sense waves...and yes, Todd, very good on the "Tennis Ball" characteristic...Flavors are clean, hay, straw, grass, a little spicy but fortunately not in a nasty banana-esque belgian-yeast kind of way. and YES! Todd...Tennis balls, it tastes a bit like huffing on a freshly opened can of tennis balls. BALLS! Gotta bump it a point...it was a very satisfying beer.
Allstar (33) - , Virginia, USA - JUL 19, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle #09752 of 11950 shared by Immy at Immy’s Backyard Throwdown. Pours a light yellow. First taste had a light fruit, slight bitter but smooth overall impression. It was one that I would have again.
Drake (7848) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - JUL 18, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle #09752 of 11950 shared by Immy at Immy’s Backyard Throwdown. Pours a hazy lemon yellow color with a medium head. Good head retention and lacing. Aroma is fresh lemons with slight bretty notes. Taste is light mildly funky brett with caramel, citrus and pineapple. Light on the palate. Medium bodied. Absolutely sublime.
TAR (2401) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JUL 14, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: FEB 3, 2012 2009 edition – Batch 1: Speckled bronzed-yellow. Clingy, mountainous cap of white foam condenses into a meringue consistency. Divine nose of minerals, cotton, Band-Aid, tangerine, pineapple sherbet, lemon zest, and a refined medley of peppery, floral, herbal hops. Fluffy pillow of froth caresses the palate. Initially brisk with a gritty Brett-induced mineralic clinch swirled with a raspy mouthful of grassy hops and a fervid phenolic snap reminiscent of white and black pepper. Artfully refined notes of Band-Aid and floral hops boast their softness as they temper the spiciness while cushioning the firm body. Splash of ripe citric acid follows to bolster the remarkably full center which remains full and creamy despite the bracing dryness. Vividly defined crackery Pils malt gradually takes foothold as it generates ample sharpness as well as a teasing piecrust toastiness. Though the hop bitterness is chalky and borderline astringent, it drips with succulent citrus flavors (tangerine, mandarin orange, grapefruit pith) and delicate floral tones. Fusion of peach and dried pineapple contribute more subtle sweetness and juiciness. Yeast displays a puttylike quality as well as a candied pistachio sweetness. Finishes explosively Bretty and phenolic with a tongue-numbing assualt of mineralic phenols and cottony harshness. Belches beautifully as elegant citrus and floral flavors abound with each burp. Springier Band-Aid accompanies background notes of pineapple sherbet, lemon zest, and grass. Pretty magical stuff, though I slightly prefer the keg-conditioned versions sampled over the years. I’d like to see them either tone down and/or refine the unruly/chalky/aspirinlike hop bitterness (Amarillo?!), or ditch the Amarillo altogether and replace it with a softer and more delicate varietal (Hallertauer or Stryian Goldings?). This is a beer worthy of hours of attention as you contemplate the awe-inspiring marvels of yeast and masterful brewing.
Well, the initial batches were once great, but the hops have apparently been ramped up to excessive levels, ultimately rendering this chalky and aspirinlike. While the brett character is delightfully pungent and horsey, I now find it somewhat one-dimensional as it no longer possesses that lovely tropical-fruit softness of the initial batches. Where their now-retired flagship Saison was a mastery of finesse and finespun delicacy, this is the antithesis. I just wish both could coexist, for those who want an authentic saison. Still, a pretty good beer.