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Boulevard Smokestack Series: Saison

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RATINGS: 378   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 186   ABV: 6.2%
The French-speaking region of southern Belgium is the birthplace of saison, the love child of a centuries-old tradition of small rural "farmhouse" breweries, where native yeasts and time-honored recipes combined to produce some of the world’s most distinctive beers. As a tribute to this artisanal institution, we offer our own brisk, unruly Saison. Truly an artful balancing act, it is both rustic and subtle, robust yet effervescent, spicy and fruity.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tmoney99 (13332) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 13, 2011
Bottle. Poured hazy amber color with a large fizzy white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Medium to heavy yeasty citrus aroma. Medium body with a dry texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy sour & sweet flavor with a medium to heavy sweet & sour finish of moderate duration. This is a very good beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
onlyrocknroll (379) - Antwerp, BELGIUM - DEC 25, 2010
Orange with a large foamy head. Aroma of orange and mild funk. Flavour of fruit, spice, esters, funk, light bitterness and a dry finish. Could use more roughness and funk.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ibrew2or3 (8066) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - DEC 23, 2010
Courtesy of HOPSHUNTER. Pours deep gold with slight haze and off white head. The mild aroma is an open meadow with fresh breezy perfumy floral notes, some grains, spicy yeast and lemon. The taste is pretty slick with sweetness supporting light skinned fruity esters, red apples, spicy yeast and graininess. It ends with an additional note of lemon.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
SuzyGreenberg (1603) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 17, 2010
750 ml bottle; picked up a little stash of these once I heard it was being discontinued; lots of carbonation with thick, eggy white head taking over half the glass and falling slowly; sparse floating proteins in an otherwise crystal clear glowing gold; stale lemons, pale malt, dry spice on the nose; maybe a little lavender too or dusty wild flowers; amazingly clean and light mouthfeel with fresh lemons, dry malt, sticky fruit; crisp finish with lingering dryness; simple, clean and dangerously drinkable; lack of spice is quite welcome and overall a very clean, simple yet very tasty saison; get some pears, dry apricot as it warms and I make my way through the bottle; clean fermentation allows the malt, light fruit esters from the yeast shine; though retired for a while now, there is a nice little stash sitting at a few shops in town; yum
br> Original Rating 9/12/08 (Score - 3.9): 750 ml bottle @ liquid sunshine tasting - thanks to bvc; straw gold with plenty of carbonation; thin white head remains; aromas of lemons, bread, yeast, slight tartness; body is thin and light with some tartness coming out again; very nice with a wheaty finish; carbonation comes off a little strong, but otherwise very nice

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
HOPSHUNTER (742) - Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 13, 2010
Bottle. Poured a hazy, lemon yellow color with a small white head. Fruity and spicy nose, notes of lemon, apple, coriander, light toasted malt. Medium body with a clean, crisp mouth feel. Flavor is moderately sweet, slightly herbal and spicy, notes of citrus, yeast, and pepper. Finishes slightly dry and herbal. I enjoyed this and find myself becoming a big fan of Boulevard Saisons.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
markwise (5168) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 3, 2010
Thanks to hopshunter for the share. Pours hazy yellow with an excitable white head. Nose is citrus, spices, slight funk, slight citrusy brett, and a hinge of sweetness. Flavor is similar with lingering sweetness into the finish of this light-to-medium-bodied saison.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 26, 2010
Appearance: hazy gold and sun-bleached straw. Slow stream of bubbles arc their way to the surface to meet with a fluffy white head. Eventually fades to a thick blanket, leaving clumps of lace along the way. Swirls with more fluff and more lace.
Nose: citrusy up front and dry in the back. Citrus rind and pith; lemon, orange, mandarin. Lots of soft underbelly, the white pith which is both dry sweet and bitter at the same time. Straw and bread crust in the back and underneath. Coriander, grains of paradise, and white pepper permeate. Faint husked straw.
Palate: soft and frothy from start to finish. Light in the mouth and atop the tongue; almost like airy clouds of homemade white breads with the crust adding some crunch. Immediately starts to dry the palate with citric skins and dry straw/hay in the finish. White pepper and coriander in the breath. Less lemon than the nose implied, though key lime and orange zest liven things up a bit. Refreshing and vivifying without overwhelming. Essence of spring.
Final Thoughts: saisons are always intriguing to me because they hold such a loose set of parameters. They are beers of the season, of the earth, of the people who brew and drink them. As with all Smokestack brews I have tasted, this one from Boulevard was another tasty addition.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
phaleslu (9305) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 25, 2010
750 ml bottle from Shop ’N Save in Maplewood, of all places. It really isn’t on shelves anymore, so I was thrilled to find one as soon as I moved back to St. Louis. Paired with Thanksgiving dinner, and it worked very well. Pours a nice hazy golden color with a finger-thick, foamy white head that rises and falls evenly. Aroma of farmhouse funk, peppery spices, herbs, Belgian yeast, lemon citrus, and some white grapes. The flavor follows suite closely, with a nice balance of yeast, funk, fruit, spice, and malts. I didn’t find it to have much tartness/sourness at all, as some other raters have indicated. Maybe that’s because I’m more used to the Saison Brett. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation. Great saison.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
fear025 (213) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - OCT 25, 2010
Aroma:A little hops in the aroma, very mild. Appearance:Light yellow color. Very clear. Tons of head with good retention. Taste:Very light flavored, lightly bitter. Slightly sweet wheat flavor on the foretaste. Slight pepper notes. It tastes a little like corn flakes, which makes sense cuz it has malted wheat and malted corn. Palate:Light bodied, good carbonation. Overall:Very refreshing, easy drinking saison. It doesn’t really push many boundries for this style, but it’s very pleasant.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
daleharshman (1038) - Escondido, California, USA - OCT 22, 2010
750 ml bottle purchased 16 months ago at South Bay Drugs ($6.99). They retired this? Pours a cloudy golden yellow with two fingers of creamy white-ish head with good retention. Aroma is very typical saison: Belgian yeast, lemon, bready malts, spices. Flavor is much of the same with some tart lemon, more bready malts, and a little bit of funk. The very good carbonation adds to the flavor with its spritziness. A solid saison, but nothing special here. (340, 403)

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