FlacoAlto (4100) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 27, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
2009 Hop Harvest, September 2009 bottling date, best by 04/09/2015; Sampled July 2010 at Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas
The beer pours with a lightly hazed, amber tinged, gold body that is topped by a dense, creamy, one-finger thick head that leaves a fair amount of lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer smells herbal and fruity in the nose with the hop character contributing notes of Meyer lemon, orange zest and a grassy / pine like note. There are some grain derived notes of crackers, freshly threshed wheat as well as freshly crushed pale malt notes that adds a subtle touch underneath the more dominant hop character.
The beer has a spritzy carbonation and is off dry, which makes for a quaffable brew. The texture makes this nice and quaffable, though it is not so light that it isn’t able to accentuate the hop focus; put another way the body is not so light that it accentuates a harsh hop character. There is a nice, big, herbal bitterness that cuts through each sip from beginning to end. Herbal orange oil flavors, light lychee notes and some grapefruit flavors make for a very aromatic and hoppy flavored brew.
This has a really nice mix of hop character that is backed by supporting malt. It is not actually nearly as hopped up as an over-the-top American IPA; while the hops are dominant, the malt is quite clean and present. I have some question on the yeast strain used in this brew; a cleanly fermenting yeast strain was likely note used as there is a spiciness and character here that seems yeast derived, it plays such a supporting role to the hops though that one hardly notices. Actually it is the musty, faintly medicinal and hint of spicy phenolics that defines the yeast character and makes this beer so nice. It is interesting, if true, that this is a mix of Saaz and fresh, dry hopped Hallertau hops; I would never have guessed how citrusy and bitter they could make a beer. This is certainly one fantastic beer in the end and is a nice finish to my journey in Belgium.
BBB63 (6507) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 5, 2010
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle bought at Benny’s and shared with Shawn and friends at our little tasting. 1st beer of the night: Golden amber hue with a long lasting foamy head which left outstanding lacework upon the tulip glassware, gorgeous looking brew. The aroma has a nice herbal and slight resiny hops vapour along with slight clove and pepper hop spice tone, Munich and Pils malts, some soapy and earthy esters as well. The taste has a nice balance between the sublime malts and hop bitterness, very well attenuated. Slightly hop spicy and a bit rustic upon the finish, hint of caramel too. The mouth feel is very clean and refreshing with moderate carbonation dancing across the palate. I had high hopes for this brew and it did not disappoint. Vastly unknown saison and that is a shame.
SrSilliGose (3327) - pouring bus, New Brunswick, CANADA - DEC 4, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottle shared by bbb. thanks MIKE! pretty lookin beer. big foamy head. nice lace. aroma of rustic, musty, grassy. pretty nice. taste is bready, toasty, wet hoppy grass and toasted nutty wet hay mustiness. leaves a toasted, dank resiny note with ya. pretty good beer. neat. liked a lot. toasted fruity apricot skin dryness. nice saison. rustic, complex, tasty.
JohnnyJ (5200) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 28, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle purchased from City Beer. Cloudy golden pour, with a thick, rocky white head. The aroma is great, tons of hops, grassy, lightly earthy, lemon, citrus mmm. In the flavor the hops are more muted, but still quite nice, with more bready, rustic grains coming though. A very nice saison, I would love to drink this all day.
Ratman197 (12160) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - NOV 27, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
750 ml green bottle poured a cloudy gold with a lasting off white head. Aromas of biscuit, yeast, earthiness, pear, citrus and a hint of pine. Palate was medium bodied and smooth with a dry finish. Flavors of biscuit, yeast, earthiness, grapefruit and light pine with a smooth dry lingering moderatly biter finish.
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 5, 2010
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 7, 2010 In short: A rustic uber-dry and uber-hoppy/grassy Saison. Pleasantly over the top take on this style.
How: Bottle 750ml. Consumed approximately 9 months after bottling. Another of the 1,000 bottles brought to my place by my favourite fat-ass new-yorker.
The look: Cloudy golden orange body topped by a medium off-white head
In long: Nose is rustic (countryside field) with lots of dry grass and grassy spicy notes. Taste is dry dry dry dry dry. To say that this beer is well attenuated doesn’t begin to describe it. Not only are the crisp wheaty biscuity malts are totally void of any sweet related flavors but the dry grassy hops (lots of it) even accentuate the dryness sensation. One of the driest beer I’ve ever had. So dry that it brings a strong dusty sensation. Maybe it wasn’t that dry when very fresh but 9 months in the bottles and I’m telling you, you’ll need a large glass of water to drink this bottle. And I’m not even kidding. Halfway through my bottle I had to pour myself a pint of water. Some fruity flavors here and there come mostly in the form of dry fruits skin. In mouth the rustic character turns into cobweb. Hops and more hops. Very sharp and intense dry bitterness with a strong spicy sensation. This beer is hoppy as hell. Very lively carbonation. This is a great beer. It suddenly stroke me that all the best beer of the world appeal exactly to my particular taste in beer. Weird.
TAR (2552) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - OCT 21, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Two-toned honey golden. Scattered foam deposits wispy lacework with each sip. Inviting nose of earthy and peppery hops with milder floral and leafy tones. Underlying bubblegum, banana bread, lemon oil, honeydew melon, peach, unripe banana, and plasticlike phenolics. Some dustiness, as well. Prickly effervescence. Mineralic and firm, yet notably soft in the hop department with a flowery and juicy onslaught. Scratchy hop bitterness progressively gains in intensity, revealing a grassy, damp hay, and peppery tinge gently softened by a lagging lemony twang and slippery honeydew-melon foundation. Clean yet assertive Munich malt carries substantial heft as it lends some caramelized, honey-kissed depth as well as some oxidation-derived cakiness. While the oxidation is very minimal, it does yield a bit of astringency which somewhat dulls the brighter hop traces. Bubblegum and an assortment of well-rounded fruity esters add pep while enhancing drinkability. Closes with a lengthy rustic-yeast stamp fused with a raspy herbaceous and peppery hop snap and a ghostlike toastiness. At 6+ months of age, this is still quite spunky and resilient. Only improvement I’d like to see would be fluffier and tighter carbonation. Fun stuff, and ridiculously sessionable.
thewolf (11730) - Kolding, DENMARK - SEP 7, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, bought @ Beer Planet, Brussels.
Pours light hazy orange golden with a great, staying, frothy, white head. Aroma has grassy notes, light piney, malts, peppery. A hint of oranges and grapefruit. Great and clean. High carbonation, great dry and light mouthfeel. Flavour is so wonderful, close to but better than Hopsinjoor. Grassy to the point of wonderful. Peppery spike, crisp sweet malts. A slight fruity hint behind the dryness and staying bitterness. Really a very, very good Saison. There are so many layers of wonderful maltiness with a great hops balance.
Fred82 (2128) - Québec City, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 6, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
750ml bottle at Moeder Lambic Fontainas
Appearance : Clear amber with medium foamy and creamy head. Extensive lacing.
Aroma : Nice fruity and malt. Lots of malt. A bit mineral with some red fruits.
Taste : Malty with nice fruity notes. Quite resinous. Finish is quite bitter, malty and a bit mineral. Not much alcohol. Finish is also quite spicy.
Overall : Interesting beer. Very bitter with nice fruits. A bit too bitter for me. This didn’t felt like a saison to me but more like a Belgian IPA.
KyotoLefty (8492) - Kyoto, JAPAN - SEP 3, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
75 cl bottle at Moeder Lambic Fontainas. Great hop aroma, citrus and pepper. Dry and fruity flavor, lemony; flavor itself is not hugely bitter but starts flowery and goes to very dry. Peppery, lingering bitterness comes at the finish and seems to last forever. Clean and light. Great, though I want to try it as fresh as possible! .