JoeMcPhee (8807) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 30, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500 ml bottle. Beautiful hazy golden-orange brew with a large bubbly white head. Sweet fruity aroma, peaches and pears, nice light spicy notes, clove and nutmeg with a touch of banana and some soft citrusy notes. Lean mouthfeel. As it warms some interesting grass/hay notes come forth. Flavour is also peachy and fruity wiht a hint of pepper, coriander citrus. Prickly carbonation. Moderate bitterness with some lovely spicy noble hop flavour. More strong ale than saison, but still a very tasty brew.
MartinT (8351) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 25, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: APR 3, 2011 Any first impressions?
-Sumptuous, frothy foam covers the opaque yogurt-like yellow. Pour carefully, this is one hugely effervescent ale!
-Citrus fruitiness lightens the crisp haystack, as peppery, herbal hops are found cleverly dispersed within.
-Wooden and citrusy hops dally around the expressive yeast character, most probably Dupontís.
-The fluffy effervescence and creamy maltiness make for a perfectly authentic saison mouthfeel.
-A more recent version (2011) was very juicy, with lots of apricot jam aromas. Not nearly as good as it can be...
What if you dig deeper?
-The straw and haystack are genuinely supportive of the citrusy, piney hops.
-All flavors are masterfully choreographed, leading to a serene flurry of doughy yeast and mildly spicy hops.
-Balanced, flavorful, intrinsically Belgian. What more could you ask for in a saison?
-After a few gorgeous bottles, I didnít really understand why this beer wasnít rated higher. Then I got one (2011) which obviously didnít attenuate as well. Carbonation was timid, mouthfeel suffered greatly and the yeast character was faint, drowning in fruity sugars. So I guess this brew is not really consistent... From 4.3 to 3.1.
Rastacouere (6153) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 25, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Superb generous perfectly regular white head eternally covers the milky looking murky golden body. Highly authentic nose canít be mistaken for anything, but a Saison. In the Dupontís fashion, potentially with the same yeast strain, it doesnít quite offer the same broad fruitiness, but the farmy, slightly musty and citric, fresh, tart character is all there. Actually, itís more acidic than Dupontís, which separates it from other saisons Iíve had, making it just as refreshing thanks to the absence of spices and restrained sweetness. High attenuation leads to a precisely lively carbonation, full of expanding big bubbles. Flowery, mildly earthy, doughy and citrusy finish, delicately hopped. Truly remarkable take on the style with shining acidity to set it apart.
ClarkVV (3969) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 20, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 5, 2006 Bottle shared by OldGrowth on 6/14/06.
Frothy off-white/ivory colored head is well-retained, though without the intense lacing of some of the famous Belgian examples. A thick layer of sediment sits on the botttom, but left behind, the body is a brilliant copper-gold with strong brass and dark cedar tints. A multitude of tiny, bottle conditioned bubbles rise throughout.
The nose reveals soft, grassy, mossy hallertauer hops and very light vanilla notes from the yeast. Seemingly sweet, but with ripe banana and lemon esters emerging quickly as the spicy (white pepper) phenols dry out the end. Medium to medium-high in strength and just fluffy as all get out. Not meaty and heavy with too much yeast, but it leaves the esters and phenols to do the work, as the hallertauers drive home the complexity. Though this is not a hoppy saison, by any means. It has touches of white dough, light honey and nectarines galore. Very Dupont-like in character, rather straightforward, but with no flaws. Clean, in the sense that there is little unique funky/dusty/farmy character, but the malt is well attenuated in the nose, and the yeast plays a strong role. No alcohol noted in nose.
The flavor is all Dupont yeast. Spicy phenols and orange fruit esters provide light acid and plenty of spicy dryness. Malt is well-attenuated, but not overly dry or sweet (though tending sweet through the middle). Some light honey, bits of orange blossom, orange rind and a feeling of dry, crunchy graham crackers is felt as the soft, but engaging carbonation rustles the palate. Fresh biscuits and very light cookies are left to trail off as the moderate dough and light yeast spiciness recedes. Hops steadily play less and less a role as it warms, adding grassy, light herbal notes, with very minimal bitterness. No alcohol noted in flavor.
Mouthfeel is a shade away from being near-perfect, but comes off just a touch loose, though the carbonation is natural. North Coast should be very proud of this one. Thanks Tom!
OldGrowth (2842) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - JUN 19, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle, from Cary store. Good nose, Yeasty. grass, lemon, little spice. Hazy golden yellow color, big head that settled, nice lacing. Sweet & spicy flavor. like aroma. grassy, yeasty, lemony, little banana too. Medium body, lite creamy crisp mouthfeel, peppery citrusy finish. Good brew, seemed close to the mark for the style.
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JUN 15, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bottle shared by OldGrowth. Pours a nice crisp bright yellow color with a big white foamy head. Nose is peppery and spicy with hints of lemon and grass. Palate is clean and tingly, nice crispness. Flavor is spicy with some grassy dry notes and a nice freshness to it. Light bits of pepper and lemon as well.
TPaliga (212) - Munster, Indiana, USA - JUN 11, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours bright, hazy yellow with thin head. Aroma is Banana, yeasty, and slight hops. Taste is banana, bread, hopa dn malt that are well balanced. Finsih is bitter and sour. Nice all around.
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUN 11, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
The most striking thing about this beer is the huge, fizzy head, and the almost unbearable carbonation. The flavor/aroma are both very well blanced, with a refreshing dose of bitter hops coupled with a slightly sweetened caramel maltiness. Strong herbal qualities, and not too heavy.
Kinz (3410) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JUN 7, 2006
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Hazy lemon yellow, good head, nice pillow finish, very attractive. Aroma was spicy and fruity, with notes of coriander and lemon peel, along with yeast. Flavor was very similar, loads of spice with balancing citric fruit flavors, and a touch of floral bitterness from the hops. Touch of wheat as well, this almost treads into the territory of a wit in some ways. Highly refreshing, and perhaps the best American take on a Saison since Hennepin. I really enjoyed this, great example of the style.
glkaiser (1214) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 6, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hazy golden with huge head. Yeasty and citrus aromas....tastes of banana\pineapple and other fruits. Yeasty, but not overly so. I quite enjoyed this. Very refreshing.