Friday, January 1, 2010

Great Divide Saison



Saison

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
 

Denver, Colorado

Saison / Farmhouse Ale
7.30% ABV



 



Commercial Description:
Our homage to the beers that have quenched the thirst of Belgian farm workers for centuries. Brewed with barley, wheat and rice and fermented at high temperatures with a special blend of four different yeast strains, Saison is fruity and slightly tart, with a dry finish that makes it that rarest of treats–a beer as refreshing as it is complex.

Background:
This is a little out of season. It is January 1st 2010 mid-afternoon and I’m just sitting around the house watching the Mummers Parade on TV. (Sorry if I lost you on that it’s a Philly thing) Anyway with all the rich seasonal Christmas beers I’ve been having I thought it would be a nice refreshing change of pace to have a saison.

Review:
The beer pours a cloudy light copper almost straw with a bright white head. This beer is also highly carbonated with lots of tiny bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass.

Very light and sweet aromas on the nose; light malts with a nice yeasty aroma, some citrus and just a hint of light hops. Really smells light and refreshing so let’s see how it tastes.

Not bad for an American interpretation. Light sweet malts upfront then a very pleasant and refreshing effervescence over the tongue. On the back end you start to pick up light citrus flavors and a slight hop leading into a very clean, dry and refreshing finish. If there is any final aftertaste it is of a slight citrus flavor with just a hint of spice.

I say not bad for an American interpretation because it is missing that classic Belgian Farmhouse earthiness or funk as us Belgian snobs like to say. There is a little of that earthiness on the nose but it really does not carry through in the taste of the beer. But all and all this is not a bad saison.

This is a very clean light and refreshing ale. It’s just perfect for an afternoon drink in any season.

The head has diminished to just a nice protective film over the top of the beer. There is also a good size ring around the top and it is leaving some nice lacing on the glass.

As this beer warms a little I am starting to pick up some the esters and subtleties of that Belgian yeast. It’s not quite funk yet but it is closer in flavor to an authentic Belgian Saison.

Another interesting thing about this beer is the 7.3 ABV. That’s on the upper range of a saison. They are usually 5-6 for a lighter summer bier but can go up to 8.

The beer has warmed to 56 degrees now and it tastes more and more like a real saison. I am really starting to like this beer as it warms and opens up a little.

Well the last few sips where around 60 degrees. This is a pretty good beer but not quite at an authentic Belgian Saison level but none the less a good beer.

I’ll have to give this a B- or maybe a B, all and all it’s a good beer.

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