Style: Belgian Saison/Farmhouse Ale
Malt: Pils, Oats, Red Winter Wheat
Hops: Mt. Hood, Styrian Goldings
Yeast: Belgian Saison
The bottle of this beer is much like Notch’s Session Pils bottle, in fact the layout is exactly the same, reminiscent of an old-timey newspaper and wonderfully laid out as a text graphic. This is a beautiful text based label that uses excellent fonts that mesh together well and do not confuse the eye. I also like the pond slime yellow-green back ground color of the label and the navy blue main font color clashes in a lovely way with the background to help suggest the saison style’s funkiness. The black lettering for the rest of the bottle is a little odd, as I’m not sure why they didn’t just stick to the blue, but it is not disappointing on the eye. This bottle is a must have for text art lovers and a lovely bottle to add to the shelf collection.
The beer pours a pretty barnyard hay golden yellow with a nice soapy head that dissipates quickly but leaves a fat scrim ring of middle size bubbles. The beer is hazy and slightly oranged with its opacity, and there are some chunks floating around from the yeast, but there is definitely a good stream of carbonation bubbles working their way to the surface all around the glass. The beer also demonstrates some lovely spotty-cloud lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer smells quite nice with a biscuity citrus reminiscent of orange bread. There are some good damp banana and pineapple esters also swimming in the nose that coincide with the slight spice kick expected in saisons. The beer tastes wonderfully orangey in the initial sip, supported by strong banana/pineapple esters and light earthy spiced biscuit from the malts and hops. The flavor clears into a crisp and refreshing funk towards the middle and then pulls back together into a strong citrus-spice aftertaste. The esters work marvelously to add subtle flavors to this beer. The mouthfeel is cool crisp and refreshing, everything a saison traditionally should be. Bubbly carbonation is light and constant on the tongue, and the mouth is left very clean with only a slight drizzle of saliva on the sides and some dry spice on the top of the tongue. This is an excellent saison in my opinion, and a terrific return to the sessionable style of old saisons. Notch has done a great job brewing a historical and delicious beer that really highlights the funk and esters that these beers are all about. The fact that this beer is so nicely flavorful and is 3.8% makes it even more appealing. I am very surprised especially since I was not very taken with their pilsner, but this beer definitely highlights the cool things this brewery is doing with sessionable beer. I could drink quite a few of these and definitely advise this one.