Style: Farmhouse Saison
OG: 16.8º Plato
FG: 2.6º Plato
Malts: Pilsner, pale, corn
Hops: Styrian Golding
Yeast: Ommegang House yeast
Spices Used: Grains of Paradise, Ginger, Coriander, and Sweet Orange Peel
From: Cooperstown, NY
Brewer’s Note: “When Father Hennepin set off for the new world, he couldn’t have known he’d be the first European to lay eyes on Niagara Falls. Yet this was his destiny./ Likewise, when we decided to make our version of a Belgian Saison stronger and spicier than others, we had no idea what new realms of flavor we’d discover./ What we suspect you;ll find, though, is a thirst-quenching, rustic golden ale with hints of ginger and coriander. Perfect for evenings when your destination isn’t quite so defined.”
The label is cool and crisp, but a little cluttered. I like the image of the men in the canoe, and I love the Ommegang symbol and the silver and purple color scheme, but there is a lot of text and random little things happening on the label. The fonts don’t all mesh together, especially the cursive font towards the bottom, which is fancy but seems out of place with the rest of the label. None of the fonts are inherently ugly, and most actually blend nicely together, but in all they have a slightly cluttered feel to them. Overall, it has a very European-style design with some American flairs that just don’t quite mesh as nicely as I would have liked. This glass is certainly pretty to look at, though, and a vast improvement over the old Hennepin label. It is worthy of scrapbooking for sure, and could be considered for shelving.
The beer pours pale, golden yellow with a lot of chunks and carbonation bubbles circling around. The beer pours with a nice tight white head on it that settles to a quarter of a fingers width and leaves a thin lacing of tight, dry bubbles. On the nose, the beer smells strongly of spiced coriander with hints of orange peel, and ginger. There is also distinct bananay yeast in the background giving lovely character to the nose, while the hops and yeast are properly downplayed with lights notes of grass and hay and some wheat notes. On the tongue, the beer tastes creamy sweet and grassy bitter with lots of spice character. The flavor begins as orange peel and light wheat malt before being steamrolled away by heavy coriander spices with hints of pickling ginger. This moves into bitter grassy hops and banana yeast. The finish gives a fresh kiss of coriander infused orange juice with just a hint of sweet wheat bread before mellowing into an aftertaste of light coriander spice and yeasty banana funk. In the mouth, the beer tastes creamy smooth and medium in body with a touch of fierce carbonation that mellows into a clean scrubbing of the tongue. The mouth is left slightly dry but clean. Overall this is a solid and interestingly flavored beer. They’re a little heavy handed with the coriander spicing, which hurts the other flavors, but these flavors still show through and are beautiful and fresh in feel. This is a classic American saison in a Belgian-style. Worth a try.