Boulevard Smokestack Series: Saison-Brett (Boulevard Brewing Company)

Style: American Saison Ale

8.5% ABV

38 IBU’s

OG: 17º Plato

FG: 2.5º Plato

Color: 12 (EBC)

Malt: Pale Malt, Malted Wheat
Adjuncts: Corn Flakes
Hops: Magnum, Amarillo

Vintage: 2012

From: Kansas City, Missouri

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Brewer’s Note: “Saison-Brett, based on our very popular Tank 7, is assertively dry hopped, then bottle conditioned with various yeasts, including Brettanomyces, a wild strain that imparts a distinctive earthy quality. Though this farmhouse ale was given three months of bottle age prior to release, further cellaring will continue to enhance the “Brett” character, if that’s what you’re after.”

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I’m very excited to have found this beer, and I’d like to give a shout out to my local bottle shop and one of my favorite beer stores, Bogie’s Beer and Wine, for getting some in.  They said that the distributor had found a couple cases lying in the back of their warehouse, which means this bad boy has been aging for almost a year.  I remember trying this at Belgian Beerfest and loving it.  Can’t wait to pop the cork.

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The beer’s label is classy, like many of the more specialty Smokestack Series beers are.  I actually like the “handwritten” font for the beer’s title.  It makes it feel special.   I also love the barley grains and hop flowers that are garlanding the center label, and the blue and white background color with a touch of dirty gold.  The whole layout gives the beer an old Midwest feel to it, which is excellent for the brewery’s location, and excellent to look at.  This label is minimalistic and beautiful, and it displays its bottling date!  I would most certainly put this bottle on a shelf, and if not that then I would definitely scrapbook it!

The beer pours with a very aggressive and massive head which has me thinking that the brett has been busy in this beer.  The head is slightly off white and made up of a gradient of bubbles going from small to large and creating a creamy crown that stretches above the lip of the glass.  The head also takes forever to calm down in the glass, which makes drinking the beer a bit difficult.  The head leaves a lacing of large soapy bubbles on the sides of the glass, leaving a roadway of lacing moving across the glass.  In color, the beer pours a pale golden yellow to straw yellow with a maelstrom of bubbles whirling around and feeding the massive head.  The beer’s body actually looks stunningly clean and clear, with only the slightest hint of a yeast haze.  On the nose, the beer smells of hay and sweet funk with bits of pineapple citrus and slight sweaty horse.  This beer smells bretty and beautiful with nice grassy spice notes and hay-like character.  On the tongue, the beer tastes of spicy funk and bitter, chalky grass with bites of acidic citrus.   The flavors begin as spicy malt, moving quickly into grassy bitter notes with splashes of funky pineapple with touches of chalky bitter flavors and big hay-like hops.  A slight sweet caramel malt sits beneath everything, and the finish alcoholic pineapple across the palate.  The aftertaste rings with slight citrus funk and touches of hay.  In the mouth the beer feels medium in body with some thickening of the palate.  The carbonation is rich and creamy on the tongue and helps to keep the sweet funk in check.  The mouth is left with acid-neutralizing spittle swimming on the tongue and a slight dryness from the grassy bitters.  Overall, this is a lovely, funky, complex saison with some nice weird characters.  The alcoholic finish is the only complaint I have with this beer.  This is a superb saison.

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