A Belgian style pale ale brewed with Maine ingredients to showcase and support sustainable family farming in Maine’s sixteen counties, this latest style from Allagash reminds me of a saison. The head is massive and long lasting. The nose is grainy and grassy. The middle has zesty lemon, honeysuckle and other floral notes and there’s a quite a bit of grapefruit in the finish. The body is medium and the alcohol is a robust 7.3% ABV. An exceptionally delicious beer.
I give it a 4.8 out of 5.
A sour brown ale of the Flanders Red style from New Belgium’s Lips of Faith series, the 2016 edition was aged in French oak for 1-3 years. The nose is light and musty. The middle is bright, very tart, and strongly apple flavored. There’s a bit of vanilla in the finish, presumably from the oak, but the sour apple still dominates. The body is medium to heavy and the alcohol is a pleasant 7.0% ABV. It isn’t terribly complex, but it is beautiful in its simplicity. A sour brown ale of the Flanders Red style from New Belgium’s Lips of Faith series, the 2016 edition was aged in French oak for 1-3 years. The nose is light and musty. The middle is bright, very tart, and strongly apple flavored. There’s a bit of vanilla in the finish, presumably from the oak, but the sour apple still dominates. The body is medium to heavy and the alcohol is a pleasant 7.0% ABV. It isn’t terribly complex, but it is beautiful in its simplicity.
I give it a 4.4 out of 5.
The nose is sweet with brown sugar, banana and prunes. The middle is malty and fruity with peach, a bit of apricot and some heavy bread that sticks with you through the finish. The finish also has a hint of pepper. An OK dubbel. Light to medium body. 7% ABV.
4.0 out of 5
Allagash calls Hoppy Table Beer a “Dry hopped Belgian-style ale.” What it is not, first off, is an IPA. The head is very light foam, and long lasting. The nose is grassy and crisp. The middle is very hop heavy, but spicy, herbal and dry, not piney or citrusy. There is some prominent lemon in the finish. The body is light to medium and the alcohol is an easy drinking 4.8% ABV. A really unusual, and outstanding beer.
I give it a 4.7 out of 5.
So it’s November, and Bière de Provence is a summer saison. Sue me. I try every Dogfish Head beer I can find, and this is when I happened to find this one, and I won’t pass up the opportunity to try it, whatever the season. This is a Belgian Saison, and the tagline is that it is brewed with lavender, marjoram, and bay leaves. The lavender is immediately apparent in the nose, which is predominately floral with a bit of fruity Belgian yeast adding some banana esters. The middle explodes with pepper, herbal notes and sweet malty undertones. The finish is yeasty, fruity and mellow. The body is medium and the for a summer saison the alcohol is a beastly 8.3% ABV, A delicious beer and a fine saison that I wish I’d discovered earlier.
I give it a 4.4 out of 5.
Beer To Drink Music To is a Belgian style Tripel from our good friends at Dogfish Head in Delaware. Dogfish Head is known for their off-centered ales, but there really isn’t a lot weird about this beer…It’s a fairly straight-forward, really nice Belgian Tripel. The nose is yeasty and fruity, with banana and fig notes, the middle is fruity and spicy with some pepper and apricot, and there’s vanilla in the finish. This all makes for a really nice, solid example of the style. The body is medium to heavy, and the alcohol is a stout 9% ABV.
I give it a 4.2 out of 5.
Scattered Sun is a Belgian-style Witbier from Southbound Brewing Co. of Savannah, Georgia. The head is foamy and voluminous, dissipating fairly quickly but leaving an inch or so that lasts for quite awhile. The nose is fruity and yeasty and definitely Belgian. The middle has tart lemon, sweet orange, and a bit of coriander. The orange strengthens in the finish along with a nice dry wheat flour and a bit of breadiness. A very pleasant and refreshing brew, and a relatively light 5.2% ABV makes this a perfect summer drink. I’m enjoying it quite a lot.
I give it a 3.7 out of 5.