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.
Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace is a Belgian Saison (or farmhouse ale) brewed with their own strain of Belgian yeast and the very unusual Sorachi Ace hops, developed in Japan and grown in Washington, and these add a strong lemony aroma and flavor. The head on this beer is massive and persistent. It developed into a thick sticky foam that stayed with the drink until the end. The nose as mentioned before has loads of lemon, and is a bit grassy as well. The middle is surprisingly sweet. The flavor reminds me quite a lot of a shandy. (Half beer, half lemonade.) There’s a good bit more lemon flavor here, but any sour or tart notes are entirely offset by the amount of sugar. The finish is more of the same, with a bit of the Belgian yeast showing through here. This is a very well executed beer, but too sweet for my taste.
I give it a 3.8 out of 5.
Saison Diego is a Belgian Saison, or Farmhouse Ale, from the Green Flash Brewing Co. of San Diego. The style is known for its spices, and Green Flash has done a really nice job of staying true to that style. With spicy Czech hops, orange zest, ginger, and grains of paradise, this is a flavorful old world beer, very different from some of the super piney bitter west-coast style ales that Green Flash is known for, but this is just as good a beer. The nose is bready, with wheat and yeast and a bit of orange. The middle is spicy, with the orange, the hops, and the grains of paradise coming to the fore. The finish is dry and dusty, with fading notes of cinnamon and slightly bitter orange peel. This is a really nice beer, and one of the better Saisons I’ve tried. I give it a thumbs up.
I give it 4.5 out of 5.