Saison is considered a Belgian farmhouse style ale, that was traditionally brewed in the cooler months for consumption during the summer. The Saison beer style is a loosely defined style. This beer originates from the French-speaking Wallonia region in Belgium. A complex style, fruity, dry, and with notes of spiciness, fruitness, semi-sweet to tart. The yeast plays a big role in the flavor and dryness of this style. Hop bitterness is more pronounced in this style than in many other Belgian styles, and sometimes it is even dry-hopped.
Many saisons are bottle conditioned, which means they are allowed to ferment within the bottle to produce carbonation. Saisons can be gold to copper, with an orange tint being considered traditional. There are also variations of the traditional such as saisons with the addition of fruits, black saisons, smoked saisons, and barrel aged. Saisons have seen a massive revival, especially in the US market. Saison Dupont is considered THE saison, if you want to know what a traditional saison tastes like, grab a bottle of Dupont.
Boulevard Brewing's Spring Belle Saison with Flowers
Style: 16C. Saison
Aroma: There are strong citrus and fruity esthers, particularly pineapple and lemon. There are hints of floral, including chamomile and petals. It smells like a saison.
Appearance: It is a very light gold color that I can almost see through, so clarity is great. It has a long-lasting foaming white head. There is a ton of lacing from the head.
Flavor: There are strong notes of citrus and florals, with the traditional spice in the background. I particularly taste clove, rose petals and pineapple.
Mouthfeel: It has a light body with a dry finish. The carbonation sits on the middle of the tongue, even after swallowing.
Overall: I generally swing either way with Saisons because I feel like they can be too spiced for a lighter beer but this one goes down really smoothly. I find that it's perfectly balanced between fruity, spicy and citrus-y. I don't really taste too much malt or hops, which means, again, that it's very well-balanced.
South Austin Brewery's 6 String Saison
Style: 16C. Saison
Aroma: This beer smells much more spicy and citrus than the former. There are strong notes of orange and coriander. It smells like it would be a great Christmas-time beer.
Appearance: It is opaque and a deep honey color. There is a lot of activity happening in the glass, even well after the initial pour. It has a white foamy head that also lasts a while.
Flavor: Holy spicy citrus bomb in your mouth. This is much more sweet than a traditional Saison. There is a sweet aftertaste at the roof of my mouth.
Mouthfeel: This has a medium body to it with great carbonation.
Overall: This is a surprisingly sweet beer that is pretty high in alcohol content, especially for a Saison. I really can't tell if I like it or not. It's drinkable but I'm not sure I'd ever order it again.
Up Next: Fruit Beers — look for any beers that have added fruit. Example: Abita Strawberry Lager
Song of the Blog: "Summer of 69" by Bryan Adams