NHC Results: Saison

A favorite beer style of mine to brew and drink is Saison. The style guidelines according the BJCP are quite broad in color, starting gravity, and final gravity allowing brewer's to put their own stamp on a style with rustic French farmhouse roots. You can take the style and make it hoppy, add spices/herbs to the mix, ferment with fruit, and age it with alternative yeast strains (ie: brettanomyces). At this point it seems like anything goes, as long as you use a Saison yeast strain at some point, I think it's fair to call it a Saison.

At the Burlington Beer Co. tasting event this beer was described as: "A French country farmhouse style ale brewed with barley, wheat, rye, and oats. Pink Peppercorns and Sumac Berries are added at end of boil, boosting the inherent lemon pepper flavors in classic Saison style ales. This is an easy drinking, yet complex, aromatic ale" 

Category 16c: Saison

Pilsner Malt
Torrified Wheat
Rye Malt
Flaked Oats
Munich Malt

mash at 149*

Delta                :60
Nelson Sauvin   :0

Pink Peppercorns  
Sumac Berries

14.3*P (1.057sg)
Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse

#1- cloudy yeast character, pleasant, tropical notes
#2- herbal, fruity (citrusy) with a pine-like hop. Moderate pepper elements. As beer opens, more white-wine like character

#1- pale straw with a continuous bubble
#2- very pale yellow with thick, finely beaded white head, good clarity

#1- light tropical fruit and hints of lemon, very mild overall flavor, pleasant and easy to drink, malt character is almost non-existent
#2-tropical fruit notes initially faded into a more hop driven beer, malt backbone is light and supports wine like character, bitterness is restrained

#1- good level of carbonation, full on the tongue but light in body
#2- medium body lightened by CO2 level, carbonation is prickly

Overall Impression
#1- very pleasant and easy to drink, tropical notes are uncharacteristic to style, makes me think of Nelson Sauvin hops, needs some additional malt complexity, maybe additional wheat and munich malt
#2- well made, very interesting Saison, hop flavor higher than expected but all together makes a very interesting beer, consider a more complex malt bill, maybe 10-20% munich

#1- BJCP Recognized        33/50
#2- BJCP National Judge   36/50

Overall 35/50---Very Good (30-37)

1 comment:

  1. Why do judges always want more malt in a saison? A significant portion of authentic Belgian saisons are made up of exclusively Pilsner malt with little apparent maltiness. It's supposed to a dry style.