Cuvée de Noël – St Feuillien (La Roeulx, Belgium)

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  • My Rating: C-

Cuvée de Noël 2012 – St Feuillien, 9% ABV – 75cl., (La Roeulx, Belgium)

  • Style: (Christmas) Belgian Strong Ale
  • Taste: Alcoholic metallic fizzy bloated brown sugar malt
  • Where I got it : W.16th Liquor Store
  • How much: $10 (after 10% off) – 75cl., June 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Yes I know it’s the middle of the summer, but does it really matter? A good beer is a good beer for all seasons. Pours pale copper brown with a large lasting creamy head, sticky lacing, a good layer of retention, and surprisingly almost no activity.

Nose: Brown sugar malts with a hint of spices. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: bubbly-tingly/fizzy crisp mouthfeel, incoming malts + alcohol

Mid-palate: (metallic copper taste-bottle contamination?), continued fizzy, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) toffee malts, brown sugar, alcohol, molasses, cola, dark fruit

Finish: bloated, alcohol, metallic malty bitter finish.

Summary: Perhaps I got a bad bottle but this had an off-putting metallic taste to it. Coupled with it’s over booziness and excessive fizzy texture, I can’t recommend it.

Friendship Brew Black Saison – Green Flash Brewery (San Diego, CA, USA)

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  • My Rating: B

Friendship Brew Black Saison – Green Flash Brewery & St Feuillien, 5.7% ABV –1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (San Diego, CA, USA)

On the front label:

“Our second collaboration with Brasserie St-Feuillien, Friendship Brew, is a Black Saison that blends European and American hops, Belgian yeast and a cache of secret spices. The aroma and flavors are enticing, with delicate fruitiness, subtle spice and rounded roast malt characteristics. Bottle conditioning provides lively carbonation and rich beer foam for a luscious body and a lean, dry finish.”

  • Style: (spiced) Saison
  • Taste: fizzy/acidic -> sour/burnt roasted malts/peppermint/toffee -> off-dry malts/grapefruit hops/burnt bitter finish.
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $11 (after 10% off) – 1 pt 6 fl.oz., August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours ultra-dark brown with a superb foamy-fluffy head, great retention, sticky lacing, lots of bubbly activity.

Nose: black cardamom, burnt cedar, peppermint, caramel malts. (4/10)-aromatic strength.

Attack: creamy fizzy with an acidic backbone

Mid-palate: medium sourness, (MAIN) toffee (7/10)-sweetness, peppermint, burnt-bitter roasted malts

Finish: off-dry malts, grapefruit bitter & burnt bitter hopped finish.

Summary: Not your typical Saison. This beer is COMPLEX and quite taxing on the palate.  Definitely a “different” beer.

Saison – St Feuillien (Le Roeulx, Belgium)

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  • My Rating: B-

Saison Belgian Farmhouse Ale – St Feuillien, 6.5% ABV – 75cl, (La Roeulx, Belgium)

On the back label:

“St-Feuillien’s Saison is what the Belgians call a beer of the terroir, a traditional farmhouse ale with all the rich savour of the fertile land of southern Belgium. Saison, a warm golden blonde beer, is a top-fermented classique. Thanks to secondary fermentation in the bottle, Saison has an unmistakable flavour full of rich nuances and a slight tang.”

Ingredients: brewwater, barley malt, sugar, hop, yeast, VITAMIN C. (that’s a first I’ve seen for a beer)

  • Style: Saison
  • Taste: creamy/tangy -> honey/yeast malts/lemon/coriander -> grapefruit bitter hoppy/citrus malt finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $9 (after 10% off) – 750ml., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Poppable cork secured with an aluminum twisty muzzle. Lots of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Pours hazy light marmalade orange with a super lasting ultra foamy head, lots of activity, sticky lacing.

Nose: Bright golden malts with a nice hit of honeyed chamomile. (6)-aromatic strength.

Attack: incoming rich bitter hoppiness, cream/fizzy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (6)-tangy/zingy, (MAIN) honey, yeasty malts, lemon zest (HINT) coriander, chamomile

Finish: (3)-soft/subtle grapefruit bitter hops, mildly dry light citrus malt finish.

Summary: An expert balance of booze-tang-body-texture-drinkablity. Very appetizing and recommended. (Note: numbers above are on a 10-point weak-strong scale)