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The Ultimate Farmhouse Voltron @Hillfarmstead Civil Disobedience 11, The Saison Megazord

Alright, keeping things on track with arguably the whaliest beer that HF has ever made outside of Ann, is this staggering amalgamate of the best the saison world has to offer.  At ~300 bottles, 1 per person, this caused a massive rift in the trading community and the butthurt was palpable, salty alligator tears rolling down Dorito dusted beards. So what is the deal with this FINAL BOSS GOD TIER FARMHOUSE LOOT? This is like post-game optional quest level shit here:

“Composed of Anna aged in barrels that previously held Mimosa, E., and Juicy, blended with Anna that was aged in barrels that previously held Civil Disobedience 3 and 5. Delicate, elegant, complex, and effervescent.”

Does it seriously get any better than that? Those are like nocturnal emissions mixed with microflora. Let’s get down to this rustic ratchet in today’s review.

Got musky emo tears, beer looking like a bowl of oranges

Got musky emo tears, beer looking like a bowl of oranges

Hill Farmstead, Vermont (you know this already)

Blended BA saison, abv? Let’s call it 7.69%

This beer also gushed like an obese kid who lost a full dress size at fat camp. It spilled all over my tiny hovel making my shoddy granite work redolent of Vermontean esters.  The carb notwithstanding, this pours intensely orange and the whole pour feels like a PS1 cut scene where for a moment things are far less shitty, and you know it simply wont last.  It has fantastic cling and sheets rings the entire way down as though it had a modicum of spelt boosting those unfermentable solids.  Svelte, radiant, oddly beautiful like Emma Stone in BIrdman.

Look at me.  Look at me. I am the saison captain now.  I am the farmhouse captain.

Look at me. Look at me. I am the saison captain now. I am the farmhouse captain.

The nose continues the pageantry in a way that is unparalleled by even Shaun Hill standards.  In the struggle for their own dominance over their own product this grip the tail of Ann and the throat of Art and co-dominance is established like some acidic alleles contributing this master race phenotype.  I hope you didn’t fail high school biology, otherwise Ctrl+T that shit. There is intense orange, grand marnier meets cut construction paper, wet Jansport backpacks, bikes in the rain covered in Donald Duck orange juice, crushes leaves, bittering conifer aspects on the closer and this sweetly acidic finish like a Jamba Juice peach dream.  It is frustratingly enticing to a fault.

Hit that bottle spread eagle, label cocked open like that Jordan logo

Hit that bottle spread eagle, label cocked open like that Jordan logo

The taste is creamy orange julius from the mall with brett C funk contributing an aged cheddar cheesiness to the gumline, the most refined acidity this side of BA Cellarman, crisp anjou pear dryness on the swallow that lingers with a clementine pithy bitterness.  It is orange and cuties through and through with massive cascading waves of bitterness, acidity and funk like LED lights at a TRAP show contributing to full immersion.  There is a touch of imperfect honey sweetness that is perceptible that has a sweet meets mineral character, but this is literally the only fault I can detect after assiduously prying apart this entire 750ml solo.

Liquefy this photo in its purest platonic form and imbibe it

Liquefy this photo in its purest platonic form and imbibe it

In sum this is the pinnacle of the HF catalog and only Ann and Art can stand as coherent rivals to this crown.  It easily stands in the top 10 best saisons I have ever had in my life and I can’t imagine someone walking the razors edge of funk, musk, acidity, and drinkability.  It takes the best aspects of all prior saisons and unites them in defiance of a composition fallacy that I had ready to toss like critical shurikens.  One guy wanted Fou + Hommage for this bottle 2:1 and, while this will rock the Belgian lambic-curator dipshits to their core, it is hands down worth it,  It exists as a pinnacle of the most nuanced of genres and flat out runs at even clip with the best lambics I have ever had.

Past and present progressive  rusticity

Past and present progressive rusticity

Writing favorable reviews is shitty, but I have to doff my coal dusted Dickensian cap when shit operates on this tier.

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@hillfarmstead Biere de Norma BATCH 3: Garde’ing That Northern France Swagger By Way of Vermont

You might remember waaaayyyyy back in 2012, I reviewed the first batch of norma, that 180 bottle pre-Ann baller

AND THEN

I opened a batch 2 Normaa and was all pussy hurt because it wasn’t as lactic or tasty as b1. It toed the traditional BdG style guidelines and that isn’t necessarily my go to stroke material for that realm of beers.

BUT THEN FUCKING BATCH THREE CAME OUT

That top-down lighting makes everything look turbid.

That top-down lighting makes everything look turbid.

So what the fuck is happening with old Norma these days? Well it is much of a Goldilocks approach, more tart than b2, but more akin to traditional Biere de Gardes than that puckering b1. If b1 is cuddling up close to the AWA section and b2 was laying in bed with Northern French BdG’s, then b3 is somewhere in between, hanging down from the top bunk breathing hard and making both feel uncomfortable.

I still prefer batch 1, but this is a vast improvement over b2, and one of the most unique entries in the HF catalog of top tier saisons. It is not quite the acidic american wild that most bitch tickers favor these days, but it isn’t the earthy metallic biere de garde you might be expecting. Awesome cherry, red grape and merlot oak interplay with a beer that is highly drinkable without fucking your gumline like a Flanders Red. One of the best examples in the underserved BdG realm, certainly.

This is an old style but Vermont is keepin it sexy.

This is an old style but Vermont is keepin it sexy.

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@drugstorebrewer Ale Apothecary Triple Scissor Shootout: Those sub-300 bottle count bangers, for the haters.

Slowly but surely, beta tickers are starting to turn off their Tae Bo tapes and now are discovering saisons. As much as I didn’t want this to happen, like those first tufts of curlies, all those baby 2012 bitches are taking those wobbly farmhouse steps, jingling daddy’s Wallonia keys. I guess this was the logical extension of waiting on kids who were all about Black Note and KBS last year, now they have a litany of ultra-lactic, wild, high abv super saisons at their disposal and suddenly we have a new crop of saison masters.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. Those same weak peninses who thought saisons were all Hennepin and Red Barn suddenly are flexing their traps in the yard, tryna run shit. I am fine with that because I let my Biere De Garde lats swole like bat wings. So what is the deal with all these small run saisons that push the inner butthole of the American Wild Ale game? Cory King is kicking out these 400 bottle runs monthly and now has main bitches and side bitches in his Sidekick. Chase started crushing up lines of Caravienna on a CD case and letting tickers wipe it on they gums now guess who is hooked?

Today I wanna holler at these mountainous farmhouse purveyors up in Oregon. I picture head brewer, Paul Arney, doing burpees and deep dips in a hollow out spruce coolship, cooking up these super saisons turned wild ales, working on his chest piece. So it wasn’t like their “normal” lineup of Sahalie and…uh…La Tache I guess, were easy to come by. Those were already like 700 bottle runs and asspensive. So I moaned initially at the idea of having to seek out their LIMITED shit. The waiting list for their AA club is over a year long and I don’t have that kinda patience. Luckily, the PNW traders are staggeringly charitable and hooked it up.

Today we will be counting down the recent limited Ale Apothecary releases, RANKING THEM, and tossing beats along the way. Because I am not writing no 2700 words with narratives and shit.

THIRD PLACE:

We are not the same, I am a Martian, approach these cellar doors with caution

We are not the same, I am a Martian, approach these cellar doors with caution


The Ale Apothecary
Oregon, United States
Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | ABV 9% (handwritten, hard to see?)

Why is this a bitch:
270 bottles produced
Ale Club members will receive theirs automatically, leaving “100-150 up for grabs”
No bottles will be available for public retail sales

– Alright first and foremost this is by no means a “bad beer.” Not unlike the Blind BABW tasting results the competition is fierce because we are talking about top tier super saysuns/AWAs. I initially opened this super cold because I had carbonic acid issues with MASSIVE carb and gushing. It’s like AA takes a page from old Logsdon on their attenuation swag. This spill out as lively as Champagne and just sits soapy with a thick domeshot of Palmolive bubbles.

This is strange, but you welcome it lovingly.  RIEEEECHARD PARKER farmhouse swagger.

This is strange, but you welcome it lovingly. RIEEEECHARD PARKER farmhouse swagger.

– This beer is just too. fucking. sour. I know some people do naked diamond pushups and call me a pussy but the lactic profile coupled with the low ph, intense dryness, and crackly overcarbing just makes this hard for the 750ml trudge. I mean, I still finished it and really enjoyed it but god damn, it’s like going to Mormon summer camp, just running your mouthraw with that farmhouse heavy petting. This has a tart bouquet of tangerine, light bitterness like orange pith, grapefruit juiciness, and a closer that is bittering like some of the Blaugies offerings. I still killed it, would love to try it again, but this is the least balanced and more extreme of their offerings. Still def. recommended.

SECOND PLACE:

IN CASE THINGS GET TOO EXTREME INSIDE THAT ARTISANAL KNOT WILL KEEP THE CORK IN PLACE

IN CASE THINGS GET TOO EXTREME INSIDE THAT ARTISANAL KNOT WILL KEEP THE CORK IN PLACE

The Ale Apothecary
Oregon, United States
Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 10.70% ABV

Why people lose their shit over this:
SPENCER (The Dispenser of Provisions) is our annual fruit beer. In the early fall, we harvest wild blackcurrant fruit and add it to a batch of year-old SAHALIE. The sugars in the fruit produce another fermentation and the blackcurrant tannins create additional structure over the 8-month aging period. Prior to bottling, the beer is dry-hopped for a month in oak barrels. With close to 2 years in oak, Spencer has a much more developed Brettanomyces character than our other beers.
 Because of the extremely limited quantity of wild blackcurrant available, we produce only one oak barrel of Spencer every year. This beer is unlabeled and reserved exclusively for our Ale Club members.

This tart sniper looks inviting and will put you down just as fast

This tart sniper looks inviting and will put you down just as fast

– See all of that above? That reads like a romance novel for the modern beer trader. All those adjectives just create that perineum tingling that people who seek Raries just gotta have. I really enjoyed this beer and loved the riff on the same Ale Apoth offerings. This has even MORE absurd carbonation, on the same level of Sahati where you pour it and just stand back like “alright, enough already.” When this finally settles down it has a radiant golden, quasi turbid precious metal allure to it.

– This beer is less dry than Sahalien and is easily the most drinkable, the abv in all of these beers is laughably imperceptible but this one drinks like a belgian table beer and you could pull some PUNK’D stunts on your bisexual roomate with this sleeping beast. You get apricot, tart kumquat, there is light graininess to it and this would be the closest to the super saisons and less in the AWA realm. If you liked Fantome Extra Sour, you will really dig this beast. Again, highly recommended. Top tier, china white, not stepped on product.

WINRAR: THE BEER FORMERLY KNOWN AS LA TACHE AGED IN RUM BARRELS WITH WHITE PEACHES or “TBFKALTAIRBwWP” for short.

Prepare to not drink this beer.  Fucking top tier AWA/Saison, whateveruwannacallit.  It goes in hard.  Multiple climaxes,

Prepare to not drink this beer. Fucking top tier AWA/Saison, whateveruwannacallit. It goes in hard. Multiple climaxes,

The Ale Apothecary
Oregon, United States
Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | ABV ?

WHY ARE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR SHIT:
First and foremost, I think La Tache got caught up in some petty wine litigation not unlike SUCABA, because now we have this disclaimer version. I can only speculate, but any way. The base beer was fucking awesome, then they RAR’ed it hard in rum barrels, then added the WHALEFRUIT: white peaches. I think this was a 230 bottle release with most of the bottles taken to the Second Annual Portland Wild Ale Festival. I think the AAclub members then got the chance to buy maybe one? If you areolas aren’t tingling then maybe you need to go back to drinking Colette.

This doesnt fit in AWA or Super Saisons, it just stunts hard as fuqqq

This doesnt fit in AWA or Super Saisons, it just stunts hard as fuqqq

– God damn, if this is the Goldlocks paradigm, TBFKALTAIRBwWP just tears it up and is “JUSSSST RIIIITE.” If Sahalien pulled your hair too hard, but Spencer wouldn’t talk dirty to you, this is just the right amount of wrong. The balance is incredible between the juice, acidity, funk, barrel, and laughably hidden abv. The carbonation is the most retrained out of any AA offering thus far, the hue is a perfect deep orange, slightly murky, that orange and pineapple ester profile just banging, peach jolly ranchers falling in but dropping a 2/4 acidic beat, not a sticky sweetness. The nose has a muskiness, light funk that is dominated in equal parts by the acidity and juiciness which wasn’t metabolized by that high ass attenuative yeast strain. This is like if Fou Foune and b1 Persica were all tongue kissing and you are peeping through a painting with the eyes cut out. It’s that decadent and tawdry, but so fulfilling.

– The taste is fucking phenomenal top to bottom and I would be surprised if this isn’t within the realm of DDB top beers of 2014. I really can’t offer many descriptors for improvement aside from a slightly sweet cloying aspect at higher temps, light fusel presence in the low 60’s, and other nit picky shit. But in all honesty, the fruit interplay with the acidic tannic finish and caramel underpinnings of the rum barrel make for a peach jubilee that is both dry but assertive, juicy but gentle, you can take her to your parents but also pull her weave.

This is the real deal, through and through. Cannot recommend highly enough. Now I will never try this shit again because asshole DDB readers always ruin it for me on the ISO;FT boards.

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@sideprojectbrew Pulling Nails, I Finally Get My Mouth on Cory King’s Goodies

Some people readily assume that because I wasn’t a huge fan of regular/BA abaraxas and didn’t think the world of BA Sump that I somehow have a chip on my shoulder against Perennial. This is certainly not the case, and I hope today’s review communicates that effectively. I enjoyed Perennial’s light offerings, smashed that peach berliner and would bang it again repeatedly.

Since I am usually obliques deep in that farmhouse swagg, I clearly needed to get these decadent treats from Side Project in and around my mouth. Today I get to dabble in their wild program to see what the business is. Initially I was confused because people were calling this a saison, but this is straight wild, like that kid with divorced parents who doesn’t give a shit about learning long division. Buckwild on that farmhouse tip.

Don't listen to other people's classifications, follow you heart.  LISTEN TO YOUR HEART LIKE ROXETTE

Don’t listen to other people’s classifications, follow you heart. LISTEN TO YOUR HEART LIKE ROXETTE

Side Project Brewing
Missouri, United States
Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 6.00% ABV

I can dance around the stylistic nuances all day long, or you can read the commercial description and decide for yourself:

“Side Project Brewing is excited to announce the release of our first blended beer, an American Wild Ale named Pulling Nails. Pulling Nails will be a series of blended beers that explore the art of blending to create beers with extraordinary depth, complexity and balance. This will be labeled as Blend #1 and it is the blend of 4 unique beers, each of which add their own characteristics to the final beer.

These 4 beers are:

Spontaneous Wild (Lambic-style, native microflora from my family’s farm) – aged 25 months in French Oak White Wine (bright citric acid, mushroomy, musty)
Flanders Red – aged 18 months in American Oak Chambourcin Barrels (tart candy, robust oak, big acid, very light acetic)
Saison du Fermier – aged 9 months in American Oak Chardonnay Barrels (citrus and orchard fruit, billowy, delicate)
Saison de Rouge – aged 6 months in American Oak Chambourcin Barrels (Amarillo hopped, pear notes, 100% house Brett)”

So in this saison, we have lambic style microflora, french oak barrels, a Flanders red component, chardonnay barrel treatment, and Chambourcin treatment with brett all up in the cut like what. Wild as Jesse and the Rippers, leather jackets and motorcycles in the hallway.

A: This looks somewhere in between a straight up Flanders red and a Supplication stand in with those amber and light garnet tones shimmering up in that tomestem. The carb is spot on and crackly with that acrid anger that hisses in tiny bubbles, kicking and revolting on their way to timeout. The lacing is insubstantial and the way the beer settles in just APPEARS sour, if such a thing is possible. There’s no hefty residuals to calm the nerves, this shit looks sleek, svelte, bone dry, and wielding an acidic katana sword.

This is a fascinating amalgamation of different elements, but the end result is phenomenal.

This is a fascinating amalgamation of different elements, but the end result is phenomenal.

S: The nose is intensely tart and opens with a cherry, currant, ripe peach, them strawberries the size of your fist you see by the roadside, and sliced Granny smith. It is clearly intensely lactic on the nose, and the brett aspects are either entirely dominated at this point, or they need time to gather themselves. The oak is restrained and this is clearly a berry show, not the white wine matinee you paid to see. However, the berry profile isn’t some jammy adjunct fest, it’s like a crisp farmers market spritzer that captures the tannins of the fruits, rather than their explicit juices. Again, the cherry and subtle raspberry dominance reminds me of a cuvee of Supplication and Crooked Stave Batch 1, and this is a very good platform to work upon.

T: At colder temps, this beast is intensely sour. The depth of all those fun fruits and berries take a backseat for a moment to deep punishing tannins that beg for some malty discipline or complexity to even out their keel. Once it warms up a bit, the show really starts and a fantastic bouquet of Jamba Juice citrus, those acidic notes meld seamlessly into peach and fresh cut grass. This doesn’t present a huge brett profile at any juncture, however, there is a certain joie de vivre of earthiness like a rye presence in the closer that keeps all of the fruits and acids in check. That slightly bitter mushroom closer gives a faint oaky and metallic presence to provide a more rounded approach from the single note Cascade and Upland offerings that sometimes kick your jaw inside our and give you no solace.

It is important to enjoy a nice wild farmhouse romp every once and again

It is important to enjoy a nice wild farmhouse romp every once and again

M: This is very dry and after your first pour you will feel your gums grumbling about mistreatment, asking to see HR. This strips the valleys of your mouth of that mossy coating you maintain and leaves a raw tender shell of a face, bursting with berry goodness. There is a give and take, for each sip imparts an impartial love but cuts deeper, like when you eat Flaming Hot Cheetos and simply cannot stop the mouth abuse, chaining your own demise. It is punitive but thoroughly enjoyable.

D: The formula for this could succincly be stated (Smell + Taste) / Mouthfeel, the greater the sum of S+T, the larger integer presented for the ultimate drinkability payoff. If you can’t handle intensely acidic sours, this might not be your 160 bpm club smasher. However, for those of a more solid constitution, maybe you push yourself to that realm, skull an entire bottle and let your orthodontist figure it out. This could go either way, but drinking this beer is an absolute pleasure and a phenomenal take on arguably one of the most contested styles. Nothing DDB could offer could diminish what this beer has already accomplished, a tip of the acidic bowler to Mr. King.

Now I need to reach out and get more of these inaccessible, low bottle count shredders.  lick.

Now I need to reach out and get more of these inaccessible, low bottle count shredders. lick.

Narrative: The Jennings farm had seen better days, economically and agriculturally. The simple plot of 50 acres was home to the best cherries in the tri-state area for 3 generations, that is until Impact Confections moved into the adjoining parcel. Most of the simple folks in Shamsville, Missouri had never even heard of Atomic Warhead candies before they moved into town, now you could scarcely visit the general store without hearing about some new sour-based upset. “SO NOW TREVIN’S DENTIST BILLS ARE SKY HIGH. The nerve of this candy joint!” one local resident boomed, fuming while she purchased her sundries. Dirk Jennings shook his head and lamented, “boy she ain’t got the half of it, turns out their acidic stores have tapped into my underground well, now all my cherries are plum puckerin’ like a bovine b-hole at milking time.” His statement was not entirely hyperbole. The fruits from the farm had absorbed copious amounts of citric acid, changing his old farm into something wildly different. “I mean, I try to pick ’em, but my gloves get all itchy and I come in smelling like lemon zest and sour peaches, that ain’t no cherry pickin’ way,” Mr. Jennings bemoaned. The times were changing, simple farmhouses needed to adapt to the tart reality of modern consumerism. If someone isn’t exceedingly sour or demonstrably wild, the average customer might just drive right on past the simple old farms dotted along that Missouri interstate. You can ask the old Hennepin’s up in north county if you don’t believe me. The world done passed them by.

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7venth Sun Saison Extreme, TAKING YOUR FARMHOUSE TO THE XXXXTREME!!! DO THE BELGIAN DEW!

Happy 12.12.12, make a wish if you happen to be a 13 year old girl, or someone who is creaming his jeans for some Stone release. For those of you who are knee deep in trade bullet casings, ducking in the trenches and lobbing Cable Car grenades, you know about 7venth Sun. You know about their 30 bottle runs, you know they have those banging Berliners that Funky Buddha and Wakefield had been pumping in the streets; but what about their Saisons? We already looked at Swamphead to see what the business is, but what about an even smaller brewery that is burning up the underground like Mike Jones? Let’s see if Florida can slang hot beats in today’s review:

Get your Ecto Cooler and Gogurt, this is gonna get exxxxtreme

Get your Ecto Cooler and Gogurt, this is gonna get exxxxtreme

7venth (Seventh) Sun Brewery
Florida, United States
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 8.50% ABV

A: First off, I had this in both the growler and in one of the (~30?) bottles, but I sent one of those bottles to a solid homie, so this is ONLY a growler review, ya dig? Well, I cannot say that this is extreme in the saison world, it actually seems refined and gentle like a John Updike novel. Run Farmhouse Run. The carbonation was still pretty generous considering the cross-contiental journey. The color was a light copper bordering on dark gold with nice lacing that streaked the glass like so many BIFs that I have seen.

This beer is refined and yet savage at the same time.

This beer is refined and yet savage at the same time.

S: The nose was extremely spicey and had a light touch of fusel elements, YOU KNOW ABOUT THOSE DAMN FUSELERS. There’s some white pepper, clove, and a touch of that sweetness you smell in Djarum smokes. There is a bit of musk but it really made me wish that I had the Brett version of this, BRETGERS CANT BE CHOOSERS.

T: This is a fairly standard execution in that it presents a nice wheat grist to it, a bit of lavender in a way, the clove and honey aspects are preserved, and this deep floral aspect like I just made love in a pastoral thicket to a woman or a confused young man. However you like it. It is tough to really pick this apart because this is essentially the Nissan Altima of saisons in that it presents all of the things that are required, doesn’t go apeshit on ABV or extremely lactic, no barrels were involved, no one has a black eye or torn Juicy Couture sweat pants. All is well.

Ehhh...noooo....Mr. Saison no es home...

Ehhh…noooo….Mr. Saison no es home…

M: This is slightly dry but there are enough residual sugars to sustain the day. The floral aspect lingers on but not in a hoppy manner, just a sort of hibiscus dipper in agave nectar sort of execution. Reviewing this beer is tough because it is like when someone goes “Was Wicker Park good?” and you be like “ehhh, it wasn’t bad, but I don’t see it landing on AFI’s top saisons list” and the metaphor gets all diced up.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and masks the ABV well, despite the slight tinge of heat on the nose. There is a variety of the old saison favorites, with a subtle twist, like the difference between No Strings Attached and that other movie that was exactly the same, released the same year. It is not like Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Observe and Report where one is clearly shittier, this is a solid saison that would warm your heart if only 1) you could find it and 2) you weren’t such a jaded beer ticking asshole.

Theft never gets anyone anywhere.

Theft never gets anyone anywhere.

Narrative: Adelbrecht Herjj was having a hard time adjusting to his contemporaries in Jacksonville, Florida. For starters, he was a pasty white obese Belgian man who looked not unlike Tintoretto. For seconds, he was not a Jaguars fan, nor did he even understand the basic tenants of the violent American past time. Santaesque or not, he moved to Florida clutching the American Dream, knowing that Florida was one state where liberty reigned and Deomcracy was truly pure. Adelbrecht wished to move to the Sunshine state and start his very own farmhouse, complete with apiary and meadery. Things started off rough when the corrupt Jacksonville government fined him for unlicensed zoning, water usage, and reindeer breeding. The last item was largely overlooked, but the problems still remained. Adel set out his koelship tanks and exhaled in dismay, “THINK ADELBRECHT, what do the Americans like…” he looked askance and saw a CornNuts package with a menacing character on the label, questioning his extremeness. “EXTREMENESS! That is IT!” The sleepy Belgian brewery overnight became an X-Games sensation when he let BMX Legend Dave Mirra carve hardcore in his Brite Tanks. His saisons were also XXXTREME when he decided to serve them IN A ROLLERBLADE. In summer months, partons were free to climb the grain silos and base jump off the roof into spent grain. Things became distinctly EXTREME and Belgian at the same. Damn. Time.

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New Glarus Thumbprint Saison, Wisconsin Get Its Hand on The Farmhouse Style and Straight Up Fumbles

SAISON MARATHON SOMETIMES REVIEWS MEDIOCRE SAISONS.

Let me say this at the outset, this is not a BAD saison. In fact, it is dead on and falls directly in line with what you would expect from an American take on the Belgian style. That is the whole problem, it is too predictable and ultimately is the most frustrating type of review to write because it is too conformist, too gentle, for some what would not even register as a bad thing, however, in the realm of top tier heavy hitters that we are addressing, this comes off as more of a sessionable belgian golden with aspects of saison interplay. Enough bitchassness and complaining, let’s get on this grizzy.

New Glarus always delivers, just sometimes not to my tastes.

New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 6.50% ABV

A: This is a beautiful beer, let’s just get that out of the way. The carbonation is not excessive and the lacing is pretty like nana’s doilie collection. There is a radiant golden hue to it that almost reminds me of a Belgian Tripel with some deep gold at the center. It looks refreshing and substantial at the same time like a Charlie Kaufman screenplay.

This is not an exceptionally dramatic saison.

S: This is where they bust out the cookie cutter and makes it fall in line with the ultra-predictable saisons and borderline, dare I say it, Hennepin levels. If we are looking for some crazy lactic element or a crazy blast of funk, this is not where you will hang your hat. You get a nice cornbread waft from it, a light spice, some very faint lemon rind, some banana but more like the yellow runts type of banana and finally a light grassiness.

T: This follows the nose almost congruently and presents the wheat and chewy bready aspect, some recumbent light spice, and closes with a honey meets sod sort of execution. Again, this is not bad at all, but you drink it, the glass is empty, and you carry on with your stamp collection. Nothing to really say about the lingering aspects or any level of ruminating necessary. For some people, the lack of impression might be the hallmark of a refreshing farmhouse ale. For me, this just kinda comes across like a John Hughes movie that isn’t memorable but is temporarily uplifting.

This is a sweet loving beer, but it might not executing things exactly as you hoped.

M: This has a light chewiness to it and a lingering honey finish to it but the refreshing watery aspect is the overriding aspect to this beer. I am not sure if this is sold in 4 packs but it seems to be less of a special occasion saison and more of a “I fucking hate my daughter’s dance recitals” sort of every day beer. In this aspect, it is phenomenal. Usually when I am opening a saison, it is caged and corked and feels like a substantial event, but this beer makes it more of an approachable glory hole where you don’t feel bad for wasting it.

D: If you missed it, this is exceptionally drinkable, but not necessarily the best saison evar. It is kinda like that person you rent Redbox movies with and make out with but know that there’s no lasting potential in this one. Wisconsin fanboys might lose their shit over this appraisal, but seriously go drink Squatters Fifth Element and tell me those two are comparable “but they are totally different beers” yeah I know, and I enjoy one more than another, zero fucks given.

Don’t think about it so hard, take it, put it in your face hole.

Narrative: Julia was never really tall for her age, or exceptionally intelligent for her grade. She not an unremarkable 5 feet 5 inches, shoulder length brown hair, enjoyed baking and flagging innocuous items on Pintrest. When she went to clubs, she would order a vodka soda and keep her composure and remain poised in an unnoteworthy Bebe dress. No one would fault Julia for not taking risks, some would applaud her conservative presentation. Her favorite book is 1984 and she enjoyed watching One Tree Hill. No one is saying that there is anything wrong with that. Somehow, on those lingering coffee dates, all of her courtesans would secretly long for something more deviant, something funky, acidic, or a hateful streak to compliment their own shortcomings. She was too supplicant for the general public for the simple reason that she was just what the world needed.

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Wyerbacher Seventeen Saison. Orange Peel Lemon Peel Grapefruit Peel- NOW YOU KNOW IT IS REAL

Man there is a ton going on with this beer, yes I know, yet another saison from Pennsylvania. Wahwahwah, “my state did not get enough love” well maybe your state and my liver have a disconnect. I will get to every saison…EVENTUALLY. Ok the first thing that raised my eyebrow is the label, this shit has more going on than a Bruce Gillian movie. “Brewed with orange peel, lemon peel, grapefruit peel and pink peppercorns.” That is quite a bit of things, and usually when there is that much going on my bullshit detectors go off and wonder “what happened to the base beer that they needed all this shit?” But I approach everything with a Fair and Balanced approach, like Fox News, so let’s get this shit.

It is like Sunny D made in a farmhouse. Purple drank omitted.

Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 10.50% ABV

A: Holy hell, just take a look at that, it looks like straight up Tampico or Sunny D. I have seen my fair share of orangey orange but this is dead on and pours almost like a wild ale or a gueuze in appearance. There is zero carbonation, zero lacing, zero head: this beer is not fucking around. Maybe the 10.5% abv had something to do with that, but it looks more like a hardass who just posts up on the wall at school dances and doesn’t even like Tony Rich Project. Saisons are supposed to be relaxing, this beer makes me feel tense and worry about the state of my farm.

This saison just goes apeshit and ends up being unimpressive as a result. Chill out bro.

S: Holy fucking fusel. This sets its high octane foot forward more like a poorly integrated belgian tripel and lets you know that it is here you rape your nostrils and your mouth is next. The peppercorn and clove spice is there but it is like a bunch of Liliputians pulling down the hugh abv monster. I don’t think that this is de facto supposed to smell like this, Fantome Extra Sour had 10% abv and drank like a sweet summer day. This just smells boozy and completely off style for something I am supposed to be able to drink in a Big Gulp cup while I take my ex-wife to the clinic.

T: This continues the painful narrative from the last section and busts open your lip with a hot booziness at the outset that subsides into an artificial tasting citrus element and a weird lemon pledge sort of finish to it. Like a naive 14 year old girl, I keep returning to this loser at 19 year old saison boyfriend. The citrus elements are there to balance out all of the madness going on with the booze, lemon, and Pine Sol aspects going on in the background. It is like when your “most sober” friend stands at the door to talk to the cops, but smells like gin and rocket fuel. Everyone’s parents are getting called.

Because I love saisons, I would reluctantly accept this again. Discretely.

M: This is sticky and sweet, then boozy and hot, then dry and awkward. It is basically like high school sex. If this is a saison, then I can hang up the saison mantle and retire knowing that I have been dunked in the River of Styx and reborn. I suspect that they made this, added a fuckload of produce and then Mr. Weyerbacher (or whatever) was like “alright, someone’s ass is on the line, we tried to do a saison like Avery, now we have this” and then did dude was like “hey my housekeeper knows a produce guy (potentially racist)” and then the added some pepper.

D: This is not at all drinkable, I mean, unless you just got into beer and high ABV still gives you a fat chub, but why would Dogfish Head patrons read this site? I am not stoked to finish this 12oz bottle and I sure as shit would not be jonesing to put up some awesome bottles to land moar of this. I guess if you wanted to teach your kids not to drink saisons like Uncle Donald did with the triplets, you would serve them this and they’d get hella sick and avow to stay away from farmhouse ales. That is what this beer is for, teaching baby ducks a lesson.

Don’t crack this open expecting any amazing surprises.

Narrative: In between harvests, Jacob Miller sat in lower Harlem peddling for change. His ill fitting overalls and straw hat were almost anachronistic in the area. He would clank his scythe against the sidewalk and scream obscenities about tilling the land and crop rotation, much to the dismay of the passing masses. He was an outspoken farmer, seeking to ride the coattails of farms he had not tilled, wanting harvests he had not planted. Jacob had a thing or two to learn about the gentle agrarian ways. It wasn’t always about being a loud asshole and pestering people by convincing them that he at one time was somehow involved in agriculture. Most people questioned whether he was a real farmer at all, particularly since the nearest farm was nowhere near Manhattan. One day Jacob found a worn out kazoo and began to rail at onlookers with hit base pageantry. None present were impressed. Splattering mud all over Tommy Hilfiger overalls does not make you an artisan farmer and being loud and overbearing hardly helps one’s cause.