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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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New Glarus Raspberry Tart, Get your Epipens, This is Going to Be a Sweet One

People love this beer. Girls have 100% enjoyed this beer, every single time. Let’s clarify, not in a sexist generalization treating women as a homogenous group, I mean every girl that I have ever poured this for has really enjoyed it. I do not like this beer. When I am drinking beer, it is to forget about the puppy that urinates on everything in my life. When I am eating fruit, it is due to the guilt of drinking too much. Put simply, I don’t need these two worlds to collide in equal parity. New Glarus is the shit, but this beer is anything but. Anyway, step on these berries, let’s get it:

I lost my old pic of this beer, I took it with a Blackberry anyway, so you know that shit would have been in monochrome or something.

New Glarus Raspberry Tart 4.0% fruit beer

A: There is a deep ruby he that almost appears like a muted amber, huge deep red foamy carbonation that leaves very little lacing. There is miminal sheeting and this seriously just looks like a glass of juice or something you give to your toddler in a sippy cup. Hell, in Wisconsin, anything is possible. This beer is on some top 100 lists so apparently someone loves this beer. Some people liked the ending of Vanilla Sky too, fucked if I know.

I don’t know what needs more refinement, my palate or the gallons of fruit sugars in this beer. It’s perfect for the Wisconsin clubs, bottles in the basket pills in the plastic.

S: The bouquet smells overwhelmingly like raspberries, fruit preserves, sweet flowers, and a slight wine/cabernet finish. This is just already far too sweet, I can go buy a bag of Skittles, this just takes things to excessive levels.

T: The sweetness from the raspberries is present and accounted for, almost overwhelmingly. The sweetness has a cider character to it and subsides into an intense dryness with an incredible crisp finish like biting into a granny smith apple, only, raspberry.

I feel like I am too old for this beer or maybe it is reserved for people who read Marie Claire. The correlation is astounding.

M: The mouthfeel has zero coating, zero stickiness, and washes away crisp and clean. There isn’t a whole lot to comment on here since this beer barely toes inside the beer framework. I know there is a cadre of dedicated NG kids who love this beer, I am an adult, I don’t need to drink a cup of Torani syrup to enjoy a beer. Grow up, get high octane, or go the lambic route. This beer just wasn’t my jam, but I will preserve the record for others to PRODUCE.

D: If not for the sugary-juice overload, this would be a incredibly drinkable beer. It presents great utility to those “black sheep” or the XX chromosomal order who “don’t like beer” or “beer makes them feel bloated.” This is an undercover beer that emotes like a crisp cider and presents the ambrosial delight of a champagne. Strictly speaking, I wouldn’t buy this again or seek it out, but that’s largely due to the style. If I was on a boat with some dour faced sad girls, I would provide it like a benevolent Spuds Mckenzie.

This beer ganks your sweet zones with a robble robbel swag.

Narrative: ::TOOOOOT!!!:: the olde timey steam whistled hissed signaling the end of another shift. The stern overseer, Rose Juiceworthington, kept a watchful eye over the employees of the Smuckers’ canning line and made sure that her will was enacted to the T. “Williams! My office, NOW!” the loudspeaker boomed. Williams, soaked in mashed raspberries had a sweet winsome disposition, but a sordid past. “I have seen you down there, slowing on the mashing. . .what’s so funny?” Williams raised raised her glanced slowly, then swiftly smashed a can of raspberry preserves over Ms. Juiceworthington’s head, sending her cascading backwards into a molten pit of bubbling preserves. The gasps for breath made sweet gurgles and Williams nodded a sticky sweet approving nod, not to be confronted again.

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New Glarus R and D Gueuze, S you in your A’s, don’t wear a C, and J all over your B’s

A gueuze? From Wisconsin? Let me hold your horses for you, because I know everyone is gonna get all up in arms about how this is only a “belgian style” imitation of a “real gueuze” and all the trappings that come with that madness. Take a deep breath. I know, this isn’t a blend of three different years of lambic, shhh, hush. People in the midwest need nice things too, so let’s just proceed under the impression that this awesome beer can be called a gueuze, everyone wins in today’s review.

Do you enjoy fine print on your beer bottles? Well sir, you are in luck.

New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
American Wild Ale | 6.20% ABV

1,900 bottles
Brewed March 24, 2009
Bottled August 6, 2010

Brewed in the tradition of the Lambics of Belgium but using a blend of Ale Yeast, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, and Acetobacter. These microorganisms came from our culture collection as well as many collected by Dan around the wilds of Wisconsin! Fermented and aged in Oak. This beer spent the summer of 2009 aging outdoors in used oak barrels, then bottle fermented.

A: The glass has a strange murkiness to it with a clear yellow hue and fluffy white lacing. It is more carbed than I was expecting for the style but, no complaints resounded through the mahogany walls. You’d probably like a picture of the pour right? Well too damn bad, I took that pic with a Blackberry, you’re lucky those janky things even had a camera at all.

This is a blend of some familiar aspects of different styles, but the result is still equally bad ass.

S: There is a tart Ginger ale smell to it. It is not exactly acerbic, but it is certainly sour. Is it the most sour Belgian offering that I have come across? No. But it is not disappointing. There are small bubbles that break and cascade artfully like a Rubens painting. This is just one note granny smith apples, not exceptionally funky or complex, but as refreshing as puppy chow when those Social Security checks run out.

T: Again, this is not overly tart but it has a great grape skin quality to it. There is an element of mild drying some white grape on the finish, but redundancy is redundant. There’s not that big doghouse musk to it that I look for in funky gooezy oferings, but the tartness and acidic lemon zest aspects make this wild ale pretty enjoyable, just not altogether a “gueuze” per se.

My face when this beautiful wild ale hit my glass, straight cowabunga.

M: After the mellow “gueuze” taste, which was more pedio with a slight acidity (read: not gueuze) it mellowed out into this thin, wispy crackling Pan that enchanted the nostrils more than the palate. It doesn’t coat, it doesn’t dry, it just rolls in, hangs out for 4 seconds and then peaces out, leaving its card on your Ikea coffee table. That is all.

D: Given the fact that this beer is so non-commital, it is a great Bachelorette Contestant, but it is a substandard gueuze. I don’t feel that this imparts enough to be worth the effort to obtain it. This is a great beer but trades for much higher than it imparts. You could land a Tilquin or a 3F Oude Gueuze and be all set. Take it with a grain of salt but this is not my favorite representation of the style and there must be a BETTER WAY. But seriously, I don’t feel like paying Lexus premiums for a Prius. This is good, just not as good as the hype would declare.

It would take a hell of a lot of gueuze to get you to this level, usually you are doubled over in a different position.

Narrative: “I like the pink room next to the PURPLE ROOOO-” The new season of the Bad Girls Club would be taxing on Jeremiah’s nerves, for another 3 months. It wasn’t the girls, it wasn’t running the camera, it was just the incessant vapid statements that pulled him limb from limb. “I’m just saying like, not even gonna lie, if someone ever, ok let’s just say, no one can run this place-” He counted the subordinate phrases, not a single statement to be derived from entire sentence. The sweetness of the premise, the light tartness of the girls in passing conversation, and the smell of chardonnay throughout the house was welcoming. “OH NO SHE DI’NT! I AM FINNA SHOW HER WHAT TIME IT ISSSS!!!” but ultimately, this offering was not a show at all really, it was a conglomerate of other base emotions melded into a single unerring gaze through fake eyelashes and colored contact lenses.

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New Glarus Berliner Weiss, Some Words to the Weis- ARGH

I figured since it is the last day of the year, might as well burn out some sick terse reviews to tie up loose ends before another 365 days of telling people not to drink beer.

Here goes:

Wisconsin meets Berlin, with sick results.

This beer is pretty legit, nice tartness with a musky hay funk to the nose. I could session this beer so hard, were I to have any leaves to rake, I would be all over this. There’s a lemon zest and since it is retired, YOU CAN TASTE THE RARE. I guess rare tastes a bit like a sour cheese finish.

This beer is sadly gone, retired, and not easy to come by anymore. colon left parenthesis. Serious gravity.

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New Glarus Laughing Fox. The Midwest is no Laughing Matter.

Go ahead, laugh at the fox. It only shows your own insecurities.

New Glarus Laughing Fox, Kristal Weizen, 4.5% abv

Alright, enough beating up on other states, time to enjoy winter in Wisconsi- ok fine, on with the review.

A: Well I get the weizen, there’s a deep gold hue like those peddlers in those rich diverse ethnic markets in Milwaukee [FN1 never been there.] It has a rich foamy frothy carbonation that is astounding. Literally, I polished my monocle and pulled a double take at the soapy overflow. Been polishing my monocle quite a bit recently.

S: This has a great cinnamon, clove, banana and belgian trappist ester finish to it. Smells like nana’s blanket that she cools pies upon. New Glarus burned me so bad with the Wisconsin Red and Tart that that Berliner Weiss and R+D Geuze brought me back to neutral, this might just win me over.

This beer makes me feel like I am the butt of an intelligent joke that I just don't apprehend.

T: This is difficult to describe because it’s like describing the absence of a quality to prove its existence, the old History channel/John Locke/every epistemologist way of things. I hope you are very perceptive because the banana and clo- its gone. That fast. This makes the taste of Rolling Rock seem resonant by contrast. I feel like posting a Craigslist missed encounters ad because the half second is so sweet. But, then again, my inbox is already full of so many penis .gifs, I will refrain.

M: Well, imagine the evanescent taste and- yup the mouthfeel is gone. Are you even drinking beer? It’s an exercise in rationalism, its like ding an sich, I dont know if this beer really exists because it is a ghost and I have almost no faculty to apprehend it. Grasping at the watery malt phantom is frustrating and perhaps brilliant marketing because the glass just menacingly drains. I am like the reverse version of Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, you know when he, wait what?

It aspires to greatness, but, something is off.

D: I guess extremely? This depends on if you enjoy your beers seen and not heard [FN2 tasted.] You could seem like a complete champion drinking a case of these at a party, providing you take your old cranberry pills first. Just, lots of urine, that’s basically what I am getting at here. The sweet lil honey ester kiss is like a 5th grade smooch and then, boom gone, and you’re left with empty beer bottles, just like 5th grade. Cursive is hard.

Narrative: It wasn’t that Devin Manning had a disinterest in the corporeal world. I mean sure, he wanted to pass on into the aether, but his attention span was so limited that “fulling his higher purgatorial obligations” just seemed so daunting. “Charles? Come try this pie for me, mmm careful!” Devin would swoop over and inhabit Charles’s mouth for a moment, and then rush away to investigate what was just purchased at Sharper Image. “GOD DAMNIT DEVIN,” phastasmagorial overseer translord of ward IV, aka Ghost Boss, boomed through the house. “Devin, fulfill their palates with flavor, you’re clearly not trying. Do you even give a shit about heaven? Do you want to meet Beatrice?” Devin just gave a weak mealymouthed reply and pushed chinese checkers balls around idly. “Ahhhh, I dont care if this family dont got enough sense to use coriander or boost protein dishes with boullion stock, WHAT’S THAT MY OLD BUSINESS!” Ghost Boss looked down his will o’ the wispy brow and stated solemly, “Devin, you are a flavor ghost of the lower order, you give people with very little taste a fleeting glimpse at greater things, you are fulfilling a debt for listening to Semisonic and the Spin Doctors. You see you lived a life completely devoid of any real taste.” Devin stopped listening and began rifling through a nearby drawer of Dubstep cds. “GOD DAMNIT THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO TASTE.”