Regular readers are well aware of my fondness for Saisons (aka Farmhouse Ales). My fascination with this style goes way back to Philly Beer Week 2010 when I read an article in the Philadelphia Weekly where both Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Bill Covaleski of Victory Brewing Company mentioned Saison Dupont as their answer to the following question:
Immediately after reading that article, I hunted that beer down and wrote it up. That beer lived up to the hype (and then some!) and made me an instant fan of Saisons.
A couple of months ago, we received an email from The Breury’s marketing manager asking if we were interested in reviewing their variation on a Farmhouse Ale, a tart Saison that they call Saison Ardennes. Given that I am already a fan of this beer style, I obviously agreed to accept a sample to review with Limpd.
Before we get to our review, here’s what Breury Terreux has to say about their Saison Ardennes:
Saison Ardennes is a tart saison, hand-crafted to embody the dependable, spirited nature of a classic Belgian-style farmhouse ale. This includes a crisp malt profile, rustic floral and spice notes and lively carbonation. Our rendition expresses further depth and character from its fermentation and maturation in a large oak foeder. Saison Ardennes will continue to pleasantly evolve in the bottle, thanks to the presence of wild yeast added for bottle conditioning.
And now for our impressions of this funky-licious sounding beer…
- Appearance: Slightly cloudy pale orange color with thick and fluffy off-white foam that settles down to a thin layer.
- ABV: 6.3%
- Limpd: The tartness really comes through on the nose. Also getting green apples, lime rinds, wheat bread, and some baking spices.
- G-LO: Citrusy at first with some lemon-pepper notes coming through. After that, there’s some clove and farmhouse ale funkiness. Old MacDonald would love this. E-I-E-I-O indeed!
- Limpd: Crisp and refreshing with a bit of sweetness at the start. But then the tartness kicks in and puts that to an end, which is not to say that that it was an unpleasant tartness coming through. Au contraire, Mes Amis! The tartness on this beer is far less puckering than the nose suggested, and also quite delightful.
- G-LO: Light and slightly fizzy with soft, creamy carbonation. Starts off mildly tart with a pleasant lemony bite. That pepperiness and clove from the nose kicks in at mid-palate. Crisp, dry, and lemony with a mild astringency in the finish. Leaves you with a peppery lemon pucker in the aftertaste.
Limpd: With the words tart and saison on the label, I was a little worried that G-LO had stumbled upon yet another palate wrecker beer for me to try that would leave me boo-hoo-hooing all the way back to my hacienda. You know, like taking a bite out of a persimmon and pretending that it’s something you would actually enjoy eating. Thankfully, the first sip of this beer put my mind at ease. The Saison Ardennes was a great change of pace from my usual stouts and porters. This was a really well crafted beer! My only regret is that G-LO isn’t much of a host, i.e. some cured meats and cheeses would have been a fine accompaniement to this food friendly brew. Curse you, G-LO!
G-LO: It’s been quite awhile since I’ve had any farmhouse funk in my life. As a city kid, I am of course referring to farmhouse ale funk and not the actual funk from an actual farmhouse, as I am not a fan of barnyard animal and manure aromas. Anywho… Saison Dupont. Goose Island Sofie. Boulevard Tank 7. Love em all! They’re dry, delicious, and absolutey killer with a wide variety of food. This Saison Ardennes from Breury Terreux is right up there with those solid gold brews, and thanks to that citrusy bite, it brings something a little different to the table. My only complaint is that I don’t have another bottle. To the brewmobile!