A holiday gift from my brother Tim. Brewed by Brasserie Fantome in collaboration with Beancurdturtle Brewing. 8% abv. Capped and corked 750ml bottle with a fun Ghost Turtle logo. Pours a rich copper color with a fluffy white head that lasts forever. Good Belgian lace. Clove, white pepper, honey, and vegetative aromas burst out of bottle and fill the room! First sip is amazing. Great carbonation but a silky smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel. Hops and pepper flavors at finish, with a lingering brettanomyces yeast funk. Sweetness kicks in halfway through the first glass with berries, dried apricots, and candy sugar flavors. Lemon zest hop kick comes in late as well. It gets drier and drier with each sip, with a touch of oak woodiness. Flavors keep coming with pear skin, herbs, light banana bread, and those old school sugar powdered lemon drop candies. No alcohol presence at all…this is going down way too quickly…and at 8% you have to be careful! I am a sucker for a great saison and I am thoroughly enjoying this one.
Hill Farmstead Brewery and Brasserie de Blaugies, La Vermontoise, Dour, Belgium
The brewers at Hill Farmstead traveled to Dour, Belgium to collaborate on a saison beer with the brewers at Brasserie de Blaugies. I got this as a gift from my brother Tim, he picked it up at Redstone Liquors in Stoneham, MA. 6% abv. Made with Amarillo hops.
Pours a murky yellow gold color with an enormous frothy cauliflower head that tries to climb right out of the glass. Ridiculous Belgian lace. Beautiful aroma of cloves, cardamom, white pepper, citrus, and fresh banana bread. First sip is cloves and pepper, but some fruity pear, golden raisin, and apple skin notes as well. Pretty clean, ridiculously drinkable, and smooth, but it finishes with a great tart funk and a citrusy hop bite. I am plowing through this 750ml bottle pretty quickly, thankfully it is relatively low abv. This is a beer that you could drink all night long. I am a sucker for a good saison and this one is very solid.
Victory Brewing Company, Whirlwind Witbier, Downington, PA
I first had this 13 years ago and it looks like the label has gotten a facelift. 5.1% abv. I really love the aroma. Belgian yeast gives it an authentic witbier smell and taste. Excellent carbonation and amazingly refreshing mouthfeel that is incredibly suited to summer backyard BBQ sessions. Subtle but complex flavors include black pepper, clove, coriander, wheat crust, and a touch of lemon and orange zest at finish. This really is an excellent American witbier. Pair it up with some savory sausages or sweet Belgian waffles, you can’t go wrong either way.