Not as mainstream sexy as barrel-aged anything, sours, or double IPAs, but I sure do love a great Saison. With Lion Bridge having had 2 excellent saison releases and Big Grove releasing their own Saison, I’ve been spoiled recently and I know found a bottle to join my Tank 7 and Saison-Brett fix.
Knowing I was going to have a group of friends visiting this past weeekend I knew a beer tasting would be inevitable. I really wanted to find something that they would all enjoy and I know we’ve all loved tasting different Saisons in the past. So, with that thought, I headed over to Benz Beverage Depot asked the staff what they recommend and Blackberry Farm was the winner. I recently only heard of Blackberry Farm from some Twitter posts and was liking what I was reading but I didn’t know that they were distributed to Iowa, so it was definitely a pleasant surprise to see them offered at Benz as I haven’t seem them at the Hy-Vees I visit. Another fantastic offering brought to us from the folks at Abu Nawas distributing!
Ok, the tasting was terrific and this beer shined. Citrus on the nose, with earthy hop aroma. Hazy golden pour with a nice thick white head. Lemon zest and apricots dominate the flavor profile with some wheat and earthiness on the finish. With a relatively mild Iowa fall day, this beer really hit the spot and I wish I would have made some shrimp to seafood to pair with it. More on this beer from the brewery:
Saison “Classic Saison” This is a Belgian-style farmhouse ale. The aroma is dominated by fruity esters reminiscent of citrus fruits along with a moderate earthy and floral hop aroma from the use of Noble-type hops in the brewing process. Has a deep gold, hue that is often hazy, and a voluminous head on pouring as a result of the bottle-conditioning and high natural carbonation. The beer is medium-bodied and has a very refreshing effervescence which, along with a fairly low alcohol content of 6% by volume, makes this a beer to be enjoyed on a warm day by itself or with a wide range of foods, whether casual or fine dining. Complex flavors and aromas in this beer are a result of the special yeast used in fermentation combined with the additional complexity added by bottle-conditioning in large bottles for at least six weeks before being released.
I was very impressed with this beer. If you enjoy Tank 7, enjoy Lion Bridge’s Cucumber Saison or their new Sorachi Liberace Saison, Hennepin, and other offerings we can get here than this is a beer for you to try. $14.99 price tag for a 750 corked and caged bottle was well worth and a beer I will definitely revisit. Researching Blackberry Farm has given me a reason to possibly take a visit to Tennessee as they do many special releases as well. Check them out folks, keep their beers coming!
PURCHASED AT: Benz beverage depot
POUR: straw gold with a massive head
AROMA: lemon zest, citrus, wheat
TASTE: lots of lemon zest, apricots, wheat/earthiness
RATEBEER.COM RATING: 95/100
BEERADVOCATE RATING: 89/100
My recommendation: If you’re not a Saison fan, you probably don’t want to drop $15 on a 750 ml of this. However, if you dig saisons the $15 is well-worth the price in my opinion. Every trip I make to Benz will consist of a purchase of some Blackberry Farm beer from now on.