Based in Denver Colorado, one of the top craft beer capitals in the US, it can be tough to stand out. Crooked Stave Artisanal Beer Project has managed to just that. They made for themselves brewing sour and farmhouse style brews along with using special yeast strands and barrel aging. Most of their beers are made in small limited run batches and once one batch is gone they move on to the next. Today we’re going to take a look at their Vieille Artisanal Saison.
Vieille Saison is a classic take on a French style Saison that is barrel aged and dry hopped to give it a little hoppy aroma and taste.
Pour: A really nice golden color with a bit of haze. Not much of head, small and off white fading quickly.
Nose: Very fragrant, the aromas just pour out of the glass. You can smell the yeast with of hint a tartness behind it. Very faint notes of hops with a touch of citrus.
Palate: Reminds more of almost a white wine, slightly dry with ripe pear at the end. Almost no hop presence what so ever, you can taste the yeast over the hops. The finish is quick and clean with a balanced dryness, slight creaminess from the oak and no acidity at all.
Overall: Not what I was expecting but really cool take on a classic style. I was expecting more of dryness to this but it drank more like a South African Chablis with its hints of oak and pear. I really enjoyed this and would recommend to this to someone looking for something a little outside the box with awesome flavor. Looking forward to more to come from Crooked Stave.
Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Pints
The Left Hand Brewery in Longmont, Colorado opened for business on January 22, 1994. Started by college buddies Dick Doore and Eric Wallace, the idea first came to light when Dick received a home brewing kit from his brother in the early 1990’s. Their first attempt was Sawtooth Ale, which has since become Left Hand’s most popular brew. Today, Doore and Wallace make over 3 dozen beers, distributed in 29 states.
Pour: A light pinkish hue, with mild carbonation.
Head: Very thin and airy, disappears quickly without leaving anything behind.
Nose: Pretty standard farmhouse aromas, mostly wheat with a little fruit on the end.
Palate: Dry and crisp, lighter than one might expect. Not as much wheat from the nose, there is some hint of cherry on the end but very mild. Finish is clean with some acidity.
Overall: Much lighter than other Saisons I’ve had a lately. Not as much spice and would have enjoyed a little more fruit but still an easy summer sipper. A nice pairing with roasted chicken, Middle Eastern food or creamy style cheeses.
Terrapin has been making world class craft beers in Athens, Georgia since 2002. With a portfolio that boasts over three dozen labels, it is safe to say that Terrapin offers something for everyone! Anyone who has tried one a Terrapin knows they make great craft beer. Their Rye Pale created a huge buzz, winning a Gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and put them on the map.
ABV: 5.5 IBU:22
Pour: Nice amber color with plenty of carbonation swirling from the bottom.
Head: Creek colored and frothy. 2 finger head forms and slows fades away
Nose: Malty with hints of spice. Some peaches sneaks in the back to bring this together.
Palate: Pretty light, the peaches are low key but come out mid-sip and stay through the finish. Hints of malt and almost no spice on the clean finish.
Overall: A clean farmhouse ale, the peaches give it a nice summer twist and add crushability. I really enjoyed this one, Terrapin is known for making great beers and this one fits right in. This would pair well with sushi, grilled meats and hard cheeses.
Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints
Allagash Brewing Company started in 1995, as a one-man operation in a small space on the outskirts of Portland, Maine. Founder Rob Tod had worked in a brewery and recognized a void within the craft beer movement. He designed a small 15-barrel brewhouse, gathered the finest array of authentic raw materials and began his quest towards the production of traditional Belgian style ales. One of Allagash’s core Belgian style beers is their Saison, which is an interpretation of a classic farmhouse style.
The beer pours a slightly hazy golden straw yellow color. The one and a half finger soapy white head dissipates at a steady rate and leaves a light lacing towards the edges of the glass. The carbonation is notable with a consistent stream of tiny champagne like bubbles rising to the top of glass.
Bright citrus aromas awaken the senses and are met with earthy and grassy notes. Floral aromas of white blossoms and wildflowers are also discernible. A light white pepper spice adds complexity while a yeast aroma adds a Belgian flair.
On the palate citrus notes ride on sturdy malt backbone. Sweet notes of tropical fruits with a kiss of stone fruit (namely peach) intermingle seamlessly with white floral notes. A light spice of both white pepper and clove peak and recede throughout. Some yeast notes are also notable and help to create balance.
Allagash Saison is a crisp and refreshing beer that is perfect for these last few weeks of summer. Well balanced and easy to drink. Try pairing it with Parmesan, Thai sesame noodles with shrimp or crème brulee.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out of 5 Pints
Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory!
Terrapin Beer Company was formed when two brewers met while working together at a microbrewery in Atlanta. The two brewers, Spike and John, introduced their first Terrapin beer in April of 2002. Noted for their unique beer styles, Terrapin has captured the hearts of craft beer lovers all over the world! Maggie’s Peach Farmhouse Ale is a seasonal offering that pays a clear homage to Georgia’s best loved fruit – the peach!
Pours a very hazy golden yellow color. The white two finger head is thick with impressive staying power. Once the head finally dissipates, a fine lacing remains.
Aromas of peach puree (like baby food peaches) and sweetened peaches (like canned peaches in syrup) hit you right off the bat. There are also notes of yeast and esters, although they pale in comparison to the strong peach notes. Rounding off the bouquet are undertones of clove and cinnamon spice that are rather muted and almost undetectable.
On the palate, there are overwhelming flavors of wheat laden bread and yeast. There are spicy notes of white pepper and earthy notes with a hint of “funk” that one would often see in a Belgian saison. The peach notes are more subdued on the palate than noted in the bouquet. The peach on the palate is more like a sweet artificial peach flavor, which is strange because Terrapin used over 10lbs. of fresh picked peaches per barrel produced. The finish is slightly bitter with a light dried grass note that lingers on account of the beer’s moderate to high carbonation.
All in all not a bad beer, however it seems as those the nose sets the drinker up for an expectation that is not realized on the palate. A decent summer refresher that would pair well with acidic dishes like fresh tomato and garlic toast or a summer salad with vinaigrette.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 2.5 Pints out of 5
Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory