I have learned a lot about the saison style by sampling many of the local versions over the last few months. The diversity of flavor profiles and ingredients used in saisons is remarkable, it’s reinforced my love of the style. I think the blank canvas of the style allows for unmatched creativity, which is probably why so many breweries have made their own take on the saison. There are a number of breweries that make a saison as their only Belgian style beer. I was initially surprised to learn that Allagash, one of the premier brewers of Belgian style ales in the US, didn’t have a regular saison in their arsenal. This was recently remedied as this Spring Allagash Saison became the first new permanent year-round offering Allagash has produced in years. Needless to say, I was excited to check out their version of the style and I immediately bought some when it finally made its way to MA. Allagash Saison is sold in 4-packs of 12 oz bottles and on draft.
Allagash Saison pours a cloudy straw yellow with a substantial cloudy white head. The Belgian yeast comes through strong in the smell, with pleasant aromas for spice and fruity esters. The taste starts with the yeast as well, notes of pepper, apple, apricot and a little must, well balanced and not overpowering. The malt backbone is noticeable with touches of whole wheat bread and biscuits. There is a speck of earthy hops in the flavor and just enough bitterness to keep the beer from being sweet, but this is in no way a hop-forward beer. Allagash Saison is light bodied and very easy to drink. At 6.1% ABV it is in the normal range for the style, not a session beer but not overly heavy either. The finish is clean and dry with a hint of fruit and spice lingering on the tongue. This is a great example of a saison and a stellar addition to the Allagash lineup. I expect it will be one of my go-to beers for the Spring and Summer. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.
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