As it is still summer, I have been consuming quite a bit of saisons. That being the case, it only makes sense to review the style I've been consuming lately.
First up is a brewery from St. Louis that I hadn't even heard of until a few weeks ago. But they made quite an impact.
Perennial Artisan Ales began back in September of 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. They focus on small batches of exceptionally made beer and are usually Belgian inspired. So far they are available in D.C., California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. To see the closest place to find their beer, check out their beer locator here.
Saison De Lis is one of just three year-round beers Perennial makes. This beer is made with chamomile and pours like most saisons - a cloudy golden color with millions of bubbles rushing up towards the surface, which creates a billowing mountain of head that continues to rise while the beer sits.
The aroma is mostly floral with a backing of grass and hay. There is also a hint of tea sneaking through from the chamomile they used.
After waiting for the head to subside, I was finally able to take my first sip. And it was really tasty. It was slightly sweeter than I thought it would be, with tea, pear, and peppery spices coming through the most. The floral/grassy flavors followed those up nicely, creating a really smooth saison.
It's medium-bodied and not as carbonated as I was thinking it would be from all the bubbles and foam in the beginning. The beer leaves a really strong lacing around the glass, as a nice reminder of how much you imbibed each time you brought the glass to your mouth.
The more I drank, the more I fell in love with this saison. The spices and pear flavors worked so well and were so damn good that, before I even knew it, the beer was nearly gone...and it wasn't just a regular bottle or bomber. No, this is only sold in 750 mL bottles (25.4 ounces). Luckily (for me) it only carries a 5% ABV with it.
Initially I was skeptical of this saison, never having tried any of Perennial's beers before. But after tasting this, I can honestly say it is well worth the $7.99 I paid for it! And I will be getting more this summer. 9/10
Next up I head farther south to New Orleans for a collaboration.
Abita has been around for quite a while (28 years to be exact), so it's hard to believe that this is their first ever collaboration, but it is! This saison was brewed with Birrificio Del Ducato, the most award-winning brewery in Italy, and is named after the shapes that Louisiana and Italy both make - Two Boots.
Abita is located about 30 miles north of New Orleans, Louisiana and has been making beer since 1986. Birrifico Del Ducato is located in Parma, Italy, in the hometown of famous composer Verdi, and has only been brewing beer since 2007.
The 22-ounce bomber I found set me back just $5.99 and pours a hazy golden color with just about a finger of head - which dissipated rather quickly - on top of the beer.
The label says it's made with pepper, honey, and lemon balm, and boy can you tell. The smell is sweet and citrusy, complete with a nice honey backing. But there is also a pinch of the spice from the pepper coming through as well.
Two Boots tastes exactly like advertised. You first get some fizzy bubbles that quickly fade into a dash of the peppery spices with the honey and lemon following it all up. There is a very tiny hoppy bitterness (it's only 25 IBU), but overall it's more floral and tart with some added banana flavor appearing at the end of each sip as well.
Abita has created a saison that is medium-bodied, isn't overly carbonated, and is slightly dry on the backend but still has a nice complexity to it and is easy to drink. The citrus and spices blend with the earthy yeast really well making it rather smooth to drink and a great summer beer. Especially on those really hot days we're going to encounter.
The small amount of head that did remain leaves a slight lacing as beer disappeared from my glass. And the 6.2% ABV it carries is hidden really well.
Overall, this is a decent saison. It's not one of my favorites, but it's still good. The price is right, the taste is nice, but it just lacks something more. I liked it, but it wasn't amazing. 7.5/10