Northern Monk: Alefarm: Patron’s Project 7.01: DDH Saison (England: Saison: 7.0% ABV)

Visual: Overripe banana coloured, high carbonation, hazy body with an utterly massive yellowed head that leaves lace.

Nose: Peppery. Key lime. Lightly earthy. Wet ropes.

Body: Bitter. Greenery. Peppery. Nettles. Key lime. Peppermint. Oatmeal and light milk. Vanilla toffee. Orange crème.

Finish: Vanilla. Good hop bitterness. Peppery. Slight mint. Hop oils. Mild dill pickle. Milky. Peppermint.

Conclusion: This is very full of greenery, very menthol touched – kind of within its aimed for saison wheelhouse, but also a bit unusual for the style. A good combo if done well, lets look into this.

It has the slightly rustic saison feel as the base – slight earthy and peppery notes. It is far away from the smooth, high hop matched with vanilla style of the quintessential sasion Dupont, heading more towards the heavier style; It does, however still have a slight smooth vanilla base under the other elements -giving slight call to that more recognised saison style.

That is the base then, but far from the full story – what really shows up is the amount of greenery and such notes this plays with. The label on the can wasn’t lying – be it crushed mint leaves, nettles or fresher peppermint this has lots of plant notes added to the earthy base. Very refreshing, very menthol clean along with the very robust hop bitterness. While a rustic styled saison is a very traditional take, this seems to take that idea and push it into a much fresher, more sparkling way that you would expect.

There are even some side notes just rounding it out – light orange and key lime citrus elements – ones that you see used a lot on the new wave of saisons, but here they are not up front. These new world hop notes are an addition to the base, not overwhelming it.

In fact, I have ranted recently about masses of hops being used to overpower interesting styles – this feels like a good example of the opposite – where matching craft style hopping to a traditional saison style manages to enhance both sides. Very distinct, its levels of greenery are not for everyone, but well worth checking out if that style doesn’t put you off.

Background: I had to check what was in this brew – the amount of leaves on the can made me think it was a cannabis beer. Which is totally a thing, but not a thing that I think is legal to see in the UK. Anyway, turns out it is not a cannabis beer, just a saison style beer made with Citra, Mosaic and Galaxy hops. Good combo. It is made in association with Alefarm brewing, brewers from Denmark. This was grabbed from independent spirit and drunk while listening to some Mobina Galore – got into the band when they opened for Against Me! And they were darn cool.