Tag Archive: Saison


Hubris Id: Tempus (England: Saison: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: Hazy streaks in the bottom of a gold main body. Large white head.

Nose: Malt chocolate. Lemongrass. Dill pickle. Soft toffee. Pepper. Soft cream and milk. Orange rind.

Body: Soft kiwi and lime. Moderate bitterness. Earthy notes. Salted lime. Coriander. Peppery. Gentle middle. Lemongrass. Salted wheat. Slight chilli seeds. Charring late on.

Finish: Kiwi. Earthy character. Malt chocolate. Lemongrass. Milk chews. Slight chalk. Slightly salty. Orange rind. Charring later on.

Conclusion: This is a pretty unique take on a saison. Ok, that sounds very much like damning with faint praise. Kind of like when someone says the food is おもしろい in Japan. It really sounds like you are just trying to be polite, apparently I come across like I am doing that a lot. Well, let us examine this and see if it is just interesting, or interesting good.

This has an earthy, rustic, peppery saison base. So fairly standard in that way – but it is very unusual in that it is also slightly milky, making a mix of rough and smooth in the base to work from. Then it brings in the odd hop choice – with Sorachi Ace bringing lemongrass, dill pickle and kiwi into saison territory where it is not normally used. That however isn’t the odd part of the flavours though, that is the comparatively normal part. What is really odd is the salty, wheaty character that makes this actually feel like a more robust take on a gose. So, yeah. Nigh unique in my experience that one.

So, is it good different, or bad different? Well, for the first half it actually really works. A mix of unusual textures and unusual flavours gives you a lot to get your teeth into. It feels very grounded, with an earthiness to it that feels closer to earthy British hop character than the natural rustic saison character, but still enjoyable for that.

Late on the rougher notes start to dominate. A more charred character starts rising to overpower the hop character and brings with it a taste like crushed chilli seeds. It could be due to the beer warming I think, rather than just extended exposure to the beer, but any which way it adds a rough edge that does not benefit the beer.

An interesting one to try, and close to being a good one – but that latter half means that it falls short. Ah well.

Background: Second set of tasting notes on a Hubris ID beer – a tiny nano brewery around the Bath area. This is me being ultra hipster and trying beers that really won’t turn up far from where they are made, most likely. This one caught my eye as it is a saison made with good old Sorachi Ace, my beloved, odd as hell, hop. It also uses the jarrylo hop – an experimental hop from the look of it, and not one I know much about. Interesting. This was grabbed from Independent Spirit and drunk with a random bit of music going on in the background.

Kinnegar: One for Ronan (Ireland: Saison: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Caramel to chestnut brown body with a massive browned mounded head that leaves suds.

Nose: Malt drinks. Crushed peanuts. Cinnamon and orange skin. Perfume. Mild ground chocolate. Very milky coffee.

Body: Soft lemon and lime. Light cream. Rustic feel. Good bitterness and gritty hop character. Chestnut mushrooms. Smooth base. Malt drinks. Peppery. Very slight sweet sugar cane.

Finish: Peppery. Wheaty. Cornflakes. Moderate bitterness and light gritty feel. Soft lime. Charring. Malt chocolate drinks. Nuts. Slight yeast funk. Very slight sweet sugar cane.

Conclusion: An odd mix of several varied Belgian characteristics here in this beer. The smooth Belgian texture that is used well in a wide range of Belgian beers. The more rustic saison notes which match with a light peppery character. Then finally a level of hop prickle and bitterness that … is actually fairly odd for Belgian beers, even their more bitter beers don’t tend to express it in quite the new wave prickly bitter style like this does.

It keeps things interesting I’ll give it that.

Despite mentioning new wave hopping styles above, the best way I can describe the resulting mix is like a smooth Belgian saison meets a British best bitter. The hopping is prickly, but the overall feel of Belgian style meeting that bitterness is that kind of heavy and solid Best Bitter style, but with a bunch of Belgian twists.

The main flavours are in that robust middle – good bitterness, peppery spice, malt drinks and such. Nothing too unusual but well delivered. However there are some soft creamy citrus notes in there as well – more so early on, as he bitterness rises during the beer’s lifespan they end up pushed to hints around the edges. There is also a bit of the fun Belgian style with yeast characteristics in there giving light esters to a mild as can be sweet cane sugar touch. Not the most complex set of notes but covers the base set of bitter/sweet/etc pretty well. It more uses that varied set of textures to keep things interesting rather than the flavour.

So – it isn’t a classic – but it feels like a very polished remix of the saison and the bitter. It adds a few twists to each by matching them with the other, and it ends up more than the sum of its parts. A solid drinking pint for the pub, with a lot more to it than that term may indicate. Basically, the next level of a solid standby drinking ale.

Background: A beer brewed in memory of Ronan Walsh – I have to admit I do not know who this is but will raise a drink to their name. Was unsure on beer style for this – the label says “Belgian Amber” but also refers to it as a saison. In a pinch I’ve gone with Saison even if it is a tad atypical for that style. This was grabbed from Brewdog’s guest beer section and drunk while listening to some of The Kominas. Not much else to say at this point. Enjoy your drink!


Lost and Grounded: Hop-Hand Fallacy (England: Saison: 4.4% ABV)

Visual: Dark hazy lemon to apricot. Middling white head. Some black sediment visible at the base.

Nose: Big orange. Carrot and coriander. Wheaty and tart lemon juice.

Body: Brown bread. Tart lemon. Slight sulphur. Peppery. Light chalk. Sour dough. Apples. Light key lime.

Finish: Sour lemon. Peppery. Sulphur. Chalk. Light hop bitterness and charring. Key lime. Coriander. Light orange skin. Earthy hops.

Conclusion: This feels kind of sulphur touched – to a similar degree to what I would expect in a cask pulled real ale – less so expected in a bottled saison. Very different – now that doesn’t mean bad automatically, but it is different to what I would expect from the style.

It also seems to leans towards a more earthy and grounded interpretation of the saison style, rather than the crisp hopped take of Saison Dupnt and the like. Which is pretty unexpected from the aroma – the aroma actually seemed to be taking some Belgian Wit influence with lots of orange and coriander notes popping out. By comparison the more earthy base seems quite, well, prosaic.

There are subtle orange, and even key lime notes in the body – but under the earthier hop character. It is ok, but it feels slightly dominated by the earthy and sulphur elements, which lead into a peppery finish. The higher notes don’t seem to get much room to play and so, while robust, it seems hard to get excited about.

Possibly if it had not opened with such a high note of that lovely fresh orange I would be viewing it with a kinder eye – but it promised a really fresh touched saison then took it away. IT TOOK IT AWAY. So, as is it seems worse in comparison to the expectations it sets. It really works the more grounded notes, chalky touches, lots of grounding, but all the elements to build off that are done too weakly.

So, to give constructive feedback – it has a solid base that could have a shit-ton done to it without hurting it – but it needs to really build from that. This feels like a beer half done. Not a favourite I am afraid.

Background: This is, technically, not the beer I intended to buy. A while back a bunch of fellow enthusiasts and I did what we called #Brisdram – a whisky fuelled tour of Bristol. It was awesome. Such a pity you missed it. Anyway, Lost and Grounded, a new Brewery in Bristol let us set up in their Brewery based taphouse for some of this time. Many thanks! Anyway, during that time I tried an awesome lager from them – really hopped and fruity but did not lose the natural lager style. Awesome beer. So, now sober, I tried to remember what it was. No bloody clue. So I grabbed this one from Independent Spirit, which sounded about right. Turns out it is a saison. So probably not the one I drank before. Ah well. Drunk while listening to bit more of the excellent Canadian punk band Mobina Galore.

fantome-chocolat

Fantome: Chocolat (Belgium: Saison: 8% ABV)

Visual: Hazy darkened yellow to apricot with a large off white head and some sediment.

Nose: Carrot and coriander. Wheaty. Light malt chocolate. Lemon fresh air. Orange zest. Dried apricot. Bready.

Body: Juicy but warming. Chocolate late on. Peach and cream. Rustic middle. Light chilli seeds. Sour dough. Lime. Slight custard notes. Blood orange. Blackpool rock.

Finish: Chilli seeds. Light green peppers. Chocolate and cocoa dust. Lightly earthy. Ginger. Slight sour cream and chives. Apricot. Lime jelly. Dried banana.

Conclusion: You know what I like about Fantome beers? The fact that they can use a concept for a beer, show the concept clearly in a beer, but not make the beer solely about that concept.

Take this for example – chocolat by name – so, for most people they would this to be a dark beer and to be pushing all chocolate all the time, right? Except it isn’t. It is a beer that clearly has that light Belgian spice use, with a fruity but rustic base body and evident fruit sweetness. The chocolate only comes out late mid body and into the finish. Similarly, this has chilli powder in it – is it some heat factory? Nope, just a slight mild chilli tingle, not no more prevalent that any other spice in a Belgian beer.

So, you end up with a fruity Belgian Ale with only some hints of its saison base there, leaning instead towards the Belgian Blond Ale side of things. It is smooth, the saison notes coming in light rustic elements, but definitely more on the sweet cane sugar touched, fruity blond ale style. This then leads out into the warming and chocolate styled finish. Normally around now I would be talking about the shock of moving between two such distinct elements – but here they manage to make it feel like a natural progression.

Now before I get too raving about it here, there are weak points -with the amount of strong flavours it can get wearing, and feel more a beer you appreciate than enjoy – but for the most part it is well done. It has a very solid base, and the smoothness of the texture shows a beer that is very competently done. That wearing character mentioned is most evident over several glasses. At 750 ml it is definitely a bottle best shared to get most enjoyment from it. So, not as high flying as most Fantome ales – but a very solid middle ground beer, with unusual styling. So, enjoyable, but not one of Fantome’s exceptional beers – Still, kind of damning with very faint criticism there – still enjoyed it a lot.

Background: I’ve been a huge fan of Fantome since I first managed to get my hands on their beers. This, a saison made with cocoa and chilli powder, was grabbed from Independent Spirit I am not quite sure if cocoa and chilli powder should go together, but hey, up for giving it a a try. Drunk while listening to some music from Louise Distras who I only recently heard – a nice mix of Billy Bragg and Riot Grrrl style punk to my ears. Due to an extended session on Dark Souls 2 this was drunk fairly late in the night. So far it seams weaker than the original Dark Souls – the bosses especially seem not as inspiring or awesome – still, early days yet – could be all the cool stuff is packed at the end.

To Øl: Roses are Brett (Denmark: Saison: 6% ABV)

Visual: Deep cherry red. Red touched inch of froth. Some carbonation mid body.

Nose: Tart raspberries. Natural yogurt. Slight yeast funk character. Strawberry. Light pepper.

Body: Raspberries. Sour cream. Charred bitterness. Rose wine. Slight bready backing. Milky character. Slight funk sourness. Sour lime. Mandarin orange.

Finish: Rose wine. Sour dough. Charred bitterness. Raspberry. Orange juice. Lemon curd. Kiwi.

Conclusion: Sometimes I praise beer for their complexity – sometimes being able to dig deep into a beer; being able to take your time and find a shifting, ever evolving beer is a great reward. Other times it is enough just to find a beer that does what it does very well and doesn’t shift from that. This is that second type of beer.

It is a very raspberry filled, slightly tart beer with a bready backing, some funk and sour character and a few sour fruit notes that spin off from that main core set. It is that beer at the beginning and that beer at the end.

What sells it as a beer that is more than that simple description is the feel – With a very recognisably saison mouthfeel, slightly rustic and bready, kind of funky with a slight milky smoothness. It lets that lovely sharp raspberry float in the air and do its thing, without losing such a distinctive beer character. It has a feel that doesn’t interfere with the main flavour that lets it keep it simple without being dull. Bravo.

The other fruit flavours mentioned earlier are an extra note there, though they definitely feel like they spin out of the sourness of the main raspberry flavour – you get lime sours, notes of lemon freshness and the like. They are all similarly fresh, tart and sour notes that just add a bit of sparkle. The oddest other flavour you get in the mix is a kind of rose wine feel – possibly that is why the beer is named as it is, or maybe that beer’s name is what caused the image to come to mind for me.

Any which way, this is lovely – from a minute or so in you know what you are getting for the rest of the beer, but it is polished so well that you can just lean back and enjoy it as it is. It strips out everything it doesn’t need and just delivers what it does best. Very good indeed.

Background: This is one grabbed on a whim from Brewdog’s guest beer selection -To Øl, like a lot of the Scandinavian craft beer scene, is solid as hell and the idea of a brett and raspberry saison sounded like just the thing for me at the moment. As the second raspberry infused beer back to back for doing notes on it was interesting to mentally compare it to the De Molen raspberry beer. Anyway, felt like some weird and heavy music to go with this so put on Buckethead’s Cuckoo Clocks Of Hell – a guitar virtuoso’s crunchy, metal like, heavy album.

Northern Monks: Real Junk Food Project: Wasted (England: Saison: 6.7% ABV)

Visual: Dried apricot coloured. Massive yellowed mounded bubbles for a head that leaves suds.

Nose: Wheaty. Buttery shortbread. Pear. Gingerbread. Spiced pumpkin.

Body: Smooth bitterness. Vanilla toffee. Rustic yeastie character. Cheddar. Light hop character. Light pepper. Custard. Apples. Dried apricot. Pumpkin. Malt drinks.

Finish: Pear drops. Puff crisps . Croissants and butter. Light pepper. Light hop bitterness. Custard. Malt drinks.

Conclusion: I love the idea for this beer, love the bottle image, love that they used food destined to be chucked it away to make it. So… Do I love the beer itself?

It it seemly a Saison Dupont inspired beer at its base, with quirks brought on by the special ingredients. That is a pretty high bar to try and clear. The Dupont influence can be seen in the custard to vanilla toffee back, with crisp hops used over it. Very smooth, though nowhere near as well done with the hops as the quintessential Saison Dupont – but the sweet soothing malt base part is very competently done.

The unusual ingredients are mixed in the quality of their influence. You can see the pear influence top and tail, but it is pretty absent mid body – it is more of a subtle influence on everything else than a stand out element by itself. For the croissant, well, I’m not sure if it is the base beer and I am just mistakenly attributing it, but there is a fresh croissant kind of character – half way between a wheat beer and buttery shortbread is the best was I can describe it. Any which way it feels spot on for the croissant influence.

It has a very smooth, very drinkable character – nothing hard edged here – the hops and bitterness are very restrained. The character manages to to not be too clean though due to a funky, kind of cheesy, character – odd as on the bottle they list they use champagne yeast which I would not associate with this character, but whatever they did gives the Belgian character well.

So, on the good side – it is smooth, easy drinking, catches the farmhouse ale style, but due to its quirk sit is a bit different. For flaws – well despite the quite varied notes I’ve listed, most of them are just at the edge of the beer sensations – at its core it is actually kind of simple. It isn’t a massively rewarding beer experience to examine and dissect. So overall, good idea, nice easy drinking beer, not much more than that – nowt special but no complaints.

Background: OK, this one just fascinated me, a beer made to minimise waste – made with pears, croissants and brioche that were going to be thrown away, spent hops and malt donated, yeast reused and glass recycled. It is a neat idea, so I grabbed it from Independent Spirit for drinking and examining (and from my side the bottle will be recycled once more!) Drunk while listening to Clonic Earth – the almost white noise mixed with discordant and ambient sounds made for a nice unusual background for this unusual ale.

Tasting Notes: Beerd: Ego Saison (England: Saison: 7.4% ABV)

Visual: Caramel brown murky body. Massive browned mound of froth.

Nose: Apricot. Lemongrass. Bubblegum. Wheat. Malt chocolate. Kaffir lime. Honeyed shredded wheat. Orange. Cheese puffs.

Body: Sherbet fizzy. Malt chocolate. Bubblegum. Kaffir lime. Malt toffee. Kiwi. Light pepper. Cheesy puffs. Light orange juice.

Finish: Lemongrass. Malt chocolate. Dried apricot. Lemon sorbet. Toffee. Pepper and wheat. Funky yeast character. Mature cheese. Brown bread.

Conclusion: This is an unusual saison, and by unusual I mean above and beyond just the fact that it is a sorachi ace saison and that would make it odd enough by itself. Sorachi Ace is always odd. And usually awesome.

One point that makes it seem unusual is that it is more malt led than most and that malt body is more towards the darker, toffyish side than I am used to. The dark cloudy body on the eye comes through with malt flavours on the tongue to match. It means that less of that wheaty and peppery character, or the more rustic notes, show themselves. They are present but those rustic saison characteristics are having to compete more with the malt for your attention.

Then, yes, on top of that we have my beloved sorachi ace hop. Lots of bubblegum, lemongrass and lime notes – all the odd savoury hop notes are here on full show. Again, the malt levels means that they are not as clearly defined in other beers, but you still can’t mistake its unique presence in this beer.

Does it work? Opinions are varied. But for me, and me alone I would say yes, albeit with some qualifications. When it is super chilled it does lose most of that saison character, but at just slightly cool the malt and saison style balance nicely and the sorachi flavours have their room to play. Not the best beer for pure sorachi – it needs a more neutral base for that, but a fun mix. The aforementioned qualifications on the recommendation though. Share this beer. I had this myself and by the second half of the beer it was getting very wearing. Also, as I may have indicated it is pretty much only for Sorachi Ace fans, if you don’t like the hop, this wont change your mind.

To make it a better beer it would need better defined notes – the heavy malt base means they can get muddy. However for for of the odd hop, and odd beers, this is fun enough

Background: Beerd is the craft beer arm of Bath Ales, I don’t think I have done notes on any of theirs yet. I’ve tried a whole bunch locally. This is a sorachi ace and brewers gold hopped saison. I had tried a sample of this before at Independent Spirit, which I hugely enjoyed, and being a Sorachi Ace fan I had to grab this for full notes. Drunk while listening to a bit of the heavy tunes of Feed The Rhino. Hoping to see them live later this year. I was hoping to do a big up of the amazing wrestling tag team Project Ego which this beer made me think of. However on googling them just before drinking I found out Kris Travis, one of the two members passed away earlier this year. So raise a glass please to his memory and all the joys he gave us in the ring.

Fantome India Red Ale

Fantome: India Red Ale (Belgium: Saison: 8% ABV)

Visual: Deep cloudy bruised apricot. Massive off white, lace leaving loose bubbled head.

Nose: Coriander. Lemon. Carrot. Lightly minty menthol. Peppermint and crushed mint leaves. Paprika. Light strawberry. Orange crème.

Body: Strawberry sweetness. Custard. Orange crème. Light hop character. Smooth. Prickle in the middle. Toffee. Earthy notes. Dried orange fruit sugars.

Finish: Malt chocolate. Toffee. Custard. Custard hop character. Some greenery. Solid hop bitterness and character. Sour dough. Earthy notes. Resin.

Conclusion: Apparently, at least best I can tell, this beer does not use spice in the ingredients. Instead all the spice seeming flavours must be coming from the hops, yep, as you may have guessed already, this is spicy as heck. Odd, no?

On top of that it is a fair mixed up beer. For all it is called an India Red Ale it actually has a hell of a lot of saison influence – from the soft custard hop styling of Saison Dupont, to the lime notes of Fantome’s own spring Saison, to the traditional earthy rustic saison styled base. A lot going on there. From the red side of India Red Ale we get an amber ale set of calls mid body which develop into some strawberry sweetness and chocolate toffee malt notes near the end.

As for the India part of the name? Well, it leans close to Belgium IPA in the smoothness, but the hop bitterness is only really a thing in the earthy bitter finish. Then again, India gets appended to pretty much any high hop ale these days, even some lagers, so having the high bitterness is not automatically needed I guess. That however is a rant for another day.

Early on the beer is a bit rough and greenery led, with an odd menthol character, but as the late end sweetness rises it manages to balance itself out, more or less. At that point in this, high abv, bottle it seems closer to the spicy, Belgian IPA character that its name calls to. Still a bit greenery and resin led, but far more recognisable.

Overall a bit rough around the edges Amber Ale IPA Saison mash up – not the best, but there is hardly a dull moment.

Background: A hard one to pick a beer style for this one is. It is listed as an India Red Ale, which would make me think an IPA variant, so list under IPA, ratebeer calls it the ever helpful “Belgian Strong Ale”. For me, it seems closest to a Saison, so lacking any other definitive call, and knowing Fantome’s reputation with Saisons, I’m going with Saision. Seriously, Fantome does awesome saisons. Incidentally some places has this thing’s name abbreviated as IRA, which for seem reason they don’t seem to call it that in the UK. I wonder why… Anyway, drunk while listening to many Meets Metal tracks, with Flashdance Meets Metal being the standout one. This beer was grabbed from Brewdog’s Guest Beer selection. Warning, this is a frothy beer – The beer was rushing out and I desperately shoved the cork back in while I shoved the bottle neck into the glass to pour.

Fantome Magic Ghost

Fantome: Magic Ghost (Belgium: Saison: 8% ABV)

Visual: Deep lime green. Huge green touched head. Large amounts of carbonation.

Nose: Sweet lime juice and lime jelly. Green tea. Light rustic.

Body: Light earthy character and solid bitterness. Slightly milky mid body. Green tea. Sweet lime. Pepper and rustic notes. Vanilla toffee. Orange zest. Custard.

Finish: Dry. Oats. Good bitterness. Lime jelly. Good hop character. Tannins. Orange zest. Cherry pocked biscuits.

Conclusion: Comparison time! While this is green tea heavy it is not as a pure expression or as quality green tea tasting as Stone’s Ishii Japanese Green Tea IPA. It is however the only one that is actually green. While this is not as pure green tea tasting it does mean that, while not as good for the green tea element, as a balanced beer it probably comes out ahead.

The rustic, quality, bitter saison base is still very evident – with earthy hops and a slightly milky mouthfeel. Some of the wonderful subtleties of a Fantome saison do fall slightly before the green tea, but thankfully the tea brings enough of its own to compensate. In the midst of the two elements is a lime jelly kind of taste, a sweetness that keep the two heavy main flavours from clashing together. I am not sure if that lime is from the beer, the tea, or a mix of the two but the ease from the heavier elements that it brings is vital to the overall beer.

Oddly lime jelly seems to be a thing with green beers – it was last seen in “Signs Of Spring”. Oh, this beer is very bright green BTW, It looks lovely on the eye, and here thankfully matched with a quality beer rather than just as a weak gimmick.

It is done excellently, there are added notes such as pepper dryness and orange zest along with vanilla sweetness. Fantome knows exactly which elements would round and complete the beer. Sweet and fresh notes to wake up the savoury heavy base beer and special ingredient.

It doesn’t quite have the crisp perfection of some of their other beers, but what it lacks in crisp perfection it makes up with depth of character and being the wonderful beer and green tea mix that doesn’t skimp on either side of that equation.

A green beer that is far more than a gimmick, instead great and gorgeous.

Background: I keep going to write this as “Green Ghost” I mean, come on, it even has alliteration! But no, Magic Ghost it is. I am a huge fan of Fantome and they seem to be getting slightly easier to get hold of these days. This one, a saison made with green tea, was grabbed from Brewdog’s Guest Beer section. Well I think it is a sasion and so does beer advocate. Rate beer calls it a Belgian strong ale. I think I am right. But, of course I would. Drunk while listening to lots of New Model Army, I am so glad I saw those guys live as it really got me into their stuff.

Fantome Pissenlit

Fantome: Pissenlit (Belgium: Saison: 8% ABV)

Visual: Dark hazy apricot. Moderate white bubbled head.

Nose: Vanilla. Cut grass. Brown sugar. Wholemeal flour and bread. Fruit sugars.

Body: Apricot. Slightly sour stewed fruit. Herbal bitterness. Custard crème biscuits. Broccoli. Golden syrup. Creamy. Coriander. Creamy lime. Gunpowder tea.

Finish: Greenery and herbal bitterness. Nettles. Dry mint leaves. Charring. Rye crackers and pepper. Golden syrup. Light strawberry. Cream. Lime yogurt. Key lime pie.

Conclusion: Fantome continue to rock the saison world and then some. This time they manage to merge a lot of contrasting elements into one beer. On one hand it keeps the light, cream lime notes of their spring saison – Printemps, and it is as pleasant as that beer was; Yet at the same time it pushes the custard sweetness that is akin to the base of the awesome Saison Dupont. The mix of the two backed by the unusual elements of greenery led bitterness in the style of traditional pre-hop beers.

That last part is the difference make and the intriguing one. The bitterness is slightly acrid, like gunpowder tea mashed up with broccoli. Yes I know I have the worst way of describing good beers and that broccoli in beer sound horrid. However here it acts as that kind of rustic base a saison can have, matched against the sweet interpretation behind it.

It is genuinely good, quality wise it is up there with their Fantome: Saison ( I mean the one just called “Saison” in case there is any confusion). If I had to rate them I would say that a few minor quirks put this behind their lead saison, but that is a minor point. This has just enough of the expected, and just enough off the wall all matched with a high quality saison that puts it at a close second.

There is just so much to it, warmth brings progression to the already complex beer and brings out so much spice, stewed fruit and fresh fruit. So many subtle variations on their already established themes make this another spot on saison from Fantome. It is familiar and yet distinct, balanced perfectly on a knife edge.

Background: A beer made with dandelions, did not see that coming. Then again it is a saison and from Fantome, so that gives me enough confidence to give it a try. Fantome saisons are exceptional. Grabbed from Brewdog’s guest beer section, this was drunk while listening to a bit more of The Eels, listening to them again recently reminded me how good they are as a band. I am aware I am putting this Belgian beer review up on the day after the attack on Brussels, my best wishes are with everyone affected.

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