Beer 353/365 – Fantome Saison

Fantome Saison

Style: Saison

ABV: 8.0%

Purchased at: House of 1000 Beers – New Kensington, Pa

What makes this beer different: Best Saison I have ever tried (Although I have not had that many)

Will I be drinking this again: Would love to, but at $14 a bottle its a bit steep.

Grade: A

10/27/2010: I bought this almost a year ago when I was first really getting into the craft beer scene. I didn’t know much about Saison’s at that point, but knew Fantome was one of the best out there. I was surprised that House of 1000 beers had it, as most Pittsburgh bottle shops don’t carry it. If you live in the Pittsburgh area you should definitely check this place out. They have a lot of stuff most pgh places don’t get. Figured this was a good time to drink it considering Halloween is just around the corner.

Lemon is the main smell I am getting in the aroma, musty, and some spice. The flavor is super complex, but really good. Lemon sour patch kids, floral, yeasty, spicy, zesty. All of the flavors blend well together, but not one of them is too dominant which makes this amazingly drinkable. No sign at all of the 8% ABV. Mouthfeel is creamy, medium body and nice carbonation. If this were $10 a bottle I would buy a ton of it, but the price tag is a little steep.

Picture of the day: If it weren’t for CNN.

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Published in: on October 27, 2010 at 9:49 am  Comments (6)  
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Beer 247/365 – Surly Cynic Ale

Surly Cynic Ale

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

ABV: 6.7%

Purchased at: Traded for it

What makes this beer different: One of the least funky/sour saisons I have ever had.

Will I be drinking this again: If it was locally accessible, but it wasn’t quite good enough to trade for.

Grade: B+

7/13/2010: Beer #2 for the Surly Week! Below is the description on the can.

Oh great, a fizzy yellow beer in a can, that’s just what the craft beer world needs! CynicAle melds Old World ingredients in a new school style. French malted barley, English oats and Belgian yeast create honey and black pepper flavors. Lively Slovenian hops provide the floral, apricot and peach notes. Toss your doubts away, toss one back and enjoy!

Gotta be honest, I’m not getting a lot of the honey/floral/apricot notes in the nose/flavor of this beer at all. Black pepper is there though! The smell is only mildly sour, but not too much so. The flavor comes of as something I would call a “Saison Light”. Grainy, slightly funky, but very drinkable. I get a little bit of fruit but can’t put my finger on exactly what it is. Well carbonated and very light for the style, and really doesn’t have that belgian creamy mouthfeel to it.

Picture of the day: I’m not sure this is the kind of sandwich I would order from McDonald’s.

Beer 245/365 – Saison Dupont

Saison Dupont

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

ABV: 6.50%

Purchased at: Melt Bar and Grilled – Cleveland OH

What makes this beer different: Not as funky as some saison/farmhouse’s that I have had, but this makes it very drinkable

Will I be drinking this again: Yes this was good stuff

Grade: A-

7/11/2010: Beware this is a long post. Our last stop in Ohio was at Melt Bar and Grilled in Cleveland. I am a huge Man Vs. Food fan, and he tried to take on the Grilled Cheese Challenge; 13 different cheese on one sammich. I love cheese but thats too much. The wait for a table was 2 hours, so we waited for a bar seat and grabbed some random beers along the way.

They actually have a really good beer selection. I am known for trying crazy black and tan mixtures, and I came up with one that was pretty freaking amazing; Southern Tier Creme Brulee with Strongbow Cider. It was like liquid apple pie. As far as food goes I ordered the North Coastshores (click for photo); crab cakes, wilted garlic spinach, roasted red pepper, herbed cream cheese and havarti cheese. Cara ordered the Westside Monte Cristo; honey ham, smoked turkey, swiss, american, beer battered, mixed berry preserves. Both were amazing.

I am relatively new to the Saison/Farmhouse style, but one thing I am learning is that they usually smell way more sour/funky than they taste. This is the case with Saison Dupont. The flavor is lemony, hoppy, and only mildy “funky”. Not a ton of hops, but just enough to let you know they are there. Lots of carbonation make this very drinkable. The flavors aren’t real intense either, but are very pleasant. It took me way too long to try this beer. This actually convinced me that I might have to try a Saison for my next home-brew batch.

Picture of the day: Should this seriously be considered breaking news in America?.

Published in: on July 11, 2010 at 9:42 am  Comments (5)  
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