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Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Bruery | Saison de Lente

Saison de Lente from The Bruery, a small brewery based in Orange County, California, that recently opened its doors in 2008. Averaging an output of only about 2,500 barrels a year, The Bruery strives to make unique and "experimental" ales brewed in the Belgian tradition. Most of their beers utilize a Belgian yeast strain, but the beer recipes themselves are sure to surprise and intrigue even the most adventurous beer drinker. Saison de Lente is the spring seasonal saison (saison actually means "season" in French and German) from The Bruery, which is a bit lighter in body, and slightly hoppier than the year round, Saison Rue.

Poured into a Stella chalice, Saison de Lente has a mostly clear golden-amber color with a fluffy 3 finger head. The foamy head falls to about a cm where it seems to have settled, while leaving plenty of sticky lacing along the way.

After a good swirl, the aroma gives off lots of grassy and lemony hops. Hints of peppery spice, powdery soft yeast, flowers, and a very slight hint of tart barnyard funk round out the nose.

The flavor starts off spicy and hoppy: citrusy, grassy… all in all, very lemony hop flavor. The middle introduces a bit of grainy and bready malt to the flavor, but still kept quite light and crisp. The finish is where Saison de Lente really shines. Mildly tart Brett yeast flavors become noticeable, while mixing perfectly with the hops, as well as more standard belgian-style yeast flavors. Although not bone dry, the finish is definitely on the dry side, think belgian pale ale, but a bit lighter.

Saison de Lente is only the second saison I've ever had, the other being Saison Rue, also from the Bruery. And if I'm being honest, I'm setting the bar for saisons way too high. The style always seemed a bit boring and high priced to me, since it's more of a lighter spring/summer style. But Saison de Lente does not disappoint! There is plenty of hop flavor, while maintaining light/crisp drinkability, plus the Brett yeast that adds an extra dimension of funkiness that we all love. At least I know I do. Mix things up, give this one a try.

Personal 7/10 for the style 8.5/10

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