Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Lost Abbey Saison Blanc

The Lost Abbey Saison Blanc
Style: Saison
Alcohol Content: 5.5%
From: San Marcos, California, USA
Purchased from: Beer Geek, Prague, Czech Republic

Some men dream, whilst others just brew.

A few years ago Vince Marsaglia (co founder of Pizza Port) dreamt of a brewery producing a range of authentic abbey style beers. That dream became a reality when Tomme Arthur was hired to brew a Belgian Dubbel called Overhead Abbey ale.

After many years of small scale brewing at Pizza port, the dynamic duo began formulating a plan to bring abbey style beers to the masses. As luck would have it, Stone Brewing Company announced that it was moving away from its old facility in San Marcos, California to a larger premises. Taking this as a sign from a higher power, the newly formed Port Brewing Company moved into this facility and split production between Port and the Belgium beer specialist Lost Abbey. The brewery finally opened its doors to the public in 2006 and now produce a range of six core beers and a plethora of seasonal specials including the subject of this review; Saison Blanc.

Saison Blanc

Colour: Pours a bright, straw yellow with a thin white head which lingers for the duration of the beer. As with many Saisons, a heft lump of yeast is present in the bottle. Feeling darling, I added some into my glass. The yeast not only helps to cloud the beer, but in my opinion it helps to lift the flavours of the beer onto a higher plane.

Aroma: What a bobby dazzler of a nose. Big bold notes of yeast and straw are promptly followed by notes of plums, grapes and perhaps a little pineapple. Very fruity and not what I have come to expect from a Saison.

Body: The additional yeast really helps to fill out the body because I fear that without the yeast, this beer would actually taste rather thin and lifeless. The yeast adds a slight creamy sensation that mixes very playfully with the incredibly complex flavour profile.

Taste: As I eluded to above, this beer has a complex flavour profile which I will now attempt to summarise. Rather like a glass of Chardonnay, this beer drinks dry from beginning to the end. Notes of straw, coriander, pepper and sweet raisins shine though before the alcohol rains on their parade. This strong alcohol taste is rather surprising given the low ABV. As the beer warms, hints of fresh lemons appear to add a real zing to the finish which remains warming and dry complimented with a slight hint of hop bitterness. A very well rounded package that needs a little more body thickness in order to be truly exceptional.

Saison Blanc

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