Night Shift Matisse

I was never into Matisse’s art, but let’s see if I like the beer better.

ABV: 6.8%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Matisse is our way of showing that modern independent beer needn’t shy away from the canonical styles that brought us to where we are today. This classic saison is inspired by traditional French and Belgian farmhouse beers, and we chose a name that echoes the same origins. The French artist Henri Matisse captured lively scenes of the same French countryside where the rustic saison’s flavor profile was pioneered. We’re proud to have received the Silver Medal in the Classic Saison category at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival for Matisse. After an exciting first run with this beer, we brought it into our rotating and began to brew it on a larger scale!”

Random: The brewery suggests to pair this with paella, braised meats and soft cheeses.

The beer poured with a one finger white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was slightly hazy and yellow. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose started with farmhouse funk and hay. It quickly went into grass and bread with white peppercorns. The taste started with some significant floral notes. Grass and hay came through next. There was a little bit of barnyard funk as well. White and black peppercorns came through next. The body was on the lighter side with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with hay. This was a gift, so I have no idea how much it cost. Either way, this was a solid saison that is worth searching out.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

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Fantome Dark White

Last time Val and I went up to Half Time, I saw this lonely bottle on a shelf and needed to bring it home.

ABV: 4%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Fantôme (Brasserie Fantôme) is a small brewery in Soy, Wallonia, Belgium. Founded in 1988 by Dany Prignon, it produces Saison, a type of farmhouse ale. The brewery occupies a modest stone farmhouse on the main road through the village of Soy in the Marche-en-Famenne district of Luxembourg province. Founded in 1988, Brasserie Fantôme has gained international attention and a cult following among lovers of craft beers. Owned and run by Dany Prignon, Fantôme is known for its unique variations on the Saison style of farmhouse ale, often involving the use of herbs, spices or fruit juice. Within the craft beer community, Fantome saisons are considered highly desirable and have developed a significant audience in the United States and United Kingdom. Ironically, while their complex, earthy, and herbal flavors have caused them to be sought out by connoisseurs outside Belgium, Fantôme’s products are difficult to find and not well known in the country of their origin. The name of the brewery stems from a legend of the nearby town of La Roche-en-Ardenne, which asserts that the ghost of the long-dead Countess Berthe de La Roche can still be seen walking amidst the ruins of the town’s castle. There is a small bar adjacent to the brewery that is primarily open on weekends and for special occasions. Tours of the facility can be arranged by reservation as well.”

Random: I’ve had this beer on my must-try list for years now.

The beer poured with a huge, five-finger, tan-colored head. It took forever to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown and hazy with lots of floaties visible. There was moderate carbonation as well. The nose started with a lot of fruity yeast with dates and prunes. I picked up some brown sugar and molasses along with some sweet caramel. The taste was filled with Belgian yeast up front. It transitioned into almonds, caramel and dates. Brown sugar came through next. The spice came through at the end, which finished up the sip very well. The body was on the medium side with lots of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with spice and Belgian yeast. I picked this bomber up for $17.99, which broke down to $.82 per ounce. It was definitely pricey, but worth every penny.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Holy Mountain The Seer

This beer was picked out by Val because she loved the owl on the label.

ABV: 5.1%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “THE SEER IS A HOPPY SAISION BREWED WITH PILSNER MALT AND WHEAT, AND HOPPED AGGRESSIVELY WITH GALAXY AND EKG. THIS BATCH WAS FERMENTED WITH ONE OF OUR HOUSE SAISON CULTURES AND AGED IN AN OAK FOUDRE WITH BRETT. AFTER SPENDING 4 MONTHS IN OAK, THE SEER WAS DRY-HOPPED WITH GALAXY AND EKG AND CONDITIONED IN THE BOTTLE WITH BRETT.”

Random: This is a brewery out of Seattle, Washington.

The beer poured with a huge, four finger, fluffy, white head. It dissipated slowly, but left limited lacing on the glass. The body was hazy with a lot of floaties. It was bright yellow in color with a lot of carbonation. The nose started with a lot of brett and funk. It quickly went into pilsner malt. It had some wheat, along with grass and a touch of flowers. The taste started with the same funk and brett, but quickly went into some aggressive hops that came through with pine and grass. There was an earthy characteristic to it as well with some flowers. The body was on the lighter side with a lot of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with funk and hops. A bottle of this was $20.99, which came to $.95 per ounce, which was definitely expensive. I thought this beer was interesting, but there was so much going on with the flavors that it was hard to enjoy during some sips.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Yards Barrel-Aged Sour Saison

This was the second beer that I had at Yards at the recommendation of the server.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: Saison

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “You don’t have to go far to get away this summer. Our new taproom and brewery at 5th and Spring Garden Streets offers 20 taps of fresh, quality Yards ales and a full beer-friendly dining menu crafted by Chef Jim Burke. Get together with some friends and have a beer and a bite to eat outside in the shade of our towering steel brewing tanks. While you’re here, go on a tour to see for yourself how Yards beers are brewed, bottled, canned, and kegged for the good people of Philadelphia and beyond.”

Random: There is no information about this beer on the website since it’s a brewery only release.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was hazy and bright orange with some floaties visible. There was only light carbonation visible. The nose was filled with yeast along with some citrus and lots of oak and white grapes. The taste kicked in with some of the sour notes. It had white vinegar along with white grapes and oak. There was some vanilla as well as yeast. It had a light body with a lot of carbonation. The finish was quick, but had a lot of tartness to it. I liked this beer a lot and the addition of the oak added to the depth of it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

TRVE Autumn Eternal

This was the second beer that I had at Urban Farmer. We later went to the brewery, which was insanely loud and dark and just not my scene. Let’s see how this was.

ABV: 5.1%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our goal is to give you a rad place to hang out and drink killer beer. Founded on the Summer Solstice of 2011, our mission has always been to create beers that are beyond the pale. To us this implies new ideas, channeling Loki, and embracing chaos. It means drawing from the sounds and sights that inspire us most in life. Our beers may or may not exactly adhere to any particular guidelines – we’re style blasphemers and category agnostics – but you can count on the fact that we’ll always brew damn good beer. To us, TRVE represents being a part of a counter culture without immersing yourself to the point of taking it too seriously.”

Random: The brewery was on a suburban street. Definitely not what I expected.

The beer poured with a one and a half finger, pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and bright yellow. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose started with a lot of yeast and then went into funk along with a touch of bubble gum. The taste was filled with wheat along with grass. It quickly went into grass and yeast. It had a touch of nuttiness along with bubble gum. The body was light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with yeast. I thought this was a decent beer, but not my favorite of the style.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Allagash Astrid

Today’s selection is another beer from Allagash, one of the most solid breweries in the Northeast. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 9.7%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Astrid is a bright golden color with assertive aromas of spice, bread crust, apple, and fennel seed. Citrus, oak, and anise give way to warm vanilla notes followed by a slightly tart finish. We brew this saison with Pilsner, raw wheat, and Biscuit malt, and ferment it in stainless steel for a year with a blend of traditional saison yeast and Brettanomyces. After fermentation is complete, we transfer the beer to Scandinavian Aquavit barrels, where it ages for an additional eight months. Skål!”

Random: I’ve never had Aquavit, nor do I really feel a need to try it.

This beer poured with a one finger, pure white head. It took forever to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, bright orange color with no carbonation visible due to the cloudiness. The nose was very unique. It almost had a gin-like quality, which I assume is due to the Aquavit barrels, mint, oak and some licorice as well. The taste was also complex. It started with the same gin-like quality with mint and oak. It quickly went into fresh-cut grass and some bright citrus and apple slices. I didn’t pick up a huge amount of vanilla, but there was some at the end of the sip. The body was on the lighter side and the alcohol was almost undetectable. It had a lot of effervescent carbonation. The finish was lengthy with grass and vanilla. I picked this up for $13.99, which came to $1.14 per ounce, which definitely wasn’t cheap, but worth it for a unique beer like this. If you can grab one, I would highly recommend it.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Left Hand Saison Au Miel

This is another beer that I picked up in Maryland. I tried one of their saisons at Savor last year and was interested in giving this one a shot. I think it’s also the first time I’ve seen a saison in a pounder can too. It’s an interesting way to package. The updated graphics are also much better than the old logos. Hopefully when I’m out in Colorado, I’ll get a chance to visit them.

ABV: 6.8%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Seasonal, farmhouse-style ales that feature native Colorado ingredients. Dry and crisp farmhouse-style ale. Mild tartness softened by Colorado wildflower honey.”

Random: This is a seasonal beer that comes in at 10 IBUs.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. A small crown was left on top of the body. The body was super hazy and bright orange in color with no visible carbonation. The nose was very sweet with wildflower honey, golden raisins and yeast. It had a floral, honeysuckle note as well. The taste was sweet with the same wildflower honey as the nose. There were also notes of yeast, clove, apricot and golden raisins. It had an herbal note as well. The body was thick with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sweet from the honey. A pounder can was $2.75, which came to $.17 per ounce. I thought this beer had a lot of good flavors, but just needed a little more refining.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0