Sunday, December 18, 2011

Brasserie d'Achouffe Biere du Soleil Saison

Another from the latest Belg-a-Rama, and the one I'd never had before. Never seen a bottle, or ever heard of it. All the label imagery I can find online shows very old artwork and design. Looking at reviews, the latest I see is from 2006. So, why have I never seen/heard of this before these kegs were made available?
I just don't know!

But here's what I wrote about it...

Brasserie d'Achouffe Biere du Soleil, saison.

Huge, pillowy head, lacey and lovely, above a deepy amber-colored brew. 

Malt-driven aromatics, earthy, nutty, lightly spiced. Rustic, with faint fruit. Special Belgian yeast must is a plus. 

This is a darker saison than we're accustomed to, but it's not in the Belgian way to cling to fast to styles. How's it taste, though? Slides in smoothly, easily, and yummily. (It's a word, look it up. Or, don't.) 

A very different version of a saison, and not one I'd expect from d'Achouffe. The beer are consistently good, and this is, as well, but it certainly defies expectations for the style. Light-bodied, lower alcohol, tasty, but unobtrusive malt character. Lacks a certain citric spark or spicy zing, but makes up for it with particular characteristics of it's own. 

The distributor made me a tap handle, which calls "Beer of the Sun" a "pale ale". I guess it is more of a malty pale ale, than what we typically think of as a saison. 

I find it hard to be very critical of this one. It really does more resemble a Belgian pale ale than a by-the-numbers saison, but any way you shake it, it's a nice beer. A sessionable Belgian ale, for sure, at a mere 4.5%, but, again, not quite what you expect when you think "saison". There's still plenty of citric snap, and slight hoppy/spicy twang that gives the palate something to do, and think about, but there's not so much challenge in it to worry anyone too much. The sort of beer I'd want one more of, and then, another. 

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