Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Destihl The Duke of Norrington Saison de Imperiale

Destihl The Duke of Norrington Saison de Imperiale. 10.7% ABV. 25 IBU. Destihl Brewery, Normal, IL.

Heavily clouded, off-amber, slim white head.

Aroma: plump with Belgian yeast and malt. Vibrant fruit notes, stone and citrus. A little sharp, a trifle hot.

In the mouth: Richer, fuller, and more flavorful than a meager non-"imperial" saison. Big 'n' beefy, and just a little hot. Sweetness abounds, fruit, bubblegum, typical Belgian-style flavors at play on the palate. Still smooth, none too troubling, and quite tasty. Flavor lingers long. Finishes dry, though sweetness always comes back.

I must admit though, that this is a style I don't like to see "imperialized." It feels like it's big and boozy just for the sake of being big and boozy. Comes across more like a Belgian strong golden, and loses any "saison-ness."

Here's what they say about it: "The Duke of Norrington is the powerful elder statesman to our family of saisons. The nose of this imperial saison is reminiscent of black pepper & hibiscus, which is then met with flavors of added coriander and hints of cherry bubblegum esters. The beer's medium body is swept away by a bone-dry finish and subtle notes of traditional spicy Belgian yeast character, Cheers!"

Towards the end of the bottle, it mellows out some, and the thornier edges have calmed. Good, strong beer and you can drink it. Go right ahead and do so.

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