Friday, July 30, 2010

Fantôme BBB Dark White

Brasserie Fantôme is located in Soy, Belgium and has been around since 1988. Dany Prignon has been creating an array of saisons since that time using a variety of ingredients...herbs, spices, whatever he can get his hands on. They even brew a saison made with dandelions picked from the grounds around the brewery. Each bottle seems to tell a different story and I was excited to crack this one....

I always enjoy trying Dany's creations and was happy to find this one up in Milwaukee. Cork pops and pours into my Fantome glass a deep hazy brown with red accents and a creamy inch of off white head that has great staying power. Aromas of crisp earthy, bready malts along with a mellow barnyard accent. Yeast tones meet a melange of spiciness where the pepper takes the lead. Slight fruit undertones as well.

First sip brings a cornucopia of flavors. Crisp, slightly bready malts meet a good mix of fruity flavors intermixing with the classic Fantome yeast. As it flows down the pepper kicks in and there's a slight burn on the back of the palate. Mild tartness along with a barnyard / hay accent. Lots going on here...tasty, spicy saison.

Mouthfeel is light and arid making this incredibly drinkable. Creamy with perfect carbonation. Overall, I never quite know what to expect when I crack a Fantome beer and this was a winner for me. At 4% it's incredibly drinkable and the black pepper is well integrated and not overdone. Now it's time for me to find another bottle.

This beer gets a rating of Great bordering on Amazing from me. Simply an awesome traditional saison.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tyranena La Femme Amère Wisconsin/Belgique-Style India Pale Ale

Tyranena in Lake Mills, Wisconsin has long been one of my favorite Midwest craft brewers. They have an extremely solid line up of tasty year round beers, great seasonals and always interesting one-offs via their Brewers Gone Wild! series. I used to enjoy making a road trip up to Wisconsin for their new releases, however due to the fact that they now distribute to Illinois I can fill my Tyranena craving anytime I want! This is the most recent brew in the Brewers Gone Wild Series! that I'm drinking tonight....

Pours a copper orange color with a couple fingers of eggshell foam on top of the brew and plenty of little bubbles rising up. Aromas of spicy, earthy Belgian yeast alongside crisp malts and a fruity undertone as well. Nice dose of citric hops melds in as well. Touch of bubblegum.

First sip brings crisp caramelized malts upfront with a big yeast kick. Spicy, earthy and a touch fruity. Citrus hops work in with some good bitterness. Flows down with a slight bubblegum / medicinal accent. Lingering yeasty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is fairly smooth and crisp with punchy carbonation. Pretty easy to drink but I think the yeast overtakes the hops a bit here. An interesting twist on Bitter Woman but I'll be sticking to the original version personally.

Overall I gave this one a rating of Enjoyable. I still like the regular Bitter Woman more!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lost Abbey - Red Poppy - 2010 Vintage's been awhile yet again since I've posted and I'm really going to attempt to start updating this more frequently. The hectic summer and my drive to run / exercise more often have taken up a lot of my time. Today I'm posting about a great brew from The Lost Abbey that's released once a year in fairly small quantities. I've received mine via the Sinner's Club which I've taken part in for the past few years.

Pours a deep brown color with red highlights and two fingers of bubbly khaki head on top. Aromas of dense oak and wood meet a bright sour cherry. Tart, earthy accents run throughout along with a touch of spice. Nice!

First sip brings crispness and dry oak flavors upfront. Tannic with a solid kick of tart cherry. Spice and earthy funk but the wood has really seeped in this year. Flows down dry and puckering with lingering cherry accents.

Crisp with solid carbonation. A good sipper and a tasty treat to savor. Oak seems more forward this year but overall it's still a tasty treat.

Overall I gave this brew a rating of Great for me! (86/100)

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