Monday, October 27, 2014

The Best Thing I Swallowed on Sunday Episode 20

Another Sunday has come and gone, and with it, three more beers have crossed my palate. Today is saison day for no other reason than there were multiple saisons on our draft list today. Only two were new to me, but I threw in Revolution's Coup D'Etat because I'd already reviewed the other two saisons that were available (Apex Predator from Off Color Brewing, and Saison DuPont). The first two saisons are collaboration beers, while Coup D'Etat is a solo project. All three hail from the great state of Illinois. And, as is normally the case, I enjoyed each of these beers immensely.

Imperial Black Saison, Stefon, Coup D'Etat
First up is Ten-Ninety's collaboration with Pollyanna Brewing of Lemont, Illinois. These two breweries teamed up to create an Imperial Black Saison. At 10.1% ABV, this beer fits the Ten-Ninety MO of making big beers. As you can see above, it is indeed black, and the foam of the head is chocolate in color. Dark malts are the key ingredient, but this beer is also fairly bitter at 50 IBU's. The aroma is very understated, but exhibits roasted malt notes. This farmhouse ale has a medium body and a dry finish that releases a fair amount of alcohol warmth. The initial flavor is of roasted malts and hops. But then notes of chocolate also reveal themselves to create a wonderful experience. This beer really impressed me, and Ten-Ninety has been an excellent addition to the world of good beer in Illinois. Imperial Black Saison is the best thing I swallowed on Sunday.

The second beer of the day is another collaboration beer called Stefon. Solemn Oath of Naperville joined forces with St. Louis' Perennial Artisan Ales to create this dark farmhouse ale. Stefon is a dark rye farmhouse ale conditioned with Brettanomyces that has an ABV of 7%. Like the Imperial Black Saison, Stefon is also very dark and has a cocoa colored head on it. There's a dark-fruit aroma which translate into the taste profile of this light-bodied ale. There's a really nice balance between the hops and malts. Hints of cocoa are also present, although I detected no tartness from the Brettanomyces yeast--perhaps that will come with age? In any case, Stefon is light and very drinkable. Solemn Oath suggests that this beers flavors will evolve with aging, so it might be interesting to grab a bottle and hold onto it for a few months to see what happens.

Finally we arrive at Chicago's own Revolution Brewing's Coup D'Etat. This is a French style farmhouse ale or saison that has an ABV of 7.5%. It is golden and hazy, with a good head and nice lacing. The nose is sweet and yeasty. The flavor is filled with fruit, but Coup D'Etat also has good spice and hop notes. The finish is somewhat earthy, and the mouthfeel is rather soft. This is a solid example of a saison.

This concludes episode 20. Stay tuned for next week's show to find out about what's good in Chicago!

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