Pour Les Oiseaux - Black Raven Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
4.41/5 rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pour Les Oiseaux (French for "For the Birds") is a wonderful example of the Saison style, and what a good canvas it can be for any number of treatments. Black Raven Brewing out of Redmond, Washington provides a nice description on the back of the bottle:
"Pour Les Oiseaux is a blend of complex earthy, fruity, and light tannic flavors with a crisp and refreshing finish. Brewed with barley, wheat, rye, and oats for a golden color and lightly spiced malt flavor. Earthy hay and wild yeast aromas mingle with light notes of Washington wine grapes.
Pour Les Oiseaux is aged in French oak white wine barrels with the addition of brettanomyces."
I decided to use a Goose Island Vintage glass for this beer. I will warn anyone opening this beer that it may gush a bit when you first open it. I have had it chilling for a week, so I imagine that if you don't get the beer cold, you would have significantly more overflow. Luckily not much was lost. This is a common occurrence when using brettanomyces to ferment your beer.
It surprisingly does not possess a massive carbonated head, but is rather timid after the gushing is over with. An egg-shell white head tops the hazed golden body. It settles to a finger thick pillowy layer, eventually dissipating by the end of the glass. Some light sticking is apparent on the side of the glass, though not much.
Even when opening the bottle, I could smell the brett and vinous nature of this beer. It has almost an apple cider vinegar quality to it. Light aroma, nothing very strong. Earthy notes mix with hints of green peppercorn, doughy malt, and green grape skins. The oaky smell comes through prominently, and reminds one of an oaked chardonnay.
The flavor hits the palette with a complex, sublime mix of tart apples, hay, pear skins, and finishes with a warmth from the French oak that lingers and lingers into the aftertaste. Really a wonderful mix of flavors that is complex and yet very refreshing. The barrel-aging brings this beer to another level, and the brett yeast dries out the palette, and lightens the body, creating this wonderful, summery saison that would stand on its own against the world best saisons.
A very impressive offering from Black Raven Brewing Co. Well worth tracking down if you can. I know that I will be trading for more. The beer is right on the mark for a saison, and the treatment that they give it with the brett and the extended aging on French oak white wine barrels is a massive improvement on the base beer. It's funny that this is called "for the birds," as that's typically an expression when describing something worthless. This beer is hardly "pour les oiseaux."
Serving type: bottle
05-15-2013 20:19:35 | More by MusicaleMike
4.33/5 rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Big thanks to whomever brought this to the tasting group. Pours a nearly perfect straw color with excellent clarity. A brilliant white head foams up quickly and settles almost just as fast. Funk is the first thing to hit the nose, and it's no surprise, given how the bottle makes it clear that brettanomyces are used. The funk comes off slightly corky and mostly barnyardy, like wet wood and hay. Lots of fruit in the aroma, as well; pears, light peaches, apple slices, white grapes - it almost has a slight champagne or white-wine smell to it (aside from the brett, of course); very crisp and clean, appears to be highly-carbonated.
Taste is crisp and refreshing as expected. White grapes, pears, apple skins, and a handful of light funk (lighter on the palate than on the aroma, for sure). Some corky notes, but again, not as heavy as they were on the nose. This one carries a big oak barrel taste cascading in the background and lasting from nearly start to finish. Borderline tart in the middle, with a spike of fruits and flavors that hits like a white wine. Surprisingly, I'm picking up some light cinnamon in the aftertaste, right along with a fading fruity sweetness and another small touch of brett. Hops are mostly hidden, slightly musky and peppery, but I may just be grasping at straws here. Medium bodied with heavy carbonation.
Solid saison that drinks almost more like a wine or champagne than a beer, at least as far as the flavor profile is concerned. The bretts make a nice appearance without being overdone and the barrel aging added a whole new element. Lots going on here, but very well put together and tasty when all was said and done.
Serving type: bottle
02-10-2013 18:32:05 | More by tectactoe
4.29/5 rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
'Try this beer', quoth the Raven.
Well, don't mind if I do...
Pour Les Oiseaux is, simply put, a gorgeous blend of vineous tart grape, buttery oak, and the perfect amount of barnyard funk. All of this is wrapped up in an almost champagne-like mouthfeel that, while different than most brews, offers some real varietal enjoyment. Like peanut butter is to maple syrup, the brett is present (but not overpowering) and stands as a unique companion to the chardonnay like qualities of the spiced malt. It drinks very easily...too easily. The first is gone and I'm wishing for another...
Bottom line: If you see it, pick it up. Because someday it may be...nevermore.
Serving type: bottle
04-08-2014 05:56:49 | More by TwoTrees
Pour Les Oiseaux from Black Raven Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.