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Pour Les Oiseaux - Black Raven Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pour Les OiseauxPour Les Oiseaux

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

79 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.64%
Wants: 9
Gots: 9 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Black Raven Brewing Co. visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: beertunes on 02-18-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zaximus
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I found the Pour Les to be one of the best examples of how to impliment barrel aging, especially on a style that usually doesn't get that treatment (at least that I can think of right now). Most barrel aging is with liquor/spirits that I've found tend to hit you over the head with the booze taste and just leaves the beer for dead.

This saison is done with wine barrels (white) that leaves a great subtlety of taste and almost sweetness in the end product. It works WITH the beer to make a new, more intense, and unique taste and take of saison. One of my favorites as I try it more and more.

In closing, take a trip to Black Raven and get some Pour Les Oiseaux for yourself, as well as other offerings. BR is always trying new ingredients and new takes on traditional styles.

Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of ArchEnemyBrew
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of dionito
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of distantmantra
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of DOCRW
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Eric for sharing this one!
Quick review from written notes.

Bright gold with an initial head of fluffy foam settling to a thin skim afterward.
Clarity is sharp and there are visible trails of carbonation around the edges.

Oaky sandalwood, lightly floral aroma, mild dried pineapple sweetness.

Tart and fruity apricot, slightly bitter with loads of dry, gripping oak. Big time buttery chardonnay barrel. Spritzy carbonation, smooth feel. Dry tannic aftertaste. Finished my first pour and had a little more. This was great stuff.

Photo of stakem
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a clear golden yellow color with streaming bubbles supporting a 2 finger white froth. Some webby strings of patchy lace stick to the glass.

The aroma includes notes of clove and white grape juice. Quite vinous with slight tropical feel about it. Some sulfur and grass evolves as it warms up.

The flavor is a bit boozy with tropical fruit and herbal to grassy hops. A slight lemon rindy sort of bitterness balances things out.

This is a medium to lighter bodied brew with a modest to sprity amount of carbonation. It is crisp and light but the overall drinkability suffers a bit from the boozy feel. It is surprising how boozy and warming this is for the list ~7 abv. Certainly worth trying.

Photo of Eighty
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of BeerNW
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of MusicaleMike
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
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."

Photo of TysonA
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Rifugium
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had a recent Philly 'burbs bottle share.

Golden pour, shockingly pristine clarity, with a solid cap of foamy white head; nice retention and lacing. Fruity esters in the aroma, toasted wheat, grass. Taste was pretty light and crisp, essence of apple and grape skins with a twinge of tartness, barnyard funk, herbal hops, lightly toasted cereal grains. Light-bodied and dry, easily drinkable, pretty nice overall.

Photo of 510a
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of BillHilly
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Romulux
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of tectactoe
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of Benny3000
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Pour Les Oiseaux from Black Raven Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.