XV (√225 Saison) - BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
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Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 39 | Show All Ratings:
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4.49/5 rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
From a 750 bottle (label is notched "Batch 9") into a tulip.
A-A normal pour produces about two and a half fingers of dense, light-khaki head. The retention is more than two minutes and the lacing is impressive. The head reminds me of an IPA. The beer is very murky and lighter in color with orange highlights.
S-The aroma is a really inviting mixture of fruit-forward, bretty funk and a light, citrus tartness. I smell musty peach and a hint of herbal, grassy spice. There is a vague, drying bitterness in there too. Complex aroma for sure.
T-The taste follows the smell pretty closely. I taste juicy stone fruit; musty funk; a bit of grassy, spicy bitterness, some tart citrus acidity; and a bready, doughy malt base. It is complex and the flavors are well integrated with each other.
M-The feel is light to medium heft with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very drinkable.
O-This is a great (if expensive) wild-ish saison/farmhouse. I really enjoy how the funk is not so dry and dusty, but has a little bit of nuance and fruit character to it. The funk, fruit, and tartness are in good balance with each other, and they make fore a very drinkable beer that I would happily drink a ton of if it didn't cost $23 a bottle.
Serving type: bottle
03-08-2014 05:40:02 | More by spoony
4.2/5 rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured into stemmed belgian glass.
Appearance is a murky orange with fluffy cream colored head that leaves a nice film on the sides of glass.
Aroma is of soft citrus, berries, oak, subtle winter spices, freshly baked sourdough bread, and a certain funk which eludes me at the moment. The nose is certainly not in your face but is quite complex.
The taste yields more soft citrus and fruit characters, phenolic belgian yeast esters abound with black pepper and rosemary, and a wave of barrel character throughout. A touch of tartness possibly coming from the barrel aging in the old Bon-Chein barrels. Balance of flavors is apparent. Smooth as it should be for 5 percent ABV.
Mouthfeel is light and airy. Almost silky. Body is where it should be for a barrel aged saison. Maybe a touch lacking on the carbonation.
Overall a very pleasant beer. The barrel aging helps the base beer tremendously. Without it, I'm not sure if the base beer was interesting at all. But the final product is easy drinking, flavorful, with similar attributes to bigger, oak aged farmhouse ales without being as sharp on the palate.
Serving type: bottle
02-25-2014 00:46:10 | More by MarcWP
3.51/5 rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25
"18th century historical ale." "Ale aged in oak barrels." "Batch 9." Imported by B. United International, Inc. (At least it's not the Shelton Bastards). 5% ABV confirmed per the label. 75cl green glass (ugh...) bottle with branded black pry-off pressure cap acquired at Jester King brewery a couple days ago and served into an Avery stem-tulip in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live, as a saison - since the label clearly identifies it as such. Expectations are high; it sounds tasty and I do appreciate a good complex saison.
Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured,.
Pours a half finger wide head of off-white colour. Disappointingly thin. Okay creaminess. Decent complexion and consistency. Head retention is poor; it dissipates within a minute and a half, leaving only a floater ring. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass when it's tilted.
Body colour is a nontransparent lightly hazy translucent orange-copper of average vibrance. Clean; no floating yeast particles/sediment is visible. Appears a bit undercarbonated.
Overall, it's less hazy than most traditional saisons and I don't find it unique or special. There are no noticeable flaws, and I'm looking forward to trying it, but this is standard fare for the style.
Sm: Has a wonderful honey and crystal malt character accompanied by a bold oak wood tone which I love. Heavy nectary sweetness is evident - from actual nectar or just hops I can't tell. Lovely floral notes. Belgian pale malts. Light starchiness. Exquisite flowery character. Wow, this is something.
It doesn't have the spicing you'd expect from something like a Fantome saison nor is it the milky peppery type of saison you'd expect from Dupont, but the raw honey/nectary character here is divine, and I can't wait to discover the complexities and subtleties of the flavour profile. If I had to guess, I'd say the oak barrels used were pretty young as I'm picking up some heavy barrel sugars - a character I rarely come across.
A teasing aroma of mild to moderate strength. Boy is that enchanting.
No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.
T: Heavy on the flowery character and floral hops, with a raw honey/nectary/polleny character dominating the build. Has a nice complementary Belgian pale malt foundation, with plenty of crystal malt in there too. The oak tone is a bit more subtle than I'd like, but it lends the beer a natural grace and cohesion. Some might find this too sweet, but I think it works. I do crave some peppery notes or spicing, but that's just personal taste. This is a very interesting and ballsy take on a saison. While not quite unique in character, it's certainly uncommon.
As it warms, I pick up a hint of cedar as well as some nice citrusy fruit notes. Also some wisps of lime. Has a kiss of cidery green apple.
No yeast character or alcohol comes through. I don't pick up on any off-flavours.
The heavy sugary sweetness throws it a bit off-balance, and the flavour profile isn't anywhere near as intricate, complex, or subtle as the aroma promised, but I still find myself drawn to it. It does drink a bit heavy for a 5% brew, though. And while it does have a nice lactic edge - the highlight of the beer for me personally - I crave more. And brettanomyces funkiness is sorely missed. That said, it's got a nice cohesion, though it's far from a gestalt build. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.
Mf: The smacky lactic feel is great. It's a surprisingly filling beer for 5%, and is a bit too thick and heavy for what should be a light, refreshing ale. That said, it IS refreshing, and the smoothness and wetness aid drinkability. Near perfectly carbonated. The texture is very well executed overall, and maintains the raw honey vibe of the flavour profile. Good presence on the palate. It could be softer. I like the subtle acidity.
Not oily, astringent, gushed, hot, boozy, harsh, or rough.
Dr: This beer feels a bit young; I'd love to see how that raw honey note develops with age. This is definitely one to cellar. It has some wonderful elements, but ultimately the taste doesn't deliver on the promises of the aroma. I'll definitely be looking into this brewery's other offerings because there's some serious potential in this ale. I'd recommend fans of the style give this a try. I'd absolutely drink this again. Solid work from BFM.
Serve chilled. This really improves as it comes to temperature.
Serving type: bottle
02-10-2014 03:19:20 | More by kojevergas
XV (√225 Saison) from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
94 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.