French Oak Saison
New Belgium Brewing Company

French Oak SaisonFrench Oak Saison
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Belgian Saison
3.96 | pDev: 6.57%
New Belgium Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
French Oak SaisonFrench Oak Saison
Notes: To understand "Belgian-style beer" is to understand Belgium's nuanced regions and historical past. To the north, we have Flanders, a region invaded and occupied by many foreign powers over hundreds of years, known for everything from white beer to oak-aged sour brown ales.

To the south, we have Wallonia, a region known for its rich farmland, industrial coalfields, French culture and farmhouse ales like Biere de Garde and saison. Our French Oak Saison pulls inspiration from both regions by marrying a dry, hop-forward Wallonia-style saison with a golden ale soured in French oak foeders for 15 to 18 months -- a method derived from Flanders. The rye and spelt grains in the saison contribute to a medium-light body while the Huell Melon and Tettnang hops give aromas of honeydew and white pepper.

The result is a rustic, goldenrod yellow saison offering pleasant lemon and white grape aromas and a bright, mouthwatering sourness with a clean, dry finish.

A true blending of inspirations.
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 71 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a two finger head; a few spots of lace

Smell: Green apple and lemon dominate; peppery yeast and some grapefruit pith

Taste: Citrus forward, with the lemon and grapefruit pith starting out; the yeast and grains emerge, through the middle, along with a modest sourness and some oak in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A lot to like here - easy to drink, refreshing, with a nice range of flavors across the board

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Photo of sjrider
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy honey gold color with quickly dissipating white head leaving no lacing. Nose is mildly sour,citrusy and yeasty. Taste follows and is also very mild. Finishes slightly dry and tart. A good entry level sour.

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Photo of Ahypercube
4.69/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is the third aged sour ale I have had, and although I liked Eroica and Dark Swan, this is easily better than either of the two.

L: Pours with a hazy golden straw body and lots of bone-white head, which lasts impressively for a sour and does leave some decent lacing.

S: The sour funkiness from Brett is noted first; underneath that, a mellow and sweet fruity bouquet features white grape, lemon, nectarine, yellow grapefruit, plum, honeydew and white pepper. I find it very appetizing.

T: A sharp metallic blade of citric acid scrapes across the tongue, leaving behind a peppery tingle and a trail of warm, sweet bursts of plum, grape and yellow nectarine in its wake. Smooth white bread and melon sweetness ferry the tartness away in a hot air balloon.

F: Lighter than you'd expect, both in texture and flavor. Very smooth mouthfeel, very crisp finish.

O: This is the kind of beer you can share with a wine connoisseur, and they may actually be able to appreciate it.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from one pint, six fluid ounce bottle. Date code is '04MAR18'.
Clear, pale gold colored body. Fizzy, white head quickly settles to bubble fed ring. No lacing.
Aroma of lemon, white wine, and earthy funk. Some spice like coriander way in the background.
Taste includes the oak barrel, along with lemon and white grape. White pepper and coriander spices. Sour throughout, and has the funk. Dry finish.
Fizzy, medium mouth feel. Refreshing.
Well done and balanced.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shiny copper penny colored with a fingernail of dishwater white around the rim and most of the top. After about 5 minutes most of the foam is gone. There's plenty of oak in the aroma along with light pear and green grapes. I'm tasting a well balanced blend of oak, light pear, green apple, and light grains. The mouth is fairly smooth and moderately carbonated.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a tulip glass, orange, almost clear, with a thin rim of lace that dissipates immediately. Pear, peach, sour funk on the nose. The taste is right in line, with some slight wood notes buried underneath. The mouthfeel is medium light,carbonation is medium high and slightly sharp on the finish. A very tasty and interesting saison,just enough sour and funk mixed with fruit notes to keep it balanced.

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Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy, straw-yellow color with a thin, tan head of foam. It smelled of oak, yeasty, toasty caramel and green apple. Nice fruity flavor with a yeasty kick.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Straw gold with a head of foam that recedes slowly. In the nose I get cloves, tart fruit, bits of Brett, pepper. Okay tart taste up front, some barnyard, coriander and cloves. Extremely dry especially in the finish. Very lively carbonation, this is a good one.

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Photo of Jared40
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a golden slightly hazy look into the glass. Great head on the beer. Not too sour but very drinkable.Great smell to the beer as well. If you love farmhouse ales you will definitely love this beer.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good example of the style... Not mind blowing but very solid and tasty... Slightly sour... Paired with some maple smoked pork chops marinated in Captain Rodneys...m

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Photo of brenn79
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

32 oz crowler from Growler Guys- Pours hazy straw golden with a medium bone white head. Aroma is very much saison, yeasty, funky, lemon, oak is subtle yet there. The flavor is lemony, clean, the oak imparts an interesting dryness, yet is still somewhat juicy. Really dug this beer, could pound it actually.

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Photo of mactrail
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Think of a dry white wine and that pretty close to this stuff. Actually it's a little more acidic than that. Some of the great farmyard funk right after the sourish business. Apples fermenting, cider gone beyond dry. Very sharp in the nose. Some fruity, malty flavors are the best part. Slight bitterish aftertaste.

Overall, this is quite interesting, but to me it would have been an excellent with just a touch of the barrel instead of all the acidity. Or even better, blend this with a plain and simple Bière de Garde to titrate just the right amount of funk and sharpness. This is well worth a try if you crave some sourness but don't like the lactobacillus vinegar-style sours. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Grapevine Liquors in Denver.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

this is a weird beer and not at all what i expected from it. its quite belgian in nature, the yeast obviously fermented warm and allowed to run a little bit, its estery and highly floral in both the nose and the taste, and almost has a belgian tripel sort of vibe to it. i was expecting a little more of the wild elements, but that aspect is really tame, well behind the belgian/saison yeast. i like how flavorful the malt base is, wheaty and round and soft feeling, quite inviting and really relaxed on the palate. hontes of white wine, honey, and apple in this, mostly from the yeast it seems, with a little sweetness and a lot of alcohol for being as low as it is. the wood aspect is there too, but its not as mature or developed as i thought it might be based on the name, its got the mellowness from the oak, but the flavor is mild. i think extended ageing or a high proportion of the wood aged beer in the blend would make this more dynamic, but i do appreciate the beer on the whole, and reckon its one of the first new beers i have had from these guys in awhile that is adventurous and unique, its been awhile, and i think this is a great release for them. the yeast could be dialed back a bit, but if you like belgian yeast, this is pretty solid. on tap all over town right now.

edit: after a year in the cellar this has mellowed out and gotten better, still oddly tangy but its drier and more bubbly now, not as intense on the yeast, more well integrated, ill let another one sit even longer. time is doing this well.

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

Aroma has tartness, mild oak. Green apple, pepper, citrus peel, and white wine come through in the taste, which has mild tartness and a pleasant hint of oak.

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

Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to make a delicate beer. Among today's craft beer landscape, it seems that more is more. But the delicate hand of sourness lays upon a classic and clean spice and fruit medley of saison for a zesty, winey and brisk session.

Pale straw and lightly hazed, the beer's frothy cap rewards the nose with apple, wine, citrus and brine. As a supple sweetness latches onto the middle palate, its faint sourdough character carries through to a radiant green apple flavor that's sprinkled with lime, lemon, grapefruit, under ripened orange and kiwi. Trailing with tart pastry and sourdough, the hops are faint in bitterness while a white wine persistence shows.

Medium bodied for sour ale, the beer retains a bold saison taste and texture while becoming floral and fruity once again. Stone fruit frames a finish of hay, burlap and cork with a fine alcohol spice and a moderately oaken aftertaste.

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French Oak Saison from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 71 ratings