Black & Blue Grass | New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House

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Black & Blue GrassBlack & Blue Grass
75 Ratings
Black & Blue GrassBlack & Blue Grass

Brewed by:
New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House
Indiana, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with blue agave nectar, toasted black pepper, and lemongrass.

Added by emerge077 on 06-04-2012

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 75 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy light amber orange in color. It poured with a thin off white head that died down a bit, leaving a thin film covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of lemongrass are present in the nose along with some notes of blue agave nectar.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but isn't quite as strong. Faint hints of peppery spices are noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The mixture of lemongrass and blue agave nectar provides for a very interesting smell.

 613 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.12/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Experimental to its core, it's unlikely that the fusion of agave, peppercorn, and lemongrass have ever come together with such as savory sweet overtone.

Amber through and through, the beer has a slightly hazed appearance as if looking at straight honey. A struggling foam stance is followed by the same effort from retention and lace. The oils, sugars, and carbonated void doesn't allow for any meaningful head character.

Honey, fruit, vegetable, and spice deliver a broadly sweet scent that's of light caramel and corn syrup followed by apple, dried peach, citrus, aloe, pepper, and an earthy flower scent. No real hop impact to mention, the beer relies on heavy malt aromatics that's decorated with spice and fruit.

Floral honey manifests in taste with a sweet caramel and agave topping. Earthy and lightly of aloe juices, the vegetal taste causes my taste buds to want to register hops, but instead a quickly rebuttal of fresh cracked peppercorn, herbal grasses, and citrus intervene and ride the beer's sweetness directly through to finish. Estery with peaches, apples, cherries, and a hint of cinamon and nutmeg seem modestly of English strong ales.

The sweet taste resonates in texture as well, leaving a lot of unresolved sweetness from malt and agave to clinch heavily to the mouth and prevents the malty-dry mouth feel that would have otherwise held higher drinkability. Instead the persistent sugary weight causes the beer to be a sipping beer with little malt development from initial taste to it's lumbering finish. Spicy, peppery, and light alcohol dryness assists the malt but never accomplishes it's drying goals.

The flavors of lemongrass, peppercorn, and agave create a very interesting dialogue, but it's simplified underlying palate limits the beer on all fronts: aroma, taste, and especially its mouthfeel

 1,832 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Brewed with blue agave nectar, toasted black pepper, and lemongrass"

Big ups to the one and only Howard for laying this one on me.
Saison Sunday in effect...

Pours a dark rosy orange color, fully saturated, approaching a burnished copper. Frothy creamy white foam on top, a nest of larger bubbles clings to one side. Retention is ok, eventually the surface skim breaks after a few minutes. Not much lace to speak of.

Aroma is lightly sweet and herbal from the agave, with a hint of spice from the pepper.

Clean and smooth feel, flavor is a little muted but pleasant. Medium body, lower carbonation. Lightly sweet, some Belgian yeast traces and light pepper at first, clearing up fast on the palate, leaving behind a dry finish. Earthiness from the lemongrass, though it is muddled in the mix. Could be a little more crisp and zesty. Overall it was fun to try, definitely enjoyed the bomber. Thanks again Howard!

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Photo of atlbravsrno1
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Lare453
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Eziel
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bluejacket74
3.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a tulip, the beer pours a slightly hazy orange/amber color with a half inch off-white head that didn't stay around for too long. There's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, it smells like honey/blue agave, lemongrass, citrus, apples and some peppery spice. The brew tastes like honey/blue agave, peppercorns, lemongrass and some citrus. I liked the taste of this brew more and more the longer I drank it. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit slick and smooth with low carbonation. I think this is a good overall brew, I liked it.

 567 characters

Photo of tykechandler
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of suckaj
2.52/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of schoolboy
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This one was a unique experience, and that isn't always a good thing.

It a cloudy dark yellow with big head and big bubbles. The aroma was skunky-funky.

The taste was malty yet dry with a bitter aftertaste.

It was definitely unique, with an odd grassy feel to it, but not something I would want again.

 306 characters

Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Chaney
3.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Well, the dude from "The Winetree" in Evansville loved this and spoke very highly of it. Let's see.

Served in an Olde Hickory glass.

A: I thought this was going to be one of those black saisons, but from the look of it, it looks like a DIPA. Cloudy, chilled hazed gold, with a 1/4 finger head that melted into a mere ring in 5 seconds flat.

S: More of an "Herb/Spiced Beer" just based on the nose. Coriander, flower petals, thyme, and white pepper. Interesting...

T: Okay, this DEFINITELY doesn't read saison to me.... more like either the aforementioned style from the nose, or one of Dogfish's foo-foo historic brews. Definitely wheat-based, floral, and sweet, but not too. I got crushed "Sweet Tarts."

M: The flatest farmhouse brew I've ever tasted, but as an "Herb/Spiced Beer" this was fine. The lacing was mildly splotchy and the sweetness wasn't in-line with the farmhouse style at all.

O: Not to sound like a broken record, but this is NOT as saison. It's more of a blend of several styles and I found it very creative. I know BA calls it a saison, but New Albanian makes no such claim. Very good beer.

 1,116 characters

Photo of ONUMello
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a pint glass
A: Light orange with a 1/2-finger head
S: Sweet, some spice, some light wheat notes
T: Lots of spice initially followed by some florals/potpourri, not a lot in the way of malty/hoppy characteristics
M: Light-bodied, a fair amount of carbonation
O: Meh. Not what I'd call a saison but not sure what style it would be... a unique/interesting beer but not one I'd buy again

 415 characters

Photo of juicebox
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of thebigredone
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of kbrown
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Sellen
2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of morebeergood
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of LJWalker
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of target88
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of MaseFace
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of JohnnyHopps
2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shared with a testing group, the beer was poured into a small goblet. The appearance was a pale yellow color with a slight white head. The aroma was pretty typicaly for a saison, demonstrating a funky flower scent with a measure of spice. The bubbly nature of the mouthfeel immediately stood out, before yielding to a soapy taste. We joked about calling this one Ajax Light. It made me wonder if something went wrong with this bottle. There was a certain lavendery soapy taste with a hint of spice. I was unable to detect much of the advertised Belgian yeast or blue agave. In the aftertaste, the taste grew more tart but still had a general soapiness to it. I would pass on this one in the future.

 698 characters

Photo of RickS95
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bit darker than other saisons I've had, almost a light orange/amber combo. Relatively clear. Gave it a good pour, but there's little head and what's there isn't there long. No lacing.

Has an interesting smell. Very floral and moderately fruity. You can almost make out the lemon grass. As another reviewer notes, it has an artificial sweetener-like smell to it, likely the agave.

There's something good happening on the tongue. The strange smell works well on the taste buds. Slightly unique taste, probably the house yeast blend, lemon grass and agave. The pepper is almost imperceptible and is only a secondary player.

All feelings are a bit duller than I care for, almost watered-down, kind or lager-ish. There's certainly some sweetness and a bit of spice, but the spice is muted and everything has a 'loose' feel to it. No carbonation and anything but a dry finish, I'm left licking my lips because it's got a wet finish.

An unusual beer, but not too bad. Very easy to drink, just not world class.

 1,010 characters

Photo of neckbracesub
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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Black & Blue Grass from New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 75 ratings