Belgian Independence Day Saison (2011) | Brewery Ommegang

53 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
What better way to celebrate the summer and Belgian Independence Day than with a Saison? Our Spiced Saison is a toast to the great brewers of Belgium and the proud history, which they represent. We have used a Wallonia Saison strain of yeast that produces fruity esters and classic earthy notes in the beer. Lemon peel, white pepper, coriander along with grains of paradise are used to give the Saison a delicate yet satisfactory spicing.

Added by Jason on 05-10-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of BeerMe42
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of argock
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a clear goblet at Capital Ale House (Richmond, VA). Reviewed from notes.

A: Lustrous golden with frothy 1-finger white head with good retention and plenty of lacing. A little attention to glassware (i.e. tulip with etching), and this may have reached another notch scorewise here.

S: Delicious Belgian maltiness with plenty of funkiness and distinct white pepper and herbal, grassy note. A lot less sweet than Hennepin and for the better in my book.

T: This is my kind of saison -- malt instead of yeast-focused with a superb balance of subtle sweetness, herbal notes, and the white pepper which grows through the beverage without overwhelming the palate. The yeast character is there and lends the usual tart twist, but the pepper note and the layered sweetness, as opposed to Hennepin's candi sugar character, is a wonderful combination and far superior, even though I do like Hennepin. There is plenty of dryness in the Independence Saison, but it is moderate and enhances the drinkability enormously.

M: The dryness is right on and not overdone as in many saisons (see Stillwater) and the medium body is also a winner when coupled with sturdy carbonation.

O: This beer was an awesome surprise -- a fantastic saison that I hope Ommegang rolls out every year in July for Belgian Independence Day. Highly recommended if it's still around.

 1,361 characters

Photo of Keith_R
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of Mudawg
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of Martinecu
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of CowboyRob
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Pub 71, Atlanta, GA, served in a pint glass:

The beer had a clear, golden body to it, with a very nice, creamy, slightly off-white head, which was retained very well and ultimately left a nice thin cap throughout the beer.

The aroma was nice. It gave off a nice, full yeast-ish aroma with citrus compliments, and some pepper.

The taste of the beer was just as good as the aroma, if not even a little better. Very nice full flavors and well balanced between all of the competing flavors.

The beer had a medium body, with very good carbonation. The beer was creamy and overall, very easy to drink and a very good beer all the way around. I hope that they don't throw this recipe away.

 697 characters

Photo of sacrifyse
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on draft at Kickbacks.

Very nice foamy white head that cresses on the edge of the glass. Lacing is nice, though recedes towards the end. A glowing muted yellow with hints of orange throughout. Hazy, yet translucent. Intrigueing.

The white pepper dominates on what appears to be a very mellow nose. Pleasant, but a sharp twist. Wheat, soft oranges, a bit of candy sweetness all tied up with a peppery twang. A tad too much?

Easy entrance and a strong exit. That is the best way to describe the flavor profile. begins with a smooth, wheat dominated creaminess. The cream flavor really carries through to the finish, with a few notes of spice. The mid body is spiked by a spice finish that transcends into the finishing notes of the beer. A mellow resurgence of wheat, some orange zest notes and lemon oil.

Soft. Great way to decsribe the mouthfeel. Pleasant and a bit sticky. An easy transition into the saison family and I find the white pepper to be well played. Interwoven rather than overpowering.

Great beer from Ommegang. Not as pleasant or enjoyable as the regular Hennepin, but nice nonetheless.

 1,117 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Monk's Cafe and Old Eagle Tavern. Served in a Duvel tulip and a regular glass.

Belgian Independence day looks a mix of strong yellow straw with some faded orange peeking through. Smell is a mix of faded earth scent grass and hay with some small lemon, grains of paradise and other spices. Floral hops in the mix as well in this very fresh saison. Taste is interesting, a beefed up saison with an American twist of more citrus flavor than Belgian counterparts. Tastes include orange, small lemon, grains of paradise, other spices, grassy notes in the middle with a semi dry finish. Feel is a nice medium, not too strong, approaching a Biere de Garde in terms of body weight but maintains the saison category, Not as crisp and dry as most saisons, style is blurred here but oh well I would love to polish off a growler of this on a lazy sunday afternoon. Cant wait for 2012. They should bottle this one for the season.

 927 characters

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the old eagle.

A- comes to me with a small cap of bright white head that settles quickly and leaves just a small wisp on top. Hazy yellow orange in color.

S- lots of citrus and powdery yeasty goodness. Floral and slightly honeysuckle sweet.

T- opens up grassy and a mildly tart lemon zest hit. Malts are light and bring a simple powdered sugar and honey sweetness. Yeast brings in a bit of spice.

M- on the lighter side of body and brightly carbed with a semi dry finish.

O- this is a great saison with a awesome citrus profile. Very drinkable and super enjoyable.

 584 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Cask Republic into its proper tulip. Too bad they made the glass for it so dang small.

A: Clear gold body beneath an inch of eminently creamy off-white head. Great retention and lacing. Beautiful beer in every way.

S: Mmm. Fresh, vibrant yeastiness: apple and pear esters, faint white pepper, and even a hint of beautiful, cheesy funk. Dry finish with a touch of flint. Great balance of fruit, malt, spice, and minerality. Terrific.

T: Follows the nose: fruity up front, spicy, malty, and funky thereafter. Dry, floral finish. Delicious, but not quite as dynamic as the aroma.

M: Hugely lively, creamy, frothy body. Fun.

O: I was shocked to see this getting only a B so far, as I thought it was the best new beer that Ommegang has put out in a long time. I would have loved to have tried this side-by-side with Hennepin; I'm really not sure which would have been better.


 898 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap a slightly hazy golden with a thin white head - but the latter may be an artifact with a pour. Yeasty aroma has a firm fruity note, mainly apple with a hint of berries. Flavor is mainly yeasty with fruity and malty hints and a touch of hops. Fruity taste is mainly apple with touches of banana and berry and even a whisper of lemon. Smooth, firm texture has a decent amount of fizz. Happy independence, Belgium! My fantasy is to visit that country and spend a month doing nothing but drinking their fantabulous beer.

 537 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip, beer is yellow and hazy with a big white head of small and medium bubbles, with some carbonation and some lacing.

Aroma is sweet and fruity with lots of yeast and some esters.

Beer is medium to light in body, carbonated, fruity on the palate, peaches, apples, sweet, esters, overall nice, i liked it and would have it again.

 345 characters

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I had this on tap while on vacation in upstate NY on 7/5/11, I never imagined I would be the first review. I'd never heard of it until then.

The color is a hazed golden-amber, with a white head that's soft but large and strong. When it does recede, it lasts the remainder as a bit more than a foam. Lacing is very nice and drops not so much legs as sparse but large patches.
The aroma is a nice blend of yeast, earth and citrus, a well balanced mixture of malts and hops with that Belgian yeast.
Citrus hops with the distinctive dusty/earthy and very slightly bubble gum mix from the yeast take the stage before some lighter fruits poke through later.
This beer provides a nice mix in the mouthfeel of moderate crispness and smoothness in a light to medium body with a clean finish.
This isn't Hennepin, but it's still a very good saison.

 844 characters

Photo of sureshot08
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of mweso2000
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of vonnegut21
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 1.5 finger head, light lace, murky straw colored.

S: very floral with some spice and yeast notes.

T: initially a dull and creamy yeasty flavor which transitions to a floral finish. Mild spice and orange peel notes.

M: high carbonation and light to medium body.

Overall: interesting saison. More floral and less zest than others. More drinkable than you average saison.

 377 characters

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a tulip, the beer is a slightly hazy, honey-gold color with a steady flow of carbonation and a dense, foamy, big bubbled, white head that coats the glass nicely as you go. Aromas of orange zest, clove, and pepper on a lightly sweet backbone. Flavors are spicy atop a smooth and sweet backbone of biscuit and toffee. Oregano, pepper, and clove leap onto the palate, and the carbonation gives an effervesence to the flavors. The aftertaste is light, and more of the citrus highlights and toffee sweetness, with only hints of the spicing. Light, bubbly finish leaves a clean, dry palate. Tasty.

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Belgian Independence Day Saison (2011) from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 53 ratings
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