Belgian Independence Day Saison (2011) | Brewery Ommegang

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Very Good
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 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.

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Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.85/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.01/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11 ounce goblet - $5.50 at Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Golden-hued body, clear, and with a slim, white head. Incredibly thin sheets of lace on the way down.

Smell: A scoop of sweet-scented candy sugar, pilsner maltiness with a hint of steeped grains, juiced orchard fruits, and a stink heady spices.

Taste: A sweet, glossy opening of pils malt -- grainy, tangy. Tart, thinly sliced Bosc pears and young apples. Very low citrus. The yeast is bringing about some spiciness, but also a big bump from the Grains of Paradise and pepper. Low bitterness, hop character. Drying, spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. A little languishing heft to the mouthfeel.

Overall: I would like a little more carbonation here, just a bit more effervescence. The mouthfeel isn't entirely lifeless, but it just sits, giving you a mouthful of the added spices, when I generally prefer the yeast to do that duty.

 928 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of JAHMUR
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.

 619 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 plaid75
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draft at The Good Life, Massapequa Park, NY.

Poured a hazy straw hue with a three finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a peppery hop, fresh ester and soft sweetness.

The taste was rindy and vegetable like with a course sweetness and spicy hop.

The mouthfeel was a bit heavy for the style with a prickly carbonation.

Overall a decent saison. Certainly not up to the Ommegang standard.

 440 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 mltobin
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at The Cask Republic.
Appearance is a golden color with two fingers of a bright white head. The smell of this saison contains lemon, pepper and a very small amount of funk. It has a taste that is very easy going, not too sharp or sweet. Belgian yeast, faint spices and lemon are all in the profile. MF is medium, carbonation low-mid. While a good beer, not as good as some of the others put out by Ommegang.

 422 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap at High Dive.

A: Yellow gold with a slightly hazy appearance and an big pillowy white head.

S: Pronounced apple and pear esters with notes of hay and earth. An evident spiciness reminds me of white pepper.

T: Apple and pear with strong white pepper phenols. Lightly sweet, with notes of hay and a lower moderate bitterness. Dry peppery finish that seems to compete with the bitterness.

M: Upper light body with high carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and prickly.

Overall: A nice Saison. More bitterness than I'm accustomed to for the style, but enjoyable nonetheless.

 588 characters

Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of n2185
2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy gold with two fingers of white head that fades into a thin cap with good lacing.

S: Belgian spices like coriander and clove at first followed by candy sugar with notes of floral lavender and orange zest.

T: Light spices at first followed by sweet breads and a yeasty finish. A bit bland.

M: Light body with medium carbonation, this beer is a little watery.

O: Not a bad beer, but bland and lacking complexity with too watery a body.

 452 characters

Photo of Zach136
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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 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 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 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 david18
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a twelve ounce draft of this beer recently in a local bar to me in Manhattan. Overall it was a very good Saison, a style that I'm not crazy about.

Appearance was a light straw with a lot of haze and a good amount of carbonation that left some lacing as well.

Smell had a great combination of all elements: esthery yeast, bready malt and citrusy hops. Very inviting.

Flavor was not as good as the aroma. Overall a little thin but not bad none the less.

I liked this beer and will have it again. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who likes this style.

 567 characters

Photo of vonnegut21
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of halo3one
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ehammond1
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Hazy straw yellow and gold. Thin white head. Spiderweb lacing.

Sweet and fruity aroma, slightly lemony, also with grass and slight hay scent.

Somewhat bready saison with some hay and lemon flavors. Mild bitterness, though there seems to be a touch of a sharp, somewhat metallic, flavor.

Light to medium mouthfeel.

A good celebration saison, though I prefer Ommegang's Hennepin a touch more.

 443 characters

Photo of Keith_R
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

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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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