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Bottom line:B+, Savoury collab brew
Four Winds Brewing Co. Sovereign Super Saison ($15 for 750mL, #799601)
Saison is a beer style with a history of bottle aging/conditioning; historically it was brewed during the cooler months in northern Europe then stored until summer for purchase by seasonal workers (saissonniers). Thus it’s a delight to see local, complex big-bottle saisons. Sovereign Super Saison is an occasional release from Delta’s Four Winds Brewing, though I’m not entirely sure what the “Super” references. Maybe it’s the higher 8.5 per cent A.B.V., or simply nice alliteration, regardless this brew is super tasty. Oodles of waxy lemon peel and honeysuckle nuances segue to great overall tension and vibrancy before a pear skin and spice to finish.
Bottom line:A-, Bring on the creamy Thai curry
33 Brewing Exp. Dry Hopped Saison with Loral ($20.80 for 750mL – taxes included, available through the brewery)
Finally one more 750mL bottle of saison, this time from 33 Acres Brewing’s more esoteric 33 Brewing Experiment arm. Billed as a “French-style saison,” the 33B-EXP.039.MKIII (the brewery’s coding) features Loral, a designer hop variety explained to have a noble heritage that bridges an Old and New World aromatic profile. In the glass this dark golden-coloured ale presents bright spice, malt and herbal aromatics with a citrus underlay. It’s quite bubbly with nice richness and an engaging bitter finish featuring Brettanomyces influence. Definitely a slow sipper, ideally contemplated with the core bubble over a charcuterie plate.