Alter Ego Saison

Virginia
United States
Alter Ego Saison Smartmouth Beer
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
95
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20
Description 

This brew is a shout-out to the alter ego in each of us, beckoning it out of dormancy. Porter Hardy, IV, brewery president, left his career as an attorney to heed the call of his weekend passion, making beer. Along with some friends who were just as consumed by beer, he established Smartmouth Brewing Company in 2012. Alter Ego, brewed in the farmhouse style of a Belgian Saison, is an effervescent and refreshing beer with fruity notes, a hint of pepper and a dry finish. Try pairing it with seafood, especially oysters or mussels, smoked sausages or cured meats. It complements aged gouda, chevre and ripe soft cheeses.

Profile

ABV: 
6.2%
IBUs: 
33
Hops: 
German Magnum, French Strisselspalt, Styrian Golding
Malts: 
German Munich, German Pilsner, German Wheat
Judges Review 
Jim Koebel's picture
Judges Rating:
95
Aroma:
23 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Due to its artisanal origin, Saison is often mistakenly thought of as a freewheeling, anything-goes kind of beer. Granted, it is a hard style to pin down, but Saison does have some hard and fast rules: They should always be fruity, spicy, bitter and dry. This example opens with fruity aromas of lemon zest and citrus rind. A peppery aroma is followed closely by spicy phenols and a low, grainy, pils-malt character. It's a very pleasant start that gets better as it warms, when a moderate acidic character becomes present. It pours a classic cloudy orange-yellow color with a moderate white head. This beer is dry and moderately bitter throughout but does have a low, sweet malt flavor. The flavor is almost as fruity as the aroma, with an orange and lemon citrus taste that is lightly tart in the finish. Pepper and a generic, spicy, phenolic flavor are supportive but distinct. This Saison is highly carbonated and has some serious stamina – it stayed that way for forty-five minutes during this review. In addition to tartness, the finish is flavorful and carries an enjoyable sting from carbonation. Overall, this is a terrifically balanced example. This Saison follows the rules and nails them.