Richard Wong's picture

94 Rating: Brewery Lane Series, Oak Aged Saison by Breckenridge Brewery

December, 2017
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

This beer falls in the BJCP category of (25B) Saison. It could have also been placed as a (33A) Wood Aged Beer. This beer is described as an "oak aged saison brewed with Gewurztraminer grape juice from Colorado". However, I didn't get any oak fragrances in the aroma, but I did get a wonderful malt sweetness, grape juice and slight herbal spicy notes.  

If you are not familiar with the Gewurztraminer grape varietal, it is most notably found in the Alsace region of (France/Germany). It is now grown elsewhere including North America and New Zealand. It is a white varietal that tends to be more on the sweet profile. In fact, "Gerwuz" means herb or spice in German.

This is certainly a first for me to experience a saison with added grape juice and I conclude that it blends well! The appearance of the pour revealed a wonderful light brown hue that was somewhat cloudy with moderate carbonation. Cloudy is okay in this case as this style is often unfiltered.

The flavor of this beer had a nice malt sweetness and a low hop profile. It had that really nice distinctive spicy/herbal character (almost clove-like) notable in the saison style balanced with a light touch of biscuit malt and yeasty characteristics.

What made this saison wonderful was the slight touch of grape juice that lends a bit of sweetness and added profile. The profile also included raisins, perhaps from the oak barrel? The grape juice could have been added prior to bottling (dosage) much in the style of Champagne and perhaps giving it natural carbonation? Who would ever expect adding grape juice to a saison.

The body and mouthfeel of this beer was medium with a nice sparkly palate due to the carbonation. It finishes smooth with a nice warmth in the mouth due to the 10.3% ABV.

This is a beer that can be enjoyed year-round and especially during the holidays due to the wonderful complex flavors and high alcohol content.