Boulevard has shaken up this year's Smokestack release schedule. We'll have to wait for Love Child No. 4. But there's ample reward for that patience: the award-winning Saison-Brett.
Last week, we picked up our complimentary 750 ml bottle of the farmhouse ale, a Beligan-style saison dry-hopped with Amarillo hops and bottle-conditioned with a variety of yeasts (notably a wild strain of Brettanomyces). Boulevard has bottle-aged the brew for three months, but the Brett's character only gets more pronounced if you lock it away in your cellar.
We couldn't wait, so we popped the cork.
The floral, fruity aroma came across immediately. It's hard to keep your nose out of the glass.
"That is wicked," one drinker said at first taste.
"I could finish off a whole bottle," said another.
"I thought it'd be funkier," someone concluded.
That last note led everyone at the beer table (every office needs one) to look down at his or her cup and remember that these were indeed plastic tumblers, not proper glassware. (We'd packed away our glassware, but more on that later.) If you want funk (and other nuances, such as the lemony flavors here), get a glass. And if you have a glass, get some Saison-Brett.
Alcohol by volume: 8.5 percent
Awards: 2011 Gold Medal, French- and Belgian-Style Saison, the Great American Beer Festival