It has been a long wait since I first heard about the Boulevard Saison-Brett. I've mentioned it numerous times, but saisons tend to be one of my favorite styles of beer, especially in the fall. I even have a sixer of Schlafly Saison in refrigerator right now. I rarely drink the regular Smokestack Saison because I love Sixth Glass so much so I drink it if I'm going to buy a Smokestack. But, I rather like the Smokestack Saison and consider it a flagship of the style.
While Stella was out running errands after dinner last night she went to Gomer's in Lenexa and picked up a bottle. She got home about 7 and I threw it in the fridge to cool before the debate started at 8. Stella was real interested in the debate and I enjoyed watching the other ones while commenting in The D's debate chatroom. But the debates and participants don't do much for me, so I wrote a Haiku to help explain my feelings.
Two sides of the same crap coin
Need some Saison-Brett
Like last week, I had a bright spot, the Saison-Brett. I cracked it open after only 50 minutes of chilling in the fridge so it wasn't quite down to cellar temperature. When I popped the cork I was transported to a French field of flowers. Never have I ever had such a wonderful full aroma when I opened a beer. I may become a bartender just so I can smell that smell professionally. It poured a hazy yellow with a wild foamy head like it had been shaken too much, but I think that's the Brett working it's thang. When it was poured the beer had a bit more malt smell and I could pick up the hops. I absolutely loved my first taste. It had the saison taste with some citrus and banana notes, a mild hoppiness and some spice. If you've ever read a book and got midway through and thought to yourself, I don't want this to end so you try to ration your reading. I'll just read this chapter and then I will put it down and reward myself with more tomorrow. That is what this beer is like. It's great that it's in a 750 ml bottle because there is quite a bit to drink, but you still want to make it last as long as you can. You should also take some time to drink it because 750 ml of an 8.5% beer will take its toll on you.
Lucky for me, I had the debate to watch and a chat room to discuss what we were watching. I took some time to school some fools on the economics of energy policy and a couple of other topics. All of the typing took my mind off and my hands off the Saison-Brett. For that I was thankful, it helped make the Brett last the length of the debate.
I should mention that the packaging on the Brett bottles is very nice. Each bottle's label appears as a certificate with a unique number, mine was 3492 of the 11,950 bottles produced. The Saison-Brett on the bottle appears handwritten (and I know whose handwriting it is). It's really quite a striking bottle. On the back label is a batch number, this batch is 2008-1. When I went over to Boulevard to make this season's batch of Nutcracker (that's right, I'm taking credit for the whole batch now) we discussed doing taste tests comparing batches. If you were able to buy several bottles you should set aside one or two and compare them to another batch further on down the line. It also may be interesting to find out how the Brett (Brettanomyces is a wild yeast strain that is a bit unpredictable and is used to bottle ferment this beer and gives the beer it's name) ages. It would take someone with willpower greater than mine to let one of these sit around for a year, but I'm definitely going to try.
The Saison-Brett (or as some call it, George Brett) is, as of right now, my favorite Boulevard beer, followed closely by Sixth Glass and Nutcracker. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode, Switcheroo, where Jerry is dating a girl that he likes just fine except she's not a laugher but then he meets her roommate and desperately wants to pull a switcheroo (It can't be done Jerry!). The other roommate was so much better, if he hadn't met her, he would have been fine with the original girl until he got tired of her not laughing. But once he heard the roommate laugh he was immediately smitten and had to be with her. The Saison-Brett is like the laughing roommate. Like the roommates, the great thing about Boulevard is Boulevard would be open for a threesome, you, the Saison and the Saison-Brett, that's how cool Boulevard is. I'm shocked at how big a difference the Brett makes in this beer, but a difference it does make.
Get out there and get yourself some bottles of Brett. Drink them, save them, have threesomes with them, I don't care, just buy them. The more you buy, the more they'll make and the more they'll experiment with new beer styles. Beers like this put Boulevard in the conversation of who is the best brewer in the world.