Sour Saison

Saison New Belgium Brewing Company


Sour Saison, a Belgian-style Saison by New Belgium Brewing Company

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Sour Saison is a Belgian-style Saison brewed by New Belgium Brewing Company, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a tulip glass from a bottle.


The Saison pours a nearly opaque marigold hue and is topped by an inch-thick cap of puffy-white foam that persists briefly. The reduction doesn’t leave behind any lace or residue.


The aroma is soft with a scent of tart lemon and clove. There are also hints of sourdough bread and barnyard funk.


The palate begins with a taste of doughy bread and a touch of citrus. Bitter notes of pine and soured lemon follow. Complexity is added with a light spicing of coriander and pepper along with a hint of barnyard funk. The sour and bitter blend is mellowed with a sweet taste of tropical fruit.


Its feel is smooth with a medium-light body and moderate carbonation. Its finish is mildly puckering and astringent.


The appearance is lackluster with the Saison’s poor head retention and lack of lace. The aroma is faint, disappears not long after the pour, but it is pleasant. The feel could use more carbonation but its mouthwatering character does make this brew nicely refreshing. Thankfully, the palate is this brew’s best feature. It’s complex and all of its flavors play along nicely. This Sour Saison is a tasty brew but it certainly could be better.

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About the Saison

Also known as a Farmhouse Ale, the Belgian Saison originated as a rustic ale provided for farmhands in French-speaking Wallonia. The modern Saison by Dupont was produced in the 1920s. Its mouthfeel is dry and ranges from light to medium with high carbonation. Typically golden in color, the style can also appear amber or brown. Its palate is either bittered or soured with citrus fruit flavors, earthy or spicy hops, and possibly spiced. Darker versions may be a little sweeter. Regardless of the variation, the Saison yeast character is an absolute must.