The Full Review
Saisons have come a long way since being the low alcohol beer for thirsty French and Belgian farmers. It certainly isn’t primarily consumed by people toiling in the dirt anymore. What was once brewed by farm owners during the winter for summer workers is now a trendy craft beer style that belongs on brewery lists around the country. Allagash Saison stays true to the (admittedly widely varied) style while cleaning it up a little. It’s a bright, slightly hazy dried-wheat yellow color. Palate cleansing carbonation brightens up each sip without being overly aggressive and drowning out the flavors. And it’s a good thing the flavors do shine through, because they aren’t flavors you want to miss. There’s the expected Brettanomyces flavor that defines saisons and other farmhouse ales, but the barn house funk isn’t overwhelming. The aroma leans more toward tropical fruits and a little bit of hoppy citrus, while the flavor is balanced out by a subtle bitterness from Northern Brewer, Bravo, and Cascade hops that lingers on your tongue. Allagash describes the beer as “rustic,” but if it’s rustic, it’s a highly refined brand of rustic. Allagash Saison is a good middle ground farmhouse ale for people who either haven’t tried many farmhouse ales, or who just haven’t found one they like yet.