Reason for the Saison

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I have yet to have a bad beer from New Holland Brewing Company in Holland, Michigan. Heck, I haven't even had a mediocre beer from them. They are somehow able to take any style of beer and not simply brew it according to specification. They make it come alive. Their beers just have that extra...something that make them stand out over so many other beers. Maybe it's the addition of a malt or a hop that nobody has thought of, or some new take on an old style. But I think more than that, it's quite simply that their brewers love their beers. As cliche' as it may sound, the love and pride these guys at New Holland have for the process of brewing comes out in beers that exceed my expectations every time.

We've established that I really really like New Holland.

Let's move on to summer. It's 80 degrees. It's sunny. Slight breeze. I'm on a patio. I used to love nothing more than a tart Belgian Wit or sweet and tangy German Weiss. But then, a few years ago, I was introduced to the Saison.

A French Farmhouse Ale (saison if French for season...this is a true 'seasonal' beer), French farmers would brew and ferment these beers very hot (80 degrees or so). At the end of a long day working the fields, they would quaff a bottle of the fine beer. Sweet, tart, citrusy, this is the ultimate summer refresher.

And now for the confluence of both things I love - summer and New Holland - I give you New Holland Brewing Company's Golden Cap Saison, available in your favorite beer mecca fridges right now!

Golden Cap pours a nearly-clear, slightly hazy crystal yellow in favorite pint glass (reserved only for the best beers). Loads of effervescence race to the surface and form a thick, fluffy pure-white head of foam, carrying with it all the best aromas this beer has to offer.

Delicious aromas of pepper, lemongrass and wheat dominate the nose. The interplay of sweet citrusy spice sits on top of a bed of floral hops making the whole beer a cornucopia of summertime scents. A slightly funky, yeasty character, just scant hints, gives the beer personality (and reminds you that this is a pure, unfiltered, true-to-style beer) so it's not all flowers and lemons. It's not a furniture cleaner, folks. It's a damn good beer.

Where lemons and spice dominate the aroma, a beautiful bready doughiness dominates the flavor. Biscuity malt gives way to tangy wheat tannins. The wheat then prepares your tongue for a stunning mix of soft fruits: pears, apples, peaches. Is that a tad of honey I taste as well? Honey-covered pears and apples? The alcohol bite yields a peppery spice, and the beer's flavor ends where the aroma started - tangy-sweet lemongrass. What an amazing journey through flavors.

Soft on the palate with a bubbly tickle from the aggressive carbonation, Golden Cap comes across as creamy and smooth. It's slightly dry in the back light body. What's not to love about a beer in the summer on a deck that tastes like this? Citrus, sweetness, bubbly, clear, and served cold, New Holland Golden Cap is the ultimate summertime refresher.


Title changed, for Bob.


Bob 11:53 AM  

Not to be a prick, but this is the second time you have used this title:

Saisons are still not my cup 'o tea. Too sour for me.

Smitty 12:21 PM  

Not to be a prick

Then don't be.

but this is the second time you have used this title

You were!!

Too sour for me.

There is not much sour in this beer at all, other than a citrusy-sour.

Smitty 12:23 PM  

I have also reviewed Golden Cap before. But I like this review better than the old one. I understand the beer better, as well as my own palate.

Bob 12:44 PM  

"Title changed, for Bob."

Thank you...


政琦 3:50 AM  


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