Reviews and events

#12BeersofXmas – Day Two

imageFor today’s selection I’ve gone to the far end of the scale from yesterday’s dense, rich Stout. La Vermontoise is a Saison produced collaboratively by Hill Farmstead of Vermont and Brassierie de Blaugies, situated just by the Belgian/French border.

If you’re a serious Beer Geek, chances are you’ve heard of or tried this before, but it’s my first time and one of the dozen that I’m most looking forward to. Purchased on a chance visit to Beermoth in Manchester, it’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to purchase this and with a decent word of mouth reputation, I wasn’t going to pass.

Uncorking the bottle, it’s immediately obvious this may be a gusher, and I had to put a lot of weight on the cork to prevent the wrapping getting Saisonised. The pour is equally charged, with a few inches of webby foam. The aroma is oddly neutral, and except for a touch of straw, not particularly noteworthy.

Having now finished my second glass, the final part of that sentence is how I’d describe this Beer overall. Fiercely carbonated, with a familiar wild yeastiness it delivers bang on style, but for me, there’s not a lot of warmth to it. The lemony finish feels more Cif than Pith, and there’s also a medicinal, sterile sort of aftertaste that doesn’t sit well. Becky is again sharing tonight’s Beer and her thoughts echo mine, if slighly more favourably.

“When I saw we were trying this beer tonight I was pleased as it’s the type of beer I would choose in the pub. If there’s a saison type beer that tends to be what I gravitate towards. At first I couldn’t put my finger on what the smell and flavour of this beer reminded me of, however as I drank on it came to me – urinal cakes! Now I’ve never eaten a urinal cake but as I was once told at a wine tasting there’s no wrong answer when describing what flavours you get from a drink. That being said I liked it and would drink it again.”

Overall, I’m more than a little disappointed, others may really rate La Vermontoise as a classic rendering of a Saison, but I’m just not feeling it. I really wanted to enjoy this Beer, and it was far from unpleasant, but sometimes what is one person’s sacred cow is another’s charred patty.

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