Weyerbacher – Seventeen


Well hello hello, it’s time again for a brew review. I just finished stepping up my yeast starter to brew my first ever imperial stout this weekend! I’m looking forward to it, though it will take 4 months to condition. Well you know what they say, good things come to those who wait. Well, I’m generally an impatient guy so I’ll be drinking and brewin’ many other beers while that baby conditions. Speaking of which I happen to have a beautiful saison right here.

Now what I really like about saisons, or farmhouse ales, is that you can ferment them at much higher temperatures than other beer types. When I made my last saison I didn’t even put it in the cooler, I let it sit out at 80 degrees most of the time and it turned out pretty damn good if I do say so myself. I made a pretty light saison though, this Weyerbacher weighs in at a hefty 10.5%….that’s one serious brew! This particular one is called Seventeen which represents the number of years Weyerbacher has been open. They make a beer like this once a year so I’m very happy to have gotten this beauty. Another interesting fact is they change the style of this beer every year. Fifteen was a stout, Sixteen a braggot, now a beautiful saison. Let’s see what seventeen years of fine brewing looks like…

Mmmm… man it looks good. It’s a beautiful golden straw color that’s pretty damn opaque. The head is very slim, but it’s to be expected from a saison for the most part. I’m not gonna say my usual joke about how I advocate extra head all the time…it’s been done to death at this point. Instead I will say I recognize that not all beauties will give excessive head, and over the years I’ve come to terms with this. For these beauties that may be lacking in the head giving department, they make up for it with silky smooth bodies and exquisite flavors! Yes, each beautiful beer has something special to offer in her own way. So let’s examine this gorgeous beer a bit further and delve into her sweet scent.

Mmmm (again), it smells like a good saison but it’s not overpowering like some. Some saisons punch you in the face with this almost barnyard like smell. It’s this sickly sweet smell mixed with a hint of spice, but when it’s strong man is it strong. This one has a subdued sweet barnyard smell, kind of like straw or hay, and then the slightest whisper of spice at the end. I can also smell a bit of citrus in the middle which generally goes great with this beer style. Ah yes it says right here it’s brewed with orange and lemon and grapefruit peel….damn what a complex beer I got my greasy little paws on! I can’t really smell the lemon or grapefruit though, alas my nose fails me again to leave you readers in the dark wondering if I can truly smell at all. I must move on lest my shame overwhelm me.

My first thought is balance when I sip this, but its quickly obliterated by the spices…in a good way. Let’s take this a step at a time. When this beauty rolls against my tongue she starts off innocently enough with just a bit of sweetness. The flavor then crescendos gracefully into a fuller bodied somewhat citrus and lemon taste…mind you it’s done with grace and doesn’t just blast you away. No, she takes her time to let you adjust. But don’t take this lady too lightly, she ends the whole experience with a roundhouse kick of spice and leaves your tongue trembling in her wake. The finish is ever so slightly alcoholic, but at 10.5% one can hardly expect otherwise! She leaves a pleasant reminder of her presence that’s just a little bitter but perfectly balanced with sweetness. One of the best aftertastes I’ve ever had from a beer!

Overall this beauty is a solid representation of seventeen years of fine beers. She is a shining beacon to heavy saisons, a blinking lighthouse in a sea of uncertainty. She guides you safely though more treacherous waters and then sends a wave crashing against your hull. It is only then you realize she has pushed you into the shore of a tropical paradise. Thank you Seventeen, for making me believe again.
Until next beer this is Brian G signing out!

Categories: Beer, Farmhouse Ale | Leave a comment

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