Friday, July 6, 2012

New Holland Four Witches Black Saison

Name: Four Witches
Brewery: New Holland
Style: Saison (sub: black)
Brewed In: Holland, MI
Origin: Belgium(ish)
ABV: 8.3%
Serving Glass: Goblet
OMG Beer Rating: 8.6

Appearance: Pretty pretty beer! Dark body, cloudy, with a hovering, lingering tan head. Looks...rustic?

Aroma: Sweet blend of licorice and chocolate/caramel syrup, a hint of grassy saison and tartness underneath. The latter is a lot more subtle, and I feel like there's a bigger malt driven aroma than in most saisons.

Taste: Tootsie roll sweetness, licorice, a hint of booze. If they had mentioned candy sugar in the brewing process, I'd have believed it. Roasted grain flavor that fits the color. Hints of pepper and clove and other spices hit on the back of the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Creamy, but after those spices slide across, you still get a good dry saison ending, though without the hard bubbles, and refreshing tartness is subdued.

Some people might get turned off because of the body, which veers away from the typical golden saison body towards something creamier. The body is heavier than most saisons as well. However, I think this is something you should expect with a black saison.  I've never had one brewed purely or mostly with the kind of black malts that just add color and not much else. This is about taking a certain kind of yeast and adding roasted malts to it. In my mind, with that being the idea, this beer is exemplary of black saisons. Certainly beats out most, if not all of the black saisons I've had previously, in terms of flavor and execution.

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