#126 Brasserie Dupont – Moinette Blonde

Dupont Moinette BlondeName: Moinette Blonde
Brewery: Brasserie Dupont
Style: Saison
ABV: 8.5%
Source: Regional Wines (Wellington)

About 100 or so beers ago (yes, I now denote time with beers) I drank the Moinette Biologique from Brasserie Dupont and went mad over it. When I saw this at Regionals with the same Moinette name, I had to get it just in case it was half as good.

It was half as good. Maybe even three-quarters as good which is actually saying a lot.

You can see it poured beautifully – a warm hazy gold, with a big white head that cleared off pretty quickly.

It smelled typically Belgian – bready yeast, candied sugar, banana, orange and spices. It was complex I suppose, but also quite simple in its summery deliciousness. In the mouth it was sweet, full and instantly boozy, but with a clean dry finish that could fool you into drinking far too much. Even after this one little bottle I was feeling p r e t t y merry indeed.

And speaking of merry.. there’s only 12 beers till Christmas! Huzzah!

Published in: on December 13, 2011 at 7:56 pm  Comments (5)  

#53 Brasserie Dupont – Saison Dupont

Saison DupontName: Saison Dupont Vielle Provision
Brewery: Brasserie Dupont
Style: Saison
ABV: 6.5%
Source: Brew on Quay

Just what the f**k is a saison, anyway?

That’s a question that had been plaguing me recently, and I decided I couldn’t answer it until I had tried this – supposedly the Holy Grail of saison, certainly the most famous example of the style, and presumably the benchmark with which I could compare all others.

Saison originated in farmhouses in Wallonia (the French speaking part of Belgium) , and was brewed seasonally (saison means season, geddit?) to last through the summer. That meant it had to be strong enough to last a few months, but also thirst-quenching and not all sticky-like.

Brasserie Dupont is in fact located in Wallonia, and on a working farm which dates back to the 1700’s, so if anyone can claim to be making real deal saison then I guess it’s them. Apparently Saison Dupont became famous in the 1980’s when an American started to import it, and it’s become even more popular in recent years – being named “the Best Beer in the World” by the magazine Men’s Journal in 2005.

Cogito, ergo sum – you could say it’s thanks to Brasserie Dupont and this particular beer that Saison is now hotter than vindaloo in New Zealand. (Feel free to correct me if I’ve got that totally wrong.)

I drank this one at Brew on Quay (but you can also buy it online at The Beer Store), with my mum (Tuatara APA) and sister (Hop Zombie). You can see it poured a hazy yellowy golden, and had an impressive head, like beaten egg whites.

It smelled like summer in a glass, but also – a bit confusingly – like a wheat beer. Belgian yeast, bubblegum, candied sugar, citrus (orange I think) and clove.

I battled through the foam to get a sip, and found that those heavy Belgian aromas came together in a way that was deliciously clean. It was a bit sweeter than the last three saisons, but with a tartness too, some spice, and a really refreshing, dry finish. As my mum put it, “it just zips out of your mouth.”

Overall I think this is a really classy drop, definitely perfect for summer, but not the “Best Beer in the World”, or at least not my favourite.  I actually like the Biologique (which I should have mentioned, is from the same brewery) even better.

So did it answer my original question?

Of the five saisons that I’ve had now, the only thing they’ve really had in common is that they are dry, light, and refreshing. Maybe a little bit spicy too. The international (not from Brasserie Dupont) interpretations of the style that I’ve tried have clearly not tried to imitate the Saison Dupont (they didn’t taste like wheat beer, for a start,) so maybe there is no benchmark. I think saison is just a beer that’s good to drink in summer, and beyond that rule brewers can do whatever they like. Am I wrong? Quite possible. All I did was drink five beers and read a bit of Wikipedia… but right now I’m sick of talking about saison so I’ll leave it at that.

Stick around though! Tonight I’ll be addressing another question that’s been nagging me of late…

What the f**k is a barley wine?

Published in: on October 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm  Comments (2)  

#21 Brasserie Dupont Moinette Biologique

Moinette Biologique Name: Moinette Biologique
Brewery: Brasserie Dupont (Tourpes-Leuze, Belgium)
Style: Saison
ABV: 7.5%
Source: The Beer Store

I think this was my first ever Saison and I think… (surprise surprise)… I’m in love.

I love everything about this beer. The name for starters:  Moinette Bioloque. It’s just begging to be whispered out loud. Don’t fight it.

The pour is a slightly hazy warm amber, with a foamy white head – just the way I like it. The aroma seemed quite typically Belgian to me… yeasty, fruity – banana especially – with a bit of spice.

After I took a sip I went “Woah!” which, while not that uncommon for me, means I will remember it forever. I have a list of “woah-beers” in my head, which are usually the first examples I’ve tried of a particular style – like the 2008 Smokin’ Bishop, or my first Orval… But I’m getting off topic.

It’s bloody lovely! It tasted of banana, apple, orange, yeast of course, and quite strongly of candyfloss, which dominated the aftertaste. It sounds full-on but it’s not – there’s a bit of dry bitterness which balances out the sweet, and all the flavours are quite delicate and perfectly harmonised. The mouthfeel is nice, quite light and smooth and doesn’t leave you wanting

Whenever I try a beer I really like I always force it on those around me. Here’s what they had to say:

Olivia: “I don’t even know what to say about that, except that it’s delicious.”
Hollie: “It’s like the Gewurztraminer of beer.”
Jerry: “That’s yummy.”

I can sense a bit of an obsession, an obsaison if you will (oh yes I did), coming on. What’s your favourite Saison and where can I find it?

PS – I was a bit rushed/lazy and didn’t put any information about this brewery or what a Saison is – luckily someone else has already done a good job here at Beer from the Motherland.

Published in: on August 30, 2011 at 10:12 am  Comments (10)