Sixteen Saison - Avery Brewing Co., Boulder
First impressions of this beer were, "OK, it definitely tastes like a Saison..." When I took a drink of Avery's Anniversary Sixteen Saison I got a mouthful of yeasty, floral, spicy clove that just screams Saison. This is why Saisons aren't my favorite style of beer, it just isn't a flavor combination that I'm terribly fond of. I still like Saisons, I just hope I'm not stranded on an island with one any time soon. Back to this particular Saison... Avery released this as an anniversary beer so, of course, they took the style a little further than you might appreciate when you first hear the ingredients. For their 16th anniversary Avery brewed this beer with jasmine, honey and peaches. It may not sound too exciting, I mean honey and peaches aren't the most adventurous fermentable out there... but when you finish that first sip you really get an appreciation for what Avery has done here.
You see, most Saisons start off with that bubbly, spicy and almost-but-not-quite-bitter trimmed grass taste and just ride that right on through to the aftertaste, leaving you with a longing for a beer with some sibilance of balance. Avery's Saison however, having been brewed with jasmine, peaches and honey, has a very sweet aftertaste that mellows out the least pleasant of the Saison flavors. Honestly, what I like more about this beer is that it was brewed with peaches, but you can't really tell. The sweet citrus flavor from the peach makes it through to your glass but it isn't distinctly peach. Too often seeing peach written on a beer label means your in for more of a cocktail than a lager. Avery did it right though, there is still something about this beer that I just don't like. Perhaps it's just that this beer is a Saison. The flavors work for me, they are in the right proportions and I can respect this beer's quality, but no matter how much peach or jasmine you put in a Saison, it's still a Saison. Don't take this the wrong way Avery, I love what you guys have done here. Really, it's not you... it's me.