Review: Torque Radiant Blood Orange Saison


A couple weeks ago I made my first visit into Winnipeg since something like.. August, so the very first thing I had to do was visit a brewery so I stopped off at Torque as I heard they had some awesome food by the Urban Prairie Cuisine on deck.. boy they weren't wrong! The majority of the tap menu were beers that I've had time and time again so of course I wanted something a bit different.. and there it was, it stuck out at me big time.. A SAISON! Torque came out with a small batch of a Traditional-style Saison called Radiant that's brewed with fresh blood orange.

If you know me, you'll know that I complain a lot about the lack of Saisons at Manitoba Liquor Marts - it's as if their product procurement team doesn't even exist anymore, but Manitoba's breweries have done an amazing job stocking the shelves of the stores when the LC doesn't doesn't seem to give a damn. Well anywho, with this and Half Pints' Saison de la Ceinture FlĂ©chĂ©e both released very recently, I'm giddy as heck! Finally my favourite style is back! John at Torque supplied me a nice care package before I left the brewery, which included Radiant, stating that it wouldn't be available in Brandon, well.. it actually ended up being available at my local LC. The beer is 6.7% ABV and 30 IBU.

Appearance: Kind of murky orange body with a lot of carbonation in the body and a good amount of thick beige head on top. The head diminishes slightly with no noticeable traces of bubbles sticking to the glass.

Aroma: A mild sweetness of blood orange to give it a bit of a juicy vibe to it, a bit of an iron-like presence, bubble gum, clove, Belgian yeast, and a doughiness that I can only describe as the aroma of the doughnuts over at Oh Doughnuts (yknow, the famous doughnut shop featured in the "Doughnutgate"?). Slightly sharp to nose.

Taste: Sweet, full on Belgiany goodness with a moderate sweet doughy presence to it, a hint of pear, good amount of blood orange, clove, a hint of peppery spice and something that reminds me a bit of candi sugar. It's moderately dry on the palate but also tickles my entire mouth at the same time. The aftertaste is a hint of bread and pear.

Overall Thoughts: I think this should become a new seasonal offering for Torque - this is exactly the Saison I need in my life.. the kind of Saison I haven't seen in my life (prior to my visit to the brewery) since something like November. I like a good barnyard funky Farmhouse Ale but this dry and sweet style is so under appreciated now days, it's straight forward, easy to drink and definitely could see why farmers would be enjoying this beer after a long hard day in the fields. It's sweet, has a bit of doughiness, blood orange and a bubble gum presence to it, very smooth. 

Comparing this to Half Pints' Saison de la Ceinture FlĂ©chĂ©e? I think we may have a tie. Definitely can rate this among some of the best Saisons I've ever had in my life such as Saison Dupont and Unibroue's Blonde de Chambly. 

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