Review: La Brasserie Nonsuch Saison

That day is finally here: the day when I can finally review a beer from La Brasserie Nonsuch Brewery! I was lucky enough to be invited to their launch party back in June.. which was the first brewery event I've ever been personally invited to. They were initially going to release their saison in the beautiful black painted 750mL bottles back in June, but due to technical issues with the paint peeling off, the bottling was delayed until they found a solution, which happened to be last month.

Nonsuch is one of the breweries I've been looking forward to most in Manitoba because they're focusing mostly on high ABV beers, Belgian styles and generally stuff I get giddy about when I'm in Quebec.. so seeing something like that in Manitoba will be a treat.

Their first beer to be bottled is their Saison, which tops out at 8.4% ABV. I had a chat with brewer Mark the other day and he stated that he's changed the recipe since when I last had it at their launch party in June.

Appearance: While I wouldn't consider this beer a gusher as I was able to open this beer before any foam leaked out, this beer is definitely incredibly carbonated to the point I had to get a few glasses to pour the foam into so I could get to the beer. Matthew has written about it on their website, so take extra caution when you are opening a bottle of their Saison.

The beer pours a thick, murky dark orange body that's incredibly thick for a Saison, but the style itself has changed a great deal since I fell in love with the style back in 2010. Hefty amount of beige head that goes down every so slightly, leaving a bit large bubble lacing on the side.

Aroma: Sweet, notes of Belgian yeast, and mildly sour. I'm really liking the sour notes popping up here. There's notes of bubble gum, a light amount of grain bin aroma, light grassy hops, pears, and a squeeze of lemon. A side note: Once you let the beer warm up a bit, the yeast and bubble gum notes take a true shine in here.

Taste: The booziness of the beer is pretty up front in my first initial sip, but not burning like some of the recent Belgian beers I've had. The beer has a great yeast presence, giving off a sweet bread flavour to it. There's notes of bubble gum, pear, lemon, a hint of spiciness popping up every few sips. The carbonation I'm getting in the mouthfeel is 100% on spot for what I'd expect for a typical Saison, as well its dryness. As the beer warms up, like in the aroma, the notes of bubble gum really pops out more, giving off a pleasant flavour to the palate.

Overall Thoughts: Mark put his own spin on a Saison and it was tasty. It still had the notes I expect in a saison, but also with some sweetness I'm not expecting. I was hoping to see some of the sourness of the aroma transfer over to the taste, but unfortunately I didn't notice it at all. Considering they just started bottling a few weeks ago, I'm quite impressed with the Saison even with the over-carbonation (but that's something to be expected in a Belgian style). I'm hoping they end up finding their own brick & mortar brewery soon (hopefully in St B as I keep telling them), but I'm liking their setup at Barn Hammer right now, great camaraderie there!

Matthew's note on elevated carbonation on the Saison:

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