Review: Crooked Stave Vieille Artisanal Saison (2014 Batch 14)


Once in a while I'll find a beer in my hoard that I forgot all about. A few weeks ago I found a bottle of Vieille Artisanal Saison by Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project out of Fort Collins, Colorado. I actually bought this beer at Hill Farmstead in Greensboro, Vermont. So, Cody.. why would you buy a saison from a brewery out of Colorado while visiting the #1 rated brewery in the world (according to RateBeer.com)? Well, the label popped out to me when I was at the brewery, I freaking love saisons, so that's why! 

So, this batch of Crooked Stave's Vieille Artisanal Saison is the 2014 batch #14 of the saison, it's 4.2% ABV and aged in oak barrels and lightly dry hopped.

Appearance: Very cloudy lemon-orange with a very very light amount of carbonation in the body. I was expecting a hefty dose of sediment seeing that this bottle is a 2014 vintage but so far I'm noticing none at all. The head is a light to moderate amount of white head on top.

Aroma: Jeebus, I haven't smelled a beer like this in a while.. it's hard to find beers like this on the prairies for some reason. This beer is sour, moderately funky with a bit of a barnyard vibe to it. There's notes of bubblegum, lemon, and a light grassy/slightly piney hoppiness at the end. 

Taste: I seriously expected this beer to be considerably off when I found it in my hoard but it seems to be still quite delicate and tasty. I get a moderate sour presence with a barnyard funkiness to it right from the beginning. It kind of reminds me of the sourness you get from pickle juice to extent - somewhat vegetal yet a bit face cringing sour. I'm only noticing a bit of barrel aging in this beer, which gives off a very very slight amount of oaky woodiness here and there but if I wasn't told that this was aged in barrels, I wouldn't have known otherwise... possibly oaky wine barrels? ..I have no idea. Mild vinegar presence, hint of bubble gum, slight grassy hop presence. The beer is quite dry and leaves behind a mild vinegar/sour aftertaste on the palate. 

Overall Thoughts: There was a time when I hated Brett/wild yeast beers.. in fact it was right around the time when I picked up this beer at Hill Farmstead in 2016. Sour/Brett/wild yeast beers grew on me in the end because it's something I just can't get in Manitoba, so I guess something about the styles just grew on me. This one is decently sour with a bit of a barnyard funkiness to it, a bit reminiscent to dill pickle juice but still very drinkable. After 3 years since purchase of being in a room temperature beer hoard, this actually aged decently. This beer is nice, moderately sour, slightly sweet/bubble gummy and has a bit of wild yeasty funkiness to it. 


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