Beer number 146 from the epic list is Saison Dupont. I’d heard plenty of good things about this beer prior to trying it. More than a few fellow beer geeks happily call it their ‘number one beer’, and it was also voted as ‘best beer in the world’ by a highly respected* journal. So I had mighty high expecations, and was pretty excited when I popped this bottle.
What’s on the bottle?
The label is – boring. It says Saison Dupont. It has no art, just a dark green background. And mine was worn and torn as well, making it look like it had been stored in someones dusty cellar for years. Actually, that last point was a bit of a positive, as it added to the bottles old-school-quality-champagne feel. Everything about the bottle itself screams champagne, from the thick green glass to the wired cork. Apparently this is to help contain the beers high carbonation, but I could argue that it’s actually designed to give it more of a pimping look…
But none of this is really relevant. This beer tends to be sold on reputation alone – so who gives a shit about the label?
What’s in the bottle?
It bubbles up with a champagne head in the glass, as if it’s confused by the bottle it’s being poured from. It smells fresh…in fact, this is the dictionary definition of a fresh aroma. There’s unmistakable Belgian yeast and heap of lemon; lemon peel, lemon juice, lemon lollies, lemon scented floor cleaner…lots of lemon lemon. And a little Peach.
These aromas don’t really transfer into the flavour though. The brew is so lively and effervescent that the flavours have to fight to register on your palate before being cleaned away. This is in no way a negative thing; it just keeps you coming back for more. There’s some funk at the end and a sharp dry bitterness, and a certain boozy quality as well. There’s also a creaminess that, dare I say it, reminds me of a good brie?! I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or not until I checked the tasting notes in the book and found…
“soft cheese aromas such as brie”
…I’m getting better at this beer tasting thing 🙂
I totally understand why everyone loves this beer. I can’t put my finger on a specific reason though; maybe it’s because I was drinking it in the sun on a Saturday, maybe it’s because I’d heard so many good things about this brew. Maybe it was the funk, maybe it was the freshness…maybe it the funky freshness. All I know is that I now love it too.
Fact from the book…
This beer, like other farmhouse ales, was originally brewed to be served to farm labourers through their working day. This means the ABV was much lower, never really exceeding 4.5%. Still, you have to wonder how much work managed to get done in the afternoons?
*this is a total assumption on my behalf. I don’t even know if the journal actually exists