Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sierra Nevada – Ovila Abbey Saison

In the Brewmaster’s Table by Garret Oliver, in the section covering Saisons, Mr. Oliver essentially writes that if he had to pick and drink one beer style the rest of his life, it would be Saison.  Saison is French for “season” and historically the name was originally given to low-alcohol pale ales brewed seasonally in farmhouses in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Begium, for farm workers during harvest season.  Sierra Nevada is brewing three special editions this year as a fund raiser for the Abbey of New Clairvoux.  I tried the dubbel earlier and I really looked forward to the other offerings.  When I saw the Saison, I picked it up.  Ovila Saison pours cloudy gold / light tan with a large head and a fantastic aroma.  This is one very easy drinking beer and it went perfectly with Mu Shu Pork with Plum Sauce and Crab Rangoon.  I have not had a large number of Saisons, but I do know a great beer when I taste one.  This is a great beer and I highly recommend it.

Ovila Saison is described as, “For centuries, the monastic tradition has followed the Rule of St. Benedict – Ora et Labora (prayer and work.)  This Saison farmhouse ale is in honor of the noble labor in which the monks engage.  Hazy blonde in color, these rustic ales are designed to be complex and contemplative but also refreshing and drinkable after a day in the fields.  With earthy and spicy aromas this Saison has notes of green grass, and a faint citrus tang.  The body is light and layered with fruit and spice accents and dry, peppery, and refreshing finish.”

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