Saison de Lenoir

Brewery: New Braunfels Brewing Company
Style: Fruited Mixed Culture Saison, 28C (Wild Specialty)
Package: 500ml Bottle
Purchased: Provided by NBBC for review
Packaged Date: Blend 5 October 2018
Consumed Date: 12/20/2018

Details from the Brewer

ABV: 6%

Fresh Comal County black/spanish wine grapes are macerated and barrel aged with our 85% white wheat farmhouse hefeweizen base, Blondine. After pressing off the fruit 3 times the beer is blended back together prior to bottling.


Aroma – 10/12

A musty and earthy funk at a medium-high intensity strikes first.  The grape character fills in next with a medium level of cranberry, black current, and strawberry notes.  A lower leather aroma also comes out.  There’s also noticeable wisps of citrus-like acidity.

Appearance – 2/3

Pours a deep ruby red colored liquid with great clarity.   Head is composed of small and fine white bubbles which fade quickly.  I didn’t follow my normal cleaning with this glass, so it may have affected it.

Flavor – 13/20

Fruity notes hit the tongue first.  Strawberries, plums, raspberry are all prominent.  This is joined by a medium high acidity, that hits with a bit of sharpness. Some funk mixes in, representing as musty and earthy.  A dryness is also noticeable in the midtaste.  Towards the end of the taste, the fruity grape notes almost get stronger, and brings with it a low-medium vanilla, oak character.  The finish allows a lot of the flavors to linger, but also is pretty dry.

Mouthfeel – 5/5

A medium-high carbonation prickles the front of the tongue.  This carries with it a medium body which lasts throughout the taste.  Slight alcohol warmth in the back of the mouth.  There’s a touch of tannic astringency on the finish.

Overall Impression – 7/10

This fruited sour really packs some grape character.  The Lenoir grapes are really tasty here, and are really expressed well with the bright sourness.  I did think that the mixed culture’s expression of funk and acidity was a bit high for the balance.  It seemed a little more in balance as the beer warmed, but the acidity was still a bit much at times.  Knocking down a touch of the dryness on the finish would help with the drinkability as well.  Overall, a nice beer showcasing Texas grown grapes.

Rating – 37/50

I’ve only had one other beer that’s used Lenoir grapes before: Jester King’s Biere de Lenoir.  They’re a Spanish grape grown in the Texas hill country.  The grapes represent very similarly in this beer, with the brewery’s mixed cultures taking different roles.  This would be a fantastic beer to pull a wine drinker in with.  The acidity is probably higher than what they’re use to, but the fruit character and dryness are right in their wheelhouse.