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
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.