Brouwerij De Molen might elicit memories of big and bold dark beers with names that can be a little tricky for non-Dutch speakers to pronounce.
This time around we present a beer that is neither a strong and black nor sporting an unusual name. At first this may be cause for some concern but after delving into De Molen’s ‘Winter Saison’ all fears will be allayed.
While traditionally saisons were brewed in the winter and consumed in summer to quench the thirst of Wallonian farm workers, the style has progressed to include a wide variety of examples. Thus the ‘Winter Saison’ is a beer brewed with Timut and Szechuan peppers, mustard seeds and juniper.
The beer pours a light orange/amber with small amount of suspended sediment; the aroma is spicy barnyard French/Belgian yeast and a touch of caramel. It has a good amount of carbonation for the style with a little extra body for the cold winter months. There is a touch of tartness and the finish is nice and dry as to be expected.
The added spices give the pleasant herbal, woody quality of a traditional gruut, medicinal ale or witches brew. Additionally there is a slight, pleasant after burn from the addition of the peppers.
This is just another quality, boundary pushing beer from a brewery that refuses to play by the rules.