Review – Two New from New Belgium

New Belgium sent me a nice little box with two of their new beers in them. One I was jazzed to get a free bottle of and the other, I was on the fence about.

Let’s get to it…

Sour Saison
Getting Concord grape. Dry. Some vinous notes too. Wheat in the background pops up as well. Not particularly sour. More a 50% tart than anything. That tart fades quickly. Some barnyard funk hiding in the background.

VooDoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin
Cinnamon bursts out when you pop the cap. Plenty of habanero heat to go with the large dose of spice. Could feel it on my upper lip. Falls into both the spice and purée camp for me. Beautiful brilliant orange color. Pumpkin comes in strong at the end. Liked it better than I thought I would.

The Sour Saison is the understated one of the pair and the Atomic Pumpkin is a blast of flavor. Where you land on the subtlety to agressive scale will decide which you like best. I go for the Sour Saison.

Belgian Reserve – Sour Saison
New Belgium has created three over arching categories in which to slot existing and new beers for their Belgian side of beers. The first are the traditional Belgian, then the Wood Reserve where you get the Single Foeder action and they also have the Belgian Reserve Series.

The first entrant to that category is the Sour Saison. Years in the making this is a blend of Sour Golden Ale and a rustic Farmhouse Ale.

According to the brewery, this new sour will be “a pleasant mix of balanced aromas: lemons and cloves, mild white grape, white pepper, and coriander. Light tropical fruit and floral. Bread dough and cake batter with a smidge of barnyard bretta, grassy, and pine.”

They will have to convince me on the cake batter but the rest sounds really good.