Friday, June 22, 2012

Perennial Saison De Lis

Here is the one I am sure many of you are wondering about – the Saison De Lis. 

As I had previously reviewed this beer, I was skeptical  that it would be able to sway me – yet, when I saw the menu, it made me think that if there was a chance, it would be through a food pairing…and something like a salad seemed a perfect choice.

  • Saison de lisAppearance – Hazy orangish yellow
  • Nose- Citrus (Orange and Lemon) with moderate grassy tones (Chamomile flower)
  • Taste – By itself, still not one of my favourites, as I find it to light and the Carmel sweetness combined with a grassy aftertaste do not work for me.
  • Food Pairing – Grilled Granny Smith Apple, Greek Yoghurt Mousse, Figs, Honey-Rice Wine Vinaigrette, Celery Root and Candied Walnuts.

Does it work? From the second my wife tried it, she said she knew I would never like this beer – its just not in my wheelhouse, it was “To Girly” – so obviously she enjoyed it.  In fact, where I found success with this particular beer was with the pairing.  The fruitiness of the figs and apple, plus the creamy yoghurt interacted well with the brew, which is a testament to the chefs skills as well.  Both men at my end of the table preferred this when paired, while both women liked it better as a stand alone. 

I still find this to be their weakest offering (that I have tried), but I also think that my original rating of Zero was a bit harsh.  In hindsight and after having it work with something, I would give this a solid 2 out of 5, but could easily see someone who prefers Saisons to rate it higher.  Definitely not the worst beer I have ever had, just overshadowed by much better offerings of the day.

On a side note, I could see this going even better with a Lemon Chicken or Whitefish, instead of the Waldorf Salad.  It would have also been interesting to try the Black Walnut with the meal, as I think the figs and walnuts would have gone together perfectly.

Finally, as Saisons are in vogue right now – I must applaud Phil for trying to stay close to the traditional beer style.  Many breweries are really cranking up the alcohol content – which goes against the grain, whereas Perennial is keeping their Saison De Lis at 5%.  To me, that is the attention to detail that identifies a skilled brewer.

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