The Beer: The Burgundian
The Style: Burgundy fortified & bottle-conditioned Saison (~7.8% ABV)
The Brewery: 5 Seasons Brewing Westside, 1000 West Marietta Street NW, Atlanta, GA
Notes: This is a limited edition 750ml corked and caged beer available at 5 Seasons Westside while supplies last. In 2009, 5 Seasons released an excellent saison style ale named “Cinq Saison”, five seasons in French. They took a portion of this saison and aged it five months in a Burgundy barrel from the Cote d’ Or region of France. This fortified brew was then transferred into bottles for further conditioning.
The beer pours a hazy, unfiltered apricot color that has a clingy and slow-falling head. This saison has a heady floral and candy nose with brandy-like notes. A sip reveals a full and bouncy carbonation, especially on the beginning and end of the taste. The Burgundy barrel aging has imparted a brandy-oak flavor to this ale. Some hop flavors are noticeable on the mid-note along with a smooth toffee flavor (both are more evident as the beer warms). All the flavors meld well to produce a marvelous drinking experience. The overall effect gives the beer an aperitif appeal.
The BeerGuruATL team would have happily given the Cinq Saison, in its original state, 5 pints on our scale. Aging the saison in Burgundy barrels and allowing the flavors to develop in this way elevated the beer to a whole other level. We give Crawford a “High 5” on this creation, which in our opinion is the best 5 Seasons beer we have had. We are determined to return and have more of this beer before time—and The Burgundian—runs out.
BeerGuruATL score: 5 out of 5 pints
The Beer: Helios Ale
The Style: Saison - Farmhouse Ale (7.5% ABV)
The Brewery: Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA
Notes: Helios is the rebirth of the former Victory “V Saison.” The V Saison was a more formal offering in a corked and caged 750ml bottle. The new Victory Helios Saison comes in a 1 pint 5 oz capped bottle.
The beer pours a hazy golden color with a thin head that slowly fades to a swirled layer atop the beer. This saison is highly effervescent and has some suspended sediment. The nose is a bright citrusy-hop scent with a small sour note. The first taste hits you with a heavy but ticklish carbonation bite, fading to sweet hops, coriander, and citrus. A lingering grapefruit note finishes the experience of this ale.
Refreshing and typical of the style. Not as good as some traditional saisons, but better than most readily available beers of this style. Very hard to believe this is a $3.00 Saison!
BeerGuruATL score: 3.5 out of 5 pints