Recently, a friend visited the Craft Beer Cellar in Newton, Massachusetts and offered to bring me back some beer. At the top of my list was the Apricot au Poivre Saison (Reserve Series, Chardonnay Barrel Aged) by Nebraska Brewing Company. A multiple-award winner, this saison has garnered countless rave reviews, and I couldn’t wait to try it. My expectations were ridiculously high, and it surpassed them by a country mile.
From the brewery: An artful interpretation of a Belgian-style Saison created with Apricot Puree and Black Pepper. Aged for 6 months in third-use French Oak Chardonnay barrels. Delicate flavours and aromas of oak, apricot, chardonnay, and pepper intertwined in the barrel to achieve a flavour profile that is simultaneously complex and delightful.
2011 Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition Silver Medal Fruit & Vegetable Beer
2012 Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition – Gold Medal – Fruit Beer
2014 Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition – Silver Medal – Fruit Beer
Appearance: Like a golden sunrise in the glass, with a thin eggshell head that hangs on stubbornly. Tantalizing lacing.
Aroma: Beautiful aroma of fresh baked bread, dried apricot and lemongrass. My mouth is watering.
Taste: What a complex, well crafted beer. Apricot sweetness, nicely tamped down by a hit of black pepper. Slight vinous quality from the oak-barrel aging. Complex, but not too rich. Every mouthful is an experience.
Mouthfeel: Light and lively, champagne carbonation.
Overall: This is simply one of the best beers I’ve ever tasted. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s complex, it’s delicious. It’s the kind of beer that makes you want to run down the street high-fiving strangers.
Regular contributor and guest reviewer Trevor J. Adams is senior editor with Metro Guide Publishing and the editor of Halifax Magazine. In 2012, he published his first solo book, Long Shots: The Curious Story of the Four Maritime Teams That Played for the Stanley Cup (Nimbus Publishing). You can see what Trevor is drinking on Untappd and follow him on Twitter.