As a recovering roadie, I still enjoy watching professional cycling. The Spring Classics are quite entertaining, and the highlight for me is always Paris-Roubaix. Paris-Roubaix may travel exclusively through France, but the race has always had that “Belgian” feel with cobbles, dust, grit, and Belgian flags as well as the Lion of Flanders flying everywhere. Along the same lines, Saison Dupont by Brasserie Dupont in Tourpes may sound like a French beer, and the brasserie is near the French border in the province of Hainaut in the heavily French-influenced Walloon region. As much French influence as is in the beer and the brewers’ heritages, it’s still a great example of a Belgian Saison. Saison Dupont The beer is a strawberry-blonde color that pours rather hazy. The bottle conditioning has worked well to create a high level of carbonation evident in the massive head that can easily overflow the glass should you pour aggressively. The head is a combination of both small and large bubbles meaning not only is it assertive, it remains in the glass for a good amount of time allowing the aromas to be set free. The nose immediately picks up the influences from the yeast; another testament to the bottle conditioning. The biggest standout is banana, with clove coming just behind. Sniffing also gives some wonderful notes of green apple and kiwi. IMG_6897 The combination of French and Belgian influences is tasted in the beer. The champagne-like bubbliness and dryness dances with fruitiness and just a little barnyard funk. The beer is lively and fruity, but there is a dryness and spiciness from the hops that prevent it from being sweet. Its surprisingly substantial mouthfeel makes it satisfying, but the 6.5% ABV keeps it refreshing and not too heavy. The carbonation gives a nice burn on the front and sides of the tongue as the flavors of banana are initially tasted followed closely by a citrus acidity with slight green apple sourness. The hops give this beer a spicy note late and in the aftertaste rather than contributing much bitterness. The beer finishes with a long, lingering dryness. As a further example of the comingling, the flavors of this beer would pair well with a hearty Belgian stew or a fine French cheese. The hop spice also lets this beer pair well with spicier foods. Saison Dupont is not a bikepacking beer, and I’m not going to rate it on those merits. At around 18 bucks for a 4 pack, you don’t want to chance breaking one in a frame bag. It is a beer for relaxing at home or in your favorite pub. It is also a great beer for sipping on Sunday morning while watching the strong men of the professional peloton battle the cobbles. Its liveliness and fruitiness make it reminiscent of a mimosa, so it will go great with your waffles. Or should that be French Toast? Cheers, Alex Aroma 8/10 Flavor 9/10 Style Appropriateness 9/10

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