I’ll never lose my love of IPAs, but sometimes I can forget just how much I like other styles too. Ommegang’s Hennepin Farmhouse Saison is a reminder how tasty and refreshing a proper Saison can be.
Even being careful to not rouse the sediment, the beer pours a cloudy, straw-yellow leaning towards the orange side of the color spectrum. The long lasting white and creamy head is reminiscent of frothed milk. The pour releases aromas of apple, orange, and yeast esters.
The beer has a light mouthfeel at first before developing a creamy body as it flows along the tongue. The initial flavors are those predicted by the aroma with sweet orange such as a candy orange slice or orange sherbet, some slightly more bitter citrus from the orange peel and coriander used in the brewing, and a bit of green apple. The green apple flavors continue on the middle and sides of the tongue. The sweetness is eclipsed by a spiciness late and into the aftertaste with just a bit of the yeast flavors coming through there as well. The peppery spiciness from the Grains of Paradise and the ginger is accentuated by the hop profile. The pepperiness lingers long into the aftertaste and creeps toward the front of the tongue before being washed away by the next sip.
The peppery flavors of the beer would pair well with spicy dishes, whether that is Asian inspired or a spicy dry-rubbed smoked meat. This refreshing beer would also be great for sipping while outside preparing that barbeque.
Hennepin is 7.7% and is a year-round release from Ommegang. Its 7.7% ABV places it in the “super” category of the official Saison BJCP guidelines. Hennepin comes in four packs of 12 oz bottles.
So if you’re in the mood for a not-an-IPA, want a refreshing and effervescent summer sipper, or are simply a fan of a solid Saison, Hennepin will not disappoint.
Outdoor friendliness (a patio friendly beer but glass is not trail friendly)…6/10
Aroma (fruity and pronounced)…8/10
Flavor (a fine mingling of fruity and spicy)…9/10
Style-Appropriateness (a fine example of a spicy Saison)…9/10