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Thu July 3, 2008

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Witkap Singel Abbey Ale
Saison Dupont, Foret
Moinette, Biere de Miel
Castelain, St. Amand
Boon Lambics

Spring Beers
Summer Beers
Autumn Beers
Winter Beers

Experts' Opinion
"This [Saison Dupont] is a Belgian bottle-conditioned ale, the most famous beer from the Dupont brewery. It is also available in a slightly weaker organic version. It is a pleasing pale straw-colour with a thick, whipped-cream-high-rise head. On the nose it has lots of light estery fruit notes with orange and zest, along with a smooth vanilla and spice scent. In the mouth it is full-bodied, again with light fruit note but also a hint of alcohol content on the back of the throat. It is quite bitter in a lemony, slightly hoppy way, balancing the malt body nicely. Finish is very citrusy, slightly bitter, and leaves a sparkling sensation on the tongue. The extra percentage ABV it enjoys over its organic sibling is enough to make this a wonderfully complex very palatable beer."

Oxford Bottled Beer Database
These beers are little known outside the region.  (Uke Bieres de Gardes) they were originally made in the winter then laid down to be drunk in the summer. They had to be sturdy enough to last for months but not to strong to be quenching and refreshing in the summer. Saisons traditionally have an orangey color and dense, rocky head. They are top fermenting and bottle-conditioned. They are usually presented in Champagne style bottles, and they have a refreshing carbonation and crispness (some are made with quite hard water). Their accent is towards fruitiness, often with citric notes; they are sometimes spiced and usually well-hopped.”

Michael Jackson 
The Great Beers of Belgium

“Dupont’s beers are full of life, and notable for their hop character, with Kent Goldings in the fore. They have a big, rocky, creamy head; a sharp, refreshing attack; a restrained fruitiness; and a long very dry finish ... They are still beautifully balanced, complex examples of truly artisanal brewing.”

Michael Jackson
The Great Beers of Belgium

“brewing since 1850 ... Vieille Provision is arguably the finest of the style. Dupont is gaining a good reputation both for the quality of its recipes and the adventurous range of its products 6.5% golden oak color, dry, herbal and hoppy with lingering aromatic aftertastes.”

  Tim Webb

  The Good Beer Guide to Belgium & Holland

“World classic**** with its big bouquet, dry, peppery fruitiness and great complexity, Saison Dupont is the classic of this style.”

  Michael Jackson 
 Pocket Guide to Beer

“Though a summer beer, the well attenuated Saison Dupont is deceptively potent. Its 7% alcohol content will definitely diminish your lawn mowing efficiency. But why waste it? A beer this good is worth saving and savoring for the special occasion when an ordinary wheat beer just won’t do.”

 Barleycorn Beer of the Month 

Foret named “One of the 10 most notable beers of the year for 1995” by Stephen Beaumont in The Wine Enthusiast.

Gold Medal, The World Beer Championships

Saison Style 

The most ‘endangered species’ among the Belgian beer styles are the Saisons. They are produced principally in the province of Hainaut and to some extent elsewhere in Wallonia (the French speaking part of Belgium). The breweries that make them are in most cases very small, old and artisanal... Some visibly show their origins as farms, and others speak of the small beginnings of the industrial revolution.
The breweries themselves are part of Europe’s industrial archaeology, in a region of Belgium rich in such delights, especially in the nearby Borinage coalfield. Their beers are a classic style. They should be saved by the attentions of the drinker.

Companion Foods And Recipe Ideas
Because the Saison style is dry and very hopped, they are naturally a good match for oysters and other seafood, with fowl, pates, and tarts made with onion and cheese. The bounty of the farm—the foods the farm hands ate in the old days—the grains for hearty country breads, the vegetables and salads, the chicken and sausage all suit Saison Dupont, Foret and Moinette perfectly. We love Saison Dupont with Memphis barbecued ribs, and with the Indonesian spicy food served at a NY restaurant called Cendrillon.

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