I had been rereading a recent copy of BYO magazine. There is an article about saisons, one of my favorite styles of beer. The article centers on how large the style is and all the different saisons that can be brewed while fitting within. There is a picture of a bottle of Saison De Pipaix, by Brasserie à Vapeur, in the article.
This sparked flashes of seeing that same picture in another BYO article. In this earlier article the focus is on the brewery and Saison De Pipaix. The clone recipe is given. I have never brewed the clone but I have always wanted to taste the beer. I had interest because of the different spices that are used: black pepper, ginger, sweet orange peel, curaçao, star anise. I never had a saison with such a bold spice character (at least knowingly).
Lady luck was with me when I scored a bottle on a recent family trip down to Florida. The bottle had a date of April, 2013. Somewhat fresh for a saison. Obviously I drank the beer instead of cellaring (have read that people have had five year or older bottles).
Saison De Pipaix poured beautifully into a tulip, topped by at least two inches of virgin white foam. Lacing complemented the drink throughout. Pepper and ginger can be had on the nose. Orange, which is subtlety tart, joins earth, lime and pear. The taste is similar. The citrus, spice and yeast create a tart, difficult to describe (at least for me) center of flavor. A delicately complex beer that has a medium body and, surprisingly, a light end of carbonation. Interesting but not my favorite saison but definitely worth a try if you want a saison that is a bit left of center. Enjoy!
Useless Fact: A Czech man, Jan Honza Zampa, holds the record for drinking one liter of beer in 4.11 seconds.