A farmhouse Ale brewed with black peppercorns. Why, you ask? You can get a spicy peppery-like taste with rye, and pepper is so ordinary, so meh. Who cares? It’s what you get on your table at your local diner.
There is a reason that pepper is the most popular spice in the western world. It is a powerful spice, that can add depth to any dish, and more than likely the problem comes from not using enough of it during cooking.
Goose Island did a good job with this beer. It is a unique take on a farmhouse ale.
The aroma is of very dark fruits. You also get some wood and nuts as it warms up. I don’t particularly smell pepper, but it is pleasant nonetheless.
The taste is amazing. One of the best beers I have had. You taste dark fruit up front. It is peppery across the tongue. Not as sharp as a Rye beer, but along the same path. It is like half the time you are drinking something akin to a Dubbel and the other half the pepper sings through. It is a unique and an amazing taste. The pepper really adds a balance that you don’t realize it needs until you try this.
They claim this is a Saison, but it is much darker than any Saison I have ever seen. Although you might taste the memory of the herbage you would come to expect from a Saison, it is much closer to a Dubbel than anything else in my opinion. Of course, farmhouse ale is kind of a vague term, and it is not as intense in the dark flavors and sweetness as a lot of Dubbels, so maybe farmhouse ale is the right style.
Whatever you call it, it is a great beer, and I will cellar the rest and see how it changes over the next five years. Enough writing, I am going to thoroughly the rest of this beer.