Bridge Road founder Ben Kraus is making a nice habit of pulling something special out of the bag to mark his brewery's anniversaries. And with this - a beer which suggests that while the first half of 2011 belonged to black IPAs the second will belong to black saisons, what with Doctor's Orders Synapse having appeared already - that tradition continues. You can plot the evolution that's led Ben here, from the spectacular Oak-Aged Imperial Porter of the fourth anniversary through last year's mightily impressive B2 Bomber. It's not just that the malt bill has been the same for all three; the effect of the Belgian yeast that made last year's B2 increasingly funky as it aged is multiplied here. This time it's the yeast from his Chevalier Saison, a strain that's prominent enough in its fruits and spices to dominate the aroma, leaving the roast and chocolate malts to add heft to a rewardingly complex beer with layers of flavour as dense as its tan head and as slinky as its packaging. The black IPA is dead. Long live the black saison?
Published July 23, 2011 2011-07-23 00:00:00