|KC may smoke second-rate BBQ, but they can sure make a great Saison.|
This is exactly how Austin currently feels, very harvesty -- sunny and jaunty like an autumn day.
When I talk about loving Belgians, Saisons are definitively my favorite, and Tank 7 from Boulevard's Smokestack Series is one of my selective choices in this style (BTW, the entire catalog of Blvd Smokestacks have been fucking phenomenal).
The history of Tank 7 goes that a wily fermenter produced this ale on accident, and Boulevard just ran with it; that wily fermenter being Tank 7. While typical Saisons range in ABV from 2% (see: Jester King for a true farmhouse) to 7%, Tank 7 wallops with a heavy 8% ABV. Remember, these beers had to allow for farmworkers to make it through the long workday without maiming themselves with sickles and other cool old-timey farm gear -- so Tank 7 probably would have been left off of the beer menu on most 1800s-era Chocolate and Dijon Mustard farms. And where would be be today if not for those staples?
Tank 7 is extremely carbonated; bottle conditioning being a typical characteristic of a Saison, as they were traditionally brewed in the winter for next-autumn consumption and had to preserve during that duration of time before other preservation methods. Tank 7 hits right up front with over-ripened grapefruit, barley and a bit of lemon grass. Hops come near the very end to make Tank 7 one of the most-balanced beer I've yet to taste.
Combined with its venerable bottle shape and vintage labeling, I think Boulevard really nailed the spirit of a true Belgian Saison. I'm hoping that despite being part of a "series", it is not just a temporary brew.