Village Rancher Alberta Birthday Saison

Reviewed by on July 31, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Village Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: July 31, 2016

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Saison

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Village Rancher is an ode to the province of Alberta’s 111th birthday this coming September, and also to the founder of the purported first brewery in these parts, one William Roper Hull – gonna have to look that one up.

This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy dirty white head, which leaves just a bit of remote islet lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of zingy wheat and grainy pale malt, estery Belgian yeast, some muddled pome and citrus fruitiness, faint earthy spice, a touch of burnt radials, and some mild leafy and grassy hop bitterness.  The taste is rather dry-seeming mixed cereal malt, underripe apples and pears, a suggestion of warm plastic (the yeast?), wan peppery citrus notes, and more gentle leafy and weedy hoppiness.  The bubbles are fairly broad-reaching in their churning frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and mostly smooth, with just a hint of yeasty astringency marring an otherwise good-to-go creaminess.  It finishes off-dry, the near-complex malt bill sparring with some lingering spice, fruit, and still weirdly edgy yeastiness.

Overall, this isn’t a bad version of the style (they even mention that they’ve intended an ‘old’ iteration, as such), with the yeast essentially running the show.  Here, that means some decent fruitiness (aided and abetted by the spice contingent), as well as some strangely manifesting phenolic character, which is actually quite mild, and blends well enough into the mire.  A commendable effort, if this is your sort of thing.

Brady White

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