The Belgian IPA or Hoppy Saison is not a style I drink a lot. I like IPAs and drink a lot of them and I like saisons but rarely do the styles mix and create something worthwhile. Hugh Malone from Allagash may be the only memorable beer within the style and this year’s Hugh Malone was even better than the one reviewed above. I got this bottle from a friend and decided to give it a shot.
Illumination pours a very bright and clean copper color with a very thick soapy white head. Aroma was an interesting mix of floral hops, saison yeast and a bit funky. The hops are there in the aroma but they really shine in the flavor with a big blast of citrus and floral hops to start. When I say big I mean big relative to the style, there is enough there to satisfy an IPA drinker but you won’t be overwhelmed by hops. Finish turns more towards that traditional saison with some spice and yeast coming through and a very mild bitterness.
Overall a very interesting and complex beer from Enlightenment Ales and one of the best of the style that I have tried.
Alcohol Content: 6.8% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Brewers Website: Enlightenment Ales
Brewers Description: Illumination is a beer inspired by two of my favorite brewing traditions: the rustic farmhouse ales of Belgium and the generously hopped IPA’s of America’s West Coast. Born from a grist of barley, wheat and rye, and fermented with a blend of infamously expressive farmhouse ale yeasts, Illumination begins its life as a classic Saison, only to be transformed into something unique through robust additions of American dry hops. The result is a beer with an intensely tropical aroma, a juicy, citrus flavor, and a dry, crisp bitterness. While this beer may not provide immediate illumination to the mysteries of life, it’s sure to at least brighten the corners.