Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Blitzen from Bellwoods Brewery.
It took me a long time to drink this beer. Not because it was horrible, but because I get a little obsessive about beertography and couldn't drink it until I had a perfect festive photo of the bottle and its contents. At first I thought it would be fun to incorporate snow and Christmas lights, but that proved to be messy and cold so that was quickly abandoned. Then I thought I'd use the bottle like a Christmas tree, wrapping the lights around it, but that looks horribly stupid and masked the awesome Bellwoods bottle art (designed by Doublenaut if you want posters and shirts). Finally I gave up, stuck a tree decoration on my kegerator, slung some lights up and snapped a photo – Merry Christmas.
This year's edition of Bellwoods Brewery's Imperial Saison Blitzen is brewed with plum and lemon (last year's was spiced with cloves, tangerines and kaffir lime leaves). During my photography fussing I did notice that this brew poured a light crimson orange with a foamy white head and had sharp aromas of lemon, clove and yeast. The taste is more tart than sweet with lemon at the forefront and slight hints of sour plum skin, sweet malt and that saison funk we all love. There's a nice dry finish and lively carbonation that makes you want to take a deep drink, but as soon as you do you're reminded of the 10% ABV with a slight boozy burn.
This is a great beer, but I think it's going to be an even better beer if it's given some time to rest in a cellar and develop (good thing I bought two!).
On Dasher! On Dancer!! Although the Blitzen Imperial Saison by Bellewoods brewery, does not have many of the characteristics of a "christmas beer" it shares it's name with one of Santa's trusty reindeer, which is why it was fitting for this week's review.
Blitzen is only available at Bellwoods Brewery in Toronto (124 Ossington Ave), but well worth the drive from Ottawa.