Green Flash/St. Feuillien Friendship Brew

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Green Flash Brewing Co. – San Diego, CA

Brasseris St. Feuillien – Le Roeulx, Belgium

Friendship Brew Black Saison

5.7% ABV

With Green Flash‘s brews now a part of the selection in South Carolina and me being impressed with their offerings thus far, I make it a point to keep an eye out for whatever new brew they come up with.

The newest of those is Friendship Brew, a black saison and the second collaboration with St. Feuillien out of Belgium. The beer blends European and American hops, Belgian yeast and a plethora of secret spices, then bottle conditioned for your enjoyment.

Sounds like a winner to me. Was it? Well …

The pour was very thin but the color was pitch black. No light getting through anywhere around it. As far as head, it was massive and lingered for a good long while. It is a bottle conditioned beer, so I would expect that. The head was really bubbly and foamy with a brownish color, about three fingers worth in all. The lacing was very strong but at around 6%, there really weren’t any alcohol legs.

It’s got an absolutely gorgeous nose to it. A slightly sweet yet beautifully funky smell. A lot of spice to it and a very slight hint of black licorice. I got a bit of coffee, some plums and chocolate, a little bit of sweet fruits. It’s really unique.

On the front of the tongue is a very slight tart bite. The carbonation is mild and the mouthfeel is pretty light in body. There’s a chewy maltiness across the palate. On the back is this really weird mix of licorice and dark roast coffee. There’s a slight funk and lingering sweetness to it. I also got a bit of mint to the finish as well. The end is kind of dry and that mint flavor lingers on the end. It’s certainly unique, but I wouldn’t say say that necessarily constitutes good.

I like the idea of black saisons, and Terrpain‘s TomFoolery was a great example of how to do the style right. You still get the effervescent funkiness from the saison, but with a nice roasted twist to it. Friendship Brew just did not work for me. The licorice and mint on the end were strange and did not compliment the roasted notes. I tried to like it and thought it would get better as it warmed, but it just didn’t do it for me.

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