Friday, March 25, 2011

Saisons — Dupont Brewery vs. Pelican Brewery

Dupont Brewery
Saison Dupont

ABV 6.5%

Hazy light gold. Huge white head.
Macrolager grainy, barnyard funk, cold steel.
Banana and clove.
Hops vs. Malts
(Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Finish: Slight orange peel bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):

Pelican Brewery
Saison du Pelican

ABV 6.3%

Clear orangish yellow.
Aroma: Sweet malts, lemon, subtle Belgian yeast.
Flavor: Malty sweet with a hint of lemon.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Balanced
Finish: Grainy with some acidity then quickly disappears.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Good

Blow by Blow
Saisons are a traditional Belgian beer style that was originally brewed by farmers in the winter to be consumed by workers during the summer. After tasting these two beers we're seriously considering becoming Belgian farmers.

We started with the Saison Dupont, which is widely considered to be the Saison from which all other Saisons must be judged. It was easy to see why. The aroma was a bit tight and grainy when we first opened it, but as it warmed up we started to detect some barnyard funk and a bit of cold steel. The flavor had classic banana and clove notes that are typical of some Belgian yeasts and the finish had a nice orange peel bitterness that balanced everything out quite nicely. It was crisp, refreshing and complex and we both loved it.

The Saison du Pelican may have taken its name from the Saison Dupont, but it wasn't quite able to live up to the high standards set by the classic Belgian. Don't get us wrong, the Pelican is a pretty darn good beer, but it had a tough, tough matchup. The aroma was dominated by a malty sweetness that reminded us of an amber ale. As a matter of fact, the beer tasted a lot like an amber ale that was fermented with Belgian yeast. Not necessarily a bad thing, but we just didn't like it as much as the Dupont. The main thing it seemed to be lacking was some kind of hop presence in the finish. Without those hops it was an underwhelming finish that disappeared quickly.

Despite losing this battle, you should definitely consider a visit to the Pelican brewery in Pacific City, Oregon. We went a couple years ago and it is a gorgeous place with great beer. Make a weekend out of it and check out Astoria, Oregon as well. You won't regret it.

Winner by unanimous decision: Dupont Brewery


  1. Nice battle! Glad the Pelican held it's own against the Dupont.

  2. Saison Dupont! Outta this world. Love it!