Sep 25, 2012

Weyerbacher Seventeen

I’ve enjoyed Weyerbacher’s Anniversary series through the years (Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, and Sixteen). Each release has been unique and more than interesting. From the Belgian-inspired Stout of XIII to last year’s Braggot, the brewery has celebrated with style — and alcohol.

Weyerbacher keeps the trend going with this style-busting example of a Saison. Most beers of this genre that I’ve had rest comfortably in the 6-8% ABV range. This one, however, is up there at 10.5% ABV which makes it a beast in its own right. Seventeen still carries a decent bit of funk that you’d expect from a saison, but, man, is it potent. To go along with that celebratory amount of alcohol, the brewery crafted the beer with the addition of pink peppercorns, orange zest, lemon zest, and grapefruit zest. The result is a flavorful beer that is probably a little too big for its own good.


The beer pours a hazy golden amber with a creamy white cap of foam.


Surprisingly, there isn’t a hint of alcohol in the nose. I was expect some sort of presence, but it’s masked well. Peppery yeast, light barnyard, subtle hints of orange and lemon all come together for a nicely balanced nose.


Well, it’s definitely a saison as a baryard funk is present throughout the drinking experience, but doesn’t dominate the palate. The peppercorn add to the peppery yeast character nicely, but I don’t pick up much of the citrus peel trio. There’s also a solid helping of grassy hops that bring a touch of bitterness to the otherwise sweet beer. Oh, and that alcohol that was absent in the aroma? It’s here now as a good bit of warmth in the chest.


I’m all for a big anniversary beer to celebrate another, hopefully successful year in business, but I also like my saisons with a little less kick to them. Ideally, I drink a saison as a palate refresher on a warm Summer afternoon. This one from Wereybacher is more appropriate for a cool autumn night after a full days work. It’s got solid saison character, but perhaps too much alcohol. At any rate, it’s still a darn good beer and I might even pick up another one to set aside for some time to see how the alcohol plays out.

Rating: 3.75/5

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