Let's begin with Epic's second new release this week, Utah Sage Saison. The taste starts out bitter and peppery right up front. Herbal notes of sage come next with a hint of Rosemary. Underneath it all There are light malts with that unique Saison funk. I think it could use a little more balance. The herbal/hoppy character tends to dominate for the most part. The timing for this beer is perfect. It has a holiday feel without the intention of being a holiday beer.
Next up is Boulevard Brewing's Bourbon Barrel Quad (B.B.Q). Tart cherries and a balanced bourbon flavor dominate up front, underneath there is more of what you'd expect from a quad - candi sugar, belgian yeast, and a big booziness. Hints of vanilla linger in the finish. Beautifully complex, this beer is a real joy to sip. It seems like the flavors that are present wouldn't work too well together but for some reason it comes together nicely.