Brasserie Dupont, as we know it today, was founded in 1950 and is headquartered in Tourpes (Leuze-en-Hainaut), in central western Hainaut, Belgium. The buildings, however, actually date back to 1759, and it has been brewing continuously since 1844. Since the brewery became popular in America in the 80s, the brewery has focused on creating some of the best saisons in the world. A saison is traditionally made to be enjoyed in the summer. They are very light pale ales with a low alcohol content, and were traditionally brewed in farmhouses in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, to refresh farm workers during harvest season. The style is really different, very earthy with lots of spice. Normally they finish dry with a touch of sweetness.
The offering I chose for this week is their Aves Les Bons Voeux, the full name meaning “With the good wishes of the Dupont Brewery”. It is a very high ABV saison, weighing in at 9.5%, and is rated very favorably on the online sites. It was the first of many on Super Bowl Sunday, where my Steelers fell short of capturing their 7th title. I found the beer to be have a hazy yellow pour with a nice thick white head. The head lasts forever and laces down the side of my glass beautifully. The smell has bananas up front for me, only a hint of the earthiness I alluded to earlier (often referred to as ‘funk’), and some spices as well. Very good smelling beer. The taste is really interesting and delicious. It contains/but is not limited to cloves, bananas, spices, and a bit of funk. A bit bitter and hoppy up front. Honestly reminds me of a tripel, a light Belgian style with typical high ABVs along with a nice fruitiness, and has a slight bitter finish. Only a hint of the alcohol, which is masked nicely by the taste. Light and bubbly, very refreshing. Overall I was really impressed by this one. I was worried that the high ABV would destroy the subtle tastes of a good saison, but this one has that and some nice qualities of other Belgian styles that I really enjoyed.