Even living a few miles from the nation’s capitol, it can be hard to consistently get downtown to some of the breweries there – Atlas, DC Brau, bluejacket, Capitol City, and 3 Stars. I’ve made it to bluejacket and Capitol City over the last few months, and get plenty of DC Brau due to their good canning distribution. 3 Stars, however, has been one of those elusive targets to find some brews to review. Luckily, with a Whole Foods nearby I did happen to find something to fill up my growler with recently.
Peppercorn Saison, 3 Stars Brewing Company (Washington, DC) – @3starsbrewing
Saison, ABV 6.5%
Presentation: Growler pour into pint glass.
Appearance: A bit of copper and gold, but lacking some of the brown tones of a lot of Saisons. Medium head dissipating fairly slowly with some lattice.
Taste: It says Peppercorn Saison, and that’s about what you’re gonna get. With a bit of fruit on the nose, spices in the body, and just a taste of hops on the finish, this almost fits the description…except, I don’t really taste peppercorn as the primary flavor. I think if a bit more carbonation had been present I could identify it easily, but what I get is closer to “zest” than “pepper.” Imagine if you were to grind some peppercorn over your salad – how are you going to taste that? To me, it’d be a small burn with a heavy herbal element. Here, however, the zest is closer to a toasted lager than a spiced Saison. It’s still good, however.
ABV/IBV: The first few sips will have you thinking this is a Session closer to 4.5% or so, but as the spices build up you’ll realize this is every bit of the 6.5% claimed. Because of the unique flavor profile it’s hard to throw this one down quickly, anyways.
Overall: The first few sips are outstanding, but surprisingly all those flavors don’t hold up as the beer warms up. I almost think this would work better as a Lager than an Ale, but then again there’s a reason I’m not employed by the beer industry. Being only about the third 3 Stars beer I’ve tried, I really am looking forward to getting out there at some point for a tour and full tasting. If you do happen across their Peppercorn Saison, it’s definitely worth a pickup.