Borne of our abiding friendship with Belgium’s La Brasserie de Blaugies, Pierre-Alex and Kevin Carlier brewed with us here in June of 2013. The resulting beer—brewed with hops from Mons, Belgium, and 30% raw organic buckwheat; fermented in both oak barrels and stainless steel; and aged for many months in those same barrels—is among the finest farmstead™ ales we’ve ever produced.
Vibrant, lively and sophisticated, its bracing tartness belies its elegant wine-like profile. We were honored to have brewed with Pierre-Alex and Kevin; we are delighted to share it with you.
I’m always amazed at how cellaring has a positive or negative impact on a beer. When i bought 4 bottles of Le Sarrasin in May of 2014, I opened a couple nearly immediately. Then Hill Farmstead re-released this a year ago and I bought some more and traded for more. Looking at Untappd, I have had Sarrasin 6 times with 4 bottles left in the cellar and not a single one will be traded away to Internet strangers which is mostly how I approach all of the special beers from Shaun & Co.
When i first tried this beer, I was pretty blown away by how remarkable it is. Soft, delicate, full of bright citrus juice, a floral yet bitter raw finish with wine barrel notes throughout. It’s dense with a thick palate kind of like this is a 10% beer and I assume the buckwheat has something to do with that. This beer is far from thin, it’s far from being overly acidic and very far from being a sour-bomb. I think it’s the best beer from Hill Farmstead since the 2012 batch of Art or Blend 5 of Flora. I’d rate it higher than most of the beers Shaun has ever made…easily a top 5.
I hope this beer is made again but I am afraid a second batch of this will be nothing like the first.
Opening one of these this week has further proven that this beer may be ageless. The taste hasn’t changed much since it was fresh. I should just open one a year for the next 4 years. it’s a special brew. I hope to enjoy it many more times…it’s one of those beers that gets me to wear my seatbelt when I go out for a drive. Dying before having this again is a depressing thought. It’s that good.