Barrel-aged Saison — Black Oak Brewery

One of my favourite perennial beers is Black Oak’s Summer Saison.  A wicked good saison, with lots of bright citrus notes and classic Belgian spices from the yeast, it’s a heck of a beer.  So I was obviously pretty excited when I was by the brewery and Erica told me she had some barrel-aged Saison for me to sample.  As beers made by Belgian farmers to be kept from the cooler brewing months until the hot summer months, it’s totally conceivable a lot of it ended up in old oak casks for storage.  And while many people like their saison bottle-conditioned with bright prickly carbonation, I’m stoked to see how the beer works having lived in French oak for three months (chilling with Gooseberries, according to the label).

Barrel-aged Saison — Black Oak Brewing Co.

Barrel-aged Saison — Black Oak Brewing Co.

From a 650ml bottle, Black Oak Brewery’s Barrel-aged Saison pours a deep gold, with hints of orange and brown in the centre.  1″ loose head dropped to a decent layer of fuzzy head with a good ring that left some lacing on the glass.  Aroma is citrusy, like oranges and a little lemon.  There’s some spices touching on cinnamon, coriander and pepper too.  Some juicy fruitiness that makes me think of berries, and a big oaky note that is more vinous than vanilla.  Taste is immediatley bright, a little sweet and tart. More oranges and spices, and the oak which is a bit less obvious, but is there from start to finish on reflection.  Berries with the vinous note gives an almost fruit-wine like quality, but the citrus and spices keep this firmly planted in the saison department.  Finish is slightly tart with a nice woodiness from the oak that lingers.  The body is nice and light, and there is a very active carbonation that has very small creamy bubbles.  While saisons are known for being epic summer sipping beers, with the added layer of complexity from the barrel, this is perfect for sunny fall days, after raking leaves or spending time in an orchard.

Cheers, Black Oak!

Buy Barrel-aged Saison

Currently available at the Brewery, and great bars around Toronto.

Drink It With

Your post-thanksgiving turkey sandwich.  The brightness of the beer will juxtapose against the sturdy earthy meat and herbal stuffing, and will compliment the cranberry sauce perfectly.  Actually, thinking about this makes me wish I liked turkey sandwiches.  For cheese, I would go with a young cheddar, not too sharp or funky, just a little tangy and rich to give the bright beer something to work against.

About the Brewery

Black Oak is a stickler for quality, character and consistency. We use premium ingredients, traditional brewing processes and lots of hard work. Quality, Character and Consistency give us really good beers. We love good beer and we’ve been inspired by other world-class beers. We want to provide you with fresh, hand crafted, local beer that matches the best of the world.



  1. Jeff
    Posted October 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Sounds great, Chris!

    I’ll be heading into town tomorrow afternoon and I’ll stop by – hopefully they still have some…Were they wine barrels?

  2. Jeff (Hall)
    Posted October 7, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    …one more note: Really nice amber colour…They’ve been doing some nice BA stuff lately.


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