Transmitter's S9 Noble Saison Might Be the Best American Farmhouse Ale on the MarketDecember 02, 2020
Despite operating for only the last 7 years, Transmitter Brewing has gained a reputation as one of the United States’ most passionate stewards of the farmhouse tradition. Its craft is dutiful, and nothing exhibits the love of the style like its ongoing saison series.
S9 Noble Saison is the latest in that lineup, a bright and floral ale that strikes directly at the heart of what makes this style of beer worth devoting yourself to. The “noble” in the name tells this edition is going to be the most straight-up of the bunch, a loving reconstruction of everything there is to love about French farmhouses.
The word Transmitter uses to describe S9 is “grainy,” which makes it sound like an old TV. A better word would be “rustic.” A first whiff can send you thousands of miles away to a moment you’ve never lived. Lift it to your lips, and suddenly you’re standing on the filling platform of a grain silo in Wallonia.
That quality persists in the taste. A sparkling body carries a bouquet of spices like cloves, ginger, and cardamom, with a strong hay flavor neutralizing the harsher flavors. The funk is about as delicate as Belgian yeast will allow. At its peak, there’s a flavor reminiscent of milk fat, like the rind of an aged cheese.
Saisons are complex, though they’re rarely sensational for it. S9 is both. Brewed with a reverence that is unmatched even in its category, S9 might just be the best American-made farmhouse ale on the market.