“Avec Les Bons Voeux” translates from French as “With Best Wishes”, which seems fitting since this is the holiday beer from Brasserie Dupont, the makers of Saison Dupont which is widely considered to be a classic of the saison style. Holiday beers are some of my favorites, something about the seasonal, limited nature of them, and the happy memories they induce. A few friend’s whose beer opinions I respect mentioned that this was their favorite holiday seasonal so I was especially anxious to try it.
The label copy on Avec Les Bons Voeux from Brasserie Dupont reads: “Les Bons Voeux” means best wishes, which is what Brasserie Dupont sends with this very special saison ale brewed only for the holidays. Redolently aromatic, rich and velvety, this is an ale to tast the season and welcome in the New Year!
Avec Les Bons Voeux comes in at 9.5% ABV, higher than most typical saisons and came in a 750ml corked bottle which I purchased for about $12 if I remember correctly.
It pours a hazy dark gold color with a big fluffy white head. According to Dupont’s website Avec Les Bons Voeux is bottle conditioned, so there was quite a bit of sediment in the bottle. I would recommend letting the beer settle and pouring carefully to avoid pouring the sediment in the glass.
The smell was fruity and sweet, hefeweizen like banana and bubblegum dominated. The taste was more dry and less sweet than I expected with sweet bubblegum flavors up front and a bitter and spicy finish. The alcohol was apparent but not overpowering. The mouthfeel was interesting, it was thick, and I hadn’t read the label before I drank it, but velvety describes it perfectly. It isn’t a heavy beer but is much heavier than other saisons.
Avec Les Bons Vouex is very different than the typical “holiday” beer, but exactly what you would expect a holiday saison to taste like. At 9.5% ABV and because it is bottle conditioned I would expect this beer to hold up well for at least a few years in the cellar. That’s not to say that it isn’t excellent now. I’ll be drinking a few more bottles fresh and tucking some away for a while as well.