I picked up this 22oz bottle of Goose Island Pepe Nero for $7.99 at Palm Springs Liquor in La Mesa a few weeks ago, I’ve since seen it at many other bottle shops around town for about the same price.
I bought this bottle for a few reasons:
- I’ve been wanting to try some dark Saisons
- I hadn’t seen this around before
- Goose Island recently got sold to Anheuser-Busch, I figured this might be my last chance to have a non AB brewed Pepe Nero (even though AB says they won’t be changing things at Goose Island and I doubt the quality will decrease, I like to support the little guys)
Pepe Nero is dark, not quite black but a very dark brown, it had a light tan head that stuck around for a while (it should be noted that I forgot to snap a photo, so I snagged this picture from flickr, mine had quite a bit more head). This beer smells really good, pretty sweet and less spicy than I expected, with just a bit of an earthiness to it and some not too bitter roasted aromas. The taste starts off with that very familiar slightly earthy saison yeast flavor but gets roastier and just a bit bitter as you drink. The finish is extremely dry and peppery (black peppercorns are one of the ingredients in the beer).
Overall this is a nice beer, not my favorite Saison, and not like most Saison’s but well worth drinking. I’m hoping to try more black or dark Saison’s in the future as I don’t have much to directly compare this to.
Photo: CC flickr user mitch_j