Reviewed: Jester King Le Petit Prince
Product description: Le Petit Prince is as simple as can be — unfiltered well water, a small amount of Texas-grown barley and wheat (1.022 OG), and a substantial dose of Saaz hops relative to the size of the beer. We ferment with our mixed culture in stainless steel for a few weeks, dry hop, and bottle/keg condition. It’s about as quenching as beer can be in our opinion. Directly inspired by Dupont Avril, this is our interpretation of what an old-world inspired farmhouse ale should be.
Jester King Brewery – Jester King Le Petit Prince – 750mL served in saison stemware – 2.9% ABV
My Top 3 Descriptors: Ultra Light, Authentic, Grassy Hop Forward
Served from a punted, green glass, 750ml bottle; Le Petit Prince looks like a Belgian farmhouse ale inside and out. This is a gorgeous beer once it is served: slightly hazy, glowing pale straw in color with voluminous, meringue-like foam that sits around for several minutes. Bright botanicals dominate the aroma with freshly cut flowers, lemon peel, rosemary, mint, and spring meadows. Dough and lightly estery house yeast take over eventually, but the overall aroma certainly falls into hoppy saison.
Petit Prince is ultra light-bodied and quenching after some sizeable gulps with a predictably super dry finish. That’s pretty typical for Belgian table beer, this is also incredibly hoppy. Sweetness is at a 0/10 and apparent bitterness is an 8/10. Normally that would provide for something wholly unbalanced, but Petit Prince pulls it off by having more of a grassy, herbal bitterness similar to mint or rosemary vs. grapefruit peel or pine needles. It’s exceptionally delicate and the body remains so effervescent throughout. It’s not meant to be an insult, but hop-infused seltzer water comes to mind. ABV could just as easily be sitting at 0%.
Overall, Petit Prince is super authentic in my opinion. It combines the best of Belgian table beers like Dupont Avril with the super hop-forward but equally dry Belgian classics like De Ranke XX Bitter and De la Senne Taras Boulba. It may be the most “Belgian” smelling and tasting saison I’ve had from an American brewery. It’s a wonderful exercise in brewing precision with no sugar, booze, roasted malt, or fruit addition to hide any flaws. It’s my opinion that pilsners and saisons are the toughest styles to master. Clearly, Jester King has a handle on the latter. This is absolutely perfect.
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