“Vieille Provision” means Old Reserve, and maybe that is a bit superfluous in the case of “Saison”, as the French word for this style of beer means no other than “season”.
Indicating that this beer was brewed during the winter months on the farmhouses, when work was low, to be enjoyed on the hot summer fields during the heavy work by the farmhands.
Once one realises this, the flavour profile of the style, and indeed also of this particular beer, designs itself: relatively light (though this has increased during the decennia), refreshing, herb and lightly spiced; sweet being out of order.
Brasserie Dupont, if you have the chance of visiting, is a superb example of the type of farm (it still is active!), familybrewery and skill.
Under a huge, dense yellow foam, a citrussy, lemony nose betrays already a generous use of good hops, farmyard odours, coupled to a cheesy aroma, not unlike that of running French cheese. The bitterness jumps at the taster, tart, with again spicy citrus, that might remember of orangezeste, and, certainly in younger samples, lots of yeasty flavours, ester-rich, not unlike a Weizen, but without the sweet banana notes German wheatbeers often sport.
The bitterness is unashamedly hoppy, but the spicy notes might surprise, as Saison Dupont incorporates no spices whatsoever. The finish is often earthy.
Best enjoyed on the 75cl Champagne-type bottles.
by Joris P. Pattyn