Saison is one of those beer styles that gives brewers a bit of a "carte blanche" to let their brewing creative juices flow. Originally developed in the French speaking parts of Belgium, Saison's are usually quite heavily carbonated and contain wheat and other grains. Tooth and Nail's Saison is brewed with four grains, barley, wheat, oats, and rye which makes it a very unique concoction, however I found it to be a bit of a let down.
Valor is complicated. The nose is pretty bland, quite watery and doesn't really have a strong smell but as the sip starts is when it gets interesting. The intro to the sip (the tongue) is very sweet, overwhelming wheat and banana flavours make it feel like a traditional wheat beer, but as the sip progresses it starts to go all over the map. From a banana intro it moves on to a really watery and acidic middle, making it seem as though there is too much grain. The sip tapers off with a mineral water flavour, something that is quite common among Tooth and Nail beers. There isn't much of a hop presence but the 4 grains means that there is just way too much going on here. It's decently easy to drink but I found that the acidity to be off-putting. Brewing is already a complicated process, but tooth and nail have doubled down on the complexity with this 4 grain beer and when you add it to the already flavourful and minerally water they use, it becomes a bit of a mess.
It's available in 500 ml bottles and on draught at their brewpub/bottle shop in Ottawa.
Rating: 2 steins
What you need to know
3 Irving Ave.