Beer of the Week: Alameda My Bloody Valentine

By Iron Chef Leftovers

Alameda Brewing is a long-time fixture on the Portland beer scene but only available in bottles in the Seattle market in the last couple of years. Seeing as I am a sucker for anything blood orange, My Bloody Valentine caught my eye in a trip to Chuck’s. After much debate, I decided that my love of saison and blood orange overrode the $17.59 price tag on the 22 oz. bottle.

From the Alameda website:

This farmhouse style Saison is dry, citric, tart, spritzy, and incredibly drinkable. The orange essence comes from the use of dried orange peels and blood orange juice. 21 IBU, 5.5% ABV.

valentine-bottleThe beer is surprisingly dark for a saison, almost tan in color with a cream colored head. Notes of Belgian yeast, blood orange, grains of paradise, lemon and grain dominate the nose with just a hint of noticeable hops. The beer starts off with significant farmhouse character – slightly sweet and funky with just a few grassy notes and touches of lemon interspersed, followed by a nice grain middle and a slightly bitter hop bite before finishing with notes of blood orange and light citrus and grassy notes in a long finish with a mild lingering bitterness. The blood orange becomes more pronounced as the beer warms, especially on the finish, replacing some of the bitterness at the end with a touch of sweetness.

This beer was very good and I would recommend it if it wasn’t for one thing – the price. It is an excellent saison and definitely had great character and balance, but the price tags is a bit off putting – unless you really love saison or really want to try this beer, you probably aren’t going to spend $17 for it, which causes it to lose a point in the ranking.

That being said, Alameda My Bloody Valentine comes in and shoots up the joint with a bullet ridden 3 Tommy Guns out of 5.

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