The Linkery earlier this month. When I arrived, Brewery Ommegang's Biere de Hougoumont had just been tapped and a Linkery employee had not even finished writing the beer's name on the restaurant's chalk board beer lists. I'd never heard of this beer, so I had to order it, sight unseen and description unknown. Hougoumont came in a small glass and is on the left in the picture. The ruby-colored beer was probably not the best choice to start a meal with on a warm evening. It was a heavy beer that was sweet and malty. I don't know Hougoumont's ABV, but it was boozy. (I checked BeerAdvocate and Hougoumont's ABV is listed at 7.3A%. It drank bigger.) Don't get me wrong, Hougoumont was a good beer, but with its malt prominence and high ABV, it's a beer better suited for a cooler day. (Hougoumont is a Biere de Garde.)
After Hougoumont, I had a casked half-pint of Arrogant Bastard. I had never had Arrogant Bastard on cask before. What a treat. It was a completely different beer from the regular Arrogant Bastard. Casked Arrogant Bastard was fruity and sweet, almost floral. Its usual strong roasted malt and sharp hop flavors were subdued, making it a smooth, enjoyable beer. The Linkery gets its cask beer right. I have had several cask beers there and all have been excellent.
Saison du BUFF, made its return this summer. I had a pint one eventing at the sleeper craft beer spot, SOL Market and Bistro. Saison du BUFF is my favorite Stone collaboration beer, at least of the ones I have tried. I noted in a previous post that I could not detect the spices in a Fantome saison. There are no obscure taste blends in du BUFF, it's all sage, from start to finish. It has other herbs, too, but sage dominates. Saison du BUFF is an approachable, easy drinking beer.