30 Nov Buffalo Bayou Saigon Sunset by Tam
American Black Ale
Packaging: 22oz Bottles
Just a quick background about myself: I’m a first generation American. I was born and raised in the great country… uh I mean state of Texas 😉 My parents came over as refugees from Vietnam during the fall of Saigon, and the rest is pretty much boring history. So I only found it fitting to write about Saigon Sunset… because you know… (spoiler alert) I’m Vietnamese American. Anyways, I came about this beer after Nick, another author, gifted it to me during one of our usual Beer Chronicle Sunday Texan game gatherings.
I made sure to treat this giant 22oz beer with the respect that a Vietnamese style brew deserved, and that is to be served alongside a hot plate of homemade Vietnamese style Mi Kho Thit Heo (Dry Noodles with Pork). The pour into my 20oz Pilsner glass revealed a dark liquid that had a heavy aroma of coffee and chocolate with a thick, frothy mass of head forming at the brim. I, being the simpleton I was before craft, immediately envisioned a Porter or a Guinness type beer. Due to the amount of resting head, I allowed the beer to first breathe and settle. My reasoning for this was to not let my first experience with Buffalo Bayou beers be hijacked by foam and carbonation.
That first taste of Saigon Sunset was extremely smooth with no bitter beginning despite the 80 IBUs, and it actually tasted like I was drinking a Bellaire style Vietnamese Coffee with extra servings of sugar. The aftertaste surprised me most with its heavy chocolate tones and hints of cinnamon. Now, I must admit that I have had Vietnamese beers in the past, and I was not impressed, nor would I wish to partake in them again. I’ll say without doubt that Saigon Sunset does not fall short in that category, and it will definitely set the standard for this style of beer.
Saigon Sunset’s graphics have a tiny, single, white, café-style coffee mug that’s surrounded in golden rays resembling the setting sun. This sun is encased within the signature buffalo head, and its humbling graphics do not do justice to its mouthwatering contents. I took the time to delve further into Buffalo Bayou’s beer selection, and I must applaud their clever use of the buffalo head in each of their beers.
I found Saigon Sunset to be a delicious craft beer that can be enjoyed during a heavy meal or used as a relaxing nightcap. I may even dare say that it could be a respectable desert beer that would pair well with any vanilla style cake or ice cream. Now that I think about it, this would make one awesome beer float!
So before I run out and purchase more, what do you think of Saigon Sunset? Did it give you that Vietnam-Bellaire feeling or did it feel like a cheap imitation? Let us know in the comments below! Thưởng thức bia này, Houston! (Enjoy this beer, Houston!) (*so sue me, it’s hard to translate “Beers to you, Houston”)