Although we had used the Wyeast 3711 French Saison strain in a blend in our first pilot batch of Saison, I was resistant to use it. My bias against it is that it is not from a Saison brewery or from Belgium. This strain is alleged to be from Brasserie Thiriez across the border in France. A Saison yeast from a Biere de Garde brewery?
Well I can honestly say this strain is the real deal. Where the Dupont strain was fruity, this strain leans more to the spicy side. It also is extremely attenuative, more so than the Dupont strain. In identical worts, the French Saison strain finished a good four significant gravity points lower than the Dupont blend and without raising the temperature above the mid-70's. You would think that a beer that finishes at 1.003 would be too dry and thin in the finish but that is the strange thing about this yeast. There is a fuller mouthfeel to this yeast strain despite it's finishing gravity.
So just when I had our blend figured out we are changing again. It's all good. Yeast is just another tool in the brewers bag of tricks to make a great beer and I'm sure what we learn about various strains will be useful in the future.