Well this guy says it is a relatively low alcohol beer at 5 - 8%
He could be wrong.
But here's why I think he's right:
It's a french country ale. They'd be using wild yeasts.
As a rule wild yeasts tend not to have as high an alcohol tolerance than those that are genetically engineered to be used in brewing which often top out at 10% or higher. There are always exceptions to the "rule"s but I think this holds out.
There are literally thousands and thousands ( maybe billions) of yeast types in the Genus Saccharomyces, which is the umbrella Genus of yeasts that make alcohol. The vast majority of them are not terribly hearty.
"Saccharomyces cerevisiae is referred to as the "true" wine yeast, and it's only on about 1 in 1,000 berries. Its alcohol tolerance enables fermentation up to and beyond 13% alcohol."
That's one grape berry in a thousand that has this hearty yeast.
So I sort of believe in my own non-expert way that a real traditional Saison is a low alcohol beer that is made from the grains that are left over from the long winter. Which, if human nature holds true, won't have been the pick of the crop.
Why I say the sugar will make it gluey:
If the yeast can't get past 5% the extra sugar will be gluey.
Of course, as you've surely deduced, I'm working from a host of preconceptions about what a Saison is.
for example it's traditionally a spring brew meaning the yeasts would be the new yeasts of the spring not the hearty ones that survived into the winter as a Christmas beer might have. ( Mind you, I ain't no yeast molecular biologist).
As it regards what the beer judges think.
I can't help what they think. They have their own issues and priorities.
So back to the original issue:
Why are people adding sugar to what they are calling Saisons?
Are they trying to get a lighter color?
Maybe that's it: lighter color and more alcohol?
After all damn few people today are using wild yeasts.