Ernest (5610) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 5, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Head is initially large, frothy, rocky, white, fully lasting.
Body is hazy light amber, bottle conditioned.
Aroma is moderately malty (toasted grain), moderately hoppy (resin, grapefruit), lightly to moderately yeasty (cobwebs, barnyard), with notes of alcohol, menthol, gum, lemon zest, oak, sour apple, band-aid, pepper.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, moderately acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, moderately acidic, moderately to heavily bitter.
Medium to full body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, moderately alcoholic.
A difficult beer to rate, since itís not really a saison (too big and boozy), and Iím also not fond of raw/green hop odor. But then again it doesnít fail the style in the other usual ways, so itís not too hard to mostly forgive its New World aggressiveness. Think of this more like an Americanized tripel, but one thatís dry and yeasty like it should be, not syrupy sweet and banana-heavy like most American examples. A "super saison" if you prefer, but Iíve never liked that term for the same reason "Imperial mild" is silly. Credit to the aroma for sure, itís complex and rustic...wild, woody, and quite enjoyable other than the crude hop stink (the aroma could easily score a nine if only the hops were less brutish). I would have guessed white wine barrels, though...I get absolutely none of the usual pinot noir fruit character like strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, etc. And thankfully the added spices are difficult to pick out, even though thereís a vague sense that itís not adjunct-free. Very dry in the mouth despite having plenty of starting sweetness...itís big, but at least the finish is clean and bitter. Very noticeable alcohol burn, but not out of the norm for being 8%. Overall I like it quite well as a Belgian-styled strong ale, but I am naturally disappointed that it isnít a saison. Also, the fact that this is $16 means I will never buy another bottle (Saison Dupont is almost half that, as one example...I realize this is barrel aged, but would I rather drink Dupont regardless of price? definitely). Itís obvious the brewer has it in him to make a decent straight-up saison, though, and I hope he does so one day (and prices it more properly).
blutt59 (5685) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 4, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle, thanks to ericandersnavy, dense color of orange marmalade, has a really nice bretty tropical aroma with flavors of pine needles, chalky sour fruits, really good
jcr (1946) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - DEC 3, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 ml. Cloudy, deep gold body. Off-white, fizzy head. Big aroma of grapefruit, mustiness, lacquer, citrus, spice, orange peel. The flavor is moderately sweet and lightly to moderately bitter. It finishes lightly sweet and moderately bitter. Medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation. The funky brett combined with citrus results in a taste of grapefruit on the edge of being overripe. Hints of biscuit, oak. Too juicy in the finish for a saison. But style aside, this is an interesting beer. And really enjoyable to drink. Thanks wnoble.
wnoble (918) - French Lick, Indiana, USA - DEC 3, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours hazy and medium light amber with some creamy head. Nose immediately brings on musty, spice, and funky Brett with, a good blend of resinous dank and citrusy orange hops. Flavor is sweet but finishes dry. Again musty and woody wine barrels. This one is really nice.
SphinxTX (2846) - Mata Gorda, Texas, USA - DEC 3, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle thanks to ericandersnavy. Pours cloudy yellow with white fizzy head. Aroma is nice, notes of farmhouse and lemon, light must and earth. Flavor has a light sweetness but much the same, nice balanced bitter. Overall, solid brew!
BOLTZ7555 (2378) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - DEC 3, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep honey hue with hints of tangerine at its core and an eggshell head. Lots of coiander and peppery spice accompanied by lemongrass, grapefruit pith, tropical fruit, wine, and funk. Perhaps it had a hard time playing with the other stellar beers of the night but wasnít blown away by it.
jlanning215 (363) - Peoria, Illinois, USA - DEC 2, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Amazing brew. Really really amazing brew. Pours really hazy. Wonderful aroma. Tart fruits. Smells like a Flanders red. Wonderful fruit and yeast flavor. I find this hard to describe. So great.
mcberko (4053) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 1, 2011
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 12, 2012 750mL bottle, pours a cloudy orange amber with a beige head. Aroma of orange peel / zest, some tropical fruits, some white wine qualities and coriander. Flavour is quite vinous and fruity, with white wine oak upfront, balanced beautifully by intense tropical fruits, some orange / lemon zest and typical Belgian yeast. Delicious mixture of flavours - awesome saison.
Terminus (2891) - Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA - DEC 1, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle-Damn, this is impressive! Pours dark hazy orange with a big fluffy soapy white big bubble head. The aromas here are amazing-lots of woody brett notes, dry grapes, lite pheonlic spice, Brett funk, lots of wood and spice. Alot going on here. Flavors exhibit the woody notes up front along with lite sourness, nice spicy saison character, lots of brett, tart white whine like flavors with a very dry finish. The pinon nore barrel really shows here-lots of dry wood tones with the added brett, this beer finishes really dry with some liter bitterness from the spice and maybe a dab of hops as well. Long into the finish, the toasted oak shows up even more. Could be the best saison i have ever had. This thing is amazing!
thegreenrooster (2806) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 30, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pour is a nice peachy color with a large white head. Aroma is sour from the pinot. Then comes some yeast and citrus fruit. Flavor is sour tart fruit to start then comes some stong but not overpowering pepper. Finish has more tart fruit and a nice vanilla. Itís kinda like a sour\saison hybrid and it works.