FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 15, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a lightly hazy straw gold color and is topped by a frothy pale tan head that is held up by a persistent, yet on the light side for a Saison, carbonation. The aroma is quite spicy, but more from actual spices than from the yeast. The aroma is a mix of herbal notes, citrus, and vanilla, it is quite nice and is not so over-spiced that it is too much.
The taste is lightly sweet and full up front with notes of vanilla. The finish is dry and quite austere, but not based on the malt profile, instead the finish is dominated by the spices. The finish is slightly astringent from the spices as well it then moves to a flowery wild flower type, almost perfume-like, thing that seems to be from the lavender and chamomile.
As I get past my first couple of sips, the spices definitely start to take over. This beer has been healthily spiced, and despite this I still am enjoying this a fair amount. I do think that this beer will age quite well, with the heavy spicing that will mellow over time. This beer needs at least a year, perhaps two before it peaks. The finish really does remind me of perfume and or potpourri.
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAY 9, 2005
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Thin head, color is an off yellow. Slightly spiced aroma. Initial taste is bitter. Becomes more spicy but strange chemical bitterness prevails. Some metallic notes along with astringency, which wouldn’t be bad if it was toned down. Some citrus there, but again it plays a background to some of the less desireable flavors. Finish is more harsh metallic bitterness, followed very late by some cinnimon.
mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - MAY 9, 2005
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
oh another Belgian style from Avery...I guess I’d call this tea-beer...spices were way overdone...I forced myself through a 22oz of it...very put of by the almost rotten sulphur sort of aroma the herbs imparted(if I wouldn’t have read the list, I wouldn’t believe there isn’t Rosemary in here...nothing seems to ruin a beer like rosemary...and whatever they put in this one)...I tried it on draft the next day and felt about the same way...maybe it didn’t smell as bad...but the FR was a bit smokey and I was a bit intoxicated...just couldn’t enjoy this...dumping a bunch of spices in a beer is no reason to call the beer "intricate" It did look pretty cool though.
Ratman197 (9696) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - MAY 8, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap. Lovely hazy golden color with a large white head that slowly dissapates, but leaves behind Brussels lace. Aromas of citrus and spices greet the drinker inviting you to taste it. First you taste citrusy fruit immediatley followed by flavors of herbs and spices.Finish is moderatley dry and bitter. Good job Adam!
Aubrey (3431) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - MAY 7, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 25, 2005 Evenly hazy and brightly golden with a little orange. Spritzy mouthfeel. Tremendously inviting nose, just wafting with sweet-smelling herbs and spices. Gentle malts have a nice level of sweetness (lemon cookies). Big notes of tea (chamomile), flowers, herbs, spices (coriander, cinnamon and clove seem to stand out the most). Balanced bitterness and alcohol. Overall, I found it to be a clean, flavorful and very aromatic saison. Great stuff.
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 6, 2005
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draught @ Papago
The beer as it sets in the glass is a lightly hazed golden amber color with a pertinent creamy white head, and after its demise, the lace forms a tight skirt around the glass. Nose is full of spicy aromas, lavender, orange peel, sweet malt, cloves, a real nice smeller this beer, start is somewhat sweet with a nice grain presence, the hops pleasing and the acidity apropos to the style, very dry somewhat bitter aftertaste, and as the beer warms to room, the flavors really start to shine. Honestly, as I first sampled, I was not very impressed, but as it warmed, I had to change my opinion, so I guess I must not rush to judgment until the last drop is drained from my glass.
Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - MAY 6, 2005
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Attractive hazy light orange in color. Floral and herbaceous nose, full of spices, very much like Cuvee De Fleurs (Good job Ernest.) Flavor is heavily floral and spicy, with an emphasis on esters and spice balance. Notes of grains of paradise, chamomile and lavender (although the lavender really shines in the nose), light yeast and a citrus twang. Ehhh, I know the brewer’s at Avery probably are not very happy with my ratings lately but this is another one that doesn’t exactly disappoint, but it fails to impress. Totally overdone with the spicing.
Bockyhorsey (2610) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - MAY 5, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Amoma of the citrus varity. Hazy yellow color to the body with thin white head. Left conciderable lacing ion the glass. The flavor of sweet grapfruit was a good deal along with the orange citrus. Was clean and smooth on the palate. An enjoyable beer.
snowtiger (106) - Brighton, Colorado, USA - MAY 5, 2005
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
HAH ! I beat NIck to it ! That is good since I bought it from his store today less than an hour after it arrived. I am also rating this on the last legs of by brew session of Imperial CAP in my garage. OK, to the beer. Average with head. Hazy golden color. There is some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. The aroma is dominated by flowery spice, with little yeast or malt character. Chamomile and maybe lavender leaves. The flavor is pretty much the same but the flowery character is not as dominate. Some alcohol, Belgian esters, and bitterness here. I llike the fact that this anniversary beer from Avery is under 10% abv. I think this will round out with age. It is a bit disjointed now but still very drinkable.
Ernest (6199) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - APR 28, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAY 2, 2005 Head is initially average sized, frothy, white, mostly diminishing.
Body is hazy medium yellow.
Aroma is lightly malty (toasted bread, cookie), lightly hoppy (herbs, flowers), lightly yeasty (cobwebs), with notes of heather, chamomile, and other assorted flowery smells, coriander, lemon peel, green raisins, etc.
Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, heavily bitter.
Medium body, velvety/watery texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic.
If you’ve had Southampton’s Cuvee des Fleurs, you’ll probably be reminded of that. This is effectively identical in alcohol content, and quite flowery (flowery in obviously non-hoppy ways) in a similar fashion. More restrained raw yeast character in the nose and overall less depth than CdF, but this is still very attractive. One of Avery’s haziest beers, presumably completely unfiltered, which adds some nice yeasty character in the finish. Kinda like a double witbier (no coriander in the recipe, but gives that illusion thanks to the flower/spice concoction) with lots of flowers added (if you haven’t had CdF, think about Fraoch and Deus and you’ll be in the right ballpark, aromatically speaking). I could see this being too overtly floral for some folks, but I like it. Have had two other samples since bottling day, and it seemed a little coarse and overly bitter in the finish each time...perhaps from the bevy of spices? Still, mid/high 3’s is about where I think this one will end up in the long run. Six to twelve months of aging may help soften the finish a bit.