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RATINGS: 401   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 204   ABV: 6.8%
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When two gypsies team up with an arrogant bastard, there is bound to be some criminal activity...better to view this project as a conspiracy rather than a collaboration. The strengths of all involved were utilized to break the laws of style guidelines...dark with deception, mysteriously smoked, unexplainably dry, and intriguingly hoppy...maybe it’s best not to even talk about it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
bu11zeye (11973) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - FEB 11, 2013
(12oz bottle) Pours a dark brown body with a spare off-white head. Aroma of raisins, anise, smoked sausage, and dates. Flavor of pepper, anise, roasted grain, coffee, grass, dark fruit, yeast, and smoke with a dry, bitter finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
MadDogMD (213) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - FEB 10, 2013
Not sure I’d like this, but had to try it. Nice nose of smoked malt, slight chocolate & roast, with some dark fruit Belgian yeast esters. Flavors started out the same, but took an unexpected turn with bitter, biting hops. Guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised, considering Stone was involved! Thought it was good, minus the harsh, bitter hop finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jcos (1600) - Maryland, USA - FEB 10, 2013
Location/Date:Bottle on February 10th, 2013.

Appearance: Pours dark black with light brown head.
Aroma: Aroma of spice and faint smoke.
Taste: Medium light bitterness, spice, some faint smoke that lingerings.
Palate:Light body, some fizz, lingering aftertaste of smoke.

Summary: Definitely an interesting beer. I am a fan of smoked beers, although for some reason this one is just okay in that department. Overall it’s a solid saison, although I guess I expect more when Stone and Stillwater are involved.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Darwenus (572) - Virginia, USA - FEB 8, 2013
Pours very dark but very thin, with a brief head. The aroma is anise, charcoal and some hops, and the flavor presents those notes, a faint presence of banana and citrus, and a mild hop tingle at the end.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
PorterPounder (5757) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - FEB 5, 2013
Tallahassee, Fl. - Proof Bottle Shop - 12 oz bottle. Pours a deep dark brown with a sticky khaki colored head that leaves a nice coat of lacing. Aroma has a hint of spice, coriander perhaps, a touch of juicy fruit gum. Flavor is pleasant with some slight citrus bitterness, a touch of licorice, brief hints of chocolate. Thickish mouthfeel. Enjoyable - but not seeing the Saison in this one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jmikolich (1477) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - FEB 4, 2013
12oz bottle, a saison which is smoked and highly hopped? weirdness. Its like a black IPA used with Saison yeast and the smoked part gets stomped out by the hops, surprisingly okay with me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
AndresTM (329) - Vienna, AUSTRIA - FEB 3, 2013
The aroma is a blend of green, herbal (and, to a lesser extent, floral) hops, Belgian yeast, and hints of smoked malt. Not too strong a smoky character, though. The taste is smooth, herbal, and a little piney up front, with spicy yeast esters and some malt following. Hops are protagonists here, not the smokiness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
StefanSD (2217) - Lakeside, California, USA - FEB 3, 2013
12 oz bottle from bev4less. Pours a dark brown color with a small beige head that has good retention. The aroma features Belgian style yeasts at the forefront and some light sweet smoke following up. The is similar to the nose, I get a big dose of Belgian yeasts, both dubbel type and saison, followed by spices, earthy hops and just a trace of ash. The palate is silky smooth with lively carbonation. Finishes long and dry with lingering ashy smoke. Overall: Very tasty stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Thisis12ptfont (883) - Los Angeles, CA, California, USA - FEB 2, 2013
Pleasant oak, brown sugar and ground cinnamon aroma. Dark brown with a magenta hue. Interesting notes of herbs, dark fruits/grapes and a smokey oak flavor. Overall, well-rounded and smooth with fairly dark flavors. Not bad at all. I’d give this a B rating.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 2, 2013
The beer pours with a thick, two finger thick, pale brown tinged, tan colored head that leaves some nice lacing on the sides of my New Belgium globe glass. The beer has a concentrated brown, almost black color that shows a brilliantly clear, black stained, dark amber, almost purple hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of a very light, subtle smokiness that almost isn’t noticeably so (more a richness than anything), toasted / roasted malt, but then lots of fruit-focused hop notes that I wasn’t expecting at all, but end up being the most noticeable part of the nose. Some fruity fermentation notes seem to accentuate the hop notes, the latter of which contribute flavors of guava, lychee, kumquat peel, super tropical citrus notes, and even some funky tropical fruit notes. Touches of herbal notes, and a touch of dank “herbaceousnous” helps to round things out.

My first flavor is almost a confusing mix of light smoke, toasted malt, herbal hops, and citrusy, tropical fruity hop notes. Quite light bodied, with just enough sweetness for the fruit hop notes to come through in a dry manner. The smokiness adds a sharpness that mixes in with the bitterness to give this beer a bit of a bite. The hop character is just about the dominant character here; flavors of concentrated floral peach, kumquat, lychee, tropical citrus juice, and a bright floral citrus character that really lingers.

Quite nice, definitely hop focused, and the smoke really isn’t any more than a subtle, supporting character that wouldn’t have been noticeable without knowing it is here. The Saison side of things isn’t overly noticeable / contributing here; this is quite dry and light bodied, but that firm, characterful, and spicy character that is part of a good Saison really isn’t prominently on display here.

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