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RATINGS: 403   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 204   ABV: 6.8%
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 itís best not to even talk about it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
ElGaucho (2319) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - DEC 18, 2012
Bottle purchased at Stone World Bistro, and consumed in Minnesota (like that even matters). Booze and dark fruit greet the nose. Smells awfully boozy for an ABV <7%. But turns out after first sip that what I detected as booze was actually smoke that is quite obvious now. Surprised I didnít detect it after opening the bottle since you can smell the smoke from a couple of feet away. Almost fully opaque black body with some faint reddish brown notes when held up to light. Thin light tan head that appears lighter in stark contrast to the pitch black liquid below. Leaves an intriquite lace. Served a little cold (by me) and so after letting it warm a bit the complexity of the flavors emerge and impress. Hops and smoke in the same beer?!? Unfortunately my conscience may force me to share my second bottle with wellestone, for whom those two flavor profiles are 2nd to none. Add to that some brett to make it a dark saison and you have a triangulation of collaboration. Well done to all three brewers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bluejacket74 (1584) - Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA - DEC 18, 2012
12 ounce bottle. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like roasted malt, smoke, coffee, peppery spice, and some bittersweet chocolate. It tastes like roasted malt, earthy hops, vanilla, coffee, peppery spice, smoke, bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of dark fruit. Mouthfeel/body is medium, itís a bit coating and has good carbonation. To me it seems more like a porter or a stout than a saison, but Iím not complaining. I thought this was a good brew overall. $3.99 a bottle.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ryanscourt (1016) - Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 18, 2012
12 oz pour from bottle. Fairly dark brown. Never had a dark saison before. Some maltiness followed by saison spiciness but overtaken by hop bitterness. Some lingering smokiness but aftertaste is mostly dry and bitter. Pretty good but not as unique flavors as I was expecting and a lot more bitter.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
after4ever (6801) - Brier, Washington, USA - DEC 17, 2012
12-oz. Pours black with a dense and creamy dark tan head. Not much lace. Big smoke sweet nose, smells like smoked black liquorice jerky. Creamy medium body with lively carb. Campfire, ash, and black liquorice on the mid-palate. Ashy salty campfire finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
msante79 (2216) - Mount Prospect, Illinois, USA - DEC 17, 2012
12oz bottle I think that I picked up while in NY. Aromas of light smoke, some bready yeast, some light roast and chocolate too. Flavors of chocolate, roast, bread, fair amount of yeast, and light smoke. Body seemed a touch thin. Solid beer like almost everything else in this series.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Reid (2095) - Salem, Oregon, USA - DEC 16, 2012
12oz bottle from "Lifesource" Salem. $3.49 Black beer with a nice tan head..lovely. Nice smokey aromas..like crispy roasted ham , a hint of saison and some light hop. Taste is more sweet grapefruit hop and a little saison dryness..the smoke for some reason is not so pleasing inn the taste as it was in the nose..more ashy. Nice juicy mouthfeel. Nice unusual beer

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ngeunit1 (1555) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 16, 2012
A - Dark black, hint of brown, finger frothy tan-khaki head. Fades medium. S - Roasted caramel malts, chocolate, smoke, vanilla, coffee, Belgian yeast, spices, pepper, earthy hops. T - Roasted caramel and chocolate malts, earthy hops, mild bitterness, Belgian yeast, pepper, other spices, vanilla, and smoke. M - Medium bodied moderate carbonation. Smooth with a smokey and roasty finish. D - Nicely balanced dark saison. The smoke is a nice touch.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
AWISLguy (1887) - Wisconsin, USA - DEC 16, 2012
Bottle from Antioch Fine Wine. Pours dark brown with reddish tints in the bottom, and a tan head leaving some drops of lace. Aroma is a bit bizarre - combination of sweet malts, fruit, spices and salty meat smoke. With peat. Taste has sweet fruits and syrupy sugar, meat and some caramel. Not very saison-y. Somewhat smoke-y, so that would have been my category for this.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Tmoney99 (12216) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 16, 2012
Bottle. Poured a clear dark brown color with an average fizzy white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate toasted malt, citrus, and yeast aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and soft carbonation. Medium complex bitterswee flavor with a medium sweet & smoke finish of moderate duration. I not sure I would recommend this to a friend.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
dfearnley (1365) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 15, 2012
360mL bottle to flute Yeasty with candied fruits and alcohol. Deep amber with a thin off white head. The taste is slightly sweet and butter. Palate is medium bodied and silky. Due to the aroma, I was expecting it to like a quad, but this is reminiscent if a red ale.

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