ccex (922) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 11, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz bottle pours a dark brown/black with small khaki head and some lacing. Aroma is a peculiar mix of Belgian yeast, dark roasted malts, raisins, cherries, spices, and smoke. Taste is initially sweet/tart fruits with an earthy/funky dry finish and lingering smoke. Body is light to medium with average carbonation. An interesting experimental mix of a saison, a black IPA, and a smoked beer.
Brouwerij (920) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 17, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a deep brown with a finger and a half of rocky tan head, settles in minutes with some lacing. Aromas of sweet grass/hay, slightly roasted, smoky, and fruity like belgian yeast. Flavor is roasted malt up front with noticeable hops, then sweeter with nutty and almost fruity tones. Hints of herbal notes. Finish is mildly bitter and lingers. Strong carbonation and medium body without a slightly oily mouthfeel. An interesting saison, but not as memorable as some of the other Stone collaborations.
rangerred (919) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - DEC 28, 2012
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
12oz bottle into a pint glas
Pours pitch black with a one finger tan head. Really good rocky head retention and awesome lacing on the sides of the glass.
Aroma has the trademark Belgian yeastyness that I expect from a Saison but also a nice curveball of roasted malt with a hint of smoke. The roast and smoke are subtle but enough is there to let you know that this is not your average Saison.
This uniqueness carries over into the flavor where once again, there is a little something extra happening. Belgian yeast up front with the typical fruity flavors common in this style but there are subtle hints of caramel and burnt toast. I also pick up coffee and dark chocolate along with very faint smoke. Quite nice but then comes the mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is is full and slick with a sticky finish. Now I wonder if this is really a Saison. Where is the light crisp mouthfeel and bone dry finish? This really ruins the whole experience.
Overall, a great idea but it just doesn’t work. I wonder if all the specialty malts made bone dry attenuation simply impossible? I think this might be the case but if so, then why even attempt a "smoked saison"? Nonetheless an interesting take on a classic style and worth picking up if you come across it.
daleharshman (903) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 16, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 ounce bottle purchased a little over 1.5 years ago at Holiday Wine Cellar ($3.99). Pours a dark brown hue with two fingers of tan foam. AROMA of Belgian yeast, chocolate malts, mild citrus, and smoke. FLAVOR of citric hops, lemon iced tea, touch of sourness (not infected), and dark malts which lead into significant and lingering ash/smoke in the finish. Again, a roasty-bitter (rather than hoppy-bitter) and also dry finish with lesser fruity notes of citrus and dark stone fruit. Interesting concept and probably executed well (though I have to question the whole concept of a "black saison"), but there is a lot happening here and the sum is unfortunately not greater than the parts. (395, 874)
monk191 (901) - California, USA - DEC 29, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
A very good beer. Pours a thick black with a bubbly brown head. Smells of cherries, nuts and green apples. Taste is very complex, smoked and fruity, more cherries. Interesting ending, a little hoppy, but not overpowering. Overall, great. Had in the bottle. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
kevinator (892) - The Colony, Texas, USA - JAN 7, 2013
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
This was again another Stone-spin on a particular style. I think it worked. The aroma was fruity and malty and spicy. The color was a cloudy brown with minimal head. The flavors defied expectation and are difficult to explain. Fruity tartness, smoked, woody, spicy and some hops at the end. Not necessarily refreshing. Kudos for not giving a crap about style, just not sure this would be something to revisit.
skmikeg (882) - Poway, California, USA - NOV 20, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours pitch black a small tan head which does not last long. Aroma is of smoke, roasted malts, wet hay funk, some bakers coco, some wood, and Belgian spices. Taste is smoked wood, roasted malts, citrus, some floral hops, some coco, faint espresso, and some saison spices. Has medium body with a slighty creamy, well carbonated mouthfeel and a dry, semi bitter, slightly funky, smokey finish. overall, a interesting and pretty tasty hybrid of a rachbier and saison.
AndyReynolds (880) - Dayton, Kentucky, USA - APR 8, 2013
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
That is an odd aroma. Soured bread, smoked malts, toasted caramel, and cheese (?). Taste brings the smokiness out fo sho. Lighter palate, finishing dry.
dalekliz (874) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 21, 2012
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours a deep black with an off-white head that lingers and leaves a lot of lacing. Aroma of burnt, toasted malt, wood, grass, chocolate. Taste has a lot going on, dry toasted malt, wood, spices and finishes with sweeter tart fruits and hops. Lingering crisp toasted malt and underripe fruits that ends a bit watery. Kind of weird but it works pretty well.
Tonkun (862) - New Jersey, USA - FEB 16, 2013
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Dark espresso pour with a creamy tan head. Acidic, coffee bean, raisin, apricot, cola, lead. Easy to drink light to medium body with slight tannin like bitter finish.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone