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RATINGS: 739   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52   IBU: 30   EST. CALORIES: 192   ABV: 6.4%
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A black rye saison that combines a roasted/smoky malt character in balance with a pepper spice from the yeast. Finishes dry with a refreshing level of carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - APR 26, 2011
UPDATED: APR 27, 2011 Bottled 03-11. The beer pours a muddy, dark brown color with an average, foamy, dark beige head which is mostly lasting leaving a thin foam throughout and similar lace. The nose is seemingly simple for a saison but quite enticing with peppery notes from the rye and phenols, smoky and roasty notes you might expect from grilled meat but without the meaty notes (like you would get from a smoked beer), some dark breads, and maybe a raisin-like tartness; come to think of it, I do not get much saisonish notes. The flavor is similar with lots of smoky grill notes (think of how a prime rib might smell if slow roasted on a charcoal grill...), dark breads, still black pepper all over, a slight raisin note with a moderate acidity, and maybe a bit of toasted caramel in there somewhere. The palate is seemingly bigger than most lighter, more typical ’saisons’ but still fitting to this beer; medium to full, lively, and both quenching and dry. The beer finishes dry with the smoky/roasty notes diminishing slightly allowing the pepper to balance and the quenching acidity to present itself. Not your everyday saison... I usually find that dark saisons dry out to much and taste ashy or chalky but these one was neither. And the way the smoky notes were used was quite interesting to me; tasting like notes you would expect from grilled meat but not meaty tasting, if that makes any sense. I have not been a fan of Goose Island’s Belgian beers but this one was a pleasant surprise, especially if you are looking for something out of the ordinary.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
manuchampions (1237) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 26, 2011
22oz bottle split with McBerko. Pours a jet black tan head. Burnt tar aroma. Taste is burnt malt, rye, dried leaves, certainly a peppery note near the end. Alcohol seems hot for 6.0%. While black IPA’s seem to work in general a black saison doesn’t (unless there are better examples of one).

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
scoobysnak (329) - Appleton, Wisconsin, USA - APR 25, 2011
Really dark much more so than I expected. Some good lacing after the head finally disappated. Taste is banana, esters, some candy, and malts. I like this and it seems very different from a normal saison.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
radagast83 (4635) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - APR 24, 2011
January 3rd, 2011 (Pre-AB) 12oz bottle. This was an interesting beer. Poured a dark brown color, with a light tan head. Aroma was, well like a Belgian ale, touch of pepper and roasted notes. Flavor was a tad pepper, saison-like qualities. Would be an interesting beer after a few years.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
StefanSD (2131) - Lakeside, California, USA - APR 24, 2011
650 ml bottle from Bev4less. Pours an nearly opaque dark brown-black color with a small beige head that slowly recedes to a fine film. The aroma is moderate in strength with Belgian yeasts and dark roasted malts. The flavor is complex with roasted grains, mixed fruits, cocoa and mild spices. The palate is silky smooth and the carbonation is lively. Finishes medium in duration and dry. Overall: I thought that this was a fair black saison.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
mcberko (6419) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 24, 2011
22 oz. bottle, split with manuchampions, pours dark brown / black with a small beige head. Aroma of rye, peppercorn and dark malts. Flavour of iodine, ash / burnt notes, rye and pepper. No idea how this is a saison. Not too stimulating.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
anderson01 (201) - Idaho, USA - APR 23, 2011
Black in color with an off white head. Outstanding lacing. The aroma consist of vanilla, caramel and grains. Watery on the palate. Has lively carbonation. There is a spicey finish to the beer. I was hoping for more of a peppercorn spice to it. It was a good beer though.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
brenn79 (1519) - Idaho, USA - APR 23, 2011
22 oz. bottle- Pours almost black (weird for a saison) with a nice creamy tan head, again is this a saison. Aroma is roasted malts, coffee (again is this a saison?), there maybe some funky aromas in there, but it could be in my imagination. The flavor is more Belgian, yeast, banana esters, pepper, roasted malts, coffee. The description says roasted black saison, and I guess it matches that description, nice beer. Budweiser sucks!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Thorpe429 (5012) - , Illinois, USA - APR 23, 2011
Reviewed from notes. Pour yields a nearly-black beer with a mocha-colored head and some nice retention. The nose has a bit of earth and pepper along with some Belgian yeast spiciness. The peppercorn really stands out in the nose, and that carries over into the flavor. A bit of roasted malt in the flavor along with some earthy woodiness. Mouthfeel is medium with a bit of spice and good carbonation. Drinks fairly well. Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 03-15-2011

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Byrdman (41) - Maryland, USA - APR 20, 2011
Pours porter-like, red highlights. Head runs away. Ester/banana nose. Relatively flat, lots of malt. Careful hopping but interesting finish. Very nice

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