ThisWangsChung (747) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - SEP 17, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
22 oz bottle into a glass. It’s over one and a half years old, so fingers crossed it’s held up.
A: Pours a hazy chestnut color with tons of evident carbonation. The head is a two finger mocha shade. Very airy in texture, it retains itself quite well - fantastically, even. Leave it sitting long enough, and excellent lacing will be left on the glass.
S: A one-two-three punch of caramel, chocolate, and nuts really come through once this warms up. Before that, the aroma mainly consists of bready Belgian yeast and just a touch of black pepper spice. Not really getting how this is even a dark saison - this smells like a Belgian brown ale with some spiciness. Pleasant nonetheless.
T: The flavors seem to reveal more in the way of roasted coffee notes, especially around the midtaste. It opens with bready yeast flavors, developing a faint fruit quality (apples, pears, white grapes) right before the roast takes over. Chocolate, caramel, and sliiight (emphasis on all the i’s, it’s faint) cherry esters come out on the aftertaste. I’m beginning to wonder if the pepper notes have died down with age, because I’m not picking them up on the flavor profile. Overall, there’s a modicum of complexity, but none of the funk notes I like in my saisons.
M: Wow, this is strongly carbonated. It can be a bit much at times, but it also has the positive effect of drying the beer out very well. The lightness of body helps all that carbonation come through even more vividly. Okay, now I’m more inclined to believe that this is a dark saison - the mouthfeel is (nearly) dead on, helping to accentuate the coffee notes quite well.
O: Dark saison or really dry, fizzy Belgian brown? I don’t care, this is damn good. It lacks some of the fine-tuned sophistication to make it a true great of the style (...whatever that style is), but considering I got this on clearance, that’s really a moot point. Put it this way, I’d gladly get this again at regular price.
esox (951) - Oulu, FINLAND - MAR 8, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottled. Dark mahogany to ruby color, weak head. Smoky aroma or malts, a touch of brandy, bakers yeast, sour rye bread, fermented dark berries, dried fruits (raisins). Herbal and woody hop notes. Dry, slightly sour malty flavor. Rye is gives spicy feeling. Dry fruits and woody bitter finish with yeasty esters and pepper. Medium body, smooth and frothy carbonation.
Cornfield (5345) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - MAR 5, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
I picked up a b0ttle 0f this at the l0cal F00d 4 Less. N0t a bad price. It l00ked like a c0la with a tall f0amy head and left cl0tty lacew0rk in its wake. It smelled sweet,candy-like, with dark fruit and a t0uch 0f fl0ral funk. The flav0r c0ntinued with the dark fruit, a hit 0f w00d sm0ke, lightly sweet, with a t0uch 0f anise. 0kay.
fluffy (1252) - St Petersburg, Florida, USA - MAR 4, 2014
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
i dont usually like saisons much, but the peppercorns and rye help to mellow it out. i dont like the heavier carbonation though. too much like a soda.
ThirstyBird (1010) - Düsseldorf, GERMANY - MAR 1, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a dark brown with an orange glow and a tan head. The smell is roasted malt, molasses, spice, yeast. The taste is spice, roasted dark malt, molasses, yeast ending dry. The body is medium with tight carbonation.
Xenon (64) - Cary, North Carolina, USA - FEB 26, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tastes pretty good. Similar to the sofie, but a bit maltier. A little bit of licorice flavors to balance out the breadiness from the yeasts. Pretty strong molasses aromas as well, almost like a doppelbock.. Not really sure what the rye does, but the beer was pretty smoky for the style. Can’t really say that it added anything besides an interesting dimension though. Would drink again, and also wouldn’t heartily recommend.
Div (23) - SWEDEN - FEB 25, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled on 02/24/11
This one have developed really well.
Mature notes of strawberry/raspberry jam in the nose.
Taste follows the aroma, with a mild roasty and smokey suprise in the finish. Simple and clean.
As it warms up a light note of butter begins to show, but it doesn’t disturb, now it smells like a roasted butter jam sandwich.
I’ve had 2 bottles of this batch and they have been exceptionally good, with a big difference from all other Pepe Neros I’ve had.
Bamsen78 (2293) - Sønderborg, DENMARK - FEB 24, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours slightly hazy dark brown with shades of ruby and airy but very stable light tan head. Clear aroma of fruit, malt, and caramel, with hints of hops and alcohol in the long nose. Sweetish, fruity notes, enhanced by touches of malt and caramel. Notes of hops and pepper. Mildly spicy and sweetish finish. A nice one.
Shinskyweiser (22) - - FEB 22, 2014
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark brown on the bottom and black on top. Head is off white and long lasting. Aroma of cherry, roasted coffee and fresh pine. Taste of roasted coffee, maple, smoked cherrywood with a classic Belgium yeast. As it warms it develops complex new flavors. You get a more warming alcohol followed by sweet/tart cherry bitter dark chocolate. Tangerine and banana follow well at the very end. Smoky/dry finish. Not overwhelming, very drinkable. I'm a huge fan of robust porters and the roast character in this beer is very enjoyable. Really good beer. If you love robust porters and Belgium beers you must try this!
Corrinado711 (65) - - FEB 21, 2014
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2011 bottle. Pours A thick dark deep brown with thick carmel head with good head retention . Aroma of roasted malt
jaybes (17) - Hastings, Michigan, USA - FEB 18, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
2011 Bottle. Awesome head retention. Nice spicy smell. Very light, clean finish. Dark cherry, vanilla, mineral finish. Probably wouldn’t cellar again, better fresh.