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.
worldbeertaste (1654) - AUSTRIA - OCT 1, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
February 2013 bottle drank in September 2014. 1.5 years old.
Dark brown with a red tint, with a disappearing, frothy, thin, creamy head. Nice sweet smell of malt with rye, prunes and a peppery, smokey sour cherry touch. Caramel. Medium to full oily body with no carbonation. A slight dry finish. Initial taste of bitter nut with a caramel middle and a cherry yeasty, liquorice finish. Leaves the mouth with a sour prune lingering. I never thought of a saison like this. Very easy to drink and super excited aged some more.
jeverszeuge (625) - GERMANY - SEP 28, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
ersma: wie der name schon impliziert mit schwarzem pfeffer gebraut. auf der flasche ist zu lesen, dass sie lebendige hefe enthält und bis zu fünf jahre weiterreift. warum dnn schluss ist, wird nicht erläutert.
pechschwarz im glas, oben viel beige-bräunlicher schaum, der recht stabil ist.
der geruch ist süßlich und röstmalzig, aromen von lakritz und vanile, etwas schoko und etwas pfeffer.
der antrunk ist röstmalzig mit viel karamell, dazu lakritz und schoko, dahinter eine leichte schärfe, die zur mitte schon deutlicher wird. da ich ja mehrere biere mit tabasco oder szechuanpfeffer braue, weiß ich, dass diese schärfe sich mit jedem schluck addiert. der abgang bringt anflüge von hopfenherbe mit, aber nur anflüge. die schärfe wird etwas ausgeprägter, ohne wirklich scharf zu sein, das kommt halt erst nach mehreren schlucken. karamell und lakritz sind noch vorhanden, nehmen jedoch deutlich ab.
die flasche mit dem mattschwarzen etikett ist ansehnlich.
fazit: schön ausbalanciertes belgisches ale, dem der pfeffer noch das besondere gibt. unbedingt probierenswert.
13,12,11,11,13,11 - 11,45 28/9/14
slowrunner77 (3843) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 24, 2014
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
"Not sure why i hadn’t reviewd this yet, but here goes. While a very well crafted beer, the combination of dark malts and a saison type beer is a stylistic miss for me. This gives the impression that it is about as good as the style gets. I just prefer a light sunshiney feel to my saisons, and black malt cant really pull that off. the chocolate roastiness and pepper combo was interesting, though. I’d have this brew again fo sho, just wouldnt seek it out."
Vestergaard (379) - Aarhus C, DENMARK - SEP 22, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
33cl bottle. Pours clear, dark brown with a small, short lasting, light brown soda-head. Aroma has malty roast and caramel, slightly bready grains, some chocolate and some herbs. But overall not a whole lot of aroma in this one. Taste has a bit more funk to it, some hop-bitterness, and some more fresh, subtle bitter-sour notes. Still these roasty licorice, coffee and chocolate-notes. Really easy drinking with a fairly high carbonation and a smooth body.
zach8270 (3489) - Henrietta, New York, USA - SEP 13, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
(bottle - 12 oz - 2011 vintage) Dark brown pour with a fluffy tan head. Slightly chocolatey and roasted aroma overtop a spicy and peppery yeast note. Flavor has a lot of that spicy farmhouse earthy flavor at the start with a roasted chocolate and burnt malt bitterness coming up at the end.
Quevillon (2511) - Boisbriand, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 4, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
765 ml bottle purchase at The LCBO on Rideau and King Edward (Ottawa) on August 24, 2014. Black, small head. Malty pepper aroma, some ripe fruit notes. Pepper and fruit juice taste, a bit of dry yeast, very spicy aftertaste. The peppercorn is really not over done in this saison!
bunget (556) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 4, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
765ml bottle. Clear cola colour body, medium mocha head with good retention. Aroma of yeast, toast, licorice, delicate smokiness, raisins, earthy notes. Taste of roasted malts, smoke, licorice, yeast, a touch of woodsy notes. Light. Gets better when warms up.
Darkmagus82 (1436) - - AUG 22, 2014
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Transfer from BA review on 1-8-13-
Poured from bottle into a tulip glass with a bottled on date of 5/22/12. The label says it can be aged up to 5 years after bottling.
Appearance – Pours a cola colored brew with a huge tan head. The head has huge carbonation bubbles entrapped within, which slowly pop over time to leave a light level of lacing on the sides of the glass
Smell – The aroma is bready and yeasty with hints of some apple within. Accompanying these smells are notes of banana and some dark chocolate smells.
Taste – The taste starts out with a smoother blend of roasted malt and hints of chocolate. It begins without much of a saison taste, only to develop it more as the taste advances beyond the initial. Some fruit flavors come to the tongue rather quickly off the start being mainly of a banana and light fruit flavor. These remain rather light and are soon meet with some grassy and herbal tastes. A yeasty taste also soon comes to the tongue with the flavor now starting to develop more of a saison like flavor. In the end some bitter chocolate with an increase in a more bitter herbal flavor and some black pepper come to the tongue. These flavors all combined in a rather awkward way to leave a rather odd dark roast, light fruit and bitter herbal flavor to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is quite light with a carbonation level that is on the lower to medium side. This is a tough one as I can’t say if a creamier body for the roasted flavor would have been better or if staying with a thinner body for the fruit, yeast and herbal flavors was the better rout to take. The same goes for the carbonation.
Overall – Well nothing I really cared a whole lot about for the price that you pay. The tastes were a little confused with none of the flavors really melding well together. The nose, appearance and mouthfeel for me were all just average as well. It may be worth a try, but this is one I will likely not go back too.
arnold931 (557) - Iowa, USA - AUG 22, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. 2 years old. Pours dark brown with big long-lasting tan head. Nose is dark fruit and caramel. Taste has a carbonation bite. Nice caramel and rye spice. Tastes like a spicy dubbel.
Dorwart (2377) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - AUG 16, 2014
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Nice strong light brown head of dense and creamy bubbles with very good carbonation. Aroma of rootbeer, licorice, roasted grains and fresh air in the spring. Color is a very dark brown. Rather darl for a "saison". Fizzy in the mouth with a little bit of tartness, more roasted grains, rye and some salt water. Funishes dry with a bit of lingering tartness. A pretty good but strange brew.