Marduk (6004) - Reval, ESTONIA - MAR 7, 2016
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
375ml bottle (thanks FatPhil). I guess this is my 1k different brewery?! Clear dark golden color. Small size, thick white head, stays. Fizzy, sweet, peach syrup, wheaty in aroma. Sweet, malty, banana, yeasty in taste. Yeasty, messy, apples in aftertaste. Rough and full of acetone.
FatPhil (13312) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - MAR 5, 2016
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
375ml bottle (Alus Celle, Riga)
Sweet aroma, some grungy graiiness to it. Pretty heady sweet taste, some alcohol in here too. Sticky palate, both from sweetness and I presume resiny hops, which at least provide some long-term interest. Yes, it uses belgian yeast, I can taste that, but the effect is so forced that it’s fake. Some acidity here, not so nice. Throw belgian yeast in, get high scores - narp, doesn’t work for me.
mike_77 (5171) - Breda, NETHERLANDS - MAR 5, 2016
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Hazy blond colour. Aroma is fresh and tart. Thin body, a bit watery. Tart apple. A bit cideresque
CraftBeerNick (1838) - London Town, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAR 3, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap at Beer Temple, 3rd March 16. Pours slightly hazy, good head. aroma is bitter, funk, citrus. Taste is slightly sour and funky and very refreshing, good fresh hops, some pine. Very good
androman (1633) - Maarssen, NETHERLANDS - FEB 26, 2016
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Om tap at beertemple, amsterdam. Nose is yeasty sourish. Body is opalescent orange, head is small, white, average lasting, good lacing. Aroma is wild yeast, honey. Quite sour. Finish is long lasting yeasty medium to heavy sour. Full body, dry texture, soft carbonation. Interesting, nice one.
Benzai (12771) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - FEB 26, 2016
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clear orange golden color, medium to full sized white head. Aroma is Brett and orangepeel. Taste orangepeel, light yeast, brett, decently fruity as well. Decent body and soft carbonation. Not bad.
willisread (2212) - Tokyo, JAPAN - FEB 4, 2016
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle from Tanakaya. Sharp lemon and peppery yeast dominate nose. Slight astringent plastic-like aromas as well. Harshly tart with a ton of yeast burn it seems on the palate. Above average carbonation with a slightly oily mouthfeel. Quite boozy for the style. Not bad, but fairly unbalanced and nowhere near as good as the bretted version. Maybe an off bottle?
Alengrin (4340) - BELGIUM - JAN 30, 2016
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This American ’farmhouse ale’ has become somewhat of a classic in its genre lately and since I found the Bretta version quite interesting, I became curious for the regular. The label depicts a landscape in a kind of romantic, petty-bourgeois style, most likely intended to stress the connection with old European beer traditions, were it not for the fact that Belgium, where saison comes from, does not have Matterhorn-like snowy mountains like the one shown here. First time I see a Dutch ("voor elk jaargetijde") and French ("pour chaque saison") text on an American beer bottle... Medium thick, lightly lacing, dense, snow white head thinning quickly in the middle but retaining well, crowning a very pure ’old golden’ coloured beer with quite vivid sparkling, clear with a very diffuse haze of tiny yeast dots divided throughout, obviously turning misty with deposit. Aroma of apple peel, melting butter, vanilla ice cream, freshly cut grass, fairly strong banana and gooseberry (isoamylacetate - like in many Belgian ales!), touch orange or even lemon zest, freshly baked white bread, dried flowers, soapy starfruit, white pepper, sour cream, radish and a hint of moist dead leaves or damp earth becoming a lot stronger with the deposit added. Crisp, fruity onset with enough esters to be credible as a saison, but not so much that they go out of control; there are fruity hints of pineapple, banana, gooseberry and passion fruit, sourish with enough sweetness piercing through; carbonation is spritzy and minerally, even numbing the tongue a little bit, but this is the amount of carbo one can expect from any good saison. Spicy accents show up right from the start, overspanning a very juicy, bready, lightly grainy malt sweetishness and gaining strength in the finish, where they appear retronasally as mild clove-like phenols and eventually become overshadowed by an earthy, peppery, spicy, ’noble’ hop bitterness with a nice drying effect without hindering the flow of juicy malts, spicy phenols and fruity esters; this deep but soft earthy bitterness lingers for a while and all the way at the back, there is a suggestion of warming, somewhat ’jenever’-like alcohol. The saison craze in Belgium could learn from this: this is about as Belgian as it gets for an American craft beer, and the spritziness, quenching properties (ignoring the 7.5% ABV...), bready maltiness, yeastiness and ’end dryness’ fit the saison style very well, in fact even better than many of the new generation saisons which have appeared in Belgium itself lately. Righteously a new classic in its style (which makes me wonder how I apparently became the first Belgian to rate it), perhaps not quite on a par with the really great ones (Dupont, Blaugies, Fantôme) but in any case very honest (also in being organic, like the other Logsdons) and true to the heritage it wants to belong to. Nice surprise, too bad for the crappy label though, but that is merely a matter of opinion...
Beerman6686 (6181) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 23, 2016
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Poured a hazy golden color with a white head. Aroma was of citrus fruit, yeast, Belgian candy sugar. Flavor similar, more on the tripel side and leaving the saison character. A bit too sweet.
Miksu (5047) - Jyväskylä, FINLAND - JAN 15, 2016
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
0.375 bottle from Firma Bier. Deep golden color with frothy persistent head. Excellent aroma and taste of pepper, vanilla, lemon, grapefruit and grassy hops. Perfect balance of spiciness, fruitiness and bitterness. Some nice artisanal grassy and hay like notes also. This is as good as any saison in Belgium.