Benzai (12156) - 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 (1871) - 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 (4065) - 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 (6009) - 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 (5038) - 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.
Homer321 (3752) - Melboring, Florida, USA - DEC 29, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
375ml bottle thanks to Douglas. Nose is hay and light fruitiness, peachy, fleshy. Faint peppery notes as it warms. Fairly clear, yellow to pale orange in color with a medium sized white head. Taste is lightly acidic, tart, light lemon and citrus. finishes quenching with a moderate carbonic bite. Overall very nice and enjoyable.
joeneugs (5248) - Livermore, California, USA - NOV 25, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
750 ml bottle. It pours a mostly clear pale yellow color that gets cloudier as you get toward the bottom of the bottle. Large, frothy white head. The aroma is fruit forward with white grape, white peach, hints of apple and pear with a little pepper and hay. The flavor is also very fruit forward with grape, peach, apple, pear and some mild herbs and pepper toward the finish. Medium to strong alcohol notes across the palate. It finishes mildly herbal, alcoholic, fruity and peppery. A very solid rendition of the style if a bit on the fruity and alcoholic side of things.
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 14, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a clear, pale golden orange color with visible carbonation bubbling up and a 2.5 finger frothy white head that very slowly settles into a lasting ring. Looks a bit over carbonated but has good retention with streaks of soapy lace left behind.
Earthy, musty aroma with a strong farmhouse funk character along with zesty spice, bread-y yeast, light fruit and citrus. Grass, straw and barnyard followed by pepper, bread, apple, pear, citrus rind and pale malt. Slightly floral/perfume-like with a touch of grassy saaz hops as well with some mango and papaya countering the funky/earthy saison notes. Inviting aroma that smells true to style, unlike the Bretta version which is kind of a disaster.
On the fuller end of medium bodied with tight carbonation and a strong earthy farmhouse flavor up front that lingers over the subtle hops, peppery spice, light fruit and pale malts into a dry finish. A bit over carbonated with champagne-like effervescence. Slight resinous, grassy hops compliment the farmhouse yeast giving off a dry, slightly funky and bitter flavor that’s countered by spicy pepper/coriander, biscuit and sweeter fruit notes toward the finish, notably apple, pear and light grapes. Subtle booziness but the ABV is decently concealed making this beer pretty easy to drink. Overall, I enjoyed this beer much more than the Bretta version but it didn’t really stand out as a particularly interesting interpretation of the style. I’m glad to have tried it but wouldn’t seek it out again.
Bulk_Carrier (3343) - Lake Champlain, Vermont, USA - NOV 12, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Best by 12/2017.
This was poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a soft hazy burnt orange to brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within a nice minute. Lacing seemed appropriate.
The smell had a sweet grassy/herbal aroma up front. Floral and citrus graces underneath with subtle spices to slide in for the balance.
The taste was moderately sweet with the spice to make a nice effort to remain in the balance. Malts make a slight presence. Dry herbal to floral aftertaste runs into the finish.
On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a decent sessionability about it. Carbonation seems to run nice on the body leading with an almost herbal creamy feel all around.
Overall, this was a pretty nice dry saison, pretty sure I could come back to.
musinj6 (494) - Dedham, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 4, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours an opaque golden with 2 finger head with good retention. Aroma of banana, yeast, bread, coriander and maybe white pepper. Mildly sweet, spicy flavor. with a hint of bitterness. Rounds out bitter in the end. chewy, full bodied texture. excellent saison.