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RATINGS: 896   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7   EST. CALORIES: 201   ABV: 6.7%
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This Farmhouse Ale traces its roots to the small rustic breweries of Southern Belgium. The word Saison comes to us from the French language and it means Season. Lightly spiced with Organic Ginger, Orange Peels, Black Pepper and Grains of Paradise, this brew promises to quench your thirst on the hottest Southern California days or wherever your travels may take you. Available in 750 ml bottles and on draft at select inspired locations.

Editor's note. This is a new incarnation of SPF 45, previously brewed at Pizza Port Solana Beach

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
madcow75 (426) - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 31, 2006
Bottle. Pours cloudy golden in color. Huge fluffy white head, nice peaks. Nice sweet, fruity, musty aroma. Smells great. Taste is fruity, lemons, oranges, very peppy and some yeast. The pepper seems to linger. Finish is pepper and some yeast, cloves and banana. Decent, I was hoping this would be as good as SPF 45, but I didnít think so.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mjg74 (2571) - Salem, Oregon, USA - DEC 31, 2006
Bottle from BevMo. Pours a hazy straw color. Somewhat sweet musty aroma. Fairly spicy as well. Almost syrupy. Flavor is pretty spicy with hints of sweet fruiiness. Interesting use of the spices. The peeper is notiable and gives anice little kick against the bitter finsh.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
badnewsbeers (2312) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - DEC 29, 2006
bottle aquired via trade from cquiroga...hazy peach-colored body with medium off-white head..heavy citrus, yeast, and spice characteristics in the nose (circus peanuts?)...a nice, refreshing flavor profile of yeast, spice, citrus elements (heavy pineapple and a touch of apple)..

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Silphium (3179) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - DEC 27, 2006
Bottle from cquiroga, sampled with badnewsbeers. Murky, hazy light orange body, medium off-white head. Resembles apricot puree. Aroma of pineapple and spices, with strong flower petals and herbal notes. Peppery, floral body with hints of pineapple, leaving a lingering bitterness on the palate. My only complaint is that, after a few ounces, the pineapple becomes a bit cloying. Nevertheless, well done.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Pailhead (5196) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - DEC 27, 2006
Bottle: Courtesy of Styles. The aroma consists of lemon, yeast, orange, and a hint of spice. It pours a cloudy orange with a small white head that leaves behind great lacing. The flavor begins with orange and light yeastiness. There is a touch of banana in the background. The finish has some spice with notes of cinnamon along with some flowery bitterness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeerandBlues2 (10249) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - DEC 26, 2006
750 mL bottle from FlacoAlto. Pours sparkling orange with a large foamy white head, completely lasting, excellent lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (bread, straw), light hops (grass), heavy yeast (dough, barnyard) with notes of citrus, apple, must and spices. Average duration, light sweetness, moderate acidity and bitterness; nice farmhouse flavor with a hint of spices, pepper. Medium bodied, soft carbonation, sticky texture and a bitter finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
ClarkVV (3893) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 18, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 16, 2007 2006 bottle (we finally got PP in MA!) consumed on 10/27/06
Big, rocky, beige-butter-colored head slowly recedes to a manageable level, never falling below cover but only leaving scant lacing on the glass in clumps. The body is a warm-toned peachy-gold with some stronger copper-auburn tints. Medium-high clarity, leaving the yeast behind (bottle conditioned, of course).
Sweet buttercream biscuits topped with honey are cut by ginger and dry, spicy pepper. Some streaks of hay and light herbs (mostly dry; oregano, dill, etc) run through quickly, but it centers back on the malt/spice contrast. Some light vanilla and honey-almond notes emerge as well, still battling the spice. Light citrus zest, green raisins (reminding me a lot of what raison díetre used to smell like) and just a pinch of the pineapple notes I associate with SPF 45. It all comes together somewhat heavy (relative to the style) on the nose, though the spice dosent seem as prominent as in SPF 45. But the slack left by the spice is picked up by the malt. Some clean baked hay, light breadiness and gentle pils malt softness do peek through on the finish, giving a lighter, more airy note, but I still think itís going to be too sweet in flavor for me.
And sweet it most certainly is. Granted, as FlacoAlto mentions, the spicing does help keep the malt in check somewhat, but to me, spicing shouldnt be used to balance malt. Itís like using one heavy flavor to balance another; you get balance, but itís still comes off as heavy and certainly not bright or crisp. Hops are unremarkable, just some light herbs and hay as seen in the nose. Plump, juicy green raisins and other fruits, as well as light pineapple supplement the sweet, honey-caramel malts and ginger and pepper go to work attempting to dry it out. Too sweet for my tastes, but then, so is SPF 45. If you like spiced saisons, this is certainly a well-done one, though I still think the FG could be taken down even lower. But Iím sure itís intended to be a more hearty/robust beer. No alcohol noted, no flaws. Engaging carbonation is mostly tight. Should be a very good one for the cellar and I will certainly revisit.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 14, 2006
750 ml bottle, from BevMo LaJolla. Pours a hazy apricot color with a huge, fluffy and long-lasting white head that leaves long stringy lace. Wonderfully yeasty and spicy, fruity with orange notes, sweet hawaiian bread, cardamom and faint anise. Again in the flavor the breadiness stands out, fruty and spicy as well with white pepper, floral and herbal hops, and an pleasant astringent finish. A medium body, creamy carbonation round out this tastey saison!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
grant (842) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - DEC 13, 2006
Deep golden color. Dense, clinging head. Orangey, spicy, lightl bretty aroma. Initial sweet flavor infused with pumpkin pie spice followed by more citrus (lemon) and massive, yet fitting, bitterness on the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BŁckDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - DEC 12, 2006
Bottle: Light hazy blonde, nice head and lacing. Nose of citrusy grass and sweet musky pale malts. Clean zesty flavor, nice pinecone and lime flavor. Ends balanced, high abv and lots of tart citrusy notes.

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