ClarkVV (5557) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 7, 2016
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750mL bottle, 2016 date (getting a little lazy with the bottling dates....), drunk 6/25/16.
Huge, snow white head showing fantastic retention tops a classic, golden-blonde-honey colored body with plentiful tiny bubbles and a high clarity.
Continuing the strong impression, the nose is shockingly aromatic yet still reserved and classy/charming. Thereís no big oakiness and only a touch of white wine character, adding minerality and stone fruit. By far the best part of the nose is the very traditional saison yeast, creating yellow fruit esters, white pepper phenols and very light cellar impressions. Not exactly mimicking any of the classic houses, but still reserved and elegant in its own right (I guess itís still closest to Dupont though without any rubber band and much less black pepper). Malts throw vast amounts of succulent honey and vanilla-cream to balance and thereís a faint woodiness lingering on the end as well. Wow.
The flavor continues with strong honey and vanilla-like maltiness and a pillowy-soft malt texture with tight carbonation. Neutral wood tannins add dryness and light wine notes add stonefruit and mineral as they do in the nose. Fruity esters are stronger in flavor, adding strong nectarine and moderate peach character, though it never comes across messy/hot/harsh. Just a shade too sweet overall, though itís incredibly young. I expect this one to be absolutely divine in about 6 months, though I think it was a very small batch with bottles going fast. As is, itís extremely impressive and makes me wonder why their basic saison renaud is such a letdown in comparison (or maybe I just need to try a recent batch).
slowrunner77 (9609) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 26, 2014
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
"A nice tasty brew for wine lovers. The grapes and oak slightly overpower the saison-like characteristics of the beer in the aroma and the flavor. very mellow, fruity, slightly sweet, with a hint of pepper. Iíd like to try the base saison. a little too prickly on the carbonation for my tastes, otherwise a nice beer."
50belair (3301) - Florida, USA - MAY 7, 2014
2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle. Straw yellow pour with a white head. Light green grape aromas. Effervescent with cheap ass white wine notes. Below average body and mouthfeel.
HonusWagner (2010) - Florida, USA - MAR 25, 2014
2.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Quite blah nose of cheap white wine, Belgian esters, and Brett b. Not a fan in the slightest.
auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - JUL 16, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750mL Bottle. Monday is as good as any night for popping special bottles. Aroma breathes fire of spice, mulled chamomile and clove, with subtle drops of Hefeweizen and beet sugar. Fluffy body foams quickly and evaporates, leaving a dry finish, with an origin of oak and Saison yeast. Cooked lemon peels, a hint of preserve lemon, and cocktail onions flow through the middle. Chewing on this, I get herbs, dry and soft. Tarragon, old mint, and young coriander. I expected this to be pretty funky. The white wine character is there, but sneaky and a bit elusive, melding into the beer like a camoflauged moth, patterning hints of the background across itself. It finally shows itself in the aftervapor as a slight white raisin and petrol note. This is really refined, smoothed out and gentle beer. It is nuanced and charactered, but almost a bit subtle. Very nice base yeast work, but Iím looking for the barrel to lend a little more and maybe pop a bit.
yobdoog (1888) - Kingston, New York, USA - JUN 1, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma is lightly tart, some wood, citrus, and light spice and yeast. Flavor is very well balanced. Some sourness but not too much where it kills all the saison flavor. Still has a little spice and malt. The wood is present and the wine character is great. A little effervescent and quite refreshing. Nice stuff.
brokensail (15570) - Dublin, California, USA - MAY 2, 2012
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
A cloudy, yeasty golden orange color with a rather large white head. The nose is a touch phenolic and quite funky. Itís very spicy and also a bit barnyardy. Mild fruit toward the finish. The flavor is also funky and spicy with a strong malt flavor, a touch of wine, and minimal fruit. Maybe a light tannic oak character to it.
MrPickles (438) - Waunakee, Wisconsin, USA - APR 22, 2012
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from TPatuto and shared by Madvike. Thanks Tom and Matt! Yellow pour with a bit of a head. You can pick up the grape on the nose, but it is not overpowering. I am a big fan of this as I have the other treatments. Taste is dry, and although I am not usually a fan in this one it works well. There is a mix of the fruit, oak, and booze that all work well with the dry finish.
madvike (3191) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - APR 20, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle hauled from Massachusetts by TPatuto...Slightly hazy deep yellow with a foamy off-white head. Spicy dry oak with a hint of dry white grape, nice light dusty yeast, and a bit of heat. Taste has more fruit, with some dry oak/alcohol sharpness. Light, dusty yeast. The fruitiness lasts through the finish,with a bit of sweetness and some more oak sharpness. Lots of soft carbonation that fluffs the whole thing up nicely. Big and foamy in the mouth--real smooth. This is good stuff, even if a bit sharp at times.
Leighton (18011) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 26, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared at The Kernel during Nateís Farewell Concert. So solid overall. Good grass and dough character. Pleasant sugar sweetness. Medium bodied with average carbonation. Light dryness. Just very, very nice.