New Holland Four Witches Black Saison
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RATINGS: 105   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.85   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 219   ABV: 7.3%
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As we kick off our Summer seasonal, Golden Cap saison, we’re excited to roll out a single-batch seasonal, “Four Witches” black saison. It’s an opportunity to explore flavor within a remarkably interpretive style. Saisons are intriguing beers as they have traditional roots, yet are a delicious forum for variation and development.

The Four Witches art, illustrated by Kyle Bice, develops on Golden Cap’s theme, with a nod to Wizard of Oz, as L. Frank Baum wrote the book while summering in Holland, MI. White and dark roasted wheat provide deceptively delicious body, and a playful reference to Oz’s contrast between good and wicked witches. Caramel rye and barley continue the story, along with a unique yeast character and mild spicing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jmagnus87 (2427) - Rockford, Illinois, USA - OCT 30, 2013
Sampled at a tasting event. From notes. Chocolate and caramel with dark fruits. Slightly sweet and slightly bitter. Very good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
firstsip (402) - Michigan, USA - SEP 29, 2013
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2013 Surprised at the reviews! Dark pour, decent head. Tasted the booziness on warming. Dark malts with sweetness. Not unbalanced, but was hoping for more pronounced spice and sour character. Excellent chocolate nose. Creamy mouthfeel.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
camborne (655) - Hopkins, Minnesota, USA - SEP 23, 2013
Thought it was better than ratings. Its unique and that makes it pretty cool in my book. Nice roasted flavor and some spiciness. I guess I agree not a usual saison.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Mibeersnob (42) - Howell, Michigan, USA - SEP 23, 2013
Poured from bottle into tulip glass. Herbs, spices, and hints of alcohol come through. Pours dark, with a tan head. Bitterness comes though with a bit of tartness. Light body, fizzy. Although not a traditional looking Saison (light), it is a farmhouse type ale. Overall, not too bad.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
wlajwl (3817) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - SEP 10, 2013
Aroma is citrus fruit/pink lemonade and mildly perfumed. The flavor is wheat, berries/heavily flavored bubble gum, spices, some astringency and tangy/tart mixed with mild heat in the finish. Not bad if it were revered to as a wheat or fruit ale, didn’t get a lot of saison characteristics.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Strykzone (4912) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - SEP 9, 2013
Bomber from Corral. Some red in this very dark brown beer and a beige head in one finger. In the aroma I get wheat and sour roasted notes. It brings concerns about the flavor. They seem to be founded. I taste chicory, dark chocolate malts, caramel, vinous notes, Belgian yeast, brown sugar, and alcohol. Late some citrus hops are noted and they are a welcome addition. This beer has a lot going on with flavors all over the place. Unfortunately, they don’t mesh as a coherent whole.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
SpringsLicker (3127) - Tennessee, USA - SEP 5, 2013
Pours black with a tan head. Aroma of fruity roast malts. The flavor is sweet stout rather than any kind of Saison. The subtlety of a Saison is lost to the dark roast malts.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Gachupines (885) - USA - AUG 21, 2013
Black appearance with a thin white head. Aroma is strong burnt coffee. Flavor is a little coffee with some bittersweet malt. A little muddy overall, somewhat peaty. There’s some spice and pepper, but it gets lost a bit under the overwhelming malt. Wife: 2.7

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 5/20
bwa5879 (643) - Portage, Michigan, USA - AUG 21, 2013
Dark walnut/black pour with half an inch of oatmeal-colored head. Aroma has a cotton candy-eque cloudy quality. Pale sour lager malt, sweet tarts, crayon wax or grape juice scents. Not bad. Aaverage carbonation, watery mouthfeel, finish has carbon flavor. Taste is buttery, lots of dark fermented fruit that’s sour, mixed with ground pepper, and flat, warm cola syrup. Has a lot of qualities of a merlot. Not that enjoyable. It does taste better after warming a bit however.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
JDBaker11058 (1246) - Maryland, USA - AUG 19, 2013
Appearance: very dark brown pour with a short, light tan head. Aroma: prunes, milk chocolate, soy sauce, clove, licorice, white pepper. Taste: brown bread, yeast, clove, licorice, chocolate, raisins, dates, hint of green tea. Finish: slightly sweet, a little spicy, a little roasty, with the sweetness lasting the longest. Notes: Now this wasn’t an amazing beer, but it certainly wasn’t terrible. In what will surely be sacrilege to my fellow ratebeerians, this was FAR superior to the ashy dreck of Goose Island’s black saison (Pepe Nero), which is the only other beer in this style I’ve tried. This one does a decent job of marrying some of the yeasty funk of a saison to the dark malts, making a pretty interesting result.

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