New Holland Four Witches Black Saison
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RATINGS: 110   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.85/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 219   ABV: 7.3%
As we kick off our Summer seasonal, Golden Cap saison, weíre excited to roll out a single-batch seasonal, ďFour WitchesĒ black saison. Itís 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 Capís 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 Ozís contrast between good and wicked witches. Caramel rye and barley continue the story, along with a unique yeast character and mild spicing.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Strykzone (6632) - 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 donít mesh as a coherent whole.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
SpringsLicker (3430) - 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 (1247) - 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. Thereís 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 (896) - Grand Rapids, 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 thatís 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 (1896) - 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 wasnít an amazing beer, but it certainly wasnít terrible. In what will surely be sacrilege to my fellow ratebeerians, this was FAR superior to the ashy dreck of Goose Islandís black saison (Pepe Nero), which is the only other beer in this style Iíve 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.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 6/20
brison (44) - atlanta, Georgia, USA - AUG 13, 2013
Had on tap at Battle and Brew in Marietta. Taste of soy sauce. Overall generally unpleasant. Will not repeat.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 5/20
BrianBorngesser (9) - USA - AUG 2, 2013 does not count
I applaud the creativity by donít thing the dark malts were a good addition here.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
EricTeusink (700) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUL 30, 2013
Roasting Saison malts seemed like a brilliant idea to someone. That someone was incorrect. Pours dark with tan head. Mostly seems like a below average Porter. Roasted flavor overpowers any and all saison characteristics. I try to never look at Ratebeer before ordering. Occasionally, I get burned by this policy. Draft - Argosy - Atlanta, GA

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
BlowOffTube (501) - Michigan, USA - JUL 20, 2013
Pours black with very thin tan head. Aroma is coffee and cream. Taste is a roasted coffee with chocolate and vanilla and hint of hops. Pretty thin and medium carbonation. Decent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Cybercat (5046) - Georgia, USA - JUL 17, 2013
Aroma has a core of roast malt on which hang notes of caramel, hops and yeast. It pours a dark chocolate brown that lets in a teensy bit of daylight at the bottom and has a fairly thick and fluffy tan head. Rich flavor floods the palate with coffee, roast malt, chocolate, caramel and yeast plus a subtle hoppy note. Darned lip-smacking! Smooth texture is quite thick and sharp, though it lacks fizz. Witch one will it be tonight?

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