kepano (247) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JAN 22, 2006
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
As I delve deeper into Belgiumís voluminous array of beers brewed by tradition and traditions formed from beer, I have begun to realize that this culture is far more expansive than I had imagined. Genre and style are almost meaningless in the face of what seems to be a continuous gradient of flavors, colors and methods. A taxonomistís nightmare. Thus when I was confronted with Dupontís defining product, I felt far from alien to this style I had little experience with - the Saison. In appearance it was actually mundane: a clouded auric wheat body freckled of countless small particles. Above, the white head was thin but left a surprisingly adhesive lace. The nose was of striking simplicity, reminding of apple, clay, banana, peach, sweet toffee and caramel. Not a bad aroma, but with a dominating ester profile and the tint of light malts. Although this was to be my first official "Belgian Saison", I was not in unknown territory. The palate was what stunned me the most, and as I took a first sip, I nearly recoiled at the potent carbonation. At the tip of the tongue all flavor is extinguished by this explosive sensation, however as the liquid moves to the center of the mouth a distinct apple flavor is noticeable. Gradually I became accustomed to the feeling and began to discern peach and apricot, some spices and GruyŤre. Appealing to the taste actually, but again the carbonation felt overdone. In the smoky bar of Amsterdam, it was difficult to drink. In retrospect, I was probably in a far from ideal situation to enjoy the experience. I will give it another try some day, if I stop in Belgiumís countryside during the summer, where I feel the drink may be more appropriate.
can8ianben (1382) - Souderton, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 21, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A wonderful beer. Sweet, citrusy, mellow, lots of bite, really very nice. Its a golden colour, almost clear with a huge white frothy head. Nicely balenced, great mouthfeel, just really refreshing. I would definitely get this again.
auerbrau (3182) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - JAN 21, 2006
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 3, 2012 500mL Green Bottle. Pours a clouded lemon yellow, with a tinge of orange. Very soapy and confused head of off-white. Bubbly. Aroma is an even sugary wheat, lemon and pears. Flavor is excellently refreshing. Bright sweet lemon, mingled with apple skins, a touch of fig and some simple syrup. Add a dash of coriander and a hint of sweet cinnamon with a lightly sour and tart dry hop finish and this is a well rounded, extremely drinkable, delicious saison. Not really any flaws other than a lack of some depth or wildness. Finish is a clean grass.
Six years later and one hundred varied American Saisons later, I revisit the classic. Classics are classics for a reason, they represent a steady baseline of quality. Iím beginning to wonder why I wade through a multiple of mostly middling American examples of the styles when, for a number of dollars less, I could have stunningly bright, refreshing, prickly and spicy example. Lately, Iíve grown to think that Iíve tired of the strong phenols of Belgian ales, but what Iíve grown tired of are the languid, soppy poorly fermented American examples of Belgian styles. This has none of those gloppy, bubblegum wet banana phenols and all of the bright, high spicy, peppery, and clean aromatics.
lamas (1425) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 20, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
750mL bottle from 2005. A dull, hazy straw pour with a thick and fluffy off-white head. A remarkably dusty aroma right out of the bottle. As it settles in the glass, I pick up lots of pepper, apricot, lemon, banana, clove and yeastiness. Light, crisp and very refreshing. Lemons and orange rinds are in the forefront taste-wise. The beer finishes dry, slightly bitter, musty and herbal. Peppery throughout. Iím becoming a HUGE fan of saisons.
GarethYoung (1109) - Glasgow, SCOTLAND - JAN 15, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
[bottle form beers of europe] Aroma: yeast, peppery, apicot, faint aroma of what i think is baked beans, odd, but seems to fit :s
dry finish, restrained bitterness.
madcow75 (426) - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 10, 2006
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle, pours a cloudy light orange/yellow color with a frothy white head. It was a little skunky while I was pouring it. I noticed a few dark floaters in the bottom. After it warmed a bit, I smelled sour citrus and some yeastiness. Initial tastes of lemon juice and then some light earthy spices. Reminds me of when I would get the flu when I was young and I used to drink hot tea and load it up with lemon juice. Finish is the slightest bit bitter and dry and the maltiness lingers for a while. Overall a pleasant brew.
MrManning (2009) - Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 9, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 6, 2008 BOttle-Pours into the chalice, a hazy yellow. Foamy and creamy looking bleached white head. Lots of carbonation going on. Lemon grass and herbs in the aroma, along with a nice citrus zing. Spicy citrus flavours, with floral/herbal aftertaste. Really bubbly and acvite. A fun beer, that I prefer in the summer months.
puzzl (3254) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 6, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: AUG 1, 2007 Cloudy, deep yellow pour with a great head. Aroma is unassertive but has nice cookie, bread and yeast, with slight fruit undertones. Peppery spicing and earthy hops. Flavor is very earthy, with nice spice, no alcohol presence, but plenty of thirst-quenching bite. Very drinkable.
progrock (21) - Sacramento, California, USA - DEC 31, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a bright, light-golden hue with a massive, lingering head. Yeasty, slightly fruity nose. High carbonation. Some hop bite and peppery overtones. Crisp, slightly malty finish. Plenty of lacing. Refreshing and hoppier than expected.
thehipone (197) - AUSTRALIA - DEC 25, 2005
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Huge effervescent white head on top of a light straw colored body. Just a ton of yeasty smells and flavors, you name it, you could probably convince yourself that any flavor is in there. Typical fruitiness, but a somewhat unpleasant vegetable taste really dominates the finish. If it werent for this funk, this could stand in for champagne, it has a seemingly impossible combination of an initial light sweetness in the finish, followed by a clean, dry finish. Light, fizzy body.