mansquito (5096) - Nueva York, New York, USA - OCT 21, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Churchkey, DC 12oz ($9): Pours a hazy yellow color with a big frothy white head. Aroma is of a bunch of spice, nice floral hops, and the fancy yeast strain they use. Flavor is a pretty nice combination of the farmhouse yeast strain and the hops. Stillwater has a distinctive taste and that is certainly here. Some light citrus flavors are present throughout. Malt backbone is pretty average for a saison. Hop character is a little on the American side and adds a spicy punch. Yeast character is complex and spicy as well. It all works together.
TAR (2650) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - OCT 17, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Golden rust. Delicate pour raises a proper two-finger head of lathery froth. Invigorating yet curiously one-dimensional nose of plasticlike phenolics and yeast (plaster, wet paint, Elmer’s glue). Highly "airy." Expressive black pepper and robust sulfur beneath it all, along with saltine cracker, lightly scorched wood, applesauce, and sharp but dull earthy herbal qualities. Snug, boisterous carbonation. Stark and brash, initially, with an overpowering phenolic surge. Drying flourish of sage ensues, intensifying the brisker edges. Fuzzily defined punch of hops deposits a chalky residue on the tongue, though intriguing hints of orange pineapple marmalade exude late. Underlying slickness and a chamomile-esque / Red Delicious apple peel tartness greatly overshadow much of the luste buried deeply within. Not especially polished or refined on the ester front either; what’s here is mostly dull and akin to mashed overripe bananas which does little to compensate for the limp body and obscurely defined malt. Alcohol generates noticeable gullet warmth. Finishes with a delicate rounded tartness intertwined with sulfur, Red Delicious apple, husky malt, and waning glimpses of banana bread and pepper-dusted melon. I prefer saison to be exceptionally clean and focused, which this doesn’t quite accomplish. Ultimately, this comes off as muddled and somewhat flawed (sulfur, overt alcohol, slickness of body, overripe banana, fuzzy malt, etc.) rendition. I always complain about our beloved Saison Dupont costing $9 per 750 mL bottle, but the $12 price tag here is laughable if not downright disheartening, even if this happened to be THE benchmark example of saison. A fun attempt, but I won’t ever be revisiting unless I see this for $4 or less.
gunnar (7653) - Sandnes, NORWAY - OCT 17, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Shared bottle at Haandtverkerstuene, Oslo. Pours light golden with a tiny white head. Aroma of belgian yeast and spices. Taste is light fruity tartness plus a bit of pepper. Medium bodied. Ends very dry.
Sigmund (6459) - Tau, NORWAY - OCT 16, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Shared 750 ml bottle, at Håndverkerstuene, Oslo. ABV 6.8%. Hazy deep golden colour, moderate white head. Strong spicy aroma, also farmhouse notes, hints of oaked cider. Spicy and fruity flavour, some acidity but not unpleasant. Decent hops. A good and interesting beer.
DruncanVeasey (7999) - NUNEATON, Warwickshire, ENGLAND - OCT 13, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap, Beer temple, Amsterdam, 20/09/11. Brassy yellow with a dust of haze and thick Belgian head. Wow: huge waft of aroma mingling banana, pear, botanicals, the slightest whiff of farmyard. Bright floral beast sifted finely with spice, wine gummage, esters, lemon barley, peardrop. Soft, oozing condition, parsley citrus. So drinkable, without difficulty, lightly chilled. Thing of beauty.
BeerandBlues2 (11965) - Escondido, California, USA - OCT 10, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tap. Pours lightly hazy golden orange with a small, fizzy white head, medium retention with light lacing. Aroma is Belgian farmhouse yeast, fruity esters, straw malt, and light spicy hops. Flavor is Belgian yeast, barnyard and farmhouse notes, fruity esters, light hops and bitterness, light malt and a dry finish. Medium body, warmth, and carbonation.
dbarnold (1127) - Bethesda, Maryland, USA - OCT 9, 2011
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Really enjoy this one, had plenty of times and never rated somehow...cloudy and grassy and crisp, everything a saison should be. Lots of grass all over, grains, some chalkiness and a refreshing finish. Highly recommended.
BelgianBeerGal (3716) - Panama City, Florida, USA - OCT 9, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. It seemed like a fairly straight-forward saison. I honestly didn’t pick up any of the unique hops used. A little sweetness, a little funk and fine overall.
cheap (5209) - Beaver Valley, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 9, 2011
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
On tap at the vintage estate, nice eye candy. Creamy thin head. Slight tart aroma. Very unique, almost but not, creamy flavor thing going on here, yeh. Slight unsour vinegar if thats possible. No farmy thing consideraing its a saison. Has a tad of a wine thing riding in the background. Finish a tad bitter but short.
MrBunn (2711) - The Wet Side of a Dry Town, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 4, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Vintage Estate. Pours a nice clear gold with a fluffy head. Nose reveals aromas of spice (clove) and malt (honey/biscuit) with a bit of an odd edge to it that comes through quite strong in the flavor. Flavor is a nice balance of malty sweetness and yeasty flavors that manifest themselves as spicy (clove and white pepper?) with an odd presence that I can best describe as a sage and maybe rosemary type thing. It is definitely yeasty, and fairly interesting. It definitely intrigued me and I will be back to check in it in the future.