FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 1, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A solid, but not overly vigorous pour produces an almost four-finger thick, pale tan colored, crown of froth. The beer is an amber / dark copper color that shows a lightly hazed, lighter version when held up to the light. Earthy, slightly musty Saison-yeast derived character leads the way in the nose with a dry grassy / herbal note in the middle and more musty, almost medicinal phenolics from the fermentation character closing out the finish. Hmm, after contemplating the aroma for a bit I am finally able to notice the hop character; it is not as aggressive as I might prefer, but ultimately does contribute to the aromatic profile of this beer quite nicely. The hops contribute accentuating herbal notes (which I noticed up front) as well as subtle sweet, almost floral grape notes, perhaps a touch of lime-zest, a characteristic musky grape quality. There is a soft honey like note here that makes this smell softly sweet and I wonder if this beer is actually sweet or if this is just from the hops. A malty, biscuit like, slightly whole grain spiciness, and just a rustic, rounded, wholesome grain character starts to become more noticeable as the beer warms up.
The beer tastes quite dry up front but finishes with a musky, light honey-like sweetness, some substantial biscuit like malt character and even a touch of crystal-malt like flavors. This has a substantial bite to it at the get go from the hops and this lingers through to a long, herbal, palate drying, bitter finish. This has the maltiness of a well made Bier-de-Garde, though the major level of hops keeps this from coming off as any-where near sweet. The hops are mainly herbal, sort of grassy in a weed-like way, with some softy Meyer-lemon like touches, a sort of Muscat grape like flavor, a sort of floral nectar not-quite-honey note, and some vaguely tropical fruit like flavors.
The yeast gets into the second pour and adds a definitely yeasty, raw-dough like quality to the nose, a rich haze to the appearance and an earthy bite to the flavor. It also accentuates the rustic fermentation character; notes of pepper, woody ginger, a hint of bell peppers and some clove and other phenolic spice notes. The malt character becomes quite a bit more noticeable in the flavor as well; complex, spicy, rustic and whole grain like in its chewiness, the grain / malt character really provides a richness to the flavor profile. The texture of this beer is not as light and refreshing as one might strictly expect from a typical Saison (the malt / grain adds some viscousness without much sweetness), but it is still quite drinkable. Light, but with some texture and heft so you can’t just pound this.
This is a nice Saison; it certainly will be enjoyable to those that like all Saisons including American interpretations. Having said that, for some reason I was expecting something with a paler malt character and a little more hop aggressive; I really like Nelson Sauvin hops and was hoping this had this hop featured as a signature note. Instead the hops, while substantial, play on an equal footing with the yeast character and to a lesser degree the malt (which does actually become quite a bit more noticeable and complex as this warms). It is a bit weird that I feel a touch disappointed from this fantastically tasty brew, due to my preconceived notions on how I would have brewed this particular beer (meaning a Saison with Nelson Sauvin hops). In the end this is very enjoyable and I am quite happy to be polishing off a 750ml bottle of this.
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 1, 2010
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
750ml Bottle: Aroma of yeast, light spices, slight citrus, and a hint of hops. Poured orange/amber/gold in color with a large, creamy, dense, off-white head that diminished but lasted throughout. Hazy. Sparkling. Flavor is medium sweet and lightly bitter. Tastes of fruit, yeast, light spice, slight citrus, light hops, slight pepper, and some barnyard. Medium body. Tingly, slick, then very dry texture. Average to lively carbonation. Lightly sweet, lightly bitter, fruit, hop, and yeast finish.
DocLock (7731) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 1, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Smitty’s. Pours turbid deep gold with 3-finger frothy white head. Nose is floral and spicy, hopcitric, with some rock sugary malt, orange zest, and pale malt. Tastes semi-sweet, very floral, citric, with solid tangerine, malt, and slight funk. A nice beer.
pineypower (2478) - Pine Barrens, New Jersey, USA - APR 25, 2010
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle thanks to Willblake. Pours out a slightly cloudy golden/straw color. Aroma is of some fruity yeast, some interesting earthy notes and a little spice. Taste is of some yeast, light, mild fruit notes, hay and maybe soem citrus in there also.
kassner (1338) - Wexford, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 21, 2010
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAR 30, 2012 Really nice for type and somewhat notable for its sour start and deep honey color.. The alcohol is prevelant but not too much.
March 2012 Again on tap at Tasty Beverage. Very slightly cloudy, no head no lacing, dry alcoholic and true to style
sloth (2454) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - APR 20, 2010
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled and draft versions. Medium sized fluffy white head with good retention and lace. Hazy copper orange color. Nose is soft with light citrus, grass and pepper. Med/light body, tight carbonation. Dry maltiness, light citrus and black pepper notes, light breadiness, yeast and spicey bit of coriander. Dry lightly fruity finish, grainy. Bottle procured @statelineliquors. Draft @statelineliquors Belgian tasting held on 4/17/10
yobdoog (1888) - Woodridge NY, New York, USA - APR 20, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Cloudy golden orange pour with a fluffy white lasting head. Aroma is nice and complex. Some spice, pepper, nice floral notes and sweet balance. Flavor is sweet, smooth, the right amount of spice and not overpowered with coriander, nice dryness. Incredibly drinkable and pleasant.
lamas (1340) - Washington DC, USA - APR 17, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
750mL bottle. A hazy straw/old gold pour with a HUGE and fluffy antique white head that leaves chunks of lace behind. Typically funky saison aroma that features some orange peels, grapefruits, a little grass, some bananas, and a spicy yeastiness. Medium body. Tangy oranges and zesty rinds upfront taste-wise. A touch of smooth vanilla in the middle. A semi-dry, wheaty finish with some grapefruits and a bit of lemon. Fairly crisp at the end. Black pepper is present throughout. Delicious.
emacgee (3970) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - APR 17, 2010
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a murky bright golden peach with a one to two finger frothy eggshell head. Nose is grassy with some citrus zest, sweet, mildly earthy, not very pungent. Flavor shows some citrus zest, sweet malt, earthy, some spice, grassy hops. Palate is crisp with a lively carbonation and some spice.
after4ever (6076) - Brier, Washington, USA - APR 16, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
750. thanks ben! cloudy light amber with dark gold edges. no head or lace. big fruity orange juicy nose. creamy medium body with moderate carb. tangy fruity mid palate, fruit fleshy finish.