popery (1397) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 22, 2010
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: JUN 16, 2010 City Beer Store. Light Golden beer with a big puffy white head. Lots of big bubbles and good lacing. The aroma is hugely herbal. It reminded me of a savory dish. Sage and rosemary are easier to pick out but itís all a pleasant muddle of savory herbs. The herbs make the malt aroma seem nice (mostly because I got sick of the herbs sorta quickly, despite them smelling pretty good). The flavor didnít really work for me. It seemed oddly bland for a saison, much less a saison full of herbs. Medium sweet. Not much in the flavor really sets this beer out as a saison, and it doesnít compare favorably to the heavy hitters from Belgium. Mouthfeel is relatively light. The beer is okay but off-style, and, in my opinion, it would have been better with more saison character and much less aggressive herbal notes.
rcubed (35) - Vista, California, USA - MAY 22, 2010
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a nice golden color with a nice white head. Seems fairly clear - just a slight haze to the beer. The aroma is where this beer is exceptional. You get the hops mixed in with the herbs with a slight sweetness. Taste-wise, Iím not sure how this compares to other saisons since I havenít tried many and itís been awhile since my last one. But I think they did an excellent job blending the hops with the herbs such that it doesnít over power the malt. It finishes a bit sweet with some piney notes in the palate at the end. Goes great with spicey food.
I wasnít sure what to expect from this beer and didnít think Iíd like it as much as I do. I had it on tap days after the release and it had a bit more bite in the bitterness to it than what Iím tasting in the bottle right now (could just be my taste buds today).
Iím looking forward to tasting the other collaborations that Stone has coming up.
nightrider (754) - encinitas, California, USA - MAY 22, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pour from a bottle gave a bright golden color and plentiful white top. Spicy aromas. Medium light body. Complex flavors of the herbs dumped in this brew of rosemary and sage. Good bit of bitter hops for a Saison also. Touch of sweet malt. This all works very well in my book and is very tasty and easy to drink. Like it alot!
BelgianBeerGal (3138) - Panama City, Florida, USA - MAY 21, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Draught at Stone Domination hosted by Aces & Ales. Alright, this makes more sense now that I have read the description. I liked it but kept thinking, "man thereís a lot going on here with some spices I did not expect." Of course what should I have expected between DFH and Stone. Fun to drink and unique without straying too far from the style.
Bludwig (31) - USA - MAY 19, 2010
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
I have not rated a saison on this forum yet. I havenít even read the other ratings on saisons, because I think it would break my heart to realize what the average American beer drinker thinks about complex and interesting beer. With that said, I do believe we now have an event worth talking about: Victory, Dogfish Head and Stone have collaborated! Itís a saison! With all this said, I must say that this is an event Iíve personally been waiting for, for quite some time.
Aroma: Oysters, cat piss and pine needles, literally. I would usually spare the good folks of rate beer my graphic definitions of smell, but this beer demands an explanation. The ocean beckons to me in the nose; salt air in the pine forest as I walk out to gather bushels of mollusks from the sandy beaches! Home! This beer took me home! With some more whiffs and exploration Iíve pinpointed a specific citrus thatís capturing my olfactory interest and I would have to say bravo Stone for having the knowledge in hops to create such an experience.
Appearance: I am a fan of head. This beer had some initial head but quickly faded into the lacy middle with foamy outskirts, an appearance most are used to seeing from forced carbonated ales in America. The color is pleasantly amber/golden, but I do wish with all of the attention to detail this beer had, why isnít it bottle conditioned!?
Taste/Palate: Pepper, ginger, candy citron and a smooth, super dry hop finish. This ale is so complex itís hard to pin down. I give it time to reveal its secrets and more unusual flavors are revealed! A very present spine of grapefruit has definitely emerged throughout the entire experience, but there is a strong hop presence to combine with the grapefruit to add acidity and balance. The beer wants to scream fruity fun but restrains itself into a refreshing ale of great character.
Overall: Why donít more breweries collaborate? If youíre New Belgium I understand, thereís no bling bling in it. For everyone else, thereís only creativity and expanding the culture of beer. I donít think everyone will be able to even get a hold of this beauty, but if you do cherish it for what it is and what it means!
Em (102) - USA - MAY 19, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very hoppy. Drank from a 12oz. Clear yellow in color. A pretty good beer.
Getbetter (830) - East Palo Alto, California, USA - MAY 19, 2010
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 12/20
From 12oz bottle,pale in color,thick white head,you can smells like herbs(rosemary),it smells better than it taste but Iím happy this isnít a overpriced beer or i would be pissed.
FunkyBrewster (1518) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 19, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: OCT 5, 2010 12 oz bottle thanks to 17thfloor for sharing! Pours a clear sparkling golden with a fluffy white head. Aroma is super spicy, floral, herbal and perfumey. Pick up some malts as it warmed but the abundance of those spices really takes away from the delicacy of what a saison should be. Flavor is extremely strong with herbs, adding lemon zest and a touch of tartness to the other aforementioned aspects, which helps balance it to a degree. Light to medium body and a spritzy carbonation. I agree with 17thfloor, this would be very tasty if theyíd just lessen up on the herbs and spices (thanks Sam!) and let the style shine through.
17thfloor (2430) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 18, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: SEP 16, 2010 Bottle. Pours a very clear brighter gold color with a dense frothy white head. Aroma is stinky stinky stinky, strong lemon, what seems like stinky hops but it may very well be the seasoning combination, I can pick out each one individually if I try really hard, overall corse and generally unpleasant, things are always best in moderation.... usually... this could use some of that. Flavor follows, big lemon, bright and seemingly acidic, hides the alcohol exceptionally well, has more of a coriander and fennel taste, bit of a gritty finish, great bitterness. Medium bodied, with perfect light fluffy carbonation, clean, well attenuated. Too much of the spicing... tone it down a bit. 126.96.36.199.14 [note, I actually remember really like this after I rated it and finished my pour... upping it a bit 188.8.131.52.14]
BobbyAnalog (327) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 17, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Here I am, super excited to taste this beer. The last time I was this excited about a collaborative project was when my girlfriend and I first made out. Whatís the verdict? Smells of wildflower honey and - surprise - a bombardment of herbs (was this what Simon and Garfunkelís album "Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" wouldíve smelled like?). The taste isnít dazzling, as one would expect from the trinity of beer aficionados, but it is pretty good. I can see the three of them, winking at each other, as they toiled over this saison - and that for me is enough to smile over. There is some apple cider vinegar hovering about, in the first initial taste, that eventually gives way to pepper and cranberry. There is some bite, at the very tail-end of the aftertaste, that spells of IPA. But the crisp brouhaha brought about by the tartness overtakes it. A fun, enjoyable brew from the masters.