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 (928) - 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 (2435) - 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. 22.214.171.124.14 [note, I actually remember really like this after I rated it and finished my pour... upping it a bit 126.96.36.199.14]
BobbyAnalog (334) - 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.
Lagunitasfan (1321) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 15, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz bottle from Mr. Liquor in El Cajon. Bright golden amber with a white champagne head. Nose is pineapple and high citrus. High spiciness hiding in the yeast. Clove? Taste is sharp and wet fruity. Wet meaning itís not dry. It coats and flows and leaves a big sloppy mouthfeel. Sharp hoppiness and yeasy. Some aspirin in the afters. High fresh spiciness. Nice beer.
JoeTheYounger (1155) - Lake Arrowhead, California, USA - MAY 15, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from Total Wine ($2.49). Poured a very clear golden color with tiny white head. As many others have said already (extremely light for a Stone beer). Aroma was sweet, medicinal with a hint of grass. Taste was fruity, dry, bitter sharpness and lots of herbal characteristics. Medium carbonation. Overall refreshing but weird. Not what I was expecting from the three Big Dogs. It is pretty unique though.
HonkeyBra (3622) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - MAY 14, 2010
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Golden pour, thin white head that tends to rim the glass. Aroma is dominated by spice. I get a weak yeast characteristic too somewhere beneath the mountains of spice. Mint, spruce. Flavor is similarly dominated by spice. It comes across dry with a lot of spruce. Similar to a gin note. Light wheat malt flavor combined with some subdued yeast notes. Three great breweries, but itís only pretty good.
jeremytoni (3011) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - MAY 14, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
From a bottle poured a golden color with a fair amount of head. Strong spicy malty flavor with a lingering finish.