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RATINGS: 114   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.35/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 24   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
It is a ~8.5% ABV Black Saison. We fermented it with a Belgian saison yeast until it hit about 7% then we added our house ale yeast to finish it. Once it was done fermenting, we added it to new American oak barrels with a medium-heavy toast. Then we spiked it with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis. The "Brett" is an isolated culture from Belgium that gives the classic barnyard, horse blanket character and pleasing tartness to lambic style beers. The tartness is mild but noticeable and adds a wonderful complexity to the beer. In alchemy, Philosopher’s Stone is a reference to the substance believed to be able to turn metal into gold. Similarly, we believe we have taken a normal beer style and turned it into something extraordinary.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
EithCubes (5634) - New Jersey, USA - OCT 5, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 22, 2013 Bottle. Bretty sour nose, comparison with Rodenbach would be too high a compliment but not without merit. Mahogany brown color darkens with volume and rests under a lovely tanned head - lacing and bubbly and creamy. Taste is sour and funky, a touch of twisty barnyardy tang, fainter touches of citrus and lactose. Medium body and a smooth, lightly puckering mf. Kriek-tasting at times, perhaps a bit drier and woodier; certainly dips into lambic territory, but with a different yeastiness. Then again, some of the spices aside, this is more like an oud bruin. I found this to be very refreshing and finely-tuned; lovers of sour ales and inflected saisons rejoice! [10/5/2007: 3.9]

Finally decided to crack another bottle I’ve been lustily eying in my cellar for about six years. Very little head this time, but that’s really the only visual or aromatic difference (and not a gusher). Taste is pleasantly sour rather than extreme, dried out, lovely complementary floral caresses not too far removed from Orval (this is Brett done beautifully, without any drama), gorgeous acetic and balsamic character, pungent and juicy wood, red wine fruitiness and tons of vibrant, lively funkiness. And still lots of cherry, some light peppercorn and lavender. Love that the barrel-aging isn’t overdone, seems like every American BA beer released in the five years after this one was drowned in oak and vanilla; here it’s just a brush stroke in the background. Alcohol well-integrated, overall clean, fresh, and classy -- it’s just phenomenally drinkable. Probably the best beer this brewery ever turned out, and probably my favorite American take on anything Belgian. [11/22/2013: 4.5]

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
luckygirl (1223) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 13, 2006
Bottled. Beer is very dark brown, clear, with a small, white, mostly and quickly diminishing head.<P> Found the aroma very exciting; sweet, spikey, roasty and earthy. Malty with moderate note of roasted grain, light note of caramel; Hoppy with a moderate note of thyme-like herb; Yeasty with moderate-to-heavy note of horseblanket, light note of cobweb; Miscellaneous notes include a light note of soy sauce, moderate vinous balsamic vinegar (FSA-like), autumn leaves and a trace of copper.<P> The flavor is moderately-to-heavily sweet, lightly bitter, moderately acidic with a long, lightly sweet, moderately acidic/juicy finish. Lots of genuine balsamic vinegar revealed in the retros.<P> The body is medium, the texture is watery and the carbonation is soft.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
cewldre (268) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - OCT 2, 2006
Bottle bought from Riversbend. Pours dark brown, almost black in color. Light brown head that dissipated quickly. Smells like it has a bit of roasty malt that seems to be hiding some other smells. As I explore deeper into the smell, it seems there is some dark fruit that is hidden under that roasted malt smell, but I cannot place it. Logic tells me it might be some sort of blackberry, or something similar. As I begin to explore the flavor, I notice a hint of that roasty malt I smelled, but more of a light sourness to the beer. I also taste just a hint of fruitiness, possible some citrus involved here. Carbonation seems to be mild, but fits with this beer very well. Everything melds together in this very delicious beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Optigon (562) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - MAR 21, 2007
Pours dark brown, very little head. Sour smell with a bit of a horse blanket smell. Has a tobacco and chocolate undertone with a fruity, sour flavor over top. Excellent mouth feel, clean aftertaste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
thebaldwizard (1206) - Ohio, USA - MAY 26, 2007
The aroma is vinuous with some malts detectable, and a hint of sour. Almost black in apperance with thin head. Medium palate. The flavor starts with a tangy malt, some sour green apples, fruits and light wood. Very complex taste, and enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dickinsonbeer (5074) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - APR 18, 2010
Bomber shared at Funky 5 2009. Pours a nice mineral charcoal brownish gray with a somewhat fluffy off beige head- slightly diminishing with some lace. Aroma is very earthy, funky brett, very minerally, chalky, slate, dust, wet rich soil and dirt, woody, old rotting oak, wine-like, tannins, cherry pit, dusty chocolate malt, and some dank horsey funk. Flavor is more brett, and wine barrel with dark roasted malts, slightly nutty, but dried out such that the chocolate and darker malts are fading and thinning out giving way to the barrel and the funk- mineral and sharp in the end with a mild acidity, saline, olive brine and more horse funk! Still pretty good.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jstraw (1965) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 13, 2012
Draft at Jerry’s. Clear, dark brown with poor (but then barrel-aged), creamy, beige head / Delicate, dark, lightly sour nose of brett, orchard fruit, cherry, rose petal, and chocolate / Medium body, somewhat malty but sour and acidic, very low carbonation, with smooth, mostly dry, finish / Lightly sour flavors of chocolate, cherry, prune, oak, and with very funk-forward brett flavors of horse blanket, manure, and hay / An interesting sour ale. The manure flavor can be a bit overpowering, and certainly not the light and bright green apple style, but dark, deep, and musty.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Lumpy (1802) - Carrollton, Texas, USA - DEC 28, 2006
Bottle. Nearly opaque with red edges. Foamy thick ring of bubbles. Nose-very yeasty and bready, fruity. Smells like a sourdough starter with brett. Taste-rusty, metal, low acid, iron, tea, cherry, dark cardamom, herbal, raisin, white grape, very light funk, light oaky tannins.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hophead75 (2012) - Largo, Florida, USA - JAN 21, 2007
from a shared bomber. Aroma is tart fruit, horsehair like funk, and some dark malts. Taste is more reserved than the aroma, but still pleasant enough with light funkyness, tart fruits, a touch of dark/sweet malts. lingering slight astringent grains and tart fruit.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
xnoxhatex (1305) - Grand Rapids/Chicago, Michigan, USA - JUL 29, 2007
22 oz purchased at discount liqour. Almost opaque dark brown with some ruby glow and little to no head. Nice fruity, yeasty aroma. NIce brett, sour flavor with oaky-woody taste. Med body with light carb. Very nice, I find that the different times that I have tried this beer that I have liked it more than others.

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