5000 (6300) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - APR 4, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: Dull and dirty straw, large sudsy white head that falls quickly, spotty lacing. Heavy yeasty nose, subtle flora and spices. Yeasty/bready on the tongue. Typical Saison spices are soft and subtle. Not as floral or sharp as other examples. Semi-sweet, very little tartness. Not very dry either. Moderate body and mouthfeel. Fairly clean, but I repeate, not as floral or spicy as other examples. Good, but doesn’t stand up. Thanks to SuIIy and pineypower for each sending a bottle.
FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 27, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Almost brilliantly clear, rich gold color with a hint of copper to it. The head is initially three-fingers thick with a just off white color. The head subsides in a rocky surfaced manner with a touch of Belgian lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma is quite fruity as I pour this beer into my glass; I get notes of apple and pear, with mostly the fruity tart aspects of these fruits. Going in for a deeper smell yields a nice grain character which evokes thoughts of grassy grain, and sweet malt. Some of the grassiness seems to be hop derived as well. There is a nice herbal almost spicy hop character to the nose that mixes well with the earthy spice notes from the fermentation character. I get notes of orange zest, a hint of white pepper, and some notes of clove.
The taste is pretty dry up front with just a hint of malt sweetness. There is also a nice level of tartness here, though nothing approaching any acid producing organisms, just a nice tart character from the yeast and grain. The beer finishes with a nice spicy bite, a combination of the ample carbonation and spicy yeast derived notes. The finish is a mix of lightly hot alcohol, ginger, pepper, a yeasty almost bread-like bite. The carbonation is just about perfect, it is quite high, especially for an American beer. It really goes well with the light refreshing aspects of this beer. Hops you ask, yes they are here as well, certainly not over the top, but here in a nice supporting way. The hops add some herbal grassy character to this beer, as well as contributing to the overall spiciness of this brew. There is a bit of malt sweetness in the middle through to the finish of this beer; a nice sweet grain character.
This is a really nice example of a Saison, I am really digging it right now. It is perhaps a little sweeter than I would prefer, but the initial carbonation really helps to offset this in the beginning. As time wears on though it seems to not maintain the interest, it loses a bit of complexity perhaps, or more appropriately, I think it needed a bit more fermentation complexity. It seems to need a bit more yeast derived spiciness and bite. I think that the grain character, which is nice by the way, becomes a bit too dominant in the end. It somehow weakens the finish of this beer.
boto (1853) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - MAR 25, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
750ml bottle: Wow! There was almost a 1/4 inch of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Be careful, or you’ll get a bit in the glass. This pours a clear, golden color. There was a small white head that dropped off fairly quickly, although there was still a bit of fiziness going on in the glass. The aroma is quite spicy. The taste is a bit dry and spicy, with some tart fruitiness to it, but much more subdued than a typical belgian. Very nice!
mctous (131) - Herndon, Virginia, USA - MAR 24, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Victory’s saison opens with the typical yeasty and fruity aromas and a huge foamy head. The head soon dissipates but the yeast and carbonation linger on. Tart wheat notes dominate the malt, followed by estery yeast artifacts, then earthy dry hops and alcohol. Dry finish. Not the last word in complexity, but overall a decent saison.
Fantomas23 (463) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 5, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
At number 18, a good follow-up to number 17. I often think of Saisons as a bolder approach to a Bière de Garde. This one poured a sunny yellow with a big, rocky head. Lots of citrusy notes, lemon and orange, and that distinctive cracked black pepper lick at the back of the throat.
Lou18 (1353) - West Paterson, New Jersey, USA - FEB 25, 2006
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber, golden bosy tan head. Spice/peper in the taste, and after taste.
CMUBEERMAN (421) - - FEB 22, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottled April ’04...Pours a beautiful pale honey color with a big foamy/fizzy head. Smell is very subtle with yeast, fruit esters, and malt. Flavor is very spicey, but not too malty. The body is very dry and grainy...has a great slightly bitter finish. I haven’t had too many saisons to compare this to, but I wouldn’t turn this beer away if it was offered to me.
kujo9 (1093) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - FEB 10, 2006
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
750 ML bottle: Lasting white head on a deep golden lightly hazy body. Grainy malt aroma, also a bit corny and raisiny esters all at once. Lightly floral w/a bit of alcohol and plum esters. Well balanced w a semi sweet finish. Grainy, clean malt flavor w/ a bit of floral hop in the finish w/ a hint of bitterness mid palate. Finish dries out in the aftertaste as it warms. It also has some estery notes as it warms with lightly plummy flavors. Higher carbonation, dry m/f, lighter body due to carb. Not a great Saison, but a very good beer. Not bitter or funky enough to be a good saison, but that’s fine by me.
skaughty (644) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - FEB 4, 2006
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours with an aroma of hay and all sorts of wild goodness. Tastes spicy,but lacking in malt. Finish is sharp,thin and overly acididic. Not a favorite for the style.
BBB63 (6038) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JAN 7, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Corked 750, Batch April 2005 and served in my Duval snifter: After a big pop the beer initially poured to a huge fizzy head which faded to almost nothingness but the glassware kept the carbonation up, the 1st pour is a clean deep golden hue but the 2nd ended up with quite a bit of yeast in it. The nose detected lemon and orange zest, flowery hops, cardamom, honey, earthy yeast esters, and a hint of mint leaves. The taste starts quite fruity and is layered with a light yeast backbone. Prickly acidic qualities seem to be measured by a grassy hop undertone. A note of sweet malt does show at times but is quickly taken away. The feel is a bit interesting as it lively and crisp but peters out just when you hoped for a larger mouthfeel. Dry finish with only a trace of alcohol noted. While quite drinkable, the V Saison left me with an impression on wanting more than it delivered.