JPDIPSO (5124) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 8, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
April Fools bottling. Hazy straw color with a fluffy, big and shiny bubbled head. Dry aromas of yeast, peaches and cream and a touch of malt. Rather "weak" nose sends this down a point, but rather authentic scents. Mild bubblegum and sweet flowers come in more as it warms. Again light flavors that are quite good. Mild old barn, and cobweb flavors mingle with a light pale malt flavor. Things go quite swimmingly until the finish when the alcohol and a sharp old spice flavor pops up. For me the first three-quarters of this brew are near world class. This reminds me of a non-oaked Temptation (yes, rather high praise). Really a decent saison that is growing on me the deeper I get into it. Some herbal hops seem to come out in the finish with a touch of rosemary and wintergreen. After reading a few of the reviews I wonder if there arenít some cork issues. My bottle did have a sharp pop, and I see others that indicate that this didnít have the carbonation. My most recent burp reveal that is plenty eff in this one. Hopefully I can pick up another bottle or two to share.
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - DEC 6, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 21, 2010 12.06.05 750ml bottled April 1, 2005. No fooliní. Thanks for the bottle, Jason!
The pour is a clouded golden, it matches my blanket; and the head is small and white, lasting in a thin film to the final sip. The aroma is hopped crisply with melon and citrus (lemon) notes, a touch weedy, and quite earthy with the impression of dry clover. Iím impressed that itís not an over the top attempt at a saison, nor a weak version for the masses. It is neither overly spiced (with spice or crazed yeast), nor shying from tartness and satisfying hop bite. The flavor is maybe too balanced as there is nothing that makes me take notice (other than a burst of carbonation). Rounded and yet quenching, full bodied up front waning quickly to the fizz. The hop profile is unique with a pleasant balance of grassy, weedy, herbal, and tropical, but itís effect is compromised by the odd body. Eh. An excellent effort, the potential is there, but itís coming up short. I hope the brewers tweak this one and release it again next year.
20100521 - Okay I like it better now. Not sure if itís a better beer than in 2005, or my tastes changed, or Iím just in a better mood (not likely ha!), but bumped the score from 3.3 to 3.9
Goldorak (438) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 30, 2005
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Almost opaque peachy yellow, the head was quick to make itís exit, leaving in itís wake a shy lace.
Lemon meringue, sprinkled with black earth, and just a bit of spicy, saison yeast towards the end.
The first thing that hits you is the carbonation which I found way over the top and aggressive, it almost felt like it burnt my tongue. It felt like pop rocks and coke in my mouth. Maybe Iím just not used to this level of carbonation since I gave up soda pop a few years ago, but Iím aware that a few lively bubbles in a Beer can bring out some aspects in the palate. In this case, it took all the flavors hostage. As far as I could tell, it tasted a bit yeasty, with lemon rinds and coriander.
MartinT (8619) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 27, 2005
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: OCT 30, 2010 Addendum: a newly-bottled version is obviously spiked with brett. This version was very ginger-y, lean-bodied, polished and ended in a citrusy tang laced with wilderness. Much better than the V Saison from a few years ago. 3.6/5
Light fruitiness surfaces from the bread crusts and subtle alcohol. Not much to talk about here, and carbonation seems a little low for style.
A prickly, sparkling soda carbonation showcases the lack of substance. Tired citrus fruit, pineapples and bananas benefit from a delicate spiciness. Everything is light and lacks confidence, yet remains well-brewed.
Waiting for the next train.
redlight (2317) - Orlando, Florida, USA - NOV 26, 2005
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Yeasty aroma, sweet, earthy. Poured a straw blonde. I tasted corriander, sweet, honey, dry hoppy finish, very earthy.
Nate (3827) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 13, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2010 Light fruity herbal nose, yeast and Belgian ale aroma with some bitter chalkiness. Hops are lightly floral with orange blossom, bitter rinds, mild bubblegum esters (Beemans gum, actually). Apricot and pears, light mintiness, too. Gets better as it warms up. Cloudy golden amber with constant white foamy lacing head. Medium watery body with medium carbonation, tingly on the tongue. Starts with nice malt sweetness tempered by an herbal hop profile. Belgian yeastiness and esters typical of the style, but not quite up there with Dupont or FantŰme. Beemans gum and bit of bitter orange peel, apricot. Dry bitterness in the finish; a bit rough. Light chalky after with good balance of sweet/bitter remaining. Overall, itís a nice beer but doesnít quite hold up to saisons from the other side of the pond. Could be smoother, too.
As Helios ale, Jan 20, 2010. This has gotten better than the last rating. The nose is a bit muted, but the taste is fantastic. Almost a Bretty funk to it, but there really is a nice yeasty character and subtle dryness at the finish that is reminding me of Orval. Iím really enjoying this. Upgraded my rating from 3.6 -> 4.1
hopscotch (10142) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 9, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
BottleÖ Murky, pear-colored ale with a small, fizzy, white head. Earthy, woodsy nose with notes of straw, green banana and a touch of bubble gum. The flavor is fruity and champagne-like. Perfectly balanced. Medium bitter. Medium-bodied and fizzy. Finishes just like a dry, sparkling wine.
JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - NOV 7, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Lemony-yellow, think a yellow pear or apple, with very subtle red, brown and orange. Head is fluffy, white and incredibly thick and longlasting. Ironically, smells of pear and apple too, with faint spice, and mild lemon citrus/sourness. Taste is very hoppy and complex from the start, with bright lemon, coriander, clove spice and clover honey. Sweet honey works really well here, thick, coating quality to it. Balanced well with drying beechwood. Interesting twang to finish it all off, orange peel maybe. Great beer, really enjoyed this one; certainly deserving of its high ranking.
JCW (1277) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 6, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Yellow in color pours with a classic white head. Aroma is floral, slighty spicey, sweet(like clover honey), yeasty, and as Doclock pointed out somewhat like lemongrass. Flavor is moderately tart, with a dry finish. Well made saison.
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 3, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hazed, straw yellow, thick, gossamer, snow-white foam capping it, lasting long.
Aroma of light citrus and tingly spice....lovely and invigorating.
Taste: forward flavor of lemon, orange, grapefruit, and various spices blasts the tongue on first encounter, then softly slides back into the mouth. Occurs anew with each subsequent sip, coating the palate, leaving a palpable impression. Light to medium in body, with an insistent, citric, spicy finish. Plenty hoppy, too.
Very tasty. I like it more as I drink. In fact, why donít I just wait a while before finishing this review?....dum de dum, doo de dee...
...soft and mellow as I enjoy the remainder of the bottle, with a considerably consistent and pleasurable flavor continuing...deliciously yeasty...this is a nice one, a good drinker, an ale I wish I could reach for with regularity...alas...