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RATINGS: 822   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59/5   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
The radiant energy of the sun gives life to all that we enjoy. Flowing field of barley for malting, surging vines of ripening hops and even pure, clean water owe their vitality to the sun. Just as we do. So in crafting this unique, hazy orange-hued ale, we poured in nature’s great gifts of German malts and European hops to feed the dynamic yeast that we imported from Belgium. Here in the quiet tanks of Victory our yeast brought vitality to this Belgian style farmhouse ale. That energy has created impressions that range from lemon peel to black pepper, though such spices are not added. Great with a wide array of foods, count on the bright soul of Helios Ale to bring life to all of your meals!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
argo0 (13233) - Washington DC, USA - MAY 14, 2006
(750ml bottle, bottled 4/1/05) Big white head atop a cloudy straw body. Aroma is moderately sweet, pear, some hay/herbal, chalky. Taste is moderately sweet, herbal, pear/peach, light grassy. Some alcohol warming in the finish. Some stickiness, medium-full body, with some creaminess showing up as it approaches room temperature.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
gputty (456) - Virgina Beach, Virginia, USA - MAY 7, 2006
Thanks to Immy for grabbing this one! From 750. Pours a cloudy gold with large white head and very active carbonation. Nose is doughy with spices. Flavor is a little yeasty with more of the same spices and mildly fruity, like pear skin. A very refreshing and crisp drink.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Immy (1955) - Virginia Beach, USA - MAY 7, 2006
Corked and caged 750, dated 01APR05, purchased at the brewpub. Lots of sediment noted in the bottom of the bottle. Mildly hazy yellow-gold pour with a huge white head. So bubbly that it actually sounded like I poured soda, a pretty loud fizz. Nose is certainly spicy, herbal, and fruity (summer fruits - pear, peach, nectarine) all at once. The flavors are more subtle, more muted than the nose. Certainly a lively mouthfeel, bounces off the tongue. I enjoyed it very much - now, if I can find some here in VA...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Oakes (15651) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 15, 2006
Cloudy straw colour. Dusty, spicy (anise), fruity (pear) aroma. Spicy flavour of hay, fresh bread, peach and pear, yeast (old barn) and a big rock after the rain. It’s fairly relaxed and unassertive about all of this. It’s confident and pretty and all that white picket fence stuff. That’s the main flaw, really. All the cool saisons evoke things that don’t make sense, so it’s got that, but it lacks the rusticity of the best examples. A great intro saison but I prefer more esoteric examples.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
muzzlehatch (4766) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - APR 10, 2006
750 ml corked/caged bottle dated March 05...one year seems about right for a saison, we’ll see. Pours forth a hugely capped clear, bubbly gold body....the slow-decaying giant white head leaves traces of thin lacing....nose is earthy/chalky with hints of dry citrus and weak herbs.....honeyish, old-pils sort of character on the tongue, reminds me at first of the case of Christoffel I had last summer, but more complexity develops as warmth increases, a little vanilla, a little clay and peat, light hints of alcohol (mostly on tasting)....still, the result after much trying is one of a simple, sweet profile, certainly with very little true saison depth....a pleasant, drinkable, strong pils-ale mix is what I get out of this, not much more.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
00cobraR (1103) - Greensboro, North Carolina, USA - APR 9, 2006
this thing was wonderful. Pours out a golden yellow with a slight bit of cloudyness. Flavor is fruity and delicious. Aroma was every bit as good as the flavor. I would love to have another bottle of this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ross (2146) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - APR 8, 2006
2005 bottle - Pours out yellow in color, not much head at all. Taste is sweet, fruity, and very easy to drink, almost chuggable. Very good, I guess sitting for a year in the store did some good, but damn this was almost better than Dupont.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
5000 (6599) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - APR 4, 2006
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (4152) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 27, 2006
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
boto (2102) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - MAR 25, 2006
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!

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