Ratman197 (15208) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - MAY 13, 2009
On tap at Avery Tasting Room poured a hazy dark brown with a small lingering brown head. Aromas of pepper, yeast, cocoa, burnt carmel and light fruittiness. Palate was light to medium bodied and smooth with a dry finish. Flavors of pepper, cocoa, fruittiness and light burnt carmel with a smooth dry spiced finish. BeerandBlues2 (13697) - Escondido, California, USA - OCT 14, 2009
Draught at Southern Sun. Pours black with a large, creamy off-white head, mostly lasting with excellent lacing. Aroma is average malt (bread, cookie), average hop (herbs, grass), average yeast (horse blanket, leather, earth) with notes of raisin, plum, and prune. Medium bodied, sticky texture, lively carbonation, and an astringent. Average duration, light sweetness, moderate acidity and bitterness. bu11zeye (13140) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - OCT 7, 2009
(Draught) Pours a deep mahogany body with a medium creamy beige head. Aroma of roastiness, citrus, anise, raisins, grass, caramel, and some light floral/herbal notes. Flavor of citrus, pineapple, banana, roasted malt, plum, florals, and pepper. cubs (10693) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - FEB 18, 2011
Tap @ Boulder Strong Ale Festival. Dark brown appearance with an off white appearance. Strong, sweet, semi-wild aroma. Pretty orange-fruity flavor with a wild saison flavor and again quite sweet. 3fourths (9357) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAY 31, 2009
Draft @ Mountain Sun. Deep brown body, almost black, some cola color @ top. Strange spiced licorice and potpourri nose, some candy sugar and black pepper. Flavor much the same - mild notes of licorice and pepper, some floral/soap notes, some chewiness, some heft. Good but not great.
Ernest (7788) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUN 24, 2009
Draught, Mountain Sun.
Head is brown, mostly diminishing.
Body is dark brown to black.
Aroma is moderately malty (toasted grain, roasted nuts, caramel, chocolate), lightly hoppy (resin), with notes of gum, pepper, rosemary/oregano, anise.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, lightly to moderately alcoholic.
Pretty nice, actually, esp. the more it warms up. Complex nose with plenty to offer from not only the spice addition, but the malt as well. Could be argued to be overly spiced, but at least the overall effect is pleasant. I would never call this a saison (too big, boozy, and sweet), but as a spiced Belgian strong ale, it works just fine. notalush (5910) - Lakewood, Colorado, USA - JUN 19, 2009
On tap at Mountain Sun - this beer is a bit confusing - a saison it is not - the nose has an interesting mix of rosemary and thyme-like character, as well as light pepper, and an almost scotch ale-like plumy quality - the flavor has strong clove phenols, tasting almost like a weizenbock at first, until the rosemary and other herbal flavors show up - a bit of orange peel - finishes with a muddled mix of pepper and alcohol - interesting, but not very much like a saison, even a black one. Cavie (4769) - Arlington, Texas, USA - JUL 18, 2009
Very dark, rouge color. Sweet profile on the nose. Very nice, clean aroma. Taste is dark bitter with sweet notes. An interesting introduction to black saisons. KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - MAR 19, 2010
Tap at brewpub.TAR (2779) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - JUN 24, 2009
Pours a deep black but with an atrocious aroma of plastic and stale malt chocolate. Flavor is trashy raisin-cherry vomit. Watery mouthfeel. Not good. Not good at all.
Draft: Black with hints of brown. Creamy, rocky spackle of light-beige foam. Intensely spicy nose consists of sage, white pepper, juniper berries, clove, and plums. Mild scent of burnt banana bread. Delightfully soft and expansive on the palate. Initially musty with sharp anise and black licorice notes and a trailing supple chocolate-dipped plum and fluffy bubblegum cushion. Clean attenuation is nicely augmented by the potent medley of herbs (rosemary, sage) as well as a minty sharpness derived from spruce tip and juniper berry suggestions. Teasing glimpse of chocolate pudding and bready malt depth tempers the spicy warmth to perfection. Spices stop just shy of fatiguing the palate with too much warmth which would amplify the sweetness and cause it to become medicinal. Sound malt foundation is pierced by a faint sulfuric snap. Finishes dry and fluffy with a spice-induced dryness, mineralic crispness, and a savory depth-lending surge of unripe peach and plum acidity and unripe banana. Juicy notes of leather and black licorice linger. The spices could certainly be toned down some, but this exhibits good depth and cohesiveness as well as subtlety. A relatively successful collaboration I’d say.