Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - NOV 1, 2011
THOUGHTS: They didn’t quite nail it, but they come really close. Fantome does a better job at going dark while retaining Saison flavors. This was very nice, thou. Not much hops, but the bitter roasted malts filled in just fine.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a very dark, red that was basically black in the glass with beautiful carbonation that constantly tried to rebuild the head. It also had a large, tan head that very slowly diminished and kept a decent shett and left good to excellent lacing. The aroma had moderate caramel; lighter dark chocolate and coffee; moderate to heavy dusty and spicy yeast; plum; pear; tobacco; cherry juice; fruity candy; and slight citrus. The initial flavor was lightly sweet, lightly bitter and light to moderately acidic; while the finish was moderately bitter and moderately acidic with an average to long duration. There was roasted malt, a little coffee, a little bitter dark chocolate, very fruity and yeasty, black cherry, spicy yeast, pepper, and a little citrus fruit. The medium body was oily and a bit creamy and then rather dry with lightly fizzy carbonation and a slightly metallic and light to moderately astringent finish. Cybercat (5834) - Georgia, USA - FEB 27, 2011
Pours a dark, opaque chocolaty brown with a fairly thick tan head. Aroma is strong and malty with caramel and woody hints and just a touch of spice. Flavor is malty and mouth-filling with a bit of caramel and some subtle spice and hop hints. Texture is smooth and pleasant, and fairly tingly. craftbeerdesign (2254) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAR 5, 2011
draft at Taco Mac, Crabapple. arrived at the table a light black with a nice 1 finger tan head that lasts throughout. Belgian yeast nose with some dark malts coming through... as well as some bread notes. Medium body with banana, citrus and bubblegum... as well as dark malts, spices and some tart green apple. Semi-dry finish with more dark malts and light fruits. very nice. IPAsavedMYlife (346) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - APR 24, 2011
Deep black in color with a good amount of carbonation. Deep roasty notes. with some peat, tobacco, and a hint of honey. Taste is probably 70% traditional sasion, with some added roastyness in the flavor, making it more complex. Reminds me a lot of a Porter. Mouthfeel is rather light, and the color seems to be mostly for show. Finishes just like an imperial porter. Overall, I think they achieved their goal: traditional style with a little foolish brewing behavior. illinismitty (2271) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 21, 2011
Bottle from Midtown. Pours black with a light brown head. Aroma of belgian farmhouse yeast esters. Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Flavor of mild roast and cocoa countered by clove and white pepper phenols. Nice
DerBiermeister (586) - Birmingham, Alabama, USA - FEB 27, 2011
In a taste test with St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, this brew was slightly too boozy, though it did host intriguingly palatable ingredients otherwise. I am fond of it and would like to have it again nonetheless. Kinz (3786) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - FEB 27, 2011
Pours black, slight tan head comes up and fades fast. Aroma is lightly of cocoa and spice. Flavor sides towards the chocolate, but then moves into a typical but subdued yeast driven saison spice finish. Nicely different take on the style. Slick mouthfeel. rajendra82 (1093) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - MAR 26, 2011
The deep brown to black color made this beer resemble a Stout more than a Saison. The head was foamy and two finger thick. The aroma, unlike the looks, was very typical of a Saison, with a earthy/floral sweetness and a funky spiciness. The taste was sweet, tart, and due to the use of roasted malts, somewhat astringent and chocolaty. The individual elements were not as strong as in a true Saison or Porter, but played very well against each other, to create a unique profile. If there was one thing I would have hoped for, it would have been some more spiciness and complexity (perhaps by adding brett fermentation). The beer felt thick to medium in the mouth, and had an oily texture. Very interesting, but a bit more muted than what it could have been. changeup45 (1731) - Lake Mary, Florida, USA - FEB 12, 2011
UPDATED: FEB 13, 2011 Tasting at Maggie’s Attic. From bottle. Near black color with a good sized head. Banana, clove, citrusy flavors that are roasty with chocolate and caramel showing as well. An interesting take on the style. I tend to like the more traditional Saisons but this one was well put together. A nice blend of sweet funky fruit and a toasty chocolate and dark caramel character. One of the better brews of the evening. BMan1113VR (7931) - Los Angeles, California, USA - FEB 26, 2011
Bottle thanks to LtDan. Pours with a deep brown body and a tan head. Aromas are earthy with raisins, plums, peppers and dates. Flavors of dates, dark fruits, molasses, and a peppery yeast. Lively bubbles and dry. Not quite attenuated as a normal saison, but still pepper and decently dry.