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Sara Buckwheat Ale - Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin)

Not Rated.
Sara Buckwheat AleSara Buckwheat Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

53 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 53
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 16.43%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Witbier |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-25-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 43
Photo of wisrarebeer
2.53/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had at the brewery in Silenrieux with lunch.

A: jet black, thin head that dissipated quickly
S: very mild nose, slight sweet and roasted malt
T: unusual, sweeter, slightly thin and earthy
M: clean, crisp light ale with unusual underlying mouthfeel
O: good, but thin and really

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a medium mahogany amber with a massive off-white head with good retntion and lacing. Aroma of cherries, light fruit, malt with a hint of caramel, saison style yeast. Flavor is surprisingly subdued after the aroma, light fruit and cherries, a bit tart and slightly acidic, probably from the buckwheat. Light malt. Finishes light and bit dry. Light bodied, but decent mouth feel from carbonation. A quite unusual ale, the flavors are pleasant and interesting, but too attenuated. I'm really glad I tried this and would like to see the other ales from this brewery. This is very badly categorized here as a witbier. It is fairly dark colored, slightly hazy, but not cloudy, does not have much wheat presence (wheat could be a component, but it is taking a back seat to buckwheat), witbier spicing, if present is not detectable. I find no witbier characteristics to this ale. I'm listing it as Belgian dark ale in my records, which fits this more adequately. Except for the dark color, it is most similar in flavor, aroma and mouth feel to a saison.

Photo of daledeee
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750 ml bottle.

Pours a dark clear brown with very bubbly head that breaks up quickly and leaves a clear top with no lacing.

Nose is fruity maybe plums or cherries.

Taste is not what I would call a witbier(at least the ones i have had) This reminds me more of a dubbel. It is loaded with dark fruit tastes such as dark cherry and plums. Some earthiness is also mixed in. Carbonation is pretty strong.

Overall this is a very nice beer.

Photo of atigerlife
3.91/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours auburn with a 2 finger fluffy head. Highly carbonated.

Aroma is quite strong, but hard to place. Definitely some wheat.

Taste is wheat, spices, malt, fruit. Some graininess.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and dry.

Overall, a very good beer. Quite refreshing.

Photo of jwinship83
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle picked up because it seems to be the only buckwheat beer ive ever heard of. drank out of my samuel adams perfect pint glass. the brewed on date on the label's options is either 2008 or 2009. nothing is marked. thanks! glad they included that on there.

A- this one pours a darker than expected dark brown colored body with a large beige head. the head lasts for a while, and leaves behind large globs of lacing.

S- the smell is more complex than your average wit. there is a certain detectable level of the barnyard funk and green apple skin. there is also some rye malt and banana/clove spiciness in here. a little bit of sourness is perceived. earthy hops at the end.

T- the taste starts out with some of the barnyard funk that i picked up on in the nose. i had no idea that this was in here. infection? it seems to work pretty well. some banana, clove, black pepper, and coriander. slightly roasted malts. light milk chocolate. a little bit of green apple skin. definite rye tasting malt. slightly sour, bot nothing near puckering. light earthy and spicy hops at the end.

M- the body is thin and almost watery. the carbonation is very high with a pretty dry finish to it.

O- this was an interesting beer. either it was old, infected, intentionally wild, or the buckwheat added that extra wild aspect to it. regardless, it seemed to work well. very subtle. nothing was over the top. the flavors worked in harmony. this was an impulse buy that i will pick up again. maybe even let it linger in the cellar for a while.

Photo of jikvig
2.91/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

High foam on top of a lovely gold cloudy ale.

So, the smell... Very interesting, really the yeast is dominating this nose. Sitrus, gras, it almost reminded me of a lambic.

It follows the nose on the taste; Sitrus, gras, a floral component as well. Alot of accidity, which is nice, but not very balanced. It´s just to much in the start.
Also, the carbon dioxide dies a few second after it´s in the mouth, making it seem even higher on the accidity.

For me, this is a pass. I have had a growing love for witbier the last year, but this was just to unbalansed for me.

Photo of augustgarage
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip glass. Bottled in either 2007 or 2008, unknown lot number. I would be reluctant to call this a witbier - they are usually 50:50 wheat:malt - while this is 25:75 buckwheat:malt.

Dark auburn liquid with chocolate and copper highlights. Light tan or dark wheat colored foam which starts off dense and tall, receding to a small layer of suds punctuated by hundreds of tiny pin-holes. Head grows with agitation, and leaves thin rivulets of lacing rushing back into the glass. Average retention, eventually receding to a decent collar surrounding a skin of bubbles. Oily legs, a nice surprise for the low ABV.

Citrus and malt aromas combine with a faint musty note suggestive of hay.

Lightly tart on the palate with carmel and mild roast malt notes. Buckwheat adds a rich complexity - distinctive slightly sour flavor like a well-tended buckwheat/sourdough starter. Mellow finish, a touch bittersweet but dry overall.

A bit undercarbonated, possibly due to age. No real warmth or astringency.

Drinkability is quite high, though a lack of effervescence diminishes things a bit.

Silenrieux's "health food" marketing angle has turned me off in the past, but Sara is an interesting beer whether or not it is actually a re-invention of a historic farmhouse recipe.

Photo of slayer3604
2.59/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

a- rich almost dunkel hefe appearance, with a brownish head, that lasts, with sticky lacing.

s- almost like rotting fruit....compost....i think this bottle was damaged...no bueno.

t- very sugary, tart, caramely, and again rotting fruit.

m- thick, chewy and warm.

d- overall this was a drain pour. i tried my hardest to keep the numbers above "2" for the sake of this being a ruined bottle. oi.

Photo of CHADMC3
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a walnut brown with a frothy tan head full of tight carbonation bubbles leaving only a faint lacing in its path.

Scent is of sweet dark fruits, likely dark berries or cherries, some faint sugars, and grain.

Caramel or molasses flavor with again dark berries in the aftertaste and wheat/grain to follow.

Thinner body, but generous carbonation, not too much beyond that.

Unique for its style, varied palate, and enjoyable overall.

Photo of thierrynantes
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 2002.

Appearance : yellow color, with white foamy head.
Smell : cereals (buckwheat) aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : grain predominates, and bitterness persistency.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Belgian witbier.

Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Organic certified.

A: Poured a darken cranberry-mahogany color with a huge rocky and fully lasting beige head.

S: yeasty with light wildflowers and a fresh buckwheat grain notes.

T: started out malty with warm fresh buckwheat notes. The beer progress to a sweet and spicy fruitiness (melons, apricots, pears) for a tangy finish. Upon warming there were rich caramel apple notes, as well cola being detected. The palate was lively and different from the buckwheat malting giving it a fresh dark and grainy malt flavor while the yeast finished things out with a nice fruity complexity.

M: full bodied, syrupy, and warming, with a soft carbonation and alcohol spicy sweetness (cinnamon, dark molasses). There were slight hints of acidity and carbonation after the swallow.

D: Overall a great grain palate with fruity/yeasty attributes making for a very good drink.

Photo of cabsandking
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber to light copper in color, hazy, and an average white head. Aromas of overripe apples, vegetable, honey, and toasted grains. Lemony citrus from the beginning and slowly incorporates that overripe apple. Lightly toasted grains, light caramel, tea, touch of molasses, organic, earthy character from the buckwheat maybe, throughout and some spices hit late. Finishes lemony with that funky apple flavor and something else that reminds me of an old refrigerator smell but not that unpleasant. A little thick and carbonation dies too soon but still alright.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.44/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I split the 750 bottle with Stopper.

Poured at cellar temp into a snifter the beer is VERY Foamy even with gentle pouring. A creamy beige head foams up and fades slowly leaving tight lattice work on the glass. The beer is a hazy dark mahogany color with garnet highlights. Aroma is fruity with some berry notes and general sweet spiciness. Smooth silky texture with fine rolling carbonation. Flavor is generally sweet and spicy but is overall very mild. Very easy drinker, not a complex beer but pretty good.

Photo of Zorro
3.66/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Corked and caged bottle with no date markings on the side. VERY strong head forming beer here pour with caution.

Clear very dark brownish red colored beer with a very strong light brown colored head. Not a typical Witbier at all.

Smell is very herbal and a little soapy smelling. There is a little malt scent here if you try hard enough for it sort of a light brown sugar scent.

The taste starts out dry and spitzy with a high carbonation and dry. There is a spicy and fruity aftertaste that is rather nice. There is a little sweetness and a fairly astringent aftertaste at the very end. Nicely spicy and not just another witbier this UNIQUE! Bit of molasses and vanilla and hay in the aftertaste here lots of complexity but it is all in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good.

I like this stuff rather a lot but it isn't a usual Witbier at all really in its own beer category. A drier dark witbier for most any occasion, I would use this for anything a Saison would work.

Photo of nickfl
3.07/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Three fingers of light tan head settles slowly and leaves thick, fluffy lace. Body is dark brown with ruby highlights and excellent clarity.

S - Dark malt, lots of molasses. Dark spices, allspice and nutmeg. Slightly sour, musky aroma in the background.

T - Earthy, wheat like flavor. Herbal flavors, mostly juniper. A bit of weak fruitiness, grapelike.

M - Moderate carbonation, thin body.

D - This is a strange one. Somehow the flavors of this beer are both weak and strong at the same time. It is kind of watery, but it has some distinct herbal flavors. The aroma is a bit unpleasant and the flavor doesn't do enough to redeem it. Overall I can't say I really enjoyed this one.

If I was going to try this beer again (which is unlikely) I might try pairing it with venison as the herbal, juniper flavors could make a good match.

Photo of Absumaster
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark brown beer with a thick soapy head. The beer slowly gushed out of the bottle. This seems to be a common issue.

Smell is grainy and had a bit oily smell. The buckwheat adds a nice nutty depth and this is how beer in the middle ages must have smelled like. The nice caramel smell is further enforcing the grain smell. Also a light oxidized smell.

Taste of ripe red apples, a bit tart and nutty. There is a caramel taste that combines great with the grainy oilyness. The yeast adds a nice spiciness that reminds me of dark ripe fruit. Body is medium and drinkability is good. The buckwheat definatelly gives this beer it's own character.

Photo of Lupin
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It all starts thunderous cork pop, with some unfortunate sulfurous notes.. bubbles climbing up the neck of the bottle and out the top.. a nice sandy shade. Unfortunately, the impending spillage causes me to overpour the brown ale, leaving a vague smelling inch of beer and inch of head in my piraat snifter. Murky and thick, an opaque brown trhough and through.

Taste is fresh and open, delicious nutty notes and reserved sweetness, none of that candy sugariness or brune character. Not too in your face and certainly not as thick as mcchouffe. Good balance of tartness with a full malty profile.

Very enjoyable. Will definitely do again.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.61/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Purchased at Chuck’s Fine Wines in Chagrin Falls Ohio. $7.99 for a 750 ml bottle. The bottle says this is 5% ABV and brewed in accordance with the 1990 stinky hippie act of California organic hippies (paraphrased).

Pours into a goblet a slightly hazed copper brown with no head and just a touch of thin lace.

Aroma is one dimensional…buckwheat. It’s reminiscent of the inside of a grain warehouse. That is not to say that this has barnyard characteristics. It does not. It is only to compare this beer to the dry and dusty aroma of an old granary.

Flavor is a bit more complex but sadly not in a good way. In addition to the buckwheat, this has some mildew qualities, or rather I should say…detractions. A touch of caramel and nutmeg or cloves, which is also found in the aroma now that the beer has warmed. Reminds me of apple cider, the clove that is.

Mouthfeel is sweet, watery, and under carbonated.

Drinkability is nill.

Drain pour.

This beer is so damned organic it ain’t even funny.

Side note: I just dumped the second half of this beer down the drain and an unbelievable amount of black filth came out with the liquid. Could be a bad bottle but my money is on this being a bad beer.

Photo of theopholis
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a cloudy, fairly reddish/amber with a very impressive off-white head. The head has little retention, and no lacing.

Aroma- Very clean and crisp smelling. Slightly grainy with some malt sweetness and just a hint of some fruity overtones,

Taste- Has a citrusy, zesty wheat grain base. Quite refreshing. Pleasant after taste, No hoppiness, and just a hint of malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Light body, good, solid level of carbonation. Has a mildly puckering after-taste. Has a nice CO2 bite on the toungue.

Drinkability- Nice. Overpriced, but nice.

Photo of Sigmund
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

250 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal pub, Stavanger. Also available in Norway at Vinmonopolet. ABV is 6%. This buckwheat (French: "sarrasin") beer is organic (Fr.: "biologique")., and has had a secondary fermentation in the bottle.
Pale golden colour, hazy. Fluffy white head. Sweetish aroma, citrus, cloves, banana and tropical fruits, hints of aniseed candy. Spritzy mouthfeel, light bodied. Mild flavour, fairly dry, some citrus and peppery notes. Okay, but not worth the ridiculously high price in Norway.

Photo of BeerHonky
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, corked and caged. Pours a deep, opaque burgundy color with a huge, fluffy tan head. Exceptional head retention. Nice and frothy almost like the top of a latte. Smells tart and sour with pleasant suggestions of crisp, half ripe pears, sour cherries, and malted wheat. Also has faint notes of that funky farmhouse aroma common in saisons. Light, airy body with lots of tiny bubbled carbonation. I feel as if the flavors would be much more apparent if the body was a bit fuller. However, the flavor is full of fruity yeast flavors that tapers off into a nice subtle, dry buckwheat aftertaste.

This is an awesome beer that would be a wonderful treat on an outdoor spring time picnic with a friend. I'm assuming this is a gluten free beer as well. Not to mention its certified organic.

Photo of ism
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Corked, caged 750ml bottle, chilled. Corked popped easily. Poured into a Wiezen glass, with voluminous off-white head. It settled to a half-finger with good retention and thick lacing, but the dirty kind. Dark, muddy copper-brown body, cloudy. Nose had a wheat base, grainy, and slight mellow fruit (orange?). Creamy but thin on the tongue. Decent carbonation leads a sourdough-wheat base with yeast and apples, but mostly nondescript. The finish is interesting, with a apple-pear dryness that lingers back into the wheat flavor with a slight citrus.

Couldn't really detect any spices, but if it's still a witbier, then maybe I missed out on the subtlety. Still, not as complex as I'd like. Fairly easy-going, but not notable.

Photo of pentathlete
2.35/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Corked and caged 750ml bottle. Cork popped out easily. Lots of bubbles, but not the tiny tight bubbles one expects from high quality Belgian quaffs. These were the next size up and they stacked up fast and stood around stubbornly. Yet the moutainous appearance was not as graceful or gorgeous as, say something as common as Duvel. Couple of spots of stickage, but no real lacing either. The beer itself, made from buckwheat apparently, is a medium ruddy brown with the requisite unfiltered clouds.

The nose wasn't off-putting, but it didn't have any characteristic "wheat" odors. You could tell it was a Belgian style, but nothing dramatic in either direction was happening here.

The taste and mouthfeel were a serious disappointment. Watery, metallic, and an unpleasant finish made all the more so by a complete lack of a spice profile.

I'm hoping the wife likes it. I can't finish my glass. A real disappointment.

Photo of mzwolinski
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Quite a bit of carbonation on this one! I didn't even get the cage all the way off before the cork exploded out of my hands. Rivers of fizz started rising up the bottle neck, thus commencing a pour that took a good twenty minutes to settle to a hazy amber beer topped by a mountainous off-white head.

The aroma is quite sharp, wheaty, and backed up by a light citric fruitiness.

Flavor starts a bit sweet and malty, with a somewhat musty character. Some spice here and there, but needs a bit something more to round out the flavor. Finishes sharp and tangy, but overall this beer is a little too one-dimensionally sweet and dull, and a bit too fizzy in the mouth from the overcarbonation.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, caged and corked, purchased at LaBodega in Riverside CA in February 2006 for $6.99 (their last bottle).

Appearance: Slightly murky reddish golden in backlight (darker almost brown otherwise) with a nice frothy off-white head that's actually a nice looking beer.

Aroma is grainy, almost sweet, slight fruitiness (weak cherries).

Flavor has a definite wheat grain base, to which a lemon zest, sour orange and slight Dr. Pepper-like soda flavors are added. However, the ending is an off-putting metallic taste. Overall mouthfeel is generally pleasantly solid for a wit, drinkability is OK. Overall a decent beer, but the metal on my tongue kept it out of the top ranks. I had this brewery's Joseph a month or so ago, and quite enjoyed it. This is decent, but not as good as brother Joseph.

Note: definitely let this one warm a bit- a few degrees really open up the flavor.

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Sara Buckwheat Ale from Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin)
81 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.