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

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Sara Buckwheat AleSara Buckwheat Ale

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43 Reviews
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Reviews: 43
Hads: 53
Avg: 3.54
pDev: 16.38%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin) visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 43 | Hads: 53
Photo of RBorsato
4.49/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I guess, first-off, Buckwheat is a fruit (related to Rhubarb); not a grain.

No pop with cork opening. Hazy peach-ish color with a low off-white head and low carbonation. Tons of sediment on bottom. Very nice Belgian malt-yeast balanced aroma and flaovr; light dubbel-ish character all around with lots of raisins/fruit. Light-medium bodied with a light creaminess.

Buckwheat dosn't seem to stand out much but overall very good and very drinkable ... just a bit pricey.

Label states: "Certified Organic"

($7.49 / 25.4 oz. corked and caged champagne style bottle)

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Photo of Lupin
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/07/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle. Caged and corked with no dating. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Amber-orange colored pour. Huge 2 inch head, very creamy indeed. Very nice lacing.

Smell- Had a bit of the so called barnyard funk going one. Some fruit scent to be sure, plus some spices that I can't put my finger on.

Taste- The first thing I noticed was an orange peel taste along with a good portion of corriander and other undefined spices. It had an overall taste that tasted different than any other beer I have tried. I'm guessing that was the buckwheat.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation. Sticky sweet and a semi-full mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Hits harder than a 5% abv beer. Makes you think you are drinking something a bit more heavy. Nice flavors and texture. Something I may buy again in the future.

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Photo of donnebaby
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a beautiful amber out of the bottle and into the glass. A slight lacey head climbed up to the top of the glass as I was drinking, a nice effect.

The smell is an unobstrusive, light fruity one, which went along with its smooth mouthfeel. A little bit of carbonation.

The taste is a remarkable, bitter grainy one, very very good in my opinion. A pure taste of buckwheat that is completely drinkable. There is a sensation when drinking that it is a cousin to hard cider or some fresh harvest brew of days gone by. Highly drinkable and enjoyable. I wish I had another one here.

I drank the non-organic brew of Sara. I believe I noticed an organic version as well, which is a future purchase.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.02/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

75 cl bottle; organic version. Pours a turbid pale copper color with an unbelievable light beige head that lasts forever. I poured and walked away for 5 minutes and it looks the same, a thumb-widths head. as it goes down, excellent lacing left behind. Something I'd expect of a beer brewed wholly from a grain cousin to wheat (known for excellent head retention). Aroma's mostly lemony and husky with some yeasty funk going on, bordering a hefty saison or something like Corsendonk Pale or Rare Vos. Warm, subtle malt in the aroma, too. Sweet upfront, but dry and palatable, with a slight citrusy zing and a yeastiness that's very unique, yet reminiscent. The bottle clearly lists the ABV at 6.0%, and I hope I'm reviewing the right beer, for some reason, beacuse I wasn't in the understanding that this beer would be categorized as a witbier, I fancied it more a specialty grain ale... But I guess there's no other Sara, so I'm not worried, just objective. That being said, I don't pick up on and coriander, which seems to sometime typify to witbier style. Nonetheless, this is a thoroughly enjoyable brew, especially for summer and as autumn begins. Healthy carbonation keeps it crisp, and a pillowy, soft mouthfeel is achieved throughout.

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Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky ruddy brown with a huge blooming slightly off-white head,intense lemony aroma with a touch of that barnyard funk found in some lambics with some toasted grain undertones.Flavors are much drier when compared to the aromas very grainy and nicely spicey with some light smoke in the finish.A nice find today toolin around town a good summer quaffer with some interesting dry flavors going on.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewery Visit - 24th April 2000.

Tried on draft in the Café, which is next to the Brewery, the Chez L’Père Sarrasin. Limited Notes.

Sara, 6% ABV.
Amber-Red, sweetish, wheat beer, this time made with buckwheat, quite unique and hard to describe except as very spicy and dry. More maintsream in tastes than the Jospeh and the preferred beer of our party of 31, from the 3 offerings from Silenrieux during our visit.

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Photo of atigerlife
3.91/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of BeerHonky
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of daledeee
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well Sara is a lively lass, well carbonated and topped by a thick, flowing prodigiously locked tan head. Copper in color with perhaps a light haze to it. A solid grainy, grassy aroma, along with a bit of interesting spicy character is found in the nose. As I explore the aroma a bit more I detect a nuttiness and some fruity notes, with banana and peach predominant. Sara has a lightly sweet taste up front and finishes with a bit of astringency. There is a certain mustiness here and a certain spiciness as well. This beer has a certain something to it that I can't quite place (it is a note in the aftertaste that is just different). If not for this note, this would be a pretty straight forward beer. This beer does need a little bit something more to balance out the up front sweetness. Overall, I do like this, it could just use a bit more complexity.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
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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Photo of Absumaster
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of finepaws
3.71/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wouldn't have called this a witbier, but definetly would have found it dunkel weissen-ish. Pours an orange, copper, cloudy color, with a good 2 finger head. Lasting through the whole 750ml bottle. Nice lacing. Some sediment found at the end, yeasties? Very yeasty and fruity smelling. Estery? Not sure what buckwheat smells like, but this definetly tastes like a wheat beer. Didn't find any corriander or clove flavors. More fruit, like bananas. Lots of grain flavor too. Mouthfeel was well carbonated, full flavored, but light for a darker beer. Really enjoyed this one, and would drink it again. Didn't taste like it was 6% either. Well balanced flavors.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pops open with a "Pwik!'

Murky brown amber pour with slow champagne bubbles rising to a thick taunt inch head cap that leaves a ton of lace coating. The last pour was as thick as a milkshake with a thousand scrod chunkers.

Yeasty spicy nutmeg scents and rye bread. Vanilla malts. Woody flavors with some ginger, coconut and banana. Dry yet lingering aftertaste of tropical fruits.

Smooth feel. Gentle carbonation. Buttery feel that coats me tongue like heavy cream.

An intriguing yet tongue coating so-so brew.

Last swigs: A one dimensional tropical fruit drink. of table sugar vanilla. Nothing special. Just for the curious.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of theopholis
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
3.66/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of merlin48
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This organic, 22 oz, corked and caged, bottle pours a murky, saddle leather brown that is apricot when held to the light. Two finger, offwhite, head is tightknit and longlasting, eventually leaving some nice patch lace. The final pour revealed a few, suspended particles of yeast.
Aroma is very spicy, with coriander, pepper, and a dash of clove. Musty yeast is also apparent.
Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, with a medium body.
Taste begins with a tart, fruity note akin to cherry/lemon. A rack of spices quickly takes over, with pepper, coriander, and ginger prominent. Husky grain is the backbone, with a pronounced earthy yeastiness. Finish and aftertaste are dominated by a bitter combo of coriander and yeast.
This is much like a dark wheat beer. Plenty of grain taste to balance the strong yeast and spice presence. Pleasing taste, overall, and good drinkability.

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Photo of cabsandking
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Sara Buckwheat Ale from Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin)
81 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.