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

Sara Buckwheat AleSara Buckwheat Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

52 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 16.67%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-25-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 43 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2005 21:05:35 | More by oberon
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2004 02:35:51 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sarasin is French for buckwheat - hence the name Sara. I'm guessing this is a wheat style ale, its the only beer I have heard made with buckwheat. High carbonation, long lasting head, cloudy, apple (yeast) overtones, very drinkable. Organic, $8.99 for 750ml, U.S. importer is WIT - IT - TOO Inc.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2002 18:27:17 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 22:39:31 | More by Zorro
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2008 01:58:14 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2012 04:01:08 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2003 22:12:19 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2007 23:41:11 | More by nickfl
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2005 21:35:23 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought the bottle simply because I'd never had a buckwheat beer. The cork was hell to remove...ended up using a corkscrew.
The beer pours with a fizzy, soda-like head dissapears right away. The color is a dark, slightly transparent brown. The most apealing feature of the beer is the aroma. It smells something like a grist mill: a sweet, grainy, musty smell that is actually quite pleasant. Unfortunately, the beer is also one-dimentional. Flat, shallow, not at all complex. It's a little sweet and malty, and the aroma carachter sticks with the beer through the aftertaste. It's worth a try, but it's not outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2002 12:41:57 | More by Suds
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2004 23:29:22 | More by merlin48
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

3.45/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 21:23:09 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of RBorsato
RBorsato

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +27.1%
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)

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2005 20:03:38 | More by RBorsato
Photo of thierrynantes
thierrynantes

France

3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 19:51:23 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2005 04:00:22 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

2.4/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

ABV says 6% right on the bottle so I assume the abv listed here is from a previous edition or possibly a different version of some sort. A sticky/spritzy head is one thing but this is out of control. Cork practically came off on its own. Way over carbonated. My first pour I had to toss it down the drain as it was almost completely Fizz....the second pour I did with the absolute most gentle pour I could do and the head was still 50% of the glass. The head is so dense and unyeilding that its a joy just to recieve liquid on the taste buds. This beer was not spoiled and I'm sure the brewer takes pride in this so I won't go into how pissed I am right now as I looked forward to this baby. Yeast/citrus are the main aroma's and the taste is similair. Citrus/orange flavor dominate the palate. Drinking beer to me shouldn't be a battle, it should be relaxing but this one is just too much work. pass.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2005 05:26:23 | More by DogFood11
Photo of Absumaster
Absumaster

Netherlands

3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2007 15:02:53 | More by Absumaster
Photo of paterlodie
paterlodie

Belgium

3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

BB end 2007. Some head tha's quiet instable and a (dark)brown beercollor. Nose is peppery, blue cheese hint of candysugar and caramellic malted. Taste is very dry, litle sour, buckwheat and malty with caramellic note and quiet bitter. Bitterness is hanging and misses litle body. Not a bad brew and well drinkable but just missing something to make it into a good beer. Good carbonisation but empty and watery mouthfeel makes it easy drinkable though. Gets better when warming up but seen better examples of buckwheat malt. No way this is a witbier though, IMO more a belgium dark ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2005 16:15:20 | More by paterlodie
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 21:55:27 | More by augustgarage
Photo of jwinship83
jwinship83

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 04:55:44 | More by jwinship83
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

1.63/5  rDev -54%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2007 22:38:56 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2006 03:59:27 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of daledeee
daledeee

Iowa

3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 00:27:48 | More by daledeee
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
ViveLaChouffe

Georgia

3.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy light brown with a small lacy head. Smells yeasty and fruity with hints of apple.

Taste is quite unusual. It's grainy but not in texture, just tastes alot like raw grain. Sweet undertones, lightly fruity. Bitter finish. Unmistakeable flavor of buckwheat throughout. Once I got used to this new flavor it wasn't a bad brew. Doubt I would get this one much but it is certified organic. Would be an interesting beer for thanksgiving of a dinner with farm fresh foods.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2003 01:14:17 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund

Norway

3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2007 20:51:53 | More by Sigmund
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Sara Buckwheat Ale from Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin)
81 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.