SPF 45 Saison - Pizza Port Solana Beach
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
4.83/5 rDev +13.9%
#2003 Release - Bottle #126
A 750ml green glass wine-style bottle, recently swapped with my good friend xlperro in a Trunk-Trade, ironically right outside of the Pizza Port in San Clemente. Bottle #126. *NO* Cork, just a Crown Cap!
Served in a wide-mouthed Belgian Goblet Glass, massive carbonation immediately creates a sharply rising foam in the glass, so much so, I had to decant some of this into a Jug. The body is the perfect shade of Saison satsuma oranges shine through the light, whilst in a darkened environ it has a dark golden marmalade look. The head is beige-white, huge & crusty at first, Iceberg-like, the beer slips cleanly underneath the head as the glass is tipped for imbibing. Eventually the head settles to a thin 3mm collar & the earlier lacing disappears back into the glass. Wow.
A wild yeast & funky nose leads you down the Farmhouse trail to the Utopian Valhalla of Saison-land. Marvelous.
The start is all barley & smooth oats, the funkiness starts in the second quarter & lingers in the mouth long after the beer has gone. It takes a while, but as the SPF 45 rises from a solid fridge-cold, to a lightly chilled temperature, the back end of the beer exhibits light ginger & coriander, whilst the black pepper impregnated sweet orange rind really comes through on the tongue quite strongly in the middle. All this is set against a solid malt backbone. Some floral aspects come & go, but this is quite funky in a clean way. Enjoyable.
Spritzy & lively enough to quench the greatest thirst, yet it leaves a fantastic numbing feel on the cheeks in the end & long after the swallow. Immensely satisfying; the feel of the funky beer punctuating the mouth at first, followed by the creamy feel of the head, it's like a sweet n' sour double act.
I debated Drinkability - Yep, its a 10!!
A very good example of a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale & some seriously good funky shit. It will be very interesting to see how this develops with age, can it get better I wonder? Will the liveliness die down over time? Can I get back to Pizza Port to pick up a Crate of this next week? I dont know Tomme Arthur, but he deserves some serious credit for this. Who would have thought that such a good version of a Belgian Style Saison would be available so close when I moved here from the UK? Now if he could just sell it for less than the Fantôme...
Tip: Letting the bottle breathe for 5 mins. before pouring will reduce the huge racing head I encountered.
11-12-2003 04:47:15 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.7/5 rDev +10.8%
05 vintage bottle shared by cquiroga at the RBSG 08 Grand Tasting. Thanks! Poured into my La Chouffe goblet. Gold with a small but sticky white head. Aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg, with some apple notes. Flavor is similar, straight-up applie pie, spices and all. A little lemony tartness as well. Smooth as can be, easy to drink. Probably the best saison there is.
08-07-2008 18:17:26 | More by illidurit
4.65/5 rDev +9.7%
This was a gift from Xlperro on my recent trip to Long Beach to have a go at Lucky Baldwins Belgian Beer Fest.
The beer had both Crown & Cork, and as the cork reluctantly let go of the bottle it did so with a thunderous Pop, and immediately the head began to form in the bottle, not waiting for me to pour it into my special glass. Upon my initial pour, the color a lustrous and muzzy orange with a Brobdingnagian head that is creamy in consistency, the color off white and as it sluggishly evanesces; the lace forms a diaphanous curtain to ensconce the glass. The nose has a marvelous yeast aroma at the front, sweet and fragrant, quite floral, the aroma of over ripe peaches comes to mind, and so appetizing is this nose that it made me hungry for some fresh baked bread, what a treat for both the ocular and olfactory senses. Ambrosial and loaded with malted grain at the start, the top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is staunchly acidic, the hops scrumptious in their spiciness, and the aftertaste sweet and sour, dry as the desert, what a splendiferous beer, a master piece of the brewers art, and one I must get more of, as its just to good not to have on hand for a special occasion.
Note: As it is still fermenting the decanting had to wait till I had consumed all but the last couple of ounces and the decanted color is as follows. Theres a veritable ton of dross, the haziness remains about the same as does the color, just gobs and gobs of those yeasties, yummy for the tummy and good for your health to boot!
02-27-2004 19:53:34 | More by Gusler
4.6/5 rDev +8.5%
Arrived on my doorstep on a snowy winter day. Quite a far cry from the sunny climate where this beer was brewed. This treat comes compliments of my pal in CA, SwillinBrew.
22 oz. green bottle. The front label is different than the pic shown here. The back label has some cheeky verbage that's quite amusing.
A cloudy, peach colored liquid with a fluffy thick head. Lot's of bubbles rising to the surface.
I smell a slight skunkiness while inhaling the contents through the tiny bottle opening. In the glass, a whole other story indeed. Acidic citrus. Pears, peaches, and then sweet malt. A slight hint of raisons.
Tastes tart at first and then the Beligian yeast esthers follow up in the finish. A saison for sure, and a pretty good one at that.
Mouthfeel is amply carbonated up front with a sweet chewiness in the finish.
Drinkable? Does a bear crap in the woods?
12-11-2005 23:16:43 | More by ggroller
4.58/5 rDev +8%
750ml bottle, a bit different from the one pictured but the theme and the artwork style remains the same
pours perfectly, clear, concise orange glow with bubble streams. resilient head manages to linger without much diminishing. solid, layered walls of crusty lace remind me of ocean waves on a calm day.
nice tart, yeasty aroma cut through the center by an odor of fresh baked lemon poppy muffins. some complex, charred sugars linger in the nose as well. the overall scent profile is mouthwatering.
tastes is no letdown.. perfectly crisp and light while maintaining a complex bevy of strange, interesting flavors. lemony pucker is noticeable, as is a buttery caramel underscore. dirty, woody elements balance nicely with a smooth, honey and candied ginger finish. this beer manages to rank up with big boys like fantome, establishing equal balance in its craftsmanship yet presenting itself with entirely new flavors and combinations. warmth brings edible flowers to the mix and some fresh cut grass.
simply excellent. recommended.
02-11-2006 05:41:41 | More by goodbyeohio
District of Columbia
4.58/5 rDev +8%
Appearance 750 ml bottle picked up at Pizza Port and transported to the east coast. Pours with a big white head that slowly falls to nothing. The beer itself is hazy amber orange, no lace.
Smell Juicy fruit, toasted malts, orange and ginger. Mild spicy hop aroma as well. There is so much going on in the aroma, I don't know what to expect from the flavor.
Taste Refreshing, with lots of spices that blend well. Great balance, with a mix of hop and malt character. The spices that show through the most are the ginger and the chamomile. An original, delicious, flavor that I really enjoyed.
Mouthfeel Body is light bordering on watery with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel really adds to the refreshing quality of this beer... I probably shouldn't have waited until December to drink it.
Drinkability & Notes An easy to drink, refreshing saison, with a bold spicy flavor. Definitely a different flavor than in a traditional saison, but that doesn't mean that this isn't a delicious beer.
12-05-2005 03:15:03 | More by OldSock
4.55/5 rDev +7.3%
Thanks to GoodbyeOhio for sharing!
Beautifully clear pale orange. A big puff of white head upon pouring, settling into a tight mist. Blobby lace, with good retention. Smelling this, it immediately brought to mind herbal tea with lemon and honey. The scent is almost dead on. One of the more unusual noses on a beer I've come across. The flavor is much the same, with a sweet, lemon infused tea taste. Yeasty earthiness, with a spicy, floral, modestly hopped finish. The honey flavor is really nice, spot on for real clover honey, lingering throughout the sip. Modest, though present estery fruitiness. I can't get over how similar it is to a mug of honey sweetened tea. Lighter body, with charged, though stable, small bubbled carbonation. Punchy, lively and bright on the palate. It's like drinking summer. Very credible, a nice artisanal product from the boys at Pizza Port. Unusual, but definitely in the saison family. On par with the best Fantome has to offer. I'd jump at the chance to get a taste of this again.
03-19-2006 07:55:51 | More by UnionMade
4.55/5 rDev +7.3%
750 ml bottle brought to the SeaO'Floydster tasting by cquiroga, thank you very much for bringing this Chris, had been wanting to try this for years, reviewed from notes, poured into my Stone sampling glass
A-Golden orange color with some yellow highlights, 1/2 inch foamy white head that stayed around a while, great retention, good lacing too, you can tell this was unflitered by just looking at it
S-Lemons, toasted bread, caramel, honey, oranges, other citrus, flowers, white pepper, whole grains, and coriander
T-Lots of ginger at the beginning, fades into a grainy and malty middle, honey and orange peel in the finish, pepper and other spices come out more and more as it warms, nice mix of citrusy fruit, malts, and spices at the end, an incredibly complex farmhouse ale
M-Spicy, sweet, citrusy, fruity, and malty mouthfeel, high level of carbonation, medium bodied, taste lingers a long time
D-Could drink this whole big bottle, no booze present, light and refreshing, still crisply carbonated, goes down easy and would be great on a hot day, enjoyed the lightness while still being very flavorful
The cork on this one was brutal and Dr. Bill had to take a knife to it for about ten minutes before getting out, even then some still landed in the beer, it was great to try an early Pizza Port brew, this saison surprised the heck out of me and was even better than expected, for a 2003 bottle it has aged incredibly without having that high of an ABV, would like to drink again, recommended
04-01-2009 19:45:10 | More by Floydster
4.53/5 rDev +6.8%
750ml bottle (#85): This one pours an orangish-golden color, with a hint of haze to it. Boy, does this have head! A huge, frothy pile of foam comes with this one. It is kind of hard to pour, as you have to wait a long time to get more in the glass. Spicy, yeasty nose, with hints of lemon and banana. Actually a slight hit of sourness in the first taste. Feels silky on the tongue. The taste is slightly spicy, with banana, lemon, wheat, hint of bitterness. Excellent!
08-20-2004 21:29:48 | More by Boto
4.5/5 rDev +6.1%
This is a brew I've been longing after for awhile now and I'm happy to finally be able to sit down to a 750 of it. New label has a bright sunny beachside scene with the obligatory bikini clad beauty with her bottle of SPF 45 sunscreen close at hand. Pours from the bottle a hazy, nearly opaque dark amber color with a big frothy two finger white head. Slowly falls and lingers. Aromas begin with spicy grains, floral notes and abundant fruitiness. Peach, apple, pineapple, orange and lemon zest all float atop a fresh yeastiness. A touch of earthy funkiness lies underneath here. Clean, fresh, fruity and peppery spicy. Nothing less than enjoyable to sit here, contemplate and inhale.
First sip brings a bountiful mix of sunny pale grain maltiness simply drenched in a wonderful array of fruity spiciness. The spice is upfront with notes of pepper, coriander, yeast and a touch of clove. Fresh fruit salad abounds featuring oranges, lemon zest, apple, mango and pineapple. This is quite an awe inspiring blend of citrus, spice, yeast and maltiness that seems to attack each and every taste bud it can on the way down. There's a bit of funkiness hiding here that shows up on the back of the palate along with a touch of sourness. A wonderful, crisp saison that simply begs to be drank. Finishes with a bit of lingering spice. Just an all around well built, tasty brew.
Mouthfeel is rather spritzy with a medium bodied malt character that's not at all afraid to make itself known. Super smooth and easy to drink...this 750ml bottle will not be lasting long tonight. Simply a superb example of a U.S. brewed saison. You can tell a lot of love and respect went into this brew as you drink it. As for drinkability...the only thing stopping me from drinking this constantly is availability. So damn tasty...I'm happy to have had the chance to sample this one thanks to Crosling. More than worth seeking out...I hope to make a homage to Pizza Port one of these days and maybe I can personally thank Tomme and crew for the joy they've brought to this beer lover.
10-15-2005 03:14:38 | More by orbitalr0x
4.5/5 rDev +6.1%
First off, nice Rack on the label. Even if it is a cartoon.
Hazed orange/amber appearance. (The beer, not the Rack.) Fluffy eggshell white head. It's bountiful. (The lace and the Rack.) Nice aroma. Floral, flowery, herbal, fragrant, musty, lemony and sweet. Lots of things going on here on the nose.
After first tasting, I had to recheck my bottle. (And not for the Rack either.) I had to make sure I hadn't opened a Fantome by mistake. It's similar in that it has a lot of "weird" types of things going on and I guess rightfully so after looking at the ingredient's list ( which includes organic ginger, corriander, sweet orange peel, black pepper, grains of paradise and chamomile flowers). The first sensation I get on the buds is that of quenching lime. Not real tart though...just quenching. And also lemony notes. Lots of spicy things going on as well. It's like a botanical experiment on the palate. Cracked black pepper spiciness with the sweet corriander and flowery chamomile tones. Malts give enough of a foundation for all of the botanicals to do their thing. And in regards to the hops, it's hard to discern certain properties from them, if they are there, from the multitudes of spices and fruit tones. This is quite good. And I can see how it could be considered an "essential" on the beaches of California.
Gotta give props to TheLongBeachBum for giving me a little taste of summertime in the middle of a Minnesotan winter.
I remember enjoying an SPF 8 from Pizza Port in May of 2002 at the pub itself. It happened to use Rosemary in the recipe. I have the fondest memories of that beer. This SPF45 is very good, but I'd have to say the 8 was probabaly the best Saison I've had.
01-11-2006 03:49:34 | More by Bighuge
4.47/5 rDev +5.4%
Huge thanks to Chris Quiroga for bringing this to the Sea Of Floydster tasting - one of the standouts of the night!
Spicy, chamomile, light menthol, coconut in the aroma and the taste. Highly carbonated, but some wheat sort of body notes once the carbonation settled down.
Tasted incredibly good - this beer has aged very well. Awesome. Oh, and yeah, really bad cork.
04-02-2009 07:25:11 | More by rallison
4.47/5 rDev +5.4%
Pours an orange color with a small head that falls quickly and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is complex with ginger, citrus, and chamomile. Flavor is great, but I'd call it a spice beer as opposed to a saison. Lots of the chamomile and ginger in there to make a very flavorful taste. The body is moderate and the drinkability is very good.
12-29-2005 20:00:15 | More by clvand0
4.47/5 rDev +5.4%
750ml Bottle number 83, stored in my "cellar" for about 9 months. The cork broke into a million pieces on extraction, but I was able to remove the last pieces without leaving any in the beer.
This beer pours a pale orangish brown. It's a touch hazy. The head billows out with the gentlest pour. A loose cake of off white head that comes down on its own time.
The aroma is big. I get lots of fruit -- apples mostly. And a yeasty mustiness. Earthy. I can imagine a farmhouse when I inhale.
The taste is big too. Earthy, fruity, maybe a touch of candi sugar but not so huge like in Dubbels and Tripels. Yeasty. Yummy. A good firm hop? bitterness at the beginning. Spicy but not clovelike. Highly carbonated. Finish is also somewhat dry. Wow.
Medium bodied. Alcohol mild. Carbonation is refreshing but gassy.
Overall: this is my first Saison, and I LIKE IT. Great lighter Belgian style ale with lots of flavors. I think the moderate hop bitterness really makes this incredibly drinkable. It went AWESOME with Chinese food last night. Only negative is that it was too highly carbonated
09-13-2004 06:10:53 | More by oggg
4.43/5 rDev +4.5%
tasting party sept 11/06 with northyorksammy, crwills, biegaman and me (grub). everyone threw in a few bottles and we had an interesting mix of beer and mead. not sure of exactly who contributed what, so i'll just thank everyone.
pours a slightly cloudy deep golden colour with a nice off-white head.
aroma is great. tangerine. orange peel and clove. spicy too. maybe some clove.
taste is excellent. tangerine and sweet orange peel. clove. a bit of funky sourness to it too. really nice. peppery spice. maybe some ginger too.
mouthfeel is ok. high carbonation and nice body.
drinkability on this one is good. a really unique and interesting beer that i'd be more than happy to have again. extra thanks to sammy for this one.
09-14-2006 17:54:50 | More by grub
4.4/5 rDev +3.8%
Sampled August 2004
This beer is super carbonated. It is a pretty, clear, orange-copper color with a dense rocky light tan head sitting atop it. There is an austere, musty, spicy aroma that contains notes of apple cider, alcohol, cardamom, and a flowery character that reminds me of Spring. The taste is lightly sweet with lots of spice character, I get notes of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. I get soft fruit notes that are reminiscent of apples, pears, and raisins. This is very well carbonated, it foams wildly on my tongue.
This is definitely a heavily spiced version of a Saison, but no one spice is here so dominantly that it detracts from the beer. It is a wild spice party with each spice competing, but none winning out. The spices also help to dry this beer out and to balance the sweetness that is found up front. This is quite the enjoyable beer, and because of the strong spice character it would have aged quite nicely if not for the being over carbonated and getting worse. Never underestimate the power of the Dupont yeast strain to completely attenuate the wort.
Aged 1 year, Sampled June 2004
This beers is extremely foamy, it rustically explodes in my glass with a 4 inch fluffy off white, tan hinged head. It is a full gold color with a bit of haze to it. The aroma is spicy and fruity with notes of apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweet caramel bread. This is not as dry as I was expecting, especially given my experience with this yeast (now I know why it is so over-carbonated) It is lightly sweet up front with an astringent yeast and spice driven finish. This definitely has a big spice character, though it is well done and not distracting. The spices help to pick up and compliment the sweetness a bit. This beer, with it prominent spicing, could still use quite a bit of age, though it may not be worth aging b/c of the over carbonation problems. As this beer is remade though, I am quite confident that the carbonation level will be adjusted to a suitable level.
06-26-2004 20:00:07 | More by Gueuzedude
4.38/5 rDev +3.3%
Sampled as part of a large tasting with biegaman, grub, and northyorksammy.
This was one of my favourite of the evening. Poured a pleasant orangey-amber, with a small head. Aroma is very 'Belgian' - mildly spicy, unique yeasty notes, and sourish, almost Gueuze-like elements.
Flavour is clove, orange peel, and black pepper. Lots of farmy, funky smells in there -- hay, dry grass, old wood, 'horseblanket'. Great mouthfeel, muted aftertaste. Drinkability belies the high ABV.
Hennepin is the only other saison I've had in any quanitity, and I've never understood the appeal of it (and therefore the appeal of the style). I much prefer this one, and I'd really like to sample some other beers from this brewery.
09-15-2006 19:50:12 | More by crwills
4.33/5 rDev +2.1%
Bottle reads: "Let's Party!" - ok, we shall.
Clouded orange, very dusty in colour. Ample head which faded slowly. Appearence is completely murky. Aroma consist of a lot of tangerine and orange peel (both are individually detectable) as well as some distinctly Belgian notes, most likely the yeast. Interesting because the rest of the makeup is not so Belgian at all. Carbonation is very high with a harsh mouthfeel. This beer finds itself somewhere between sweet and sour. The small influence of spices contributes greatly to the flavour. The quantity of spices actually rather generous however, but not overbearing. (Only after reading the bottle) could I detect the black pepper, which then seemed so obvious. No funk but a very robust profile, bold in the American way of brewing. A truly world class saison! Thanks Sammy.
09-16-2006 14:38:25 | More by biegaman
4.33/5 rDev +2.1%
Thanks to Chris Quiroga for bringing this bottle to the SeaofFloydster Tasting which took place on March 28th. I've been wanting to try this beer for a while now.
The color was dark golden with about a quarter in of foam that settled to a thin ring which lasted till the end.
The aroma was very good and interesting, it has such a soft and mellow floral aroma. Chamomile, sweet lemons, soft citrus fruits, spices, toast and caramel malts, and ginger bread in the background.
Spicy yeast flavors, chamomile, lemon, honey malts, and sweet toast. Tasty beer. Had a sharp and almost aggressive carbonation which smoothed out as it warmed up.
03-31-2009 00:41:12 | More by seaoflament
4.3/5 rDev +1.4%
Upon opening, the foam comes out intensively.. weve actually had the time to take another beer while letting this one settle. Needless to say it then made a spectatular never dying white head, very sticky. Tons of tiny yeast particles abund all over the glass. The body underneath was of a muddy amber tone. Hugely spicy nose and unusual at that. Ginger cookies dough, coriander and cloves, coconut paste. It smells fluffy, grains of paradise, sweet banana ice cream and more. Palate offers a nice, but light acidity and more ginger and flowery goodness. Chive, grass and peanuts oil seem to give it a green aspect. Biscuity malt, lemony and orangey aspects complete the mid-mouth and lead to a rather short spicy finish. It feels really belgian from the unexplicable involved and the great yeast, but suffers from overcarbonation. Mouthfeel is a foam explosion, extremely airy which sometimes seems to cut a bit on the flavor because this is otherwise incredibly tasty. Superb original and refreshing artisanal effort though! Two Thumbs up to Matt Zwolinski for that treat!
06-23-2004 04:23:58 | More by Rastacouere
4.28/5 rDev +0.9%
I had a buddy pick me up a bottle in Solana Beach which is pricey at $15 at the brewery. This is a good looking brew - hazy and golden orange and a rich lively noisy head. Great smells of honey and cotton candy. What a great tasting saison complex spices and long crisp clean thirst quenching goodness. I cant taste the myriad of spices listed on the label but it was spicy-not chili spicy but the ginger snap spicy. Excellent mouthfeel. Despite the low ABV, it was very satisfying and my head felt nice. Cant ask for anything else.
11-16-2005 07:12:28 | More by lou91
4.28/5 rDev +0.9%
750ml. Pours a solid orange color with a finger of head that falls to a healthy coat over top. Solid looking brew. Nose is most intriguing. I get notes of lime, pepper (black), and chamomile. Most interesting in a saison. I'm excited to taste it. Flavor is very nice. Definate barnyardy/musty/light tart flavors in the foreground. Playing behind these I find lime (must be the grains of paradise) and chamomile to be the dominant supporters. There is a zing in there that I can't place for certain, but I would bet it is from the ginger. I'm really digging this brew. A tartness hangs on the finish, but doesn't linger. A very interesting take on a saison. I do enjoy this brew. Feel is moderate with a light-moderate carbonation. This one is having no troube finding its way out of my glass. I am not sure this is the best representation of a saison, but it is a really damn good beer.
12-22-2005 01:29:24 | More by kmpitz2
SPF 45 Saison from Pizza Port Solana Beach
92 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.