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Sgt. Pepper - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sgt. PepperSgt. Pepper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

298 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 298
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 15.28%
Wants: 10
Gots: 31 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 03-18-2009

farmhouse ale with rye and peppercorns
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 298 | Reviews: 86
Reviews by redsoxfan73:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.31/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #65 (June 2012):

LOOK: Golden, slight haze, creamy white foam head

SMELL: Fresh malts, intense peppercorns, floral hints

TASTE: Firm, smooth, creamy, sweet base, honey, bread, rye, peppery spice, perceived heat, more pepper, and more, and more, and more, and it lingers

This is one hell of a complex beer, brewed with four varieties of peppercorns, rye malt and a Belgian yeast strain. The layering of peppery notes is quite impressive as it builds to a mild heat on the palate with each sip, but without any displeasure. In fact, the pleasure of drinking this beer is only enhanced. The Belgian-y characters pulls it all-together, too. Simply awesome.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

In a snifter the beer was copper colored. It had a scant head and scant lace.

A nice peppery aroma. Some spice. Fruity.

The taste agreed with the aroma. Pretty peppery. Some cinnamon. A little bit of apple.

This beer had a nice kick to it. A perfect beer for a hot summer day.

Photo of Billolick
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber, bottled in 4-13

Pours hazed medium amber, with a slight golden hue. Minor head quickly departing, and leaves just a hint of a film, no collar and nearly no lace...ehh look to this one fo sure...

Just a hint of yeast and pepper on the nose.

Other have mentioned how this is sort of a one note brew...and the note is pepper...lots of pepper..I like pepper in my saisons, but more is needed here.

Carbonation on the low side

Not my favorite saison. Barely worth a try as there are a lot of more interesting and worthy saisons out there...go try some

Photo of jondeelee
3.29/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Sgt. Pepper opens to a strong Saison nose, with bananas and spicy cloves mixing with loads of black and white pepper, as well as a certain amount of sour funkiness typical of the style. The peppery spices are especially present here, not only because of the natural aromas of the style, but also because the addition of peppercorns and rye malt cranks up the kick by a few notches. The pepper is not obtrusive or overwhelming, however; it instead blends well with the beer, enhancing what was already there. Additional aromas include a nice selection of orange, apricot, and berry fruit esters, loads of brown sugar, floury baguettes, biscuit, and toast crust. The sugars are especially nice, bordering on hard candy sweetness in some senses, which plays nicely with the bananas. As a whole, the nose is very nice, mixing sugars, peppery spices, and funkiness together well, the only drawback being a slight overdependence on the sugars, which can somewhat detract from the farmhouse aromas.

On the tongue, the beer is very peppery, the peppercorns immediately obvious, coming across like fresh-ground multicolored peppercorns that actually burn the tongue, the vapors similarly strong in the nasal cavities. Against this peppery onslaught, the bananas and cloves, as well as the remaining fruit esters (again, orange, apricot, berry) actually have a hard time keeping up. The biscuit, toast crust, and rye bread notes have similar problems, so that what mainly comes across is a heavily peppered Belgian, these peppery banana-laced notes continuing into the aftertaste, which continues to burn the tongue in fresh-cracked black peppercorn oiliness for a long time. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, there could have been a nice beer in here if the taste had more closely followed the aroma, but on the tongue the beer is a sharp, peppery mess that literally burns all the way down, and continues to gnaw at the stomach. This might make for very nice cooking beer, lending a lovely peppery edge to a beer batter, but is rather intense for drinking.

Photo of Jerl
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great presentation slight haze with light lacing and floral aroma. Great saison with dry floral. It's, herbs, yeast, slight sweetness with light peppery finish. The touch of heat at the end was perfect for me, really enjoyed this. A little more intensity to the flavors would increase the score.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

you gotta love the Dr.Frankenstein aspect to CBC's brewing!! don't stop experimenting guys!!!

This one pure amber with golden hues and a thin, lacy white head that is pretty sticky.

The aroma is mostly, well Peppercorns! and a shit load of them! spicey and zesty yeastieness with very subtle fruits.

This is a light and crispy brew with a zippy, peppercorn flavor, it's pretty intense but not annoying. Peppery yeast and peppercorns dominate, but it's not at all tough to finish even though the heat seems a bit high along the peppery effect.

Photo of alphagnome
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance:
Deep goldish-orange body, very hazy. Creamy, off-white head has great retention and solid lacing. Nice levels of carbonation.

Aroma:
Your typical farmhouse affair with some added flair - peppercorn. Nice brett and yeast notes coated in plenty of pepper and other spicing I can't narrow down. Some apricot adds a bit of fruity tang. Earthy grains.

Taste:
Peppercorn greets you right away and sticks around for the finish and aftertaste, there is no escaping it, and unfortunately, it's a bit too much for my liking. Once the peppercorn is on your palette, that's pretty much all you get.

Mouthfeel:
Light, creamy body. Plenty of carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

Overall:
This is a good beer.. IF you are pairing with food, However, it doesn't stand well on its own in my opinion. Calm down the peppercorn to the point you can enjoy this beer, and I think they will be onto something special.

Photo of alexbutler
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Relatively thin white head which rest on a nice, golden/amber body. Very nice lookjng beer here.

S - Very interesting aroma, like nothing I've smelled in a beer before. There's a distinct sweetness that floats off the surface (described on the bottle as peppercorns balancing with spicy hops) And though not overpowering, the aroma certainly lures you in.

T - Peppercorns certainly make their presence known from the first few sips. Nice job. The spicy hops tend to linger in the background... it reminds me of a very tame Viva Habanera.

M - Light to medium mouthfeel, certainly nothing heavy. As noted, the spiciness gives it a kick, but doesn't hang around as an aftertaste.

O - Very ambitious beer here, and I enjoyed it a lot. I can see why people would be looking for a bit more of spice, but I think the balance works.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip- pours a hazy orange/auburn color with very little head, no retention, and no lacing.

Smell is surprisingly contained- no big whiffs of pepper, just a little pale malt (maybe a touch of rye) and some belgian yeast.

Taste is very interesting- starts out as an uninteresting saison, almost like a lager in how light the taste is. Pale malt, belgian yeast, blah blah. However, the AFTERTASTE is all pepper. It stays with you for a LONG time.

Mouthfeel is standard- light body, moderate carbonation. Interesting brew- give it a try. I won't get it again but I'm glad I did this time.

Update: Paired with lamb vindaloo (trader joes) and noticed a lemony taste that I hadn't before. Doesn't quite stand up to spicier food however..

Photo of Kinsman
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slight hazy bright orange color. Bit of white head but nothing out of the ordinary. Fruity aroma up front. Citrusy notes mix in with just a bit of yeast aroma. Spice notes become more apparent on the palate than the aroma. Just a hint of juicy sweetness before a lingering peppercorn kick comes through. Dry medium body mouthfeel. Overall, a pretty unique tasting saison but not as much yeast character as I'd like.

Photo of KTCamm
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from a bomber into a perfect pint glass. 10/18

Pours hazy orange, lighter on bottom. Very light foaming. Fruity and peppery nose. Funky malty taste. Light peppery finish, and really there in the aftertaste. Buzz stays in the mouth.

Pretty good.Perfect for lovely Rita, meter maid. (Where would I be without you?)

Photo of TWStandley
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at CBC in a tulip...

Poured a hazy orange/gold color with a big thick billowing white head.

Smelled like typical Belgian yeast, a bit of spiciness. Cracked pepper smell became more apparent as the beer warmed to room temp.

Taste like a standard saison...at first. Some definite lemony/herbal/banana/orange/citrus upon first sip. As the sip finishes, much like the smell, the cracked pepper tastes emerge. Relatively strong tasting, slightly spicy.

Mouth-feel is light, with some serious warmth in the throat from all of the pepper.

Overall this was a tasty saison with a meal. Definitely unique, and quite delicious. Starts off refreshing, finishes spicy.

Photo of u2carew
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A) Very transparent. Bronze in color. Poured with a thin head. Nice lacing along the edge of the glass and all the way around.
S) Robust pepper aroma mixed with an earthy musk - similar to patchouli.
T) Peppery (go figure) and earthy. Spicy pepper "hotness" in the aftertaste. For He-man action figure fans - tastes similar to how the Skunkor action figure smelled.
M) Creamy. Smooth. Medium body. Slightly dry.
D) Very good. I think the peppercorns would get redundant after a while.

Photo of PEBKAC
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1 bottle from the CBC fridge & into an Ommegang chalice. Almost 8 bucks!

Clear, honey/orange body. Second pour had a fair amount of sediment despite settling in the fridge for a while. An inch of off-white soda suds fizz out before it completely settles.

Smells of dusty lemon pepper seasoning, yeast, & crackers. Some cider-ish notions as well.

Curious bittersweet fruit notes up front. Middle is toasty malt, chalky/uninspired yeast, & lettuce-y bitterness. A subtle heat lingers & grows well past the finish. Black pepper really stands out. Flavors popped better when cold then cool I found.

Tired carbonation & boring yeast kept it from being really refreshing. Price is an issue. Better then I remember it being on tap.

Photo of Immortale25
4.26/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. Bottleneck says Bottled On 1/31/13.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch white head that doesn't retain very long before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and random light wisps of surface foam. Lacing is non-resilient.

S- Whoa, you can really smell those peppercorns. Very peppery with some other spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Very lovely if you're a fan of these.

T- The spices hold up just as well in the flavor as I was hoping. Very unique blend of pepper, clove and nutmeg that actually creates an almost soil-like taste. A considerable capsaicin burn comes from the peppercorns. I don't get much saison characteristic out of the beer. Once again, very earthy.

M- Very sharp and tingly from the spices with medium-low carbonation and a medium body.

O- More like just a straight up herbed/spiced beer than a saison since the yeast and carbonation aren't where it should be for that style. Still, this is very tasty for people who are fans of pepper and heat. It's almost a bit too much for me since I'm a bit sensitive to capsaicin but I respect it very much for what it is.

Photo of metter98
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of black peppercorns are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste is very much dominated by flavors of black peppercorns but also has some notes of other spices and hints of Belgian yeast.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The peppercorns make it feel slightly prickly on your tongue.
O: This is an enjoyable saison if you like peppercorns because that is pretty much all you get in the smell and taste from start to finish. While it is not complex, I found it to be rather drinkable because it's not too spicy.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 01
Bottled February 2012

Pours a golden color with a light orange tint, smallish head that fizzles fast away, not much lacing on the glass, no cap.

Smell is quite interesting and appropriate for the name, I actually get a quick whiff of pepper at the beginning that almost makes me feel like I should sneeze.

Holy crap this beer is spicy, like spicy peppery hot, leaves a lingering burning feeling, the malt tries its best to cool down and balance things but the peppercorn overwhelms everything.

This would be a perfect beer for hot wings!

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.17/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

650ml bottle. Shaker glass @ Cervecería Freiburg. Golden brass color, veiled appearance. White froth leaves a thin but lasting layer on top. Belgian yeast, hints of bread, mildy toasted malts & spices as well as subtle Brett touch. Soft malty upfront & sparkling sensation. Increasing peppery & spiced flavors. Medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. Oily & funny palate. Long spicy finish & aftertaste. Complex beer.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip. Pours a golden color with slight rim of white lacing. Looks nice but not outstanding. Smell is great...lots and lots of peppercorn mixed with saison yeast. Awesome caramel malt mixed with saison yeast and hops...and lots of pepperco. It works so well...really nice. Its a bit spicy but good. Overall its not the best saison but its exactly what it says it is...and it works so well. Nice unique brew.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the CBC yesterday during the Sox' Opening Day rainout. Now that's as good a Plan B as you can hope for. Serve it up, Meat...in a tulip.

Pours a straw-golden honey color...quite a nice dry white head up top...about a finger. Mild chill haze with a fair amount of carbonation. Retention is solid and lacing is decent.

DAMN! We read that there are several varieties of peppercorns in this batch. Well, they're all firing on the same high-functioning cylinders. This is so nice and dry that the peppercorns...even the pink ones, come off as so fresh and spicy it isn't funny. Dry-hopped peppercorns? Dry rub? Only beef is that I don't get much more nose than the PCs...maybe faint wheat and light malt with a touch of yeast electricity and some Styrian Goldings straw-pine, but it's not called Sgt. Hop...

This stays true to form from the nose throughout. Fresh, raw peppercorns are the spicy star here. Core ingredients provide unobtrusive supporting cast, remaining quite clean.

Carbonations works in tandem with peppercorns to provide even spicier touch to the palate. No trace of booze or sweetness...the yeast strain cleaned it all up. Finish is crisp to say the least.

I enjoy this change-up for my favorite style. It's one filthy screwball in baseball terms yet it's not for everyone. The utterly crisp, dry and lively character of this upstart burns just a tad from the pepperiness but it's an enjoyable pain. I forget what CBC said about timing of peppercorn additions (20 and 5 with dry "hop" maybe), but they hit it perfectly. Maybe a touch out of style without the yeast electricity but this is exceptionally well-crafted and brutally enjoyable.

Photo of JOHNKNEEGEEZ
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the peppercorn at the tail end of the palate! Great brew!

Photo of Dwkasper
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Great beer. Enjoyed this and would drink again

Photo of jneiswender
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a liter bottle into a tulip glass. Served cool.

Pours a copper body and a white head that is thick at first but then quickly goes down.

Smell is faint belgian smelling yeast and very pronounced black pepper flavor.

Hops are there and so is grain but the main flavor is the peppercorns. You know what you are drinking here.

Light and okay carbonation.

I really like this beer. If you say pepper on the label, I want to taste pepper. That happens here. However, farmhouse ales and saisons are beautiful beers to look at . The body is very nice on this but the head sucks. Please cork these beers.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

@ Atwoods, Somerville MA

Arrived amber colored with a tight, thin head in a 12oz princess glass. I hate hipster Cambridge/Somerville small pours. Aroma is an abrasive melange of spices, I'm guessing several different peppercorns and rye is distinctive. Tastes even pepper-ier than it smells. Between the pepper and rye spice and dry finish this is a in your face saison. I can get behind that. I was worried about the caramel malts due to the color of this beer but it's not as caramel/bready as it looks. I consulted the Cambridge website and sure enough it's caravienne. Far too aggressive to have more than one.

I like that Cambridge wasn't afraid to push the spice as far as they did.

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another brewery that contracts out to Ipswich, MA’s Mercury Brewing Company – these guys must be good. Cheers!

Bottled more than eight months before the date of this tasting: 01/31/2013.

A: Golden-amber, fizzy, light haze. Head of soft white fizz with short but lasting retention.

S: A brisk, spicy nose with massive amounts of fresh-ground black pepper. Dry, floral yeast scents compliment with notes of clove tea, lemon juice, and a tart, grapefruit-rind funk. Powerful, intriguing.

T: Stings with a black pepper kick to start and a long-lasting habanero heat that you can feel going all the way down. Tastes of light vanilla, ginger, coriander, and grass are mixed in by the yeasts; malt flavors, on the other hand, provide a subtle backdrop of biscuit dough that thickens the palate. The aftertaste is fruity, mild, and slightly sweet, like peach pulp, with lingering chili pepper heat and a note of sesame.

M: Soft, flat texture, only mildly carbonated when compared to your standard farmhouse ale. Thin for an ale with such an upfront flavor profile.

O: Sgt. Pepper has a solid focus on spice and heat, and if it were only a bit less watery, it would be a miracle of a beer. As it stands, it’s still a wonderful interpretation of all that the peppercorn world has to offer to beer drinkers – who knew a pepper bomb could be so pleasing?

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Sgt. Pepper from Cambridge Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 298 ratings.