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Sgt. Pepper - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sgt. PepperSgt. Pepper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

87 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 87
Hads: 324
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 28.5%
Wants: 15
Gots: 43 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sgt. Pepper Alström Bros
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Reviews: 87 | Hads: 324
Photo of Bendurgin
2.54/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass. This one pours a clear golden color with a thick fluffy white head.

The aroma is full of spicy pepper. Hints of saison characteristics in the background, but the pepper dominates. The pallet is mostly spicy pepper. Again hints of yeast and some other saison characters but the pepper really takes the forefront.

The body is light with a bit to much carbonation. Overall this one is simply not very good. The pepper detracts to much from this resembling a saison.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Reagan1984 for this oddity. Batch 1 from February 2012. Served in a tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to a thin ring, wisps, and minimal lace. Hazy peach flesh body.

S - Tons of peppercorns, spicy esters, herbal and zesty hops(?), and some peach and other stone fruits from the malts.

T - Taste is overwhelmed with white pepper flavor, as well as some vegetal notes, and spicy black pepper and chile heat? Maybe a touch of saison in the periphery.

M - Smooth body, with zesty carbonation, and a very dry finish. No obvious alcohol, which is a plus.

D - Too peppery, even for my tastes. Not the easiest beer to drink. Kind of interesting to try, but Jason and I barely finished our pours.

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Photo of Jwale73
2.98/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle procured at Julios. Pours a semi-hazy, dull orange hue with a loose, bright white head that dissipates into a tight band around the shoulders. Nose expresses peppercorn and citrus rind - I can almost smell the heat off the pepper. The taste just has an enormous pepper presence that is borderline unpalatable. I see nothing in the flavor profile that is akin to any saison I've ever had. Consistency on the mouthfeel is somewhat watery and there is definitely a bit of residual pepper burn that lingers between quaffs. In terms of overall impressions, all I can say is it's interesting. The pepper is way too intense for me and it is a borderline palate wrecker. Worth experiencing, but definitely best shared amongst many. Not something I need to revisit again.

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Photo of Brew33
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared this over brunch on Mother's Day.

Pours a very nice, bright gold with a small crop of bubbles. The smell is all belgian yeast with the slightest bit of spiciness which I can't attribute to the yeast or peppercorns for sure. Smells sweeter than anticipated.

Upon first taste it tastes like a very standard or maybe even below average American interpretation of a Saison. Slight;y sweet with some bubblegum flavors. Dry finish. Then, right after you swallow, boom. A really slow pepper burn. Not an assault on your palate but a light, lingering, fresh peppercorn flavor. I have no clue which types of peppercorns were used but I can damn well guarantee that a good portion of those were Pink (or Szechuan) peppercorns. The tingling, numbing effect of pink peppercorns stick with you for some time.

The mouthfeel was fine. I usually like a crisp mouthfeel in Saisons and this was a touch creamy for my liking.

Overall, a neat experiment. Not something I would revisit but my Dad and my brother seemed to like it. I'd like to try another beer like this with better execution of the base beer.

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Photo of alphagnome
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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3.17/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the brewpub back in March 2009.

A: Slightly reddish with a decent head and lacing that sticks fairly well.

S: The aroma of all the types of pepper is quite appetizing.

T: While the pepper was good in the smell, there's just a little too much going on here--it's simply overpowering. Aside from the pepper, I can pick out some sweetness and a little bit of the Belgian yeast character.

M: Fairly light body, but again overtaken by the pepper.

D: Okay. I really like this brew in theory, but the execution was just a little bit off.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
3.21/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from day two of the CBC 20th anniversary party on may 9, 2009

this was the second course of the anniversary prix fixe pairing dinner. paired with a braised rabbit dish.

similar appearance to the cask version i had at nerax, maybe more head, although retention isn't great. some lacing, but less than hoped.

aroma and flavor are just underwhelming now. this is in comparison to the newly released batch in late april, in both cask and tap versions. don't know if this is the same batch, but if so, the peppercorns have faded substantially with age. underneath, it's just a very plain, barely-better-than-average saison. what made this creation unique before is now gone. it's okay with the food, although even the mild spicing in the dish was starting to overtake the beer.

feel is a bit thinner too, but maybe i'm just too disappointed?

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

First review since it's gone back to the old format. I used to separate my reviews by appearance, smell, etc. but I like just free flowing better and will not revert. This was a bottle. It poured an orangey color with a softer head. Nose was mild. Yeast and subtle, sweet malt. Spicy and peppery. Flavor was fairly phenolic. The peppery notes are pronounced. Peppercorn and Saison yeastiness. Some bready malt and sweetness. Medium bodied. Lingering peppercorn. Didn't relly like is one all too much. Happy it was split.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.29/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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Photo of asaharyev
3.29/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Clear light amber with about a half inch of white fluffy head.

Aroma: Aggressive black pepper, a bit of funk, nice saison yeast character, and a bit of hay.

Taste: A wallop of black pepper up front with a hint of funk from the yeast. Nice subtle spices under the pepper, making for a good saison.

Overall: A nice saison, but the pepper overpowers some of the delicious Belgian yeast flavor a little too much for me.

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Photo of harrymel
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First bottling, Feb, 2012

Pours a hazy gold on amber with a broken sheet of light cream foam. Smells of peppercorn right out the gate, nice sweet malts with biscuit and grain tones. Esters from the belgian yeast add nice accents along the nose. Flavor has some initially sweet, wheaty character, then the peppercorns come through in an almost spicy nuance. The yeast comes through with a bit of a coriander and seeds of paradise tone. Nice dry belgian yeast comes through. Medium on heavy bodied with a lighter carb and wet finish. Nice beer overall, don't know that I'd buy twice, maybe once the weather warms a bit.

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Photo of smcolw
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not much head and what's there settles to rom bubbles. No lace. The liquid is straw-gold color with a haze.

Sour and earthy aroma. Light black pepper in the program.

The black pepper is the predominant flavor here. It makes for an interesting blend with the traditional farm house sourness and earthy flavors. Solid body with an above average carbonation level.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Batch #1

Hazy orange color. White head at first, but diminished to nothing awfully quick. Mild carbonation. Light sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

I find the aroma a bit subtle, maybe because of the carbonation level. But what is there is very nice. Spicey farmhouse yeast, blended with a pepper spice.

I like the pepper+Saison combo, but the pepper is quite overpowering in the beer. Hops and grains are sort of lost in the pepper. Some citrus notes happening but... not a pleasant flavor for me.

Mouthfeel is kind of thicker than I'm used to on a Saison. Pepper is noticeable in the mouthfeel, and almost lends a heat from the spices which I like.

Not in love with this beer. I did like it more and more as my palate adjusted. But somewhat abrasive flavors.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. The color is golden with orange hues. There is a small off-white layer. Lacing is non-existant.

The aroma is full of black pepper; not much else.

The flavor starts out with mild malt flavor. This is light in flavor. There is a mild typical saison yeast flavor following, which indicates some spice, but this is quickly overrun by hot, spicy black pepper.

This is light in body, with nice crisp carbonation. This is a bit one-dimensional, but it's tasty and fun to try. I always enjoy having pepper beers.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I've had this a few times now, hard to forget this one. Thanks to Kevin for splitting this one.

Poured to my Unibroue tulip hazy orange with some flecks. A small white head forms to a thick ring with a few spots as the cap, bits of lace left.

Good amount of peppery spice in the scent, some lemony and farmy yeast and bread. A bit on the simple side.

Huge pepper spice in the taste, like chewing on peppercorns, lingering long after swallow. Some yeast/bread, light fruit (apple, orange), herbal-ness, but the saison part is nearly smothered with spice.

Good body, with a nice foaminess to it. Big spice builds up with every sip.

I do enjoy it, but the pepper is way too strong in my opinion - I'm good with this after a few ounces. I appreciate the spice but wish it was integrated better.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

"Holy peppercorn, Batman!"

Cambridge's not-so-subtle, pepper infused, Belgian-style Saison kicks off with an exuberent golden pour. Lightly hazed, the bubbly elixir thrusts its carbonation into a fluffy, short statured head that cowers to the pepper additions and falls apart relatively soon after the pour, leaving no meaningful lace behind.

But the aromas are alive with the tingle of freshly cracked black peppercorns. As the spice tantelizes the olfactory senses, other background notes lurk in the pepper's shadows: green apple, pear, and berries give a fruity tone that make the low-lying malt a bit more apparent.

And its the taste of pepper that dominates the flavor profile. Early grain sweetness is lightly bready and dryly starched. But then the spicy pepper taste greets the front of the tongue with husky, rye-like character except it continues to intensify to near capsasin-like taste. Although soft under-ripened orchard fruit and yeast spices keep the beer wine-like, the sharpness of peppercorn makes the more finesse elements in balance go largely unnoticed.

The dry malt taste translates well to texture, but allows for the abruptness of peppercorn to spike the tongue with intense heat and prickling sensations. Finishing hot from the spice additions, the beer dries early on the palate and stays that way through the aftertaste.

In general, the Saison base beer is solid but not absolutely authentic. But the peppercorn additions through the balance way off for me. I'm sure that those who prefer hotter cuisine than I will appreciate the beer much better. I'm glad I split the large bottle with a friend as the whole contents would surely incite heartburn.

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Photo of DrJay
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Batch 01. Clear orange with a fluffy, light beige cap. Good head retention, spotty lacing. Aromas of sour wheat, grain and spice, hint of banana and bubblegum. Mild sweetness throughout, grainy and grassy, some wheat, lots of spicy pepper mid-palate through the finish that really lingered. Med/light body, airy carbonation, nice texture. An interesting beer, but the pepper was a bit overpowering for me after about half a glass.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours medium amber with an off-white head that does not last. No lace.

Spicy toasted malt and black peppercorn in the nose.

Toasted malt and yeasty funk up front, some fruit too. Peppercorn flavor comes thru with moderate bitterness and a pepper bite at the end.

Medium body, low carbonation.

Just ok. A spicy rye and peppercorn farmhouse brew. The pepper gets to be too much at the end, and limits the volume you'd drink, or want to have.

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Photo of maximum12
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ferillo for this amongst other lovely rye beers...this is the last survivor. Pop! Now it's not. I'll wager this is one of the odder descriptions I've seen on a label. Peppercorns, rye, saison, Belgian yeast...time to dive in. 22 oz. bomber split in two. Batch 1 bottled February 2012, props & points to Cambridge for the clear dating.

Pour is a not cloudy but not clear orange. Nose is like sniffing raw black pepper off a mirror in an '80's movie - yowza. Anybody who can smell something else is either a better man, a liar, or a canine.

Sgt. Pepper could never be sued in a court of law for false advertising. Pepper! But unlike the nose, other components do raise their hands. First is a light yeasty shot of Belgium, then a fleeting glimpse of lemony saison & wheat, before the pepper comes on & the screen goes blank. Pepper! Then pepper. More pepper. Whatever nice subtleties arrive in the first swig are gone quickly as pepper conquers the world & enslaves all. Mild heat builds after repeated sips. This should be a chore to drink, but it's not. Huh.

I wouldn't want to drink this every day, & there's no hint of rye underneath the glacier of pepper, but this ain't bad. If you're looking for pepper, seek no further. Good beer.

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Photo of TheBeerDrinker
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours out orange in color with a 3 finger white head with great retention and some nice lacing.

Smell is a little spice, some orange, pineapple, a TINY little bit of funk.

Taste definately has some spice that I can't put a finger on, there is a little citrus, a tiny bit of funk but I would have to say that the spices are really the forefront of the beer.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin as one would expect. Maybe a tiny bit more than thin but that's about right for the style.

Overall it pours out really nice, the smell and taste are OK for the style and the mouthfeel is to be expected. Nothing to get excited about compared to a Belgian saison but it's OK.

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Photo of Either_Aether
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Golden orange and a bit cloudy

Smell - Instantly notice a strong peppery haze

Taste - The saison characteristics find themselves on the backburner, while the peppercorn flavors emerge to the forefront. I would have liked these two to have been switched. One can notice a subtle hint of lemon on the tip of the tongue.

Moutfeel - Not too full, not too thin. The beer lost it's fullness with time, however.

Overall - The beer deserves some kudos for thinking outside the box, but I feel the saison style was not represented to the extent I would have liked.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz, 01/30/13 (I think)
Riedel tulip

A: Hazy yellow orange color. Initially full finger of night white.

S: Spice from the pepper. Sweet malts. Might have been a bit old.

T: Spice up front. I thought I would get more pepper ala Saison from this. Sweet and bready.

M: Medium bodied.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy, golden amber. Topped by a white head that thins to film and leaves a bit of lace. The white pepper is the strongest component of the aroma, but there are also notes of caramel and a hint of Belgian yeast fruitiness.

Sweet malts upfront with a bit of caramel and banana fruitiness in the center. The finish is very peppery with a good amount of accompanying heat. Good but a bit peppery for my taste. Medium-bodied, vigorous carbonation and a lingering, warming spice.

An interesting, flavorful beer, but the spiciness is a bit much.

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Photo of Billolick
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
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

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Sgt. Pepper from Cambridge Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.