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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: 28.23%
Wants: 15
Gots: 42 | 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
Reviews: 87 | Hads: 324
Photo of alexbutler
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of Jerl
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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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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Photo of Stevedore
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Cambridge Brewing Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

A- Hazy straw yellow-orange body with a fair one finger white head. Not much retention or lacing.

S- Lots of peppercorn, some pale malt and yeast spices. Heavy on the peppercorns.

F- Peppercorns, bread, earthy hops, yeast. Pretty strong on the peppercorns, to the slight detriment of the other components of the beer.

M- Medium body, a bit less carbonated than other saisons. Very easy to drink though a bit less refreshing than I'd like. Strong peppery finish.

O- Peppercorns made for a very interesting addition to a solid saison base and seemed to complement it well enough. Definitely worth drinking on a warmer day.

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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 DIM
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a: Slightly ruddy golden, pours with a fluffy, sticky head.

s: Prickly Belgian yeast, light apricot and pear, earthy grains, and noticeable pepper.

t: Nice dry saison up front with spicy rye and a hint of fruit. Big, lingering pepper bite, a bit too much for me.

m: Light and airy.

o: I've never tasted a pepperier saison. Good stuff but 22oz was kind of a chore.

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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 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 KTCamm
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
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?)

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

never really had anything like this beer. poured into a wine glass a moderately cloudy pale orange color, compatible with the label on the bottle. patchy white head is all, but it is very well carbonated despite that. it smells like good hearty saison yeast, and a little citrus, but I don't smell much pepper in this at all. the first sip reminds me of nerds candy. sweet, but then you suck all the color off and you are left with that white crystal that tastes like both sugar and salt. sweet and savory, that's how this one starts. it finishes with a whole lot of pepper though, it continues to intensify long after the swallow, a characteristic that is even more pronounced as the beer warms up. a mix of peppercorns maybe, but no chili. still its a little hot on the tongue. the spice goes well with the natural spice from the yeast, a very unique and intriguing flavor experience. light enough to drink a lot of, and bubbly enough. a great first impression for me from Cambridge, who is just recently in the state of Colorado.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: translucent yellow with orange hue, carbonation evident, fueling a thin sustaining head.
S: subdued yeasty and citrus, nothing overpowering to me, some mild cooking-like spices can be picked out (maybe thyme or rosemary)
T/M: up front spiciness (but I do not consider this first taste peppery). Minor tartness and mellow finish, no dry pull. The pepper "sneaks up on you". I don't notice it much in any sip, but after a few pulls, my tongue is tingling from it. It's an interesting sensation. I've had some chili beers before and would say this is a different sensation, but similar.
O: interesting part noted above, I would like to try this beer again. I think it would be an interesting beer to pair with food, as it isn't overly distinctive in itself (other than the interesting build up mentioned, which is just a small part of the beer.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
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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Photo of stercomm
4.71/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into a nice tulip glass I picked up at Left Hand.

A- Dark golden honey in color with a nice haze. A very big frothy creamy white head that recedes slowly leaving lots of froth on the glass.

S - Getting a nice biscuit malt scent with some spice undertones.

T - Nice complexity in this brew, get malts, spice and of course the peppercorn that give this a nice dry spicy flavor.

M - Dry, medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Not really surprised at the overall scores as most of the folks on this site are into bigger bolder beers. I like this beer as for a farmhouse it has good spicing but the peppercorn helps bring a very nice dryness to the overall flavor with nice malt hints.

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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 msubulldog25
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

How this bottle made it all the way to Portland, Oregon's The Beermongers bottle shop I have no idea... but there it was on Monday night (last one on the shelf). Picked up a 22 oz. bottle and opened it/poured to 2 pint glasses earlier tonight. Watched the swarming swifts dining in the skies above our backyard on a cloudless late summer night.

Orange label with a 60s-psychadelic skew, a flowering turntable

A: Deep golden/honey pour, plenty of carbonation, slightly hazy. Head is white, but very short, barely 1/4" of skim, receding to a ring with a swirl of skim. Broken lace rings, ebbing to speckles and dripping patches.

S: The peppercorn add-in is pronounced! Besides its nose-twitching spiciness, there's a sweet breadiness.

T: Liked the aroma, *really* liked the flavor: lots of (expected) peppercorn, especially in the lengthy finish. Just enough sweetness to offset a sturdy rye spicing. Orange-citrus, even some dry apple - pretty interesting fruitiness.

M: Smooth feel, but not a terribly thick one. Rather light, effervescent. Starchy finish.

O: Tasty beer, its reliance on peppercorn gives a very pleasing dry spicing. Refreshing, clean-ish aftertaste. Very good balance, surprisingly 'Belgian' tasting. Would gladly have more - a very good beer to end the summer with!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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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 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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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 lordofthewiens
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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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 Damian
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank on-tap at Tavern in the Square, Burlington, MA
Served in a pint glass

Near crystal clear, medium amber appearance. The liquid was topped my a thin, white, frothy film that quickly dissipated. No lacing whatsoever.

The aroma was subtle initially. A dry and powdery, Belgian yeastiness was apparent. Generically fruity and sweet with mild spice notes. Clove was most noticeable. Somewhat peppery. As the beer warmed, the peppery notes became much stronger and eventually took over.

The flavor profile was much more punchy and complex than the nose. Lots of sweet malts on the front end. Fruity with crisp, Belgian-y, farmhouse characteristics and spicy esters. The finish was super peppery. Quite spicy and hot in the back of the throat with intense peppercorn notes. All in all, quite interesting

On the palate, the beer felt super creamy and smooth. Slick, supple and pillowy soft.

Sgt. Pepper combines Belgian tradition and American innovation in a really interesting way. Both flavorful and unique, this beer really kept me on my toes. Watch out for those peppercorns!

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Photo of metter98
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of brureview
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer poured a dark honey color with a 1 F thick head into a tulip.

There was a faint aroma of vanilla from the head.

The mouth feel was lightly carbonated- just enough to enhance the style of the beer. Some Saisons are overly carbonated which detracts from the taste profile.

The taste is singular: some tropical fruit, hoppy, with a strong peppercorn finish.

I could taste peppercorns on my tongue minutes after drinking the beer. The presence of the peppercorns diminish only slightly with warming.

Overall, a very different Saison. Not the more common overly carbonated imbalanced Saison, but a beer style brewed very differently with a special edge: fruit, spice and peppercorns.

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