Sgt. Pepper | Cambridge Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
85
very good
87 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
87
Ratings:
328
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
28.5%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
45
For Trade:
0
Sgt. PepperSgt. Pepper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
farmhouse ale with rye and peppercorns

Added by ClockworkOrange on 03-18-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 328
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 ktblue22
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I absolutely adore this beer. Farmhouse and Saisons are definitely my favorite style, and I love the way that CBC gave this their own signature kick. The peppercorns are a wonderful addition at the back of your palate, accentuating the dryness of the saison. I had this first at ACBF this weekend, and just had to find it again.

The color on this beer is very dark for a Farmhouse, but it is still a crisp, clear and delightfully dry brew. I highly recommend this - I can't wait to try more from CBC

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

First batch, bottled Feb 2012.1

Pours a descent fizzy 1/2 finger head that fades semi quickly, crystal clear golden almost nectar orange color.

Nose has lots of belgian malts, golden malts with some sweetness, hints of Belgian yeast esters, and plenty of pepper aromas, touches of bright fruit.

Taste brings plenty of pepper right off, peppercorns, a bit of green pepper and quite spicy peppercorn, Belgian golden malts, juicy malts with a bit of bright fruit and touch of esters both from the yeast. Hint of yeast spices and a light farmhouse like yeast flavors. Finish is a bit drier, quite spicy from the peppercorns, hint of malts.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall interesting and tasty, nice Belgian malts, spices fruits and hint if esters from the yeast, and a nice dose of pepper.

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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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Photo of bpk59
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a bomber into a Duvel tulip.

Beer is a golden yellow color. A 1-finger head quickly dissipated into a foamy halo. There was no lacing to speak of.

Aroma consists of belgian spices and light citrus balanced against some sweet malts. I expected more pepper on the nose...

But the taste more than makes up for the lack of pepper in the nose. Great complexity here. Starts off with the light citrus, then a little spice, and finish with huge peppercorn taste. There's almost a subtle heat to it too after a few mouthfuls.

Mouthfeel is solid for a saison - perfect carbonation, light bodied and crisp. Super easy drinking.

Overall, what a pleasant surprise this beer was. When a beer mentions that it's brewed with something as the predominant spice, that had better be the predominant spice. Here, the black pepper is big and bold. It makes a great play against the taste of the light, crisp saison.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at CBC

A - a nice hazy yellow color with a good half inch creamy head

S - peppercorn, citrus, spice quite an inviting smell on this.

T - delicious peppercorn mixes well with citrus other various spices and wheat.

M - good carbonation

O - wasn't sure what to expect with this but this beer was quite tasty and definitely be having another one while its on tap.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a thin white head that fades quickly. The nose is a super, fresh peppe with some sweetness and yeast. This beer screams peppercorn more than any pepper beer I've had (Beatrice, white magic). The aftertaste has a slightly peppery bite and it almost triggers my sinuses for a sneeze, but not quite. Very tasty beer that drinks like a spicy Saison and has potent notes of peppercorn as well.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bright orange and slightly hazed, with very little head. Lovely aroma of woodsy black, bright pink, resinous green, and musky white peppercorns, all present and accounted for against a backdrop of honey, pear, and cornbread. If I had to guess I'd have pegged this as some kind of lager, as there doesn't seem to be much of a yeast footprint – at least not a 'farmhouse' one.

Flavor starts off pleasant if a bit bland, then builds into something quite interesting and quite hot! Malty sweetness is followed by hoppy-yeasty white fruitiness, and then the onslaught of pepper. How do you describe the flavor of these four peppers in different terms? Sort of gingery, sort of clovey, sort of wheatgrassy, sort of peaty, and very capsaiciny. A hint of cinnamon. The heat is very rounded – punchy and slow-burning at the same time. It's all carried by a very nice, soft and dry mouthfeel with carbonation that seems to support but also mellow the pepperiness. Tasty stuff – not an everyday beer because of its intensity, but still very good. Possible food pairings: white fish, king prawns, filled pasta/dumplings, caprese salad, creamy pasta.

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Photo of jimboothdesigns
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a nice cloudy straw color with a hint of amber/red. Smells fantastic and just like pink peppercorns, honey, cloves and citrus. Little to no head. Nice taste with a mild heat that lasts start to finish. Medium with nice carbonation.

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Photo of pburland23
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch no. 1. Bottled February 2012.

Picked this up while in Boston over Easter. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into my CBS snifter.

Appearance: Beer pours a slightly hazed dark golden amber. Carbonation releases a thin wispy layer of slightly off white head.

Smell: The beer is brewed with five different types of pepper and they dominate the nose. The pepper is complimented nicely by the Belgian yeast. No real hops or malt smell.

Taste: Wow. What a great tasting beer. At the beginning it's all Saison...earthy, fruity and slightly tart. Then at the end, the peppercorns subtly bring warmth to the tongue. It's not overpowering but the taste of pepper is unmistakable. It's an delightfully tasty Saison.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Lightly carbonated and pretty refreshing. You wouldn't think something with peppercorns would be refreshing, but it is. And at 6%, it's pretty drinkable.

Overall: An interesting take on the style. I wasn't sure what to expect from the taste but I was very pleasantly surprised. Well done, CBC.

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Photo of JTWILDOATS
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The bartender enticed me to give this a try, and I'm so glad I did.

Turned out to be a great saison brew--away from the typical citruc/corriander theme of your average saison...this beer focused on PEPPER!!

As described and tasted later on, different peppers could be detected throughout. Cracked black pepper was present in smell and taste--the type of pepper we would crush on a steak to make a nice rub/marinade. After the initial taste, you could also make out a sort of crushed red pepper feel. None of this was too overpowering--as this brew still maintained the traditional Belgian base that we all crave.

The after effect was incredible. A slow and lingering and growing burn ensued--not a burn of alcohol, but rather of pepper and spice. Enjoyed with a basket of fries or alone, a must try.

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Photo of Wowcoolman
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real interesting take on a Farmhouse Ale here. Notes of pepper is often a distinguishing character of the style, here CBC one-ups things by adding whole peppercorns (Black, Green, White, and Pink) to the boil. The CBC website attributes different flavoring characteristics to each type of peppercorn, though most people associate pepper taste with ground black. The pepper is most noticeable on the finish, this is very much a spice beer similar to a chili beer. There are for sure other characteristics, Belgian yeast is used and pleasant barnyard funk is present, but all gets overwhelmed by pepper in the end. Unbalanced? Sure, but this beer goes surprisingly well with food (anything you might grind pepper over) and is refreshingly crisp. A unique beer with a cool hand-drawn psychedelic design. Seek out if you enjoy fresh ground pepper taste. Batch 01 reviewed.

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Photo of rinhaak
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is brewed with five different varieties of pepper, and it shows from the very beginning. There is fire in this nose: lots of pepper aroma, almost reminiscent of Szechuan pepper corns. The fire doesn't end with the smell, either. With every swallow, there is a slight burning in the back of the throat from the pepper.

This beer really goes nicely with food (I had it with Mexican), as it cuts through the spice. But if the food is too spicy, this beer won't help, as it leaves your tongue dancing!

Overall, though the pepper is lovely, it is almost too strong in that it covers up the Saison characteristics. I would have wanted a little more balance. That said, this is a mighty fine beer definitely worth trying.

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Photo of TWStandley
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of u2carew
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +5.5%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an orange-yellow color and a cloudy texture. There was a two inch, foamy, long-lasting head. Not much lacing.

S: The peppercorns are center stage in the aroma, with some yeast evident as well.

T: Tasted of a lot of peppercorns, spicy Belgian yeast, and some malt as well. The typical saison funkiness wasn't very present, but the flavor here had a lot of character and complexity. Oddly tasty.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a prickly finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Definitely an offbeat take on the saison style. This is a strangely likeable and drinkable beer.

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Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a snifter, the brew appears a clear color of golden yellow with a big white frothy head. The sudsy white topping fades leaving fingers of patchy lace sticking to the glass. A light swirl revives.

The aroma is solid with the advertised pepper. Freshly crushed array of peppercorns but not harsh like the normal black. Taking a guess that white, pink or green were used in a more mellow to almost fruity zesty sense. A touch of saison yeast fruity quality with a bit of earthen aspect is also felt through the nose.

The taste includes a solid array of pepper and fruit. Lots of peppery quality comes off subtle from perhaps the yeast and then gets augmented by the addition of what seems like freshly cracked peppercorns. It is yeasty and spicy with a warming feel. A bit floral and a hint of green bell pepper. The warming sensation across the back of the tongue is reminescent of black pepper.

This is a medium bodied brew with an effervescent level of carbonation. Quite a pleasant warming spice of alcohol accented by pepper. This at times flirts with te heat of crushed red pepper, but not that extreme. If you have never experienced peppery flavor in a saison before, this is the one to really drive that character home. However, it might be off-putting to some. I liked it.

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Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy medium orange pour with a large fizzy slightly off-white head. Just a touch of lacing.

S: Certainly peppery. Lots of nice belgian yeast with cloves, as well as grass and oranges.

T: Lots of orange, grass and yeasty bread with some rye and pepper up front. Aftertaste turns into a BUNCH of black pepper. Not overpowering but not exactly subtle. Almost get a little lingering sting from the pepper - it lasts a long time! Pepper gets even stronger as it warms. A must-have for spicy saison lovers.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, and a little spicy.

O: A nice smooth, drinkable saison with a unique black pepper kick on the back end. I like it, very interesting, tasty and drinkable.

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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 TheManiacalOne
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 3/15/2013 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains wheat, spices, Belgian yeast, bananas, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of spice, bananas and caramel. Then some breadiness comes in from wheat, Belgian yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The spiciness strengthens as you continue to drink the beer. The after-taste is spicy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it’s a good beer to drink if you’re looking for something a little different.

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Photo of kanno
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Obtained from the brewery in a

L: Pours a hazy reddish gold color with a head that dissipates quickly and minimal lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of bananas and cloves, malty and bready. You get a hint of the spice and pepper right away.

T: The belgian yeast flavors start it off, reminding me of a hefe, but then the hops and peppercorns kick in and you're on a whole different ride. A strong peppery finish (even stronger as it warms), but it certainly works and compliments the rest of the beer very well.

F: The crisp mouthfeel and carbonation brings the most out of the spicy flavor of the beer, giving it a little extra kick in that regard. Not too light either.

O: Not something I'd drink every night but a pretty cool beer to stir things up a bit when you're sick of the same old styles. The quality is evident.

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Photo of brother_rebus
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange gold. Little to no head. Smell of yeasty honey spices. Taste brings the same with the hint of rye and a spicy peppercorn finish. Nice carbonation with a fizzy bite up front and smooth wash at the end. Overall delicious and very drinkable. Hope to buy it again.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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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 DefenCorps
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 13th Jan 2013, I paid $9 or so for this. I initially balked, but my time at CBC several years back was great, and so, I had to get this.

A clear honey gold with a dense, white head with decent retention and lacing, this looks solid. The nose shows why this is named so. Peppercorns - black, green and Sichuan (especially the Sichuan) lend a bright spicy and piquant note to the nose. Now, the CBC website tells me they only used white, black, green and pink peppercorns, but the combination of the green and pink pepper with the rye really brings to mind the aromatics in mapo doufu. Honey and rye are present, along with a moderate yeast character that's not particularly saison-like, but will do. It's closer to a fruity/ estery yeast profile rather than a more traditional spicy/rustic yeast character. Quite excellent.

The palate opens with a blend of mild sweetness (honey, cantaloupe), a moderate pepper flavor and a mild heat. The peppercorn flavor is quite excellently expressed here, and pairs well with the honey sweetness that's initially present. The rye is noticeable on the mid-palate. As the beer lingers on the palate, the heat grows and lingers on into the finish, with a fruity pink peppercorn heat. The flavors in this beer are great, but the only disappointment is the palate - it's just too damn watery. Drying, spritzy and peppery on the finish, this has quite a bit of fruity and estery yeast flavors here. Very nice stuff here.

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