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Sgt. Pepper - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sgt. PepperSgt. Pepper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

85 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 85
Hads: 316
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 13
Gots: 40 | 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: 85 | Hads: 316
Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev +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. (1,293 characters)

Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev +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. (690 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (872 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (901 characters)

Photo of kanno
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (833 characters)

Photo of brother_rebus
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (272 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (431 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
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! (1,292 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (1,461 characters)

Photo of rebelthrower
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 1, bottled in February 2012.

A - Orange/golden yellow color a little bit of a haze. Big white head. Took a long time to go down. Very little to no lacing.

S - A bit of the peppercorn. And a bit herbaly and Belgian yeast.

T - A little citrus. Peppercorn comes through at the end.

M - Smooth, medium to light carbonation. Tingling in the throat from the peppercorn.

D - I really like the peppery. To me it was very drinkable. (436 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (1,032 characters)

Photo of alexbutler
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (835 characters)

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
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? (1,356 characters)

Photo of axeman9182
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, bottled in February of 2012. It was poured into my Duvel tulip.

Sgt. Pepper pours a color that bounces between orange and tangerine, depending on the strength of the backlighting. Clarity is pretty good and the beer ends up crowned by almost three fingers of just off white foam. Head retention is very good, and some spotty lacing is left behind. The nose is fairly aromatic, but perfume-y, spicy peppercorns are pretty much the only thing to come through. There's a brief swirl of pale fruits at the beginning of each sip, lots of granny smith apple and just a bit of pears. From there the peppercorns come in and close out the beer. There's a little bit of heat, but also a good amount of flavor coming through. The body, while dry, is not as bone dry as you'll find in some saisons. The carbonation is fairly active, probably helping highlight the peppercorns similarly to the way it does hops. Sgt. Pepper is a good, fun twist on a saison, and another above average offering from Cambridge Brewing Company. (1,026 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad on 11/1/2009 in a 10oz glass. The beer is transparent gold with no head (ugly bar pour).

This isn't too surprising, but the nose has a lot of peppercorn. I detect white pepper, lemon, and orange. It's phenolic with grassy notes. It's a nice balance of spicy peppercorn and fruity esters.

The taste is very spicy, with peppercorn and white pepper. The white pepper attacks from the back of my tongue and up into my nasal cavity. Citrus flavors are of lemon and subtle orange. The finish is very spicy with grassy notes and lingering citrus. An interesting take on the style. (614 characters)

Photo of PEBKAC
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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. (734 characters)

Photo of hsway
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap in to a 12 oz. or so tulip glass.

A: Nice reddish color with a lingering off-white head and some lacing. Quite pretty, actually, but I'm a sucker for tulip glasses.

S/T: Very, very peppery. I couldn't quite identify the taste at first, but I knew it was spicy. Then I read the name and description and put two and two together. I really liked this aspect of the beer - quite unusual. Nice Belgian yeasty backbone.

D: One was enough, thanks. (457 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
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! (550 characters)

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (549 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from batch 1.

Hazy copper with a short-lived head of white. A mostly placid surface with a thread of foam around the edges.

Apples, honey, fruit loops, cloves and a hint of mango in the nose.

Light bodied with a crispish mouthfeel.

Honey-drizzeled biscuity malt with pepper burn on the palate. Earthy spice and pepper heat follow through.

Finishes with a lingering pepper burn and a trace of crackery malt.

The bottled version is way more peppery and hot than I remember the draught version being. The bottled version is also suffering from low carbonation for the style. (591 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
3.81/5  rDev 0%
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?) (321 characters)

Photo of jneiswender
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (611 characters)

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. (692 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at CBC

Hazy golden-amber pour with a wispy white head that stuck as a ringlet and left a few dots of lacing on the glass. Aroma of toasted grains, peppery spice, with hints of earthy yeast. They weren't kidding with the peppercorn aspect of this beer, as it was front and center in the taste, earthy yeast, pale malts, and a mild fruity sensation. Body was light-medium, moderate carbonation, making for an interesting and quaffable brew overall. (465 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (279 characters)

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