Saison Du BUFF - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Saison Du BUFFSaison Du BUFF

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

1,179 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,179
Reviews: 512
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 14.21%
Wants: 47
Gots: 56 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 05-05-2010

Brewed in collaboration w/ Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Stone Brewing Company, and Victory Brewing Company, who each brewed a version at their own breweries.

Brewed with Parsley, Sage, Estate Rosemary & Thyme. Checkout the video for more:  http://vimeo.com/11419846 
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,179 | Reviews: 512
Photo of Stinkypuss
1.44/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: A bright gold in color with a bone white head and some lacing.

Smell: Herbal notes coupled with some malt and hops. Its just immensely spice rack smelling.

Taste: Sharp and biting herbs. Sage comes through with some medicinal qualities, followed by the distinct taste of parsely and rosemary,with the parsely adding clorophyll to the beer which was out of place. Any subtle saison qualities have been over powered. Even for a spiced beer this is out of hand. Am I drinking potpourri blended with pasta spices? The spearmint and peppery notes from the blend are lost on the palate. All in all it becomes a mess of herbs that would be great in a stew or pasta, but awful in a beer. Where are the Saison qualities? Lost in the murk or perhaps not there at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a lingering herbal finish that almost tastes like a poorly made soup. Perhaps too many cooks in the kitchen in this case.

Drinkability: Pretty horrid. I would stay far away from this beer.

Overall: Epic Fail. I'd rather pour miller lite on a rag, wipe my spice rack clean and then drain it into a glass and drink it. This one tasted awful, if you are seeking a truly great Saison, try Saison Dupont or Saison Voisen.

Photo of Murchmac
1.86/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I hate to rate this beer so low but this is the crowning achievement in the awful stone collaborations. The last two collaborations I refer to as the kitchen spices series.

This beer pours a nice golden yellow with bubbles of carbonation and a 1 finger foam head.

Smells like a good saison at first and then it turns into a pizza or those combo pizza chips they used to sell.

At first interesting and great saison taste, then the herbs kick in. Every other sip is horrible. Then eventually, they all are. Were they trying to brew grass?

1st they brew a pepper ipa? then a spice rack saison? Whats next in the grab a random ingredient from the kitchen a brew a beer collaboration.

That being said, I will always support stone and its their choice to keep brewing whatever the hell they want. Ill probably buy it anyway.

Photo of GeorgieBoy
1.97/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

'BUFF' resembles the oranges & clementines (in color) of the region from which it hails, sunny southern California. Following the pour into tulip this beer takes on a flecked, speckled, textured appearance due to the settling of yeast. The head doesn't have the volume of a true European saison but its collapse duplicates this brew's inspiration perfectly.

I literally have not even finished removing the bottecap before a sweet citrus aroma wafts its way up to my nostrils. Surprisingly my Saison du BUFF seems much more sweet than savory, despite the bottle's warning. More surprising is the lack of my beloved mold, straw, and yeast aromas.

Tart, tangerine, citrus, and artificial cherry. Herbs move all around the palate. Bitter finish that's nearly redeemed by dried fruit until chalkiness chases it away.

Crisp off the sip. Washes over tongue & palate carefree and uncontrolled until its pointed finish.

Not up to snuff on this collaboration, although I’ve heard Dogfish Head’s BUFF is well put together. As disappointed as a true saison lover may be you have to appreciate Stone, Victory, and Dogfish Head for daring to risk their street cred and assuming the costs of such an undertaking.

Photo of DmanGTR
1.97/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Review from notes

Poured a hazy incandescent gold with a fluffy white head that lasted the entire time. But the smell, oh my god, what happened to this beer??? Sure, there's parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme in it. It's an awesome combination on chicken or in Scarborough Fair, but this is awful. It smells like someone took a spice bag, added some herbs to it, and boiled it in a pilsner. Then threw brettanomyces in there and let it ferment a couple months. Spice tea gone bad. Ugh this is unbearable. Sorry Stone, Victory, and DFH. I love you guys but this was the worst beer I've ever had from any of you.

Photo of jrallen34
2.12/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle. First of all no way is this a saison. Its more like a terrible collaboration where each brewery took one of their beers and they just mixed them together....Gold with a light tan head, nothing in appearance of note...This goes downhill in the aroma, super herbal, horrendous spice, almost smells like a cactus or aloe lotion. Taste sucks equally, all oily sticky aloe cactus. Might was well cut open a cactus and suck it. Feel is ok, but if you can drink a whole bottle of this sober, you're quite a person.

Photo of jomo
2.34/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Wow,

This beer is a unique beer that is completely out of balance. Instead of dumping loads of hops, they dumped loads of rosemary and herbs. The problem is that the beer is dominated by the herbs, and not in a good way. The rosemary is overpowering resulting in an astringent bitterness, medicinal-like in flavor. Wife says, "tastes like drinking Noxzema"...and she is right.

Worst Stone beer I have ever had.

Photo of AgentZero
2.46/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - A darkish yellow color that popped up a small white head. Looks somewhat carbonated.

S - Odd kind of peppery smell, strange collaboration of spice. Little yeasty with some earth tones. It smells kind of like a spiced mess.

T - I think whoever initially entered this beer on the site mis-classified it. It is not a saison. It's also not particularly good. Just a cluster%^#* of strange spice and tastes all jumbled together. Yeasty, with some herb and pepper, little phenol, kind of a sweet bite for a split second that fades into a skunky grass finish. Bizzare.

M - Light bodied, lots of carbonation, a very effervesent brew.

D - Just don't really like this enough to call it very drinkable.

Photo of HeightsEats
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Sure, this beer is innovative (although Right Brain Brewery did a better version last year) but the flavors just don't mesh too well. The rosemary, sage and thyme are nice, but I swear the parsley (which dominates with grassy chlorophyll) was just thrown in to match the Simon and Garfunkel song. And, while I generally love saisons, the slight sourness makes everything even more confusing. While this is appealing from a novelty perspective, palate fatigue sets in about halfway through one beer.

Photo of ehammond1
2.51/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On Tap

Pizza Port
Carlsbad, CA

Clear goldenrod and yellow with a thin white crown. Spotted lacing down the glass.

A strange, herbal aroma consisting of spicy pepper and rosemary (and thyme?) along with some alcohol presence. This is very strange right off the bat, and nothing at all like I was expecting--even with zero expectations! There's some hop/citrus aromas, but they're not the highlight or standing out.

Strangely herbal flavor dominated by rosemary, thyme, ?garlic?, and a high level of bitterness and some alcohol sting. Nothing marries here particularly well, and doesn't make for an enjoyable drinking experience.

Medium bodied. Ample carbonation.

Perhaps my least favorite beer from Stone. I did not like this, though it was more of an interesting experience/experiment, than it was a bad beer.

Photo of jeffaz02t
2.52/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Golden with a nice white head, not cloudy in any way.

S:Very herbal with spicy pepper undertones. Almost like a really good herbal crusty bread at times. I spent a lot of time sniffing before I tasted as this smell is like no other beer.

T:Starts a little spicy, and then the herbs take over. Too overpowering, covering up the flavors of this brew.

M:thin to moderate mouthfeel. Pretty high in carbonation.

D: The herbs make this beer very undrinkable to me.

Photo of nrbw23
2.54/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

- Pours a slightly hazy straw yellow color with a huge, soapy white head. Head has descent retention and leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Smell is herbal, yeasty and a hint of bread dough.

T- Taste is yeasty funk, herbal and a bit of pepper. Quite a bit of herbs almost over kill.

M- Light in body and good amount of carbonation.

D- Pretty interesting ingredients listed on the bottle for sure. Just think they go better on food rather than beer. Found this one on the harder side to drink. Just didn't have the beer taste that I really enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of MeisterBurger
2.56/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a slightly turbid orangey yellow with a nice frothy head. Laces well.

The aroma is all c-hops and parsley, thyme, tree bark and light potpourri with fresh tangerine peels. Maybe even a little sweet orange soap.

The taste is blech. Soapy. Piney. Waxy. Fresh, grassy herbs. Slightly medicinal. I want to say cactus. Detergent. Decently bitter. It's not awful and definitely one that makes you ponder. But is it good? That you're going to have to find out for yourself. Because I'm not entirely sure if I like it or loathe it at this point.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp yet creamy with just the perfect amount of carbonation.

This was, for me, a saison in name only. More like an American pale ale brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme which registers on my palate more like pumpkin pie spices than anything. Overall this just isn't what I look for in a saison, much less a beer. This could well be a textbook case of "too many cooks spoil the broth" or quite possibly a case where taking traditional English ballad lyrics literally is a really horrible idea. Scarborough Fair is, after all, a song. Not a recipe.

ETA: Not that it matters, but the artwork on the label leaves much to be desired. Which is surprising as Dogfish Head, Stone, and Victory's labels are usually topnotch.

Photo of innersanctum
2.6/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme... and it definately comes through in the mouthfeel. The bouquet clearly transcends all of those herbs, and this is a very pretty beer, but I wasn't looking for a girlfriend.

Hey, I like all of those herbs, even grow them in my garden, but just didn't like the way it came through in the brew. The effort is to be admired, but this concoction was recommended to me by a knowledgeable expert on Saison's and if you're looking for some of the genuine stuff from Belgium then you'll have to look elsewhere.

V8 is great, but not in a carbonated beverage.

Photo of beertunes
2.63/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a bright, clear yellow with just a bit of chill haze. The beer had under an inch of nice white head that had decent retention and minimal lacing.

The aroma has a bold herb and lemon scent (maybe this would be a good marinade for chicken breasts?), with the expected spicy yeast scents buried in the background. On the tongue all that herbiness combines into a slightly unpleasant mess. The yeast flavors I'd been hoping for just barely showed up at the back of the tongue.

The body was average for the style, light and crisp. Drinkability was a little on the hard side, I wouldn't have a second 12oz bottle in a row, and I suspect that a pint would be hard to get through. Overall, I'm not too impressed with this beer, but it's probably worth a shot.

Photo of CHickman
2.67/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

May 2012 review: Pours cloudy yellow gold color with a 2 finger foamy white head that was full of bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving nice spotty lacing and a creamy layer on top.

Smells of herbs up front, like a spice rack; after a few more sniffs I could make out thyme, rosemary, mint, parsley, allspice or cumin and other floral herbs and spices. There was some elements of biscuit, yeast and bread, but the herbs dominated the nose and made the whole smelling experience off – it does not smell like beer at all.

Tastes like a Belgian initially, with thyme, rosemary, pepper, coriander, parsley, light floral hops, yeast, grass, hay, straw, toasted grains and vegetables; like the nose, the herbs seem over the top and were too much for my liking – this tasted better than it smelled, but it was too spicy and herbal to be refreshing.

Mouthfeel is very smooth with very light carbonation, a light/medium body, and a semi-dry earthy herbal finish that was spicy and trailed off with a very complicated mix of herbs and spices.

An interesting experiment, but not what I expected and another beer I’m glad I tried but I would not try again unless it was a food pairing designed to compliment this beer. Each sip had sensory distortion as the aroma coming up through my tulip glass just blasted me with herbs and kept the overall experience out of synch. Gotta support the cause and the craft beer movement, but these misses are like collateral damage in the war to keep the beer machine flowing. One and done on this collaboration.

Photo of jhutch31
2.71/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Ok, I don't like giving reviews this low for any beer, especially one from three breweries that I love. However, I have to say I was disappointed with this collaboration.

Appearance: Polished, cider colored ale that left very little head retention and lacing on the glass.

Smell: Upon the first deep wiff, I immediately thought of a lemon herb ricola. Had a strong smell of herbs, spices, lemon cleaner, like pledge and menthol.

Taste: Unfortunately, the taste mimicked the smell. Some herbal flavors with a very strong lemon chemical flavor and a cold taste of almost like menthol.

Mouthfeel: Very bitter mouthfeel, such as something you would get from extracted tannins. Also a bit of the cold tingling feeling from sucking on a menthol cough drop.

Overall, a very interesting beer, for sure. However, the overall aroma and flavor of this beer was not pleasing. Again, I hate giving this low of a score for these three breweries, but this beer left me dissapponted.

Photo of DerBayer
2.73/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This is a very mixed beer in many many ways. The look is paler than expected with magnificent white head!

The smell is very herbal like a garden full of herbs but excluding hops.

The taste is actually of parsley and basil and thyme very different - pleasant enough at first.

The second half of the bottle is very challenging to finish though...

Photo of GatheringBrews
2.74/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Certainly a unique beer.

Pours a light golden color, puffy white head that laces well.

Aroma is intensely herbal, which follows through into the flavor. Hints of hops, malt, barnyard, but a bit overwhelmed by the herbal aromatics.

Taste is dominated by the aromatics, sage, thyme, pepper.

Photo of Georgiabeer
2.74/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really wanted to like this beer, and the pour was nice enough- nice golden color, and a very white head with nice loft to it. Unfortunately, the rosemary destroys this beer. Very powerful aroma and flavor that just overwhelms everything else. Very singular note here. Sharp and herbal in the mouth, this just isn't my cup of tea.

Photo of hoptrip619
2.74/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a bright sunny golden color, pillowy white head, ample carbonation.

S- Smells like one of those incense and candle stores that the girlfriend or wife drags you into. An amalgamation of herbs and spices...

T- This little number is trying to do too much! Over powering herbal and soapy flavor. I'm taken back to kindergarten and having my mouth washed out with soap for saying F#$K on the playground.

M- If you can get past the feeling of being drowned in a tub filled with perfumed bath salts, it does have a nice crisp and effervescent character.

D- I had to try it, I'm glad I did, and I'm glad this one was priced reasonably...

Photo of sandiego67
2.74/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I attended the kick-off event a few weeks ago when Dogfishead and Victory were at Stone Brewing to kick-off the collaboration and got to taste some of the wort made that day.

Last Sunday, I had the final product on tap at Stone Brewing.

I appreciate when brewers push the envelope and encourage collaborations but this one just didn't work.

The appearance is a nice clear yellow with little carbonation. Pleasant enough.

Smell, Taste and Drinkability are all highly interrelated in this beer. It is very herbal. I don't know which herb gives it the grassy flavor but it is a little overpowering. This beer might be ok in small samples but too earthy to make it enjoyable for a full pint.

Mouthfeel is as expected. Light and not very malty.

I bought a few bottles at Stone and will give it another try later to see if my opinion changes.

Photo of alcstradamus
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a nice golden yellow with a finger and a half of head that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is very strongly spiced and herbal...wowee. Heavy notes of lemon peel and banana as well. The alcohol is noticeable at 6.8%.

The flavor is herbal and alcoholic. Not as much depth as I would have guessed from the nose. A bit musty too. Not really tasty at all actually.

The body is light and carbonation is spot on. Overall this is just unfortunately not a good beer.

Photo of bonsreeb85
2.76/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Soapy white lid over a golden straw colored see through body.

Wow, this is one incredibly spice heavy aroma. I get about everything but the kitchen sink in this one. Mint, basil, rosemary, sage, tarragon, pepper, piney hops, lemon pepper and some orange rind??

THe taste is both herbal, spicy and bitter. Very dry and refreshing, however I am not pleased by all of the spices. It seems like a bit much. Just kinda messy to be honest.

Nice feel on this one. Very light, crisp and carbonated.

A good idea on paper, I like the concept. THat said I feel like there is just a bit too much going on in this beer. It is too busy and kinda messy. I am glad I got to try this collaboration from 3 of my favorite brewers.

Photo of kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Disney scotch ale glass (yes, they exist...) in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the breweries. I'm growing increasingly skeptical of collaboration brews anyway. ABV is 7.7%; this is the 2012 vintage.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour head of okay cream, decent thickness, and pretty good retention for the high ABV. Colour is a clear yellow-copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Delightfully malty, with a heavy herbal and spicey character that I quite fancy. I get parsley and rosemary per the label, but not thyme so much. Some honey. In any case it's quite fresh and appealing. I can't wait to try it, though I'm disappointed that no yeast comes through. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Herbal, with some of its character bordering on medicinal. Honey comes through along with clean straw and bright malts. I wouldn't call it full-bodied, but it's fresh and flavourful. Well balanced and built, though it lacks complexity or much subtlety. I do like it for what it is. It's too sweet, especially on the climax. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet - a bit too much so. Too thick. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but lacking depth or much complexity. It's almost a bit too fresh for its own good, as though they should have held onto it before bottling. It feels fresh from the fermenter, but that isn't necessarily a good thing. I'd try the other variations, but I wouldn't get this one again. Saison fans should look elsewhere.

C

Photo of wyattshotmaker
2.81/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

poured into a tulip, nice clear looking golden color. smells like pasta. very herbal, tomato-y.

rosemary and thyme dominate, parsely finishes it out. really over spiced. i don't want to feel like i'm drinking spaghetti sauce.

mouthfeel is light, drinkability is not good. this beer is way over spiced. i'm okay with spiced beer but this beer pushes the limit.

maybe i have terrible taste but i don't want to feel like im drinking spaghetti sauce in a saison.

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Saison Du BUFF from Stone Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,179 ratings.