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Saison Du BUFF | Stone Brewing Co.

very good
539 Reviews
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Saison Du BUFFSaison Du BUFF

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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 

Added by Todd on 05-05-2010

User Reviews
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Reviews: 539 | Ratings: 1,299
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a hazy, straw yellow with a white finger width head and decent retention, resulting in a fine lace with nice stick.

Smell - Strong herbal aromas, especially from the sage and parsley. Slightly minty hint; probably due to the thyme.

Taste - Starts with an herbal combination of flavors; somewhat earthy, minty, citrusy and slightly peppery; mid-taste there's a mellow banana note from the yeast, otherwise the brew is fairly consistent in flavor from start to finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and drinkable.

Overall - Very well executed, but not a necessarily a combination of flavors I'm really looking for or craving in a beer. The ingredients list reads off like something you might use to spice up one's spaghetti sauce.

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Photo of bmoriarty
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh, 12 oz. bottle into a half pint tasting glass.

Pours a very clear golden color with a thin pure-white head that faded slowly. Almost looks like a pilsner, which caught me off guard given the name.

Very powerful smell, with the strongest notes being of thyme and parsley, with a bit of lemon. Had a hard time picking out the rosemary, which is unfortunate. Very aromatic, definitely a unique smell that I really enjoyed.

Taste is not as powerful as the smell, at least up front. At first it's simply clean and clear - but the herbs appear in full force as the beer moves to the back of your mouth.

Finely carbonated, great mouthfeel, almost like drinking champagne.

Overall, delicious and easy to drink. No hint of alcohol. Distinctly HERBAL as opposed to the floral/citrusy flavors we're familiar with from hops & white beers.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottling, Stone edition.

A: pale gold with fluffy ivory head; subsides into a thin sheen, some motes of lace

S: picked up the herbal/floral notes from the parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

T: herbal, earthy, grassy, bitter, hoppy, yeasty; little citrus, little oak/wood

M: dry, clean, crisp, bitter

O: if both DFH and Stone are involved, always worth a try - very interesting tasting beer - enjoyed the spice combination, as it came through in both the aroma and flavor

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Photo of tilopud_rye
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I took the suggestion to try this beer not knowing anything about it. When I opened the bottle and smelled what was in there I knew that this would be quite different from beers I've previously tasted. It's a clear see through gold liquid that adopts the colors of whatevers behind the glass. It smells like a garden. The aroma of the herbs blend together to make this smell like a flower garden. The smell alone is relaxing and can take you to a different place. The taste is very unique. I noticed the bottle doesn't say beer anywhere but malt beverage. The flAvor of he herbs has a stronger accent on the overall taste than most recipes that you'd see them in. This is fine and pleasant in this case because they're guided by the light malt and carbonation that present the herbs to your tongue. The herbs still gently tingle on your tongue after a sip. Is a very nice beer for relaxing on a quiet day.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -27.1%
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.


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Photo of FarmerJohnny
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass
No freshness date

A - A hazy golden color with a nice two finger foam from the pour. The beer presents very well.

S - Belgian yeast dominates the smell on this one. Hints of herbs come through as well.

T - A little disappointing at first, but the taste is growing on me. You can very much tell this a belgian style. Banana notes as well as parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme hints. Results in a very herby beer.

M - Full bodied up front with a crisp finish. An alcohol taste lingers well after the finish. Surprising for something that's not the most alcoholic (esp for Stone)

O - A descent beer, not my favorite from Stone and not my favorite of the Collaboration series but I'm glad I tried it. Fans of the Saison style beer should definitely try this one out

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Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage

a - poured a two-fingers thick fluffy white head into a tulip glass that had great retention throughout. the body was a slightly bubbly and bright golden color.
s - very sweet and floral with a hint of earthiness.
t - bready, grassy, fruity and spicy.
m - bubbly and medium mouthfeel.
o - very drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The best Saison I have tried so far though I have only had 2 so far.

Pours out a yellow with hints of orange, a big fluffy white head and a lot of carbonation.

The smell is heavy on the herbs used, especially the rosemary and there are a lot of earthy and slightly fruity notes too.

The taste is dominated by the herbs used and there are hints of fruits and it has a slightly bitter and dry quality to it.

Very easy and refreshing to drink. These breweries should do more together.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 12 Jan 2012. Served in the (512) One snifter.

Big lacy off white head. Well carbonated. Cloudy dark gold in color. Aroma is herbal, like a Simon and Garfunkel song, but with yeast and mint. Starts quite herbal, rosemary and sage are dominant. Somewhat sweet and fairly yeasty. Medium fizzy body, warming ethanol. Herbs linger in the finish and aftertaste. Somewhat drying towards the end.

Interesting take on the style but this wouldn't be an everyday saison for me.

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Photo of BigCheese
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale yellow/straw, very light in color, white head quickly dissipates, no lacing.

S: Some coriander and cumin soapy/pepper, belgian yeast, funky, candy sweet.

T: Spicey up front, a vast array of aromatic spices, cumin, corriander, cloves, all spice, curry, cilantro all come to mind. Some banana-y yeast flavors, hard candy. A fresh dash of hops help clean it up. I've never had a brew so spice based. Very complex/hard to identify flavors.

M: Medium carbonation, pretty light body, ABV doesnt come through in taste.

O: This is like curry in a bottle, crazy ammount of developed spices, other than initial spice kick not a hole lot going on though, minimal malt/hop flavors. One of the more unique beers I've had. Nothing I would drink everyday but one of the best "tick" beers out there. Give it a try as I dont think you'll have anything similar.

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Photo of MeneerBeerSnob
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At Churchkey DC on draft poured into a tulip

A-Pours a clear golden hue with a finger and half of off white head.

S-Strong, nearly overwhelming, smells of sage, rosemary and thyme with a background of Belgian yeast and lemon pepper.

T-All the herbs, lemon pepper and yeast blend beautifully into a flavor unique from anything I've tasted before.

M-Dry and light allowing the herbs to shine before a lovely crisp finish.

O-Very unique Saison and would definitely recommend to fans of the style looking for something different.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to tulip the beer arrives a brilliant golden color, fairly opaque in nature, with a decent 1.5 finger white head, good retention and lacing. Fairly translucent. The nose is an aggressive blend of peppery lemon, yeast, and herbs. Similarly the flavor is a punch of lemony pepper, yeast and then an abundance of sage, allspice, rosemary spice. Different, aggressive but not overly so. Mildy bitter and fairly clean. Not much hop character. Finishes a bit thin in nature with a lingering herb flavor. Overall, glad to have tried it. Might go well with a rosemary lemon pepper chicken? I enjoyed it but likely won't be back.

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Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Extremely blonde in color presenting a clear gorgeous body that resembles a pilsner/lager

S: The nose is moderately aromatic pushing forth the sage and thyme. Decent nose, more unusual but interesting    

T: This saison has been my favorite ever since it was released the first time awhile back. The sage and rosemary are phenomenal will light citrus pulling through at the end

M: A great offering that is dry and bursting with flavor

O: I fell in love with this beer when it first came and i am so amped it came out again. Easily my favorite Saison. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of mltobin
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle picked up in Westchester NY.

Appearance is a light gold, with a white head, fairly frothy. It has a nose which contains yeast, sugar, hay, sage and other herbs. Taking a sip of this saison and I taste rustic style bread, citrus and some soap. It has a mouthfeel which is medium, rather dry in the finish. A fairly sweet aspect to the finish as well. All in all, a solid saison, which I am happy to see has hit the shelves again.

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Photo of rawfish
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vigorous pour nets a out of control head of 3 fingers that keeps growing above the top of my globe. Hazy golden body. Decent retention forms a whipped dome that leaves small speckled lacing on the glass.

Very bready with a floral rosemary herbal scent, sage and thyme play second fiddle. Finishes with more bouquet of fresh flowers and a peppery note.

Very grainy malts with a low amount of herbaceous rosemary and thyme. Turns citric with lemon grass and citrus pith, puckering note before it ends bitter and a tad soapy with parsley.

Dries pretty well, average body and carbonation. Tad soapy and appropriate.

A bit hoppier than the other versions of this beer but it seems to sacrifice some of the herbal notes that make it so unique. Lemon citrus and bitterness are welcome addition.

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Photo of GeorgieBoy
1.97/5  rDev -48.7%
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.

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Photo of Philousa
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-opaque bright gold with a decent amount of head. This is much more clear and has a smaller amount of foam than most other Saisons I've had. The aroma is, in a word, bright. Lemon, pepper, and pungent yeast with some parsley. I get more of the herbs through the nose and they really come through as it warms. Bright lemon zest, pepper, allspice, parsley, and sage flavors turn bitter with green hops and some rosemary. This has a cleaner taste than most Saisons. They are really trying to highlight the herbs and downplay the yeast. Balanced, but on the tart side (yeast finally comes through in the aftertaste). Thinnish, very drinkable.

This is one different Saison. It seems to me that most other brewers try to highlight the yeast in their Saison, but this one really pulls it back to showcase the herbs. I could get nearly all the herbs in the nose, but I'm wondering if I'd have tasted them if I hadn't read the bottle. It's funny, that power of suggestion. Regardless, this is a very drinkable, delightful beer that I'd like to see in bombers. It's commendable that the brewers took one of my favorite styles and did something different, yet it still fits the style.

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Photo of Duff27
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Huge three-inch white head on a hazy golden/light orange body. Tons and tons of fast moving effervescence. Awesome head retention and above average lacing.

S- Faint bananas and cloves, reminiscent of a hefe.

T- Yeasty. Slight funk. I am not trained enough to know the nuances of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme so I will just say "some spices present."...especially once it warms a bit. Hops take a back seat.

M- Light on the palate, well carbonated. Dry finish.

D/O- Not the worst saison I've ever experienced but nowhere near the best. Not worth the $4.49 price tag on this 12oz. bottle. Pass, if only due to the price.

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Photo of doughanson78
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Light yellow straw color. Very clear. Two finger fluffy bright white head with amazing retention and lacing.

S: Very yeasty with a slight funk and a touch of a marijuana aroma. Light fruity hops, apples and oranges. As it warms a lot more herbs come through, including sage and rosemary. Very complex and inviting aroma.

T: A light fruit upfront. The herbs and spices come through big. Huge amounts of sage. Rosemary, thyme, and cloves. Some peppery spiciness. A light bitterness. Touches of funk. Again very complex. A bit much on the herbs.

M: Light bodied. Medium high carbonation. Very crisp. Super dry finish.

O: An awesome Saison. Only flaw is the sage dominates a tad to much. This is a must try Saison IMO.

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Photo of OldPenguinHunter
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this out of it's 12oz. bottle. I saw that Stone and others collaborated to brew a saison, I had to give this a try...How can Stone make a saison that is not over-hopped? Well you just add herbs obviously.
A:Nice golden body, poured with a quickly dissipating head
S: very grassy, perfumy, and slightly funky-like grandma.
T: Bitter and saison-y all at the same time. I am very confused, and I like it. This is not a traditional saison, but the practices in making the beer are non-traditional to begin with so... the use of herbs replacing the hops, just like in the old days, but this is intensly different than I thought it might have been back in the good ol' days. but nice all at the same time.
M: Dry, good metabolized nmalt profile.
O: Again, this is not a standard saison, but it is a good beer. Draw the line where you will. I like the beer, therefore I will give it a good score, but it is definetly one-off of a true saison.

Sage rocks. I almost want to have this with cast ironed-skilleted pork chops with apples and sage.

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Photo of buzzardman
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I've now had a few different saison beers and I can see why they almost went extinct in the beer world. The taste of these beers is not something I look for in a beer at all. I'm also just not a fan of spices of any kind in beer, leave that to chefs and bakers. this beer was interesting to try but I would never buy it again. they only reason I tried it was because it's a colab between the bigger micro breweries.

the taste is heavy on rosemary and maybe some other spices which give it an almost food flavor not fun to drink. it poured a nice golden yellow color with a decent two finger head. it held carbonation well and felt dry to the mouth.

i love tgat brewers are experimenting with beers but this should not be sold to the public. it should just be made available as an experimental beer maybe at the breweries themselves. I think I'm done with saison beer in general.

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Photo of Trilogy31
3.36/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy pure golden yellow, with a creamy two fingers of head leaving thick curtains in its wake. Wow, the nose hits you straight away with its bouqet garni - strong coriander seed right away, wild fennel (strong licorice scent that you would smell when hiking in the bay area) along with a wet earthiness as well, nothing like i have spelled before - very intriguing though not necessarily what i want from a beer. Also there is a layered hint of belgian yeast spice as well. The mouth brings all the herbs together which is impressive to taste all the flavors thats its made with though to me thats not a good thing as im not the biggest herb fan in the world. Coriander sings first, with sage coming in right behind it holding till the end - with a wisp of rosemary showing itself in the middle. The finish is good and refreshing and somewhat cleans up the herbage on the finish. A well made beer though not my taste whatsoever.

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Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the collaboration between Stone, Victory, and Dogfish. Purchased at Belmont Station in Portland.
Abundant head. Nice crisp taste. Flavorful. Complete.
Mouthfeel very clean. The perfect beer to quench in the hotel room after a day of wine tasting.
Note: to the purists who don't like reviews that don't live up to their standards, stuff it. :)

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Photo of cbarrett4
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found on close out at Market of Choice (hahahaha!!!) bought just because of the amazing breweries listed. Was slightly worried about ingredients though...

Poured a decent straw hue, average head fades into really nice lace. Good carbonation.

Smells brilliantly of herbs, hops, and faintly of citrus, malts, and hops. Inviting aromas, just mostly overshadowed by the herbaceous notes. Not too much saison aromatics though...

Flavors focus on the herbs with a definite presence of EACH of the herbs (which is nice!) You can actually taste thyme, rosemary, and sage... though you have to really imagine the parsley... but it's there too. Citrus and hops frame everything nicely. A little funky heft there from the saison yeast.

Medium weight, well integrated alcohol, nice balance. Medium length finish with nice grip, and wonderful nuance.

Overall a great beer with an amazing list of odd ingredients which seem to work very well together. I loved it and am looking forward to this and further releases.

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Photo of Derek
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Straw witha light haze, big bubbly head, good retention, light lace.

S: Very floral, plenty of citrus rind, herbal, pineapple, mango, hints of phenolic spicing.

T: Grapefruit rind, pine, pappaya, wheaty biscuit, herbal, solid bitterness, subtle alcohol.

M: Moderate body is very crisp with only hints of acidity.

D: A good drinker and well-crafted. Plenty of depth, but nothing is the least bit overwhelming. It doesn't come off as a kitchen sink brew either, it works.

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Saison Du BUFF from Stone Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 539 ratings.