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Saison Du BUFF - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Saison Du BUFFSaison Du BUFF

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,145 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,145
Reviews: 512
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 14.51%
Wants: 48
Gots: 49 | 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:
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 added by: Todd on 05-05-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,145 | Reviews: 512 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jeffthecheff
4.63/5  rDev +22.2%

Pours a golden, slightly hazy color. A fluffy white (very white) head sits on top, with a good amount of bubbles streaming up the middle.

The aroma is fresh, and very strong of herbs. It would be easy to say this is over spiced, but I thought it was really nice. Parsely comes through and is instantly recognizable. The rosemary seems to be the strongest of all, and is fresh and of high quality. Traditional beer aromas are minimal, with just enough yeast character to indicate that this is a beer your smelling and not a spice rack. So instead of reviewing this as a saison, I'm considering it a spiced/herbed beer, and for that I can't think of a better use of herbs in a beer.

The flavor is also bordering on overwhelming, but it's still tasty, and in a way, balanced. Foccacia bread comes to mind first. There is also more of the base saison flavor than in the nose. Even though it's minimal, the saison style really complements the beer. It's sweet and yeasty up front, with the nose really helping to bring out all the flavors. A full, robust herbal flavor is found in the middle, while the finish is dry and spicy. I really get the feeling that the brewers did a lot of tweaking to balance the flavors and bring out the herbs in the beer the best they could.

The mouthfeel is light bodied, but firm. There is a good level of carbonation, and a dry finish that complements the herbal flavor.

The only downside to this beer is that it's almost strictly a novelty. It was very nice to try, and I'll get it again, but as far as drinkability goes, this is a treat beer that is more of an experience than it is a traditional beer.

jeffthecheff, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of zoso1967
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%

Served up a slightly cloudy light amber with a delicate fluffy white head. The smell is sweet and citrusy. It also has that nice "saison" smell to it that reminds me of summers living on a farm. There are also some complex herbal aromas, pepper and a clean malt character. The taste is more complex than your run of the mill farmhouse ale. Very herbal with plenty of peppery notes that are sharp and assertive. This beer has a firm bitterness, and a lot going on in the flavor department. The malt sweetness is there, but it is hard to pick up on the malt character with all the spices and whatnot. A tasty beer, but perhaps they were a bit heavy handed. The body is on the lighter side of medium with just the right level of carbonation and a nice dry refreshing finish. Very drinkable and a good beer, just not quite as good as I was hoping for.

zoso1967, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of skullsplitter
3.98/5  rDev +5%

I finally managed to grab a few bottles after repeatedly harassing the good people of the Publick House provisions.

Stone version.

It poured a clear gold/ straw color with a healthy looking head. There was some decent retention and minimal lacing.

It smells like a garden. Or maybe a real good chicken marinade. The sage and rosemary are the most obvious scents. The hops are there though clearly they have been dulled down to let the other scents come to life.

My taste buds went a little nuts with the first sip. The taste of herbs is quite strong and somewhat overpowering. Light bodied but huge on taste. The rosemary, thyme, and sage hit me head on. I don't think I have tasted anything like this before. The drink is not nearly as light as it looks. It is very crisp, dry and savory. It is mildly hoppy but you still get a bit of a bite.

The drinkability is pretty good. Very tasty. The spices really cling to the palate. The taste lingered in my mouth for quite some time. Overall I have to say I was impressed. Though it does seem a bit of a stretch to call this a saison. Would it be something I go to a lot? No, probably not. I will say it left me with the desire to have a nice roast chicken.

skullsplitter, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of Stinkypuss
1.38/5  rDev -63.6%

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.

Stinkypuss, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of ccrida
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%

Pricey 12 oz. bottle poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Saison Du BUFF is a clear gold with a big, fluffy white head. It's funny that the label specifically makes fun of fizzy yellow beer, when that exactly what this is, at least in appearance. Of course, it is in no other way similar to macro lager. The head is better anyways, rucky on the settle, leaving chucks of foamy lace.

Smell is great, a really nice sweet herbal quality, tons of sage, some rosemary. Tough to find any ester under all that, but it's really nice, perfume like...can't get enough honestly.

Taste is not as sweet as I though it might be from the nose. Definitely herbal, but their integrated enough that I can't really discern them individually, which I appreciate. There some pepperiness that I assume is from the yeast, which is welcome saison character. I'm surprised how much I like this - it sounded like a kitchen sink brew, but they pulled it off well - less is more with herbs, and the obvious freshness of them helps as well.

Mouthfeel is dry, medium light bodied.

Drinkability is very good. Tasty yet quenching, light and smooth. Too bad it's a one off that's overpriced or I'd enjoy these throughout the summer....

ccrida, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%

Which version is this? Had it at City Tap House Sun June 13, 2010.

Healthy looking head. Golden/amber grain color.

Electric hot spice, mint, sage, and prickly, piney hops - aggressive in the nose. Progressively more phenolic as it goes.

Wow! Sage blast the first sip or two, followed by a hard rosemary kick to the throat. Herby. Real interesting. Moderately astringent and sugary. Damn, the herbs are on the offensive! More peppery than any other beer I can recall.

The sting of the herbs and alcohol will rouse you. You will take notice. Mouth and finish crisp and dry. Tongue scrubbed.

Really dig the complex spice/herb character in this brew. Second beer I've had with sage and oh boy it's a welcome addition, especially for a saison style. Hope one of these breweries decides to put this out at least seasonally. Sure it'll go great with grilled chicken and or a spring salad. Well done.

Bouleboubier, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of blackie
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%

Stone version - late April 2010

saison brewed with parsley, thyme, sage, and rosemary; love the last three, but the latter is a personal favorite

a: unibroue tulip, bright and clear golden in color, capped with a nice white head that shows good retention, some lace

s: crisp saison body of clean pils and other light malts; love the herbs - very fresh and each is identifiable individually (parsley is tough) but coming together well as a whole; rosemary tends to be pretty potent, so good work keeping it from taking over; nicely peppery, perhaps part of the rosemary influence or maybe a yeast byproduct; hops kept mild to allow the herbs the spotlight, providing some delicate citrus; the herbs do dominate, but it works out really well

m: carbonation medium-high, lively but not harsh, lighter in body

t: pils malts give a crisp, light body; big herb presence - parsley as expected is the most mild, with lots of rosemary, thyme, and sage in decreasing order; a little yeasty; clean and dry finish with a snappy bitterness and lingering rosemary sap

d: one of the better herbed beers I've had, and extremely drinkable

single from Whole Foods, Vienna, VA - look forward to the last two installments

blackie, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%

Picked up at the Wine Seller in Williamsburg, was surprised to see they had quite a few in stock.

Pours a hazy yellow with a one finger white head that leaves a little lacing.

Nose is very aromatic, some sweet Belgian yeast, rosemary, sage & thyme.

Taste is much like the nose, complex with the sweet belgian yeast, rosemary, thyme, some pepper and a some bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is dry with carbonation on the low side.

This is a very nice siason, very flavorful with a nice nose. While these collaborations are a little pricey, this one is worth trying if you get the chance.

FLBeerGuy, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%

Poured into a tulip glass a hazed light golden with a fluffy white head that left shotty lace as it settled slowly.A nice mix of citrus and overripe pineapple fruitiness, along with white pepper,and slight yeasty phenols.Citrusy on the palate with a bit of yeasty flavors,a sharp spicy white pepper and herb-like note hits in a long finish.A tad sharp in the mouth but I really like this collaberation,it has an American feel to it with its big citric flavors.A nice saison beer even if not true to form.

oberon, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of Zorro
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%

A clear yellow to light gold colored beer with a tall white head. Looks like a Saison should.

Smells spicy, parsley and black pepper are the two strongest scents. Basil is in there but the more minty scents it usually has are missing, not surprised basil is on of the more delicate herbs to work with. Sage is pretty strong here. The spices combine to give a herbal scent cranked up to eleven for your nose.

Starts out a herbal clash and a little bitter on the tongue. Sage is strong and here and there is something of a turkey stuffing flavor. This beer is quite dry not a lot residual sugars here. Not bad, if I could change anything it would be to add some black pepper.

Mouthfeel is light as it should be for a Saison.

Drinkability is good. Tasty dry Saison I like. Now I just need to save some for thanksgiving and drink it with Turkey and Dressing.

Zorro, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of Norfawkers
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%

It's unique, I'll put it that way. Either you're going to love this one or hate it.

Appearance: Much like the fizzy yellow beers that the bottle's script seeks to put down; light straw-like with little head

Smell: Herbal spices...smells a lot like focaccia bread

Taste: Very herbal with noticable rosemary and basil

Mouthfeel: Light and smooth

Drinkability: Unique sipping beer; falvorful and garden-like...don't let the appearance fool you

Norfawkers, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of wyattshotmaker
2.78/5  rDev -26.6%

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.

wyattshotmaker, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of AleWatcher
2.88/5  rDev -24%

Pours a slightly darker than straw colored golden. Nice 3 fingers of fluffy white head and excellent retention and lace. Lots of active carbonation rising up from the nucleation point. Looks quite good.

Smells of lemony citrus and italian spices-- almost like a chicken marinade that I would use on the grill. I actually want to use this beer as a marinade now! There is, aside from the spices listed on the bottle, a white pepper and a whole black peppercorn note that I get as well. Not a whole lot of noticeable malts on this one in the nose-- but there is a slight dry spicy malt I get-- perhaps some barley and wheat? Hints of orange peel come creeping in now too. I am not particularly fond of the taste of this beer. I prefer my saisons a little more refreshing. This ends on such an herbal/spice note that it really hurts this beers' overall score in my book.

The mouthfeel is fine. Good carbonation. And I could drink this if it were offered to me... But I won't buy any more of it.
Just not one for me, I guess.

AleWatcher, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of cavedave
4.13/5  rDev +9%

Another super recommend from brother John at HT.

Pours a light yellow, almost straw, not much of an off white head that relaxes to a skim, and finally to nothing.

Smell is full of the promised spices, but they smell almost like kinebud in the aroma. As the beer warms the smell begins to get some nice earthy bitter and funk to it. Nice.

The first sip was a bit too cold. When it warms a bit it is a full flavor that starts with rosemary wrapping around the other S&G spices, ushering in some really nice bitter and funk, hints of pine drying it out. A carpet of spice resin rests on the tongue. I could picture adding some darker malt to this to make a killer winter warmer. Very interesting and complex taste.

Low carb., excellent finish, clean in the mouth, pleasantly viscous. Nice.

Drinkability, rated for style which includes some easy drinking version, suffers. Personally I could drink this all night, I could picture many not wanting to do that.

Impression: Yet another fine American brew which proves we can stand with anyone in the world. If you like the saison style this is a must try.

cavedave, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of rootbeerman
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

poured into duvel tulip

A: pours golden to pale yellow, with a frothy two and a half finger head. head is very long lasting at a finger of thickness., good amount of lacing.
S: smells of stone brewing, parsley, and rosemary is very potent.

T: tastes of dogfish head, this is probably the first saison i have liked, the rosemary is very noticeable, malt and hops earthy. the hops are also lemony. the herbs make for something that seems almost like rosemary chicken without the chicken. there is a bit of plastic/barnyard which is hard to tell if its from all the herbs or the yeast. Very complex and different.
M: lightly coating, carbonation is mild.
D: due to rarity its hard to drink a few, over all its easy, yet not for a new craft drinker.

rootbeerman, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of alpinebryant
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%

Pours a very clear hay color with a decent white head and lots of carbonation. Lacing present on the glass as it went down.

Smell of Spices not surprisingly. White pepper, coriander (although it is not in there that I am aware of) mixed spices appropriate for pizza pies.

Taste of strong spices, belgian yeast strain, light pilsner malts, Rosemary and Thyme present in what I can taste. Parsley although faint is also detectable if you know that is what you are tasting. Slightly astringent bite

Medium carbonation, light mouthfeel . This is a good saison, at $4 a bottle, not terribly priced, as I suppose all that travel for this collabo cost some money.

alpinebryant, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of ffejherb
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%

Thanks to dpuia for sharing several bottles with a small group on 6/7/10.

A - Poured a slightly hazy pale golden liquid with a finger's worth of soapy white foam and a cyclone of carbonation bubbles in the center. Head dissipated, leaving behind trace amounts of spotty lacing.

S - Initial aroma is quite floral with a spicy herbal flair and peppery notes backed by a toasted grainy malt character. Nose is quite aromatic and suggests rose pedals, spruce needles, dried Italian herbs and a hint of citrus fruit.

T - Like the aroma, the floral and herbal characteristics dominate and translate to a fairly bitter flavor overall, especially in the finish, when the tongue is greeted by a sharp herbal hop jab. While there is a slight sweetness present, this is quite a bitter Saison when all is said and done.

M - Dry and bitter but rather light bodied with a hint of syrupy texture and moderate carbonation. Finishes with a pretty sharp bitterness on the palate.

D - Quite a bitter little Saison here with a strong herbal hop bite. I especially enjoyed the aroma of this collaboration brew.

ffejherb, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of Seanibus
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

I love this beer - I can taste all three breweries: The big hops of Stone, the precise and clean malt of Victory, and the wild, anarchic flavor of Dogfish Head. This is a very good beer.

Pours clear golden with a huge fluffy head. The aroma is sharp and strong, with musky lemon, pine resin, and rosemary. The flavor is lemony, with rosemary, rose, pine, mint, lavender, vanilla, with a pleasant piny bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth.

Seanibus, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of BeTheBall
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%

Let me start by saying this was one of the most unique and intersting beers I've ever tried. What creativity!
Poured a clear golden color with plenty of carbonation, and a creamy head. Smelled of many herbs, but Rosemary stood out for me. Same with the taste. Very complex and varied with the differetn herbs, each sip can almost taste a little different, depending on which herb your tongue picks up. I found it more interesting with each sip. Mouthfeel was dry, crisp and refreshing. Drinkability? Perhaps one would tire of this after one or two, so a markdown for that.

BeTheBall, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of oregonskibum
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Color is a nice bright golden yellow. Pours with a decent 1 to 1 1/2 inch dense, slightly off-white head. Head slowly dissipates, leavieng some decent lacing.

S: The belgian flavors seem to jump out first, then the herbal qualities of the beer kick in. Definitely get the rosemary strongly. There are some citrus, mainly lemon notes in the smell as well. Interesting.

T: This is strongly herbal on the taste. Taste strikes me as far more complex than the smell. Getting an interesting blend of green flavors like rosemary and parsely with spicier notes like coriander and pepper. There's still a citrus twist. Malts are a little bready. Finish is, hard to describe, but not like a typical beer. Pepper and other herbal notes carry on the finish for several minutes. Not sure if this quite works for me though.

M: Medium body, medium to high carbonation. Beer is lively on the tongue, crisp, and easy to drink.

D: I found this beer very complex and interesting, but at the same time, something I likely won't get again. It's not bad, but the herbal notes are just a little too strong for my liking. And the finish leaves something to be desired.

oregonskibum, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of jampics2
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%

12oz bottle into my New Belgium globe.

Looks nice, a golden color with some orange highlights. Head recedes to a ring with some lace but it eventually slips back into the beer, leaving a slight film left ontop. Looks nice but nothing exceptional.

Smell is off the chain. This is a perfect smelling saison IMO. Starts off with some sweet Belgian malt, then some wonderful yeasty esters giving impressions of some cardamon and clove ad even some lush ripe fruit. Then the spices take over. Rosemary and sage are so expressive I can smell them 4 feet away from the glass. Parsley and thyme are a bit more reserved, but still add to the overall boquet. Some spicey pepper notes are also present. Sublime. My mouth is watering. On to the taste!

Ah, this is complex and deep, but a bit too crazy. This reminds me of a story of Garett Oliver's visit to a local powerhouse of a brewery. When tasting their spring seasonal, a highly herbed beer, he commented 'just because you can put everything in it doesn't mean you should'. I get the "hook" here being the Simon and Garfunkel song. But there's a lyric in that very song that I think is appropriate to keep in mind here:

"Without no seams nor needlework"

What I mean is that this beer is very interesting, deep, and masterfully crafted. However, there are seams visible on every sip. The sweet Belgian malt and some hints of lemon begin the deep dive into the herbal depths. Rosemary begins to overwhelm the fades. Sage makes a big impression. The parsley lingers on, and thyme seems to slip away. This could stand a bit more balance and it would be phenominal. Just a touch of apple skin and pepper finish with parsely. Nice experience but not a world class taste to back up the phenominal nose.

Mouthfeel is nice, medium body with nice carbonation. Only slight complaint is a touch of medicinal alcohol apparent from time to time (some sips appear to have a touch more spice than others).

Drinkability was also very much above average. I'm picking up a few of these for an upcoming tasting since the nose is so appealing. Will buy again, not the best tasting saison I've ever had but very complex and well crafted.

jampics2, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%

On tap at the Philly Beer Week release party with all 3 brewers in attendence...

Pours a hazy yellow straw color with active carbonation but little head and lacing. First scent brings medicinal herbs and lemon... almost like a cough drop... some pepper and yeast on the rear end. Taste brings more of the medicinal herb notes backed with a more pronounced lemon, yeast and pepper notes. Medium bodied, low carbonation, dry and lingering taste. Decent to try, but not my bag of chips.

rfgetz, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of GarrisWH
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%

A - Pours a golden hue with a slight haziness. Thick white head that slowly recedes to a pretty solid cap, leaving some nice lacing behind.

S - The herbs are very forward in the aroma, with notes of rosemary and sage coming through. There is also a lemony citric quality in the background as well as some earthy yeast. Very unique and appealing nose.

T - Complex flavor which, like the aroma, is very focused on the herbal qualities. Rosemary and sage are most noticeable although the parsley does shine through a bit as well. Bready, earthy yeast and a hint of malt back the herbal flavors up. There is also some crisp citrus in the flavor. Finish is moderately dry, and leaves herbal flavors lingering into the aftertaste.

M - Medium body with good carbonation

D - A pretty unique brew that turned out very nicely. The herbal flavors taste really fresh and add a nice touch to a solid base. I hope I can get my hands on another one or two of these before its gone.

GarrisWH, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%

A: The beer poured golden yellow in color with a finger high white head. A light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are strong aromas of herbs in the nose; rosemary stands out in particular.
T: Like the smell, there are lots of complex herbal flavors in the taste, which lend a certain uniqueness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate with some dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is relatively drinkable, but only if you are accustomed to lots of herbal flavors such as those found in gruit beers.

metter98, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of grittybrews
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%

Poured a bright straw color into a Duvel tulip with three fingers of fluffy white head.

Strong aroma of hoppy lemon. Herbal taste up front followed by fruity hops, parsley, and a bit of soapiness. Moderate-to-high carbonation and a nice light mouthfeel. Very refreshing and easy to drink, but I couldn't quite get over the overall flavor, which was an odd combination of a very nice IPA and lemony dish soap. Glad I tried it, but one was plenty.

grittybrews, Jun 10, 2010
Saison Du BUFF from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,145 ratings.