1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Saison Du BUFF - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Saison Du BUFFSaison Du BUFF

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

1,163 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,163
Reviews: 511
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 48
Gots: 50 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saison Du BUFF Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,163 | Reviews: 511 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thisisxxmyIPA
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours with a small bright white head with HUGE bubbles. Very high carbonation, a golden color with amber highlights. Fairly clear with just a tiny bit of haze.

S - Beautiful Belgian yeast scents are the backbone of the scent, with fruity notes. The parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme lay heavily on top of the aroma. Honestly, I'm not sure which one is most dominant, but it smells out of this world and just a tad farmhousey. WOW.

T - Holy crap... who knew that these classic spices could work so well with the farmhouse aspects of a saison. Malty, farmhousey, and a GIANT spicy flavor. Some citrus notes on the background getting a small sweet cherry flavor as well. This is absolutely amazing. Not for everyone, definitely. But, for those who enjoy the style - you HAVE TO try this!

M - The high carbonation is perfect for the style.

D - Because of the extreme spice notes it has to be drank a bit slow. But overall - I am blown away.

thisisxxmyIPA, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of tchenery
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Belgian snifter. Tremendous head and excellent light orange/yellow color. Highly carbonated.

Smell is very spicy. Almost too peppery. It does have floral hop notes but you almost have to sneeze first after the original sniff. It smells like ginger root now, very prevalent ginger root. It's an interesting smell, but it's not an incredibly pleasant smell. It almost smells like the inside of a greenhouse.

Hardcore ginger on the first taste, blending into a grapefruit hop flavor. Very very peppery. I'm not crazy about this. It's almost like they took the definition of a traditional farmhouse ale and put it on steroids. (not an uncommon technique in the 'big beer' world these days) It's a unique flavor but I don't care for it much.

Mouthfeel is dry and too spicy. Also makes for a not incredibly drinkable beer. This is a sipper and one's enough for me.

tchenery, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of nova009
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip

A- golden yellow, hazy appearance, nice foamy white head that retains well

S- hoppy pine scent hits the nose immediately, some pepper notes follow

T- the piny hops are at the forefront, peppery notes, possibly clove as well

M- a medium-thin body, carbonation isn't too bad, would have preferred it be a bit heavier

D- pretty easy to drink, would be a great one to pair with something like lemon chicken

nova009, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of kiddynamite920
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice crisp yellow with a big white, fluffy head. A bit of lacing appearing. Golden with a very light looking head.

S: Grassy and herbaceous. Parsley and thyme are very present. A good bit of sage, very interesting aroma for a saison. A bit of a Belgian type aroma. Some banana and a splash of citrus.

T: Herbs are far too strong here. Tastes like drinking rosemary and sage juice. Not getting much else besides the strong, earthy herbs. Not too characteristic of a saison. There are some small notes of citrus and grass, but the herbs are very potent and a bit off-putting.

M: Leaves the impression of chewing on a handful of parsley and thyme. Bright and clean, but far too strong and earthy as well. This would be fantastic if the herbs were toned down a few notches.

D: Having a hard time with this one. Being in the culinary field, it's hard for me to not love the flavors going on here. I am just having a hard time with the intensity of each herb. Could see this working well as a soup base or stew beer. Herbs are just a bit too strong to make this enjoyable every sip.

kiddynamite920, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-pours a slightly hazy straw colored beer with a nice tight off white head with a great lace.

S-different, tons of rosemary and sage on this, lots of herbal spices. notes of citrus and a touch of honey towards the back.

T-not really a fan, so much spice in this, the rosemary and sage really come through. probably thyme in there but not sure what that tastes like. pepper spice as well, notes of lemon and honey with a light lingering bitterness.

M-syrupy texture, medium body, reasonably smooth, lots of carbonation and a good crisp finish.

D-the spice is insane in this and lingers for quite some time. it is actually a little weird and I just don't think it works for me.

cpetrone84, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another collaboration brew I really don't care much for.

Pours a good golden clear with a very nice head and lacing. The appearance is the best part.

Aroma is a little weird. Sage is the most pungent aroma. I can smell the Thyme and Rosemary as well.

There's too much going on in this beer. I don't like those spices in beer. It got a little better as it warmed up but I still wouldn't buy this again. Carb and stuff was good but I hate beers with too much spices and Sage should never be on food.

PeprSprYoFace, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of BeerCoffeeWater
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours golden into my Dogfish signature glass.
I get a lot of rosemary and thyme in the smell, followed by a belgian-like beer aroma. It's like I'm at a good pizzeria drinking beer. Taste is peppery with a slight hop character. Smooth fine bubbles like a saison (I don't know what I just wrote?).

I think I'm gonna go pop a frozen pizza into the oven, cause this really makes me wanna have beer and pizza. The more I drink it, the more pepper I get in the aroma. This is a pretty tasty brew here. I'm totally surprised by this one, I figured it was just gonna be a novelty brew, one and done.

BeerCoffeeWater, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of prg1976
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear yellow with a big white head. Lots of lacing with lots of retention. Is this just a "fizzy yellow beer"?

Smells like Belgian yeast. Fruity, without the herb smell I was expecting.

Taste is good overall. The fruity Belgian flavor mixes with the herbs well. Slightly bitter, it drys your mouth like a wine. I'm not getting blown away by any particular flavor, just a good mix. A little alcohol in the aftertaste.

Light to medium body. Lots of carbonation, but it doesn't get in the way at all.

Very drinkable, there's nothing that would keep me from drinking a few of these.

So, overall, it's not strictly a saison, and it's definitely not just a "fizzy yellow beer." It's pretty enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to trying the other two versions when they come out. I think I'll save a bottle and try all 3 side-by-side.

prg1976, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of Lolli1315
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A pale golden yellow with two fingers of white foamy head. Color is hazy and there is noticeable lacing on the glass with nice head retention.

S- Piny hops hit the nose followed closely by a peppery smell. Belgian yeast leaves a slight fruit esters as well as some Belgian funk.

T- A spicy piny hop taste dominates the front of the flavor profile as it develops into a clove and slight bubblegum flavor and a Belgian funk to finish out the back end of the beer.

M- Thin to medium bodied beer with decent carbonation. A little too light bodied takes this back a notch.

D- Nice to have on a hot day, good beer all around.

Lolli1315, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of TommyW
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden body with a dense, sticky, white head.

S- Pine hops that seems to mask most of the subtle herb aromas; note of some horse blanket funk as well.

T- Piney hops over some buttery malts. The herbs sort of bridge the gap between the initial hop presence and the finish; it's hard for me to pick out any of the individual herbs, so I'll just call it herbal. The finish is where a lot of that funk comes in.

M- Medium feel with an easy carbonation.

D- A cool take on a style that often adds a lot of complexity. The addition of the herbs was definitely a positive addition overall.

TommyW, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of errantnight
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Saison du Buff seems to be a bit of a divider. Eh.

Pours a very clear pale gold into my Spiegelau tulip with a solid three fingers of head and above average lacing and retention.

Aroma is a potent, and excellent melange. For once Stone's overly perfumy Belgian yeast strain plays nicely with the herbal notes. Rosemary was a bit more predominant even a few weeks ago, but it has settled in nicely. If you're going to judge this against Saison duPont or Fantome or some such it would fail a bit, but it is rather unique, blending earthy herbal tones with a flowery perfume that never quite trends into the realm of, say, roast chicken or hand soap. It's a delicate balancing act, pulled off with aplumb.

On the palate this fails slightly to live up to the promise. It's prickly and too rough on the carbonation (while simultaneously not being quite carbonated enough), which leaves a finish that is a bit astringent and harsh. The dryness is great, but the body leaves the malt base behind in the dust, and it could use just a touch.

Overall this is a superb beer for pairing with food. You don't need to match the spices, but it should play nicely with a lot of dishes (assuming they aren't overly rich or overly delicate).

I've had this a few times now and I keep finding myself coming back to it, a success.

errantnight, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of Casey10
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to agree with the reviewers that rate this a high tart beer. For those that missed this well I understand if a style is misinterpeted, I thought this beer was a amazing product of the style.

A great colabertaion for a very misunderstood style. Horseblanket funk that rules try it you will see what I mean.

Casey10, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of jeffjeff1
4.8/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My fiance picked this up for me.

Appearance- golden color, nice foamy head

Smell- wonderful, fresh, herbal aroma, really get the herbs

Taste- herbal spices, awesome, Rosemary, sage and thyme really hits head on.

Mouthfeel- light to medium bodied, dry finish

Drinkability- Awesome!! Wish I could get more

jeffjeff1, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of chaz410
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got this beer from the Common Market!
Pours a clear bubbley body with a half finger length head that's fairly constant.
Smells of rosemarry, vegetable herbs of thyme and sage. Has a signiture saison funk and sweet wheat character.
Taste similar to the smell but more leaning on the funk of the saison yeast with some wheat notes and lots of rosemarry and thyme, not much parsley but at the least I think it enhances the spice character. A good hop pine character cuts off lingering herbal flavors.
Mouthfeel is extremely crisp, one of the freshest tasting saisons ever!
Very clean and drinkable,with enough hops ot mellow out the spices.

chaz410, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of Gmann
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy honey straw color with a tall soapy pure white head that slowly settled into a slight cap leaving some webby lacing. The aroma is strong with grassy/floral hops, light herbs, pepper, and a spot of lemon. The flavor starts off with the grassy hops, fairly strong. The herbs definitely come out in the second wave, though no specific one really stands out. The candi sugar sweetness (?) and yeasty phenols keep the herb flavor subtle. There is a strong pepper flavor as well. The feel is light but no where near watery, solid carbonation, has a bitter edge but finishes sweet. An odd saison, very hoppy for the style, which probably masks some of the other flavors. Good base saison flavor and perhaps the hops helps keep the herbs in check. I would like to see a touch less hops, though it is a nice profile, and a touch more yeasty phenols.

Gmann, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of Dlish
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours straw yellow with a haze from yeast, smells of sage and rosemary or a herb garden. Taste great, sage, pine, floral, grapefruit, wheat. perfect carbonation and not in your face. Great version backyard farmhouse brew. I'd recommend it for any stone or dogfish head fan.

Dlish, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of OneDropSoup
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Deep gold body that's translucent but hazy with three fingers of beautiful, cloud-like white head & nucleation out the wazoo.

Smell is beautifully complex & bright, like I just walked into an herb garden: really picking up on the rosemary, floral notes that are big but gentle, something kind of savory like oregano, maybe some basil or mint notes in there. I wish my olfactory vocabulary was better developed, there's so much going on here. Slightly earthy undertone, with a subtle spritz of lemon, too. Seriously, this is fantastic, I don't think I've ever smelled a beer like it.

Taste is strongly herbal, too, with a lot of the same notes carrying strong. The more savory herbs pick up some steam in the flavor, as well as creating a little bitterness that's slightly citric, like chewing on pine needles. The herb flavors are really fresh & palpable here -- you can almost distinguish them one by one. Finishes pretty dry & bitter. There's a savory, kind of meaty character in the aftertaste that's, dare I say, umami.

Medium-bodied, pretty soft feel but with a kick that zaps different parts of the mouth.

Drinkability's difficult: the initial "wow" at the complexity of this one leads to some fatigue with the strong flavor profiles. Very enjoyable, but a little goes a long way. I'd definitely try this again, but maybe recommend splitting even a 12 oz. bottle.

OneDropSoup, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of canucklehead
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beer that opens up to new levels of flavour and smells when it warms up. The nose is spices and herbs with that sharp citrus note found in many farmhouse ales in the background. The beer takes a few sips to orient itself until I got a very flavourful Saison with a peppery herbal note in the dry finish. Well thought out and very food friendly this is a great collab effort from 3 top notch breweries

canucklehead, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of jeffthecheff
4.63/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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 15, 2010
Photo of zoso1967
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
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.

Stinkypuss, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of ccrida
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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
Saison Du BUFF from Stone Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,163 ratings.