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Saison Athene - Saint Somewhere Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saison AtheneSaison Athene

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BA SCORE
88
very good

429 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 429
Reviews: 293
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 28
Gots: 31 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Saint Somewhere Brewing Company visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Saison Athene is a bottle conditioned Saison brewed with chamomile, fresh rosemary and black pepper. A dose of wild yeast at bottling adds to the complexity.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-29-2007)
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Ratings: 429 | Reviews: 293 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tfsimpkins
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of EvanWilliams
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of bob727
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of joegigs
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of Sebletitje
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very hard to review a beer when it is so close to perfection. This beer will capture anyone in search for something new and of quality.

A - Cloudy yeast - golden, pours very well, good head filled with aroma.

S - Right away you will be captured by the sweet smell of chamomille. Spices are very present, one can distinguish the rosemary and black pepper.

T - Sweet, very complex, the spices are clearly present.

M - from the first sip to the last, this beer will have you find more and more hidden flavors.

D - I was captured by this beer. From the outside package of the bottle to the label to the pleasure of tasting it, it is an overall best Belgian style ales made in US.

Comes in 750ml corked bottles and wire caged.

Photo of brdc
4.95/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks JW347 for this one. Large corked bottle, poured into a tulip.

Very nice, bright, hazy orange with a good white head that disappears way too quickly with little to no lacing- this little problem with the head might just be its only flaw.
Lively aroma, fruity, zesty and full of oranges, but also funky, earthy and spicy; sweet and honeyish.
Medium bodied, with a fine carbonation and an amazingly deep taste that shows a smorgasbord of fruits, funkiness, occasional layers of sweetness. Earth, yeast, bread, pepper and orange are just some of the multiple flavors noticed.
My second St Somewhere, the second masterpiece.

Photo of goldenpeanut
4.93/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle obtained from Bob, the brewer, at the brewery. Bottle had exceptional presentation considering labeling and cork/cage. Be careful, the cage was holding the cork in and it blew to parts unknown. Prepare to depress cork while removing cage.

Presented at 57 deg. F., poured with a large fluffy head that quickly dissipated into a thin layer supported by the bubble generation from laser etched glasses.

Aroma presents initially with huge Brett presence backed up by classic Saison notes from yeast and malt. Spices are evident but they can not be identified, nice touch. Malt sweetness underpins all inviting a sip.

Flavor is a beautiful blend of brett and classic Saison notes underpinned by true Saison bitterness. Yes, Saison should be BITTER. Initially, malt sweetness and Brett sour attack the front half of the tongue, melding nicely into a flavor, underpinned by spice. Brett is not always a part of Saison style but used tastefully here to augment and tame the malt sweetness very effectively. The malt/Brett attack of the early sip fades into a nice finish balanced by the hop bitter and phenols from the unusual yeast strain. Speaking to the phenols from the yeast they are presented here in a beautiful meld with the spices used. If the brewer had not told me what the spices were I could not hazard a guess. And, no, I will not reveal them or Bogart for my home brews.

Finish is citrusy and balanced toward hop bitter when cold, and balanced toward the malt as the beer warms. A clean dry palate remains, really nice for paring with food. Bob says to pair it with pork but I think he's limiting himself, I think it would go with just about anything as it refreshes the palate so nicely. There are few beer I would recommend as universally complimentary of just about any food, but this is the exception.

Conclusion, a beautiful Saison with spices and Brett. Not the ultra parochial interpretation we brew, but a really pleasant and unparalleled interpretation. If you like Fantome, this will blow you away. It's cleaner, crisper and more refreshing, and really, more interesting.

Photo of russpowell
4.88/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

09 vintage is courtesy of Beertracker, thanks Jeff!

Pours an effervescent, semi-hazed straw with 3 fingers of pearl colored head. Insane lacing & great head retention

S: Apple peels & a bit sourness, some peach & apple blossom, ginger & saffron as this warms up

T: Fruityness, apples, peach, pears & tart lemon up up front. & nice tartness to go with the fruitty sweetness up front. fruittyness, tartness, a touch of ginger & saffron all show as this warms, plus a touch of light funk. Finishes tart, a touch crisp fruitty & spice, not totally to style, but I like where they went with this

MF: Spritzy, light/medium bodied & warming

This drank very easy & hid the ABV extremely well. This may not be funky or sour enough for some, but this really worked for me. I'm guessing this what Avery was shooting for on their 16th anny beer, this is way better!

Photo of nickfl
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Update: Several months later, all of the kinks in this beer seem to have been worked out.

It has aggressive carbonation and huge, rocky head that will not go away.

The aroma is a perfect blend of sweet and sour with lots of tropical fruit.

The flavor is now an interplay of sweet and sour that is only matched by the best Flemish beers, and it is quite dry as well. The wild funk is present but subdued into a supporting role where it brings out all of the complexity of the saison yeast.

Now that it is properly carbonated, its drinkability has shot through the roof and it has become one of the most pleasant beers that I have ever had.

A - Vigorous pour gives maby one finger of head and it doesn't stick around long. Golden, orange color with a thick haze.

S - Citrus and herbal hop aroma. Some distinctive brett funk in the background but at a very low level.

T- More citrus and some bready malt, accompanied by wheat notes. The funk is more prominent in the flavor and it is accompanied by some sourness. The finish is more herbal hop flavor and moderate bitterness. Slight lingering sweetness.

M - Full and mouth-coating, with low carbonation.

D - Sadly, this was waaaayyy undercarbonated and a not quite dry enough (I would like to think that both of these problems would have taken care of themselves in the bottle if the beer had a few weeks to age). The aroma is nice and the flavor shows true promise. I look foreward to trying this again when I have one that has conditioned properly and I also plan to age a bottle for six months or so to see how the funk develops.

Overall impression: this is far and away the most exciting beer being brewed in FL right now. Once they have a chance to iron out the kinks in the production process, St. Somewhere could produce some truely world class beers.

Photo of bitterbeauty
4.83/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i have been looking for this beer ever since i had a small glass in october.

appearance/pour: pours nicely. the color is that of the inside of a ripe carambola fruit. strong color, opaque orange/gold. the head is a bit thin and porous, though it manages to lace beautifully.

smell: delicate citrus scent. almost a tart kiwi. yeast comes through the end.

taste: wonderful. like grapefruit rind bread. perfect balance of sweet and tart. mellow clove and black pepper spice. the warming alcohol taste is completely absent, the brewers did a fabulous job hiding it for a refreshing summer style. nice hoppy dryness to the finish. clean, tart linger.

mouthfeel: perfect for the style. bright effervescence, tickles the palate. not too thin, surprisingly. perfect level of carbonation.

drinkability: i could drink three glass pitchers of this beer in a sitting and be in heaven. i'd be drunk, but my mouth would be on cloud nine. really, this beer is exceptional.

i'm going to phone the brewing company and ask if they'll let me come mill about in their presence (and drink more of their brews). i haven't had any of their other styles but i can't wait. please, everyone, try this beer and give it some thought.
thanks.

Photo of Immortale25
4.83/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a hazy light gold color with a full finger of head that retains a bit before becoming an 1/8 inch ring around the glass’s edge and spots of surface foam. Decent lacing.

S- Deep scents of rosemary and plenty of chamomile. One of the most floral beers I’ve ever smelled. Also maybe some sage and thyme notes.

T- Lots and lots of rosemary, which is fine. Actually, more than fine. It’s just as sweet as it is herbal without going overboard on either front. A bit of Belgian yeast characteristic comes through also. Additionally, some notes of cinnamon and coriander. The flavor is all over the place and I love it! Very little malt and seemingly no hops.

A- Spritzy and fluffy due to medium-high carbonation. Also has some bite from the heavy spicing and is slightly acidic.

O- Where Saison du Buff fails, Athene succeeds. An all-around great take on the style.

Photo of brentk56
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: After an explosion from the cork, pours a cloudy honey color with a frothy head that retains and laces well

Smell: Apple and pear, white pepper, candi sugar and yeasty herbaciousness

Taste: Opens with a balance of sweet and dry apple flavors, with a yeasty element building by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors become more intense, with a peppery, hot cinnamon finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: After a bad experience with the poorly carbonated first batch, the brewer has obviously gone overboard in the opposite direction; still, this is a great domestic saison and I am glad I had an opportunity to re-visit it so soon after my previous experience; my only recommendation would be for the brewer to keep safety in mind as somebody is going to get hurt by the exploding corks

Photo of pathman
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of CJS
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of Viggo
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to grub and his wife for being the middle man in this, grubs father-in-law picked it up on a recent trip to Florida. You did well on this one, thanks Big Mike!

Pours a clear straw yellow, thick white head forms, great retention, this forms a thick layer, leaves tons of lace on the glass, certainly looks great. Smell is amazing, grass, honey, very spicy, especially cinnamon, oats, oak, apples, wheat, more spice, pretty wicked. Taste is cinnamon and cloves, pepper, oats, bread, honey, apples, yeast, a bit barnyardy, spicy bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, low carbonation, buttery smooth, spicy mouthfeel that is just perfect. Amazing beer, I would drink this all day if I could. Thanks again Mike, Russ and Jenn!

Photo of amazeded
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of doktordebris
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a 750 from the Foodery in Northern Liberties, Philly. I had just received an email from the brewery a week before saying that they didn't have any distro to California yet, and I was heartbroken. I hadn't even tried the beer yet, but I read rave reviews on it, and the artwork, it's fookin beautiful! Sure enough, some guy was sampling out both St. S's brews when I walked into the Foodery. Needless to say I spent about 100 bucks on beer that night.

A: foggy, almost opaque golden, kind of mysterious looking. Not alot of head, minimal lacing.

S: You can smell it from a good foot and a half away, as soon as the cork pops. Reminds me of the almost savory notes I picked up from Regenboog's Vuuve 5, yet maybe more exotic than that. Is it something to do with the yeast? Topped off with spicy sweetness, made me think of curry and raisins.

T: Holy crap! Like liquid Babootie Pie. More of this sweet/savory mixture that seems to be gaining popularity these days. Quite spicy, kinda wild, but not really representative of a saison to me, at least in the more traditional sense. This is a very original concoction, and I might even go as far to say groundbreaking. Notes of ginger, and curry again(or maybe that's just me). Ends off dry, with a bit of spicy fruit flavor lingering. Just a tad of bitterness, followed by a very slight warmth of alcohol.

MF: The carbonation is pleasant, and with the spicy dryness, it kind of sweeps across and massages the tongue.

D: I've been very into the more creative/experimental brews lately, so it was no problem draining one of these. The sweetness was not too much for me, and the bottle kept me in awe for the whole 2 and a half hours it took me to drink it. Might be a little weird for some folks, though. I let my parents try some:
Mom- 'tastes like plastic! Makes me think, department store!'
Dad- 'yeah, like formaldehyde!'

Photo of hwwty4
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Sebletitje for this one.

Poured a 750 into my Boulevard chalice. This beer pours an extremely hazy golden straw with a huge white effervescent head, which leaves just a slight bit of lacing as it recedes down the glass. The aroma is subtle. There is a slight biscuity aroma from what I assume is some pilsner malt. Around that base is a spiciness dominated by white pepper, a slice of spicy hops, and a bit of lemon zest. The flavor is essentially the same with a couple added nuances. Lime comes through, a bit of brown sugar, with mustiness and a slight citric tartness that combined with the base flavors creates an explosion of flavor. Absolutely amazing. The mouthfeel has a burst of bright carbonation but finishes extremely dry. This is a fantastic beer. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it.

Photo of Brad007
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Based on how impressed I was by Pays du Soleil, I decided to pick up a bottle of Saison Athene to see what else St.Somewhere has to offer.

Pours a light blonde color with a one-finger head into my wine glass. Carbonation looks plentiful.

The aroma consists of a mix of orange peel and green apple with a hint of lemongrass and clove. Very unique for the style.

My tongue is greeted by green apple, a slight hint of white pepper (which adds to the spiciness), and only a passing hint of lemongrass and clove. A great mix of tart and spicy here.

Mouthfeel has only passing hints of all the flavors described, especially green apple. Otherwise, it's very silky, almost disappearing from the palate altogether.

Yet another impressive, complex take on the saison style from this brewery. It's one of the better bargains I've seen as well. If you've only sampled traditional examples of this style, I'd recommend St.Somewhere's offerings for palate expansion.

Photo of mdvatab
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage
Poured from 22oz corked & caged bottle into Bordeaux glass.

Aroma: Light lemon, orange blossom, black pepper, some wild funk, freshly-squeezed orange juice, chalky yeast, coriander, and grapefruit zest. Intoxicatingly fragrant and complex!

Appearance: 3 finger, persistent off-white head settles slowly. Opaque, golden-orange body. Nice, foamy lacing.

Flavor: Lots of cinnamon and spicy clove up front, honey sweetness, but not cloying. Lacking the dry, peppery character of some saisons, this one resides on the more floral, fruity end of the spectrum.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full mouthfeel, medium-high carbonation, tingly pepper hits the back of the throat on the finish. The finish is otherwise very smooth.

Overall: Very soon after I removed the cage from this one, I saw the cork pushing its way out of the top of the bottle and with a "pop!", it hit the ceiling in my kitchen. Needless to say, this one was well-carbonated. For a brewery and a brand that I've heard very little of, I was VERY impressed with this one. EXTREMELY drinkable, yet deliciously complex. If you find this one, buy it!

Photo of grub
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

my father-in-law picked this one up for me on a recent trip to florida. thanks mike!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. sampled jan 19/08.

pours deep golden yellow with a nice medium density white head. the head drops slowly and leaves lots of spotty lace.

aroma is great. cinnamon and clove. brown sugar. graham crackers. white bread. others compare it to cinnamon toast crunch and french toast. it actually makes me think of the cinnamon roll french toast that my wife used to get at a restaurant we visited regularly in MN. bit of alcohol. hint of caramel sweetness.

taste is great. cinnamon roll french toast with apple compote. cinnamon. touch of clove and maybe nutmeg. brown sugar. very low bitterness level. just a hint of floral character, but never perfumey. bread and cracker. really neat blend of spice that never gets overbearing.

mouthfeel is great. very well integrated smooth medium carbonation level. good medium-light body with a nice dry finish.

drinkability is excellent. everyone thought this was one of the best of the night, strong words when it was up against kate the great and cantillon. another said it was the best example of the style they'd ever had. interesting and unique. alcohol is nearly totally hidden. just the right level of spice. i like my saison's more on the funky end of the spectrum, but this one is great. looking forward to more good things from these guys!

Photo of kirkmichel
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Opaque straw color with a hint of orange. Thick foamy head stays with it forever...really.
S-Smells citrusy and spicy (which is great because that's what I bought this for..) Lemony smell, with coriander and other spices - may be a bit of clove and cinnamon. You can smell the funky saison yeast, which I love.
T-Tastes quite a bit like a hefewiesen when you start drinking it, which is wierd, but doesn't make me like it any less for it. Lemon, corander and clove come through, and stay through the finish. Also white pepper and the yeastiness. Has a bit of tart soury/stinky flavor like a saison, but this is fairly trace. It gives you a little more hops, bitterness and sour apple as you continue to drink it, which makes it an A+ in my mind - depth of flavor is great, and something I rarely find in non-belgian produced saisons.
M-Smooth. Not light, but not heavy.
D-Great. Definitely tastes stronger than your average bear, but you really don't taste the alcohol very much.

I really liked this - if you're a fan of weiss beers or saisons or both, you should check this out if you can find it. I read about the brewery in the local paper, and soon after found it in 750ml and snatched some up. I will definitely be getting more!

Photo of yeastsipper
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at Broudy's liquors Ponte Vedra, Florida on trip home. I had not tried Saint Somewhere, but was hoping to try as these beers have just made it out to the Bay Area (though they are much cheaper in Florida!)

Beer pours a cloudy, honey color with a thick, long lasting white head.

The first scents are of yeast, not unlike Fin du Monde. There are bready notes and very pleasant floral scents. Additionally, there are spicy notes, but I cannot put my finger on exactly what spices I am smelling (coriander?).

The beer is spicy upfront (see above, not sure what) with an herbal quality on the back of the palate. It is a typical saison, but has much more upfront flavor than some of the others I have tried. It is more 'in-your-face' and less nuanced. I love it. Unique and brimming with flavor. As the beer warms, I detect a slight hoppy flavor as well.

The Athene is highly carbonated, maybe a touch more than I would ideally like.

As for drinkability, this beer is very complex. There are a number of different flavors at work here, some more obvious and others more hidden. It is not dry, but not too sweet either.

I really loved this beer. I found it very interesting and as I mentioned above, different from a lot of the other saisons. This was a great surprise and I would highly recommend.

Photo of deg
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured the beer into a pint glass. A good color and good head. I could smell citrus. A very strong citrus smell, but thankfully not grapefruit. I could taste the citrus and a hint of spice. The hint of spice grew stronger as I drank more of the beer. No sweetness. The beer went down easily.

Photo of bkilpatr
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Chimay glass. 11/23/08. Bottle is corked & caged, the cork flew out with a loud pop.

Pours a bright golden color with nearly one finger of whitish head. The head quickly dropped to a thin layer, no lacing. Aroma is zesty citrus and lemon with some yeast and assorted herbal spices.

Taste starts with a nice zesty lemon and citrus flavor with hints of orange peel and green apple. That is accompanied by sweet malt, and candied sugar, and a touch of honey. There's also some Belgian yeast flavor, and white pepper among other spices (ginger, lemongrass, clove). Very earthy and herbal. Nice mix between fruit and spices. Very pleasant taste.

The feel is equally pleasant. It has a light-medium body and plenty of carbonation. Makes it very bubbly and spritzy. The finish is dry and crisp. Drinkability is also very good. The alcohol is undetectable, and the lightness makes it very easy to drink.

Overall, an excellent beer. I'm very impressed with this, and really enjoyed it. Definitely give this a try.

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Saison Athene from Saint Somewhere Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 429 ratings.