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Saison Athene - Saint Somewhere Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saison AtheneSaison Athene

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

420 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 420
Reviews: 291
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 27
Gots: 29 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 420 | Reviews: 291 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Whitish body with lots of white foam on top. Yeast and lightly spicy aroma. Easy drinking medium mouthfeel, the taste is a light bitterness integrated with the spicy yeast, a little boozy but most drinkable. Drying finish. Bottle picked up in Brandon, Florida. A very good saison, although not the greatest I have ever had.

Sammy, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2%

t0rin0, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

djrn2, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours nice and golden with a white head and some nice lace left behind. Nose is pepper, orange, citrus, spice, and pear. Taste is a bit of citrus with spice and light fruits. Mouthfeel is really quite nice; light and good carbonation. In the end, tastes almost like Sweet Tarts. Good stuff.

Thorpe429, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +2%

nmann08, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is golden yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two finger high bright white head that has excellent retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: The nose has moderately strong aromas of herbs and spices that are very similar to what you would expect from a Scottish gruit beer. Notes of lemongrass, rosemary and hints of wine are noticeable.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has some peppery and spicy flavors. The brett adds a touch of sourness. The finish has a bit of funkiness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a high amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink because the herbal flavors don’t overpower the smell and the alcohol is well hidden. The beer tastes particularly well with aging.

Note: 2009 vintage

metter98, Oct 08, 2011
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

brentk56, Apr 04, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautifully hazy Golden Delicious yellow with an alabaster colored head that is dangerously close to Belgianesque in both size and texture. A loud rifle shot on cork extraction was the first clue that the beer was well-carbonated. Abstract patterns of sticky lace complete the picture of a classic saison.

The label includes those enigmatic words 'brewed with spices'. I'll guess grains of paradise, along with at least one other. Coriander perhaps? The beer is also bright and lemon zesty. It's a good nose, but it isn't quite complex enough to earn a bigger score. (Edit: chamomile, rosemary and black pepper are used).

Saison Athene tastes good as well. Having said that, my favorite saisons/farmhouse ales derive their flavors from yeast, bacteria or hops (especially hops!) as opposed to added spices. When the spice in question is this dominant, it tends to turn potential complexity into actual simplicity. How one feels about the flavor, for the most part, depends on how one feels about the spices.

The malt bill is almost certainly 100% pilsner and/or pale. There's an underlying sugar cookie sweetness that is countered beautifully by both bitterness and spiciness. Saint Somewhere thinks SA has a dry finish. It ain't that dry, although the hops keep things quasi-crisp on the back end.

Complexity or no complexity, I'm enjoying the beer too much to stay stuck on a score of 4.0 for flavor. This is a beautifully constructed ale whose positives definitely outweigh its negatives. It's hard to say if the beer's lemongrassiness is due to lemongrass or to hops. The brewery says that flavors will continue to develop over several years. My thinking is that fresh (and hoppy) is best.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite match the excellence of the Belgian and French masters, but it isn't far off. It's at least medium for the style and has a sneaky viscosity that keeps beer in contact with taste buds for an impressively long time. All those bubbles do a great job of injecting a smooth-edged creaminess. What the hell, I guess it deserves to be rewarded after all.

Talk about cognitive dissonance. What are the odds that a relatively new craft brewery in Tarpon Springs, Florida could create a Belgian saison that is able to stand up to all but the world's best? This is fantastic beer that I wouldn't mind drinking again. Recommended.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of Beerlando: Poured a light dirty yellow color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of funky yeast is easily detectable and quite enjoyable. Taste is also dominated by the funky yeast but it is not as dominant as the aroma would suggest. Nice Belgian type malt base is also noticeable but hops presence is hard to notice. Body is quite full with some good carbonation and alcohol is not apparent.

Phyl21ca, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not knowing a lot about authentic Belgian Saisons outside of Dupont and a few others, this beer carries a lot of aged and characterful notes that make be beleive it's authentic.

As the bottle propells the cork toward the ceiling, the beer instantly begins to ooze out of the bottle. Quickly grabing my glass, the beer pours a very efforvescent pour of glowing golden hues A very froathy and airy head forms on the glass and laces extremely well with cotton-white foam.

Aromas are extremely aromatic with perfumes, fruitiness, herbs, spices, and must. Apples, pears, pineapples, lemons, and appricots give a huge fruity burst of esters while sharp spicy pepper, cumin, and spice for balance. Hop aromas add to the spiciness and contribute bitterness, earthiness, and a hint of cheesiness.

Flavors are very fruit forward as well. But the spicey phenols give much more character and balance that expected. Flavors of orange zest, chamomile, corriander, and tropical fruits add a lot of sweetness which raise the malt flavor from dry to sweet. Still, the beer has a dry bitter balance that, once again, gives that cheesy note.

The body is very airy and efforvescent with dryness and spiciness to match. Although some sweetness exists, the carbonation and alcohol reduce these to more subtle and digestible qualities. The mouthfeel likely saves this beer from becomming a single source contradiction.

I very much think this is a fantastic Saison, but the ginger-chamomile-orange things going on seem a bit forced. I love the dry, efforvescent character of the beer.

Thanks Ding!

BEERchitect, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Texasfan549, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle which was served at cellar temperature and poured into a snifter. Consumed on 07/12/2008.

I was lucky enough to be able to have my sister in law bring me a couple of these up from Florida on her last trip down there. Really fantastic looking bottle I have to admit. Great artwork on this one, with a classic feel to it. The bottle was heavy as hell as a side note. The pour was very nice with a rich golden yellow. Lots of haze and cloudiness here with a large two finger high head of white foam that just would not receded. Lots of carbonation coming up from the bottom to reinforce it.

The aroma was loaded with spices. Hints of lemon and cinnamon where abound here, with a rich earthy mix to it. Lots of almost a nutmeg I am picking up here. The flavor took off right where that left off. A rich mixture of lemon, fresh grass, light fruit flavors and a ton of spice. Nice hints of allspice, cinnamon and pepper here. Nice light to medium body feel capped it off very well and the overall drinkability was very nice,

Overall not half bad. Not the best in the style I had ever had, but definitely worth seeking out to try again. A very solid beer that will do nothing more then encourage me to try the rest of their offerings. Very solid.

mikesgroove, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2%

kjkinsey, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +2%

GRG1313, May 15, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden in color with a large white head. The rosemary is the dominant aroma. There is a hint of chamomile that comes through, too. Though it’s not in there, a hint of sage, too. A touch of citrus peel and a lot of malt and sugar sweetness. The flavor is interesting. Quite herbal and spicy up front with the rosemary once again being the primary flavor. The finish is very sweet and has an almost Swedish Fish candy flavor to it. Really weird.

womencantsail, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

spycow, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger typical frothy saison head, pale hazy golden body with some lacing.

S: musty yeast, light fruit but overall a little light. Sage is nicely represented.

T: I like the tart but sweet floral, earhty and yeasty flavor. Subtle peppery and spiced notes.

M: light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation.very refreshing.

Overall: Another nice saison by this brewer with the sage adding a nice, memorable touch.

kylehay2004, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clearish, yellow-orange body with a... hmm, there's not really any head to speak of, so let's just go "n/a" for that.

Smell: Gah, what a very fragrant and perfumy aroma. It's the beer equivalent of an incense shop! Ginger, jasmine, red sandalwood, and patchouli!

Taste: Upfront, there's a lemony honey-like flavor, but that's not to say it's actually sweet. I will not go on the record as having said that. Flavorwise, the intense incense experience rages on with hints of myrrh, crystal amber, Arabian frankincense, and even more ginger. The finish is surprisingly abrupt and somewhat sour. The spicing lingers on and on.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Mild carbonation. Normally, I prefer less carbonation, but I gotta say this one could use a bit to clean away all the spices.

Drinkability: The most exciting thing to come out of Florida since oranges!

ChainGangGuy, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a nice cloudy looking saison, it's got a yellowish color to it and a big viscous white head on it. This brew is very lively. The smell of the beer has some yeasty fruit notes with a bit of herbal aromas too. The taste gives off an interesting flavor of some fermented fruit and some very herbal flavors. The aftertaste almost feels like it has some kind of menthol cooling the back of the mouth. Very different. The mouthfeel was bubbly and has plenty of carbonation to it. Overall it's a very interesting Saison from a very interesting brewery.

Knapp85, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Tripel Karmaliet glass.

Pours a bright cloudy amber-straw (mostly straw) with a steadfast head of white foam that leaves only a tiny bit of soapy lacing behind. The nose is spicy and sour, with notes of brett, cloves, green apples, pepper, and wheat. the funkiness comes out strongly in the taste, with all of the nose's elements coming through as well, creating a mostly harmonious belgian concoction. The sour funk, though, seems to want to tip the balance in its favor a bit too much, just keeping things from perfect equilibrium. The body is a solid light-medium, with steady, nice carbonation and a punctuatedly smooth texture. Overall, a good, strong offering, though the seemingly intense funkiness/sourness forces the drinkability to remain high with those whose tongues are attuned to such things, while those on the other side are left somewhat in the lurch (but not too far, mind you).

TMoney2591, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 marked on the cork

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden orange color with a three-finger, eggshell white head of fluffy foam. It left sticky trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled fruity and sweet with yeasty and phenolic notes.

T - Spicy with lemon, yeasty and grains. There is a light, sweet caramel flavor.

M - It was very sharp - it popped on the tongue. A medium bodied ale that finished very dry.

D - This is good, but it should be shared. After a while the flavors started to overwhelm my taste buds.

zeff80, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, corked and caged. Nice label.

The Saison Athene pours a glowing golden orange body beneath a massive head of creamy off-white that holds remarkably well and leaves beautiful rings of sticky, creamy lace as it goes. The initial pour was fairly clear; subsequent pours were hazy.

The aroma expresses chalky yeast, bright spice, and grainy malt. I can't pick out any exact spices except for coriander, but it kind of smells like sandalwood, and even a tiny bit like patchouili - maybe just like a display of different types of incense. Really unique. I've never smelled that in a beer.

In the mouth it bristles the tongue with an elevated, very-fine bubbled natural carbonation from bottle conditioning. The body is medium-light, and as it warms it becomes more supple, and even a touch creamy.

The flavor delivers a beautifully-rounded combination of lightly sweet wheaty malt, delicate yeasty golden fruit, a dry mineralish note similar to ground granite, chalk, and a delicate dusting of spice. Hmmm... notes of cedar and lemon? At first the spice is subtle, giving flavors of coriander, clove, and a hint of cardamom, but in the finish it comes up quite bright with a note of ginger and white pepper. It leaves a tingle on the tongue! The bitterness is kept in check, and rightfully so, because the spicing does more than an adequate job of drying it. The lingering spiciness is really nice. The alcohol never shows. Really well done.

Unique! Well worth seeking out.

NeroFiddled, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a large white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of spices; ginger, clove and coriander along with Belgian yeast, light malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is likewise very spicy with flavors of coriander, ginger and clove. There's a bready Belgian yeast flavor and hearty malt character that follows along with some sweetness. There's a very mild hops presence. The after-taste is spicy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's a good beer but I just don't like the intense spice flavor. If that's your thing, it's worth drinking for a while.

TheManiacalOne, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a perfectly clouded gold with a minimal white head. Nose is a yeasty, doughy, funk. Flavor is a bit spicier than I would have thought. Kinds of kicks just a little bit, giving it a unique edge over a lot of the other saisons I have had. I like it. Feel has a slightly biting carbonation to it. Smooth liquid feel. I like this saison. A lot. I like it even more because it comes out of Florida of all places. I am glad I was able to get a bottle of this.

RblWthACoz, Jan 01, 2008
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.

nickfl, Oct 19, 2007
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Saison Athene from Saint Somewhere Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 420 ratings.