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Saison Athene - Saint Somewhere Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saison AtheneSaison Athene

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

420 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 420
Reviews: 291
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 27
Gots: 28 | 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 Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

Most Recent Bottling with Brettanomyces added to the bottle
Sampled March 2008
A careful pour yields a fluffy, almost four finger thick, pale, off-white colored head that grows to five-fingers in height as I slowly inspect it. As the head slowly recedes it forms dynamic, textured surfaces and lofted surfaces as well as substantial lacing on the sides of my tulip glass; yep, the carbonation in this one is definitely a-ok. The beer is fully hazy and shows a pale amber, orange-tinged color that shows straw-gold notes when held up to the light. The aroma is still quite spicy, as I expected from this latest release; quite pepper-like with notes of clove, cardamom, anise and a very perfume-like character; perfume aromatics make me think of lavender and herbal flower petals. This also has a slightly musty, earthy, funky yeast signature to it. Towards the end some sweet malt character comes through with aromas of honey, sweet grain and it even accents some orange-zest aromatics.

Soft and creamy tasting, yet with a definite peppery carbonic bite, the beer is light and quaffable like a good Saison should be yet still has some body to it. The flavor is again quite perfume / potpourri like with lots of floral characteristics and also has a substantial white pepper / grains of paradise note to it. This still has some sweetness to it with flavors of sweet grain, floral-pale-honey flavors as well as a touch of sweet orange peel. Turpene-rich spice notes of clove, cardamom and something that is almost allspice like. The spice flavors tend to mellow a bit as my palate gets used to them, but, especially the floral-perfume ones, they are still the dominant flavor character of this brew. The spice notes almost have a metallic quality to them. Towards the finish some more malt character is noticeable in the form of freshly crushed grain flavors, some lightly toasted malt notes and touch of soda-cracker flavors. Earthy spice notes, green coriander and some of the clove notes are definitely a signature of the Saison yeast.

The Brettanomyces has yet to contribute, but that is not surprising as this is less than a month old. Thankfully Solan was kind enough to include a bottle for me to age. Speaking of which, over-carbonation might be an issue if there is indeed Brettanomyces added to this at bottling as this is already pretty well carbonated. This beer is a whole lot better with the carbonation and, unsurprisingly the flavor profile has changed quite a bit; almost to the point that I could be convinced that the brewer may have played with the relative amounts / additions of spices in this batch (though it is just as likely that the carbonation has amplified / muted certain aspects of the beer on its own). I sort of like the potpourri nature of this brew, but I could see how it would get on some peoples nerves as it is quit prominent. Some age and the Brett should take care of this though.

Likely Batch 1; Sampled January 2008
Very undercarbonated, but shows lots of potential

Gueuzedude, Feb 01, 2008
Photo of grub
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%

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!

grub, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of Ozone34
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%

Recent relocation to Tampa drew me to look up on the BeerFly guide of good places to drink good beer. I saw this brewery on the top of the list. Having lived my entire 23 years of life in Sarasota Florida and never hearing of this brewery before astounded me.

Brewery claims to be small batch Belgium style limited quanities. Cork was kind of hard to pull but a wine key did the trick real nice.

This saison selection leaves me breathless.

I popped this with my brother upon finally finishing a loooong weekend of packing and moving. An unusually cold weekend here in the sunshine state made the scene all the better.

Beer pours from bottle into a Belgium style goblet. Awesome head retention and massive amounts of head.

Smells of a spicy wine with lots of cloves and bananas and fruits and liquorice.

Taste has incredible background complexity from the intial alcohol spice kick. As the beer warms it permeates a luscious almost cognac alcohol smell. Very sticky head retains during entire glass.

Incredible find here in the land of Bud light and LandShark yellow fizzy beach beers. I recommend this to anyone who has the slightest taste for good spiced belgium beer.

Ozone34, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.88/5  rDev -1%

Thanks to tpd975 for the chance to try another beer from Saint Somewhere.

Pours a cloudy, golden yellow, a fair amount of foamy head with very little lacing.

Smell is mostly citrus with some yeast, other spices as well, such as an orange and lemon aroma.

The taste is controlled by lemon citrus, the other spices in the beer follow up shortly after. Carbonation is a bit overdone, but makes for a light tasting brew. Does leave a bitter tartness at the end though.

A solid effort from Saint Somewhere, I look forward to trying out any new beers they make in the future. Although they might want to work on their corks, this one and the Lectio Divina had a hard time coming out.

deltatauhobbit, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of Procrastinator
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%

750 ml green bottle, caged and corked, poured into goblet. The cage on this bottle is for show only, because this cork was going nowhere. After losing feeling in both my arms trying to wrestle the cork, I opted for the corkscrew. At last, drinking time.

Appearance: cloudy, muddled golden tan in color with virtually no head and little carbonation. Bottle conditioned yeast really muddies up the beer.

Smell: sweet pear, apples, grape skins and lemon zest along with some subtle spices. I could swear that I smell overripe bananas.

Taste: all that is perceived in smell can also be tasted. sweet ripe pears, apples, grapes and lemon at the finish. Hop bitterness shows up at the finish.

Mouthfeel: carbonation is not seen but can be detected upon drinking. Light to medium bodied, refreshing on the tongue and well-balanced.

Drinkability: carbonation is virtually missing, but this is a fun drinking beer nevertheless. I will check back on this one once I know the cork and carbonation issue has been resolved.

Procrastinator, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of bitterbeauty
4.83/5  rDev +23.2%

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.

bitterbeauty, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of doktordebris
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%

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!'

doktordebris, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of Shaw
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

After a struggle with this brewery's other ale, I just forgot about popping the crown cork normally and went for the corkscrew.

It pours a very bright golden color with substantial bubbles and a very white head that reduces to a fairly thin ring in my tulip glass.

It has a very nice aroma of spices, particularly coriander and orange peel.

The taste is equally spicy, with big coriander flavors and notes of musty and earthy flavors.

The body is quite light and crisp. This beer is well-attenuated.

Overall this is a good beer. I like the brewery's other beer a little better, however.

This is a landmark beer for Florida and I recommend buying some to support this new brewery and encourage them.

Shaw, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +2%

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 meatyard
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%

Bought in Tampa at Total Wine. Gotta be an earlier bottle, cork required pliars and a corkscrew plus carbonation is minimal. Apparently the most recent bottles have fixed this.
The appearance is a hazy orange with a quickly falling light head. No lacing.
The smell is a very nice pungent lemon grass.
The taste is mild lemon and, to me, a very mild bit of funk. Also, a light bit of spiciness.
Mouthfeel is light and dry.
Drinkability is pretty good though I'm fine with one 750 ml bottle.

Overall, this is a mild saison that is a pleasant drink. I'm glad to see another brewery only 7 miles from where I grew up.

meatyard, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

750ml bottle into a goblet.

After nearly killing myself trying to remove the cork, I managed to pour this beer into my Chimay goblet. Lack of carbonation leaves the head lacking. Otherwise it looks fine. A hazy golden color.

Smell is spice and oranges.

Taste is very good. Orange peel and a hint of black pepper. Gets more and more complex as it warms. Lemony zest and even a hint of candi sugar.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth.

Overall, an excellent beer. This brewery is doing great things. Now if they could fix the carbonation and the corking problems they would be awesome!

bluegrassbrew, Dec 04, 2007
Photo of Drew966
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%

Saison Athene pours a light golden yellow with just a ring of white bubbles around the edges from a green 750 ml corked and caged bottle that proved extremely difficult to open. The aroma has a light apple tinge and some spice. The carbonation is quite low. There is a touch of fruit, and some herbal flavors which give a hint of medicinal taste. Someone else mentioned pumpkin pie in their review, I think that is fairly close. Worth a try.

Drew966, Dec 02, 2007
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%

Served on draft in Tampa, on a warm fall day.
In a tradtional trappistes style goblet with a creamy white head which stuck to the glass showing nice legs and lace.
Beautiful yellow haze with a varied citrus,and herbal aromas, complex yet distintive flavors, cammomille is up front, maltyness a little in the back and that traditional tartness so typical of Wallonia.
This was the brewer's third batch, I've tasted the others, each batch is better than the one before. No wonder the brewer won best of show at the BFBC competition in Tampa two years ago.
He also has a great article in the beer issue at creativeloafing.com.
Only on draft in Tampa right now, but 750ml bottles are all around, but you may have to ask!
This beer has more Alcohol than listed by B.A.

DUNDERBAK, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%

What a pleasant surprise to see a brewery from Florida making decent beer. While I love visiting the state, the beer scene (at least in the Orlando, N. Smyrna Beach and Daytona area) is about as wretched as I've seen in my cross country travels.

The beer comes in a 750 ml. champagne bottle with an attractive, whimsical label. The beer pours a hazy gold color with good head retention and fair lacing. On the nose I get some light citrus, pepper and ginger. The nose is not huge, but what I can smell is pretty nice. On the palate I get some orange and ginger snap, and the beer opens up more and more as it sits in my glass. I initially scored this beer a 4 for taste, but had to upgrade the score once the beer opened up. There is almost a pumpkin pie flavor to this beer which is quite intriguing. As it opens up even more I get some apple and quinine. The mouthfeel is light to moderate and the beer comes across as pretty drinkable and refreshing.

While not extraordinairy, this beer is pretty darn good with a lot of interesting spices playing nicely on the palate. Very nicely done.

Note: A number of reviewers have commented on the low carbonation in this beer and expressed the hope that this problem would be worked out. Based on my experience, it now has been. I placed a bottle stopper (vacuum pump) on the beer after the first glass, and even though the rubber stopper had released by the time I returned to it (two days later), the carbonation was still very good. Also, as others have noted, the bottle I purchased indicated an abv. in excess of 7%.

John_M, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of xgrafcorex
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%

a: clear, a shade darker than golden. tiny head that disappears instantly.

s: spices, fruit/citrus, and a hint of yeast.

t: tastes good and smooth. less spicy, but a little citrus flavor in there, finishes with a nice fruity flavor that lingers for a bit.

m: medium body and very lacking in carbonation as others have stated. i was hoping they were wrong when i noticed a head developing during pour.. they were right. the head vanished as quickly as it formed. i'm not crazy about over carbonation, but this is a bit too far in the other direction.

d: smooth and easy to drink. nice flavor..i'd say this is one of the best floridian beers i've had so far. i'm looking forward to trying the other offering from this brewery.

xgrafcorex, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of nickfl
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%

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 18, 2007
Photo of tpd975
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

A: Light yellow in color almost pear like. Mildly cloudy with very little head and no lacing.

S: One wonderful smelling beer. The aroma is off the scale on this one. There is a big aroma of candied sugar, pear, orange, mint, and apple. There is also a ton of spice mixed in.

T: The flavor is almost as nice as the aroma. Tons of sweet fruits. Peach apricot and apple. Spices like nutmeg, spearmint, and a hint of cinnamon. Like no other Saison I have ever tasted.

M: Medium bodied but lacking carbonation.

D: I really enjoyed this one.

Overall: I am so happy that St. Somewhere has started bottling beers in Florida. They could improve some on their beers, but I really like their product. I have had several of the Saison, and the Red in the past month, and each and every time I have to wrestle the cork from the bottle. I have heard this is being addresses, and once it is I will share their beers as extras in trades. Both of their beers are worth seeking out, and are no doubt about it the best beers brewed in Florida that you can buy by the bottle.

tpd975, Oct 14, 2007
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%

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 Jredner
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

750 ml bottle. The aroma features gobs of fresh fruit highlighted by apple and pear, but there are ample citrus notes. Has a mild herbal/earthy backbone to it and hints at lemon grass. The body is a lusterless yellow/gold and it is virtually headless. The first sip is full of fruit and mild hints of vanilla and chamomile. Has a stale hop bitterness in the finish followed again by lemon grass notes. The carbonation is utterly absent and seriously detracts from the beer. I've heard this issue is being addressed and can't wait to re-rate it.

Jredner, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of cjgator3
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%

Caged and corked 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a murky orangish yellow color with a white head. The aroma features a large amount of citrus (mainly lemon) with some spices and yeast. The taste features much of the same citrus flavors with some spice and Belgian yeast flavors with a mild hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is light bodied and moderately carbonated. Overall, this is a pretty decent saison that is a very welcome addition to the Florida beer community.

cjgator3, Sep 18, 2007
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Saison Athene from Saint Somewhere Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 420 ratings.