Saison Blanc - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Saison BlancSaison Blanc

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

199 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 199
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 9.5%
Wants: 6
Gots: 22 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 02-13-2011

Inspired by crisp white wines, Saison Blanc features New Zealand hops, golden raisins and white pepper for a decidedly bright, spicy, and robust low ABV beer. Finished with Brettanomyces at packaging, this beer will evolve for many more years to come.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 199 | Reviews: 52
Reviews by jim_carignan:
More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On Tap

Lost Abbey
San Marcos, CA

A clear golden yellow with a big, thick white head. Plenty of lacing. A beautiful pour.

A yeasty and fruity aroma. Some mild funk, black pepper and sweet white fruit.

A tasty enough saison, at least initially, but there's a lingering, unwelcome aftertaste I really can't get past. The initial swallow is slightly more bitter than I like, though it is accompanied by flavors of tasty and funky yeast, pepper, and sweet fruits, but this beer leaves me with an unpleasant, unwelcome, almost chemically aftertaste. Unfortunate.

A thin to medium mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation.

All good, except for the aftertaste, which makes this a decidedly average saison in my books, and not one I'm likely to revisit again, unfortunately.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +5.5%

(Served in a teku)
A- 4.5 This beer pours a golden yellow body that is 3/4 of a glass of white foam that pushes above the rim. The second pour is quite murky. There are columns of microbubbles traling up the glass.

S- 4 The dry hint of club soda has some clove qualities with a sweet yeasty note and some white tea leaves to finish. There is a soft floral aroma with some field corn and herbaceous qualities as it opens.

T- 4 The dry club soda blends with yeast esters and the finish is dry. Growing more dry as it opens. There is some green peppercorn bite that grows as the beer opens in the aftertaste.

M- 4 The light mouthfeel has a crisp tight fizz with no alcohol heat

O- 3.5 The nice flavor is cut by the really too dry finish that is made worse by the bitterness of the peppercorn. It would be nice to have more yeast character or raisins to balance that flavor.

Photo of augustgarage
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood - 5.4% ABV, brewed with white pepper and green raisins - served in a tulip.

Hazy golden-yellow body with a messy smattering of beige marshmallow fluff. Thick tendrils of lacing; glossy tears; good retention.

Spicy nose with a mix of phenols and Muntok peppercorn. There is an herbal, nearly vegetal quality as well, and hints of white grape emerge as the ale warms.

White pepper is first on the palate, a biting dryness with hints of fruit peeking out from the margins. Herbal hops contribute a mild to moderate bitternes, while the earthy phenolic finish is suggestive of Brett., though I think these flavors are coming from the white pepper entirely. The profile is rounded out by a touch of winter fruit and a slight minerality or gooseberry.

Crisp, cutting, slightly more than light-bodied mouthfeel. Well carbonated but I'd prefer a bit more effervescence...my preference for bottle conditioning for this style lives on.

Reminds me a little bit of Boulevard's Saison Brett at times, though the fermented earthy spiciness is all from peppercorn I think. Refreshing, dry, unusual, and the perfect foil to salty food, though some may find it fatiguing.

Photo of spacecake9
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Lost Abbey teku glass.
A - Pours a hazy golden straw color with a mountainous, pillowy head. The lacing never goes away. A beautiful looking beer.
S - Yeast and citrus
T - Slightly tart, a little spicy and bitter, reminds me of champagne
F - Dry, medium carbonation
O - Another very good beer from Lost Abbey. I'm not a fan of sours, and this falls more on the tart side rather than sour. Very drinkable, but the dryness means I'll have just one. But I will have it again.

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.79/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 vintage stamped on the shoulder.

Appearance - Hazy bright orange body. Nice white head. Some chunks settle to the bottom of the glass. A bit of lacing inside.

Smell - Diacetyl, which is really weird. Pear fruit aroma. A little white pepper. Some brett earthiness.

Taste - If I hold my breath and take a sip, I don't get the diacetyl until the very last flavor. Grainy malt with some doughy sweetness. Pepper is much more prominent. The finish is bretty with that diacetyl flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Heavier than I expected it to be. A little sweet. Medium carbonation.

Overall - As always, once I get that diacetyl aroma, that's all I can focus on. Ruined the rest of the beer.

Photo of Samp01
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy golden blonde with a medium white fluffy lasting head, some lacing. Aroma is sweet fruity notes, yeast, mild dried fruit and citrus notes Taste is sweet fruit notes, yeast, mildly zesty and peppery spiced hops. A medium body on the palate with good lively carbonation. Finish is mildly sourness and sweet fruity flavors,yeast, some wildly mild sour notes of white grapes with a mild peppery hops bitterness for balance. A very good flavorful brew.

Photo of jellikit
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle.
Appearance: mostly yellow. Slightly hazy. Thin head of large bubbles. Decent lacing.
Smell: Chardonnay-like. Light phenols. Light saison/Belgian yeast.
Taste: light malt followed by wine. Slightly tart, ending with pepper and light hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium-light body. Dry.
Overall: different take on a saison. Has the backbone of a saison, but leans toward a wine. Maybe Bier de Garde or Geuze. Funky, but a good beer.

Photo of Catracho5
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

375 bottle poured into a Teku glass

A: High carbonation that created a massive 4 finger head, hazy golden color, lots of lacing, big fluffy head, lots and lots of carbonation streaming up the side of the glass.

A: Getting that Belgian yeast aroma, grainy malty peppery aromas, very complex aromas.

T: Bitter, yeast, peppery, the bitterness lingers with the dry finish, I'm getting an off flavor that doesn't blend with the others, the bitterness seems out of place.

M: High carbonation, dry finish.

O: Not sure what to think, there is some strange bitter flavor aroma in the beer, don't know if that't due to bottle storage or if this is the beer's normal flavor, it just seems off. I would like to try a fresh bottle as this is vintage 2013. Definitely complex, lots going on, but the bitterness seems out of place.

Photo of tanarm
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Lovely clear pale yellow - looks like a pilsner. Best clarity on a Lost abbey beer I've ever seen... Quick to lacing.

Hops and funk on the nose. Sweetness too. Honeydew melon, some pineapple, and pepper spice. Really nice.

Grassy, herbal hop punch. Fades into fruity, yeasty notes, medium-high bitterness lingers. Slight bubblegum. Bitter melon, mango. Noble hops.

Good body for the low abv. Finish is bitter and crisp.

This is a really great session beer, and a good beer for a saison lover. Would have it again, and again.

Photo of vandemonian
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Saison Blanc from The Lost Abbey is a spicy saison with some unripe fruit flavours. It's ok.

A: Straw yellow colour and a 3 mm head that fades leaving nice lacing. 4

S: Nice mix of malt and spice. Love the smell of the spicy saison yeast. 4.25

T: Light malt flavour with some unripe fruit flavours. A sharp spicy finish. 3.5

M: Quite highly carbonated. Foamy. 4

O: 3.75

Photo of blackie
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: served in a standard shaker pint, saison blanc is a medium clear golden color, capped with a bone white head that shows good retention

s: crisp, clean pilsner malt structure, lots of citrusy herb, lemon, glimpses of grapefruit, fresh grass, fresh phenolic spices are a great compliment, really like this

m: carbed to a medium-high level, lighter and body, crisp and refreshing on the palate

t: snappy-clean pils malt body, dry, brightly grassy and citrus pith hops, peppery phenol, lemony herb, drying finish with a hint of grapefruit, very clean and sharp to finish, quite nice

o: love the cleanliness and herbal citrus character here, it's snappy and highly drinkable, very much enjoyed

draft at Falling Rock, Denver

Photo of metter98
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and some lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of lemony citrus and peppery spices are present in the nose.
T: The taste resembles the smell, except that there is less of the lemon citrus and some notes of oak.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this beer to be pleasant. It has a lot of properties that a dry white wine exhibits, except it lacks the grape-like flavors.

Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very strong and foamy head that lasts for a long time. Some very nice lacing is left on the glass. The beer itself is a slightly hazy golden straw. The beer smell is interesting. The smell has the usual earthy and bitter smell of hops but the pepper and raisin are fairly prominent. The pepper mixes well with the earthy smell and the raisin add a bit of sweetness to balance it out a little bit. The taste is different. The bitter hops and the pepper dominate the taste and overwhelm the raisin. The sweetness comes out a little bit but not as much as in the smell. The beer has some crisp carbonation and medium bodied. The beer itself feels smooth with a very dry finish. Overall, a pretty good beer. The only that would make it perfect is if the raisins were more prominent in the taste.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pour yields a straw-golden brew with a pretty good white head and some nice lacing on the way down. The nice brings some light golden fruits and a bit of an earthy character. Moderate spice in the background. The flavor is a bit too spicy without enough of that fruit coming back in. Some light grain in the background. Light body with good carbonation and a very dry finish. Pretty good, but not one of the better saisons I've come across.

Photo of mportnoy
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Re-tasted. White pepper has fallen off quite a bit and this is no more drinkable but less interesting.

Photo of WunderLlama
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Corked bottle poured into a pint glass

Hazy yellow with no visible carbonation. Pours a massive, billowy, fluffy white head with plenty of lacings. Looks amazing.

Aroma of grass , citrus and spicy pepper.

Sour,mild bitterness on the front of the tongue. Grassy, citrus which reminds me of a hefeweizen . Can't taste the raisins or white pepper. Gentle sour and bitterness on the finish. Light mouthfeel.

This beer has me all over the place. Looks great but the sourness puts me off.

Photo of sweemzander
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

375mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a cloudy pale yellow color. A solid pure white head with good retention.

(S)- A bit dry with a grassy spiciness to it. Subtle lemon peel. Ever so slight funk.

(T)- Again, quite dry with a little lemongrass. I get the white pepper now but the green raisins are elusive in this.

(M)- A lively carbonation level. Dry and well balanced. Just not a ton going on; a basic saison, but its obviously well made.

(O)- Its a solid Saison for sure, it just does not stand out for me. Definitely enjoyable though.

Photo of themind
2.8/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This over carbonated mess of a beer left me wondering why Lost Abbey ever made it. The beer pours a massive overflowing head even when carefully pouring the beer. The aroma was very yeasty. The color was nice but the huge head ruined it for me. The taste was like an average Belgium beer. I dont pick up the white pepper or raisins at all. In the end this beer is a bit of a fail for me.

Bottom Line: Cool bottle, sub-par beer.

Photo of smcolw
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very thick, foamy head. Settles slowly with a definitive dome. Leaves some spotty, but chunky, lace. The color is straw with a bit of white haziness.

Sour cream aroma. A bit of clove and white pepper to the nose as well.

Spicy flavor with plenty of black pepper and hop bittering. Very brief, pale malt start with a touch of sourness. Proper body for the style--highly carbonated. Subtle and short-lived aftertaste.

Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Lost Abbey

A: This one pours a clear golden yellow color with a big (couple of fingers) white head and very impressive lacing.

S: A big time yeast aroma with a strong earthy funk to it. A lot of black pepper and some strong raisin notes. A lot of phenolics and a mild cheesiness. Other fruit notes such as golden dates and pears.

T: The pepper and spicy phoenols are strong on the front end. This beer is quite dry with a mild bitterness and some grassy and earthy hop notes. Light, cracker malts with a more subdued fruit character. A touch of sweet raisins and dates is about it.

M: Light to medium in body with a strong effervescence and the aforementioned dry finish.

D: The nose on this was quite nice, but the flavor wasn't quite there for me.

Photo of robbyc1
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was listed at 4.5% abv at the Pizza Port in Ocean Beach CA. Very clean light gold good white lace and clearish. Clean esthers w no funk, but a good dry finish with light maltiness. A very easy drinking saison, served in a tulip. Nicely refreshing with a silky mouthfeel. Not my favorite saison bit quite an achievement if truly a session ale at 4.5%. Go lost abey, keep it up.

Photo of champ103
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazed golden/yellow color. At first a large rocky white head forms, and rises to over two fingers. The head gently recedes in a minute with light lace.
S: Earthy, grassy, and light citrus aromas. I think I get some raisins, but it is closer to a dry tannin like grape skin. Finishes with a peppery spice, and a bit of bitterness.
T: A bit earthy, and grassy. Lemon rind, and some white grape skins. White pepper. Green, leafy, tea like that is very astringent and bitter. That lingers on forever.
M/D: A light body with moderate carbonation. A nice puckering dryness that I enjoy. Still a bit on the thin side. Easy to drink. I am going through this bottle in no time.

Not a bad Saison. Very colorful flavors. The strong lingering astringency and bitterness keeps this from being special. Not something I would turn to often, but a nice curiosity every once in a while.

Photo of Cavery
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Blue Palms 3rd Anniversary Party, had on tap.

A: Completely transparent hay body with some shimmering orange fish scales. White grape flesh and some rays of beach sunsets. Quite a foamer from the tap pour, and a huge filter of silkscreen lacing smothers the inside of the glass. Reasonable head retention rounds out a decent visual.

S: Lively pungent golden raisins, and some honey floral sweetness. A slight hint of spice that cuts the sweetness for only a minute, before the ingredients catch back up with the brew. Really this smells so sweet, and there's no funk to really break the smothering sweetness. Lots of vinous dessert wine qualities.

T: The taste actually isn't too sweet -- golden raisins with a drier emptiness that you'd expect to be sweeter. Some very light honey blends with milky flowers for an awkward creamy faux-tea taste. A bit of vague plant stems fills some of the gaps where you might expect some more complexity, or earthy funk. However, this remains more wine-like than earthy.

M: Dry light-medium body with a velvet coating. The mouth really takes over as you drink, it invaded my lips from contact. Not unpleasant, but very contagious. This has an infectious low-grade velvet sandpaper mouth-feel that will not leave the lips out of it. The brew drinks very much like wine over these textures.

O: This really was a bit of a bummer for me, I found a lot of the flavors to be almost watery. There's some interesting harmony with the mixes of milky florals, light raw honeys, and golden raisins; but it's lost in a boring too-subtle-did-not-listen kind of way. This beer shows potential for nuances, but the flavor needs an upgrade to highlight the subtleties. Right now the mouth feels like the mouth of a much better drink than the flavor provides. Hopefully this is tweaked a bit more in time. Also, the strange cut in flavor in the middle of the beer just comes off weird, is it the pepper? That needs to go, or be overhauled.

Photo of Dodgerrigo77
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really nice take on a saison. The hops compliment the golden raisins nicely. Not like champagne but Reminded me of white wine with a bit of pepper & carbonation. Could drink 3-4 bottles on a warm day outside.

Photo of kojevergas
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2013 vintage acquired at Lost Abbey's tasting room last week. "Brewed with golden raisins and white pepper." 5.5% ABV according to my bottle. 12.7 fl oz bottle with great label art and hood-and-wire cap over a cork served into a New Belgium stem-tulip in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery and style.

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Okay creaminess. Nice thickness. Retention is pretty decent - about 3-4+ minutes.

Body colour is a fairly vibrant yellow-copper. No yeast particles are visible (I didn't pour them). No bubble show.

Looks pretty typical of the style. Looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Lemon esters/zest, floral hops, clean pilsner malts, clean barley, straw, white pepper, and a nice graininess. Some biscuity yeast. Having trouble finding any golden raisin. Lemon pepper. A pleasant inviting aroma of mild strength.

No alcohol is detectable. Hop presence is minimal. Not as complex an aroma as the best beers in the style possess.

T: Heavy white pepper - especially in the third act. A bit of clove. The pepper grows spicy. Some lemongrass/lemon pepper. Not as grainy as the aroma suggested. Pilsner malts. Hints of biscuity yeast. Minimal floral hop character. Nicely balanced, if perhaps a bit less complex than the style calls for. The peppery character in particular is nice. Good subtlety. No milky notes. Good depth and intensity of flavour for the style. Flavour duration is roughly average for a saison. Not finding any golden raisin; that might help balance the spicy pepper a bit. Not sweet or bitter, but definitely spicy for the style due to the pepper.

This might be interesting if aged in white wine barrels.

Mf: Smooth and wet up front with some rougher coarseness towards the back end from the peppery character. Good carbonation; I've never had a problem with Lost Abbey's carbonation. Good body and presence on the palate. Texture complements the flavour profile nicely.

Dr: Quite drinkable. Hides its modest ABV well. It hits the peppery notes nicely; this might be the second most pepper forward saison I've ever had behind Sgt. Pepper. I'd get it again, preferably on-draught. More complexity and subtlety could elevate this to greatness; a solid saison from Lost Abbey. I coul definitely go for another, but the light spiciness does restrict drinkability somewhat; I wouldn't want a whole growler in a night, for example.

Low B

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Saison Blanc from The Lost Abbey
85 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.