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Saison Blanc - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Saison BlancSaison Blanc

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

52 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 207
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 19.31%
Wants: 9
Gots: 20 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 52 | Hads: 207
Photo of Alieniloquium
2.79/5  rDev -26.2%
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.

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Photo of themind
2.8/5  rDev -25.9%
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.

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Photo of ptykozoon
2.84/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a honey yellow - just a hint of orange. The thinnest head lingers.

Floral, citrus, both subdued. Smell is subtle.

Spice, earthy notes, orange peel. Taste is subtle.

A unique dryness reminiscent of wine or a dry champagne. Spritsy mouthfeel.


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Photo of ehammond1
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
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.

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Photo of kevanb
3.06/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

375ml bottle, 2013 vintage, poured into a The Lost Abbey Teku.

First off, the cork was literally fused to the bottle, requiring not only a corkscrew, but also a pocket knife to open, which was a struggle for about 5-10 minutes. Once the cork was removed, parts of it were still stuck to the side of the bottle. The beer pours a very soft straw color, hues of gold, orange and lemon peel, hazy and cloudy with a few noticeable bubbles rising to the top of the glass. A big, 3 finger head, white in color and soapy and frothy in texture rises from the beer and settles nicely leaving huge swatches of lace behind. The aroma is very peppery, yeasty with a big amount of ripe fruit, soft malt, light earthy funk and some tangy citrus. It's not very balanced or remarkable, but complex to the style, it just comes off as a bit harsh rather than delicate. The flavors really accentuate the sharpness, lots of prickly pepper, ripe fruit, don't really denote any raisin character which is unfortunate as it's a signature ingredient, but the yeasty fruit flavors are more on the lighter side. There is some soft funk, earth, but this beer is really dominated by the pepper and its sharpness. The body doesn't really tone that down at all, it's quite carbonated, extremely crisp, and a bit abrasive. The finish is a bit smoother and creamier on the lips, but it's certainly dry and zippy as it goes down.

Verdict: A miss from The Lost Abbey. The pepper really takes over this beer and the body is a bit too much when matched with this flavor profile. I had no trouble finishing a 375ml bottle, but I doubt I'd ever purchase this again.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Lost Abbey already has a few saisons in its portfolio, though this white saison looks new. Coming in a 375 ml corked and caged bottle, which is a refreshing change from the 750 ml format. On to the beer:

Beauty in a glass. Color is pale yellow like a witbier, slightly cloudy, and topped with an airy, thick bone white head which retains extremely well and is sticky. The aroma brings hope for things to come. The white pepper is noticed, also vague fruitiness, and pineapple flesh. I'm ready for this.

Blah. Much too dry, as dry as Death Valley. The flavor whispers of gum, spice, and a strong bitterness. Again, much too dry. That's a shame, because the texture actually feels pleasant in the mouth, with its medium body and very smooth feel.

Sounded like a worthwhile experiment, but the execution was subpar. Much of Lost Abbey's beers are significantly better than this.

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Photo of Cavery
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle into snifter. Vintage 2013 printed on bottle.

A: Pours a clear light straw color with a very dense and soft whipped egg-white head that took forever to slowly collapse into a thick mousse of a film. Chunks of rocky laceing were left down the glass.
S: The nose reeks of earthy yeast and herbal, dirty and farmy scents, as well as slightly tart golden fruits, green fruits, golden raisins, and mild white pepper. Strong smelling, unique, and a bit funky.
T: Leafy and herbal notes hit first followed by earthy and musty notes. Fruit brings up the rear and the finish is tingly and slightly sour. I get flavors of damp basement, barnyard, yard trimmings, chopped wood, slight lemon, peach, golden raisins, golden pears, white wine, and green apples. The finish is bready and slightly sweet and the aftertaste contains notes of the white pepper and leafy garden herbs.
M: Frothy tight carbonation bubbles up on my palate. The body is medium, and slightly bitter/sour (not acidic though), and the mouthfeel is airy, light, a tad watery, and fairly smooth.
O: Interesting flavor but a bit off putting at times. Unique, but I probably wouldn’t buy this again.

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Photo of FitnessForBeer
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A: yellow straw colored very cloudy, almost no head
S: little clean malt, little funk, little grape. Very very light
T: funky, little spices, I get some grape flavor, not sure id say champagne as some would say but close. Grassy light hops. Very dry
M: very little carbonation
O: my father had it at the same time and we both agreed that the smell disappointed and kinda made the beer off putting, most Saisons I've had had a far better smell even the carnevale and the red barn ale. Much prefer the other LA Saisons

Edit: I might have had a bad bottle, I'll give it another go when LA has this years batch

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Photo of corby112
3.44/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

2013 vintage.

Pours a cloudy and very dark gold color that kind of looks like apple cider with a massive three finger, pillowy foam head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting cap. Looks over carbonated taking forever to finally settle. Large chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Earthy, funky aroma with strong zesty spices, sweet vinous fruit and pale. Funky farmhouse yeast notes with musty brett, and prominent peppery spice. Hints of pepper, ginger and coriander along with bread, biscuit, apple, pear, raisin and citrus rind. Nice balance of farmhouse funk/yeast, ester-y light fruit, brett and spice.

On the lighter end of medium bodied with lots of bubbly carbonation. Too much so for my preference. Very earthy and musty with nice farmhouse/saison like flavors. I don't know if brett is added but it feels like it with a nice dry and earthy, Orval-like character. The pepper/spice flavor is pretty strong but not as prominent as in the nose. Zesty and peppery with hints of clove, ginger and coriander providing a nice compliment to the earthy funk. Bready yeast notes come in mid palate, giving the beer fullness and some needed balance. Still, I thought that there need a little more sweetness to counter the other flavors. The light fruit flavors found in the nose are minimal here and only come in on the back end. Just a touch of grape and apple cider-y flavor but the spices and funk dominate. Overall, this was a pretty decent beer but the carbonation level is too high for my liking and it comes off a bit one note. Okay but I wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
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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Photo of impending
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


TapRoom Pacific Beach

Served a hazed pale yellow dull, white head, minor lacing.

Aroma is mild sweet with a mix of light skinned fruits. Citrusy hops provide a strong background.

Strong hop citrus again in the flavor. Lighty fruity. No dry bite, just a darting pepper accent. Mild bitter aftertaste which is long lived slowly fading hops. Thin to medium bodied lively mouthfeel.
uncannily an identical twin of Port Brewing Spaceman Series: Saison


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Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of champ103
3.59/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of Jonada
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. 2013 vingtage 5.5% abv.

Appearance: Pours a light golden yellow color with 3 fingers of a white soapy head. Body is very hazy with lots of visible carbonation. Excellent head retention and lacing.

Smell: Spices, grass, pear, big dry spicy yeast character. Green raisins and pepper are minor but detectable if looking for them.

Taste: Big time yeast bomb. Funky/farmhouse yeast, brett, coriander, pear, green apple, very slight breadiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp with high carbonation. Incredibly dry from start to finish. Long lingering yeasty, spicy aftertaste.

Overall: Another solid beer from the lost abbey. Not up there among some of their best beers, and not even their best saison, but still enjoyable and worth a try.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a Vintage 2013 bottle into a Bruery tulip. Pours a nice, hazed gold with about an inch of head. The lace isn't too impressive.

Pale malts, grass, farmhouse yeast funk, slight spice at the end of the smell.

Country white bread, pepper and spice combine right up front in the taste. Yeasty funk, lemon rind and a mineral note follow. No hint of raisins. Heavy on carbonation but otherwise alright.

Not my favorite saison, but worth a try.

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Photo of Bonsall_Phil
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: light and very cloudy, whipped cream head at 1.5 inch holds stubbornly like merengue. Cloudiness is rather disturbing.

N: dirty, light toasted Saison malt strong on the nose, slightly fruit overtone, touch of pepper. Pleasant yeasts.

T: close to the nose. Very nice ale, can pick up the raisins on the taste but not the pepper so much. Very bubbly and light on the mouthfeel, a lingering warmth. (Thick head still holds thru duration)

The appearance threw me, but this is actually a pretty good farmhouse ale. I would purchase and serve to friends.

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Photo of gr0g
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden in color with a towering head that persists for several minutes. Plenty of sticky lacing. Vinous aroma, like a buttery, full-bodied white wine. Ripe white grape and golden raisin notes. Very appetizing smell.

Flavor profile is quite dry, a bit peppery. Mild phenols and clove note from the yeast. Very light malt body that's complemented by fruity notes of tart green apple and some white grapes. Carbonation is vigorous but not overly harsh.

If the flavor had more depth and complexity, this would be a great Saison, but as it stands, it's merely a good one. Very interesting for only 5.4%, but the $5 price tag is asking a bit much.

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Photo of Catracho5
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Got it at Binny's! Served in a DryHop taster glass. Vintage 2013.

A - Giant white foam settles to a creamy meringue-like cap, with glass-coating lace. Hazy pale golden body.

S - Very peppery and phenolic, with musty farmhouse yeast, wheat and other grains. There's perhaps a hint of green grape skins in the periphery; wouldn't guess raisin though. Minimal sweetness.

S - The taste is also very peppery and phenolic, with a hint of aromatic pear skins and grains of paradise. Again, very grain and yeast heavy, with very low sweetness to it.

M - Medium body, with lower carbonation (guess it's all in the foam). Soft texture with a bit of grain to it and and a moderately dry finish. A bit of lingering stickiness that alludes to raisins. No obvious alcohol.

D - It's a serviceable Saison that's very peppery and phenolic. I could have gone for a bit more malt sweetness and some of the advertised raisin though. Not bad, just not overly exciting or memorable.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Library Ale House in Santa Monica, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, spices, yeast, and some peppery aromas. Taste is much the same along with some earthy and herbal flavors. There is a medium peppery bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but the bitterness on this one is weird.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
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

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

What a head on this beer! Took me quite some time just to pour. Smells like a dry champagne, drinks like a dry champagne. Don't get much of a raisin flavor to it, but I do get a hint of the white pepper. Overall, I'm enjoying it. It's a pleasant "lazing on a sunny afternoon" kind of beer.

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Saison Blanc from The Lost Abbey
85 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.