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Saison VOS - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saison VOSSaison VOS

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

211 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 211
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 8
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 12-01-2002

A Belgian style Saison (or Farmhouse Ale) brewed with German Pils malt and hopped with East Kent Goldings. Fermented with a special proprietary yeast which imparts its dry, spicy character. Golden orange in color.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 211 | Reviews: 99
Reviews by Rastacouere:
Photo of Rastacouere
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark gold body, wearing a medium sized white head. Soapy hop/yeast carbonation appears both woody and herbal in the nose, but further studies reveal appealing candyish honey malts and underlying spices that, in mouth, take the shape of mustard seeds, coriander and sage. Developping a soft grassy bitterness, but despite full carbonation, it can’t hide its insufficient attenuation and therefore wins most of its saison character from the spices. Medium bodied, foamy texture. Too bad they didn’t have any of those famed bottles yet.

More User Reviews:
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a talk sided tulip glass)

A- This beer has a lemon yellow crystal clear body with tiny bubbles swirling around forming a super thick mousey foam that soon turns to dish soap bubbles.

S- The biggest aroma is the dry green herbal note that is still light but followed by a lighter earthy perfume note.

T- This beer has a smooth dry taste that develops into a slightly sweet note followed by some light pepper and spice finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a tight fizz in the finish.

D- The light smooth flavor makes this very nice to quaft with some subtle hints of flavor that add a good depth.

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

Many thanks to ShanePB for the chance to taste this. My first Sly Fox beer. The bottle nearly blew out my eye when the cork flew out after I unscrewed the cage. It gushed for a bit, but then subsided pretty quickly. Poured from bottle into my Boulevard Farmhouse glass. Pours a rich straw yellow and transparent color, thick cloud-like head fills the glass, and recedes very slowly. Excellent retention and lacing. Smell- clove, fruity esters, straw, spicy phenols. A wonderful smelling Saison. Taste- clove, cracked pepper, belgian yeast, some spicy notes and light fruity esters. Very well balanced between the flavors. On second sip, I get some winey flavors, similar to some of the bitterness and fruit flavors found in a sauvignon blanc. A very dry finish a rich carbonation here too. Overall, this is a great example of the style and a highly enjoyable and balanced beer I would seek out again.

Photo of ggaughan
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from the 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. The beer poured a vibrant golden color with a huge foamy white head and very active carbonation. The head took quiet awhile for the foam to subside enough to drink but throughout there was a very strong citrus and hop aroma that is enjoyable. The taste is a nice mix of lemony citrus, hops and a bit of orange. Overall this is a very good representation of the style and with a medium body, easy to drink.

Photo of Sammy
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The smell is a bit barnyard, with lots of malt behind it. The taste, from a medium plus mouthfeel,is hoppy and mildly spicey, and is a bit astringent (likely from pepper) in the finish.Drinkable though not best of style.Orange with off-white head.Worth a try.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear golden in color (only a very mild haze) with a full frothy bright-white head that holds quite well. Streams of tiny slower moving bubbles gently rise as larger, standard sized bubbles race to the surface. Very nice appearance! The aroma is of a peppery spiciness above an earthy maltiness. The body is medium with a firm carbonation that gives it a crisp mouthfeel. The flavor is an immaculate blend of spice and lightly bready malt with a swirl of fruitiness running throughout. It's quite straightforward, but also kind of mesmerizing. At first the peppery spiciness commands the stage, followed by a "juicy" fruit-laced (and lemony) maltiness that's enhanced by earthy and spicy hops. But as you progress through the glass it warms, bringing the fruitiness to center stage, sending the maltiness to the wings, and relegating the spiciness to serve as the ever present (but large and wide) backdrop. Hop bitterness is well restrained. Very clean - almost too clean compared to imported versions - and exceptionally well balanced. Another brilliant example of the brewers art from this small brewpub. Absolutely worth trying.

Photo of nickhiller
4.36/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: crystal clear, straw colored, streams of champagne bubbles and a thick creamy head, great retention, rings of foamy lace

S: sour musty barnyard, florals, honeysuckle

T: sweet and tart, lemon zest, grass, green grapes, chardonnay, white pepper, nice bitter finish

M: light body, champagne-like, sharp, crisp and refreshing

O: this probably the smoothest Saison I've ever had. I suppose some might call it mild in a disparaging way, but I found it quite pleasant. And sessionable. And reasonably priced.

Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottles 5 days out of code but let's see how it tastes anyway.

Very pale semi hazy yellow color with tons of visible effervescence. Bright white crystal like head. Funky barnyard smells, a touch of skunk. Medicinal phenols become present as the beer airs out.

Extremely vinous in its qualities. Bright and brisk carbonation is still there. Sour white grapes slide across the tongue, subtle tart citric explosion at mid palate. Coarse grain balance the fruitiness. Nutty like flavors compliment the other flavors in the beer. Full mouth feel.

Very in your face for an aged saison, makes me wonder what its like fresh. If it isn't good lay it down and forget about, makes for a pretty interesting drink. I wouldn't go about doing it myself though, just found it in the store that way.

Again, I wouldnt go out of my way to age this thing past the best by date, but it was still decent even past it. I'm clueless to how it tastes fresh however.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a clear golden-rod with a huge billowy white head that was fully lasting leaving a great film lacing behind. Visible carbonation was high and steady.

S: yeasty, bursting with a big banana aroma, some lemon bread and light dried citrus.

T: The flavor was spicy, lemons, dry oranges, coriander and bananas. There is also a noticeable fruitiness (pineapple) and some spicy tart citrus notes as well a lemony hopping.

M: medium bodied, citrusy and very clean with a good carbonation bringing out the spicy tart nature of the beer.

D: Great drinkability, clean and well balanced drinking very nicely. Can easily drink this in multiples and not tire of it, great complexity and spiciness.

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle, a remnant from the Stone Soup III gathering.

A: The saison is a golden yellow color, hazy even after it has warmed. The bottle opened with nary a pop and barely managed a head. All that remains after the pour are some isolated patches in the middle of the glass.

S: The aroma is dry, fruity with a combination of sweet honey and dark licorice. It doesn't jump out as exciting but it fits within the saison style.

T: Dry yeast and pale malts set the stage for the saison, leaving little in the way of sugars. Pepper and biscuity bread mix with licorice and citrusy non-hop elements. Despite the lack of bubbles on pour, the ale is well-carbonated as I drink it. There is little in the way of tart funkiness, making this a nice sipper that remains sweet (if not sharply dry) throughout.

M: The mouthfeel has a sweet/sour edge that keeps the ale firmly in the saison family. The finish takes a nice twist towards anise that makes it worthwhile.

D: The ale is a little heady, packing more alcoholic punch than it should. A nice saison.

Photo of SickGnar
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Huge rocky white head with a storm of bubbles rising to join it. Pours gigantic (be patient), settles reasonably, and leaves fair lace. Quite clear golden dark straw with just a touch of amber.

S: Earthy yeast, tart lemon, bready malts, peppery spice, herbal and grassy hops in the background. Maybe faint coriander? Good, but it leans a tad heavy on the yeast and to a lesser degree the lemon. Still, some decent complexity does come through.

T: Pepper spice and earthy yeast front and center. Some soft mustiness. A good dose of sweet / tart lemon fills in and then fades into bready & softly toasty sweet malts that have a nice juicy pils quality. It gets a bit more fruity as it warms with some tropical fruit notes. But it keeps that rustic (and almost brash) pepper/spice and earthy / yeasty base backing all the way through. Herbal and grassy hops come in at the end but stay fairly unassuming. Wheat notes come out more as it warms and malts lean more toward sweet bread.

M: Soft, yet plentiful, carbonation that is expansive, mouth-filling, and lusciously creamy. Medium body, but carbonation more than matches it to keep it feeling light. Still, it is sweeter than most saisons. Barest leaning toward a drying finish. Gets dryer as it warms. Refreshing and smooth.

D: The great mouthfeel saves this one (relatively speaking). Otherwise, without the softness of the feel, the palate strays too close to being rough and angular. Although it lacks some of the more forceful character of the style, this is a distinctly rustic brew. Highly drinkable though, and no doubt better with food. It does improve as it warms and the juicy pils and fruitiness comes out more. Some might say it closer to a Belgian Pale.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.36/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a deep slightly hazy golden color ale with a large pure white foamy head with good retention and some pretty nice lacing. Aroma of Belgian yeast with nice refreshing floral malt notes. Taste is also domination by some nice floral Belgian malt with some nice attenuation from the yeast. Body is slightly too light for the style with some great carbonation. Very well done for the style with lots of character and definitely something I would wish to try again.

Photo of TexIndy
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got in a trade with BeerBeing - thanks! No best by or bottled on info on label but it did have a copyright of 2005 so gonna assume '05 vintage unless using older labels. Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle in a tulip glass. Was a hazy golden color with tons of yeast floating around. The aroma was typical saison with tad more dryness that average. Good fruit and spicyness. The taste followed the smell and was really good. I'd loved to try a fresh sample of it to see how the flavors are at the start but if '05 this one held up well. Good mouthfeel with good carb. Overall, I like this one but since older is a little muted but will seek out a new one. (3.5, RB, T, Y)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very hazy medium yellow color came gurgling out of the bottle, quickly coming to a head that reached a height of maybe two inches. There was then a rich coating of side glass lace that thoroughly coated the glass with some nice carbonation being visible throughout the session.

The aroma was highly charged on this one. Lots of light fruit swirling around with a healthy dose of spice in it as well. Nice touches of coriander, lemon, hints of pepper coming through, with a touch of pears warming up to it as it came up to room temperature. The initial taste was peppery, with a rush of lemon following suit almost immediately. A wonderful sense of light fruit really just ran all over this one. I was quite impressed I have to admit. Smooth mouth feel was more the adequately carbonated and really just kept the profile popping throughout. An easy sipper, the moderate ABV lended itself well to a warm late summer evening.

Photo of irishkyle21
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer slow and I mean real slow. Ended up with a goblet full of foam (only 1/4 was beer). Leaves some lacing as it finally starts to settle. Has a cloudy golden color, tons of carbonation.

Smells of fruits (apples, grapes and oranges), some yeasty mustiness and pale malts.

Tastes of fruits (apples and oranges more than anything IMO), yeast, spices and malts. This is very complex for such a quaffable beer.

Photo of edskirk3
2.97/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this because I have of late become interested in this style, because as Randy Mosher puts it, this style "is as close to homebrew as a commercial product can get." Before this, I had only tried Yards Saison, which apparently isn't the best example but was nonetheless a good introduction. As I type, I have a batch of homebrewed Saison fermenting in the next room.

Saison VOS comes in a very big La Fin du Mondish 750mL bottle, corked, no freshness information whatsoever. There was no dust on the bottle when I purchased it, so I figured I was good.

With a pop of the cork, it pours a cloudy gold color with a fizzy white head that doesn't go away as fast as you'd think. There's a lot of carbonation going on here.

I really took my time with this bottle, so I was sniffing it a lot as it warmed up. Coming right out of the fridge it smells very medicinal, almost too much, and there's a major farmhouse character, i.e. it's funky/pungent like gorgonzola or bleu cheese. Over time the aroma mellows out.

All the way through, the palate is consistently like perfume. It's a combination of the aforementioned farmhouse features and what I'm assuming are the usual Saison spices, coriander and bitter orange peel. It's almost too much, in my opinion. "Perfume vapors" linger in the aftertaste. As it warms, sweetness and stickiness become apparent. Any hop bitterness is being masked by something else because I am not picking it up.

There's no ABV statement on the bottle, but here on the site they say it's 6.9%... that sounds about right. To me this doesn't make it a traditional Saison, one that was made for summer refreshment. I'm not complaining, I'm just sayin'. Despite this, it's light-medium bodied, and has a champagne-like dryness.

In the end, the only thing I'm thinking about is that there might be too much of something at play here. It's too perfumey for me, too medicinal. It's a noble attempt, but they have to tone something down here.

Photo of Imsothirsty
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 into some large wine glasses. Huge head, nice bubbles streaming from the bottom, lighter orange/dark yellow. Big chunk of sediment in the bottom of the bottom.

Smell is sweet floral, grassy, and a little alcohol

Taste is excellent: Grassy, earthy, cloves and other spices, some banana, the alcohol comes through for just an instant, otherwise its well covered. Some bready yeast. Overall a little too much spice for my personal taste, but really good complexity

Mouthfeel: Light and very bubbly, clean

A solid beer, good complexity for the style, very glad to have tried this.

Photo of zoso1967
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy carbonation batman! A gentle pour yields a glass that was 75% foam and seems a bit over carbonated. That being said, the foam was bright white, rocky and lovely, leaving nice sloppy lace as it recedes. The beer itself is pale golden and dancing with bubbles. The aroma is typical saison with a nice floral and grassy sweet aroma, with a slight pepperyness and sweet malt. Flavor is very nice. Gently sweet and very light and clean. Grassy, floral, biscuity and light, with a nice dryness in the finish. Great pepper spice notes and a refreshing slight tartness. Very well balanced, and a bit more restrained than some of the classic examples. The mouthfeel is light with a nice lingering sweet/sour note on the tongue. Very drinkable, and a great American brewed saison.

Photo of weeare138
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a light hazy gold with mild streams of carbonation coming up to the top. Solid white head does not want to yield to the surronding pressure. Spotty and streaky lacing abound.
Smell is of slight barnyard funk mustiness with apple skin, coriander, pepper, and lemon zest with perhaps just a touch of bananas.
Taste is of the same aromas matched with that slight funkiness.
Mouthfeel is dry with some of the lemony zest and coriander peaking quickly before the dry finish.
This is going to be the shiznit when bottled. Only a few weeks away.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Big thanks to psudrew for this.

4.0 A: Slightly hazed golden straw color. Three+ fingers of white frothy head with pretty good retention, but not too sticky.

4.0 S: Fairly simple, but pleasant. Main component is musty basement funk and there's plenty of that. As the beer warms up, a peachy fruitiness becomes more and more apparent. The fruitiness always plays second fiddle, which I like as I tend to prefer saisons on the dry end. Slight acid notes as well.

4.0 T: The taste is a bit more complex than the nose. Same basement funkiness and peachy fruitiness with the addition of hay, lots and lots of pear, and a lemony zing at the end. Moderate balancing bitterness. Pretty good.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy and smooth.

4.0 D: Good beer. Not much is spectacular, but nothing is flawed either. Actually, scratch that last part, there is one problem. The label is fucking ugly as hell. I have to get this last pour going so I can get it out of my sight. Anyway, back to the beer. All 750ml were well received and this is a good pickup if you haven't had it before.

Photo of spinrsx
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle from the Potsdam NY IGA for $10

Appearance - Gold colour with an average size fizzy/frothy white head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes or so before it was gone.

Smell - Cloves, lemons, grapes, breads/grains

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste green grapes, cloves and lemon juice/zest. There is also a honey sweetness and a bit of a yeastiness.

Overall - Nice stuff with some good fruity notes. Well worth trying but not something I'd go out of my way to grab again.

Photo of railman
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat hazy off yellow color with a huge billowy white head. Lots of sticky lacing on glass.
Mildly carbonated with tiny bubbles

Aroma of yeast and lemon/citrus.

Clean and refreshing taste. Would be perfect in the summer.

A little on the thin side as far as body goes.

Overall this is a decent brew for the style.

Cheers

Photo of drtth
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 10 oz goblet. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a bright clear golden yellow color with a 1/8" white head that quickly recedes to a small ring around the glass. The ring persists for a while leaving small speckles of lacing when sipping. Not much clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma has some light malt character that mingles with and supports the spicy yeast. No alcohol is detectable.

Taste: The flavor is much as expected from the nose with some nice light sweetness from the malts that mingles well with the spicy, white pepper flavors created by the yeast.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to light bodied with light carbonation that persists to the end but isn't very noticeable. The finish is medium length and is where the dry bitterness of the hops show as the sweetness fades first, leaving them behind.

Drinkability: This was an easy drinker which I enjoyed and could easily have another. That said it seemed to me to be a touch lacking in complexity so I'll not be going out of my way to stock it and there are a few others I'll buy in preference.

Photo of meathookjones
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the Phoenixville location. Golden orange with a good sized white head that laced up the glass fairly well. A good amount of funky things are going on in the aroma along with some fruity sweetness. A bit spicy as well. Flavor starts of a bit sweet with noticeable fruit notes coming through. Nice musty earthiness to it with some spice backing it up. Good mouthfeel for the style and it is quite refreshing. Pretty drinkable stuff as I had no problem finishing the growler.

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer had a slight haze and the color was golden orange with a thin white head.

S: Citrus, honey, vanilla, jasmine, toasted grains and spicy yeast.

T: Sweet and spicy with a healthy dose of floral and citrus hops. Very fresh tasting hops. Toasted grains and mild honey with some spice and a nice belgian yeast.

M: Smooth light to medium body with small carbonation.

D: Very easy to drink and refreshing with a true to style flavor.

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Saison VOS from Sly Fox Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 211 ratings.