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Saison VOS - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saison VOSSaison VOS

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

101 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 101
Hads: 221
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 16.24%
Wants: 9
Gots: 22 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 101 | Hads: 221
Photo of hopsaplenty
2.61/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

750ml brown bottle, no date information, but it is from 2006. The cork releases with a light 'pfft'.

Clear honey gold. Towering pillowy bright white head of loosely piled medium sized bubbles. Roiling pillar of medium bubbled carbonation that looks just like a bubble wall. The head just sticks and sticks, but as it settles it deposits clumps and bands of big bubbled lace. Aromas are of faint orange peel, cloves, lemon rind, bits of black pepper and some bright yeastiness. Add a dose of wet dog as it warms. Sticky sweet candied orange and lemon peel are tumbled around by fizzy soda-like carbonation. Stinging carbonation pounds a lemon pepper graininess into the tongue and down the throat. As this warms, a bit of a medicinal/rubbing alcohol flavor comes through as well as a thick, sticky sweetness and mouthfeel. There is simply no grace or subtlety here. Medium bodied, but excessively carbonated that over inflates the mouth. I couldn't finish the bottle.

Thanks to ggaughan for the opportunity.

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Photo of edskirk3
2.97/5  rDev -24.6%
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.

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Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

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Photo of Profchaos20
3.16/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed 6/9/13 750 ML bottle in a tulip

A - Pours a clear gold with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Leaves little to no lacing.

S - Not a ton going on in the aroma. Getting some grain and a bit of lemon and citrus. As the beer warms I start to get some pepper and clove.

T - Very clean tasting for a Saison. Slightly sweet, a bit of lemon in the middle finishes with some earthy hop and low bitterness. Pretty dry, hints of pepper and other spices.

M - Light body and low carbonation, very smooth and easy to drink.

O - A decent but overall underwhelming Saison.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.29/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Bottle conditioning manifests itself as a frothy fist-full of head. Nice wide range of foam density that leaves creamy peaks. Great lacing with chunks of froth clinging to the sides of the glass. Orange-amber-golden-wheat in color.

S - Soft, fairly straight forward. Pepper notes, sweet booze, sunny-delight citrus.

T - Opens with boozy melon and pink peppercorn that rolls into a surprising amount of roast (burnt toast, smoke). Back end of the profile hangs onto some of the smoke and introduces a dimension of piney/herbal hop bitterness.

M - Great smoothness but surprisingly flat. The frothy fireworks in the pour really raised my expectations, but even putting that aside the carbonation is below par. Booze is warming but not overpowering. Nice pepper finish.

D - The negatives and positives balance out to about average drinkability. I had no problem finishing a 750ml, but won't be looking for a second any time soon.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
3.32/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma is mostly spices, and some fruit. Cloves, a little banana, pepper.

Looks cloudy golden/orange. Big, white rocky head. Good retention & lacing.

Tastes bready and spicy. A little fruity, definitely getting orange peel in this Beer. Peppery too. A touch of sweetness is there too.

Mouthfeel is very gassy, crisp, and prickly. Fine carbonation from the natural conditioning, however, a bit much in my opinion. Light bodied...maybe on the heavier side of light though.

Overall, I think that this is a good Beer. Great for warmer weather. If I had to pick one thing to change it would be the carbonation.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Label says 5/24/14.

A- Pours a medium golden color with a 1/4 inch white head that doesn't retain long before shrinking to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and light, bubbly surface foam. Slippery non-stick lacing.

S- Sweet wheat smell with plenty of saison yeast aroma. Notes of honey, coriander and a hint of rosemary. Very floral.

T- Flavor is somewhat neutral. A little wheat here, a touch of yeast there plus some very faint spice and a mild alcohol kick. Pretty average all the way around and not much to say.

M- Also a letdown. Medium-low carbonation is nowhere near where I like it to be for this style. Semi-watery feel.

O- I don't know if I just have too high of standards for saisons now that I've had some of the best (Avec Les Bons Voeux, Saison Rue, etc.) but this one just did not do it for me. This is only the second Sly Fox beer I've had, the other being Incubus and I remember enjoying it very much. Shame this wasn't as good.

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Photo of Pencible
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a cloudy straw color with lots of fluffy white head.
S: It smelled like sour lager yeast and grassy hops, with some spicy and metallic character.
T: It tasted like spicy and mineral and grassy hops, with some sour lager yeast. It had a clean spicy aftertaste.
M: It was watery with lots of carbonation. Bubbly body.
D: This was a decent saison, with earthy scent and taste. It was a bit sour for my preferences, and the body was too fizzy. At least the finish was mellow, so it wasn't difficult to drink. Not bad, but really not a terribly impressive brew.

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Photo of Sammy
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to Centennial for sending this one my way. Poured into a tulip. This one pours a slightly hazy golden straw color with three fingers of fluffy white head. Thick gobs of sticky lace.

Reminds me somewhat of a cider. Apples in the aroma with a sharp tart edge. The pallet gives of notes of sweet apples, wet hay and a bit of grass. Mostly sweet with a funky edge.

The body is medium with soft carbonation. Overall this one is solid. Enjoyable enough.

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Photo of AltBock
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I was able to try this Sly Fox beer on tap during High Street Grill's Sly Fox promo on 4/22/2008. They served it to me in a Sly Fox standard pint glass.

This Sly Fox poured a lightly hazy golden sunshine yellow with a decent 1/2 inch fluffy head of white foam. I thought it had good retention that left behind a small white film and single solitary blot of white lace. The aroma was lightly citrusy with hints of lemon, bubblegum, yeast, and pine needles. While the aroma was lighly citrusy, the taste couldn't get enough of the citrus flavors. Beyond the citrus flavor front was pine needles, grapefruit, lightly toasted wheat, yeast, and ended with a mild hop punch of dried citrus hops. The mouthfeel was light like it should have been, but it had a funky aftertaste that mixed together dried citrus hops, malted wheat, and something that tasted like it was antiseptic. It's hard to explain, but it sure was funky. In the end, I think Sly fox did a great job on their Saison. It's just too bad the aftertaste had to be funky.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated NOV 16 (apparently – date is lightly printed over bar code) at 42 degrees into snifter
750 mL bottle purchased at Sly Fox brewpub , Phoenixville
Aroma of yeast phenolics, fades out by end of glass
Head large (6.5 cm, aggressive pour), white, frothy, rapidly diminishing to five to ten mm frothy ring and layer
Lacing poor – few small islands of tiny to medium bubbles
Body light yellow, hazy
Flavor light, yeasty, slightly fruity; no hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3, Flavor 3.5, Palate 4, Overall 3.5

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Photo of Patrick999
3.47/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Always good to see an American brewer taking a crack at saison. And bottle-conditioned, yeah, I'll definitely give this a go.

The cork took some coaxing, but it eventually blasted out. Big alabaster foam, sunny gold body. Looks great in a tulip.

Slightly sweet aroma, pears and a little pungent yeast. Smells more like a tripel to me.

Hmmm. This might be one of the best domestic Belgian Strong Pale Ales I've had in quite some time. Underlying sweetness, sweet pears and apples, little pepper, minor bitterness. Bit of a sweaty sourdough. Not really pulling too many saison characteristics here other than peppery. I think it falls short of the mark for a saison, but succeeds wildly as a Belgian pale.

As such, it has a very good, nah, damn near outstanding mouthfeel. The bottle-conditioning has really done well for this beer, it's soft, bubbly and full all at once. If I didn't know better I'd think this is Belgian.

As a saison, not my favorite, but that doesn't stop it from being a tasty, drinkable beer. Would be versatile with food, and I can also see a lot of people liking this. Saison or no, I can't deny the visuals, feel and overall drinkability. My low-ish score for taste only reflects that I think it doesn't meet the criteria for a saison.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours a hazy golden color with lots of carbonation rising up to the top. The head is two fingers high, and is barely off-white in shade. It has a fluffy texture and good retention, as well. Lacing is very thick on the sides of the glass.

S: There's a good amount of noble hops coming forward. Hiding behind this is a spicy note coming from the yeast - it's a good character loaded with bread, herbs, and black pepper; but lacking some of the unique notes featured in superior saisons.

T: Sweeter than the nose indicated. A touch of hops to start, gradually becoming sweeter near the finish. It's a slight cherry sweetness, and it blends well with the yeast spiciness. This tastes very metallic on the first sip, actually - this goes away after several more. Candied sugar flavors go up after even more sips. It works, but not perfectly.

M: While it's dry and drinkable, I'm missing some of the bone dry "evaporate off of the tongue" sensations I get from the best in the style. Nor is it particularly creamy before the dryness hits. But, it's still very drinkable. It's well carbonated as expected.

O: This is a really solid saison that nails all the basic notes well. But there in lies the problem - it doesn't do much apart from nailing those basic notes well. It's not bone dry, and the fruit/spice notes aren't particularly vivid or defined. You know what, though? It's still a decent saison, well worth drinking (but not my first choice in the style...)

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Photo of jaluria
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Heavy carbonation comes with this particular beer. It poured a yellow-straw color with a frothy, white colored head that left behind rings of lacing. Aromas of honey, sugar, and dried fruit (apricot and honeydew) seemed to come out nicely. The taste followed the nose except that the beer was overly dry with bitter fruit flavors providing too sharp a contrast with the underlying sweetness. A milder version of this sweet & sour combination would work very well. Also, a bit too creamy in my mouth. Overall, this is an enjoyable beer with plenty of flavor.

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Photo of JAXSON
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy straw, with a big white head. Initially strange aroma full of grass, spices, and some citrus like sourness. Flavor is more earthy malts, lemon, grass, yeast, spices. Flavor profile is okay but comes across as a bit thin and unrefined compared to better saisons. Not the most perfectly balanced saison but a pretty good value.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. A generous extra from youbrewidrink, I believe. Thanks!

A: Pours a slightly hazy, golden body with a substantial, fluffy, and long-retaining off-white head. It clings to the sides of the glass as it falls, and it remains a decent cap on the beer for the entire time that I'm drinking it. Outstanding.

S: Yeast, orange peel, lemon grass, coriander. I'd love to have less yeast in the nose, as I gravitate toward saisons that have fruit aromas as the centerpiece.

T: Yeast and orange peel are prominent in the flavor, with light elements of white pepper and coriander. There's a lemon grass note that carries well into the finish. Again, a touch too yeast-forward for me, but hardly bad.

M: A little overcarbonated for my tastes, but that was easy enough to swirl out.

O: A fairly good American interpretation of a saison. I've had some better ones, but they were brett'ed, so maybe that's not a fair yardstick.

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Photo of stakem
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged offering into a pub glass. The brew appears a clear golden color with 2 fingers worth of white head. A constant stream of bubbles maintains a half finger of white across the top.

The aroma of this brew is fresh and grainy with a sweetness about the nose somewhat like corn and bubblegum. The yeast is evident with a clove spice and very mild pepper inclusion. As it warms up, it almost gets a candy-like smelling attribute about it. Overall not bad.

The taste is fresh and grainy with a mild sweetness that blends into something like bubblegum. Belgian yeast aspects are present with bubblegum, clove and other mild spices vaguely reminiscent of pepper. As the brew is swirled around in the mouth, it picks up a mild pear flavor.

This is a medium bodied brew with a lively level of carbonation that stays light and refreshing in the mouth. The nearly 7% abv is felt mildly across the back initially but really picks up some strength as the experience continues. Overall not a bad brew. Nothing outstanding but also nothing wrong with it. Quite clean and well done. Worth a try if you never had it before.

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Photo of DIM
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a bright, clear, pale yellow. It poured with a large, sticky, incredibly long lasting bone white head.

s: Sweet banana esters, candied sugar, and some prickly yeastiness. There was a little warmth coming off of this one.

t: This was one of the sweeter saisons I've tried. The banana esters tasted a bit like banana flavored candy. There are some subtle flowery berry flavors as well before a semi-dry yeasty finish.

m: Mouth filling creamy carbonation and a semi-syrupy body.

d: I prefer Sly Fox's Saison Brune, which isn't as sweet. Still, this was pretty good.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- nice yellow color, white head, beautiful small bubbles stream the glass

Smell- Fruit, spice, and yeast with a very lively nose, plenty belgian spice and yeast

Taste- crisp refreshing flavor, strong yeast spice and coriander, slight citrus, overall decently refreshing flavor

Mouthfeel- medium to light, very crisp and decently carbonated

Drinkability- its a very refreshing beer for sure, nothing earth shattering but a solid example of the style that would certain make a nice session beer

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a 12 oz chalice

Appearance – A medium golden body with a slight off-white head. The head is filled with large carbonation bubbles and upon fading leaves a bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell – The smell is largely fruity up front, with nice citrus and some more tropical aromas. There is a biscuit-malty aroma toward the middle which is mixed in with an ever so slight astringent “funky” aroma.

Taste – A little on the sour side initially with some lemon and citrus. The more subdued sourness gives way to some hoppy and sweeter flavors toward the middle - sweeter citrus fruits with some more tropical’s; orange, mango, sweet lemon (lemonade) and even a little sweet apple. These sweet flavors are mixed with some yeasty flavors and a more sour green apple-lemon flavor, which come into play and rounds out the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel – A lighter bodied beer with a moderate to fairly high level of carbonation. The carbonation suits the beer quite nicely with the lighter body making it quite drinkable, although its thickness is lacking a little bit and it could use a bit more.

Overall – A nice “wild” brew. A little thin in the body which when mixed with the sourness makes it taste a little like an ale with a bit of lemon squeezed in (but just a bit; overall it is vastly better than this). It is well worth a try.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 5/15/10

Appears to be dated 11/18/11

Thanks to wedge341

Pours a light, golden amber in color. Bright yellow highlights. Faint cloudiness. A few stray chunks of yeast have settles on the bottom of the glass. Two fingers of billowy foam dies down quickly. Swirling revives an impressive layer. Retention is thin but decent. Marginal lacing at best.

The aroma is enticing enough. Lots of bright spicy tones; clove & citrusy lemon peel. Grassiness abounds, smelling fresh & clean. Mild hops & toasted grain overtones. There's an appreciable mustiness well-suited to the style.

The taste is pretty good; it mimics the nose for the most part. The grassiness is most apparent & actually seems to relegate everything else to a supportive role. Mustiness is prevalent, too. Thankfully the mustiness gives way to clove & lemon zest. Possibly some pear & apple to be had buried way down in it. A bit of toastiness as well.

Medium-light in body with ample carbonation. It's quite vigorous & pointed; definitely a higher-carbonated beer (maybe too much, actually). The finish is sharp with spices & grassiness lingering on the finish.

Drinkability is alright for the most part. I like the taste, but the carbonation just seems to overwhelm it at times. Other than that, it's a reasonably solid beer. While I likely won't go to geat lengths to try it again, it's worth a shot if you happen across it.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
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)

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a golden straw colored head with a hint of haze and a thin bubbly white head.

S-yeast up front, light lemon and orange peel notes, oily aroma, floral herbs, corriander.

T-yeasty lemon, orange peel, corriander, notes of floral grassy herbs, light bitterness in back. very simple and straight forward.

M-grainy feel in a good way with a syrupy texture and nice carbonation to back it up with a lightly dry finish.

D-very easy drinker, very straight forward beer, not a lot happening here but still a great summer drink.

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Saison VOS from Sly Fox Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.