1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Saison VOS - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saison VOSSaison VOS

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

192 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 192
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 8
Gots: 12 | 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:
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 added by: Todd on 12-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 192 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Adamostella
2/5  rDev -48.3%

Adamostella, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of Herky21
2/5  rDev -48.3%

Herky21, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of wilmerkatie
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

wilmerkatie, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of edskirk3
2.98/5  rDev -23%

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.

edskirk3, Jun 06, 2006
Photo of eklie
3/5  rDev -22.5%

eklie, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -22.5%

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.

jtierney89, May 31, 2012
Photo of heff316
3/5  rDev -22.5%

heff316, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of tmars13
3/5  rDev -22.5%

tmars13, Aug 28, 2012
Photo of Profchaos20
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%

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.

Profchaos20, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of cfadams17
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%

cfadams17, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of tectactoe
3.25/5  rDev -16%

tectactoe, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of Seaba
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Seaba, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of Magery
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Magery, May 07, 2013
Photo of Rastacouere
3.25/5  rDev -16%

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.

Rastacouere, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of banger7
3.25/5  rDev -16%

banger7, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of ElkSherpa
3.25/5  rDev -16%

ElkSherpa, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of brbrocc
3.25/5  rDev -16%

brbrocc, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of vfgccp
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%

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.

vfgccp, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of BrewSomerville
3.33/5  rDev -14%

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.

BrewSomerville, Jun 27, 2007
Photo of Pencible
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%

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.

Pencible, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%

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.

Sammy, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of AltBock
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%

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.

AltBock, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of Patrick999
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%

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.

Patrick999, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of Corkpuller
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Corkpuller, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of Mudawg
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Mudawg, Jan 15, 2012
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Saison VOS from Sly Fox Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.