Saison Harvest Ale - New Belgium Brewing

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Saison Harvest AleSaison Harvest Ale

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191 Ratings
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Ratings: 191
Reviews: 92
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 10.08%
Wants: 1
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: gbontrag on 08-14-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 191 | Reviews: 92
Reviews by JudgeRoughneck:
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a shining light honey-colored beer that is crystal clear. The giant head fades fast, leaves a very minimal lacing and is quickly reduced to a thin layer. The nose is a bouquet of unidentifiable spices riding on lemon grass, hop, green and camomile tea, and white wine scents.

This beer comes off a little like wine. A champaigne dryness gives in to toasty malt under spicy hops, reminding us that this is beer, and then back into white wine (chardonnay maybe?) with light friut and alcohol. Tartness and peppery spice come out in the finish to really round things out. This is a very complex and tasty beer, but I'm not sure how saison-like it is. Also, some might find it too all-over-the -place. The mouthfeel is thick and slick and drinkability is...well...I could drink more but I probably would get tired of it after two or three.

More User Reviews:
Photo of blitz134
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one a little while. Picked up just after the initial release from the brewery.

Golden body, perfectly clear. Nice inch of white head that reduced to a thin layer but left lacing all over the sides of the glass.

Thick musty straw aroma. Some lemon and pear, a bit of pepper. Overall a fruity, estery smelling brew. Smells pretty good. Its been a while since I've had a saison.

Straw and some graininess mostly. A touch of mustiness. Lots of floral esters and a bit of spicy bite at the end. Some earthy hops in the finish. Pretty straight forward overall.

Nice medium to full bodied beer. Lower carbonation makes this one pretty smooth.

Overall I think this is a good beer. Nothing that stands out too much except for that it is a solid offering from NB. Pretty easy to drink and nothing wrong with this one.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my first experience with this brewery. This was a pretty ood beer. It was a golden color with a small white head. It had a yeasty aroma, with a little spice detectable. Couldn't really taste any of the spiciness that I smelled. But it was yeasty/breadlike, with a nice little hops kick. Drank a few while watching a football game, and they went down very easily.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.19/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 1/19/07 - thanks to mikeys01 for this...
Pale golden color with a huge four fingers of bright white head with very little effort...thin lacing remains as most of the foam goes bye-bye.
Sweet malt, spicy yeast and caramel in the of the best smelling saisons I've experienced.
The taste is very good...nice balance of hop bitterness to malty sweetness with a generous dose of spice. Some banana, clove, an almost peach quality plus just a hint of alcohol with a bit of carbonation coming thru too.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and the spice sticks on the pallet thru the finish.
Not a huge fan of the style, but I'd be quite happy to drink a few of these.
Recommend in a heartbeat.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A crystal clear coppery yellow fills the glass with a single finger white head that melts to fine lacing.
Aromas of sweet and sour fruits and spices.
Taste is sweet and sour fruits as well....sweet intitially then drifting to sour in a way that is very drying on the tongue. Assorted spices make their way known as well...pepper, corriander.
Finish becomes citrusy like a fully ripe lemon.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a hazy straw yellow with a white, near two finger head. Strong retention results in a broken layer of surface suds. Lacing is light and spotty with fair stick.

Smell - Aroma touches on mild lemon and belgian yeast funk with green banana.

Taste - Starts with green banana and other funky belgian yeast character. Hints of bread. Lots of spice in the finish. Touches of lemon pith bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium in body with moderate carbonation. Crisp, dry finish.

Overall - On the funkier side of the wide saison spectrum (as opposed to the herb bombs). Good effort, but I wouldn't go out of my way to try this again.

Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thank you hopdog. Copper colour with significant white head. A yeasty and mildly spicy ginger and bit of funk aroma. Somewhat medium or less mouthfeel and drying aftertaste. This is not a Fantome, but is a reasonably tasty pepper spicy hot chai cardemon ginger drink.

Photo of secondtooth
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy yellow, with rich and lathery head, Beautiful and ornate lacing.

Aroma is crisp, fruity and yeasty. I get plenty of lemon zest and tart berries alongside the Belgian yeast character. Nice and faithful to style.

Taste is sharp, rich, and tart up front, with a lingering lemony funkiness. A faithful representation of the farmhouse ale, and a light, tasty treat for a dreary Fall afternoon.

Photo of russpowell
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at old chicago, had to to wait a long time for this to warm up.

Poured efferevescent amber with a 1/2" white head. Good head retention & some lacing

S: Huge peppery & yeasty notes up front. Then a little caramel? & bandaids as it warmed

T: Peppery hop/yeast up front, then caramel & bandaids. A little fruittyness & more yeast as it warms. Finishes slighty fruitty& leathery with a peppery kiss

MF: Medium bodied, but slightlty over carbonated with prickly notes.

Drank okay, the beer just dind't quite come together for me. Will try in the bottle if I can find it. Saison lovers will probably enjoy this

Photo of bditty187
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, gold in hue with some coppery highlights; it is a lovely color but some haziness would have been even more appreciated. White foam; at the apex the head was two fingers tall. Head retention was respectable, the bubbles steadily faded to a soapy cap. There was no subsequent lacing. Overall, the appearance is average.

At first the nose smells pleasant with bready/toasty malty aromas with herbal hops and a dash of spice. However when I dig deeper alcohol, pepper, yeasty-spice (in great abundance), and cloves are found; there is something about the combination of these aromas I don’t love. I like it (I can tolerate it). IMO, the nose is too “clean” for a Saison. Sure the yeast imparts plenty of aromas but there aren’t enough hops and the malt profile seems off to me. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I need some funk. The bouquet is average.

The palate is quite agreeable. However, I like it in spite the fact this doesn’t taste like a true Saison to me. It is overly bready/toasty and the hint of caramel seems way out of place. There is too much cloves and yeasty-spice and peppery notes and not nearly enough herbal hops. I don’t find the palate to be very balanced. The finish is sweet with cloves, some alcohol, and a dash of spiciness. Like the nose the palate just seems a bit too clean and Americanized. I wonder if this beer would have been better bottle-conditioned. More funk, please.

About medium in body with low but natural carbonation; the mouthfeel bulk is a tad slim. The sweet aftertaste provides an oddly tacky feeling.

I got to try this beer before it was released; I split a 12oz bottle with two other people. We all like it. I was pumped. Then I tried it on-tap and the nose was very odd. I couldn’t get in to it. I bought a six-pack anyway. Well this is the fifth bottle from that six-pack and I still can’t get into it. I drank two bottles back to back a few weeks ago and by the end of the second bottle it was a chore. I was told that Saison Dupont was the model for this Saison. I am sorry to say but NBB missed the mark. Purchased in Omaha; this is my least favorite NBB beer.

Photo of HalfFull
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a wine glass. This saison pours a deep straw, perhaps light golden in color. Offering a rather resilient cap of near white foam and good clarity.

Aroma is hop forward with fragrant lemony Saaz perhaps or some other noble hop I would guess. Spicy and fragrant for sure. Yeast component is rather buried behind it all however, touch of Belgian estersand perhaps a hint of unripe banana. Spice is more hop driven than yeast however. Bit in your face and lacks funk and nuance but is pleasant in its own way nonetheless. Yeast presence expands a bit with warming but remains constrained.

Taste has a lingering sweetness with lots of lemon, and a coarse grainy character. Lots of hop/other spice on the finish. Feel follows suit and is spicy/coarse as the taste suggests.

Overall yet another so so American Saison. Not being a fan of overly spiced versions this one brings more hops to the table. Yet like so many others it lacks that fundaental saison character that you can't create with hops and spice. Still, better hops than coriander in my view. Interestingly hoppy take on the style.

Photo of Beertracker
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

New Belgium's Saison (Harvest Ale) is best served cool (45-50F) into a logo pint or tulip glass. This Saison pours up brilliantly clear with a lively carbonation that creates some effervescence. The color is distictively bronzish golden-sunset orange with a voluptuous white head that collapses fairly quick leaving some Belgian lace behind. The distinctive fruity aroma has notes of dried apple, orange/tangerine peel and lemongrass with some delicate peppery spiciness from both the yeast and fragrant hops. Some graininess comes through as this farmhouse-style ale warms. The flavor starts off somewhat fruity and lightly spicy from the emerging bitterness, but remains true to its beginnings. There's a touch of underlying maltiness that keeps balance, but the finish is decidely dry, crisp and slightly winy & tart with just a hint of alcoholic warmth. This is a well brewed light to medium-light bodied specialty ale from New Belgium that isn't overly complex per style, but makes for a very refreshing beer nontheless. Here's to cooler weather, falling leaves, and gorgeous autumn sunsets!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of goochpunch
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a crystal clear honey color with a frothy head that shrinks down quickly. Leaves some nice lacing. Minimal carbonation activity in the glass. Smells overall yeasty with some coriander thrown in. Some alcohol vapor hits the nose. Doesn't have as much funk as I'd hoped. I get a little yeast funk straight up in front that is followed by light malts and light sweetness, along with a peppery flavor. Extremely dry. Finishes a tad bitter with some fruitiness in the aftertaste. There is this odd toasty cocoa flavor present in this beer that I get with Fat Tire and that really turns me off. It isn't some "off" flavor I've ever gotten from any saison. Grosses me out. The carbonation is of moderate strength, both prickling the tongue and being gentle about it. Light bodied. I just wish this were bottle conditioned with some of the yeast giving a bit of body to it.

This would have been merely boring if it wasn't for that cocoa flavor that made me want to gag.

Photo of Padron4KM
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle best before 08dec06 on the lable.

Pours clear bronze, minimal head, spotty lacing.

aroma is fruity yeasty and spicy. Notes of banana, corriander, and some breadiness.

flavor is semi sweet, fruity, with a light hoppy finish.

Not very complex, but very drinkable. wish I had another.

Photo of Beejay
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale golden straw in color, clear with a night fluffy white head.

S: Lemony with a good hint of bread. There is a slightly funky yeast smell as well.

T: Slightly bready, with a lovely lemon flavor. Tart, but not overly so. The flavor is fairly light considering.. There is a hint of biscuit in it, and not nearly enough funk.

M: Light bodied, fairly dry. Slight acidic cling in the finish.

O: Overall fairly tasty, but not amazing. When I first tried it I got a lot of the buscuit malt and in that regard it paralleled fat tire, however on sampling it tonight I'm not picking it up as much which IMHO, makes a better saison. Not sure why NB included this release in the fall mixer, when it could have been in the summer pack, this far outshines snapshot. While it's good, it certainly isn't ground breaking, I suppose it would pacify a craving, but could never fulfill it.

Photo of TexIndy
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle with a best by date into my New Belgium glass. Had a nice pale bronze color with just a bit of head of carb. Had a peppery smell and some sweetness. Really enjoyed the taste. It held from start to finish and wasn't overly dry like some other Saisons I've had. This review is from a single that I bought after having a sixer a month ago. The sixer wasn't as good and led me to believe it was off. Hopefully that was the case and not that this one is not normal as I really liked it. Of course, I've always loved almost anything that NB puts out and this is no exception. Highly recommend (4, HR, T,Y)

Photo of timtheenchanta
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Clear golden liquid with tons of bubbles of carbonation with an okay one finger eggshell white head and thin strands of lacing.

Fruity Belgian yeast nose with little malt balance.

Taste is around the same lines. Sweet pilsner malt flavor dazzles the tongue. It's no Saison Dupont. I could sit down with a sixer of these though.

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with best by date of December 07, 2014. Acquired as part of the New Belgium folly pack, this one their revival beer from 2004.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a yellowish golden colored body with some nice clarity and visible carbonation. About a finger of soft fluffy white head. Leaves behind some nice spotty lacing. Looks good for what it is.

S - The nose is comprised of lots of fruity / spicy Belgian yeast presence, paired with some bready biscuit malts. Floral coriander aromas are detectable.

T - The taste is fruity, bready, and yeasty. Clean biscuit malts, and a berry sort of yeast-derived fruitiness are the main attractions of this one.

M - The feel is smooth & crisp, mostly clean on the finish with some lingering yeast presence. Medium bodied with semi-high carbonation.

Overall, an average representation of the style, I'd say. Generic, but safe and approachable, and those who appreciate the style will most likely enjoy this.

New Belgium Saison ---3.5/5

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle pours a nice, light gold color with an ample white head. Retention and lace are both nice.

Nose is grainy, herbal and yeasty....a good aroma of farmhouse yeast...maybe a bit heavy on the malts, but overall it smells pretty good.

Tastes more like their Trippel (lite version) than a true saison, but the hops are spot on and the carbonation is great. Yeast could use a bit more 'rustic-ness' and the malts just arent clean enough. Still, a good beer overall and if NB would put this in sixers, Id prolly buy one or ten.

Photo of biking4beer
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

Nice crisp golden color with a slight amber tint. 1 finger bubbly head that dissapaited to a thin whisp with slight lacing.

Smells crisp also. Belgian yeast is predominant. Eathy tones with a slight banana smell.

Belgian yeast and earthy tones comes out in the taste. Finishes like a lager or pilsner.

Feels good in the mouth, but leaves a bitter/sour aftertaste. If not for the aftertaste, this would be a much more drinkable beer.

On another note, I swear I had this same beer on tap in a bar in Durango, CO. It was hazy from what I guess was a secondary container fermentaion. This bottle offering was crystal clear, and not nearly as smooth or tasty.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Decent head, nice retention.

Smell: Nice and funky and inviting. Hard to distinguish any one thing.

Taste: funky and dry and sweet. Balanced.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat crisp, clings to the mouth well.

Drinkability: Easily a sessionable brew. Give it a try this fal.

Photo of Pegasus
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy medium golden body presents a huge, somewhat coarse white head with superb retention. The lacing is, appropriately, in the Belgian style. Profuse streams of minute, slow-rising bubbles drift lazily to the surface.

Aroma:Spicy, peppery notes, white bread, earthy yeast, and phenols dominate the aroma.

Taste: Opens with pronounced pepper and phenol notes. Bread flavors are also present, reminiscent of a rustic home-made white bread. As the taste progresses, the phenols dominate, along with some slight alcohol flavors. At the close of the taste, there is a lingering, mild white pepper flavor, and pronounced grassy hops.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, very full, with only a hint of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A nice, very drinkable example.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice. "Best before:" date is 04 JAN 2015.

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear coppery gold colored ale with a fair white head that does not last all that long.

Smell is a little sweet and strongly of herbal hops. The scent is fairly spicy and the coriander aroma is rather hot to my nose. There is a spicy trace of ethanol detectable here as a black pepper aroma but it isn't over the top. Strongly floral in scent too. The malt is honey like and comes through as the aroma of flower nectar.

The taste is quite dry and herbal and at the beginning of the glass. There is a tart sensation here that I can only interpret as the absence of residual sugars instead of an acid pH level. The flavor stays strongly herbal through out the glass but isn't to the level of medicine like. Not a strongly bitter beer this has only a drying level of bitterness. Not a lot of subtle flavors in this beer this is simple and very clean in flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Certainly a very easy to drink beer if this has a weakness it is that it lacks complexity in favor of a very clean and BJCP certifiable reference Saison. An excellent choice for any food where you desire a very palette cleansing beer.

Photo of gbontrag
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears like aspen gold - on the orange side of the aspen spectrum. Lofty white froth dissipates in a timely fashion to irregular beads that provide a heavy frost over the beer.
The arome is of warm, wet grass clippings, fresh collard greens just steamed, fresh nutmeg grated into a warm pottery bowl. Also, wilted pot marigolds, and fresh, rich loam turned over.
This is dry and fruity like a slightly green bartlett pear. There's a fresh celery stalk snap, vanilla glow, floral flourishes, and overripe tangerine juice with sparkling mineral water. Provides a bit of sourness like bit like chewing fresh purslane. Middle of the road mouthfeel: It's relatively dry, but leaves enough sweetness to feel an aftertaste of honeyish malt.
A very approachable, and enjoyable saison that can be had fresh in the New Belgium market.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This year seems to be the year of the saison. Whether via trade like this one or showing up in force in NH, I have been learning about and enjoying this style more now than any previous year.

A - Nice pale straw yellow, strong white head on the pour.

S - A touch citrus, a touch wheat and some spice. Mildest of the one's I've tried to date.

T - Definite citrus, light sweet malt and a touch of yeast tang.

M - light bodied and dry in the finish.

D - A pleasant and easy to drink brew. Had two after dinner and enjoyed how easy they went down. Very mild for the style but very nice to drink and enjoy!

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Saison Harvest Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.