Notch Saison - Notch Brewing

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Notch SaisonNotch Saison

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BA SCORE
83
good

101 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 4
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Notch Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  3.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 05-10-2011

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 34
Photo of brewmine
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%

Impressive taste and flavors for such a low alcohol content - I would not believe 3.8 percent, except it is so stated on the label- : Masterpiece in my view. Tasted it first in a highly rated venue in the Boston area, one of the few beers they offer; good choice! Am surprised the existing BA score is so low, expect it to increase when this beer gets more popular, as it should.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.54/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Last brew from my trade with Yamar 18. Thanks, Kevin!

It pours a straw gold, looks slightly hazy, forms a 2 finger head of foam and again, great lacing.

It smells yeasty, spicy with cloves etc, wheat, all of the goodies I expect from a Saison.

Could the tastes ever be more true to smell than this? lol. Yeasty, spicy...second pour brings a stronger haze and that can me even more flavour judging from my past experiences with the style.

The spice and yeast rule this sucker and it even has a mild hop flavour if you're into Saisons with that trait.

The mouthfeel is perfection for the style, imho.

This is a wonderful Saison and the fact that it is only 3.8% abv is icing on the cake.

Photo of nas5755
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- A straw yellow with a nice two inch head, great retention and really nice lacing.

Smell- Yeast phenols, grain and a bit of citrus -- very Belgian esq

Taste- The Taste opens up with straw and grain as would a typical saison and slowly transitions into a grassy, hoppy bitterness. A very clean beer. Very impressive.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth and slightly dry, good carbonation levels

Overall- I am very impressed with this session saison. The flavors of a traditional Belgium saison are all present; something that isnt always typical of American made saisons which tend to be a bit hoppier. For such a low-abv beer I was surprised to find the complexity at such a high level(my only complaint would be the lack of depth in complexity that I am used to in higher abv beers but I guess that means I get to take another sip which is the point of a session-able beer.) I have been very impressed with Notch and I believe this is their best offering.

Photo of Ronan201
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Worth a try. I love the can, it had a nice appeal. I'm a fan of Belgian beers so I'm a little biased, but I like it a lot. Cheers

Photo of Maxwell
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pretty barnyard hay golden yellow with a nice soapy head that dissipates quickly but leaves a fat scrim ring of middle size bubbles. The beer is hazy and slightly oranged with its opacity, and there are some chunks floating around from the yeast, but there is definitely a good stream of carbonation bubbles working their way to the surface all around the glass. The beer smells quite nice with a biscuity citrus reminiscent of orange bread. There are some good damp banana and pineapple esters also swimming in the nose that coincide with the slight spice kick expected in saisons. The beer tastes wonderfully orangey in the initial sip, supported by strong banana/pineapple esters and light earthy spiced biscuit from the malts and hops. The flavor clears into a crisp and refreshing funk towards the middle and then pulls back together into a strong citrus-spice aftertaste. The esters work marvelously to add subtle flavors to this beer. The mouthfeel is cool crisp and refreshing, everything a saison traditionally should be. Bubbly carbonation is light and constant on the tongue, and the mouth is left very clean with only a slight drizzle of saliva on the sides and some dry spice on the top of the tongue. This is an excellent saison in my opinion, and a terrific return to the sessionable style of old saisons. Notch has done a great job brewing a historical and delicious beer that really highlights the funk and esters that these beers are all about. The fact that this beer is so nicely flavorful and is 3.8% makes it even more appealing. I am very surprised especially since I was not very taken with their pilsner, but this beer definitely highlights the cool things this brewery is doing with sessionable beer. I could drink quite a few of these and definitely advise this one.

Photo of jlindros
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice almost 2 finger head tries to fade but continually reinforced by the many rising bubbles, nice lacing, clear golden pale color.

Nose light pale malts, light sweetness, light spices, hint of citrus, sweet malty esters and fruit, light wheat and bit of saison farmhouse dry bready grainy malt.

Taste starts light, bit of sweet malt, hint of straw, wheat, fruit with light esters, dry farmhouse saison malt and almost bready. Almost fluffy carbonated malt. Light saison yeast fruits, and bit of floral hops and citrus. Finishes dry and toasty saison malts, light bitterness and spices.

mouth is lighter bodied, good carb.

Overall pretty staple saison, very light and drinkable, nice malts, fruits, esters, saison farmhouse flavors, etc, and no real off flavors. very drinkable.

Photo of Khazadum
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- we have an easy to develop head, poofy, cotton balls and ear picks. an easy to see through pale yellow body. TONS of carbonation, we are talking streams and streams and streams. Full crisp lacing, great stickiness, tons of retention. This may be the best appearance for style ( suspected belgian pale ale ) I've had in all the BIFs. It is literally amazing to look upon.

S- A bit of sharpness.. like a mild acetic acid nature. The true nature is bubblegum, hay, straw, clove, barnyard walls. Its got that belgian yeast characteristic that is just... iconic. If its a belgian pale ale, its well done.

T- The sharpness in the nose does translate minorly. It could be acetic, but the nature is so fleeting that its just generic acidity. It has straw and wheat flavors after that. Finishes faint bubblegum, we are talking like hours of chewing it before tasting it. The finish is a bit of straw but immensely faint. This is probably the cleanest finish in a beer I've had this year ( ha ha ).

M- Light, flavorful, clean finish. Very very crisp, almost too crisp in carbonation. The flavors are strong, just not lingering well.

D- Its a good beer. I wish I would have drank it before the parabola. It is a great beer to start out the night. Like your opening light beer to get you in the mood for a party. I almost feel like dancing after this one... or that could be the bomber of 12% ber talking.

I think its a belgian pale ale.

Reveal is... Wow, Notch Saison! American.. session beer? 3.8% holy shit! I'm drinking it again and again and I just can't see the saison characteristics other than dry, light peppery nature on the finish that I didn't catch at first. I can see the saison nature now. I was so hung up on the belgian yeast characteristics I didn't think that this was so underhopped how could it have been a BIPA? Impossible! It screams Saison now. Derp derp derp!

Photo of EgadBananas
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to cbeer88 for the tasty local treat!

Pours a nice medium sunny orange color, hazy, with a bright white head. Appearance wise, it's pretty effing sexy. Aroma has a lot of floral hop notes, with plenty Belgian, yeasty zest. Speaking of zest, there's some lemon zest qualities in there too. Mildly biscuity. Floral hops and zesty, estery yeast notes balance each other out on the taste. Light citrus and bread, slight bitter finish. Must admit that this is a nicely bodied beer for such a low ABV. Nice creamy texture, but with an authoritative carbonation bite. Light, but not water. Finishes cleanly.

I was rather excited for this one, being a Saison and a session ale, but admittedly had my concerns and assumptions, but I was very pleased with this ale. Great body, and full of flavor. I'd feel okay pounding a couple!

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle

Served in an Allagash goblet

Pours a hazy pale golden color with a medium-sized spritzy snow white head.

Smells of dry hay, grain and citrus zip out of the gate vying to gain ground. When, from out of nowhere, smells of green wood, mowed lawn and spices roll in. They all cross the finish line together and in complete harmony.

This is a GREAT small beer to have on a hot day on the boat, at softball, on the beach or just lying around on the hammock in the shade, avoiding the heat.

Low alcohol/high flavor!

Photo of ElijahRivera
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle “bottled on 4/12/13” and consumed on 7/27/13.

A- Off white, fluffy head. Hazy,dark gold in color. Good head retention, and a fair amount of large carbonation bubbles.

S- Lemon, pepper, a bit tart, some soft and subtle wheat aromas, and some esters. Interesting and more complex than I was expecting.

T- Initially, it seemed like the taste had less going on than the aroma. I was tasting wheat, spicy pepper, and lemon flavors. As I continued to drink, I came to appreciate the subtle complexities and balance achieved with all the ingredient playing their parts nicely.

M- Soft, smooth mid bodied mouthfeel with a prickly carbonation, and a crisp dry finish.

O- Definitely a winner by Notch in my book. A very good drinking and refreshing little session saison. I wouldn't mind re-hydrating with this if I were a farm hand back in the day...or today. Pairs well with a barn balcony on a warm, breezy, July afternoon in the Catskills.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy, orange-brown in color, 2 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: funk, hay, pepper, and lemon

Taste: pepper, funk, hay, pepper, Belgian spices, and lemon

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light bodied, dry, funky and slightly bitter

Overall: A nice, funky, light saison. I could have a couple of these. This is the best beer from Notch that I have had so far.

Photo of OldIronLungs
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Notch pint glass a chunky foam head on top of a hazy yellow gold, some splotchy lacing.

Nose is a subtle clove spice blended with an airy citric apple.

A sip is brightly carbonated right off the bat - light grassy malt provides a sweetness with a dry citric zest bitterness through the end.

I think this beer is exactly what it is - an affordable, sessionable, flavorful summer beer - and for that, I give it solid marks. I think the only thing it's missing is a little more barnyard funk, but that's personal preference, and I think Notch has made a great brew.

Photo of BeTheBall
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a golden copper color with about an average amount of head and lacing. Smelled a slight funk with a citrus background, also yeasty. The taste was very pleasant; dry in the finish almost with a smack; very refrshing and easy to drink. Mouthfeel was very good, with nice carbonation up front. I enjoyed this, especially for the "low" price, and loved that it's local.

Photo of silentjay
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

hazy straw color with a huge almost white head that takes a while to settle, but doesn't leave tons of lacing.

lots of bubble gum up front with a bit of herbs and yeast behind that. some honey, light breads, straw and a slight funkiness.

bubble gum up front, again, with a graininess and straw. some grass, barnyard funk, and some lemon zesty hops.

very dry and crisp, with a slight fluffy carbonation.

good traditional example of the style. doesn't go "imperialized" like many stateside variations. great summertime brew. perhaps a bit too dry to be extremely refreshing, but it suits the style.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notch Saison pours a hazy honey yellow color with a rocky white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving behind spots and lines of lace on the glass.

The aroma has strong notes of orange peel, wheat and yeast. Some clove and pepper are also present.

Each sip of this medium beer is soft, dry with a mild carbonation. The flavor is spicy with a solid wheat balance. It begins with orange peel, coriander and pepper. In the middle wheat and pale malt balance the spices. Light fruit and a touch of bubblegum are noticeable. It finishes mildly bitter and dry. Once gone the coriander and orange peel linger on the palate.

I'm somewhat surprised this beer is only 3.8% abv. It's full of flavor and has more body than the abv would indicate. However, the spice seems to dominate more than I like for a saison.

Photo of mynie
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What with my curmudgeony complaints at the mindless bigness of beers these days, a session saison has "mynie" written all over it.

Pours like a regular saison. Smells like a really great, crisp and refreshing saison. Big nodes of lemon, pepper, and grass. Not much yeastiness, for the style, but wonderful nonethless.

Tastes good, but not great. The citrusy zest of the aroma is joyously present all throughout the beer's front and middle, but the back end leaves me hanging, waiting for a yeasty aggressiveness that simply doesn't come.

The bizarre consolation is a fantastic aftertaste that rivals a really good, weedy european pils.

This is like god's own lawnmower beer. Just complicated enough to keep you interested, just boozey enough to make you happy, but nothing that'll distract you or slow you down.

Photo of puboflyons
3.69/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on April 24, 2014.

The color of the pour is golden with a small fizzy white head and low carbonation. It fades rather quickly.

The aroma has a decent toasted biscuit character and a touch of pineapple of grapefruit in the mix.

The body is light to medium.

The taste has a good toasted maltiness too with a citrus and slightly tart bite. It feels bigger than 3.8% ABV

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

Poured into a pint glass a slightly hazy burnt/golden yellow. Fluffy white head about half a finger thick stands its ground throughout the whole pint. Nose is a balance of grassy malt, pepper and funky, sour, fruity yeast. Flavor has a metallic tingle upfront. A big hit of the spicy yeast and sour citrus. Coriander and orange peel towards the end and then a crisp, dry and bitter finish. The dry bitterness is all orange peel flavor that gets progressively astringent. After about a minute there is still a lingering bite on the back of your tongue. For the abv the body is heavier than expected.

Photo of andrewinski1
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a fancy pint glass. The color is light straw and clear. There is a white foamy head with good retention.

The aroma balances mild bready malt with some citrus and lots of yeast-like spice. The aroma is nice and strong.

The taste has a nice dose of grassy hops balanced with some peppery yeast that is prominent in the finish. Lot's of flavor here!

The body is light and this is crisp and refreshing. I would love to try more Notch beers! Come to Maine if you want!

Photo of Longstaff
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a huge fluffy head that had staying power on top of the golden-orange body. Very clean aroma. The prickly mouthfeel was noticeable up front, which gave way to floral, spicy, estery, and slightly rubbery yeast character and finished up with a touch of golden malt sweetness. Not sure if actual spices were used, or if those flavors were derived from the yeast, but did not seem overdone. High carbonation, dry, slightly bitter finish, and low abv makes this drinkable and refreshing. I was impressed how much flavor this one had despite its low abv.

Photo of mdfb79
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jslot38 for this one and BigSexy410 for the assist. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my big Duvel tulip. Bottled on 03/15/12.

a - Pours a murky deep orange-golden color with two fingers of fluffy off white head and high carbonation evident. Head lasts for three to four minutes and some light spotty lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of bananas, cloves, spices, fruity malts, bready malts, and grains. Smell is a lot sweeter then I was expecting, but nice.

t - Tastes of spices, cloves, pepper, bananas, fruity malts, bready malts, grains, some floral hops, and some lemon. Nice, but seems a little bit watered down and weaker then the nose. A small step down from the nose for me.

m - Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation. A tiny bit watery in the mouthfeel but not bad.

o - Overall a decent saison. I liked the nose a lot, though thought the taste and body were a bit thin and watered down. Pretty easy to drink, worth checking out, though I probably wouldn't seek it out again.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, no bottle date.

Pours a light straw color with a good sized white bubbly head, fades at a slightly quick rate and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass.

Smell is predominately citrusy with a light peppery aroma, light yeast presence.

Taste is light and crisp, I'd believe this to be 3.8%, citrus and light sweet malt hit the front, subtle spicing, not the typical Saison now and days because it is aiming for the session style, finishes dry with a decent enough bitterness.

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 3+" yellowish white head. Hazy copper lemon yellow color. Smells of citrus and spice and malt. Taste is high on the fruit & spice and there's a persistent bitter finish. Body is much lighter weight than other Saison's. All in all a respectable sample from a brewery relatively local to me, but not at the tops for Saison.

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

Grabbed this one when I was up in Boston. Review from notes.

A: Pour a hazy light yellow/straw color with a foamy 1.5 finger head. Moderate retention and a little bit of lacing.

S: A bit of bubble gum, light citrus, banana, and light spices - mostly coriander. There is some bready malt on the back end.

T: Similar to the aroma, some banana and a little lemon zest, a little bit of bubble gum, some coriander, and a bit of bready malt. There was also a very slight funk.

M: Light to medium bodied with good carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O: While not my favorite saison, at 3.8% and $4.50 for a 22oz bottle, this was pretty impressive. Would pick this up again just to have in the fridge.

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

Glad I was logged out during my last review session, crappy web browser. Here is the short-hand version.

A- Poured into an over-sized tulip with an ultra hazy yellow-golden body. A massive white cap forms with a foamy, frothy texture. Great cap retention and a few nice patches of lace randomly around the glass.

S- Light Saison yeast profile. Notes of spices, flowers, coriander, lemon zest and yeast bread. Fades quite a bit with time.

T- Loses a bit from the nose here but still nice. Saison yeast lends spicy, floral, fruity, citrus and pepper notes. Fruit is somewhere along the lines of white grape and apple. Light biscuit and cracked grain malt notes. Hops lend spicy and grassy notes.

MF- Light -end body with big foamy, bubbly carbonation sort of like a champagne without the bite on the palate, creamy. A bit of bitterness in the finish and a very slight tart feel.

The lower ABV seems to remove a bit of the yeast complexity but it also takes any harsh spicy feel that some Saisons can develop, more drinkable than most.

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Notch Saison from Notch Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.