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Grassroots Arctic Saison - Grassroots Brewing

Not Rated.
Grassroots Arctic SaisonGrassroots Arctic Saison

Educational use only; do not reuse.

99 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 99
Hads: 719
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 26
Gots: 142 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Grassroots Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: N17shelfside on 07-17-2013

This ale embodies the spirit of perpetual creative collaboration in conjunction with disciplined brewing endeavor.

We trekked to Alaska and helped craft this rustic Saison, bringing with us the essence and imagination of our Vermont Farmstead family.

Brewed and Bottled by Anchorage Brewing Company, Anchorage, Alaska
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Reviews: 99 | Hads: 719
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle I brought to share on the beer bus to San Diego.

Batch # 1. Bottled 5/2013.

Pours a hazy yellow-orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, earth, yeast, and Brett aromas. Taste is much the same with Brett and yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of Brett bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that showcases a solid earthy Brett presence in the aroma and flavor.

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Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very hazy golden yellow in color. It poured with a finger high fluffy white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and some lacing down th sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of barnyard funk are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste has sour and funky flavors from the brett along with some hints of oak towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an enjoyable saison as it has lots of brett aromas and flavors, but neither of which are overpowering.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

what a special beer this is, one of the best straight up brett experiences i have had in some time. sunny blonde beer with some appropriate yeast haze and a tall white airy head that rises well above the rim of the glass and clings on for ages. tart and funky is the nose, with citrus in there too. more brett than saison yeast, and just the right hop selection and dosage for this beer to be bitterly balanced but yeast not hop flavored predominantly. not often i get a beer of this depth and quality, just so alive on the palate, with the brett getting a little puckery later on. wet grass and orchard fruit notes come from the saison yeast, and the wheat malt base seems the perfect vehicle for these light summery interesting flavors to link up. one of the most dry saisons i can recall, with the brett reconditioning being fully complete. im left refreshed and intrigued and thirsty for more, i love when beer makes me this happy!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The tag-team of Anchorage and Grassroots play into a crescendo of funky freshness in this Arctic Saison!

Pouring a lemon-yellow color and chocked full of powdery haze, the ale simply looks citrusy and zesty. It builds a creamy off-white head with proven retention and concentric lace. The ale simply exudes the look of Belgian farmhouse ale.

Both rustic and racy, its aromas contain the earthy wet hay, supple whole wheat, vinous tartness scent with a light waft of sea air and weathered wood. Lightly leathery and attic-like, the roots of Saison are firm. But then the fresh scent of tangerine, pineapple, grapefruit, and herbal botanicals offer up a new-wave and highly complex set of aromatics.

The vibrant sweetness of ripe citrus pulp and tropical fruits are propped up with light malty wheat support. The complementing taste of orchard, citrus and tropical fruits weave into the malts with playful acidity and impeccable balance. Its finish is earthy with brine, french oak, wine rot and hay. Sharp hop bitterness offers up one last citrusy impression before the ale fades into an aftertaste of sawdust and a return to lemons.

Medium-light in body, the sparkling carbonation dissolves into the malt for a creamy upstart. But as the acidity comes to life, the ale takes a lighter tone while alcohol, hops, and peppercorn spice dries the beer in finish. In closure, the ale has a somewhat "feathery" texture with a sense of arid dryness and slight warmth.

The new way that folks like Anchorage, Prairie, Hill Farmstead and Grassroots have reinvented the "American-ized" Saison style is truly inventive as they retain what's classic about traditional farmhouse taste but injecting them with the lively character of citrusy hops. They simply flirt with perfection.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy blonde color ale with a large pure white foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of light Brett notes with some light lemon notes and rustic malt. Taste is a complex mix between some light lemon notes with dry Brett notes, solid rustic malt and light peppery yeast notes. Body is fuller then average with great carbonation. Solid interpretation of the style with good amount of complexity while retaining some drinkability.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle, Batch #1. Thanks be to the good doktorzee for procuring this for me from sunny SoCal. Fantastic pop when the cork was dislodged, rather easily, I was glad to see.

This beer pours a hazy, cloudy, medium tarnished golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, spongy, and finely foamy rising off-white head, which leaves a solid pattern of snow crystal lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of edgy, grassy, and mildly funky yeast, grainy pale malt, a touch of wheatiness, indistinct dry citrus rind, mildly woody oak staves, and spicy, earthen hops. The taste is a fairly tart kick to the palate - sourly acidic apple and citrus, astringently funky Brett, raw wood fibers, stale, dry leather, musty white wine lees, and understated earthy, herbal, spicy hops.

The carbonation is fairly tight and frothy, the body a pleasant enough medium-light weight, whose smoothness is pretty hard to discern among all that heady funk and acid (hipster band name pending). It finishes on the dry side, as the graininess of the wheaty malt isn't sturdy enough to keep fending off the Brett and oak overtones.

A generally approachable saison - from afar, of course, until your taste buds acclimatize, if they ever do. A lot going on here, the wood the most innocuous of the bunch, while the guest bacteria does what it does best, and the citrusy hops do well to keep things in traditional beer territory. Quite well made, this one is, and definitely worthy of seeking out, especially if you're an avowed funk-head, eh, Greg?

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours from a corked & caged 750ml bottle a clear straw yellow with bright effervescence yielding two inch thick white head and leaving globs and sheets of lace.

N: Hay/grass, lemon/citrus zest, yeast, barnyard funk, floral.

T: Cracked peppery spice, yeasty, fruity, earthy, slight must and wood.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Dry, peppery and yeasty finish.

O: Solid Saision. Refreshing and easy drinking. Like liquid springtime in a bottle.

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Photo of jlindros
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apparently never reviewed this great beer. Thanks to threelions.

Light fizzy head, murky orange juice color.

Nose big Brett, farmhouse funk, lemon zest, saison funk light spices, wheat creamy, grainy, very Brett farmhouse funk, even little pineapple.

Taste stats with more fruit, pineapple, citrus, lemon, zest, etc. Big Brett funk, farmhouse saison funk, mild spices, etc. Big rind bitterness, little earthy bitterness, juice pineapple tangerine juice. Little creamy wheat too. Finish is dry fair bitterness rind bitterness, more lemon, pineapple and citrus juice.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, nice carb.

Overall awesome. Not the best to look at, but aroma and flavor characters are awesome, nice Brett funk, pineapple and citrus, creamy wheat, bitterness, lemony, etc, just great.

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Photo of mactrail
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden with a pure white head in the St. Bernardus globe. Big foam to start makes for a lovely sudsy mouthful. Plenty of the pencil shavings aroma along with a whiff of damp horse.

Moderate but distinct Brett flavor. Some peppery notes. Pleasant, delicate fruitiness with more of the barnyard funk. Just a little pineapple and some pear flavors. The modest bitter aftertaste is just right for the light body and dry edge. There might be a faint woodiness, but I don't taste the alleged oak tank fermentation without some imagination. Still, this is a delicious and restrained example of a Saison, and I like this Brett version rather than the often over-the-top yeastiness. From the 750 ml bottle bought for $14.10 at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.18/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Snatched this one up earlier tonight; I'm really excited to try my first faux-Hill Farmstead (Hill Fauxstead?). I don't really get the whole subsidiary structure nor do I pretend to understand what the implications are for the beer, but because it kinda sorta has Hill Farmstead's name on it, my expectations are sky high. This is my first Hill Farmstead beer, if we're considering it one. Cost was $10.99 USD. Batch #1. May 2013. "Ale fermented in oak tanks with brettanomyces." Sign me up! 6% ABV confirmed. Distributed by the Shelton Bastards. 750ml brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire cap (aka cage) over a cork served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Yields a light plunk upon opening; carbonation is indicated to be adequate but not too high.

A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of nice creaminess and frothiness. Plump lightly supple complexion. Appears soft. Retention is superb - about 8+ minutes. Light even lacing as the head recedes. A pretty standard head for the style but a well executed and attractive one.

Body colour is a cloudy yellow-copper. Transparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It isn't the hazy milky appearance I've noticed in the best saisons, but it's appealing overall.

Sm: Subtle oak notes with traces of a very light buried toasted wood character. Brettanomyces are certainly detectable, with a pungent diverse funkiness that definitely seems more complex than your run of the mill American brewed saison. Grainy and grassy. Lemongrass. Touches of lemon zest and other citrus. These fruity notes are nicely complemented by the floral and lightly fruity hop profile, which imparts some nicely adhered juicy citrus character. Pear. I'm hesitant to say pineapple, but there's something a bit sweeter and juicier here. Clean malts, straw, pilsner malts. A sticky wet aroma of above average to mild strength. It's pronounced for a saison and anything but ubiquitous, though I don't know that it's necessarily unique. Well executed for the style. Not getting the white pepper and milky notes you'd find in the best examples of the style, nor is there much in the way of complex subtle spicing, but I'm optimistic given Hill Farmstead's reputation alone.

T: Hm. Definitely more fruity and juicy than the style conventionally calls for - especially in the second half. Funky throughout in a general sense, but it never really evokes the intricacies or nuance of brettanomyces yeast character. As far as the yeast goes, I don't get any white pepper, clove, biscuity character, or deep complex funk. Just a sort of middling attempt at a backgrounded funkiness.

Body is interesting. Lots of pear fruit and some lemon bouncing around over top a healthy base of clean pils malts, light filtered wheat (?), and straw. A clean flavour profile which unfortunately lacks the subtlety and complexity inherent in the best beers in the style.

Hopping is primarily floral and complements the body nicely. Bits of fruity wisps don't amount to much.

It actually feels like it has more alcohol than it does. Where is the oak?

Balance is alright. Flavour intensity is average for the style, as is flavour duration. Honestly, I'm pretty underwhelmed. I like it in a general sense and it's pleasant, but there's just nothing remarkable about it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Soft. Lightly juicy on the back end. Nice body. Way too thick for a saison, though - especially one with such limited depth and diversity of flavour. Overcarbonated. Suits the flavour profile kind of, but I'd say the execution is actually below average. There's something off about it. Not oily, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: Boy. I don't know if this was just an off bottle but I'm not at all impressed with it. If Hill Farmstead's other beers are this pedestrian I'm in for a lot of disappointment. I definitely wouldn't get this again - especially at its high price. The alcohol could be far better concealed. The thickness impedes drinkability. Wouldn't recommend it to friends. I'm withholding judgment of Hill Farmstead because this is both a collaboration and a weird subsidiary situation but I have to say I'm let down.


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Photo of mdfb79
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 04/26/14 notes. Big thanks to jslot38 for sharing this one, always interested in a new beer from Grassroots or HF.

a - Pours a deep amber-orange color with one finger of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smell is of brett bomb. Tons of brett, oranges, citrus hops, tropical fruits, juicy pine, oak, toasted malts, and bready malts. Awesome; loving the brett.

t - Tastes of juicy tropical fruits, mangos, pineapples, brett, oranges, citrus hops, fruity malts, oak, earthy notes, floral hops, and bready malts. More tropical fruits than the nose and les sbrett, though there is still a good amount here.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Easy to drink beer.

o - Overall a fantastic beer with brett; I loved it. Tons of brett and tropical fruits, well worth seeking out. Would love to have it again.

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Photo of chinchill
3.08/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Clear light rose color with a decent head; slightly hazy.

Barnyard aroma with some much more inviting fruity aspects. Mild tartness, light funk and mixed fruits dominate the taste.

Feel: Body should be both livelier and a bit fuller.

O: Moderately complex and nicely original.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A huge thank you to Paul for grabbing this for me whilst at Hill Farmstead.

Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

The beer is clear and golden yellow with over an inch of fluffy white head. The aroma brings funk, lemons, floral notes, mineral water, earthy tones. Similar flavor, finishing dry. A tasty beer. Mild brett and oak throughout. Not the most exciting saison, but certainly a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Batch #2 March 2014.

A real nice orb glowing lemon body color, opaque and shiny. Head makes an easy fluffy and rock bleach white head, with hints of creamy whipped topping. A solid classic looking saison.

Real nice fruity and big nose. Small hints of oak and vanilla, with a big lemon brightness. Mild brett quality and minimal funk to go with it.

Palate comes off light body, almost grisette in quality. Strange yeast finish a bit, with almost a flattened bread dough that has not risen. Fruit lemon and very good brett heat with an easy tolerance. Nearly crisp, moderately dry. Minimal and subtle oaky quality, hard to detect because of the lighter mouthfeel.

Overall a pretty solid creation between the two breweries, I like this Grassroots project.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Huge white head atop a hazy pale orange body. Beautiful lacing and great lacing.

Smell - Bretty and acidic. Pale malt. Lemony citric acids. Slight funk.

Taste - Bright lemony tang. Earthy bretty flavors. Slightly sweet pale malts. Bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium light body. Well carbonated.

Overall - I was tempted to say that this a fairly straightforward oak brett saison, but that sounds foolish.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle marked Batch #1, May/2013. Poured in a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, hazy, golden wheat coloring with a steady flow of carbonation throughout the body and a clingy, bubbly, chunky, bright white head that has a decent retention around half an inch. Nose of buttered biscuits in the backbone, with floral highlights, toasted grains, and a subtle dose of spices, including pepper, orange zest, and coriander. Flavors of sour and tart forward, with an acidic undertone. Citrus tart profile follows, with a heavier spice blend of coriander, all-spice, pepper, orange zest, and another solid shot of sour. The aftertaste is citrus and sour, with a slowly regressing boldness. The finish is tart and tangy, with a slightly drying feel and spiced linger. Decent brew, with a building spice profile as the rest of the palate quietly subsides. Interesting.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a glowing orange with lots of carbonation leaving a huge white head and a lively bottle. The head retention is amazing.

S: Loads of fruits! It smelled sordove sweet. Very fresh on aroma, very appealing. I hope it tastes as good as it smells

T: It did, tastes great! A healthy dose of brett keeps it a little funky but this beer just screams like a fruit basket mated with Hawaii. Lots of passion fruits and orchard style fruits. Clean, crisp, a light sweetness and oh so refreshing.

M- Light-medium body, great mouthfeel, very refreshing, clean finish, very carbonated

O: Excellent! I did think it was a little sweet for the style though

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Batch #1 - May 2013. Poured in to HF stemmed tulip.

A - Cloudy golden yellow; orange towards the centre. Opaque. Two fingers of white head.

S - Funk, lemon, spice, pepper, coriander and some fresh citrus.

T - Funk, Belgian yeast, light banana, lemon, pepper, some oak/woody notes and some toast. A bright and fresh hop profile.

M - Medium body. Dry. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a light golden amber with a two finger white head with good retention and pillowy lacing. Aroma of saison yeast, citrus, sour apple, funky. Flavor is citrus rind, brett, sour apple, coriander, peppery spices, finishing with acetic sourness and light bittering hops.. Light bodied with nice active carbonation. A lot going on here, lots of sour citrus fruit and a moderate amount of brett. A bit too sour for me, but should please tasters who like a tart bretty saison.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged batch 2 bottle poured into tulip 8/9/15

A milky bright yellow liquid with tiny speedy bubbles popping up from everywhere, as much foam as you desire really I stop it at a large loose three fingers, decent retention oddly enough half of the glass sticks around while the other half has a thin film, lots of random lace deep down the glass

S heavy brett and wet wood, hint of leather, 18 months old but I'm still getting plenty of tropical hops with some lemon, pineapple, green apple, and maybe some dried mango, loving the funk, has some vinous notes working wonders, dried hay and grass just add to the complexity, sexy stuff for sure

T again I'm getting vinous notes, heaps of funk but the fruity aspects toned down, more wood, some vinegar, apples green, tart but not all that sour, tastes great but the nose was a hard act to follow

M light and fluffy, just a little prickly, very mild sour bite, fine grit and some fruity barnyard linger

O plenty going on with this one, the funks coming out strong, still lots of fruity hops, I'm guessing wine barrels have a role, just all around great

One of those beers I want to try at every age, its not every day a "new" brew enters my area with 18 months of age on it, I'm hating the price tag because I want more

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Photo of puboflyons
3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From Batch #1- May 2013. Sampled on August 11, 2013. Why does this say brewed by Anchorage Brewing of Anchorage Alaska on the label if it is brewed in Vermont? Is it some kind of contract thing for the East Coast?

Anyway the pour is a decent looking, slightly cloudy pale yellow with a soft, fluffy head on top that sits there for quite some time but eventually fades down.

The aroma has a faint Belgian malts and Belgian sugar note but the citrus and tartness exposes itself early on taking over the nose.

The body is light to medium.

The taste begins with a roasted maltiness but just like the aroma the citrus grapefruit tartness kicks in from behinds and remains on the back of my throat for a few moments.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second Bottle opened on 10.1.13

A - Pours a hazy light orange with a huge off-white head with good retention.

S - Citrus, hay, funk.

T - Funky, oranges and lemon citrus, oak, straw.

D - Tons of carbonation with a light body.

O - Funk and tart citrus. I enjoyed this one way more than the fist bottle.

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Photo of rudzud
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Kyle for sharing this at the dive.

A - Poured into a tulip a nice hazy golden straw hue with a thin had that fades to leave light lacing and a thin clouds of a head.

S - Aromas of funky barnyard, lemons, faint horse blanket, super gentle saison spices

T - Taste is nice fruity green apples, barnyard funk, Belgian yeast, , faint lemons. More green apples than lemons here which is super nice.

M - Mouthfeel is very nice for the style, super sessionable, firmly carbonated, well done.

O - Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. Good Apple notes along with barnyard. Well done collaboration cc which is fast and few between.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle, split

Hopleaf tulip - aroma was offputting - moldy fruit and cheese. Flavor profile was an improvement with notes of lemongrass, mild brett, lots of hay, cheese, grass. All 3 grassroots beers i've had have been slightly underwhelming.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Belmont Station.

In my Duvel tulip, the first pour is a clear golden orange with a large, dense, white head that falls off leaving stiff, choppy peaks. Lacing is decent too. The nose is excellent. The classic saison base is clear - straw, rustic bread, a touch of rye-like sharpness, a deep yeast complexity, but then you add in the rather delicate touches from the oak and the Brett and you have yourself a winner. A raw but delicate woody note, a wisp of vanilla and a blend of earth and mushroom from the Brett make this truly exceptional. Floral notes are present as well.

The palate opens with a pleasing acidity, a blend of lemon and lactic acids, and a quenching, refreshing saison base - grain, husk, some fruit (apricot, a little peach). The mid-palate has a moderate floral character (rose hips, a little bit of jasmine). The earth/mushroom flavors from the Brett are, at this point, light, complementary and delicious. Drying on the finish with a mild oak tannin bite that works really well with the saison base, there are also flavors of lemon, a carbonic acid touch, and floral flavors. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is mostly great, but does feel a touch watery at times. Still, this is an exceedingly enjoyable beer. Refined stuff.

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Grassroots Arctic Saison from Grassroots Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.