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Honey Saison - Almanac Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Honey SaisonHoney Saison

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

166 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 166
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 17.01%
Wants: 3
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RblWthACoz on 08-26-2012

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 166 | Reviews: 28
Reviews by 4000qtrap:
Photo of 4000qtrap
3.19/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

Source/Serving: 12oz bottle

S: Moderate mossy/herbal/floral hops, clean horse stable mixed with brass, ginger and lemon verbena, pepper. Light oaky vanilla. Straight-up lightly spiced Brett saison character. Dank but lively and upbeat.

T: Balanced up front with nice dryness, a hint of acidity, good carbonation/carbonic acid, and a lively crispness without being sweet. Understated but well done and decently complex. Ginger is moderate, but a touch too much for me. Has a nice dank, dark Brett edge thats surprisingly musty but doesn't overwhelm and is heavy on the funk. Lemon verbena, citrus with a herbal/dark edge. Somewhat heavy for a saison even though carbonation is high. Very hard to describe which is perfect for a saison. Finish is perfectly dry with a pleasant mix of funk, herb, lemon/pepper, ginger and spice.

Notes: Understated but near perfection if it weren't for the heavy hand with the ginger. I say this even though I'm a bit biased against the farm-to-bottle marketing campaign of Almanac.

More User Reviews:
Photo of andyfrancis
3.98/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tall tumbler.

Very bubbly, clear golden honey with a snow white head reducing into a smooth frosting.

Floral and lemony notes on the nose.

Nice complexity. The saaz hops are recognizable and mingle nicely with the honey sweetness. The ginger sneaks in some bright spicy notes.

Nice full body for a saison, still easy enough to have a few. Definitely coats the mouth though.

Saisons are not usually my go to, but I like this one. A nice summer bbq beer with a little more body than a typical "summer" beer.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +19.4%

Nose: ready grains, honey, spice, ginger
Pours gold with a slight haze under a persistent, rocky, 2" bone white moussey head that produces excellent lace.
Palate: fruit, light bready grains, a touch of heat from the ginger, a touch of hop bitterness on the finish for balance, very well put together.
Very creamy, medium high carbonation, medium body

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.93/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a hazy golden amber with a massive white head and lacing. Aroma of saison yeast, Belgian spice, light bready malt, hints of honey, lightly floral and slight mineral. Interesting semi-sweet stone fruit, lemon and honey, drying out into a wild yeast inspired spicy finish with light fruit esters.Slightly astringent in the finish, but not outside the range of dry saisons. Medium bodied with pleasant sharp carbonation. An interesting take on a saison with a pleasant flavor progression that combines both saison dryness with sweet fruit esters that play off of each other. I'm not able to detect the ginger nor oak as separate elements, but the flavor is moderately complex so its hard to identify some components. Not traditional, but I liked this quite a bit.

Photo of largadeer
2.76/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Clear straw gold body capped by a finger of froth.

Smell: Strangely, the first thing that comes to mind is smoked meat. There's a strong fresh herb presence, honey, floral notes, some spiciness that I wouldn't necessarily identify as ginger if it wasn't printed on the label. The odd meatiness dissipates after a while, and floral honey comes to the forefront. There's a bit of zesty lemon, too.

Taste & mouthfeel: On the palate it becomes clear that the strange meaty note I was picking up on the nose is coming from the addition of French oak. It contributes a spicy, tannic, savory quality that feels out of place in a beer like this. There's a big herbal note, too, with some zesty citrus fruit and ginger behind. The body is light, bordering on thin. Hidden somewhere beneath all the adjuncts, there's a very light bready malt foundation. Honey and ginger come through more near the finish, and they pair nicely. The beer ends on a fairly bitter note, but it doesn't dry the palate as much as I want a saison to.

Overall: Decent but heavy handed with the adjuncts. As far as I'm concerned, most of the top saisons out there are fairly simple recipes that let the yeast contribute most of the flavor. With this beer it feels like the yeast and malt are taking a back seat to everything else.

Photo of FocusDave
3.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a hazy golden color with a full two fingers of foamy off-white head. Retention lasts a few minutes and lots of carbonation bubbles continue to rise. Leaves thick lacing.

S - Yeast and malt with a little bit of spice. Not getting much honey.

T - Lots of spicy, earthy notes. A hint of sweetness, but it does not linger.

M - Very thin mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation. Bright and crisp on the tongue.

O - The aroma and taste of this beer are pretty good, but the mouthfeel leaves a bit to be desired.

Photo of portia99
3.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into an Idle Hands tulip.

A - Pours with a huge fluffy, off-white, 3 finger cap of foam on top of a cloudy, slightly muddied pale amber colored body.

S - Noticeable honey character up front, green, grassy and slightly vegetable hop presence, ginger , slightly tart wheaty malt.

T - Mild wheat tartness with grassy hops, honey sweetness, mild hop bitterness, gingery spice. A number of flavor components here, but overall it seems kinda hollow without any cohesiveness pulling everything together. Comes across as rather plain and a bit lacking in life.

M - Light in body, a bit watery in feel, sharp carbonation that is extremely prickly on the tongue. Spicy ginger in the middle that then lingers forever past the swallow and giving the biggest flavor impression in this beer.

O - Unimpressive...seems like it should be better reading the ingredients list. It just doesn't seem to pull it all together...big potential, but lacking a bit in execution. Drinkable but not one for me to go back to...not really saison-y to me - more like a non-descript pale ale with ginger added.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle opened on 8.15.13

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

S - Honey sweet, floral, light citrus.

T - A subtle honey sweetness with lots of saison yeast.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - On the sweeter side, light saison, hard to finish.

Photo of Maxwell
4.08/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy, yellowed orange, like the place in a fire where the yellow core moves into the red fingers. The beer pours with a massive head of medium sized fizzy bubbles. The head mellows to about a finger’s width with a fluffy terrain running across the top of the glass. In body, the beer is completely opaque and cloudy, yet bright in color… I suspect that the honey and ginger found in the beer have a lot to do with the beer’s opacity. On the nose, the beer smells of rich barnyard hay, grass, and smooth wildflower honey. Touches of wheat bread and definite funky spice blend over the nostril hairs quite well. I like the smell of this beer, as it is subtle, but delightfully saison-like. The honey especially adds a smoothness to the scent that really balances out the funk and makes it quite inviting. I feel like I’m smelling a fresh meadow beside a farm yard. There is even a hint of nettles in the nose. On the tongue, the beer tastes wonderfully subtle and balanced, moving from sweet honey to slight citrus acidity to grassy and herbal bitter characters. There is even a touch of spice on the yeast, and I think the ginger is adding to the spicy twang. In flavor, the beer starts grassy and then opens to herbal spice, hay, nettles, and all the while smooth honey slowly works through the flavors so that it almost feels like you’ve sucked on just a drop of fresh honey by the time you finish your sip. I don’t out right taste any ginger in this beer, but I do taste funky yeast spice, touches of pepper, and definite herbal flavors that even stray slightly towards minty freshness. Maybe it’s just because it is a cold and windy day here in winterized New England, but this beer reminds me very much of a warm spring meadow with bees, and nettles, and fresh hay, perhaps even with new grown mint leaves. It is quite nice for my winter-cold body to sit in the freshness of this beer. The finish of the beer is rich with honey and wheat malt flavors, while the aftertaste blends in spicy yeast and fresh herbal mint. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied with a little-too-harsh carbonation that definitely gives the beer a fresh snap, but digs into the tongue with a touch too much prickle. Mouthfeel is crisp and snappy with a slight gelling feeling, probably from the honey. Overall, I like this beer. As I said before, it may just be that I am wishing for spring, but this beer embodies that nicely for my taste buds, and though it is a little too aggressive in carbonation, it makes up for that by being superbly balanced in flavor and nuance. This is a beer to try.

Photo of kojevergas
2.83/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewed with ginger root, Saaz hops, Mount Hood hops, Bay Area honey from Marshall farms, wheat, French oak, and two-row barley. I imagine they used oak chips? 4.8% ABV confirmed. I like the label; stylish burnt orange etching on brown glass. 12 fl oz bottle with branded pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Acquired as part of a four pack.

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

I've had a fair amount of Fantome, Hennepin, and Avec Les Bon Voeux, so I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what a good beer in the style is. This style's been really growing on me lately.

A: Pours a 1.5-2 finger beige colour head of fair cream, decent thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention - though the ABV is fairly low. Body colour is a clear lemon yellow of limited vibrance. Translucent. Littered with carbonation bubbles - seemingly too many. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It isn't much to look at, to be honest. It's also quite bright for the style; I'm asserting that's the honey.

Sm: Biscuity yeast, light honey (not at all fresh or nectary like I'd expect), light oak, pale malts, floral hop character, and yes, a bit of ginger. The ginger is well balanced, but I want a lot more from the honey. I don't get a barrel character of the oak wood; I think it's safe to say they used chips. Lemon zest. Muddled orange rind. No alcohol is detectable. An average strength aroma. In a quality saison, I expect complex spice and peppery qualities in the aroma but they're absent here.

T: Floral hop character is pleasant but lends it too much bitterness, which clashes with the stale lemon zest and bland murky orange rind. It tastes a bit dirty, not at all fresh or refreshing. Honey? I have trouble finding it. No peppery character at all. I do get ginger, but it intrudes on the balance and feels forced and out of place. There's little cohesion here; it doesn't work holistically. Messy. Some light biscuity yeast notes. Crystal malt. Oak is as underwhelming as can be; they ought to have just saved the ingredient cost and not even bothered. Pale malts form the body, joined by weak thin barley. There's not much positive to say about this.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Thin and weak. Too wet, but I'd stop short of calling it watery. A bit scratchy and chewy. Not seamless and uniting like a good saison would be. Slightly overcarbonated. Not executed to style. It doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well either.

Dr: I'd heard good things about this brewery and was excited to try their beers, but now I'm wondering if I made a mistake buying this and two other Almanac offerings. This is a subpar saison; standard bland fare for an American brewed example of the style. Low ABV is concealed, but that's insubstantial. It's drinkable, but I don't see this turning any heads anytime soon.

C

Photo of mactrail
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a golden color in the Affligem chalice, but the head is short-lived. A modicum of fizz and tartness on the tongue. Hints of honey in the aroma, but just a touch in the mouth.

Light maltiness followed by total dry yeastiness. There gets to be some peculiar herbal taste as well as a hint of plastic after some sipping. The yeasty bitterness takes over the more interesting flavors thoroughly. Though this is pretty undrinkable after half a glass, it does have a lot of what I've been looking for lately-- light, flavorful beer with a hint of Belgian yeast. This one just has far too much of the latter.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at Bine & Vine in San Diego.

Photo of flagmantho
3.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a light haze and a moderate effervescence. Head pours three fingers of pillowy white foam with decent retention. A nice-looking beer.

Smell: sweet malt with a bit of a noble hop character and a middle-of-the-road saison funk. Pretty well balanced, although lacking a lot of unique character.

Taste: slightly sweet malt with a light graininess and more of those noble hops. Saison funk is, again, quite on the light side, but it still adds an interesting character to this light and sessionable beer.

Mouthfeel: light body with a good carbonation and a decent, if ephemeral, creaminess. Not too bad.

Overall: this beer is pretty light and might even be a bit over-attenuated, leaving little in the way of body. However, it is refreshing and drinkable and delivers quite a pleasing drinking experience.

Photo of stakem
3.24/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a snifter. The brew appears a clouded golden orange color with a white frothy topping a finger strong that slowly fades leaving a full wall of sudsy lace.

The aroma is rustic with a really earthy feel with faint clove-like spice and fruit like apple/pear skins. A bit lemony, sulfuric, cheesey, mineral-filled and carbonic. Not the best smelling saison but not the worst by any stretch either.

The flavor is quite dry and earthen. Some clove spiciness has suggestions of clove, grass, minerals, sulfur, lemon rind and carbonic quality. Trace amounts of fruit like pear/apple skins and a grain presence that feels like straw.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Pretty earthy and spot on for the style with the way it feels. My only gripe being the excessive carbonic/mineral quality and a bit of alcohol warmth that hits more bold than you would expect of a brew under 5%. I appreciate the chance to try this Joe, thanks again.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle I brought to share at jmgrub's tasting.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy bone colored head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, herbs, spices, and yeast. Taste is much the same with lots of earthy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but quite earthy.

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

This is an okay saison, I suppose. The first thing I'd have to ask is where the honey might be. I get basically no aspect of it on the beer. Beyond that, there is a minor soapy tone that I'm glad is not the main characteristic of the beer. The earthy tone that is there, instead of the soap, really doesn't do as much for me as I would like.

The bottom line is that I appreciate the other Almanac releases more than I do this one. Though I will say that the print on this bottle is one of the nicest I have ever seen (even nicer than Stone does).

Photo of Maakies
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A transparent straw yellow, snow white head, and nice carbonation, had to pour pretty carefully. I noticed the head doesn't disappear too quickly either.

Smell - I can smell the honey, but you have to dig for it. As it gets closer to room temperature it really pops.

Taste - Again, as the beer gets closer to room temperature, the honey is rather huge. Some light grains. Refreshing, I would have loved to have this 2 months ago when it was warmer :)

Mouthfeel - Tingly carbonation makes the honey profile a lot more palatable. Light and delicate, although it does have a fairly soapy quality that I'm not too fond of.

Overall - I love that they released 4-packs, I was hoping for something new. The honey may have been too much to make this a sessionable beer (at 4.8% you'd expect to be able to throw a few back). I think that Almanac uses fruits/herbs/sweeteners very well throughout their offerings, but I feel the honey in a saison lacks the subtlety that fennel in a biere de garde has.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a footed glass at Ale Arsenal.

A: Clear gold with light head.

S: Spicy saison yeast and a hint of soap.

T: Unfortunately, it doesn't taste much better. Floral spicy saison that is very light and doesn't last too long. Not much after taste. Hint of citrus.

M: Soapy-carbonated.

O: A competent but lackluster saison. No discernible honey, and not anything I'll ever try again.

Photo of vfgccp
3.37/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Light haze on a wheat gold body. Fine white head with ok lace and retention.

S - Delicious nose of fresh wheat, bosc pear, macadamia nuts, and honey.

T - Straw, wheat, dried leaf bitterness, light honey, and peppercorns.

M - Off the beaten path for the style with a thick body low carbonation for the style.

O - Reads more like a belgian blonde than a saison. Nice flavor profile, but definitely needs more carbonation.

Photo of Stevedore
3.34/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, no bottling date. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass today, 1/10/2014.

Pours a light straw-orange body, with a very fluffy white head that is quite overcarbonated. Takes a long while to settle down and finish the pour.

Smells nice and spicy up front- peppercorns, lemon zest- with a solid breadiness in the back. Very pleasant nose, not too intense but not weak at all. Enjoyable.

Flavour is kind of weak, but not bad. No peppery spices are present like in the nose, and behind the breadiness there is a solid yeast spice flavour backing it up. Not a complex or particularly interesting saison, but by no means is this a bad beer.

Thinner bodied, but well carbonated and refreshing. Easy to drink, not a sipper by any means.

Decent shelf saison, not the most interesting but not the worst either.

Photo of elNopalero
4.33/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle this pours a crisp, light golden-tan with a thick cloud that dies down into big foamy bubbles. I get a pleasing aroma of honeyed esters, like clove honey and flowering orange blossoms. Flavor has a welcoming delicate sweetness with similar esters followed by this incredibility distinct toasted biscuit finish. I dare say that I found this even more enjoyable from the bottle than on draught.

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-orange with a finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet grains, honey Belgian yeast, lemon zest, coriander, some floral and citrus hops, and a touch of bread.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet grains with some lemon zest and a bit of citrus, with some honey. Through the middle, some Belgian yeast comes through with some floral hops, a touch of bitterness, and a bit of pepper. The finish is a mix of sweet bready malts with some lemon zest, Belgian yeasts, and honey.

M - Medium-minus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, estery, and lightly spicy finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice lighter saison with the honey smoothing it out nicely.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Falling Rock in Denver. Pours hazy yellow with lots of fluffy head. Aroma of yeast funk, sweet honey, some light citrus and pear, a bit of spice, and more funkiness. Flavor follows the smell very closely with some additional sweetness and body, some nice finishing spice and light grassy hop character. Body is light to light medium with medium plus carbonation. Goes down pretty easy. Nothing special but worth drinking on a nice summer day.

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.15/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a single bottle for $2.99 from Olive Tree Market here in Ocean Beach. Poured into a Forestinne stemmed tulip.

Pours a hazed unfiltered apricot hue with a solid fluffy white head, good retention giving way to a ring of bubbles, lacing could be better. Smell is biscuity, lightly funky, lemon zest, earthy root, stone fruit and cigar box notes as well. Flavor is sweet and grainy, very floral, slightly bitter from the ginger root, pepper corn, yeast funk, with a very earthy finish that seems to linger forever. Mouthfeel is pretty big for a saison, the effervescence is strong and very nice for the style, finishes crisp with a lingering bitterness from the ginger root. Definitely not your "traditional" saison, although I don't think Almanac is going for "traditional" with any of their brews. Very enjoyable saison regardless, and I wish there was more than one bottle left on the shelf when I was at the market earlier. Would definitely revisit this one.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.61/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Hops and Pie. Orange color, alright head. Interesting aroma that has only the mildest notes of honey but then something else I can;t place. Not bad. Flavor was yeasty with a bit of honey wheat bread aspect to it. very drinkable and I liked it better than the farmer's reserve blackberry.

Photo of rawfish
3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours murky gold, kind of muddy with a tight finger high head with lasting retention and tight lacing left on the glass.

Biscuity and grainy with a light cheesy and mineral funk. Strong perfume of clove, fall fleshy fruit, earthy ginger. Yeasty and soapy.

Corn meal, grain husks and earthy wood in the malt. Not much sweetness here, lots of floral yeast and spice flavors, powder, coriander, clove and dried ginger. Hops are earthy with some dull citrus character. Finishes very soapy.

While the body is appropriate if not a bit heavy due to the yeast and the carbonation adequate this beer gets harder to finish as it warms and you get near the dregs. Coarse character builds as it warms.

The yeast in this really builds a powerful soap and powder flavor, the ginger brings out this quality even more. No sweetness from the honey or wood character. As impressed as I have been with Almanac thus far this one is difficult to finish.

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Honey Saison from Almanac Beer Co.
77 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.