Honey Saison - Almanac Beer Co.
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Ratings: 153 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kojevergas:
2.83/5 rDev -15.5%
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.
02-20-2013 05:41:16 | More by kojevergas
More User Reviews:
3.98/5 rDev +18.8%
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.
08-25-2013 05:05:33 | More by andyfrancis
3.94/5 rDev +17.6%
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.
07-31-2013 19:01:25 | More by LiquidAmber
2.73/5 rDev -18.5%
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.
09-07-2012 04:39:51 | More by largadeer
Honey Saison from Almanac Beer Co.
77 out of 100 based on 153 ratings.