Honey Saison - Almanac Beer Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 23 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by kojevergas:
2.83/5 rDev -16.3%
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.
Serving type: bottle
02-20-2013 05:41:16 | More by kojevergas
More User Reviews:
4.09/5 rDev +21%
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.
Serving type: bottle
02-26-2014 20:29:42 | More by Maxwell
3.61/5 rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
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.
Serving type: bottle
01-11-2014 05:43:57 | More by Stevedore
Honey Saison from Almanac Beer Co.
78 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.