Saison Vieille Artisanal - Crooked Stave Brewery & Taproom
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Ratings: 172 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
3.49/5 rDev -13%
Tried this at the flight for Crooked Stave beers at Trappist Provisions. Poured out of a 375ml bottle into a wine tulip glass. Review is from my notes.
Pours an amber sunrise cloudy color with a nearly bone-white head that is slightly frothy in character. Bubbles are popping all over this at the top, almost to the point where I can imagine wild bacteria scrounging around and swimming in my beer. Other than that, carbonation is quite excellently balanced, in the same realm of other world-class saisons. Lacing is good, and the residue left behind is pretty rustic and pleasing. Very intriguing looking stuff.
The aroma is totally nuts, however. In the same realm of beers from Fantôme, this has got to be one of the most rustic, funky, pungent saisons I've ever whiffed on. Notes of cheese rind, brown grass, smoked lemons, seaweed, musty oranges, moist straw, toasted white oak, and granite immediately fill my nostrils, to the point where I simultaneously love and kind of hate this thing. There are no immediate flavors here that resemble beer ingredients other than the toasted dried malts and slightly skunky grassy hops. I'm definitely giving it high marks for being unlike anything I've had but I'm yet to try it.
Right at the first sip, the palate is immediately coated with a combination of dried oaky notes, toasted dried malts melded with peat moss, and slightly dried brown grassy flavors. This, in a way, resembles the ill-fated bottle of Fantôme Printemps that I had a while back, but it is far less bizarre and definitely more drinkable. Nevertheless, the toasted malt/peat flavor does get a bit grating to me, and as it warms up, it gets substantially smokier. The aftertaste is very tobacco-y, and while I tend to enjoy that, the smokiness is a bit too much, and the notes of algae and dandelions that creep in get a bit too vegetal and oppressive. Not necessarily refreshing, but this drinks quite well. Bready, yeasty, and slightly creamy from the oak. Definitely a well made beer, but the flavor profile is rustic to the point of being a bit challenging.
I admit that peat/smoked malt combos are not my favorite thing. The oak is a major factor that makes this a deal-breaker from other beers of its kind, as are the grassy hops used in the recipe. It's astonishing that more breweries in this country are replicating recipes that are hundreds of years old from Old World beers so well, and Crooked Stave is at the forefront of that movement. Still, this was my least favorite in the flight, and I wouldn't revisit it any time soon.
08-04-2013 18:23:20 | More by magictacosinus
4.09/5 rDev +2%
Pours pale golden yellow and cloudy. Medium small head, white. Little lacing and not much retention. It definitely shows off the barrel/sour angle. The aroma is underripe stone fruit, lemons, apples, mild funk and pale grain. Lots of stuff going on for a 4.2% abv beer. There's a touch of vinegar and lacto yogurt - you can definitely smell the sour in this beer. Very good brett flavors knocking around with the stone fruit and funk. The taste is lightly tart with more of the same flavors in the aroma. Nice balance of sour and brett funk. It's a bit simple on the palate. Some of the fruit seems a bit washed out, but the grain is light and fresh. Probably tends a bit more towards the lacto yogurt side of sourness. Very clean flavor with a solid lightly bitter oak note. Medium tannic from the wood. No idea what kind of barrel was used, but I like it. Not picking up much from the dry hopping, maybe some herbal flavor. Dry finish with more oak and underripe stone fruit. Mouthfeel is a bit smoother than expected. Carbonation is somewhat low, which is not a complaint. Otherwise, it's light on the palate with a little pucker. Good stuff. I love small, subtle saisons and sours, so this is right up my alley. If the flavor didn't wash out a touch in the taste, I'd have nothing to really criticize. Very solid "regular" lineup beer.
08-03-2013 05:03:51 | More by popery
4.28/5 rDev +6.7%
Served from a 375ml bottle into Crooked Stave tulip.
Appearance- Hazy yellow gold with bubbly white head that didn't last long, but left nice lacing.
Smell- Spicy yeast, black pepper, lemon rind, and something like pee.
Taste- Quick brett tartness, musty/rustic yeast, lemon and grapefruit rind. Very nice.
Mouthfeel- Very refreshing and mildly tart. Thirst quenching. Medium carbonation.
Overall- Great saison with nice rustic tartness.
07-03-2013 01:43:04 | More by Seanniek91
3.94/5 rDev -1.7%
Bottle from a trade with Mitch in Colo.
Pours hazed lighter yellowy amber, loose darker eggshell head, leaves some rather minor but thicker stickage.
Semi-tart lemon infused nose, with some earthyness and chilled butter also in the mix.
Refreshing and lemony brew. Slight sour note adding to the complexity. I also get some light pepper, some musty earth character, and a dry leafy hop finish. Hell yeah, more tasty and finely crafted beer from CS. The more I try these beers the more I like em. Gonna need to set up another trade with good ole Mitch....
07-01-2013 17:13:54 | More by Billolick
Saison Vieille Artisanal from Crooked Stave Brewery & Taproom
89 out of 100 based on 172 ratings.