Island Reserve: Saison Farmhouse Ale - Cisco Brewers Inc.

Not Rated.
Island Reserve: Saison Farmhouse AleIsland Reserve: Saison Farmhouse Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

37 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 37
Hads: 139
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 17.57%
Wants: 14
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: nas5755 on 10-30-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Saison Farmhouse was fun to brew and is fun to drink. Buckwheat, oats, and rye fermented with Brettanomyces and a Saison yeast in a 50 hectoliter french oak cask. Herbs and spices grown here at the brewery replaced most of the hops. On it's way into package it was treated to a host of microflora to create additional character over time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 37 | Hads: 139
Photo of Gaucho
1.25/5  rDev -67.7%

First, I must preface that I'm not sure if I had this specific brew. Consumed on tap at Armsby Abbey in Worceter as "Cisco Saison".

In any event, it was very disappointing. Always an interesting tap list at the Abbey, and since I really enjoy saisons, I inquired about the Cisco. He indicated "tart" (in hindsight, rather sheepishly).
Nice amber color and head, but the positives stop there. Overwhelming lemon flavor - more shandy that saison. So much lemon that it masked any other characteristics.
Wondering if it was a keg gone bad since most of other reviews are favorable. In the meantime, I'll stick with Hennepin or Tank 7.

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Photo of buzzarooski
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

LOOK: Hazy Yellow in Color, Minimal White Foamy Head Dissipates Quickly

SMELL: Lemon, Lemon, and oh yes LEMON

TASTE: Fair too Tart and Lemon Tasting for my Liking, Borderline Overwhelming

FEEL: Minimal Carbonation, Leaves the Pallet Dry and "Puckered"...if that makes any sense.

OVERALL: Since this type of beer (Saison) is NOT my preferred type of beer I tried to keep and Opened Mind....but at the End of the Day...for Many reasons I would have to call this Ale...A LEMON!

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.91/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle courtesy of cosmo4u pours a very hazed gold color with a massive, foamy white head…glistens like soap bubbles. Poured gently, but even so was super-foamy and took forever to recede.

Nose is very spice-oriented surprisingly. Grains of paradise and nutmeg come to mind as well as orange and/or lemon peel. Grains seem pretty neutral and hops don’t seem to be much of a factor.

Taste is better than I thought it would after the smell, I am not really a fan of grains of paradise. The spices are more subtle (though still pretty notable) and the biscuity malt plays a more prominent role. Smoothes out almost to the point of watery though and the over carbonation is annoying to say the least. I really don’t get much of the brett or other 'microflora' noted in the description, perhaps the spices are too overpowering to notice? I must admit, I like my saisons without any spices added...why fuck with an already exceptional style of beer? It’s not bad as far as spiced saisons go, but overall I’m not a big fan of this beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a cloudy hazy dirty orange color ale with a medium size foamy head with minimal retention and not much lacing. Aroma consists of light Brett notes with some rustic malt and light acidic notes. Taste is a mix between some Brett notes with acidic undertones and lightly sweet malt with light rustic notes. Body is full with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. This one is a weird one one with Brett notes that off and the malt backbone isn’t well balanced. Peppery yeast notes or prominence of ester are also hard to detect.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.04/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chris (spycow) got this at Lush - didn't even know Cisco distributed here. Served in a Struise cervoise.

A - A finger of white foam settles to a thin cap, thicker bubbly patches and collar, and minimal lacing. Hazy orange body.

S - Lots of lemongrass and lemon thyme, perhaps a bit of saffron, and peppery yeast. Too much lemon - reminds me of Goose Island Marisa (i.e. Pledge in beer format).

T - Taste has some suntan lotion mingling with lemon, pale malts, and peppery yeast. It's not as kitchen cleaner-esque as the aroma, which I appreciated greatly. Finishes a bit like a lemon lozenge.

M - Medium bodied, lower carbonation, and a lightly sticky finish.

D - Just too much lemon and not enough Saison here. If this were called "Lemon Tart" or "Lemon Sorbet" then I'd probably rave about how wonderfully they captured those flavors. Unfortunately, as a farmhouse ale it's not very satisfying.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Capped 750 ml bottle poured into a globe glass. Pours an orange honey in color with a fair amount of haze. Off white cap is meringue like and offers robust, in fact a bit too much, retention and lace.

I tend to buy these American Saisons with a bit of trepidation, particularly from brewers who don't specialize in Belgian style ales. And the aroma here is no different than many an experience as the added spice appears to be firmly overdone for my tastes. Lots of pepper/grains of paradise and lemon oil initially through the dense foam. As the cap settles the spices balance a bit but still come across as a highly spiced witbier. Warming yields a light Brett fruitiness that tries, albeit in vain, to balance the added spice.

Taste starts off fairly well but by mid palate it's all lemongrass then a lingering finish of spice. A bit puckering in a sense though not at all sour. No bitterness and no funkiness though there is a bit of fruitiness from the Brett I would gather. Bit more balance with warming.

Feel is a bit creamy and a bit thick for the style but not unexpected given the citric notes and high level of carbonation. Overall a decent beerand quite enjoyable but one that lacks any true Saison character. Brett 1/Saison 0 on Yeast pay per view.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle courtesy of chrispoint. Thanks!

A: Hazy light amber body under an inch of creamy off-white head. Ok retention and lacing. Solid.

S: Pickled ginger, pure and simple. I like it, but it's quite disappointing in terms of complexity.

T: Ginger, mint, malt, and more ginger. Sweet, spicy, and unique - but not necessarily in a good way. Dry finish. Really underwhelming.

M: Lively medium body. Smooth, soft, and very nice.

O: What a let-down. I'm a huge fan of Cisco's Woods series, and this Saison sounded like another winner based on the description. Unfortunately it was nothing but a boring spice-bomb. Maybe with some time its flavors might mellow and meld, but this bottle was just boring at best.


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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, spices, and yeast. Taste is much the same with an herbal flavor 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 and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some interesting aromas and flavors.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: cloudy orange/light brown, trace head, fine lacing

S: floral, yeast, lemon peel + zest

T: lemon peel, big floral, yeast, earthy grassy finish

M: med body, smooth, solid carbonation mouth

O: Very nice offering from a good brewery. Enjoyed this special brew.


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Photo of Kendo
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bomber (which I purchased at the brewery) into a glass. Body is cloudy dark golden with a 1-finger whitish head. Some clingy lace.

S: Slight funkiness and florally, perfumey. Good for the style.

T: Slight earthy funkiness and spice over sweet malt (think honey, or caramel malt). Like the nose, there's a floral-like flavor. Lemony at the finish.

M: I wrote, "Slightly off." Carbonation is lacking. Heft is light-to-medium (closer to medium).

O: OK; a decent Saison.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 10/28/11 notes. Thanks to jslot38 for sharing this one. Poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a hazy dark yellow color with two inches of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of lemongrass, spices, yeast, citrus hops, floral notes, and grapefruit. Lots of lemon and very nice.

t - Tastes heavily of lemon again, some floral hops and earthy notes, yeast, spices, and citrus hops.

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

o - Overall a nice saison. There is a ton of lemon in the nose and taste, as it dominates both, but it's pretty good overall. Some nice floral and citrus hops to it as well, would have it again.

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Photo of superspak
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2013 vintage bottling. Pours lightly hazy bright orange color with a 1 finger fairly dense off white head with solid retention, that reduces to a thin ring of lace. Minimal lacing on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of tart lemon peel, ginger, orange zest, tangerine, grapefruit, green apple, pear, thyme, herbal, grass, pepper, light caramel, bread, light oak, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with good complexity and solid balance of fruity/earthy yeast, spice, and light oak notes; with good strength. A bit too strong on the spices. Taste of tart lemon peel, orange zest, tangerine, grapefruit, green apple, pear, ginger, thyme, herbal, grass, light caramel, bread, light pepper, light oak, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Good amount of fruity/earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon peel, orange zest, tangerine, grapefruit, green apple, ginger, thyme, herbal, grass, light pepper, light caramel, bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and pale malt sweetness; with a great sweetness/tartness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and fairly crisp/acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice brett saison. Good complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and pale malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on with the moderate acidity. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of emerge077
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very cool to see Cisco pop up in the local market.
Shared this at Thanksmas recently. Review from written notes.

Poured into a tulip glass it glows a murky opaque orange, saturated in color. A thin layer of fine white foam stretches across the surface, leafing spotty lacing around the edges of the glass.

Sweet, almost dusty herbal aroma, something unique... tarragon?

Light bodied and tart, quenching with an earthy aftertaste and a slippery waxy character to it. Tart citrus, lemon, light herbal sweetness on the back end. Clean and crisp. Overall it's pretty good, though a little one note. Seems to emulate Fantome but doesn't quite nail it. Wondering if some cellar time would bring out more funk...

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazey amber, copper, unmalted wheat grain color with an awesome head, head retention, and bubbling. This beer is almost perfect looking.

Tart green apple and grape fruity aroma with a little yeast dryness in teh nose. Smell some light toasted bread and maybe some lemongrass as well.

Definetly on teh tarter side of the saison spectrum. Tart fruity and yeasty flavor and palate thats heavy on the front end. But does lighten up on the finish. Chalky lemongrass, tart apples and grapes with some mildly toasted barley and wheat. Complex and interesting. I'm not a tart beer guy, but this was well received and worth a try.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange, huge plume of bone white head which grew even after sitting. Scent filled with strong notes of funk, tart citrus and a big dose of floral and herbal notes. taste expands a bit on the nose, funk is strong up front, followed by tartness... as the palate adjusts, lots of lemon blending with the floral and herbal notes, lightly sweet malt, notes of wood and earth appear on the tail end. Medium bodied, bubbly and active. Decent all around, but slightly unfocused.

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Photo of WarEagleJeep
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Rich hazy orange color and aggressive white head and yeast debris even from gentle pour. Head stays the entire glass with lacing.

S: Funky yeast, pear, apple, lemon grass, aromatic earthy spice, and wet grains

T: Tart funky yeast, sharp bite from carbonation that fades after time, tart pear and apple, subtle spice. Acidic and subtle dry finish.

M: Strong carbonation, light feel, and clean dry finish

O: A lot of yeast flavor in this one. Similar to other Brett saisons I've had. Enjoyable tart fruit flavors and crisp carbonation but the yeast debris did creep me out some. Interesting saison if you are looking for a real funky sour saison.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy lemon yellow with a ton of bubbles. Decent white head with a little lace.

Some musty yeast and funky aromas, but not quite enough.

Flavor makes up for aroma. Great yeast and grain husk funk and bitterness. Some spice and soda water with a little tart edge. Nice carbonated bitter and tart finish.

Medium to medium-light body. Nice carbonation.

Great domestic Saison. Very drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 3" white head with long life. Hazy sunlight yellow color. Great smell as soon as the top was popped. Tropical fruits, pineapple, citrus, lotion. Taste has a much milder version of all the smells as well as a mild pickle juice sourness which is fine though I wished for more of the tropical fruits. There's a fairly long sour finish.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a cloudy golden color with a large white head. A pretty nice aroma. Lemon is prominent, good citrus peel to it with a touch of yeast and some white pepper. Quite a bit of bready malt and a little bit of straw. The flavor is lightly tart with some big time lemon and green apple. There’s a really strong barnyard character to it as well. Heavy on the yeast, too.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy pale orange with a slight head and no lacing, this one glows from a tulip glass.

Big, funky orange aromas mix well with cardimum and a faint sweetness.

Lightly fruity with some acidity and spicy notes. There is a long finish.

A medium body and soft texture.

A comforting beer to be consumed after a long day of hard work.

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Photo of babaracas
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy light amber with two fingers thick white foam that settles to a quarter inch. Rings of thick lace down the glass. Smell: lemon, wheaty, mild barnyard brett, lactic, herbal and medicinal notes. Taste: sourdough, lemon, herbal thyme-ish. Carbonation is a little high. Good, a little one dimensional... acidity + a little brett.

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Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy very dark yellow in color and has a bit of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head that quickly died down, consistently leaving a thin film of bubbles on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of butter (of the movie theater popcorn variety) in the nose along with hints of oak. As the beer warms up, the smell becomes stronger and some sourness becomes noticeable.
T: Oak flavors from the barrel aging seem to dominate the overall taste, which also has some complexities with notes of sourness and hints of yeast.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the initial taste (but not in the finish).
O: This is a nice and interesting saison to drink due to the addition of the oak and sour flavors. The mouthfeel is a bit chewier compared to other beers in the style.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage
750ml to Duvel tulip

A - Pours a dark burnt orange color. Even with a gentle pour, a massive 3 fingers of head grows on top. Bubbles stacked up to the top of the glass and takes a solid 10 minutes to sink to half. Fat chunky lacing all over the glass.

S - Funky and earthy wheat, pepper, lots of fruit esters coated in funk, bananas, peaches, lemons, apricots, cantaloupe, some dusty basement, old antique wood finish, medicinal phenolics, lavender, very earthy and peppery.

T/M - Earthy wheat grain, aggressive carbonation attacks the tongue with stinging bite pretty quick. Vinous acidity provides more tartness than I was expecting, white grapes, lemons, apple, peaches, apricots, earthy grassiness. Malt is sweet but the tartness levels it out. Plenty of old basement wood. Moderate foamy carbonation mellows out a bit when left to sit but is still over the top.

The yeast seems to be really coming around on this beer dominating most of the flavors. (In a good way) Lots of tart fruit and a very distinct basement wood furniture character. Carbonation gets better as it sits. Glad I waited to crack this.

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Photo of ms11781
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a slightly hazy, golden color. A vigorous pour yields a healthy finger and a half of white foam. The head recedes as quick as it rises and settles in as a thin cap that sticks around. Not much lacing, some wispy foam sticks but nothing substantial.

Excellent citrus notes up front in the nose. Big grapefruit and lighter lemon aromas come across first. Some yeasty and a bit of funk are present as well. Maybe a touch of peppery spice but the grapefruit notes are the dominant aroma.

The taste has some of the same characteristics of the nose but takes on a bit more complexity. The grapefruit and lemony citrus characteristics are here, still strong, but not dominant like in the nose. Yeasty notes are here, along with some funk, more than in the nose. There is a pleasant, mellow tartness that leads into a finish that comes with a touch of spice.

Low carbonation with a body on the lighter side of medium. The beer really has a lighter mouthfeel all the way through.

Overall, this is a good beer now but it has the potential to be excellent. Nice citrus flavors and aromas with a touch of funk. There is a mild tartness now but it seems like it could get better with a little bit of age.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into D'Achouffe tulip.

A- pours a hazy straw color with a 2 finger white head. Leaves small bubbles and some clumps of lacing on the glass.

S- definitely some lemon, slight pine sol smell, also some barnyard tart smell from the Brett I would asume.

T- very tart lemon, some vinegar and nice funky flavors.

M- light body with high carbonation. Slightly acidic mixed with the tartness of this beer makes it a little difficult to drink.

O- really nice beer. Has nice citrus you look for in a saison mixed with the Brett gives this beer some nice sourness as well

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Island Reserve: Saison Farmhouse Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.