Green Flash / St. Feuillien Friendship Brew - Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Green Flash / St. Feuillien Friendship BrewGreen Flash / St. Feuillien Friendship Brew

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BA SCORE
79
okay

105 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 105
Hads: 354
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: notchucknorris on 08-29-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 105 | Hads: 354
Photo of Brenden
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Having reviewed this on tap, I realized I have a bottle in the fridge. There's not much difference, but it's noted where there is.

The look is pretty much the same out of the bottle as I saw from the tap. It is, again, as black as a "black saison" could be, and crowned by a thick, fat tan head 1 1/2 to 2 fingers high and sturdy. It drops strong, creamy lacing on the glass as the beer recedes.
Nothing changes in the smell or taste; stillthe strongest smell I get is mint basil. It seems to be a mix of the minty character of the hops and the strong herbal notes. It's also floral and piney. I don't quite get the balance from malts that I get in the flavor which, again, strongly reminds me most of mint basil but lets things play together as more floral (almost perfume-like), toast, pine, and a touch of roasty sweet notes come into play. There's no question the not-quite-funky but herbal and earthy characters of a saison are here, with a bit more in play.
The feel is where this beer deviates just a little. It's still got a medium body,but as the dryness pulls out more, it still has crispness but loses a bit of the smoothness. Carbonation still brings out a little of that creaminess, but it fades off. As it dries out, I get slightly more of a chalkiness in the dry finish. (1,286 characters)

Photo of CookstLiquor
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 650ml bottle. Pours a black colour with a big tan head. The nose is a crazy mix of sour funk, herbal botanicals (anise/licorice) and saison yeast notes. On the palate it's very dry with notes of dry cocoa powder, Jaegermeister, funk and spice. The finish has lots of palate drying tannins and bitterness. Medium bodied. A very unique brew. (353 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer #2 for Thanksgiving! Friendship Brew. Poured this one into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip.

Achieved a mega-sized latte-colored head with craggy lacing and variable bubble sizes. Mind you, this beer is surely black. Has a thinner, softer black look to it. Looks marvelous in this glass.

Lovely spiced aroma of cardamom, wintergreen, licorice, and clove with a lively farmhouse yeast nose center. Smells very sweet, however. Very much the nose of an herbal elixir. Someone nailed it in a past review when they said Ricola cough drop. Actually picking up a bit of eucalyptus, also.

So nutso for a beer! A saison, sure enough, with tangy Belgian yeast strains and tart pomme fruits. Very herbal with loads of spices added. Notably, wintergreen, clove, star anise, spearmint, mace, and black pepper. Eucalyptus isn't a stretch, either. Medicinal tasting with some West Coast hopping at work in the background. A little spruce and a little citrus peeking through the blackening. Mentholated and sweet. Finishes decent, with lemon and grapefruit notes revealing themselves. Keep in mind, this isn't hoppy. It's just overloaded with busy flavors. But, after all, it almost works. Nothing particularly clashes. You just have to be into all of those medicinal flavors that can be so imposing here. Honestly, this is pretty well-done. I must say it's pretty tasty.

Very smooth in the mouth. Lighter-bodied, but the carbonation isn't accelerating much neither. The low alcohol level doesn't rear into the taste, it just kind of paces with you, unless you drink it too quickly (as I'm doing)... probably, because I'm enjoying it.

Looks great, smells interesting, then you taste it... a full-blown spiced black saison. Far from being short on flavor. This beer is a dream for a geek who loves experimental winter seasonals. A must try, in that regard. However, as a farmhouse ale, there are so many better and purer examples. I'm sure both Green Flash and St. Feuillien were happy with this product, and as it turns out, I am too. (2,023 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Strong aroma has a malty core and firm floral and herbal notes, including a firm coriander tone. Pours a warm coffee brown with a thick, foamy and rather persistent tan head. Flavor has roast barley, herbal, floral and woody notes. The herbal component is on the strong side, perhaps a mite too strong. I like coriander flavoring in beer, but not too much! It leaves a woody, herbal, slightly malty finish. Fairly smooth texture has decent body and fizz. Let’s drink a toast to friendship between craft breweries! (515 characters)

Photo of DavidST
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass, unknown bottled date. This pours a pitch black color with a large tan head which has long retention and leaves a lacing. The smells are of spices, coriander, cloves, a little coke smells. The feel is medium. The taste is good, high peppery tastes, the spices, some weird bitterness (not quite hop bitterness), like a bitter orange. (377 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this super fresh when it first came out at Beer Revolution in Oakland on tap. I sorta liked it, but overall my impression is that this is too heavy on the hops and too light on the herbal and fresh Saison notes. You end up getting something more like a slightly watered down white IPA rather than a Saison. Oh well. (321 characters)

Photo of OneDropSoup
3.76/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Deep, dark body on the border between black & purple, thick mocha head, sticks around nicely.

Interesting, heavily herbed nose. Can't quite put my finger on exactly what herb this evokes, but it really reminds me Saison du BUFF, I think sage is the dominant note. Throws in a little mint, anise, lime, but yeah, that "other" herbal note is way stronger than any of those. Some fig & floral smells, too. Tough getting at the actual beer through all this, but a pretty unique smell among beers. Ooh, I think I got it - cardamom!

Again, strong herbal & dried flower taste at first, right on the border where fruity turns to flowery. Moves into a mildly roasty, sweet character, which makes for a curious interplay with the floral aspect. Like many ''black'' hybrids, ends with that roasty flavor, but the cardamom lingers.

Both silky & heavy on the tongue at the same time - very smooth & kind of slides right along, but leaves a lot in its wake. Medium-bodied, & that roasty character leaves a slightly ashy feeling.

It took me til halfway through the beer before I realized what it reminded me of: Epic Ales' OTTO-Optimizer, an ale with cardamom & roasted barley. I think this is more balanced than that, but it was fun reliving that crazy rollercoaster of herbs & roast. A unique beer, enjoyed it enough but can't say I'd revisit it a bunch. (1,374 characters)

Photo of jopezu
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

dark opaque brown, very thin head that disappears quickly. nose is huge black licorice with dry bitter cocoa. taste is toasted barley/malts, licorice and an array of pie-type spices that i can't pick apart. odd mix of flavors with the black licorice standing out strongly. aftertaste is more licorice and a stout-esque burnt toast rind. (340 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

We pour a brew of deep nut brown. It holds a one and a half finger head of microscopically clumped light brown bubbles. This leaves patterns and sheets of lacing down the sides of the glass, as it retains nicely. Carbonation appears active, and no haze is noted. Chunks of sediment are suspended throughout. The aroma is very interesting. The malts are deeply roasted, with musk, light coffees, and faint caramel sweetness. A citric, fruity quality sits far against the back, along with a handful of fresh herbs, including mint and dill, as well as a fine licorice bite. Booze comes with plastic phenols to round out the bitterness. There is a fresh floral hop, intertwining with that citric, grapefruit sweetness. The yeast with warmth seems Bretty, with that saison funk. Our first impression is that the flavoring is quite the mix of interesting notes. The sip opens with barnyard grass and funky Brettiness, mixing with deeply blackened and sweetened malts. A light citric hop appears on the top here, bringing us to the freshest and cleanest flavoring at the peak. The char of malts briefly falls away, allowing for some sweetness and cleanliness of paler malts and light, toasted caramel sweetness to shine through. The finish shows a revival of the smoke, along with the first suggestion of mud, mineral, medicinal phenols, raw crystalized ginger, and those floral, herbal notes suggested in the nose. The malts at the end take on a more chalky, drying role. The aftertaste is cooling, minty, and smoky, much like a menthol cigarette. There is bite from the funk and yeast, as well as the depth of malts skipping across the tongue, arm in arm with a bouquet of fresh herbs and flowers. The body is fuller, and the carbonation is solidly medium. The mouth is left bone dry with big astringency and pucker, following an initially creamy coating. Pop, glug, smack, and swallow are all nice, but do little to ease the puckering and pull on the taste buds. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks on the slower side.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was how unique it is. The depth of malts are certainly something new to us, when it comes to the saison. The herbal qualities, in particular with the mint, added to this depth, making for an extraordinarily complex and, at times, muddled, brew. They tended to go a bit overboard with all of the additional inclusions and didn’t quite balance them that well, as it felt like we had to split our attention between numerous interesting elements throughout the tasting. (2,537 characters)

Photo of babayaga
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance- As poured, 3-finger light brown head. Very lasting &
excellent lace. Black, almost opaque. I actually tried to shine some light through it and it blocked it all out.

Aroma- Big. Mint, medicinal, herbal, you can smell the funk.

Taste- That minty flavor transforms a bit with the roastiness, but it's still in-your-face. Much rounder in flavor than I would suspect from the aroma. Nice light acidic tang, slight clove and ~allspice background.

Mouthfeel-light to medium creamy body. Moderate carbonation. It's just very-interesting.

I didn't think that I would enjoy it as much as I am. I would definitely drink it again on a cool saturday afternoon. (693 characters)

Photo of Jathorp
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle was given as a gift. (How appropriate.)

Pours dark black. Small head with moderate lacing.

Smells faintly of malt. Didn't get much of a smell, but my nose isn't the best.

Hop flavor up front followed by rich malt. There's an earthy spiciness that I can't quite describe -- maybe a touch of cinnamon, but that's not quite right. The spices are subtle.

Not so thick that I have to chew, but full bodied.

Good beer. Very interesting. I'm enjoying it more and more as I drink. (484 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.72/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a Belgian-style stemmed tulip glass. Needed aggressive swirling to get all the sediment out of the bottom of the bottle.

Appearance - Almost completely black, with garnet/ruby hue barely perceptible on the edges. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was a glass of cherry cola, with a slightly creamier head. The foam is light beige but denser than soda foam. Foam is sustained by traces of carbonation rising up from the bottom of the glass. Moderate lacing

Smell - Some toasted rye, and biscuity malt and hint of floral bouquet. A faint hint of semisweet chocolate but aroma is dominated by medicinal/menthol/alpine overtones.

Taste - Nose expresses hoppy bitterness, but that gives way to fresh soil, earthy undertones and just an echo of that classic barnyard funk that so often comes with the saison style. It's almost not present at all. Perhaps a trace of coriander?

Mouthfeel - silky with a lingering feel on the tongue.

Overall, a beer that I would drink again in the right situation. It's weird and interesting, but there are certainly other beers that I would choose first. It's quirky and, imho, something worth sampling to help train your palette, but not a beer you would just sit down to drink, I don't think. (1,262 characters)

Photo of dogfishandi
3.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle at fridge temp. Poured into a snifter. Bottled on 7/31/12.

Pours out pretty much opaque black with a huge, billowy tan colored head. Some really nice lacing and amazing, rocky head retention. Looks great! Very stout like.

Interesting aroma. Floral smelling, reminiscent of roses, with a big scent of smarties candy. A bit of spice. Also some tart aromas which make me think a little bit of Brett is at play.

Follows the aroma, very floral, smarties candy, sweet tarts, some overall tartness. A bit of pepper and hop bitterness in the finish. Hints of spice. Some roasted grain as it warms, expected a lot more just based on the color.

Very light feel, carbonation is up there. Just a touch watery. Becomes creamier as it warms.

Not too bad, a little off at first but it grows on you the more you drink it. Very Saigon like. (846 characters)

Photo of SebD
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: It has a nice deep amber (almost black) colour to it. It has a thick beige head that dies down slowly and leaves lovely lacing.

Aroma: The aromas definitely give out hints of Belgian yeast, spices, citrus and roasty malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some sweet roasty malts, some yeast, spices and faint citrus.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Overall: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavours and aromas. (489 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, "Bottled on 7/31/12"

Pours black, under a HUGE very dark tan head, that stays and stays, it goes all rocky, frothy and leaves off the chart amounts of thick and very sticky and high lacing. Unusually awesome looking brew.

Floral and perfumed nose, with waves of roasted malts in the rear.

More dark malts, some perfumed interest, but the taste is a bit disappointing after appreciating the stunning look and smell of this collaboration. A bit thin in the mouth, and lacking the complexity teased by the sniff.

Unusual and intriguing, well worth a try but ultimately not quite living up to the potential heralded by the initial look and smell of this interesting beer. (683 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/7/2012. Pours fairly pitch black color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense dark khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of roasted malt, coriander, clove, pepper, dark chocolate, lime, light smoke, toast, ginger, herbal, and earthy yeast spiciness. Nice and unique aromas with good strength and complexity; lots of spices noted, was hoping for more roasted balance in the nose. Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, lime, coriander, clove, sage, pepper, toast, light smoke, ginger, raisin, light coffee, herbal, and earthy yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of roasted malt, toast, coriander, clove, pepper, sage, herbal, light coffee, lime, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Good flavor balance and complexity; with a solid malt/spiciness balance; and minimal cloying spices after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a slightly creamy and very crisp mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a good black saison style. Good balance and complexity of flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable and unique offering. (1,273 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Green Flash

A: Pours black with a gorgeous fluffy khaki colored head. Really great retention.

S: A gpod amount of spiciniess in here. Cracked black pepper, cayenne, some roasted malt and some faint dark fruit.

T: A lot lighter than I expected. Roasted malt, some peppery hops and a lot of black pepper on the finish. (335 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark tan/black with a monster , foamy 3 inch head, tons of lacing.

Smell - Loads of floral fruits, cherry, grape, plum, rasin. Spices, belgium yeast, Chocolate, fig, smokey malts.

Taste - Lots of spices, floral/grassy notes. Bitter fruits, some malts and yeasts. Lot of cherry and grape flavor. Plum and rasin add the bold, dark fruty flavors. No real alcohol to speak of. A little chocolate, cocoa and coffee comes at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Its medium thickness along with all the spices coats mouth. Tounge gets the spices, hops and yeasts. Palate gets more spices, hops, along with the roasty malts. The aftertaste is bitter, farmhouse sweet and funky.

Overall - This is decent, has a nice mix of malt and saison flavors. Easy enough to drink and enjoy. I guess i was expecting more, the fruity flavors are a little weak though. Its worth a drink, just not something that floored me. (928 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.67/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark spiced ale that I would call a Belgian Dark rather than a Saison, but I suppose it's all in the yeast. Really interesting spicy flavor with a lot of the meaty, savory umami taste. Seems like there are three kinds of bitterness-- hops, herbs, and Belgian yeast. Barnyard funk in the nose, hay and hoppy resins on the tongue. The herbs are hard to place. Perhaps anise, hibuscus, licorice root, cigar wrappers, sage, and coriander.

Dark brown and near opaque in the pint glass . Modest foam and appropriate carbonation. Ends with a bite of bitter bark. On tap at Local Habit in San Diego. 5.7% seems to be the accepted abv. I had a couple of different St. Feuillien brews in Belgium last week, and it was one of my favorite breweries. Green Flash ought to just borrow a couple of their recipes for the classics and brew them here. (834 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely tan head and foamage. This thick film of foam lasts for all twelve ounces. Like the oil black color and even some sticky lacing.

Spicey and roasty herbal aromas. Roasted malt acts as the backbone for the herbal spices one would often find in a more standard saison.

Herbal and roasted flavors abound from start to finish. Hints of coffee mixing with chammomile, sage, maybe lavender. Palate is dry and the finish is a bitter herbal flavor. This was a fun and interesting beer to try. (493 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. Damn opaque black pour, a frothy light tan head on top. Just a minute lacing.

Aroma, an earthy sage like spice is pretty heavy. Some citrus and yeasty notes.

Taste, kind of an odd mix of funk and Italian blend spice. Some citrusy notes. A nice herbal bitter finish. Some toast and dainter cocoa as well. There just isn't a whole lot of malt presence here.

Light bodied. Enough carbonation, could use maybe a tick more. Drink easy enough. Feels like if the malt bill was upped just a bit this could have just a little more. But really a pretty good example of the style, just not as interesting as some of the other black saisons. (638 characters)

Photo of chickenflea
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A new style for me, so I am not sure how it "should" taste. However, I liked it. A very complex brews. Pours a clear, deep brown looking black in the glass. Thick and enormous coffee head settled to a quarter-inch rocky cover. Heavy lacing. Nose is sharply herbal with sage, mint tea, rose, chamomile. Taste is initially lightly sweet, then delicately sour with umami notes. The finish is bitter and floral. Avg carbonation. Texture is slick. Finish is bitter and long. Overall, it was a fascinating beer. Complex and interesting. Dark and wild with an interesting spiciness and rough finish. Not at all forgettable, bur for the right reasons. (643 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a Belgian Independence day glass.

Friendship Brew pours out a dark color, coca cola black that is not pitch black with a nice amount of dark tan bubbles forming a nice cap and lacing on the way down. Spotty and thick, nice head, good retention. Smell is very spice laden, way more spicy scents than a base saison. I get some herbal remedies with lavender and some underlining pine. No alcohol and some faint dark fruits. I cant really tell what way this beer is going. The taste mimics the scent with a lot of floral notes and the lavender flower I am getting in the nose is boosted in the taste. Some dark malts with underlining fruit taste and some roast. This beer is a different animal. The body is a step up from light with a soothing feel and some ummpphh from the carb. All in all a good effort, but not something I will revisit. Reminds me of something Stillwater would brew up. Either way a good effort from the Green Flash outfit (945 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one at Benny’s tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and lots of herbal and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a roasty finish. There is a medium amount of herbal and 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 but its aromas and flavors are quite medicinal in a way. (620 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. A black saison, brewed with (unspecified) spices, as a collaboration between Green Flash in California and St. Feuillien in Belgium.

Pours, indeed, rather black: certainly darker than many Black Saisons I've had. Firm and deep body, that sloshes rather fluidly. Head is a toasty pale brown colour, pocked with large bubbles. Lacing forms in long ribbons as the head goes down. Looks pretty good.

Nose is spicy and slightly tangy, with aniseed and fennel coming through. Some mild peppery characters, and a hint of cola or candy sweetness. Liquorice is the main event though, and it's pleasant: it wafts in an out amongst the mild acidity and the roast to make a pleasant concert.

Taste is also heavy on the aniseed, but here it's much less dominant. Instead, there are big biting, bitter characters which seem to take over: quite pronounced hop bitterness, mixed with roasted astringency turning ashy towards the back. The saison character perhaps is only felt as a soapy lemony character, very reminiscent of detergent, on the mid palate, although the spices give a continuing peppery buoyancy through to the end.

Overall, it's not bad, but it feels a bit out of balance. There's a lot going on, in ways that aren't always in harmony. It creates something of a cacophonous whole that doesn't work as well as it might have. (1,378 characters)

Green Flash / St. Feuillien Friendship Brew from Green Flash Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.