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Undertow | Tired Hands Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Tired Hands Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with a copious amount of highly-roasted wheat malt. Fermented with local blueberries.

Added by cosmicevan on 08-10-2012

User Reviews
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Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 25
Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tired Hands. Served in stemware. Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black. The nose has a nice faint whiff of blueberry alongside some roasted malt. Not too much saison character. There’s dark fruit and a lingering bit of spice. Flavor is a good mixture of roast and berry, with a nice dryness through the finish. Slightly bitter. Pretty drinkable, though perhaps a touch too much roast character through the finish. Overall, quite good and something I was glad to go back to after having a glass from a growler earlier in the week.

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Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting beer, reviewed from notes. Beer is black with a tan head of small bubbles, some retention, some lacing, low carbonaiton.

Aroma is roast, saison yeast and some fruitiness / berries.

Beer is medium in body a little bitter on the finish from the roast and some fruitiness / juiciness breaking through the midpalate. It is an interesting beer but not my favorite. I'd have it again probably if it were on draft.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1483rd Review on BA
Growler to Bruery Taster- Had 3

Thanks to Schmoopsbeer for sharing at his Bday party.

App- This had a weird coloring going on but I really dug it. The dark blue/purples intermixed well with the black malts of the saison. A small off white head was there and left quickly and left a small tinge of cling.

Smell- I along with most were lost in trying to find the saison notes of this beer, instead we (KevanB and I agreed more on a English Mild) with the small malt notes. A bit peaty and mild mild creamy fruit.

Taste- It wasnt a bad beer by anymeans, it just lacked a weird depth of flavor to be called a saison. Missing the essential flavors, replaced by the wheat and peat flavors.

Mouth- A lighter medium body with a fairly medium carbonation with some good residual wheat and peat flavors.

Drink- It was okay, more integration wouldve made this a bit better or a renaming of style wouldnt leave so many scratching their heads

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at the brewpub

Curiously dark pour, brown-black and almost stout-like in appearance, with a dense, creamy, beige head that retained well and left some lacing on the glass. Roasty aroma melded with the general grassiness of your typical saison, distant blueberry bitterness. Similar taste: a chimera of dark roasty malts and grassy saison crispness, coming off as either a light version of the former or a heavier version of the latter, bakers' chocolate, berry skins are somewhere in the distance and never quite fully come out. Finished dry and slightly bitter. Medium body. And interesting beer overall.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, 4oz serving

The body sits a dark brown, near black with a light khaki colored cap. Thin head, bubbly, recedes to a thin collar.

The nose is of cocoa, blueberries, and dark roast. Neither deep nor broad. Simple, yet inviting aroma.

On the palate, the roast is much more robust. Attacking the palate and slowly retreating, leaving blueberry and cocoa behind. Some subtle earthy spice in the semi-sweet finish.

Medium body, crisp and clean. Good carbonation.

I've had a couple of dark saisons now and I like the unique take on the style. The hearty roast element works well with the soft fruity flavors of the yeast. Throw some blueberries in there and you have a fine beer.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8oz, tulip
At the brew pub in Ardmore, PA

A: Pours out very dark. I don't see any light getting through the body. Light tan head. Sticky lacing bits.

S: I'm not getting tons of blueberry like I was expecting reading the description. Mostly I am getting more roast notes, like a porter. Some funk and farmyard notes mingle in there too.

T: Lots of dark fruit and porter notes. Strange but pleasant mix. Touch of chocolate cocoa in the mid mouth.

M: Medium bodied. Lighter than you'd expect.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tired Hands.

Interesting beer, perhaps not my favorite of Jean’s, but very good nonetheless. Pours a very dark, opaque brown, nearly black, with a big tan head that settles slowly, and good lacing remaining behind. Looks almost like a stout. Aroma of spices, roast malt; some dark fruits and berries; faint bitter chocolate, pepper.

The flavor is a mash-up of all the elements; less pure blueberry flavor than anticipated; well-integrated with other berry and dark fruit notes; yeasty spice; bittersweet chocolate, and roasted malt. Moderately sweet, semi-dry finish. Medium body and carbonation, smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Again, this wouldn’t be the first beer I’d reach for at Tired Hands nor one I’d recommend as representative of Jean’s work, but it’s different, intriguing, and still quite tasty, even if it’s not entirely a personal favorite.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at the brew cafe

Undertow has the color of black, it's not pitch black super dooper dark like a over the top RIS, it's just black. A inch of off white tannish bubbles that form a nice cap, leaving some dark bubbles on the glass. Smell is on the roasty side with some spiciness to it, yet the blueberry is very tame, does not smell like a saison really. Taste is a roasty saison with minimal blueberry, which offsets a otherwise boring beer IMO. Feel is a step below medium with anice amount of carb like always, yet 8oz of this stuff was plenty. I guess I have to get more accustomed to dark saisons. Not my favorite beer from TH, but a good idea none the less.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

HUGE thanks to fbc24 for hooking up this growler (and thanks to cfrances33 for sending me a tired hands wine glass!).

the website says:
Undertow: Black Blueberry Saison. 6.8%. Brewed with a copious amount of highly-roasted wheat malt. Fermented with local blueberries.

- Notes of bitter-sweet baker’s chocolate, ripe blueberries, subtle smoke, and spicy earth.

a - opened the growler and filled the glass. the brew poured a deep black with a thin off white greyish head that was gone relatively quickly. swirling the glass brings the head back to life quickly. this really has a stouty look. nothing farmhouse about it, but pretty none-the-less.

s - first is a small burst of fruitiness, then comes some roast and chocolate notes. there is some grassy spiciness really reminiscent of the style...but the blueberry and black malts really shift the nose into a fruity candy with a glaze of chocolate and subtle roast. very belgian and very reminiscent of some of the de struise offerings...outblack comes to mind.

t - the flavor takes on an entirely different universe. smokey roasty chocolate on the forefront followed by some ripe blueberry on the backend and then trails off with some white pepper. very unorthodox, but tasty. roasted robust malts, but the fruitiness mixed with saison belgian yeast assures that there is no mistaking this for a stout or a porter, but the roastiness cannot be ignored.

m - very even and balanced feel with good carbonation. the abv is invisible and the finish is a touch dry, but cooling.

o - overall, i dig it. these black saisons seem to be popping up everywhere and i'm glad. the blueberry gives this one an added element of specialness and really counter-acts the roast and black malts. there was a lot of buzz about this brewery and my curiosity really piqued...i'm very glad i reached out to try something from this brewery to see what the hub bub is about...and very eager to try more. there is no denying that this is a finely crafted beer. the mix of blueberry really saves the style from being immersed in roast and black malts and the yeast brings it back to a saison feel, but this is far from traditional. the more i sipped on it, the more into it i got.

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Undertow from Tired Hands Brewing Company
- out of 100 based on 9 ratings.