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Squatters Fifth Element - Utah Brewers Cooperative

Not Rated.
Squatters Fifth ElementSquatters Fifth Element

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

61 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 61
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.93%
Wants: 91
Gots: 6 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Utah Brewers Cooperative visit their website


Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Fifth Element is a delightfully complex and rustic "Old World" style Belgian farmhouse ale. Aged in American oak barrels for a year and bottle conditioned, this artisan Belgian ale is sure to refresh.

(Beer added by: Wasatch on 08-31-2008)
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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to G311 for bringing this to Saturday's tasting.

Pours a clear golden color with a short white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward some nice citrus and peach notes plus light acidity. Touch of Brett there as well. Flavor is nice with light acidity and some fruity notes. Light body with good carbonation and a nice dry, somewhat-acidic finish. Really a nice brew.

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy citrus punch color; the beer was a bit of a gusher and, as often happens, the head was much more impressive on the first pour than later on; the foam left some streaks behind

Smell: Tart fruit and buttery oak

Taste: The fruity tartness jumps out immediately, with starfruit, green apple and unripe citrus elements; by mid-palate, the oak becomes more prominent, bringing along a buttery vinous crispness; after the swallow, the tartness adds some funk, though the buttery oak lingers underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: Interesting to read the comments from some others, over time; early reviews discussed the Saison character of the beer but I think the wild yeast has done its job, over time, and this is clearly an American Wild; the buttery oak is an interesting angle and elevates the score (Who knew that diacetyl could become a positive?)

Thanks, douglas88 (from the other site) for the opportunity,

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of womencantsail
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Quiroga for sharing this beer. Another beer from Utah? What is going on here?!

A: The pour is a slightly cloudy golden yellow color with a towering white head.

S: The nose is quite inviting with notes of lemon, lemon zest, and grass. There is a nice, mild funk and hints of wet oak. Also a bit of spice and yeast.

T: The flavor has a subtle tart lemon flavor as well as some lemon and orange rind, fresh grass, and yeast. The oak is mild but does help to add some additional dryness to the beer. Just a touch of sweet malts and fruits to add some balance and complexity.

M: The body is light to medium with a very lively carbonation that helps add to the perceived dryness.

D: What is it with Utah breweries cranking out some pretty decent beers? I really enjoyed this one a lot, especially on such a hot day.

Photo of largadeer
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, David.

Appearance: Cloudy straw blond body that's highly effervescent. Head retention is minimal.

Smell: A ton of barnyard funk and pineapple up front. Very lactic and chardonnay-like. Peppery, phenolic, a hint of grain. Surprisingly very nice.

Palate: Quite tart and lactic, with big pineapple brett and lactic chardonnay notes. Faint acetic and acetone flavors. Becomes more lemony toward the finish, more pineapple and lacto, slightly yogurt-like. Light-bodied, supremely quaffable. Acidity is balanced. This is really nice.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

this beer is world class! easily the best brew i had on my trip to utah this week. 20 bucks for a cork and cage 750ml. pours a hazy glowing pale hay color with a rising champaign-like white head that settles back to a half inch. smells like a classic farmhouse, funky fruity yeast, tart and sour, woody, spicy, balanced. flavor is equally exciting, sour up front, then yeasty and fruity through the middle, upheld by mild bready malts and tempered by a nice oaked mellowness the melts to a vanilla sweetness in the finish that tickles with the bright carbonation. there is a white wine-like tartness in the finish as well. feel is perfect, spot on. major carbonation over a just under medium body and a thousand flavors all at once dancing. its got a great finish and a complementary but not prohibitive abv. this is infinitely sessionable and a beer id like to share with all my farmhouse loving mates here in denver. honestly one of the most enjoyable glasses of beer ive had in ages, which is really saying something! find this one, and dont let the price turn you away.

Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Release; Sampled May 2010
I could only let this sit for a week in my fridge before its siren song could no longer be resisted; as such I could tell it was still not completely settled as a haze could be seen through the bottle. A standard pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a fat-two-finger thick, pale tan-tinged, off-white head. The beer is a hazy, pale honey color that shows a yellow tinge to it when held up to the light. The aroma smells of fresh cut weeds, a light ripe-cheese note, grassy grain, buttery oak and spicy wood aromatics; these last play a definite role here as the barrel seems to strongly finish after each draught of the aroma. It is interesting how buttery the oak character gets here, this is very different than one would find, for example, in a Bourbon barrel aged beer. A hint of orange aromatics that were noticeable at first now seem to have faded. There is just a hint of tartness in the finish that perhaps boosts a very light lemon-like aromatic note too. This is a very nice aroma, that is quite complex and engaging.

Light feeling as it first hits my tongue, a prickly texture belies an ample carbonation and there is a definite tartness to this that is so well integrated with the ample oak flavors it seems like it might be derived directly from the oak. Buttery oak flavors lean a touch towards coconut, both of which mix well with the hay-like, soft, pale-grain character that is found in the finish. Speaking of the finish, there is quite a bit of spiciness from the oak, as well as a sharp, barrel induced astringency and even a very soft, but firm hop bitterness that lingers just a touch on the palate after each sip. A soft citrus note, combined with the oak, make me think of a buttery orange sauce somehow. This has a fruitiness to it (that is boosted by the light tartness) that makes me think of a tropical fruit like white wine; it reminds me of starfruit, perhaps a touch of kiwi, some floral perhaps-peachy notes (this becomes more and more noticeable as the beer warms up), as well as that general, soft, but lush citrus note. As it warms a vibrant, though admittedly subtle, grape character starts to come through; reminds me quite a bit of chardonnay grapes.

There is a vinous quality to this beer (the oak certainly helps with this perception) that reminds me of a fruity, oaked, yet flinty Sauvignon Blanc. This perception is only boosted as the beer warms up from the mid 40s that it started out from. In fact I would even recommend that this starts out at about 50*F (10*C). The tartness is quite the anchor for this beer, it is light and perfectly acceptable for a Saison, yet adds to the complexity and boosts so much in this beer; it is just about at the perfect level.

The oak ends up being the "dominant" note here, but it is not really dominant, as the base beer and fermentation character play an almost equal role. Really what I am trying to say is that this ends up being very well integrated and tasty, with a complexity that is there if you want to explore everything that this beer has to offer. On the other hand, everything works harmoniously to make this a flavorful quaffing beer that I can see pairing very well with a plethora of light summer meals and lots of seafood too. Definitely a fantastic beer, and actually quite unique in some ways; it definitely fits in the farmhouse / Saison vein, but somehow manages to take it in a direction that is a bit unexpected based on all the other examples of the style I have experienced. The buttery, spicy oak definitely contributes to this, but it works so well with this beer that I don't feel that this takes this even out of some fabricated, tight interpretation of the "style" that is Saison. In the end it is the interesting direction that this beer represents that makes it so enjoyable and complex.

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of stakem
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cheers and a thanks go to JohnGalt for the hookup with a couple squatters brews during our most recent trade. From a 750ml bottle into a cervoise, this brew appears a hazed golden yellow color. 2 fingers worth of lightly off-white head sit atop. As the cap fades, it produces thick patchy patterns of lace. A pillow of head revives to the surface with a light swirl.

The smell of this brew opens up with raw oak character and lemony scents of lacto. There is a fruity element like pear skins and green apple flesh. Dry smelling peppery yeast is present along with mild clove and accenting spices. Overall a fine smelling saison/farmhouse brew.

The taste is lemony and tart with minor fruit inclusion like pear and sour apple. There is a dry oakiness that seems like virgin barrels were used here instead of used. The yeast character of pepper and clove is present mixed with some lemon rind/zest bitterness. There is a mild alcohol warmth down the back of the throat that exaggerates the dryness of this brew.

This is a fantastic take on the saison style. The minor hints of wild character really make it stand out and keep me interested throughout. It is medium to light bodied with a high level of lively carbonation. This was very easy drinking. I could have easily taken down the entire bottle myself but split it with a friend instead. I would certainly enjoy more of this.

Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of mothman
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this.

Pours a finger of white head. Decent retention with some lacing. Color is a clear golden orange with active carbonation.

Aroma: Fruity with a light peach flavor. Kind of funky. Lemon citrus. Kind of grassy. Wheat flavors. Orange peel and spice.

Taste: Fairly funky and spiced. Apples, peaches, lemon zest and orange peel. Yeast and wheat flavors. Very oaky. Not really sour, but funky.

Mouthfeel: Funky, spiced, clean. Lighter bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation ends a little dry.

Overall, a pretty decent beer. I would rather have this in the summer. It would be a good treat then. Glad I had a chance to try this.

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle
Caged/Corked

Poured into a small tulip a nice cloudy pale yellow color, very nice carbonation, nice one-finger white head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with a slight oak scent, with some spices. The taste is malty/yeasty, nice little notes of oak, with a touch of spices. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very nice brew, but not worth the $15 a bottle, worth checking out though.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Buckeyeboy pulled this one out a coupla weeks ago... He promised he would so the rest of the peeps wouldn't crack their bottles too soon. Thanks Jeremy and Footbalm (for my share :-)

This was opened at the Derby party....

Light hazy yellow... big frothy head... great retention and lacing...

nice fruity nose.... some dusty funk... floral perfumy notes.... smells more dry than the palate shows.

a tad sweeter than I had hoped for.. phenols show as white pepper and minor clove.... some background lite tangerine and tropical fruitiness that makes me think of pineapple.... the funk is pretty much masked by the fruits... body is bigger than most continental saisons, and the carbonation seems tame despite the foamy pours...

Pretty cool... great, yet seems too sweet for my palate... and the fruitiness also seemed a tad high... the complexities just aren't there in the level that I am hoping for... but I'm nitpicking.. this is a great beer....

Thanks again to Jeremy and muchos applause to Footbalm.... Eric is such a cool cat... I may have said this before, but he is like a beer ninja.. swoops in.. throws down... has some cool beers and then escapes... You had better hang next time around.

4/4.5/4.5/4/4

Photo of aasher
2.3/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This one poured a nice cloudy gold in color with a light white lacing. It smells of pure melted butter. It doesn't feature any sour or tart aspects whatsoever. The butter is sooo dominant and clearly not what was intended. The flavor again is pure butter. At the very least I expected a Berliner Weiss style beer but this one couldn't hit the broadside of a barn. Where's the saison yeast or spice? This reminds me of Pechish Woods. It literally melts on your tongue (duh). This is a complete miss for me. Not a quality production from Squatters. Others can have an issue with me reviewing this but hey, they bottled it.

Edit: I was lucky enough to get another bottle of this later down the road. It was very solid and had plenty of funk and brett. I'd rate that bottle as a low A- but my review for the "off" bottle remains since they did bottle it.

Photo of bsuedekum
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour from a bottle at FoBAB. I made a beeline for this beer when I was drunk and it was announced that it won some award.

A - Bright yellow colored beer with a bit of a white head that left some moderate stick on the sides.

S - Has some decent funk and lemon zest with a bit of wood, grape skins, and bit of a malt backbone.

T - Taste has some nice barynard and hay funk to go with some citrus and lemon zest. It's pleasantly sour with an interesting lemon focus, slight malts, vanilla, and oak.

M - Very dry on the finish. Active carbonation and medium bodied.

O - Good beer, it's more of a cross between a saison and a wild than either one. I liked it, although would like to get a bottle of my own to further examine this as it is pretty interesting and after all the other beers I had drank my palate may have been a bit fatigued.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy bright yellow with a thin white head that lingers. The nose is light, brett and oak, a touch leathery and earthy. There are citric notes, oranges and peach complimenting the brett. The flavor is also light, the brett and oak are up front with a note of mineral. Lots of peaches step up in the back with a note of citric acid but light. Light body, very soft and delicate feel, moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink, brett and peach dominates.

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, 11/12 vintage.

3.5 A: First pour was a nearly clear light orange color. Every pour since then has been progressively more cloudy as is expected in a bottle conditioned brew. One and a half fingers of foamy white head that doesn't last very long, but does leave a decent amount of lacing.

3.75 S: Tart and funky nose. A lot of dusty, old wood with dry-rotten sweat socks. An almost acetic tartness. Just hints of wildflower herbalness. Hay and a small nondescript light fruitiness.

4.0 T: Taste is like the nose, but amplified five fold. Lots of dusty old woodiness, basement funk, and old crispy sweatsocks. Hay, light grassiness and herbal wildflower, hints of light fruits and honey. Acetic tartness. Very tasty.

3.75 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation with a pleasant spritziness to it. Super smooth.

4.0 D: Quite a tasty brew. I can't identify any faults. Give it a try.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #61 (Feb 2012):

LOOK: Clear golden, minimal head

SMELL: Musty, oak, mint, yeast, mineral, withered flowers, pale broth, kumquats, faint sauerkraut, green peppercorn, jasmine, alcohol

TASTE: Wisp of carbonation, medium body, mild tartness, wood, doughy biscuits, herbal, medicinal, mellow alcohol, vague spice, dried grass, vinous, yeast, semidry finish

The oak barrel maturation brings forth a ton of complexity here. Unfortunately, it’s lacking in carbonation, but this is forgiven elsewhere, such as with the wine-like character that brings this beer to a place where most don't even think about going. We suggest finding the stinkiest of soft cheeses to pair with it.

Photo of thewimperoo
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one came to me courtesy of Wasatch. Thanks, John.

5th Element has a golden body with a slight haze to it. The head is billowing and white, and the thin white lacing that is left behind is pretty nice.

A little bit of funk, and some tart, light fruits. Hints of butter.

Bretty funk and tartness are pretty pronounced. Lemon and other light fruits meld with tartness, and then some funky leather flavors follow. The leather mixes with a bit of hay, and light buttery flavors with pale malts also factor into the flavor profile. Slight sugar flavors underneath. Strong notes of oak add a spicy, woody flavor.

Somewhat dry on the feel, with carbonation that is a touch above moderate.

This is a solid beer, and so far Squatter's has yet to miss with the three barrel aged sours that I have tried.

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Squatters Fifth Element from Utah Brewers Cooperative
92 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.