Saison De La Soeur Black - Heavyweight Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Saison De La Soeur BlackSaison De La Soeur Black

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BA SCORE
87
very good

28 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 28
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 15.52%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Heavyweight Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-15-2005)
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OldSock
2.25/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance – 750 ml bottle from Half Time. Loud hiss and some foam when the cap is removed. The beer appears very carbonated, but the light brown head quickly dissipates. The overall appearance is that of a slightly darkened cola or root beer. Half way through my first glass the beer started foaming out of the bottle.

Smell – Strong metallic aroma with some dark grains. Coffee and some bitterness is also apparent. Not an appealing aroma.

Taste – Slight fruity sourness, with a unidimensional flavor dark coffee flavor. This reminds me of an unpleasant bottle of Kuhnhen’s Crème Brule Stout I had a few months back. The flavors simply do not get along, they are all flavors that could be enjoyable in a beer, just not all together.

Mouthfeel – Light with sharp carbonation.

Drinkability and Notes – No way I was making it through 750 ml of this by myself. This bottle had no redeeming characteristics, unpleasant is every category. This was a huge disappointment as I enjoy dark Saisons and I enjoyed the Golden release of this series. A rare miss from Heavyweight in my opinion.

Photo of Goldorak
2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Totally opaque and jet black, with a grey-brown head.

Smell: Grapes, the usual bready, yeasty profile smells more like bagels with olive tapenade spread all over it. Weird...

Taste: Very gassy and has this acidity that for some reason I didn't enjoy, it wasn't balsamic, vinegary or tart, it tasted like those old square batteries you would stick your tongue on to see if they still had juice. Not much body either.

Photo of jwc215
2.9/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured pitch black with a huge brownish head.
The smell was strong - reminded me of grape soda with a touch of alcohol.
The taste was not like a typical saison. It tasted of grape. It was thick, but fizzly.
A cloying sweetness lasted a long while. While most saisons cleanse the palate, this did quite the opposite. The taste lingered for a long time.
While it is drinkable for the most part, it would be too much for me to have a whole bottle at once. Too sweet and grapish for me.

Photo of Beertracker
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of kennyo
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml. bottle

all foam on first pour, like some Belgians, took about 6 pours to get a full, drinkable glass

Dark, dark brown color with an off white head

Sor aroma with some funkiness and a touch of smoke

Taste is tart, somedry roastiness, a little fruit, some yeast, some malt

When I went back to pour the remaining beer into my glass, there was some crazy foaming, 4", going on in the bottle

I don't know if a saison, not a big fan of the style, is supposed to be this lemony but it's not a bad beer.

Photo of weeare138
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a cloudy dark brown/black with a 3 finger tan head that only drops to a light tan head. Bits of scattered lacing.
Smell is of grassiness, funky yeast, along with a hint of tartness and perhaps a touch of nuts and slightly skunky roasted malt.
Taste is a tad strange, as expected. A rough mix of sweet and sours with roasted malt makes this muddled brew a hard one to figure out.
Mouthfeel is ok, I guess. Seems a bit heavy and overly carbonated in the mouth with the roasted sour fruit taste lingering on the middle and back of the tongue with a creamy sourness that isn't exactly pleasant.
Drinkability is ok. Again, this is a strange mix that I would only give a second chance if it were free.

It's ok, dog.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

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

Pours from a 750ml. bottle into the glass with a quick to recede dark brown head over semi-clear deep brownish-black liquid. The nose is sharp and citrusy...like lemon maybe? The taste too is citrusy/tart with pleasant yeasty fruitiness mixing with light barnyard funkiness and a subdued hop note. The finish is very dry with a roasty twang, quite the refreshing ale...now bring on the "Hoppy", Tom :o)

Photo of EPseja
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ah... looks like this review is the one that's going to give me my Initiate status, complete with empty beer-mug icon. Woo hoo!

750 ml. bottle, shared with my friend Yelterdow, served at just above fridge temperature and allowed to warm to cellar temperature over the course of the tasting. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Super hyper active head that shoots up like a geyser. Forms a dense, 2-3'' head that looks like what you'd find atop a mug of tap root beer. As the head begins to diminish, the look from above reminds me of a swarming ant colony -- random movement everywhere -- and fascinating to watch. After a minute, the edges fall away, leaving an island sinking slowly into the glass, surrounded by craggy walls of hardening lace. The beer itself appears jet black and the head is the dark brown color of the froth you'd find atop a fresh brewed espresso. Big presence, although upon looking back, it was just a smidge too big for a perfect score.

S - The smell cantradicts the look... Toasted malts, but fresh, crisp and light. Notes of light brown sugar or molasses, but no heaviness. Mild saison organics, and a hint of nutiness.

T - Instantly reminded me of Cafe du Monde with Chicory. Bright hoppiness and light, but definitely toasted malts. The middle reveals a sliver of cold metallics and alcohol along with notes of dark fruit and dark sourdough bread.. Finishes with the semi-tart dryness of a saison.

M - Very aggressive carbonation that improves *vastly* with rising temperature. Drink this one at cellar temperature! Becomes creamy and light in the mouth and finishes ultra smoothly. Nice!

D - I view this beer as a planned abberation of the Saison style -- sort of like genetic engineering gone good. Would be excellent as a compliment to a nice creamy cheesecake or a slice of pumpkin pie.

Delicious as it is, it's still not completely "on style" however, the sheer innovation of this beer counters any detriments due to departure form style.

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 with some kind of cheapy newsprint label or whateverthehell this is.

pours black with a soapy, light tan-colored head. very little lacing and very foamy (required a counter cleanup post-pour) aroma surprisingly evokes more malty, deep java roast and mocha.. i expected a belgian spice bomb like the beer they compare it to on the heavyweight website, black ghost. lactose hints and the faintest bit of fresh strawberry esters. mouthfeel is very appealing and the first thing i notice about the beers physicality. equal parts bubbly spritz and smooth creaminess. light overall and managing to carry lots of flavor.

best described as chocolate orval. starts out with a funky estery tang and finishes with a woody cocoa without the bitterness or chalk. lingering sourness that most justifies the saison in the title..

as it warms and i keep drinking, i appreciate this more and more.. the smell worried me for sure. airy and nonchalant with flavor complexity, good combo. good job. make nicer labels.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Tis a lively beer, I needed an additional glass to catch all the foam flowing up and out of the bottle.

Black is no lie, I could find no trace of a highlight. It's a brown pour but a solid black body once in the glass. Topped by an airy tan concave head of microbubbles. Bits of lace.

Aroma is a offbeat mix of candy sweetness, dark fruits, and an earthy funkness that I can't quite identify. And perhaps some cocoa, or that could be my Irish genetics expecting to smell something stout like in a beer that looks like this.

Taste is...different...good...nice...but different. It's almost in reverse for one thing, I get a really quick initial hop flurry, and a sweet malt finish. There's a slightly sour note running along the bottom that jumps up in the finish. A bit of roastyness. Some general funk. Sorry, but I feel like I'm learning a new language here.

Very bubbly mouthfeel, stuff flows along. Very drinkable and refreshing, even to someone who finds it a new experience.

For me, not an everyday beer, but one I am enjoying. As usual, Tom Baker has unleashed something unusual. Be sure to give it a try.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After I popped the cork from this one I set it down and the next time I turned my head it's beginning to gush out to top a bit. Pours into my glass a deep dark opaque black with a massive billowing head of tan foam that leaves some splotchy lacing in its wake. Appears to be a bit overcarbonated but the foam falls fairly quickly to leave me with a nice bubbly head. Aromas of begin with dark roasted malts accentuated by a cocoa powder aroma. A bit smoky with a big, slightly funky earthy yeast aroma. Touch of sourness but overall a nice unique aroma.

First sip brings an upfront roasty, smoky dark maltiness that has notes of cocoa powder and a good helping of coffee flavor as well. Big fresh yeast tones hit mid palate with a bit of funkiness. A bit of fruitiness runs in the background as well as some bready tones. Finishes with a touch of sourness on the way down. I find this one to be quite an enjoyable twist on the saison style.

Mouthfeel is rather light with a fierce wall of bubbly carbonation. The carbonation gets to be a bit much at times but it still goes down rather easily. One of the most refreshing dark brews I've had in awhile, a 750 will disappear quite quickly. A nice experiment by Heavyweight.

Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear dark brown, almos black color. Tan three finger head lsats quite a while. Decent swaths of lacing stick to the glass.

Smell: mildly sour fruits, some bitterness, and a hint of barnyard aroma.

Taste: roasted malts are nicely balanced with sour citrus tones, some chocolate, hints of vanilla bean, and a decent bitterness.

Mouthfeel: very crisp, almost a little too much for the liking. Prickly on the tongue. The flavor tones linger long on the tongue, including a tingling mouth.

Drinkability: very enjoyable on the flavor side, especially as it warmed. Easy to consume the bomber, but more may be pushing it with the crispness of this beer. Worth seeking out.

Photo of yelterdow
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml. corked and caged bottle served at just over fridge temperature. First tried this on-tap at Ommegang's "Belgium Comes To Cooperstown" event this past July... let's see how the bottled version fares.

Served in a Duvel tulip glass to bring out the best of what's in store for me...

Appearance- Holy crap... this is a monster head. The beast will not stop coming... it will not die!!! Incredible lemon merengue, creme brulee, spiderwebby light coffee-colored crown that slowly but actively decomposes from the outside... leaving a marshmallowy island of goodness. Phenomenal three-dimensional pillowy lacing. The actual color of the beer is a sarsaparilla/cola reddish brown, like a thin porter. Out-fricking-standing.

Smell- Toasted spelt bread with a grainy maltiness. Dark, complex hop notes come forth soon enough... an absolute enigma! Develops into an aroma of wet coffee grinds marinating in a dressing of lemon juice.

Taste- If you've ever dined at an Italian restaurant and stayed for dessert, one of the things you might have enjoyed is an espresso with a squeeze of lemon, with the zest dragged around the lip of your cup for contrast. Now picture that same espresso, make it a double, and then squeeze that lemon until your knuckles are white. A totally unique take on a saison that I'm digging very much... bread and yeast come through in the finish, and become the dominant players after swirling in the sediment later on.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Average mouthfeel, taking nothing away from the gustatory circus going on inside. Delicious and groundbreaking, although I wouldn't favor it all day in lieu of a more traditional farmhouse saison. A worthy achievement from the creative minds of Tom and Co. at Heavyweight. Thanks for the intro at the festival, we love supporting you here in NJ.

Photo of SheepNutz
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a deep opaque black color with four huge fingers of deep tan head. The smell has a bit of roasted malt and caramel aromas, but is also spicy. Just a little tart as well. The taste is nice and sour up front, then kind of mellows out in the middle, giving way to the sweet roasted malt. A slightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is fairly thick, but smooth. The drinkability is great. A big shout out to Kev for sharing this beer.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear black color ale with a super huge foamy dark head with perfect retention. Aroma of funky yeast is clearly evident and lends a farmhouse aroma, which I greatly enjoyed in saison. Also noticeable is some strange sweet fruit and a lingering bitterness. Taste is absolutely incredible with some notes of roasted malt mixing very well with the citrus sweetness and the farmhouse feels. Wow, this is my new favourite saison for now and thanks to Hopdog for this fine beer.

Photo of mjohn27603
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out dark brown in color much like a brown ale. Large foam quickly fills the glass. Aroma is a bit on the sour side. Taste is of vanilla, chocolate, roasted flavor. Very intriguing. Not like a typical saison but more like a porter. Some sour notes in the flavor. This one has me scratching my head with each sip and smell. This is probably the most surprising beers I've had. Some hints of coffee. I'll have to see how much I enjoy through the whole 750 ml but the first glass has me continuously thinking. Sour chocolate flavor? Thanks to shippos for a trade.

Photo of clvand0
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a dark color with a ginormous head that falls slowly and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The aroma is a low end sour - not obtrusive, but the sour is there along with a little dark malt. The flavor is very nice. Good chocolate and dark malt character with just a tiny hint of sour in the background. The body is fairly thick and the drinkability is very good.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown to black color with a huge billowing head that does not want to quit. When it does fall, it is about a finger over top. The nose is sour and slightly barnyard funk. There is an underlying roasted malt background there as well. Interesting twist. Flavor is just as intriguing. Light sourness turns to a tasty roasted coffee, finishing with a interplay between tart and roasted grain. Wow. I like it. Saisons might be my new favorite style. The feel is amoderate with a moderate carbonation. Very smooth and very tasty. I am pleased to have tasted this brew.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Antique mahogany with razor-thin reddish brown edges. I've never seen a saison this dark before, but then I've never had a 'black' saison before. The airyfirm, medium beige head is Belgianesque in size and texture and will require a great deal of patience and a fair number of pours to bring the beer close enough to sniff. The cap is impressively rocky as it falls, but isn't tacky enough to result in much of any lace.

Black smells like a porter brewed with Belgian yeast. I would have said BSDA or dubbel, but it has more of a black maltiness than either one of those styles. A sour dark fruitiness (plums? raisins?) is present as well, though the dominant aroma is the phenolic goodness provided by three strains of Belgian yeast. The nose is unlike any saison that I've ever smelled and, in fact, is unlike any beer that I've ever smelled.

It's bolder on the palate and, perhaps not surprisingly, tastes more like a stout brewed with Belgian yeast than a porter. There isn't a great deal of roastiness, but black malt is definitely the heavy hitter in the malt bill. It's still darkly fruity with all manner of underripe fruits represented. I say underripe because the beer is impressively, all-encompassingly sour.

I liked the first few mouthfuls just fine, but to be honest, the differentness of the beer threw me for a minute. Now that my taste buds have become accustomed to what they're being bathed in every few minutes--and especially now that the manic amount of carbonation has settled down to mere hyperactivity--it's easy to appreciate the wonderfully complex flavor that De La Soeur Black delivers.

I really can't do any better than to describe the flavor as an especially lactic-sour, American sweet stout with a heavy dose of spicy Belgian yeast. That's *exactly* what it tastes like. Sweet and sour pound the crap out of bitter; so much so that isn't really possible to appreciate the hops (Goldings, Saaz) at all. No matter, they aren't missed.

The body is strictly 'saison medium'. In other words, it's featherlite without being watery and is very well-carbonated. I'd like a less busy mouthfeel, and it's becoming less so with time, but it's hard to argue with the mouthfeel that the brewery has provided. The bad news is that the burps come fast and furious. The good news is that they provide bonus flavor mileage.

De La Soeur Black is just the sort of innovative, break-all-the-rules, endlessly fascinating beer that this brewery specialized in. It pains me to have to use the past tense because Heavyweight has provided a great deal of joy to a huge number of people over the years. I'm thankful that I've been able to sample a few of their wares and would like to wish the owners nothing but the best.

Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with hopdog. Thanks for the opportunity...

Hearty pfft upon uncapping. Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 4 1/2" tan head over a paltry 1/2 of murky brown brew. Head just does not want to go down, taking forever to be able to top off the glass. When things settle, we're seeing lots of frothy hunks of lace. Aroma is funky darkish malts, with some spices and tart mixed in. Taste has a Jekyll/Hyde thing going with chocolate notes upfront, but tartness at the close, and a merge in the middle. Interesting and tasty. Mouthfeel is quite light for the hearty chocolate in the front, and drinkability is easy as a result. Wouldn't mind finding this treat again, just need to calm the gas, a bit anyways.

Photo of biscodoll
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd been watching this bottle sit around for about 4 months now, not quite ready to stash it away in my stash becauce I had a feeling I'd want to drink it sooner than later. I cracked it open just as one of my favorite movies, The Nightmre Before Christmas, was starting on TV. It released with quite an effervescence, foaming out of the glass and the bottle, til I corked it with my trusty bottle-saver.

The appearance is black. I mean, truly, and opaquely, black, compared to say, a reddish Guinness. I guess with some really intense looking, a faint whisp of burgundy can be detected where liquid meets glass. The messy head fizzled into a thin lacing, covering the entire surface of the beer. The smell is light but complex, the sour Belgian yeast note punching through a layer of spiced maple syrup. As I love dark, holiday beers and sour beers equally, I am very excited to drink this brew.

The taste is exactly what I expected, sweet and dark, like a fine 80% dark chocolate bar, but light and crisp on the finish, leaving the faintest aftertaste of apple pie. Would be *perfect* with a sharp-cheddar crusted apple pie, in fact, or maybe a good mexican Mole sauce. The sour yeast slices through the roasted malts, reminiscent of a German bock, with ease. It's surprisingly easy to drink; I could see myself treating this as a session beer. But the fact that it's a "OneTimeOnePlace" reminds me to really take notice.

The concept of creating 4 styles of saisons (black, hoppy, golden, spicy), which aren't inherently Belgian styles while still retaining the defining quialities of a saison, is brilliant. Much like the film "Nightmare before Christmas," this beer is the perfect balance of light whimsy and dark intrigue.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a frothy, three-finger thick light brown colored head. The beer is quite dark, almost black, but really a deep midnight brown color. The aroma is spicy and characteristic of a Dupont derived strain of yeast. I also get notes of chocolate, lightly burnt raisins, a hint of coffee in the finish, some tart apple notes, ginger, and pepper.

The taste is a mix of tart sour fruit notes and lightly sweet fruity notes up front. It finishes with a dry astringency that is characteristic of roast malt, in fact there is a note that reminds of roasted coffee beans. This beer really does remind me of an apple up front; the mix of tart green apple notes and light sweetness is quite refreshing. The interesting aspect is that it completely changes direction in the middle of the beer and becomes burnt and roasted in the finish, though it still remains tart throughout. I also get flavor notes of raisin, hints of chocolate (especially in the finish), . This beer is quite interesting, I really like this new crop of dark Saisons, it is an interesting mix of flavors, that though seemed jarring on paper, actually work quite well together.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Although I initially prefered the golden version of the Saison De La Soeur, this darker, roasty version has enticed me with its darker, more complex character. Its billowing, big-bubbled head of dark tan seems to want to rise right out of the glass at you before slowly settling to a creamy dollop of froth atop its opaque black body. The nose is chocolatey and roasty with a citrusy side that's equally juicy fruit (orange, plum/prune) and dry rind (very orange-like, but also a touch lemony). The mouthfeel is zesty and then creamy/airy as it warms and passes away almost without notice. The play between it's lightly sweet mocha character and its tart, orange-like citrus and dark juicy fruit (plum) side is quite nice and certainly grabs your attention. Its tartness fades at the finish, however, and a touch of dark milk chocolate and some lingering roastiness are allowed to enter. Overall, it lingers with a kind of burgundy-like vinous character that's sprinkled with delicate, light cocoa. Impressive!

Photo of meathookjones
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Pours out with an almost black brown color body and a tall tan bubbly cap. A tight foamy cap seems to stay intact leaving strings of lace around the glass. The aroma is quite interesting with tart dark ripe fruit notes, plenty of funky yeast and a good bit of spice. As it warmed some chocolate and roasty notes seem to come out. There are a few other things going on I was unable to pin down as well. Flavor starts off with a big fruitiness both sweet and sour backed by the farmy yeast. Light chocolate and tart fruit finish this up. Again there are other subtle flavors that I couldn’t pull out. Well carbonated and a bit light. This was a very interesting take on the style that I wish I had more of. Tasty as hell and very enjoyable I could have went through a few more bottles of this.

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Saison De La Soeur Black from Heavyweight Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.