1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bison Saison De Wench - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Saison De WenchBison Saison De Wench

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

25 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 25
Reviews: 9
rAvg: 3.28
pDev: 22.26%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bison Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 08-04-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 25 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by billshmeinke:
Photo of billshmeinke
3.88/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Library Ale House during the Zeal Island Pale Ale tapping (congrats again bman1113vr).

Murky golden color with a frothy white head. Ok retention and lacing.

Smells zesty, biscuity, a touch estery. Peppercorn, sage, herbal, floral, quite grassy and curtsy too.

Taste follows smell. Really nice combo of peppery spice, citrusy zest, subtle esters, grassy, quite floral/earthy/herbal too.

Well carbonated, super dry, medium bodied. Really solid.

billshmeinke, Oct 18, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerswag
3/5  rDev -8.5%

Beerswag, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of Cynic-ale
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Cynic-ale, May 12, 2014
Photo of tdm168
3.75/5  rDev +14.3%

tdm168, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of dertyd
4/5  rDev +22%

dertyd, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.05/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Brewforia Bown on Monday night.... settling down with a growler tonight. Pretty cool beer and concept. I wonder if Chris was supposed to crack this keg yet? Oh well.

From the press release:

"July, 13 2011 –Berkeley, CA – Bison Brewing is excited to announce the newest release in its draft only “Beer of the Month” series, Saison de Wench.

Brewed in honor of her birthday, Saison de Wench is the first recipe that Bison Brewing’s Ashley Routson (also known as The Beer Wench) had a hand in developing, from start to finish. Starting with Dan Del Grande’s gold-medal winning Farmhouse Ale recipe as a base, the Saison de Wench recipe was inspired by spring flowers, rainbows and unicorns – But more importantly, using botanicals in the brewing process."

The brew is made with dried organic rose petals, hibiscus, pink peppercorns, and lemongrass.

Poured into my trusty Portsmouth tulip.... nice 1" long lasting head that actually has a pale pink hue.... the brew is hazed orange also with a dash of pink.

The aroma is slightly floral and has a good dose of spicy phenols... a pretty stand-up saison through the nose that is only made more interesting by the unusual ingredients.

Decent malt backbone really stands up to the botanicals... a light hop bitterness balances and then the yeasty notes and floral qualities come swinging.... I guess that is what hibiscus tastes like... I pick out more rose qualities... and vibrant lemon stirs the pot... I think the phenols drown the peppercorns for me, but what do I know?

Body is a touch heavy for a traditional saison, but the carbonation is bright and refreshing... I like this and need to score another growler to have for our coming saison tasting.

This is pretty good.... Cheers to Bison... I have had more than a few brews made with roses, rosewater, etc... and this is the first one in memory that pulls it off without becoming a novelty.

Happy birthday Ashley.

4/4/4/3.5/4.5

JohnGalt1, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.86/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Gavroche tulip. Pours a coppery-gold amber with a half finger white head that dissipates to a thick film, leaving light lacing. Aroma of saison yeast, mildly earthy and herbal, phenolic. Flavor is light sweet malt, saison yeast, clove, light grassy and floral hops, slight buttery diacetyl. Medium bodied. A bit maltier than traditional saisons, but it is melded nicely with the saison yeast and character. The faint diacetyl actually fits well because of the malt support. Pleasant floral notes, particularly in the finish. Not a traditional saison, but fits the style and is nicely made.

LiquidAmber, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of largadeer
2.15/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a tulip. Slightly hazy amber hue, low carbonation with little head formation or retention. Doesn't appear to be bottle conditioned. Nose is heavy on botanicals - very floral to the point of smelling like soap or perfume. Rose is most prominent, but there's some peppery spice as well. Farmhouse yeast is faintly noticeable, buried beneath the over done adjuncts. The palate mirrors the aroma with heavy-handed adjuncts, rose up front along with lemongrass. Mild yeastiness, and oddly a bit of a homebrew malt extract taste. Low carbonation, somewhat slick mouthfeel. This is pretty rough around the edges, I couldn't get through more than a few ounces.

largadeer, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of DrDemento456
3.86/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Snagged a bottle of this for $2.59 at vintage Estate about a month ago. Into a pint glass.
A - A pretty dark shade of amber orange clear with a solid 1/4 inch of head that makes for great lacing.
S - Smell is pretty good some funk, some lemon, maybe wheat? Can't pick out anything else but it does smell Saison Like. Very flowery.
T - A very smooth yet simply a basic Saison. I get some malt, mild if any yeast (which I am a fan of) and some grainy hibiscus flavors. The botanical's I must admit make for one smooth brew.
M - Light to medium its very easy to drink with smooth flowery stuffs.

Overall it's an interesting take on the style but nothing I want to run to Ohio for another bottle for. Still a decent experimental.

DrDemento456, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of WynnO
3/5  rDev -8.5%

WynnO, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of DustinSWB
4.25/5  rDev +29.6%

DustinSWB, May 17, 2014
Photo of kell50
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

kell50, May 10, 2014
Photo of Dodgerrigo77
3.75/5  rDev +14.3%

Dodgerrigo77, Mar 15, 2014
Photo of mactrail
2.55/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Lovely amber brew with a fleeting mustache of foam. Definitely that funky lemon-sage aroma. Nothing wrong with the carbonation, though it's rather odd and slippery on the lips.

Some malt and a sweet touch, though the yeast does at least do its work in drying out the stuff. This starts out so sweet and flabby. It tastes like carnation soap, which I guess is the rose flavoring. I think lemongrass is so strongly flavored and unmistakeable, it doesn't do much for a beer except mark its territory. No trace of hops. This seems less like botanical flavoring and more like tampering with a style that deserves better.

Remember the old joke about heaven vs. hell, in hell the Swiss are the lovers and the Italians run the trains. They forgot to mention that the beer is brewed by the Berkeleyites. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Community Coop Market in Bellingham.

mactrail, Apr 30, 2014
Photo of mjmcdonough73
1/5  rDev -69.5%

mjmcdonough73, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of flagmantho
3.98/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium amber-brown hue with no haze and a relatively strong effervescence. Head pours a thin layer of tan foam; reminds me strongly of a bière de garde. Not too bad, though a better head would be nice.

Smell: lightly sweet, lightly funky and lightly spicy; it's a pretty well-composed beer. The underlying malt is rather toasty, and the botanicals work to a nice and balanced effect. Much like the appearance, the aroma is highly reminiscent of a bière de garde.

Taste: sweet and spicy, with a very good saison character and a subdued but enticing botanical flavor. The toastiness of the malt works well with the lemongrass, and the total effect is refreshing; while it starts sweeter, it finishes dry. Quite good indeed.

Mouthfeel: medium body with an out-of-this-world carbonation and a bombastic, mouth-filling creaminess. Kudos! Encore!

Overall: a fascinating beer. Each new thing I learn about it, I like. For me, some of Bison's herbal experiments don't always work, but in this case I'm impressed. A drinkable and fascinating take on the saison.

flagmantho, Apr 22, 2014
Photo of shiggins22
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

shiggins22, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, earth, rose petal, fruit, and slight lemongrass aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour malt, earth, rose, and hibiscus flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice mixture of earthy, floral, and fruit qualities in the aroma and flavor.

UCLABrewN84, May 05, 2014
Photo of MIchael_D_Larkin
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

MIchael_D_Larkin, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of jethrodium
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap. Pours a slightly cloudy golden amber with a small tan head that has decent retention and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is very peppery with some light barnyard notes and also some light apple and apricot. The taste is very peppery with slight hints of apple and pear. The finish is quite drying with a funky aftertaste. Medium body. Medium carbonation. A decent saison, but a bit one dimensional.

jethrodium, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of BcOneSeven
3.12/5  rDev -4.9%

BcOneSeven, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of MickeyMonk
3/5  rDev -8.5%

MickeyMonk, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of od_sf
3/5  rDev -8.5%

od_sf, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of kyle86
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

kyle86, May 26, 2014
Bison Saison De Wench from Bison Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.