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Saison Du BUFF - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Saison Du BUFFSaison Du BUFF

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,289 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,289
Reviews: 396
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 34
Gots: 116 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Plans call for Saison du BUFF to be a 6% alc/vol Saison brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. This beer will be brewed three times, once at each brewery using the same recipe.

(Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 08-05-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,289 | Reviews: 396 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rapidsequence
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%

12 oz bottle. $5 from Neds (I think).

Appearance: Its a pretty nice looking saison. Clear yellow. White head with infinite retention and really fine lacing. 4.5

Smell: Its a mix of sweetish malt, lemon and apple, and nice herbal hops surrounded by a mess of spice aroma. While the spices aren't intense, they are overdone. Its just too much. Its like a pizza saison. 2.5

Taste: Much, much better than the smell. The spices seem to integrate much better in the flavor, complementing, rather than competing with the hops. Long finish is slightly bitter, and a little sweet. 4

Mouthfeel: Creamy carbonation, nice dry finish. 4

Overall: If I didn't have to smell it to drink it, it would be better. I wish I didn't still have the other 2 versions in my fridge. I would recommend this if you want to taste the result of too much pointless spicing. 3.5

rapidsequence, May 18, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%

Very nice amber hue with a rich, decadent looking three inches of white foam on top. Just hanging there with a huge amount of side lace just dripping down the glass and keeping the head alive and well throughout the session.

The aroma was very, very nice. Rich notes of spices, apricot, light apple maybe and a touch of grain. As it warmed some light pepper like spice starts to come forward, nearly spot on. As I take the first taste, I expierence just what I wanted from this one. A light, perfectly carbonated saison. Light notes of fruit spiced up with hints of white pepper and a perfectly balanced mix between light grain and fresh grass in the finish. Smooth, delicate and perfectly drainkable, I was very impressed by just how good this one was.

mikesgroove, May 17, 2011
Photo of therica
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%

A= cloudy lemon, huge white foaming head settling into a nuclear-blast mushroom in the middle as it settled. Ongoing head, massive lacing all the way down the glass and the mushroom cloud shrank into a dense island over half of the head which still remains as I near the bottom of my Guinness pint-glass.

S= plentiful malts; a good sinus-stinging zip of sour acidity; the various herbs combine into what might be construed as a sort of janitorial odor, or maybe the smell of fresh paint. Interesting, creative-- for a novelty.

T= tart-bitter, first sip tasted like an unripe green apple. Nice in its style, also similar to a spiced Witte or Belgian summer ale. Almost a grassy-lemony finish.

M= sour-tart, astringent, some herbal notes and a very slight hint of honey.

O= Fairly decent, interesting, definitely creative but... at $2.99 per bottle it's a one-time experience for me and will be enough once I finish the 2 bottles here.

ps- it's also rather belchy. Drink with something, anything, to eat.

therica, May 11, 2011
Photo of Seeker41184
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%

Date Drunk: 12/19/10

12oz into pint glass

Lager color with thick creamy head and high carbonation. Sweet grapefruit/lemon upfront and then the flavor changes to parsley, sage, rosemary, & thyme just like it says on the bottle. This beer is just spring-fresh, thats the best way to describe it. If it was sold in 6 packs or 4 packs I would definitely buy it.

Seeker41184, May 08, 2011
Photo of kbnooshay
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%

Exploded out of the bottle. Super slow pour didn't do much good.Explosive frothy airy off white head. Body is a light golden straw color, slightly hazy. Lacing is super chunky and sporadic. Nose is rosemary, thyme and parsley. This should be served with the roast chicken at Hammersley's Bistro in Boston.What holy fucking beer meets meat harmony that would be. Tastes like mint and basil. Wow. Not like any saison I have. The herbs aren't subtle! This is slightly drying and acidic. Such a surprise. Spicy. Nice hint of citrus. Feel is moderate with good carbonation.

kbnooshay, May 07, 2011
Photo of SeaUrchin
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%

thanking slvrmon82 for this one, reviewed it a while ago in my notes but never got to put it up on here, poured from the bottle into an unbranded tulip

appearance - poured a bubbly golden color with a relatively thick head that died down a bit but remained for the duration of the glass

smell - smells like fresh herbs section of a grocery store but if i wasnt aware of what was in it i wouldnt have been able to pick them out, also a nice sweet bread smell is there, with a bit of a hoppy smell but nothing too strong, more of a back up note

taste - tastes like a mixture of many herbs, i can pick out thyme for sure, then it moves into a nice sweetness with a bit of a yeasty flavor, finishes with parsley and a slight bitterness that i cant put a finger on, a bit tricky for me at the time

mouthfeel - light and bubbly, just what i expected by looking at it

drinkability - easy to drink, goes down like water, if i had gotten a hold of several more i could see this being something i would enjoy a few of during a baseball game by the grill

overall - good beer, easy to drink, and enjoyable, just wasnt as herby as i had expected, but still good

SeaUrchin, May 06, 2011
Photo of scruffwhor
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%

Poured into a tulip. I made sure to pour the yeast from the bottom into my glass as well.

The color is bright and cloudy hay with copper tinges here and there. Very nice head and lacing, but sub-par bubbling.

The aroma is a great herbal from the herb added to this beer. The hops enhance a floral bouquet with the malt adding a little dry cereal grain.

The taste starts sweat from the malts then goes herbal and floral in the middle thanks to the hops and other interesting ingredients. The palate is dry and bubbly, with the alcohol just on the verge of being sessionable. This beer drinks like a session saison for the Summer.

scruffwhor, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of BEERMILER12
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%

Bottled in 2010 D

A: Pours a straw yellow with a missive head that takes up half the glass... I have to wait for it to die down a little to finish pouring. Leaves great lacing

S: Definite yeasty smell along with some spices. Smells like a belgian, although I'm not sure if it uses Belgian yeast or not. A little malt, but the powerhouse aroma is the yeast and spices

T: Very interesting... Subtle spices along with that yeast. Not very fruity or hoppy, just the yeast and subtle spices. Difficult to pinpoint the different spice notes though. I know they used quite a few. Alcohol is masked nicely and goes unnoticed for the most part

M: Fairly light body with medium, prickly carbonation

D/O: This would be a great summer to fall transitional beer, and I'm pretty sure that is exactly when this was released last year. Kind of reminds me of a spiced octoberfest or summer ale. Easily drinkable and just a few will do a great job on you

BEERMILER12, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%

Monster head is the primary adjective for the appearance of this beer. Wow, what huge foam it produced, even with a fairly careful pour. Yellow and almost clear, torrents of great bubbles from my FFF pint glass, there's so much fluffy, lasting head you can hardly see the lacing really, but when it finally shines through, it's certainly sticky and ample. The head even lasts in a floating, foamy, crisp bubbly creation on the top of the liquid in my glass.

Honestly, it smells like those long hallways in the casinos of Las Vegas, with the cacophony of contrasting aromas that almost overpower you on your first trip to that city. It's like the nine different restaurants, two clubs, four casino areas, and the buffet, along with the lingering smell of the late-night carpet cleaners and assorted casino cleaning efforts. A bit strange. You can smell the freshly cleaned lemony carpet freshness/tartness.

It's a tasty creation, to be sure. Very spicy, with a tangy, strongly peppery flavor. Pungent lemon and citrus reminds you of those 2am trips to the craps table. Slightly earthy, and oddly warming, despite the lower ABV. There's just a touch of christmas tree in there too.

Feel is quite rich and thick, although medium bodied, due to the strong carbonation and incredibly thick head that basically doesn't go away.

Drink is somewhat so-so, despite the overpoweringly intense experience of drinking this beer. It's just a touch on the "a bit too much" scale for my taste, although I'd be hard-pressed to tell any saison lovers that something else would be a better choice.

AlCaponeJunior, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Giant, fluffy white cap, soapy bubbles, clumpy lacing and good head retention. The beer was a bit hazy and gold in colour. Nice aroma, lemons and citrus, floral, hint of tartness, fruity, a bit powdery. Sturdy bitterness, lemons and crackery malt, a little bready, less fruity than in the aroma. Mild peppery spice in the dry finish. Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Refreshing and tasty, an enjoyable farmhouse ale with solid hop character.

DrJay, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of TheMadChef10
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%

It had a hazy pour with I would say a 2.5 finger head. As soon as I opened the bottle it smelled immediately of herbs, but mainly thyme. When I tasted the beer I got a slight amount of sage followed by rosemary, it finished with the grassy bitterness of parsley. The mouthfeel was actually surprised me and was a bit spicy. Overall it was a new experience for me I never had a very strong herbal beer before so this was hard to rate. But I do think that this beer would go good with a roast chicken or it could probably hold up to a grilled pork chop.

TheMadChef10, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of Macky20
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip. Cloudy/hazy yellow with big carbonation. Left a two finger foamy head. Aroma's biggest highlights are lemon peel and rosemary. I admit that I am not yet skilled at recognizing all the qualities of a Saison as I am somewhat new to the style, but at first taste I can tell that I will enjoy this brew. A pleasant tartness is met with creative herbal qualities that I can't quite put my finger on. I can, however, detect the rosemary and thyme. The mouthfeel is much like the few belgian style beers that I've recently started trying, with big carbonation almost like a champagne. Very pleasant beer that I would like to enjoy again!

Macky20, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of Spider889
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%

Had this on tap at Winking Lizard last year along side the other two incarnations of the beer. This is one of my favorite saisons and I was really happy to drink all three versions side by side to compare.

To save my sanity, I will review these tap versions side by side, and then copy/paste into each respective brewery's page.

4, 5, 4.5, 3.5, 4
Easily the most herbal of all three.

This one is the most cloudy with the best head and lace.
The smell is strong with lemongrass, sage, and rosemary. Very distinct and attractive floral qualities. The saision 'yeastiness' is moderate, adding a little twang.

The flavor is again very herbal - rosemary and sage abound. I absolutely adore this beer.

This one has med-high carbonation, but was the most drinkable. My favorite without reserve.

3.5, 3.5, 3.5, 4, 3.5

The main differences here are that the beer is much clearer and a slightly lighter shade of gold. It shines well in the light. The head is light and fluffy white. Lace is spotty at best.

The smell begins to deviate more. Hops muddle much of the herbal notes. This creates a softer nose and flavor.

The taste has a lot of noticeable hop character - all earthy, mellow European hops, but this is Stone, and they weren't going to simply duplicate an agreed upon recipe, especially one that wasn't for a IIIPA. I mean, what the hell was DFH and Victory thinking making a non-hop forward saison with herbs in it?!?

On a serious note, the Stone version isn't outright bitter, but the hops overtake the rosemary and lemongrass that hide in the background. This version also tastes maltier, and of a higher abv. All of this leads to a sweeter character, almost honey-like.

I didn't care for this version nearly as much as I did the DFH version.

3, 4, 4, 3, 3

This version is the least impressive-looking. Crystal clear, and a very light pale yellow. It had the shortest head and left no lace.

The smell is different from the other two. While the herbal characters are present, there is also a sweet sourness to the beer that is totally unique to the Victory brew.

The taste also has the sourness. I was surprised at first, but it is actually oddly pleasant. As it warmed some faint funkiness grew out of the Belgian yeast and all of the sage and rosemary.

I was on the fence on whether I liked this or the Stone version more at first, but when I think of which I would rather have again in the future, I think it would be the Victory.

Spider889, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of BieresDesMoines
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%

Pours a hazy yellow with a big head and some pretty lacing. The aroma is lots of cooking spice, sage, celery powder, parsley, and some nice fruity and floral hoppy notes. The flavor is again fruity but dry with a bit of crackery malt and plenty of bitterness, there is some cooking spice in there as well that makes for a bracing bitterness at times. The glass finishes somewhat transformed of what it was at first sip, messy and oddly minerally. Oddly this seemed less focused on the cooking spice than did the stone one, however there seemed to be more characteristics identifiable as 'saison' in this one than the stone. Honestly every one of these should be categorized as Herbed/Spiced beers.

BieresDesMoines, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of bishopdc0
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%

Had on draft at Novare Res, over the course of a few days i was able to try all three versions.

For the dogfish version it was perhaps slightly fresher in the taste compared to the stone but i couldn't distinguish between the three overall thus i gave them equal score.

Very clear pale yellow thick white head good lace

The nose is sweet with some citrus grassy hops and yeast the spices do no present them self

Starts with a sweet citrus and spicy it milds and finishes dry with a dry mouth the spices present themselves and finishes bitter much like you'd get from licking a lemon

bishopdc0, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of bs870621345
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a beautiful golden color with a huge white head with various sized bubbles. Leaves beautiful lacing down the glass.

Smells like herbs. Basil is what I think of, but i do detect the ones I know are in there. Bready sweetness to balence everything out.

Taste is of rosemary and thyme up front and bready on the end. Finishes with parsley.

Mouthfeel is great, nicely carbonated and light. Very much a summer beer IMO.

Drinkability is good, I wouldn't want to have more than a bottle but its very nice in the 12 ounces.

bs870621345, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of mikereaser
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%

Poured into a new belgium globe glass on 2/5/11.

A - Pours a light golden yellow orange with 3 inches of white foam that slowly faded with some good lacing on the glass.

S - lemon, peppery, lemon zest and some sage

T - lemon zest, a bit of pepper and the sage, the parsley and thyme come through as well.

M/D - lively carbonated, light bodied with some unique flavors. the lemon flavors come through a bit too strong but its still enjoyable. I would have again just wouldn't seek it out.

mikereaser, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of theo871
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%

12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

Pours a cloudy yellow with a beautiful head that leaves behind a lot of lacing on the glass.

Smells of spice, lemon zest, sage.

Tastes of malt, lemon zest, sweet, spicy with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is light, with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good, could probably enjoy a couple of these.

Enjoyable, I'm not usually a fan of the Farmhouse style but this one put a nice spin on the style.

theo871, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of ncpenrod
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%

A: Beautiful bright yellow-orange with a nice fluffy two fingered head that clings to the glass creating a nice lace as you drink.

S: The sage comes through most for me with the parsley and thyme working in the background, in addition to a hint of straw or grass, slightly lemony.

T: Up front, lots of sage, but finishes crisp with a hint of rosemary and lemon.

M: nice crisp mouthfeel, very carbonated

D: I really enjoyed this beer, it's not the style i usually drink but its quite nice. I would absolutely buy more/drink more of this. I would also love to try this with some rosmary grilled chicken this summer

ncpenrod, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.13/5  rDev -17%

I bought two 12oz Bottles of the Dogfishhead and Stone versions of the Saison du BUFF and drank them side by side on two separate occasions into a pint glass. Very light pour with a small 1-2 finger head, minimal lacing, but a small film remains atop the beer as you drink. Much less head and much less lacing than the Stone version. Citrus right up front, with some other herbs. I think I'm getting some rosemary. Good smell. Herbal and hoppy taste, much more smooth than the Stone version on both occasions. IMO it tastes better than the Stone. Smooth and light on the palate, much less carbonated (less punch) than Stone Final Verdict: While Victory looked and smelled better, I did like Stone's as well. Will I have either again? No.

CuriousMonk, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of SMason
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%

12 ounce bottle in my Siebel Institute Tulip.

A - Large ice cream cone head. Color is yellow to light orange with slight carbonation. Slight lacing is apparent

S - spices, slight grass and slight lemon

T - muted spices at the finish are overpowering. Soapy undertones

M - Carbonation and body is in line with the style.

Drinkability - This spices in this saison didn't quite work. Instead of adding taste they kind of drowned out the beer. Just didn't work for me. Not a bad beer but not great either.

SMason, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of evanlarkin
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%

Pours the color of gol- um. Hold on here. One second. Whoa, that's a lot of head. Napkin? Nah, I'll just lick it off the sides. One more try.
Pours the color of golden straw. Very light, somewhat hazy, kind of beautiful really. LOTS of white fluffy head. So much, in fact, that there was some overflow. Twice. Once it settled, which took a while (strong retention), it left a nice lacing to remind me of the pour for the duration of the drink.

Wheat-y and notes of thyme. Not sweet, but we've got some lemon scent going on.

Like a dryish golden wheat. The thyme and rosemary come through the strongest, with hints of sage. Not much of that parsley, but it's never been a particularly strong spice. Slight lemony bitterness in the finish.

Again, there's a wheat feel to it. light/medium body. Crisp?

During the summer, this would probably my go to, with a slice of lemon or orange to garnish. Still reasonably drinkable in winter too.

evanlarkin, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of mlazzaro
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%

Pours a clear yellow with white head. Smells mostly like Saison yeast. Flavors of oranges, rosemary, other spices and yeast come through. Very yeasty in flavor which is odd because I poured myself a very clear sample. Some black pepper notes going on at the end of the sip. Very acidic feeling. Thin body which is traditional for the style. I wish I had served it colder, and on a really hot day. Liking Victory's and Stone's Saison Du Buff so much, I wanted to like this one, but I had troubles with it. The flavors are interesting and unique, but I just didn't really like drinking this beer very much. Although it did get better as time went on, I would not call it one of DFH's best.

mlazzaro, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of julian
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%

A: hazy, straw yellow in color with a good amount of fluffy white head. A decent amount of carbonation. Lots of visible yeast floating around, though no sediment per se.

S: incredible strong on the nose. lemon zest, straw, earthy, grassy.

T: Up front, the lemony/grassy qualities really dominate, but this finishes clean with a nice zesty citrus pop.

M: highly carbonated, as expected, clean, crisp, mild lemony aftertaste. nice.

D: Easy drinker, I'd really like to try this on a hot scorching summer's day.

julian, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of washingtonydc
2.55/5  rDev -32.4%

Being in the company of a giant usually produces a streak of fear--listen to Odysseus cry out to the gods in the shadow of Polyphemus or witness Gulliver screaming in terror at the sight of the Brobdingnag. But what about being in the company of three giants? Oddly enough, in the case of Dogfish Head, Stone, and Victory, it doesn't spark a triple helping of fear. Rather, these three brewing powerhouses coming together for Saison du Buff caused a wave of eager anticipation.

Pouring from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass presents a light golden, sparkling beer with a frothy head that quickly dissipates with not even the reminder of lacing left to grace the glass. Nearly immediately, strong herbal notes waft through the air, with an undercurrent of lemongrass, white pepper, and just a drop of pine resin. Sipping the beer confirms the promise of herbs--in fact, the first few swallows are akin to homeopathic medicine, with all of the subtlety afforded by a thyme-based cough elixir. Later, though, a bit of spice fights its way through before finishing on a sweeter rosemary note. It feels light and joyful in the mouth, but any promise of sessionability is marred by the medicinal dose given to the taste buds.

Perhaps, Odysseus and Gulliver's first reactions weren't incorrect--any giant, even those that are benign or gracious, cannot escape the nature of his size. A giant's tiny misstep is viewed from the lower perspective as an enormous error, a short stumble is seen as a crashing fall. Because saisons are best when balanced, any tipping toward one extreme or another can be a tragedy to the essence of the style--so when a trio of brewing giants makes such an imbalance, it is unfortunately magnified in the mouth and heart of this reviewer.

washingtonydc, Jan 26, 2011
Saison Du BUFF from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 1,289 ratings.