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Saison Du BUFF - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Saison Du BUFFSaison Du BUFF

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very good

1,456 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,456
Reviews: 421
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 14.85%
Wants: 41
Gots: 170 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 08-05-2010

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,456 | Reviews: 421 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of TheMadChef10
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Macky20
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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!

Photo of Spider889
4.39/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BieresDesMoines
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of bs870621345
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of mikereaser
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of theo871
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of ncpenrod
4.41/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of SMason
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of evanlarkin
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of mlazzaro
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of julian
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of washingtonydc
2.63/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

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.

Photo of rdilauro
2.65/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured nicely... But thats as far as I can really say neat things about this one. I loved the idea of the various spices. To me, the sage seemed too pronounced and overshadowed the other herbs.
I do have to add that as w hole I am not a huge fan of Saison style.
I do always give credit to DogFish Head brewers. They can come up with all sorts of different variations on beers

Photo of Naugros
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It starts with a 3/4" head that is white and fluffy sitting atop a beer that is orangey-yellow, leaning more to yellow.

The smell is great. Biscuit and citrus (bitter orange) and a buttload of herbs with sage being in the forefront although parsley and thyme are pretty evident as well.

The hops come through, but unlike Stone's version they don't dominate...the herbs do...in a big way. The malts are entirely overpowered and almost impossible to pick out. The diacetyls that are common in saisons can be sensed and are nicely rendered, but everything is hidden beneath the herbal assault.

The bulk of the mouthfeel is not where you usually get it from beer; it's up in the center of the palate with not much going on on the tongue other than some bitterness at the back. Other than that the body is pretty light, sort of like an American pilsner.

I think I like this better than Stone's version since the idea behind the beer comes through more than the hop-heavy out of San Diego County. But then again does one prefer an onslaught of hops or an onslaught of herbs. I prefer the hops, but the thought behind this beer was the herbs. So DFH's may be truer to the concept, but the Stone version might be more drinkable.

Photo of udchemist
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks urbancaver, did a side by side.
Smell - parsley and sage
Taste - hops through and through, not as spicy as stones, perhaps not quite as balanced either
Mouthfeel - nice start to finish
Drinkability - decent, not sure id buy it again though (just not my style)

Photo of Urbancaver
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

notes rare all comparisons between the 3

Darker in colour with less head than stone but more head than victory. Smells mostly of sage. Can't smell the other spices very well. Tastes stongly of sage and thyme. I don't get any parsley... Maybe some rosemary. Highly carbonated. Fairly tasty and very drinkable

Photo of DoctorDog
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 bottle into a nonic.

A- Slightly cloudy pale yellow/ golden. Too harsh a pour results in 3+ fingers of white head, which fades very slowly to a thin cap, leaving ample lacing.

S- Lightly citrusy hops and a solid amount of herbal notes. Belgian yeast notes follow.

T- Lemon zestiness, and surprisingly fruity sweetness. A solidly bitter finish, with citrus peel and spicy/herbal notes.

M- Moderately crisp with medium-high carbonation. Medium to slightly light feel.

D- Good. Quite pleasant and easy drinking.

Future outlook: Solid collaboration....nevertheless, brewed once, so this was it...

Photo of brewcrew76
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

A - Clear, bright golden lemon with a big fluffy white head.

S - Herbal, sage, rosemary and thyme with the sage standing out the most. Some lemon saison notes in the background.

T - Wheat malt, lemon, herbal sage, rosemary and thyme with the sage a little more dominant as in aroma.

M - Medium mouthfeel with fizzy carbonation and a dry lingering finish.

D - A tasty interesting beer.

Photo of scifan
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured th 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth ballon glass. Pours a clear pale yellow with a huge sturdy head. When the head finally did calm down I still had this big island of foam in the middle.
The nose is all about these herbs. The aromas of sage and tyhme hit me the hardest with the rosemary in there as well and the parsley hardly noticeable. There's also a touch of sweet malt hangin out in the back. Very interesting nose indeed.
Oddly enough the first thing I get in the first sip is the malt. Just a tinge of sweet palt malt arrives first and then an onslaught of these delicious herbs. Also picking up just a slight citrusy almost lemon flavor could be the hops or maybe the herbs or the yeast, more than likely a combination of all the above. Whatever it is this is a pretty tasty saison.
Mouthfeel is approtiate for the style. Lively carbonation and prickly mouthfeel and a nice dry finish. The herbs are dominant but never overpowering and make each sip exciting and different glad I have a couple more bottles to enjoy.

Photo of PEBKAC
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler filled at New Beer. Pretty cheaply too I might add.

Smoke wafts from the growler.
Two inches of pop-marked eggshell head inside my Ommegang anniversary glass. Rocky, with a fair amount of lace. Body is a chill hazed pale gold color.

At first sniff, plenty of rosemary, but lacking in sage to me. (Or maybe I'm just all sage-d out from the holidays). Woody, but not quite thyme. No parsley either. Would love to try a straight parsley beer, as that stuff is too subtle mixed in with everything else. Wheat?... no wheat, who knows. Bit of grapefruit, margarine, & more bitter herbage on the tail end of the scent.

Taste isn't as astonishing, but still delivers. Dry grain, twig & stem herbage, some lemon rind, wintergreen mint, plenty yeasty. Honey--ish as it warms. Obviously it's going to be a bit medicinal, but it's a nice blend. Parsley actually comes through here if you put on your beer snob cap & clench your lips three times.

Carbonation is appropriate, but the alcohol is a bit of an guesstimate I feel, like DFH has been known for in the past. Not super dry, but the finish of grainy malt & bitter herbs really pushed me to keep drinking.

Numbingly yummy. :)

Saison Du BUFF from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 1,456 ratings.