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Saison Du BUFF - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Saison Du BUFFSaison Du BUFF

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,444 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,444
Reviews: 420
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 14.85%
Wants: 40
Gots: 160 | 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: 1,444 | Reviews: 420 | Display Reviews Only:
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. :)

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint

A- pours a really, really pale yellow with a massive four finger white head. The beer itself looks like lemonade, but the head is something to behold. Puffy and huge and beautiful

S- very herbal....getting notes of lemongrass in there. I'm not very familiar with various herbs and spices, but I'm getting a lot of notes out of this too.

T- herbal. Flowery. Sweet. Very interesting. Not sure if I really like it though...the hops and malts seem minimal. Tastes like...hell, tastes almost like a cold tea more than a beer

M- actually, this is a little thick, which is something I'd expect based on the ABV. It's not really all that complex, though

D- reminds me of Dogfish's Sahtea. Really heavy on the herbals...like I said, reminds me more of cold tea than beer

Photo of Hollybee
4.34/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gold with a very thick white head the head remains.

The nose is sour with the notes of thyme and rosemary.

The taste is smooth with a burst of flavors. Slight melon quality Can almost taste the spices blended with the malts. Very clean and refreshing and cool on the mouth. Sage and rosemarry are apparent, very light, nice...Expected overwhelming herbal flavors and aromas, but am pleased at a subtle approach. Very pleasent no bitter ...awesome

Thisbeer is very well balanced . You expect to be hit over the head when it comes to dogfishhead, but the collaboration has brought out a quieter beer, Very very nice.
Drink 5

Photo of ybnorml
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a pale cloudy golden beer with a large foamy white head and good lace. light peppery aroma with a grainy sweet background. lemon peppery washes over the tongue with a clean dry finish. has a very light sweet aftertaste.very smooth mouthfeel and drinkability.

Photo of nickhiller
4.31/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: cloudy blonde, with a thick bubbly head with incredible retention, soapy lacing and champagne bubbles.

S: smells are faint: wet dog, like a sweet/sour blonde, slightly Belgian, some fruit like pears, rosemary.

T: tropical fruit blend, pineapple, mango, herbs are strikingly apparent on the front end with parsley and sage, The finish is thoroughly herbal, aftertaste carries the same rosemary/thyme combo of an herbed lambshank. The only drawback is that the aftertaste is a little chemical, almost like cleaner (Pinesol).

M: super carbonated, apart form the body, which is only slightly heavier, it feels exactly like champagne.

D: One of the most interesting beers that I've had in a very long time. The herbs were so present, not at all what I expected (often it's hard to taste "infused" beers). That being said, it had great balance for something that likely began its life as something of a dare. I give it an A+ just for the sheer imagination of it. Never would have thought it possible, eally inspiring for a home brewer.

Photo of engagechad
4.24/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer 1-6-11 at capital ale house in richmond va at the Saison du BUFF tasting - I also had and reviewed the other two from Stone and Victory.

A - Slightly cloudy golden yellow with a dense foamy head

S - holy canolli! man this was incredible. Citrusy herbal if I had to put some words on it. you can definitely tell there is thyme in there.

T - fantastico, for an herbal beer this was quite smooth and delicious. it was served with bread and rosemary/thyme/sage dipping oil too

M - the flavors felt like they were dancing around on my tongue, when you let the liquid fall under the tongue it's a completely new sensation too, more medicinal

D - I was surprised at it's drinkability, I could definitely have a few of these and not get tired of it. I would definitely consider going to the store and buying this one

Photo of BZero007
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the one 12oz this year that surprised me greatly.
Had this beer at some of the local Alehouses here and in bottles. Pours a very light golden color with some hues of yellow. The head forms actually very nicely and does not go overboard. The aroma is of a very light floating on air spice, that tingles the nose a bit. The taste is just plain refreshing and with a great earthy spice to it. Drink ability is very high with this low alch level and great flavor that does not over whelm the taste buds. Whenever I see this brew on the shelf it is a must pick up. Try to keep as much as I can in the beer fridge.

Photo of tmcelvain
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

L: A light gold, with a huge, frothy head.
S: Yeasty and earthy. I definitely notice a belgian yeast/wit smell.
T: Similar to the smell, with the spice profile coming through near the end of each sip.
M: Carbonated and refreshing, a very light bodied beer.
D: Pretty low drinkability - just too herbal for me too want very much .
If you are a fan of wheat beers, light but flavorful belgians, and green or chamomile tea, this should be right up your alley, but otherwise will not likely inspire great cravings for you. Not a favorite style of mine, but by the end of a glass, I am coming around a bit. Even though it is not my favorite style, I can really tell this is a well-crafted beer.

Photo of KSac4115
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought in a bottle at DeCiccos in Westchester, NY. (great selection there by the way)

Pours a light copper/amber color. Looks almost like the color of honey. Almost looks like a light IPA color. Has a massive white head on it and was a bit of a pain pouring out of the bottle. Lacing is immaculate.

Smells strongly of lemon and thyme along with along of other spices and herbs that give it a very zesty complex aroma. Very pungent and inviting smell. Smells exactly like an herb garden.

Taste has an abundance of flavors coming at you from the time you sip it until it goes down. Flavors blend together remarkably well with the lemon seeming to be the most recognizable. Reminds me a lot of some Belgian wheat beers. A little bit of a kick at the end but nothing over the top. Pretty good amount of carbonation in it. No particular herb or spice stands out in the taste but all are definitely there. Overall a very unique taste.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated but a smooth drink. Somewhat sweet and not very bitter at all as you would expect from most ales.

As for drinkability, it is definitely easy to drink but the complex and in your face flavors from all the ingredients makes it a little too much to have a bunch of. However, for the high alcohol content, it is not so apparent when you are drinking it.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly gauzy honeycomb amber with near Champagnesque carbonation that has created a massive crown of aged ivory colored froth that should hang around for several weeks. Deep craters and an appealing rockiness are seen almost immediately; as are scattered scraps of bubble bath-like lace.

The nose is some kind of enjoyable for anyone who likes saisons with a heapin' helpin' of extra herbs. Sage seems especially prominent, though I'm far from a master herbologist. Deliciousness seems to be a foregone conclusion.

Saison Du BUFF Dogfish Head-style is just as tasty as the version from Stone. My flavor memory isn't good enough to pick out any differences between the two (assuming they even exist, which is unlikely). Sam and boys have done themselves proud once again.

What tastes like lightly sugary biscuity malt provides a sturdy backdrop for top notes of lemon zest and a complex array of herbs. There's also a Chardonnay grape-like quality, which makes me think Nelson Sauvin hops. Tremendous sweet-bitter-tangy balance.

The mouthfeel is solid in all respects, especially the energetic (although far from buzzy) carbonation. Good-great craft brewers create good-great mouthfeels much more often than not.

It is no surprise that Dogfish Head's version of Saison Du BUFF is just as enjoyable as Stone's version. This is a killer recipe cooked up and executed some of the best in the business. Next up... Victory Saison Du BUFF.

Photo of thecarster1
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a snifter, nearly one finger of bright white head, bright lemon golden hue, excellent lace retention.

s- mmm, herbal, rosemary off the bat, sage/thyme, no real parsley notes, other than those you get the classic saison notes - tart lemon, earthy, dry.

t- a bit drier than the victory and stone versions, very bitter citric, rosemary, lemon, sage and thyme, very herbal. i've had all three versions and this is probably my least favorite - not saying that it's not a good beer, it's very good, i just preferred the other two - stone first then victory.

m- medium, slick, coating.

d- good, very tasty beer, one of my favorites of 2010, preferred the other versions but this is good too. really hope they resurrect this one!

Photo of alkemy
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A slightly hazy golden yellow with a billowing white head after a pretty aggressive pour out of the Dogfish bottled version. Very herbal nose. Rosemary is significantly dominate. Lemony citrus and sage play a secondary role. You also get a faint doughy yeast aroma. Flavor was pretty herbal as well. I actually got a minty note mid-drink that clung about even after the swallow. For the style, I found this to be oddly refreshing. I really like saisons, but this doesn't have the farmy outdoor angle. It is, however, a really good beer. Drinks like a 4 percenter.

Photo of drperm
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at the Local Chop House @ Grill, served in a goblet.

Appearance: Pours an exciting golden-apricot with a luscious foamy white top. Hazy and inviting.

Smell: Wow! Herbal amazingness -- lots of thyme and parsley, with biscuity grain, fresh cut hay, and images of springtime mountain meadows (quite appealing on a cold, snowy winter's night!).

Taste: Wondrously complex -- herbal, again, with notes of basil, rosemary, caramel, sweet thyme, and grain. Grassy but good.

Mouthfeel: Now I see how it's a saison -- delightfully rich, creamy, and spritzy, if ever-so-slightly watery at the end. Smooth to a T.

Drinkability: I like it; I don't love it. But, I'm glad I got it, and I'm conjuring up all sorts of meals and dishes to pair this with: omelettes, salads, falafel, good gyros. Overall, it reminds me of a good gruit ale, a style that I'm quite fond of. The creativity angle also inspires me to bump my score up a bit.

Saison Du BUFF from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 1,444 ratings.