Sneak Attack Saison - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Sneak Attack SaisonSneak Attack Saison

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BA SCORE
82
good

103 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 103
Hads: 561
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 21
Gots: 95 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Hoptometrist on 01-04-2013

You might not expect a Saison in winter. But the enemy didn’t expect Washington to cross the icy Delaware, either. Expectations be damned, we say. We’re sneaking up on winter with a boatload of bravado and this Belgian-style farmhouse ale. Dry hopped with whole organic cardamom pods, our Saison has an assertive spiciness. In your face, winter.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 103 | Hads: 561
Photo of metter98
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is relatively clear light yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that died down, leaving a small patch of bubbles on the surface, a thin collar around the edge, and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of cardamom are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of cardamom and also has some hints of other spices.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and rather dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This dryness and relatively light body makes this beer particularly refreshing. It really imparts lots of nice aromas and flavors of cardamom.

Serving type: can (736 characters)

Photo of brentk56
2.58/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy goldenstraw; for a Belgian style, the head is underwhelming, as is the lacing

Smell: Bread and cardamom; possibly a hint of acetone

Taste: Bready, up front, and then the candi sugar, Belgian yeast and cardamom take over; there is quite a medicinal character going on, verging on acetone, though also infused with lemon; the hops linger into the finish, bringing a surprising amount of grassy bitterness

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Way too much cardamom and the beer just has too many other negative attributes for me to want to spend any more time with it; drain pour (635 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Yay craft beer in a can, cause everybody likes it in the can... although I have a feeling this will be a generic American saison, which is not my style of saison, but can't count the flavors before the can is cracked. Canned on 12/16/12, don't you love dating cans!

Big fluffy fizzy almost 2 finger head fades semi quickly with a bit of lacing, over semi clear but sediment laden watery looking pilsner color.

Nose brings some light watery saison aromas, a little grainy toasty malt, lemony, lemon grass, cracker, little bread dough, light saison spices, somewhat floral and effervescent.

Taste starts surprisingly with a little farmhouse funk, saison earthy Belgian yeast like funk but not a lot, then into the grainy malts with more cracker flavors, a little dough, some pilsner malts with a nice toasty wheat, and toasted hay, a light wheat flavor and complexion. Saison brings light spices as well, with a little lemony citrus fruit , coriander, clove, etc, and finally a cardamom bite which adds an interesing complexity. Then hops cut in, of course... it's 21st A, a lemony grassy and slightly spicy and chewy hop profile that gets fairly bitter. The hops, besides the lemony flavor, brings an interesting terroir earthy like flavor, perhaps some sorachi ace hops... Finish is dry, quite dry, decent bitterness with more lemony earthy spicy hops and a bit grassy, as well as saison grassy flavors, wheat, more spices with even more of the cardamom coming through, and a bit more farmhouse funk lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb that gets fluffy and almost overcarbonated as it goes.

Overall not bad, a bit surprising as I expected an "American" boring saison with some light pilsner, watery lemon, and hint of spices. This had some of that, but even some nice farmhouse funk, a decent malt profile with toasty pilsner and wheat, the lemony flavors get a little overbearing, and the hops get a little too bitter for a saison, but that's typical for 21st A. Cardamom comes through lightly but nice in conjunction with the saison spices. So a decent saison that comes in a can so i can take it on trips easily. I wonder if the few months in the can helped the funk develop. (2,191 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Light bodied, prickly and tasty Saison. Pale lemon amber in the tall Saxo glass. Handsome foam with plenty of carbonation in the mouth.

This seems more innocuous at first, but it does have a lot of the dry yeastiness. Some lemony taste as if it was flavored like a Witbier. Quite a bitter finish. Seems to loose some significant sudsiness in the glass. Pleasant enough and certainly a far better bargain than many more pretentions Saisons.

A Saison in cans! From the sixer of 12 oz cans bought at the Jug Shop in San Francisco. (529 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
2.77/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

I feel like I got a mouthful of junk with this one. It's a big soapy, spiced mess. I literally feel like I am chewing on something, which in this case is not good. Feel is weird. Overall, this is a prime example of an American brewery failing at making a saison; this is nowhere near what a saison can and should be. Stick to what you can do well and leave the other stuff alone. (379 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.69/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can with a freshness date.

LOOK: Hazed pale yellow, thin ring of lace

SMELL: Semi-agressive cardamon, peppery, faint juicy fruit, medicinal, grassy

TASTE: Spicy, smooth, slick, nutty yeast, grassy, medicinal, herbal, ghost-like ginger, green peppercorn, bready, semi-dry spicy finish

A good Saison, don't know of many canned Saisons which is cool and all but on the flipside it does detract from the crispness I look for within this beer style. This pulls away from the flavor a bit as well, perhaps I am used to the bottle conditioning and big dryness in most. (570 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.93/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Clouded golden body with a bright white head, speckled lacing left behind. Aroma has spice mild citrus notes, brewed with cardamom well I couldn't have pulled that one out by itself. Slightly metallic note in the nose and definitely in the flavor, bitterness from the spice additions, lemon lime quality just plain unbalanced and not a good representative of the style. Mouthfeel is dry bitter, tingling with acidity, and spices hard to get down each sip lasts around longer carbonation is forced a bit much in all regards. Overall, I tend to like 21st Amendment releases this one has to be off, or it was just a straight miss. (627 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.69/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a medium straw yellow in color with moderate to significant amounts of active visible carbonation rising moderately quickly from the bottom of the glass as well as some faint lemon yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy off-white head that reduces to a medium to large patch of thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of cardamon with some earthiness and light amounts of spicy/peppery yeast. There is also a light amount of slightly sweet lemon citrus (almost like a lemonade) plus a touch of wheat..

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate amount of wheat flavors that is followed by light to moderate flavors of slightly sweet lemon citrus. There are light to moderate herbal, grassy, and earthy hops as well as spicy/peppery yeast. Additionally there is a moderate flavor of cardamon towards the finish which lingers.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink and with the can format easy to bring places with you. Refreshing and enjoyable with well hidden alcohol. (1,171 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

At long last, a return to The CANQuest (TM), a misguided misadventure that seemingly knows no bounds.

From the CAN: "Farmhouse Ale brewed with Cardamom"; "38 IBUs"; the boat making the crossing is named "Endless SOMA", which is San Francisco-speak for South Of MArket (Street), which is where the brewpub makes its home. Clever!

The Crack & Glug was its usual joyousness and I went with an inverted Glug to celebrate the occasion. I had about a finger of fizzy, foaming, bone-white head initially, but it quickly reduced to wisps. Color was sunshine-yellow with NE-quality clarity and I almost wish that I had opened this over the bitterly cold weekend when no sun was evident. Nose had a definite yeast-borne mustiness along with a lemon-citrusiness and a spiciness that I could not identify, but which was probably the cardamom. Mouthfeel was medium but the spice and the yeast interacted to created liquid alum! Jeez-O, man, but this was dry! Arid, actually. It had a lemony citrus bite initially, followed by a jolt from the spice, then the yeasty mustiness took a shot at my palate. Finish was gaspingly dry, leaving me reaching for more. This could be like the snake eating its tail in terms of circularity. One sip begets another and so on ad infinitum. I would not want a steady diet, but this would be great in the summer. (1,334 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.84/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - pale, golden yellow with a thin lacing of bubbly white head

S - huge Belgian yeast funk, some faint spice, some faint fruit

T - white grapes, Belgian yeast, big fruitiness, funky, a mild bitter finish

M - crisp, well carbonated, medium bodied

This is a decent saison. It's rather typical in flavor, but that's ok if a saison is what you're seeking. This is a sound, balanced beer with a solid drinkability. If you enjoy saisons this is worth finding and trying. (469 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.69/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

In a can, with dating info on the bottom. Purchased for $2.49 a can at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY.

Pour is lightly hazed, yellow/dull golden, loose off white head, with minor blobs of lace here and there..

Heavy cardamon spiced up nose, with some background pepper

Spicy up saison in a can. More cardamon, pepper, ginger and light citrus.

Near over spiced, sort of a heavy handed take on the style. Not my favorite saison, but on a hot summer day.... (452 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a tulip glass.

A real nice deep brass gold, a good small column of middle carbonation in the middle, capped with a two finger fluffy and very white egg creamy head. Some good retention here as well, pretty solid.

Yup smells like cardamom, with a nice yeast sticky bread quality matching in the background. Controlled sensing sweetness as well. As advertised, quite nice, and more importantly not overpowering.

Palate is interesting, a little ferrous finish and metallic twinge, but a nice mid blast of cardamom and crisp carbonation. Slightly wet body but gives a real nice quinine and hinting tonic water crisp character. Quenching but also dry, with some good white bakery bread action, but also very tonned down brett heat.

An overall nice take on a saison, very easy drinking as well. (825 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.99/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

LOOK: Pours a cloudy pale golden color. White head forms and leaves a bit of lace on the snifter.

SMELL: Wheat, hay and a light Belgian funk with some bubblegum/banana like esters. Grassy.

TASTE: Light tartness supported by a wheat malt base. The can says its brewed with cardamom, and it is very strong in the taste with a seedy, peppery, poppy like dryness. Very mild bitterness and a spice bite. There is a small citrusy acidity that is the saving grace for the flavor. Yeast phenols are muted for the most part.

FEEL: Light bodied, fairly drinkable since its so light and packs in the flavor. The cardamom in the end just becomes overbearing in the finish and leaves a seedy oil coating on the palate. Some tasters have detected a numbing sensation, I concur.

OVERALL: Very average and over spiced. I'd probably quite enjoy it if they left the cardamom out of the recipe entirely. Cardamom. That's the sneak attack here. Mediocre but beats a trip to the dentist. (970 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very cloudy, dark straw color with golden yellow edges and a 2.5 finger, pillowy white head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting cap/ring. Very good retention with sporadic spotty lacing coating the glass on the way down.

Earthy, musty aroma with peppery spice, bready yeast, ester-y light fruit and funky yeast. Hints of pepper, clove and cardamom along with some bread, banana and bubblegum. This is countered by funky farmhouse yeast along with a bit of cider and pear sweetness. I was expecting more cardamom, spice and farmhouse funk in the nose but the aroma is somewhat pedestrian.

Full bodied with a stronger spice presence than the aroma suggests. Some musty, peppery funk with bready yeast, slightly wild farmhouse yeast and bread along with sweeter light fruit flavor toward the finish. Spicy clove, white pepper, ginger, allspice and cardamom up front followed by hints of sourdough bread, banana, apple and pear. The saison/farmhouse character is still a little weaker than I prefer but the cardamom really stands out on the palate especially after it warms up a bit. An interesting take on the style with interesting Indian spices. Not the most complex beer but the spices are refreshing and the ABV in nicely masked making this beer pretty easy to drink. (1,291 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden colored beer with a puffy white colored head.

Smells floral and spicy with a powdery yeast scent. Smells sweet with a fair aroma of coriander. Scents of summer flowers and a faint bubblegum scent.

Starts out mildly sweet with a quick drying flash of spice. Lemon and pepper with fainter taste of mineral water and bubblegum. Moderate bitterness. Taste of flora but no fauna.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is a tasty Saison. (447 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a tulip, the beer is a bright, clear, vibrant, goldenrod colorin with no head whatsoever. Aromas of roasted grains and belgian yeast initially, with a sweet, rich spicing from the cardamom. Almost has a buttery, saffron characteristic, too. Flavors are tangy and spiced, with the cardamom blending with nutmeg and cinnamon to achieve a mild warming component. Toasted grain backbone, with a fruity, funky profile from the yeast. Slightly charred and buttered popcorn aftertaste, with a slick, clean, slightly frothed finish. Very tasty beer, throwing a different spin on the Saison style. (611 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.07/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up the can tonight at the COOP.... Poured into my HotD goblet while boxing up some beer... Short lasting white head leaves little in the way of lacing... the brew is a slightly hazed very pale straw yellow.

Nose is a cardamom bomb.... The spice just overpowers everything else. Light phenols show with warmth.

Slight "beery" pale malt flavor on the palate... but the spice takes over quickly and never allows for anything else... Cardamom lingers forever on the palate. As things come up in temperature, I get more pale malt and some yeasty phenols.. perhaps some pear esters.

Body and carbonation are right for a saison, but never would I have pegged this as a saison based on any other sensory element.

Just not for me. 3.25/3/3/3.5/3 (747 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a light golden amber with a half finger white head that dissipates to a thick film and ring around the glass, leaving lacing. Aroma dominated by cadamom and cloves with light bready yeast and wheat, hint of wild yeast. Flavor is subdued and dry; light lemon, biscuit malt, cardamom, developing a slight sweet flavor then finishing dry with mild wild yeast and bittering hops. Light bodied as to style. A non-assertive saison style ale that is refreshing, but not memorable. (518 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Bright lemon peel coloring, slight, misty haze with a medium dense, slow rise of effervesce. Big, creamy white capping, lasting appeal, leaving a thick band of lace behind.

S: Quick, initial wiff of bananas, then some light musky citrus. Tart orange, dry sweetness of caramel grains and bread, with sliver of barnyard air.

T: Flavor had an initial sweetness of caramel-orange, toasted grains, soft hay and a touch of barnyard muskiness. Lightly dry lemon tartness with a nice leave of dry tropical, pineapple, lightly tart frutiness and banana.

M: Mouthful was spritzy , nice snappy bite of carbonation, bready feel, that turns frothy on the hold.

O: Overall a fairly solid saison, tart citrus in a can, sharp carbonation, though flavor could of been a bit sharper and more defined. (793 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.14/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A - Mostly opaque pale yellow gold. Nice white head on the pour, but poor retention and lace.

S - Mango, honeydew, bready wheat, lemon. Strangely hefeweisen-like.

T - Green plantains, black peppercorns, honey, cardamon, cilantro bitters.

M - Medium-light body, par carbonation.

O - Not a great saison, but not bad for a saison in a can and overall it's a nice summer ale. (375 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.79/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz can into a tulip.

Appearance: yellow hue with a bit of haze and a strong effervescence. Head is a single finger of frothy, fizzy white foam which seems to be falling pretty quickly. Not bad, but nothing special here.

Smell: sweetish malt with almost a wheaty character, along with a mild farmhouse funk. The spicing is readily apparent, although to me it didn't read as cardamom immediately; I admit I had to look at the can to see what it was. All in all a pretty nice aroma.

Taste: good malt flavor, again with a very wheat-like taste to it. Lightly funky and a little bit grassy with a little bit of a tongue-numbing quality that has got to be the cardamom. Bitterness also seems a little high, although within the style and relatively balanced. An interesting beer.

Mouthfeel: here's where Sneak Attack shines! Despite the medium-light body, the well-integrated carbonation yields a fantastically smooth and creamy texture. Wonderful!

Overall: I like this beer, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it again. For an offbeat brew in a can, though, this one is worth a try. (1,099 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head, lots of carbonation. Smell is of spices, some fruits. Taste is good. Lots of spices, cardamon standing out, some fruits, yeast, good flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer. (269 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can, canned on 11/14/13. Served in a tulip, the beer pours a hazy gold color with an inch white head. There's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like peppery spice, cardamom, bready/grainy malt, and some citrus. It tastes like wheat malt, lemon peel, clove, cardamom, peppery spice and some earthy/floralness. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's smooth and easy enough to drink. I liked this brew, it's worth trying if you've never had it before. (478 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Not really sure what this one looks like since I drank it from the can but I can assume it's a bright hazy yellow with a 1/2 inch of fizzy white head.

S - Smells of subdued cardamom and spices, decent bittering hops, and some wheat.

T - Not very traditional but I will be damned if it was border line session-able! Just the right amount of hops, wheat flavor is constant and cardamom/spices take a backseat. Also the yeast isn't chalky and comes in rather fruity.

M - Light and bubbly, went down quicker than a Saison should.

Overall I guess I just accepted that is is a bastardized American version of the style. If they were going for drink ability this beer is a winner! (681 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Sneak Attack is hazy pale yellow with crackling, frothy white head that leaves light, but foamy lace.

Smell is bit on the robust side with the cardamon spice and herbal hops, but not too pungent. Nice sweetness to the cereals. A little pithy minerality that is spot on for what I look for, and love about the style.

Taste is pretty acrid from the spice, on the start and particularly on the finish. A flash of sweet malt mid-palate. A bit medicinal.

Mouthfeel is dry, a little slippery. Seems a touch thin, perhaps it's just the forced CO2.

Drinkability is OK in that it's light and crisp, but the spice is too much for me to really session. I wish I'd noticed that on the box before I grabbed the six-pack. (756 characters)

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Sneak Attack Saison from 21st Amendment Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.