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!

W'12 Dark Saison - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
W'12 Dark SaisonW'12 Dark Saison

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

264 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 264
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Availability: Spring (2012)
Bitterness: 25 IBU
Alcohol by Volume: 5.5%

Original Gravity: 11.75 Plato
Malts: 2-Row Pale, White Wheat, Caramel 120L, Vienna, Dark Chocolate
Hops: Alchemy, Saaz

(Beer added by: leedorham on 12-31-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 264 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Azteceinstein
2.75/5  rDev -19.4%

Azteceinstein, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of ronniebruner
2.75/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I never thought I would ever say this about a Widmer beer, but I was not impressed one bit with this beer. The beer has a charcoal color to it, with little to no carbonation or lace,but a ton of head. It smells like burnt wood, which can be enjoyable under the right circumstances, but this is not it. The beer tastes of burnt charcoal as well and leaves a semi-pungent aftertaste. While this beer is not horrible, I would not call it good either. Worth a try if you like weird tastes, but not for everyone.

ronniebruner, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of ejimhof
2.75/5  rDev -19.4%

ejimhof, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of leftoverburrito
2.75/5  rDev -19.4%

leftoverburrito, May 09, 2013
Photo of Fitzmke
2.75/5  rDev -19.4%

Fitzmke, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of lwillitz
2.78/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12-oz bottle into Samuel Smith "Tulip" pint glass

A - clear red/copper body under 3 fingers of off-white/khaki head; minimal cabronation bubbles

S- funky like a Belgian IPA; banana and clove

T - estery Belgian yeast, funky mix of fruits and spices, not much else to it

M - light/medium body with average carbonation; smooth and creamy

O - This is not something I will buy again. The Belgian yeast flavor disagrees with me.

lwillitz, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of shand
2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

This beer pours a garnet red with a small head. The aroma is sweet - yeasty and clove-y. Ack! My worst enemies. The taste isn't that bad though, there's a lot of stuff going on here. Surely the yeast, banana and clove flavors are strong, but there's a decent amount of malt here baking things up. Nothing to really make me want to take another sip, but it could surely be someone else's bag. Mouthfeel is smooth, and the drinkability is alright. Yet another saison that's not really my bag. I wish I could say I've never met a saison I liked so I could stop giving them occasional tries, but that wouldn't be completely true.

shand, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of RedBiddy
2.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nothing to get my motor running. The color was reminiscent of henna. Very weak lacing and foam...disappeared rapidly. The smell was faint...I was hoping for something that would slap me across the face but didn't get a good whiff till the schnoz was wet. The taste was like many mass produced belgiums. Spicy - peppery black anise. The mouthfeel was disappointing. For me it was overly carbonated to the point of distraction. After the swallow I was left with a faint satisfaction of having ingested beer but wanting a bit more. All in all I would say so-so. Mediocre at best.

RedBiddy, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of orlandomag
2.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

My first thought was "where's the body?"

I poured this into a nice Ommegang chalice. It pours a dark amber with a thin yet significant head that does not lace and dissipates very quickly.

The nose on this saison has a lot of the familiar characteristics you'd come to expect from a saison with the additional notes of smoke and wood. There is a nice sweetness on the nose as well.

When you first take a deep pull of this saison you get some dark fruit with a tiny bit of funk but the flavors leave very quickly.

The mouthfeel is so thin on this beer that it's hard to grasp the entirety of this saison. All signs of this having passed through your palette move on very quickly. You are left with a slight tartness with little to no mouthfeel.

Overall I am very unimpressed with this after having somewhat above average hopes. If there were more body and the brew stayed around a bit longer you might get something out of it yet the mouthfeel really lets it down.

orlandomag, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
2.93/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a clear medium to dark brown color with a white head. The aroma has some orange citrus notes, as well as some Belgian yeast and spice. There is also a hint of toffee. The flavor is a little bit medicinal. I get some pepper and orange citrus, as well as some yeast and toffee and biscuit malt. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of avalon07
2.93/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of fruit, malt, and little bit of spices.

T: Tasted of malt, light citrus notes, cloves, some yeast, and an unwelcome grassy quality. Even without this last quality, the flavor would be a thin, watery, unfocused mess.

M: A good amount of carbonation here, but it has an unpleasant medicinal quality in the finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not what I would call a great beer. Could have been better than it was.

avalon07, May 09, 2012
Photo of Lawl3ss
2.93/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled 12 oz. bottle poured into a weizen pint glass. Bottling date 12.19.11.

Look- Clear medium amber with plenty of frothy off-white head. Settles quickly to a half inch of loose foam, leaving an intricate web of lacing.

Smell- Crusty bread, light molasses, cinnamon, and banana, along with mild Belgian-ish spicy yeast and bubbblegum. Subdued pineapple, perhaps. Pleasant but underwhelming.

Taste- Quite malty, little of the complex yeast-spawned fruit and spice I was expecting. I'm also guessing that the grains bill included a moderate amount of wheat and maybe some rye. Odd cocoa like flavor dominates the middle. Aftertaste is biscuity with a hint of orange blossom, which is the only touch of hops I get. Really, it's just about precisely what I would imagine an OK bock produced with Belgian ale yeast would taste like. Again, it's not bad, but it falls short when compared to most saisons, and it's not really very dark, either.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, nearly flat, and a little on the watery side. Clean feeling, quite drinkable. Very bock-like.

Overall- Saison-esque, well balanced, and drinkable, but I was really expecting a bit more despite the surprisingly low cost and lack of bottle conditioning. Doesn't really pass muster as a saison, which it is marketed as, and feels a bit off, palate-wise and historically. I probably wouldn't pick it up again.

Lawl3ss, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of Jsteez
2.93/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

A-Reddish, dark brown in color. A 2 finger head that lasted for 45 seconds and then dissipated. Did not leave much lacing on the sides of the glass. Disappointing.

S-The smell surprised me. Spicy and sweet, with a touch of sweet malt. I sensed cloves and oak/pine/bread.

T-Spicy and sweet, slight hops and quite woody/earthy. The aftertaste was a blend of cloves and pepper. There was something very wrong with this brew...

M-Flat and too watery....disappointing.

O-It could have been better considering the fact this style of beer can be quite nice. Widmer Brothers brews are hit and miss, some are great, some are mediocre.

Jsteez, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of beertunes
2.93/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in tulip. Poured a clean, clear light mahogany color with just a thin cap of light tan head that had very low retention and no lacing.

The aroma had mild grain and spice notes with only a bit of yeast coming through. I didn't really find any outstanding features in the nose. The flavors were the same, nothing technically wrong, just nothing really notable either. Kind of bland.

The body was a bit on the thin side, but was smooth and even. Drinkability was pretty good (as I find most Saisons to be) and went down easily enough. Overall, an OK take on the style. Nothing wrong with this beer, but nothing memorable either. Probably worth trying if you see it, but definitely not worth an effort to find.

beertunes, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of harrymel
2.95/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 14DEC11

Pours a red amber with some white foam. Less carb in appearance than most in the style. Excellent clarity. The yeast comes up in the nose spicy and sweet with a wheat like character. Every so often I get a hint of honeydew in the nose. Some grassy flavor.

A bit sharply grainy initially with some peppercorn and a lemony finish. The grain is pronounced with a good sweet flavor. The "saison" flavor is classic and simple. Not a top contender by any means. I'm also not getting anything (maybe a hint of toasty flavor) from the dark malts used.

Mouthfeel is medium light as expected but the carb is just a hint low for the style (which is good IMO). I actually like a hair more body for the sweetness displayed.

It's a decent beer, especially at the price point, but likely the last time I will have it.

harrymel, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Bung
2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. darker amber pour, light cream head, roughly a fingers worth.

Aroma, light yeast and toasted malt. Faint fruitiness? Not much going on really.

Taste is a little better. Some yeasty spice, clove. A kind of watered down malt, apple, pear.

Drinks easy. Carbonation is fine, lighter body. Pretty thin. An uber gateway Saison possibly, otherwise pretty meh.

Bung, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of Scotchboy
2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The last of my reviews from the variety pack...W12 Dark Saison poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A: Pours dark gold, almost brown, with slight haze and minimal off-white and lacing. Carbonation is visible in the glass.

S: Belgian notes...clove and banana...some malty sweetness, traces of toasted grain and earthyness.

T: The palate follows the nose; Belgian notes, traces of spices, banana, slight dryness though I prefer more from a saison.

MF: Smooth creamyness and a nearly-medium body take this saison places where I don't want my farmhouse ales going...a bit too much body and malt presence.

O: Not a strong offering, no off flavors, but no desirable qualities for me, and with a more dense body its tougher to drink than most prototypical farmhouse ales.

Scotchboy, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of ExtraStout
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had the Dark Saison in a pint.

Appearance- The head is not as large or chunky as most saisons I have tried. It maybe hits a half finger of white fizz before barely getting full coverage of the cap.

The body is a pretty and transparent ruby-copper. Only a few strings of slow moving carbonation are noticed in the beer.

Smell- Soft and earthy yeast is at the forefront of the nose. Maybe a little tangy citrus is also appreciated, a lemon scent one second and an orange scent the next. There is a peppery quality here too. No real dark malt can be found. It is reminds me of a saison/wit combo.

Taste- A hint of cream corn and earthy yeast come right away, making the best case for this having a saison base. It also showcases that pepper-spice alongside some faint fruity qualities, like a combo of lemon and pear.

The finish is very interesting with the roasted malt and slight cocoa finally coming into play. It is a signature finish to what was just an "all-right" tasting saision. Let me stress how light these flavors are though. Would be much better if it were amped a bit.

Mouth feel- The medium to light body is made better by the creamy carbonation. This really helps the beer finish smooth and clean. The finish would be hurt without it.

Overall- I do not know if saison drinkers will really get behind this beer. I think Widmer has crafted a good beer with just a hint of dark malt and wit characteristics.

I think they advertise it to have a more pronounced dark malt presence than what there actually is, and in a way, that is disappointing. But I can't argue with how easy this beer is to drink.

If you don't worry about what this beer was supposed to be, and have a palate for saisons, you could do worse.

ExtraStout, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of JohnLynch
3/5  rDev -12%

JohnLynch, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of Blargimus
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into tulip. Bottled on 12/14/2011.

Pours about how you would expect an amber ale to look, maybe slightly darker. 2 fingers of fluffy white head. Not bad looking.

Smells eerily like a saison. It's the same cognitive dissonance you get when you smell a black IPA. A little yeasty, a little malty, a touch of sourness. Quite pleasant.

Taste is a little disappointing. There's a yeastiness to start off, followed by a bit of roasted flavor near the end, but there's not a lot of depth. The aftertaste, however, is quite bad. Stale, almost. Blech.

Mouthfeel is fairly dry and thin, but it is a saison, after all. No complaints.

Overall, this is something I'd happily drink if given to me, but wouldn't buy again.

Blargimus, May 11, 2012
Photo of cestlavie
3/5  rDev -12%

cestlavie, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of sparx1100
3/5  rDev -12%

sparx1100, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of Duff27
3/5  rDev -12%

Duff27, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of Thickfreakness
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Pours the color of birch beer with a one finger tan head into my DFH glass. Head fades away quickly and leaves a nice bit of lacing all around. Lots of red, yellow and orange highlights.

S- A little bit of banana and bubble gum, lemon-pepper, and a bit of wet hay funkiness. Some nice sweet honey and caramel in the backround.

T- Lemon, banana, earthy dirt and hay. A little black pepper, sweet malts and yeast. Nothing really special here.

M- Kind of watery and bland. Lacks carbonation and any kind of distinction between flavors.

O- More of a Wit meets Oktoberfest... I dunno? Other than a bit of lemon-pepper notes, it doesn't act or feel much like a Saison. I probably won't be seeking this one out again.

Thickfreakness, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3/5  rDev -12%

N3rdM3t4l, Feb 12, 2012
W'12 Dark Saison from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 264 ratings.