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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.

263 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 263
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
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Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of July2Nov
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

July2Nov, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of bundy462
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Leathery brown with a creamy white head.

S: Roasted caramel malty body dominates. Yeast is evident.

T: Belgian yeast dominates and lingers. No hop to be found. Slightly sweet. Toasted grain and caramel notes. Hint of clove.

M: Very smooth and thin.

O: Good brew, would get it again.

bundy462, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of Wetpaperbag
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Similar to that of an amber or copper ale. Head was short lived, but a thin layer of bubbles remain.

S- Smell is great, Belgian yeast smell with dark fruits and a hint of lemon.

T- Same as smell, but with a tobacco smoke taste in the finish, with a savory lemon after taste.

M- The mouthfeel is good. It doesn't have a huge carbonation feel, but it has just the right amount for an easy drinking brew.

O- I like this. It is easy drinking, and for the people who might be looking to branch out in their styles Widmer is doing something right with this brew. It isn't too in your face like some Saisons can be, but can be enjoyed by a larger range of people.

Wetpaperbag, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of Fatehunter
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet. Thin head layer on top of a copper, transparent body.

Complex smell: raisins, apples and wet malt.

Sweet tasting, harsh bitterness midway to balance the sweetness. Dried fruit, plum.

Thinner body and moderate carbonation.

A good take on a Dark Saison.

Fatehunter, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of jbakajust1
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into Deschutes Tulip

A - Pours a rudy reddish brown, clear, w/ 1" head that quick fades to a thin ring and leaves decent lacing.

S - Smells of fruits, clove, pepper, citrus, peach, light dark fruit aroma, toasted biscuits, big on the fruits.

T - Taste mirrors the smell. Fruity, citrus, peach, tropical, toasted biscuits, raisins, cloves, white pepper, light sweetness, slight metalic note in the end.

M - light, kind of watery, semi dry finish, slight bitterness, lacking in carbonation for a Saison.

O - When I popped the top there was no... well... pop! I knew that would be an issue from the start, not enough carbonation. I was very impressed with the aroma and taste, much of the attributes I have in the Saison I just brewed w/ WY 3726 Farmhouse, lots of big fruits and some spiciness. If this had classic high Belgian carb, a dryer finish, and the metalic taste was gone, it would be awesome. I will still have more while it is around, just wish they would have gotten the carbonation right.

jbakajust1, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of bigbeers84
2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

bigbeers84, Feb 03, 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 zbooks
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

zbooks, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of ChopperSmith
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Clear deep brown with a reddish tint, a one finger tan foam head that faded quick and left light lacing.

Smell: Slight sweet malt and yeast fruit aromas. Very subtle.

Taste: Like it smells, sweet malts with a yeast profile that offers dark fruits like plums and raisins. Also a little hops to balance. None of the flavors seem prominent enough and are all a little watered down.

Mouth feel: Light to medium body with average carbonation.

Overall: If they bumped up the alcohol and yeasts, this would be similar to a decent Belgian Dark Ale...as it is, it comes across as a light version of that. Not bad, just a little lacking and too light on everything for my tastes.

ChopperSmith, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of lonestar4lunch
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red has a bright white head that doesn't seem to go away. The aroma is funky good. There is a bit of banana to go with the earthy aroma. Some very light hops in there. The carbonation seems to hit at the front then the taste really comes forward. That saison, earthy & slightly malty taste really is well done and there is just a bit of citrus hop toward the end. It has a nice dry finish and doesn't leave you guessing about the style. To me this is just another well done brewmasters release from Widmer. It is no KGB but really enjoyed it.

lonestar4lunch, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of abeldiaz
4/5  rDev +17.3%

abeldiaz, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of AJD1201
4/5  rDev +17.3%

AJD1201, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of ccrida
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale caramel color with an off-white head leaving nice lace.

Smell is estery, spice and tropical fruit, some caramel fruit as well. Nice brightness, yet classic mineral pithe.

Taste is similar, esters more clove-like, a little yeasty flavor as well as some biscuit malt. Snappy herbal finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, medium light bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good. The name implies this is some kind of hybrid saison, but the caramel is well with in the classic style range. Reminds me of saison silly (which I admit I haven't had in years).

ccrida, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of weerezboy
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark Amber in colour, pour a thick white head that slowly dissipates. Leaves light lacing of head down the glass as you drink.

S- Sweet fruity/banana smell at first. Has an undertone of hops and earthy malt.

T- Strong fruit start to a thick malt flavor. Ends with a hoppy bite in the back of the mouth. fruit and hop both do not overpower the taste of malt throughout the mouthful.

M- medium, with thin carbonation, unlike most Saison I have had.

Overall the beer is good but not what I was hoping for when I saw Saison, especially after enjoying Boulevard's Tank 7 a few weeks ago. I guess a dark Saison can have a totally different profile. Drinkable but filling, a pretty enjoyable beer from Widmer.

weerezboy, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of Pintofbrown
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the Dark Saison in a shaker 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.

Pintofbrown, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of Birdlegs
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Birdlegs, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of Guden
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A medium amber body with a red tint and amazing clarity. Lots of little carbonation bubbles rise up into the small but long lasting off white head. I expected this to be darker based on the name is the biggest flaw.

S- Candy, both toffee and gummy worms, are the first thing to hit the nose. These mingle with earthy and funky yeast character and some spicy hops.

T- The taste is surprisingly different from the nose. While there is a bit of sweet candy character its balanced with a moderate hop spiciness and a noticeable but mild bitterness that stays on the tongue a bit longer than the other flavors. It's tasty and a little different but seems all a bit subdued.

M- Moderately dry with some creaminess and moderate carbonation, seems a little fuller in the mouth than most saisons but with the dark grains it works.

D- This beer is very drinkable but isn't quite what I was looking for. It's a bit like an English brown ale that was made with saaz hops and saison yeast, sweet and fairly mild but with those added layers of complexity.

Guden, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of strongaf
3.75/5  rDev +10%

strongaf, Jan 23, 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 JohnGalt1
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz picked up at the COOP.. poured into my little CC goblet.. off white head with good lacing.. the brew is a good deep amber ... very clear..

Slightly phenolic in the aromas.. a bit of clove and some pepper.. some light caramel and fig notes...

toasty elements with some dried raisin and light clove... interesting almost molasses traces that are of place.. dark rye bread crusts on the finish.. a smattering of honey essence..

The body is expected light/medium.. the carbonation is a touch light for the style but within forgivable range...

Pretty interesting brew with the current Saison craze in the PNW... I think this one cuts through the masses and makes for a good approachable dark(ish) saison ... the "dark" qualities seem too much when compared to the benchmarks of the brew...


JohnGalt1, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Kopfschuss
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Kopfschuss, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of pierceska
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

pierceska, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of kew
4/5  rDev +17.3%

kew, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of cdwil
4/5  rDev +17.3%

cdwil, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of OneDropSoup
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My crappy internet connection caused me to lose my original review for this a few minutes ago, but I'm pretty sure I can recreate it from memory, so here it goes, sans the original flowery verbiage:

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Chestnut with glowing amber highlights throughout.

Lots of wheat smells at first: honey, bubblegum, with an anise quality thrown into the mix.

Taste is wheaty again: honey, bubblegum, there's the anise, but in comes a huskiness that ends a little burnt. Lots of flavor & aroma packed into a 5.5% package!

Light-bodied but also a little sticky & with that lightly burnt character.

Gotta say again, this packs a lot of flavor into a not-so-big beer, & an unusual flavor at that. Personally, the closest comparison I can come to is the "dark-witbier-with-anise" homebrew I made out of Randy Mosher's "Radical Brewing" - a lot of the same characteristics. Not bad, I'd go for it again.

OneDropSoup, Jan 18, 2012
W'12 Dark Saison from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.