Sara Buckwheat Ale | Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin)

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Sara Buckwheat AleSara Buckwheat Ale
56 Ratings
Sara Buckwheat AleSara Buckwheat Ale

Brewed by:
Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin)

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-25-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.61/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Purchased at Chuck’s Fine Wines in Chagrin Falls Ohio. $7.99 for a 750 ml bottle. The bottle says this is 5% ABV and brewed in accordance with the 1990 stinky hippie act of California organic hippies (paraphrased).

Pours into a goblet a slightly hazed copper brown with no head and just a touch of thin lace.

Aroma is one dimensional…buckwheat. It’s reminiscent of the inside of a grain warehouse. That is not to say that this has barnyard characteristics. It does not. It is only to compare this beer to the dry and dusty aroma of an old granary.

Flavor is a bit more complex but sadly not in a good way. In addition to the buckwheat, this has some mildew qualities, or rather I should say…detractions. A touch of caramel and nutmeg or cloves, which is also found in the aroma now that the beer has warmed. Reminds me of apple cider, the clove that is.

Mouthfeel is sweet, watery, and under carbonated.

Drinkability is nill.

Drain pour.

This beer is so damned organic it ain’t even funny.

Side note: I just dumped the second half of this beer down the drain and an unbelievable amount of black filth came out with the liquid. Could be a bad bottle but my money is on this being a bad beer.

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Photo of jcalabre
1.76/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I originally sampled this beer on 13 November 2002. I am writing this review from my notes.
I really did Not enjoy this beer. It was overly carbonated. It had a no aroma. The flavor was bland. All in all, from my perspective, it was a loser. There are so many better belgians, this one should be avoided

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Photo of pentathlete
2.35/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Corked and caged 750ml bottle. Cork popped out easily. Lots of bubbles, but not the tiny tight bubbles one expects from high quality Belgian quaffs. These were the next size up and they stacked up fast and stood around stubbornly. Yet the moutainous appearance was not as graceful or gorgeous as, say something as common as Duvel. Couple of spots of stickage, but no real lacing either. The beer itself, made from buckwheat apparently, is a medium ruddy brown with the requisite unfiltered clouds.

The nose wasn't off-putting, but it didn't have any characteristic "wheat" odors. You could tell it was a Belgian style, but nothing dramatic in either direction was happening here.

The taste and mouthfeel were a serious disappointment. Watery, metallic, and an unpleasant finish made all the more so by a complete lack of a spice profile.

I'm hoping the wife likes it. I can't finish my glass. A real disappointment.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.39/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

ABV says 6% right on the bottle so I assume the abv listed here is from a previous edition or possibly a different version of some sort. A sticky/spritzy head is one thing but this is out of control. Cork practically came off on its own. Way over carbonated. My first pour I had to toss it down the drain as it was almost completely Fizz....the second pour I did with the absolute most gentle pour I could do and the head was still 50% of the glass. The head is so dense and unyeilding that its a joy just to recieve liquid on the taste buds. This beer was not spoiled and I'm sure the brewer takes pride in this so I won't go into how pissed I am right now as I looked forward to this baby. Yeast/citrus are the main aroma's and the taste is similair. Citrus/orange flavor dominate the palate. Drinking beer to me shouldn't be a battle, it should be relaxing but this one is just too much work. pass.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
2.53/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had at the brewery in Silenrieux with lunch.

A: jet black, thin head that dissipated quickly
S: very mild nose, slight sweet and roasted malt
T: unusual, sweeter, slightly thin and earthy
M: clean, crisp light ale with unusual underlying mouthfeel
O: good, but thin and really

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Photo of slayer3604
2.59/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

a- rich almost dunkel hefe appearance, with a brownish head, that lasts, with sticky lacing.

s- almost like rotting fruit....compost....i think this bottle was bueno.

t- very sugary, tart, caramely, and again rotting fruit.

m- thick, chewy and warm.

d- overall this was a drain pour. i tried my hardest to keep the numbers above "2" for the sake of this being a ruined bottle. oi.

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Photo of jikvig
2.91/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

High foam on top of a lovely gold cloudy ale.

So, the smell... Very interesting, really the yeast is dominating this nose. Sitrus, gras, it almost reminded me of a lambic.

It follows the nose on the taste; Sitrus, gras, a floral component as well. Alot of accidity, which is nice, but not very balanced. It´s just to much in the start.
Also, the carbon dioxide dies a few second after it´s in the mouth, making it seem even higher on the accidity.

For me, this is a pass. I have had a growing love for witbier the last year, but this was just to unbalansed for me.

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Photo of mickeymac
3.01/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I've been making beer with buckwheat as an ingredient for my wife, who can't have barley. When she brought this home, we were both excited to try it. Unfortunately, it didn't didn't meet our expectations. It has an earthy smell and taste that is not altogether unpleasant. However, it lacks subtlety and complexity. Beers I have brewed including corn, sorghum, and/or quinoa along with the buckwheat have produced a better result. On the positive side, it does have a nice gold color and a long-lasting head. I'm sure my wife will go back for more when we're out of gluten-free homebrew. I, on the other hand, will be sticking with the good old barley-based brews.

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Photo of nickfl
3.07/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Three fingers of light tan head settles slowly and leaves thick, fluffy lace. Body is dark brown with ruby highlights and excellent clarity.

S - Dark malt, lots of molasses. Dark spices, allspice and nutmeg. Slightly sour, musky aroma in the background.

T - Earthy, wheat like flavor. Herbal flavors, mostly juniper. A bit of weak fruitiness, grapelike.

M - Moderate carbonation, thin body.

D - This is a strange one. Somehow the flavors of this beer are both weak and strong at the same time. It is kind of watery, but it has some distinct herbal flavors. The aroma is a bit unpleasant and the flavor doesn't do enough to redeem it. Overall I can't say I really enjoyed this one.

If I was going to try this beer again (which is unlikely) I might try pairing it with venison as the herbal, juniper flavors could make a good match.

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Photo of ism
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Corked, caged 750ml bottle, chilled. Corked popped easily. Poured into a Wiezen glass, with voluminous off-white head. It settled to a half-finger with good retention and thick lacing, but the dirty kind. Dark, muddy copper-brown body, cloudy. Nose had a wheat base, grainy, and slight mellow fruit (orange?). Creamy but thin on the tongue. Decent carbonation leads a sourdough-wheat base with yeast and apples, but mostly nondescript. The finish is interesting, with a apple-pear dryness that lingers back into the wheat flavor with a slight citrus.

Couldn't really detect any spices, but if it's still a witbier, then maybe I missed out on the subtlety. Still, not as complex as I'd like. Fairly easy-going, but not notable.

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Photo of mmilyko
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of CHADMC3
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a walnut brown with a frothy tan head full of tight carbonation bubbles leaving only a faint lacing in its path.

Scent is of sweet dark fruits, likely dark berries or cherries, some faint sugars, and grain.

Caramel or molasses flavor with again dark berries in the aftertaste and wheat/grain to follow.

Thinner body, but generous carbonation, not too much beyond that.

Unique for its style, varied palate, and enjoyable overall.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy light brown with a small lacy head. Smells yeasty and fruity with hints of apple.

Taste is quite unusual. It's grainy but not in texture, just tastes alot like raw grain. Sweet undertones, lightly fruity. Bitter finish. Unmistakeable flavor of buckwheat throughout. Once I got used to this new flavor it wasn't a bad brew. Doubt I would get this one much but it is certified organic. Would be an interesting beer for thanksgiving of a dinner with farm fresh foods.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Ouch...An amber, bronze, fecal matter nightmare with just a faint cling of head and a ton of green/grey sediment. I usually don't mind a bit of sediment, but this one was just aweful.

Smell: At least it doesn't smell as bad as it looks! Like buckwheat pancakes with a splash of port, some peatyness and it smelled dusty like in an old library.

Taste: Smooth and creamy, like most Beers brewed with buckwheat, it had a yeasty, spicy finish, cloves perhaps.

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Photo of Suds
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought the bottle simply because I'd never had a buckwheat beer. The cork was hell to remove...ended up using a corkscrew.
The beer pours with a fizzy, soda-like head dissapears right away. The color is a dark, slightly transparent brown. The most apealing feature of the beer is the aroma. It smells something like a grist mill: a sweet, grainy, musty smell that is actually quite pleasant. Unfortunately, the beer is also one-dimentional. Flat, shallow, not at all complex. It's a little sweet and malty, and the aroma carachter sticks with the beer through the aftertaste. It's worth a try, but it's not outstanding.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sarasin is French for buckwheat - hence the name Sara. I'm guessing this is a wheat style ale, its the only beer I have heard made with buckwheat. High carbonation, long lasting head, cloudy, apple (yeast) overtones, very drinkable. Organic, $8.99 for 750ml, U.S. importer is WIT - IT - TOO Inc.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.44/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I split the 750 bottle with Stopper.

Poured at cellar temp into a snifter the beer is VERY Foamy even with gentle pouring. A creamy beige head foams up and fades slowly leaving tight lattice work on the glass. The beer is a hazy dark mahogany color with garnet highlights. Aroma is fruity with some berry notes and general sweet spiciness. Smooth silky texture with fine rolling carbonation. Flavor is generally sweet and spicy but is overall very mild. Very easy drinker, not a complex beer but pretty good.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

BB end 2007. Some head tha's quiet instable and a (dark)brown beercollor. Nose is peppery, blue cheese hint of candysugar and caramellic malted. Taste is very dry, litle sour, buckwheat and malty with caramellic note and quiet bitter. Bitterness is hanging and misses litle body. Not a bad brew and well drinkable but just missing something to make it into a good beer. Good carbonisation but empty and watery mouthfeel makes it easy drinkable though. Gets better when warming up but seen better examples of buckwheat malt. No way this is a witbier though, IMO more a belgium dark ale.

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Photo of Sigmund
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

250 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal pub, Stavanger. Also available in Norway at Vinmonopolet. ABV is 6%. This buckwheat (French: "sarrasin") beer is organic (Fr.: "biologique")., and has had a secondary fermentation in the bottle.
Pale golden colour, hazy. Fluffy white head. Sweetish aroma, citrus, cloves, banana and tropical fruits, hints of aniseed candy. Spritzy mouthfeel, light bodied. Mild flavour, fairly dry, some citrus and peppery notes. Okay, but not worth the ridiculously high price in Norway.

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Photo of uturn
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of mrfrancis
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of cabsandking
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber to light copper in color, hazy, and an average white head. Aromas of overripe apples, vegetable, honey, and toasted grains. Lemony citrus from the beginning and slowly incorporates that overripe apple. Lightly toasted grains, light caramel, tea, touch of molasses, organic, earthy character from the buckwheat maybe, throughout and some spices hit late. Finishes lemony with that funky apple flavor and something else that reminds me of an old refrigerator smell but not that unpleasant. A little thick and carbonation dies too soon but still alright.

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Photo of desint
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mzwolinski
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Quite a bit of carbonation on this one! I didn't even get the cage all the way off before the cork exploded out of my hands. Rivers of fizz started rising up the bottle neck, thus commencing a pour that took a good twenty minutes to settle to a hazy amber beer topped by a mountainous off-white head.

The aroma is quite sharp, wheaty, and backed up by a light citric fruitiness.

Flavor starts a bit sweet and malty, with a somewhat musty character. Some spice here and there, but needs a bit something more to round out the flavor. Finishes sharp and tangy, but overall this beer is a little too one-dimensionally sweet and dull, and a bit too fizzy in the mouth from the overcarbonation.

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Sara Buckwheat Ale from Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin)
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 56 ratings