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

BA SCORE
82
good
55 Ratings
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Sara Buckwheat AleSara Buckwheat Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
55
Reviews:
43
Avg:
3.53
pDev:
16.15%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
2
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of Zorro
3.66/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Corked and caged bottle with no date markings on the side. VERY strong head forming beer here pour with caution.

Clear very dark brownish red colored beer with a very strong light brown colored head. Not a typical Witbier at all.

Smell is very herbal and a little soapy smelling. There is a little malt scent here if you try hard enough for it sort of a light brown sugar scent.

The taste starts out dry and spitzy with a high carbonation and dry. There is a spicy and fruity aftertaste that is rather nice. There is a little sweetness and a fairly astringent aftertaste at the very end. Nicely spicy and not just another witbier this UNIQUE! Bit of molasses and vanilla and hay in the aftertaste here lots of complexity but it is all in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good.

I like this stuff rather a lot but it isn't a usual Witbier at all really in its own beer category. A drier dark witbier for most any occasion, I would use this for anything a Saison would work.

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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 Absumaster
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark brown beer with a thick soapy head. The beer slowly gushed out of the bottle. This seems to be a common issue.

Smell is grainy and had a bit oily smell. The buckwheat adds a nice nutty depth and this is how beer in the middle ages must have smelled like. The nice caramel smell is further enforcing the grain smell. Also a light oxidized smell.

Taste of ripe red apples, a bit tart and nutty. There is a caramel taste that combines great with the grainy oilyness. The yeast adds a nice spiciness that reminds me of dark ripe fruit. Body is medium and drinkability is good. The buckwheat definatelly gives this beer it's own character.

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Photo of Lupin
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It all starts thunderous cork pop, with some unfortunate sulfurous notes.. bubbles climbing up the neck of the bottle and out the top.. a nice sandy shade. Unfortunately, the impending spillage causes me to overpour the brown ale, leaving a vague smelling inch of beer and inch of head in my piraat snifter. Murky and thick, an opaque brown trhough and through.

Taste is fresh and open, delicious nutty notes and reserved sweetness, none of that candy sugariness or brune character. Not too in your face and certainly not as thick as mcchouffe. Good balance of tartness with a full malty profile.

Very enjoyable. Will definitely do again.

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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 theopholis
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a cloudy, fairly reddish/amber with a very impressive off-white head. The head has little retention, and no lacing.

Aroma- Very clean and crisp smelling. Slightly grainy with some malt sweetness and just a hint of some fruity overtones,

Taste- Has a citrusy, zesty wheat grain base. Quite refreshing. Pleasant after taste, No hoppiness, and just a hint of malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Light body, good, solid level of carbonation. Has a mildly puckering after-taste. Has a nice CO2 bite on the toungue.

Drinkability- Nice. Overpriced, but nice.

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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 BeerHonky
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, corked and caged. Pours a deep, opaque burgundy color with a huge, fluffy tan head. Exceptional head retention. Nice and frothy almost like the top of a latte. Smells tart and sour with pleasant suggestions of crisp, half ripe pears, sour cherries, and malted wheat. Also has faint notes of that funky farmhouse aroma common in saisons. Light, airy body with lots of tiny bubbled carbonation. I feel as if the flavors would be much more apparent if the body was a bit fuller. However, the flavor is full of fruity yeast flavors that tapers off into a nice subtle, dry buckwheat aftertaste.

This is an awesome beer that would be a wonderful treat on an outdoor spring time picnic with a friend. I'm assuming this is a gluten free beer as well. Not to mention its certified organic.

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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 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 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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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, caged and corked, purchased at LaBodega in Riverside CA in February 2006 for $6.99 (their last bottle).

Appearance: Slightly murky reddish golden in backlight (darker almost brown otherwise) with a nice frothy off-white head that's actually a nice looking beer.

Aroma is grainy, almost sweet, slight fruitiness (weak cherries).

Flavor has a definite wheat grain base, to which a lemon zest, sour orange and slight Dr. Pepper-like soda flavors are added. However, the ending is an off-putting metallic taste. Overall mouthfeel is generally pleasantly solid for a wit, drinkability is OK. Overall a decent beer, but the metal on my tongue kept it out of the top ranks. I had this brewery's Joseph a month or so ago, and quite enjoyed it. This is decent, but not as good as brother Joseph.

Note: definitely let this one warm a bit- a few degrees really open up the flavor.

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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 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 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 finepaws
3.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wouldn't have called this a witbier, but definetly would have found it dunkel weissen-ish. Pours an orange, copper, cloudy color, with a good 2 finger head. Lasting through the whole 750ml bottle. Nice lacing. Some sediment found at the end, yeasties? Very yeasty and fruity smelling. Estery? Not sure what buckwheat smells like, but this definetly tastes like a wheat beer. Didn't find any corriander or clove flavors. More fruit, like bananas. Lots of grain flavor too. Mouthfeel was well carbonated, full flavored, but light for a darker beer. Really enjoyed this one, and would drink it again. Didn't taste like it was 6% either. Well balanced flavors.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/07/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle. Caged and corked with no dating. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Amber-orange colored pour. Huge 2 inch head, very creamy indeed. Very nice lacing.

Smell- Had a bit of the so called barnyard funk going one. Some fruit scent to be sure, plus some spices that I can't put my finger on.

Taste- The first thing I noticed was an orange peel taste along with a good portion of corriander and other undefined spices. It had an overall taste that tasted different than any other beer I have tried. I'm guessing that was the buckwheat.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation. Sticky sweet and a semi-full mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Hits harder than a 5% abv beer. Makes you think you are drinking something a bit more heavy. Nice flavors and texture. Something I may buy again in the future.

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Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky ruddy brown with a huge blooming slightly off-white head,intense lemony aroma with a touch of that barnyard funk found in some lambics with some toasted grain undertones.Flavors are much drier when compared to the aromas very grainy and nicely spicey with some light smoke in the finish.A nice find today toolin around town a good summer quaffer with some interesting dry flavors going on.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.49/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I guess, first-off, Buckwheat is a fruit (related to Rhubarb); not a grain.

No pop with cork opening. Hazy peach-ish color with a low off-white head and low carbonation. Tons of sediment on bottom. Very nice Belgian malt-yeast balanced aroma and flaovr; light dubbel-ish character all around with lots of raisins/fruit. Light-medium bodied with a light creaminess.

Buckwheat dosn't seem to stand out much but overall very good and very drinkable ... just a bit pricey.

Label states: "Certified Organic"

($7.49 / 25.4 oz. corked and caged champagne style bottle)

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pops open with a "Pwik!'

Murky brown amber pour with slow champagne bubbles rising to a thick taunt inch head cap that leaves a ton of lace coating. The last pour was as thick as a milkshake with a thousand scrod chunkers.

Yeasty spicy nutmeg scents and rye bread. Vanilla malts. Woody flavors with some ginger, coconut and banana. Dry yet lingering aftertaste of tropical fruits.

Smooth feel. Gentle carbonation. Buttery feel that coats me tongue like heavy cream.

An intriguing yet tongue coating so-so brew.

Last swigs: A one dimensional tropical fruit drink. of table sugar vanilla. Nothing special. Just for the curious.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of merlin48
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This organic, 22 oz, corked and caged, bottle pours a murky, saddle leather brown that is apricot when held to the light. Two finger, offwhite, head is tightknit and longlasting, eventually leaving some nice patch lace. The final pour revealed a few, suspended particles of yeast.
Aroma is very spicy, with coriander, pepper, and a dash of clove. Musty yeast is also apparent.
Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, with a medium body.
Taste begins with a tart, fruity note akin to cherry/lemon. A rack of spices quickly takes over, with pepper, coriander, and ginger prominent. Husky grain is the backbone, with a pronounced earthy yeastiness. Finish and aftertaste are dominated by a bitter combo of coriander and yeast.
This is much like a dark wheat beer. Plenty of grain taste to balance the strong yeast and spice presence. Pleasing taste, overall, and good drinkability.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

75 cl bottle; organic version. Pours a turbid pale copper color with an unbelievable light beige head that lasts forever. I poured and walked away for 5 minutes and it looks the same, a thumb-widths head. as it goes down, excellent lacing left behind. Something I'd expect of a beer brewed wholly from a grain cousin to wheat (known for excellent head retention). Aroma's mostly lemony and husky with some yeasty funk going on, bordering a hefty saison or something like Corsendonk Pale or Rare Vos. Warm, subtle malt in the aroma, too. Sweet upfront, but dry and palatable, with a slight citrusy zing and a yeastiness that's very unique, yet reminiscent. The bottle clearly lists the ABV at 6.0%, and I hope I'm reviewing the right beer, for some reason, beacuse I wasn't in the understanding that this beer would be categorized as a witbier, I fancied it more a specialty grain ale... But I guess there's no other Sara, so I'm not worried, just objective. That being said, I don't pick up on and coriander, which seems to sometime typify to witbier style. Nonetheless, this is a thoroughly enjoyable brew, especially for summer and as autumn begins. Healthy carbonation keeps it crisp, and a pillowy, soft mouthfeel is achieved throughout.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well Sara is a lively lass, well carbonated and topped by a thick, flowing prodigiously locked tan head. Copper in color with perhaps a light haze to it. A solid grainy, grassy aroma, along with a bit of interesting spicy character is found in the nose. As I explore the aroma a bit more I detect a nuttiness and some fruity notes, with banana and peach predominant. Sara has a lightly sweet taste up front and finishes with a bit of astringency. There is a certain mustiness here and a certain spiciness as well. This beer has a certain something to it that I can't quite place (it is a note in the aftertaste that is just different). If not for this note, this would be a pretty straight forward beer. This beer does need a little bit something more to balance out the up front sweetness. Overall, I do like this, it could just use a bit more complexity.

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Photo of donnebaby
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a beautiful amber out of the bottle and into the glass. A slight lacey head climbed up to the top of the glass as I was drinking, a nice effect.


The smell is an unobstrusive, light fruity one, which went along with its smooth mouthfeel. A little bit of carbonation.


The taste is a remarkable, bitter grainy one, very very good in my opinion. A pure taste of buckwheat that is completely drinkable. There is a sensation when drinking that it is a cousin to hard cider or some fresh harvest brew of days gone by. Highly drinkable and enjoyable. I wish I had another one here.


I drank the non-organic brew of Sara. I believe I noticed an organic version as well, which is a future purchase.

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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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Sara Buckwheat Ale from Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin)
3.53 out of 5 based on 55 ratings.
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