Saison Noire
Bullfrog Brewery

Saison NoireSaison Noire
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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #1,198
Ranked #26,019
3.87 | pDev: 5.43%
Bullfrog Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Saison NoireSaison Noire
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 21 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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stakem from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this brew is some ~4 or so years in the bottle. 750ml corked and caged offering, the brew appears a clear copper color with a rich tan yellowish stained head. The cap fades leaving spotty lace work.

The aroma is sweet like toffee to caramel malt. Some fruity almost minty herb aspects along with an interesting leathery note caught somewhere between oxidation and faint brett notion.

The flavor is fruity with a sweetness like burnt sugar similar to toffee and caramel. Some mild oxidative noted are present along with herbal hints and mre fruity aspects like the nose suggested. As it warms up, it gets almost medicinal with a nice vinous aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Having never tried this fresh, I will not proclaim this as "going downhill." In fact, I think this brew was pretty damn solid and I would rock a bottle of this solo no problem if given the opportunity. Thank you Terry for sharing one of your older obscurites with us, it was much appreciated.

Aug 01, 2013
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brokensail from California

3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Tim.

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a creamy off-white, maybe khaki, colored head.

S: Touch of chocolate malt and sweetness. Definitely fruity with a mild to moderate roast and hints of oak. Fairly yeast with some peppery notes, chalk, and earthiness.

T: Quite a bit more dry than I was expecting. Chocolate malts, earthy funk, wet oak, mild roast, and a definite chalkiness. A mild fruitiness (specifically raisins). Just a little bit bready.

M: Medium in body with carbonation on the high end of medium.

O: Really interesting and complex. The chocolatey notes were a little unexpected, but they worked out.

Apr 04, 2011
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JAXSON from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle circa early 2009. Pours a rusty plum with a large head, nice lacing. Nose is doughy, yeasty, bready, graham cracker, a touch of brett, figs, honey. Something salty on the finish. Mouth is pretty big, a lot of figs and sugars, graham cracker and bread. Pretty nice, more quad-like than I expected. I was told this was bottled with brett but it's quite mild. Right now this is drinking much better than Beesting and Busted Lawnmower, two other saisons bottled around the same time also with brett.

Mar 30, 2011
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a murky, deep mahogany brown with a huge, 3 finger sized head of light tan foam that slowly fades into a chunky cap of fluff. Scattered rings of lacing stick to the sides of the glass.
Smell is of raisins, figs, prunes, oak, caramel, obvious brett funkiness, earthy, caramel, and chalk.
Taste is of the aromas with a caramel, cocoa, and light wild cherry flavor coming together.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, gently tart, and dry in the finish.

Apr 21, 2010
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Mora2000 from Texas

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this 750 ml bottle. The beer pours a murky orange color with a huge white head. The aroma begins with some caramel malt sweetness and then has a nice tart/funky character to it. The flavor is caramel malt with some slight tartness as well as some great citrus fruit such as oranges. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Apr 01, 2010
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bret27 from California

3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

courtesy of illidurit:

A: Dark brn, cloudy, off white head w/lacing

S: Earthiness, funk, esters

T: sweetness, maltiness, earth, no etoh presence

M: Fairly thin, slick

D: Fairly thin, so good

O: Decent saison. Not my favorite style by any means, so have a hard time going wild for this.

Dec 05, 2009
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illidurit from California

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy toffee color with a fluffy khaki head. Aroma is tart citrus with a big bretty yeastiness, grass, straw, and caramel. Flavor is mainly caramel, which is kind of disappointing. Bullfrog got the color they wanted but in the process added too much sweetness. The toffee/caramel blots out most of the brett influence and makes this hardly discernible as a saison. Some citrus and brett comes through a bit in the finish but this could have been a lot better.

Nov 21, 2009
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thrilled to be able to crack another Bullfrog brew! This one I decided to end my night with last night, served chilled and poured into a snifter, it was consumed on 10/19/2009.
The pour was very well done, rich dark brown in color with a huge towering head over the top that reached a height of at least three inches before finally settling down into a soft pillow of foam. Rich lacing all up and down the sides of the glass made this one of the best looking ales I have seen in a long time. Aroma of figs and tart notes hits you right away. Some touches of brown sugar, hints of grapes and prunes, touches of light barnyard funk and a light touch of grass now floating in as well. Really well put together. Each sip is remarkably sweet and delicious, hints of almost merlot like flavors coming off of this now mixed in with nice touches of figs and prunes it was just as solid as could be. Warming brought out a touch of light spice and a nice tart or sour back to it. ABV very well hidden amongst the superb carbonation and rich flavor.
Overall not sure at all what to make of this one but it is delicious none the less. Seems like more or a crossbred style to me. Very nicely done here and I cherish the chance to be able to try this ne again one day.

Oct 20, 2009
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akorsak from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle purchased at the brewpub.

A: The cork is a bitch to get out. As it flies out of the bottle, a mini-eruption of off-white head coated my kitchen island. In the glass, the saison is more amber than noir, approximating the bottle it came in. Although opaque, the ale has a bright orange radiance at the narrower points of the glass. A two and a half finger head has left small patches of lace.

S: The ale has all the tell-tale signs of a Bullfrog saison: pale candi sugars, pepper and a touch of funk. Caramel malts lend a deeper, sweeter smell. Little, if any, signs of the funk.

T: My first sip of the head reveals a sweet saison presence with a mild sour flavor. My first sip of the ale confirms a sweet saison that seems more like a BSDA. My second thought is that there is no brett in this bottle. The saison has a strong candi sugar presence, both pale and darker sugars, that drives a sweetness that hasn't been dried out by the yeast. Darler malts are sweeter like the sugars, a welcome change from the run-of-the-mill saison. The carbonation is sharp, stripping the palate with each sip. The fuller flavor doesn't come across as a saison, too sweet and not dry enough. On closer examination, the brett is present but not up front. It lingers behind the scenes and comes through as part of the sharpness of the carbonation.

M: A conundrum of an ale. The darker presence is welcome but it never shakes the strong dark ale taste. A more pronounced brett taste (one not hidden behind the carbonation) would be welcome.

D: I like what I taste, even if it veers off of the saison course. Bullfrog and Terry are comfortable in this realm (see BeeKeeper, Water of Life, BeeSting, etc.), so I'll give 'em the benefit of the doubt.

Sep 21, 2009
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HopHead84 from California

3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on 8/14/2009 and poured into a snifter. I drank this next to Magic Beans to compare the two.

The beer appears sunset red with good clarity. The off white head is frothy and large, with good retention and thick lacing.

The nose is spicy up front, with notes of white pepper, wheat, wood, and yeast. The alcohol is well hidden, and the malt is bready with earthy hop notes.

The taste is spicy with a touch of chocolate and some wood. I think gingerbread is an accurate description of the malt. There's also a subtle roasted quality to it, as well as earthiness. The finish is dry.

The beer is

Aug 17, 2009
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emerge077 from Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to joe1510 for sharing this one yesterday. Review from notes.

It glows an orange tinted caramel brown. The retention was excellent with a moderate amount of sticky foam. Aroma of wine, earth/potting soil, and funky overripe fruit.

Flavor was bready with the caramel and spice of Swedish Pepparkakor cookies. Earthy in the middle with dried currants and fruit leather. Light astringent bitterness. Slick and palate coating. Pretty big for a Saison, not what I would typically think of for the style, more in common with a Belgian Dark Ale. Thanks again to Joe for sharing this surprise bottle!

Jun 22, 2009
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joe1510 from Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


This is yet another Bullfrog brew courtesy of my man Kegatron, thanks Heath! Saison Noire sports a hazy milk chocolate body with some rusty red highlights along the glass. A beige head snaps to a couple fingers in height and shows good staying power leaving drink lines down the glass as it empties.

The nose is full of interesting spiciness. Dusty chocolate and gingerbread start things off with the gingerbread being most noticeable. Caramel makes a showing of its own and there's a touch of earthiness that fits very well, even some damp stone.

Gingerbread and caramel lead the one on the tongue. The gingerbread quality is interesting but the other spiciness is sort of muddled. Caramel plays its part in the flavor too and there's a slight metallic twang on the finish that I could do without.

The body has more heft than I'd like in my saisons, leaving a little stickiness on the tongue. I'd have to say the body has a moderately sticky weightiness to it. There's also some heat on the swallow and a nicely drying finish.

A glass of this would do me just fine. The heat and heavier body make this a slower drinker than I'd like in my saisons.

Saison Noire ended up being a good beer but not up to par with the other two Bullfrog saisons I've sipped in the past. The gingerbread character is a nice touch. Thanks for the bottle, Heath!

Jun 21, 2009
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hopdog from Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, corked and caged bottle.

Poured a deeper amberish-brown color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of floral hops, citrus, yeast, and some fruitiness. Tastes of caramel, fruity, toasty, and a little earthy. If I did not know this had Brett in it, I never would have guessed it did.

Mar 13, 2009
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Deuane from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled conditioned version. Released for tasting during the annual holiday party.

A-Deep brilliant brownish tinted copper with a medium light tan head. Head reduced a bit to thin cap and left decent lace.

S-Musty, dry oak. A bit of backing roasted malt and a tiny hint of sweetness

T-Deep dark roasted flavours that build and build. A multi layering of roast, oaky dryness and a bit of a spicy yeast kick. Finishes dry and gets drier and drier with each sip.

M-Medium light body with long lasting oaky astringency and VERY drying

D-Nicely done, rather tasty and guess what, very dry!

Jan 15, 2009
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Kegatron from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub on 9/26/08. Described as a "Belgian inspired dark Saison". Served in a tulip glass.

Pours a clear, deep, dark amber with a thin head of cream colored foam. Retains very nicely with a good cascade of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is fairly sweet with notes of earthy hops, spice, fruity esters, and a touch of yeasty funk mixed in for good measure.

The taste keeps it up with a pretty strong base of caramelized sweetness underneath an earthy hop profile, fruity tartness, spicy notes, and much like the aroma, a real subtle yeastiness to it. Finishes with a dry lingering sweetness and light bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fairly sprightly carbonation. The body does seem to possess a beefier alcohol feel that is on the higher side for the style.

Interesting take on the Saison style here with richer flavors and a deeper body than I'm used to with this style. The extra alcohol heft actually hurt the drinkibility of this somewhat for me but I'm glad to have still tried this.

Sep 29, 2008
Saison Noire from Bullfrog Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 21 ratings