Nightowl Saison | Bullfrog Brewery

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8 Ratings

Brewed by:
Bullfrog Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Deuane on 12-23-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8 |  Reviews: 8
Reviews by Bmoyer0301:
Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


Poured off draft into a bubbled Belgian goblet. Upon bringing it to my table the beer had a decent one finger thick mocha colored head that dissipated to paper thin after a few minutes. As I raided my glass I noticed that this is deep ruby red and brown notes with some haze that is stopping the light from passing through. As I give a slight swirl there is little to no viscosity hanging around


Loads of chocolate, cranberries, hay, sugars, and barnyard funk. The brett shines through beautifully with some faint black cherries and tart acid and vinegar undertones. Spicy, complex, and funky....excellent.


Again, black cherries, cocoa nibs, and tangy oranges take front and center. Complimented by hay and other horsey barnyard funk that is amazing. Very prickly on the tongue and sharp carbonation that delivers the currants, pepper and coriander. A very dry long finish with the tart brett that makes you pucker up a little bit. This is a absolute sleeper and will take you down quickly if you are not careful. Super easy to drink and goes down smooth.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of akorsak
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jim and Ashleigh for picking this growler up for me. A saison noire with Brett from Bullfrog, what's there not to like?

A: The saison noire is a dark caramel brown color, opaque like a cup of coffee. A big head, overflowing the glass on multiple occasions, leaves no lace behind.

S: The saison has a strong bretty nose, citric in its tart wildness. Caramel, roasted malts, drive the base of the saison. Beyond the brett, a sweet yeasty Belgian strain lingers around.

T: Dark maltiness, a roasted presence, is fast to register. Immediately following the darkness, Brett comes through. The yeast strain is dry and citric, leaving a lemony flavor along with the tart bite. The latter tartness turns into boozy strength, one of the few times that a Bullfrog saison gets too hot. The dark malts and bretty tartness are a great pairing, funky and roasted. The brett takes the ale over the top, moving it from a dark Belgian ale to a rich, complex ale.

M: The lemony citric bite, paired with the chocolate malts, is sharp, a deliciously complex taste. Dark saisons are tough to nail, but this one hits all the right notes. The brett fortifies the underlying tastes.

D: At nearly 12%, this is not your run-of-the-mill saison. The dark malts and bretty zing are unique enough to keep me coming back for more. Dark saisons, regular saisons, what can't Bullfrog nail?

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Photo of blackie
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: served in a slim chalice-like glass, the beer is a murky, deep brown in color, supporting a full off-white head that keeps a thin layer after receding

s: a blend of smooth roasted malt and rich brett - wildly fruity with a milder funk that compliments without overtaking, toffee malt residuals - character without the sugar, spicy saison yeast, papery aged hops, lots going on here

m: carbonation lively, settling down over time to a moderate level, body light-medium

t: very unique, brett and saison yeast pushing through a layer of smooth roast, full flavored but dry at once, herbal lemon, green apple, fruit leather, a quick assertion of chocolate sugar in the middle, resists the annoying astringent/bitter roast that clashes with the yeast and ruins so many of these dark hybrid saisons - or maybe the wild saves it, bretty funk takes over by the finish with an aged hop note, roasted cocoa bean lingering

d: easy, one of few well-done examples in this sub-style, brett contributes greatly, it's quite strong - and the alcohol hit is obvious

draft at the brewpub

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.4/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saison with brett. This could be a disaster

A- pours a very dark shade of brown with a one finger tan head. Didn't expect THAT from a saison...looks more like a stout

S- smells like...Robitussin. Oh dear god why? Getting a little of the funk in there as well, thankfully

T- "funky tussin". Tastes like Robitussin that sat in a barn for months. The first sip made me retch, but it actually started to grow on me the more I drank it. Not sure what that says about me

M- most of the saisons I've had are pretty thin, this is a little thicker. It works though, because the flavors are pretty powerful

D- a definite sipper. This could be something you fall in love with, or if you're new to craft, you might never drink again.

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Photo of Deuane
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep, dark black/brown with deep ruby highlights. A medium, light tan head slolwy reduced to a thin cap and left nice lace.

S-A very generic fruity aroma at the start. Upon some digging and warming notes of apple, pear, plum, prune, banana and cherry make their apperance. A light undertone of roasted malt supports the cornucopia of fruit.

T-A veritable bursting bonanza of fruit flavours with moderating notes of roasted malt. Light notes of yeast spiciness and pleasant licorice notes in the drying finish.

M-Medium-light to medium bodied quite smooth with long lingering fruit esters.

D-Wow! This stuff is not only stealthy it's DEADLY! A moster of a beer with a ton of fruit flavours makes this one easy drinking yet mind numbing brew. Shit, this stuff is good!

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Photo of stakem
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes taken on 1/16/11. From a growler filled at the brewpub the day before.

Poured from a growler into a snifter, this brew appears a dark brown color which is hazed an includes a bit of ruby coloration and clarity around the edges. A finger of tan to dark yellowish head forms and lasts for a little while.

The smell of this brew is tangy with a combination of alcohol and bretty notes. Fruit, mostly dark skinned in character shows itself with a light indication of malt. It is earthy and almost candy-like that is cheesy at times as well.

The taste is earthy and modestly bitter with fruit and a big suggestion of alcohol. Seemingly musty grain flavor lingers in the mouth bordering a taste somewhat reminiscent of chocolate but never quite getting there. The grain flavor lasts inside the mouth. For the style (besides it's obvious clashing style appearance) it is quite bitter and bold with alcohol.

This is a medium bodied brew with a smooth feel and light, enjoyable level of carbonation. Big bold abv flavoring and effect that is warming and a bit astringent. While the alcohol is readily noticeable, it never quite got into the realm if what I felt 11% would be like. Not at all your typical saison but quite an enjoyable experience of funk, must and tangy alcohol.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nightowl Saison is a very dark brown color that is opaque and seems almost black at its core; pretty similar to cola actually. The light brown head is only thin, but is solid and manages to have good retention and lacing.

The nose has caramel malt, a good bit of tart brett and a bunch of generic, yeast powered fruit.

Night Owl boasts a good mix of malt, tartness and fruit. Up front caramel malt with a hint of chocolate mixes together with a good bit tartness and a little bit of mustiness from the brett. Such a clear brett character is uncommon with darker malts, and I like the contrast. Next comes tons of fruit: pear, apple, apricot, and all kind of generic, juicy flavors. The fruit is probably the single most powerful flavor, the the brett and malt follow close behind. A little bit of a phenolic flavor hangs around in the background, but only to be throttled by the fruit.

Fairly lively carbonation, but I would still like to see more. More body than the average saison.

Night Owl is a pretty good saison. Probably the best dark or brown saison that I have had because it manages to have a good mix of tart, musty and malty flavors.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing a growler on 12/26/10.

A - Poured a cloudy dark brown, almost black (intriguing for a saison!) with deep garnet and burgundy hues and half an inch of beige creamy foam that diminished to a fine film and spotty lace.

S - Opens with a familiar farmhouse ale aroma suggesting wet straw/hay, mild barnyard funk and herbal hop notes in the background. While the spicy elements of the saison are apparent, there is almost a hint of Belgian Dubbel attributes also present, such as dark fruit notes reminiscent of raisins.

T - Opens with a hint of dark fruit tang, especially raisins, mild spicy Belgian yeast and a touch of barnyard funk. Grassy hops paired with a mild hay/straw presence emerge in the backend, followed by a tinge of herbal hop notes in the finish, which impart an earthy character.

M - Medium bodied with a pretty thick, substantial syrupy texture and mild carbonation. Finishes slightly bitter with a touch of sourness on the palate.

D - Extremely drinkable for an 11.5% ABV saison! Really flavorful too. Bullfrog definitely makes some of my favorite saisons, and this one is definitely no slouch!

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Nightowl Saison from Bullfrog Brewery
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 8 ratings