Sgt. Pepper | Cambridge Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
85
very good
90 Reviews
Sgt. PepperSgt. Pepper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States
cambridgebrewingcompany.com

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
farmhouse ale with rye and peppercorns

Added by ClockworkOrange on 03-18-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
90
Ratings:
342
Avg:
3.77
pDev:
28.65%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
47
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 342
Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a snifter, the brew appears a clear color of golden yellow with a big white frothy head. The sudsy white topping fades leaving fingers of patchy lace sticking to the glass. A light swirl revives.

The aroma is solid with the advertised pepper. Freshly crushed array of peppercorns but not harsh like the normal black. Taking a guess that white, pink or green were used in a more mellow to almost fruity zesty sense. A touch of saison yeast fruity quality with a bit of earthen aspect is also felt through the nose.

The taste includes a solid array of pepper and fruit. Lots of peppery quality comes off subtle from perhaps the yeast and then gets augmented by the addition of what seems like freshly cracked peppercorns. It is yeasty and spicy with a warming feel. A bit floral and a hint of green bell pepper. The warming sensation across the back of the tongue is reminescent of black pepper.

This is a medium bodied brew with an effervescent level of carbonation. Quite a pleasant warming spice of alcohol accented by pepper. This at times flirts with te heat of crushed red pepper, but not that extreme. If you have never experienced peppery flavor in a saison before, this is the one to really drive that character home. However, it might be off-putting to some. I liked it.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a brassy golden-orange color with a mild haze. The rocky white head stands at a solid three fingers and doesn't budge. Thick collars of lacing remain on the glass.

S: Incredible nose: doughy malt with a touch of chopped almonds, chalky yeast, bit of clove-like phenol, some tropical fruits (pineapple), floral/spicy hops, soft spices, potpourri, and black peppercorns.

T: Doughy malt tastes open. The Belgian yeast is chalky, vaguely spicy, and a touch fruity. Hops come through with mildly citrusy and spicy tastes of their own. Peppercorns and crushed black pepper show up on the mid-palate and build in intensity. The peppery, prickling heat reaches impressive levels. Finishes with a big peppery burn, mild floral hop tastes, and a receding chalky and fruity yeast taste.

M: Light in body. Full and fluffy in the mouth. Creamy and smooth. Great mouthfeel.

O: CBC has outdone themselves this time. This is not a gimmick. The base beer would be an excellent saison in its own right. While the pepper is the main focus of the beer, it plays off of the saison beneath quite nicely. I hope they turn this into a year-round release. It's one hell of a food beer.

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Photo of rebelthrower
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 1, bottled in February 2012.

A - Orange/golden yellow color a little bit of a haze. Big white head. Took a long time to go down. Very little to no lacing.

S - A bit of the peppercorn. And a bit herbaly and Belgian yeast.

T - A little citrus. Peppercorn comes through at the end.

M - Smooth, medium to light carbonation. Tingling in the throat from the peppercorn.

D - I really like the peppery. To me it was very drinkable.

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.54/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass. This one pours a clear golden color with a thick fluffy white head.

The aroma is full of spicy pepper. Hints of saison characteristics in the background, but the pepper dominates. The pallet is mostly spicy pepper. Again hints of yeast and some other saison characters but the pepper really takes the forefront.

The body is light with a bit to much carbonation. Overall this one is simply not very good. The pepper detracts to much from this resembling a saison.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1 bottle from the CBC fridge & into an Ommegang chalice. Almost 8 bucks!

Clear, honey/orange body. Second pour had a fair amount of sediment despite settling in the fridge for a while. An inch of off-white soda suds fizz out before it completely settles.

Smells of dusty lemon pepper seasoning, yeast, & crackers. Some cider-ish notions as well.

Curious bittersweet fruit notes up front. Middle is toasty malt, chalky/uninspired yeast, & lettuce-y bitterness. A subtle heat lingers & grows well past the finish. Black pepper really stands out. Flavors popped better when cold then cool I found.

Tired carbonation & boring yeast kept it from being really refreshing. Price is an issue. Better then I remember it being on tap.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden/orange in color with a white head. The pepper aroma on this is huge. That’s pretty much all I smell, actually. A bit of sweetness from the bready and toffee malt. The flavor is nice. It’s a bit sweet and very peppery. And that’s pretty much it. While enjoyable, a small pour is really all that I could handle.

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Photo of maximum12
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ferillo for this amongst other lovely rye beers...this is the last survivor. Pop! Now it's not. I'll wager this is one of the odder descriptions I've seen on a label. Peppercorns, rye, saison, Belgian yeast...time to dive in. 22 oz. bomber split in two. Batch 1 bottled February 2012, props & points to Cambridge for the clear dating.

Pour is a not cloudy but not clear orange. Nose is like sniffing raw black pepper off a mirror in an '80's movie - yowza. Anybody who can smell something else is either a better man, a liar, or a canine.

Sgt. Pepper could never be sued in a court of law for false advertising. Pepper! But unlike the nose, other components do raise their hands. First is a light yeasty shot of Belgium, then a fleeting glimpse of lemony saison & wheat, before the pepper comes on & the screen goes blank. Pepper! Then pepper. More pepper. Whatever nice subtleties arrive in the first swig are gone quickly as pepper conquers the world & enslaves all. Mild heat builds after repeated sips. This should be a chore to drink, but it's not. Huh.

I wouldn't want to drink this every day, & there's no hint of rye underneath the glacier of pepper, but this ain't bad. If you're looking for pepper, seek no further. Good beer.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, bottled in February of 2012. It was poured into my Duvel tulip.

Sgt. Pepper pours a color that bounces between orange and tangerine, depending on the strength of the backlighting. Clarity is pretty good and the beer ends up crowned by almost three fingers of just off white foam. Head retention is very good, and some spotty lacing is left behind. The nose is fairly aromatic, but perfume-y, spicy peppercorns are pretty much the only thing to come through. There's a brief swirl of pale fruits at the beginning of each sip, lots of granny smith apple and just a bit of pears. From there the peppercorns come in and close out the beer. There's a little bit of heat, but also a good amount of flavor coming through. The body, while dry, is not as bone dry as you'll find in some saisons. The carbonation is fairly active, probably helping highlight the peppercorns similarly to the way it does hops. Sgt. Pepper is a good, fun twist on a saison, and another above average offering from Cambridge Brewing Company.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Reagan1984 for this oddity. Batch 1 from February 2012. Served in a tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to a thin ring, wisps, and minimal lace. Hazy peach flesh body.

S - Tons of peppercorns, spicy esters, herbal and zesty hops(?), and some peach and other stone fruits from the malts.

T - Taste is overwhelmed with white pepper flavor, as well as some vegetal notes, and spicy black pepper and chile heat? Maybe a touch of saison in the periphery.

M - Smooth body, with zesty carbonation, and a very dry finish. No obvious alcohol, which is a plus.

D - Too peppery, even for my tastes. Not the easiest beer to drink. Kind of interesting to try, but Jason and I barely finished our pours.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. The color is golden with orange hues. There is a small off-white layer. Lacing is non-existant.

The aroma is full of black pepper; not much else.

The flavor starts out with mild malt flavor. This is light in flavor. There is a mild typical saison yeast flavor following, which indicates some spice, but this is quickly overrun by hot, spicy black pepper.

This is light in body, with nice crisp carbonation. This is a bit one-dimensional, but it's tasty and fun to try. I always enjoy having pepper beers.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 01
Bottled February 2012

Pours a golden color with a light orange tint, smallish head that fizzles fast away, not much lacing on the glass, no cap.

Smell is quite interesting and appropriate for the name, I actually get a quick whiff of pepper at the beginning that almost makes me feel like I should sneeze.

Holy crap this beer is spicy, like spicy peppery hot, leaves a lingering burning feeling, the malt tries its best to cool down and balance things but the peppercorn overwhelms everything.

This would be a perfect beer for hot wings!

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a thin white head that fades quickly. The nose is a super, fresh peppe with some sweetness and yeast. This beer screams peppercorn more than any pepper beer I've had (Beatrice, white magic). The aftertaste has a slightly peppery bite and it almost triggers my sinuses for a sneeze, but not quite. Very tasty beer that drinks like a spicy Saison and has potent notes of peppercorn as well.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slight hazy bright orange color. Bit of white head but nothing out of the ordinary. Fruity aroma up front. Citrusy notes mix in with just a bit of yeast aroma. Spice notes become more apparent on the palate than the aroma. Just a hint of juicy sweetness before a lingering peppercorn kick comes through. Dry medium body mouthfeel. Overall, a pretty unique tasting saison but not as much yeast character as I'd like.

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Photo of pburland23
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch no. 1. Bottled February 2012.

Picked this up while in Boston over Easter. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into my CBS snifter.

Appearance: Beer pours a slightly hazed dark golden amber. Carbonation releases a thin wispy layer of slightly off white head.

Smell: The beer is brewed with five different types of pepper and they dominate the nose. The pepper is complimented nicely by the Belgian yeast. No real hops or malt smell.

Taste: Wow. What a great tasting beer. At the beginning it's all Saison...earthy, fruity and slightly tart. Then at the end, the peppercorns subtly bring warmth to the tongue. It's not overpowering but the taste of pepper is unmistakable. It's an delightfully tasty Saison.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Lightly carbonated and pretty refreshing. You wouldn't think something with peppercorns would be refreshing, but it is. And at 6%, it's pretty drinkable.

Overall: An interesting take on the style. I wasn't sure what to expect from the taste but I was very pleasantly surprised. Well done, CBC.

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Photo of rinhaak
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is brewed with five different varieties of pepper, and it shows from the very beginning. There is fire in this nose: lots of pepper aroma, almost reminiscent of Szechuan pepper corns. The fire doesn't end with the smell, either. With every swallow, there is a slight burning in the back of the throat from the pepper.

This beer really goes nicely with food (I had it with Mexican), as it cuts through the spice. But if the food is too spicy, this beer won't help, as it leaves your tongue dancing!

Overall, though the pepper is lovely, it is almost too strong in that it covers up the Saison characteristics. I would have wanted a little more balance. That said, this is a mighty fine beer definitely worth trying.

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Photo of BeerMaverick
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Feb. 2012. Poured from a bomber into a wine glass. Paired with chicken caesar salad.

A - Copper/bronze color with no sediment, which is surprising for a farmhouse ale. About a quarter-inch of head that fades fast leaving little/no lace on the wine glass. Most saisons tend to have a frothy head.

S - The Belgian yeast is prevalent as is the peppercorn, which is promised in the name and description on the bottle. Floral notes are there along with some faint rye malt aromas.

T - The Belgian yeast is still there, but it is almost overwhelmed by the peppercorn, which I suppose should be expected with a name like Sgt. Pepper. The floral character is very faint here and there is no hop presence (any bitterness is completely hidden by the spicy pepper taste). This pairs extremely well with the peppery caesar dressing.

M - All spiciness in the aftertaste for this relatively light-bodied beer. Not too carbonated for a saison.

O - A very drinkable and distinct saison that I would definitely buy again (especially for the price). As I mentioned before, it pairs well with caesar salad and I can imagine that it would go together with any other light summer meal. The peppercorn compliments the Belgian yeast and spices as well.

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Photo of harrymel
3.42/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First bottling, Feb, 2012

Pours a hazy gold on amber with a broken sheet of light cream foam. Smells of peppercorn right out the gate, nice sweet malts with biscuit and grain tones. Esters from the belgian yeast add nice accents along the nose. Flavor has some initially sweet, wheaty character, then the peppercorns come through in an almost spicy nuance. The yeast comes through with a bit of a coriander and seeds of paradise tone. Nice dry belgian yeast comes through. Medium on heavy bodied with a lighter carb and wet finish. Nice beer overall, don't know that I'd buy twice, maybe once the weather warms a bit.

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Photo of jneiswender
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a liter bottle into a tulip glass. Served cool.

Pours a copper body and a white head that is thick at first but then quickly goes down.

Smell is faint belgian smelling yeast and very pronounced black pepper flavor.

Hops are there and so is grain but the main flavor is the peppercorns. You know what you are drinking here.

Light and okay carbonation.

I really like this beer. If you say pepper on the label, I want to taste pepper. That happens here. However, farmhouse ales and saisons are beautiful beers to look at . The body is very nice on this but the head sucks. Please cork these beers.

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Photo of Wowcoolman
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real interesting take on a Farmhouse Ale here. Notes of pepper is often a distinguishing character of the style, here CBC one-ups things by adding whole peppercorns (Black, Green, White, and Pink) to the boil. The CBC website attributes different flavoring characteristics to each type of peppercorn, though most people associate pepper taste with ground black. The pepper is most noticeable on the finish, this is very much a spice beer similar to a chili beer. There are for sure other characteristics, Belgian yeast is used and pleasant barnyard funk is present, but all gets overwhelmed by pepper in the end. Unbalanced? Sure, but this beer goes surprisingly well with food (anything you might grind pepper over) and is refreshingly crisp. A unique beer with a cool hand-drawn psychedelic design. Seek out if you enjoy fresh ground pepper taste. Batch 01 reviewed.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Batch #1

Hazy orange color. White head at first, but diminished to nothing awfully quick. Mild carbonation. Light sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

I find the aroma a bit subtle, maybe because of the carbonation level. But what is there is very nice. Spicey farmhouse yeast, blended with a pepper spice.

I like the pepper+Saison combo, but the pepper is quite overpowering in the beer. Hops and grains are sort of lost in the pepper. Some citrus notes happening but... not a pleasant flavor for me.

Mouthfeel is kind of thicker than I'm used to on a Saison. Pepper is noticeable in the mouthfeel, and almost lends a heat from the spices which I like.

Not in love with this beer. I did like it more and more as my palate adjusted. But somewhat abrasive flavors.

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Photo of TWStandley
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at CBC in a tulip...

Poured a hazy orange/gold color with a big thick billowing white head.

Smelled like typical Belgian yeast, a bit of spiciness. Cracked pepper smell became more apparent as the beer warmed to room temp.

Taste like a standard saison...at first. Some definite lemony/herbal/banana/orange/citrus upon first sip. As the sip finishes, much like the smell, the cracked pepper tastes emerge. Relatively strong tasting, slightly spicy.

Mouth-feel is light, with some serious warmth in the throat from all of the pepper.

Overall this was a tasty saison with a meal. Definitely unique, and quite delicious. Starts off refreshing, finishes spicy.

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Photo of YouSkeete
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lightly cloudy orange-hued copper with a very short white head that recedes quickly. Floral, earthy aroma with peppercorns, hops and lemon zest. The first sip begin with pale malts and pale yeast with some ground pepper in the background. Rolls into a spicy, yeasty body while soft tones of sugared fruit and honey make their way to the forefront. Medium sized body with moderate carbonation. Spicy, peppery finish, This brew is amazingly unique, especially in it's finish. Loving the spiciness.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from batch 1.

Hazy copper with a short-lived head of white. A mostly placid surface with a thread of foam around the edges.

Apples, honey, fruit loops, cloves and a hint of mango in the nose.

Light bodied with a crispish mouthfeel.

Honey-drizzeled biscuity malt with pepper burn on the palate. Earthy spice and pepper heat follow through.

Finishes with a lingering pepper burn and a trace of crackery malt.

The bottled version is way more peppery and hot than I remember the draught version being. The bottled version is also suffering from low carbonation for the style.

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Photo of Jwale73
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle procured at Julios. Pours a semi-hazy, dull orange hue with a loose, bright white head that dissipates into a tight band around the shoulders. Nose expresses peppercorn and citrus rind - I can almost smell the heat off the pepper. The taste just has an enormous pepper presence that is borderline unpalatable. I see nothing in the flavor profile that is akin to any saison I've ever had. Consistency on the mouthfeel is somewhat watery and there is definitely a bit of residual pepper burn that lingers between quaffs. In terms of overall impressions, all I can say is it's interesting. The pepper is way too intense for me and it is a borderline palate wrecker. Worth experiencing, but definitely best shared amongst many. Not something I need to revisit again.

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Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy medium orange pour with a large fizzy slightly off-white head. Just a touch of lacing.

S: Certainly peppery. Lots of nice belgian yeast with cloves, as well as grass and oranges.

T: Lots of orange, grass and yeasty bread with some rye and pepper up front. Aftertaste turns into a BUNCH of black pepper. Not overpowering but not exactly subtle. Almost get a little lingering sting from the pepper - it lasts a long time! Pepper gets even stronger as it warms. A must-have for spicy saison lovers.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, and a little spicy.

O: A nice smooth, drinkable saison with a unique black pepper kick on the back end. I like it, very interesting, tasty and drinkable.

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Sgt. Pepper from Cambridge Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 342 ratings.
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