Sierra Nevada Brown Saison | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Brown SaisonSierra Nevada Brown Saison
96 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Brown SaisonSierra Nevada Brown Saison

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.85%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MisterClean on 04-24-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 96 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cole's. Aroma of spice, yeast and malt, pleasing. Dark mahogoney brown colour with lots of white head that leads lace. Served too cold, its still good drinkability, full mouthfeel. Spicy brown, Hops and spice in the finish, with pepper remaining on the tongue. Had this again 5 weeks later at Hopcat, but it was sourish here, so I will ignore that one.
Draft at Delaney's, was not as good. Peppery edge. Lacey, no aroma, sour highlights.

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Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 7/10/09 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a short beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of bananas, caramel, Belgian yeast, wheat, some spice, roasted malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is bready up front with flavors of wheat, bananas, maple, caramel and Belgian yeast. It's not overly sweet and the malt character is hearty. There's a decent hops presence that brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style while blending in some of the brown ale attributes, it's a pretty good beer but since I usually don't find myself thinking "I wish this Saison was darker" or "I wish this brown ale had more wheat flavor" I find this beer to be mostly a novelty.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from interesting very interesting beer; I liked it in the end. Pours a bit of a rusty brown color with a nice off white head. Nose brings some interesting combinations with brown malt and brown sugar plus some pepper and clove. Taste isn't quite as spicy and the yeast doesn't play as big of a role. Feel is nice with pretty decent carbonation and body. Definitely a fairly unique brew.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Served up a clear, dark mahogany-hued body with a thin, wispy, off-white head.

Smell: Fairly spicy, herbaceous aroma with notes of everything from cloves to peppercorns leading the way. Lesser background hints of brown sugar, toasted malts, and banana.

Taste: Dry malt character with darkened toasty tones and light touches of brown sugar and nuts. Mild banana fruitiness. Then, the tongue gets a blitz of zesty herbaceousness and pops of black pepper and cracked cloves. Modest hop bitterness. Furthering of spice flavors, a touch of alcohol, and some crackling crispness (it's like Pop Rocks in my mouth!) on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high, sharp carbonation, giving this one a really snappy carbonic bite to it.

Drinkability: I was curious to sample this blending of styles, but this was a beer that, well, I just didn't care for from sip one. I fought my way through to the bottom of the sixteen ounces, through all the aggressive carbonation and felt totally exhausted.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

huge thanks to nate for the little growler of this one. set my sunday off to a great start!

Settling down after a few moments it left quite an impression on the sides of the glass and really left some nice, intricate lacing all along. Aroma is light grassy notes, pears, apples, touches of a light peppery spice and lots of grain that seemingly brought it all together. As I take the first sip, a wave of light, well carbonated and crisp, clean flavor washes across the palate. Light grasses, heather, herbal flowers, touches of spiced apple and a light tartness that cleans the palate quite well. some nice caramel backing in here to provides a good bit of depth, again really very nicely done. Very smooth as each sip is seamless and very easy to finish. Long, dry ending leaves you thirsty, yet satisfied and allows the subtle fruit notes to really pop.

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Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a growler purchased at DeCiccio's in Ardsley, NY. Pours dark brown and cloudy, moderate light tan head, that slowly fades and then leaves respectable strands and webs of lace. Malty and chocolate on the nostrils, then more chocolate on the tongue, along with darker malts and moderate dose of earth. Mostly on the sweet side, with continued slight mustyness. I dont pick up much in the way of Belgian yeasties nor spice. More on the brown ale side, with limited "Saison" characteristics. Tasty though and certaintly worth a try.

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Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Liberty St. Tavern for $3 a goblet. I had such high hopes for this beer, but it fell for the style and compared to other saisons. The beer was just too clean, there didn't seem to be any subtleties. There was just a bit of dry roasted toast and big fruity yeast character flavor with bubblegum aroma. It's a very drinkable beer, but it lacks the complexity of a good saison. This beer isn't even really that different from a dark Belgian ale.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip for a dark leather couch brown with a frothy one-finger head that left sheath lacing. A rather subdued aroma of some sweet malts and a little bit of fruit - sour apples in there (maybe). A great fruit taste bursts on the tongue and the smell doesn't do the taste justice. Medium-bodied with grape, apple notes and good carbonation, along with a slightly sour/tart strain, balance the smooth and creamy body with a dry backbite. Nice bit of sweet malt in this beer as well. A real fruity, sweet/light on the sour effect saison that makes it very drinkable and the ABV is nicely hidden.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours a nice dark brown with good clarity and a fluffy off-white head. No real lacing. The smell is a little on the lighter side, with some light aromas of apple, coriander, roastiness, and malt. A dose of clove at the end. The taste is pleasant enough, with some slightly sweet brown ale roastiness combined with some light slightly sour saison flavors with some coriander and pepper, but primarily lots of chocolatey roastiness. Kind of an odd combination, but Fantome has done similar beers and this works to a degree. Tangy, slightly sweet, and with some banana and spice on the finish. Quite smooth, and fairly interesting. I enjoyed it as a passing experiment.

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Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of DoubleJ
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's in a half-liter mug. On to the beer:

Toffee brown color, topped by a thin head with thin lace sticking to the glass as it's consumed. The beer has a fruity aroma. Think of plums and grapes. The this really a saison? Very tasty, to say the least. Grapes, plums, dark fruit skins. There is a mild tone of yeast, with gives it an addtional fruity accent. Slighty tart as it slides down the palate. Okay, so it may not really be a traditional saison, but it's a great beer to sample regardless of what you classify it as.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Served ontap. Pours a rich brown in color with an off white head.

Smell: Bready malts and some sweetness lurking.

Taste: A blending of styles and the first "brown saison" I've had. Lots of malt sweetness almost to the point of being cloying. Little to no hop profile which was interesting, light citrus coupled with some sourness. Restrained funk which dissappointed me slightly. All in all, its alright.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and chewey.

Drinkability: An odd-ball beer from Sierra Nevada Co. It has its moments, but left me wishing for the pale ale instead.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass. This beer has eluded me ever since it was released a few months ago, I was excited to try it.

Brown Saison is a brown saison, that pretty much sums it up. It has a light brown color that you cant see through plus some tan head on the top for a nice appearance, extremely minimal lacing. The smell was that of a lot of malt with some yeast and a light basket of fruits, not alot going on, not very pungent. The taste is a tad better with the malts taking center stage giving off some baked bread with some apple slices and other lighter fruits. The belgian yeast is apparent. I did not get much in the way of hops, I guess they faded in the time spent in the keg, they would have made this a bit more full in terms of flavor. Perhaps I should try this again if it's ever released again fresh. The feel was a bit fuller than your average saison with a big medium feel and light carb. I enjoyed this and finished my pint with some ease, but it's a tad one sided.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at 1702, July 2009
The beer arrives from the tap a clearish, dark amber - brown color. The head is about half a finger in height and is a full tan color. The aroma has notes of cardamom, clove and perhaps a touch of plum. As the beer sits in my glass it begins to open up a bit more with aromas of pear, apple, black pepper, ginger and some sweetness that comes from esters more than actual sugar.

The beer tastes dry and spicy with a sharp, spicy phenolic note in the finish. Turpene like clove notes in the finish are joined by an herbal, even menthol leaning, hop bitterness. This has a nice high level of carbonation, more than one would expect from a tap offering, but it works well with this beer as it provides a prickly texture and a peppery bite. Phenols add a perceived sweetness to this beer that tastes quite a bit like clove.

My second pour of this beer is noticeably more fruit oriented, the spiciness actually gets quite a bit cleaner and it isn't as muddled as it was initially. There is a touch of toasted malt character to this beer and there is even a touch of tartness that starts to come out. The tartness nicely accentuates more of the fruit notes in this beer. This is actually quite a bit more characterful than I was expecting. The yeast choice was clearly spot-on and Sierra Nevada fermented this in such a way as to contribute a lot of flavor to this beer. I hope to be able to try this a couple more times.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a cloudy brown (shocking) with a nice small cap of white foam.

S: Notes of molasses, apples, malt, moderate intensity.

T: Really tastes like a mix between a dubbel and a saison, it very much tastes like how I though it would by the name. The dubbel-type side brings loads of sweet malt, thought not over the top - molasses, some banana and holiday spices, the drier saison portion brings Belgain yeast complexities, white pepper, notes of candied pear and mild earthy hops.

M: Smooth, medium-bodied, good balance between the sweet and bitter portions of the beer, never cloying with sugar.

D: Similar to what I've found with pretty much everything Sierra Nevada makes - a very tasty, drinkable brew, I'm certainly glad I got to try it out.

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Photo of weeare138
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Union Jacks on the Manatawny.
Appears a dark brown russett with a small white cap that fades into a gentle film. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of funk, citrus, ripe melons, caramel, and toasted nuts.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a tart, astringent flavor.
Mouthfeel is tart and medium bodied with astringent grain. Chewy bubble gum esters in there.

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Photo of glid02
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear brown color with light ruby highlights and a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted malts with hints of grass and lighter hints of spices. As it warms the toasted malts become more predominant and very slight chocolate aromas waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly toasted malt flavors up front are joined by nondescript fruit and grassy flavors. As with the smell, slight chocolate flavors come out as the beer warms. The finish is sweet.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit on the thin side with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass but I'm not sure I'll have another.

Overall this is an odd amalgamation. If anything I'd say it was a brown ale on the lighter side with hints of a saison. There are plenty of other beers I'd put ahead of this one, but it's worth judging for yourself.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at birreria paradiso in georgetown

cell phone notes

appearance: served in a tulip from the upstairs bar - light mahogany body with no head

smell: very light funk, wheat loaf, light yeast aromas, dry toasted malt

taste: an enjoyable beer but a really tame saison - at least its a different interpretation. very light funk presence, a touch nutty, bready malts

mouthfeel: a little thin

drinkability: good

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Photo of CHickman
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Gramercy Tavern in nYC.

Pours cloudy ruby red brown with a creamy beige 1/4 inch head that lasted for a while; good lacing that sticks to the glass. Carbonation was flowing up the glass very rapidly, which is reminiscent of champagne bubbles.

Smells of sweet malt, light spices, yeast, caramel, light hops and grass and/or herbs; it's a strange smell that's kind of saison and kind of brown ale, but not distinctive on the nose to classify it as either, which I guess is the point of this beer.

Tastes of sweet malt up front, with cherry, light spices, yeast, caramel, grass, herbs, bread, toasted grains, raisin or plum, syrup, floral and citrus hops, and some light pepper. Very tasty, smooth and well balanced considering the earthy feel to this. The alcohol was not a factor in the taste at all, and I was surprised to learn that it was 7.85%.

The brew has a light feel, with a medium body, very light carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel that leaves a slight sour pucker in the finish. Overall it was easy to drink, and I might even say refreshing and smooth.

A very, very enjoyable hybrid that I will definitely seek out again as I love the Sierra Nevada signature flavor injected into this saison, which kept enough of the brown ale character to make this a unique brew.

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Photo of Gmann
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brown color with an average off-white head, that settled into a sparse cap. The aroma is of light bubble gum, clove, and hay. The tastes starts off with a lemony sweet & sour, followed by some bubble gum and cloves, finishes with a traditional brown ale lightly roasted malt and light hops. I can taste the saison flavors, mostly sour and tart, and can taste the brown ale flavors. I would like to see some more farmhouse flavor. Moderate body with prickly carbonation, ranges from sweet to sour to dry/bitter. I think I would like to see this a little more yeasty and sweet and not such a range of senses on the palate. A different take on the saison. Seems to be bit all over the place but has some nice flavors.

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Photo of gford217
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear brownish amber with a big off-white head that shows good lacing and retention.

I found the aroma to be a little less spicy than most saisons. There is plenty of fruity sweetness and a tiny hint of spiciness from the yeast. There is also a big caramel malt sweetness that comes through.

The taste is much more tart than the aroma would suggest with some lemons up front as well as hints of other light fruits. There is a hint of the sweet caramel malts base as well.

The mouthfeel is bubbly and medium bodied with a bit of dry spiciness on the palate.

I'm not sure if this falls squarely in the saison category, but it's a decent beer overall. It's interesting and has a good bit going on.

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Sierra Nevada Brown Saison from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 96 ratings