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Saison | Stone Brewing

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1,274 Ratings

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A modern take on a Belgian classic
First Release: April 2014

In spring 2011, Stone bought the farm, literally, taking over 19 acres of fertile Southern California soil where we now grow pristine fruits, vegetables, herbs and more for our Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurants. A taste of our homespun farm-to-tableism is provided in this farmhouse ale. Lemon zest, grains of paradise, lemon thyme and lavender harvested in Southern California fields, including our own at Stone Farms, provide citrus and floral character along with a subtle, tantalizing spice. Thanks to the infusion of fresh West Coast ingredients, this isn’t your everyday saison. It’s our saison—100% Stone.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,274 |  Reviews: 206
Reviews by rangerred:
Photo of rangerred
2.98/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a hazy medium gold with a huge billowy white head. Like a good Saison, the head is rocky and has awesome staying power. It hangs on for a long time with huge clumps clinging to the sides of the glass.

The aroma really throws me for a loop. The spices are really in your face and seem a bit overdone. A Saison should have some yeasty spice but this just seems a bit artificial. Too much lemon and ginger. Maybe just a slight hint of actual yeast esters coming through.

The flavor lets up on the spices a little bit but not much. Still a huge hit of lemon with ginger figuring in prominently. The ginger really stands out to me and overpowers the yeast esters which are there but buried in the background. There is a good deal of heat on the back of the throat after the finish from the ginger. Mouthfeel is a little too sweet and sticky for the style.

Overall, I absolutely love Saisons and they are one of my favorite style; Stone has not done it justice. Making a good Saison basically involves using the right yeast and the right temperatures. It seems like Stone just through a ton of spices in the brew to cover up any imperfections. Not really worth seeking out.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RexBanner
1/5  rDev -72.1%

Served from a 12 ounce bottle in a Pilsner glass.

Its appearance was golden with an off white colored one finger head that had some retention. The lacing on the glass was present throughout the session.
Not quite clear as it was somewhat hazy. Nice carbonation bubbles rising to the top. A few sediments playfully dancing in the glass as well.

The nose was of lavender, very faint citrus, maybe lemon, Pilsner hops and what I'm only assuming to be adjunct grains.
Unfortunately the taste is where this beer lost me. It tasted as if I was drinking cold bath water. I picked up the citrus, albeit very subtly. It was the taste of everything else that did me in. The lavender was very prominent, as was the Pilsner hops. Not very "hoppy" but the combination of Pilsner and lavender just didn't do it for me.
Sad to say that the rest of this one found its way down the drain of the kitchen sink.

Not the best Saison in my humble opinion, but if you've had it and enjoyed it then that's all that really matters.

 1,012 characters

Photo of churchillps
1.5/5  rDev -58.1%

Not a saison. Not remotely close to a saison. Not even a good beer.

67 characters

Photo of TonyLema1
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: deep yellow with a small tight head
S: Belgian yeast fruitiness
T: clean, some fruit, peppery finish
F: coats the back of my tongue
O: a nice medium body saison

 165 characters

Photo of Jeffrey-Pulver
4.11/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Stone pulls off yet another fantastic beer. Sasion is very dry, might put off some but it was a nice change of pace from Stones other beers. Mix of spice, hops, black pepper and cituris.

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Photo of GrahamDN
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

"Bottled on 05/20/15"; drunk 06/22/15.

Lovely medium gold and exceptionally clear. Medium head dissipates to leave some lacing along the walls of the glass.

A bouquet of citrus and herbs backed by flowers and spice stands out over top a faint sour note and some sweet, subdued grainy malt.

Much of the same on the palate, but differently ordered. Pale malt with an exciting peppery tingle, followed by a bright green herbal flavor. Lemon peel is there too, but so delicately wrapped up in the floral and herbal character that they seem inseparable. The light sweetness on the palate disappears on the finish, leaving a dry lemon-pepper aftertaste with bright lemony-herbal bitterness that is as the same time satisfying in itself and dying to be washed away with another sip.

Medium-light body. Fine carbonation and pepper spice make the mouthfeel. The peppery character might be overdone for some, but I really enjoy its center-stage presence.

Considering that saisons at their origin were likely seasoned with more than just hops, Stone's seemingly non-traditional saison may be more traditional than one thinks at first. Either way--it's delicious, and I'll buy it again whenever it's on shelves.

 1,213 characters

Photo of Webbey
1.5/5  rDev -58.1%

Left a rating but accidentally deleted it.

The beer seems great at first but then a medicinal, powder pill flavor sets in. It was like that feeling you have when you keep medicine in your mouth for too long before you down it. Extremely bitter and did not seem right to me.

I'm sure it is a great beer and that I more than likely had a bad bottle. But, the one I had was DEFINITELY just barely a 1.5.

 402 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, cloudy, golden copper/orange color with a full finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with strong aromas of bready, toasted malt, imparting notes of English muffins and sourdough bread, mingled with tons of orange-like citrus, ginger, coriander, saffron, honey, clover, honeysuckle, a touch of sage and thyme, and lots of Belgian yeast. Very nice!

Taste: Pretty good, but not as nice as the aroma. A lot of the same flavors as the aromas are present, specifically, toasted malt, orange-like citrus, ginger, coriander, saffron, honey, clover, honeysuckle, a touch of sage and thyme, and lots of Belgian yeast, however, there’s also a lot of piney, bitter hops, which makes it the bitterest, hoppiest saison I’ve ever had.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very effervescent, as there is quite a bit of carbonation. With an ABV of 6.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty good saison, but to my palate, not great. I like the flavors of toasted malt, orange-like citrus and the spices, but for my taste, there is way too much hops and bitterness. It really doesn’t even come off as a saison, in my mind, just a very spicy American pale ale or IPA. I shouldn’t have been surprised, this is a beer brewed by Stone Brewery, however, I am disappointed.

 1,470 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Stone Saison
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "2014 RELEASE"

For some reason I expected Stone's Saison to be bigger than it is, or maybe I should say "aggressive". I guess I have to get that perception out of my mind though as they've made a few more less-agressive beers lately. However, it does still have an edgy character to it!

It's fruity upfront with apple, peach, and lemon zest backed by sweetish malt, but then it begins to dry quickly. Firstly there's a touch of mustiness which is quite charming, followed by a sprinkling of white pepper, and then herbs. Fresh rosemary is used, and it comes through clearly. Some black pepper comes in, and then some chalky dryness from the yeast follows. To bring us back to the start of the dryness, there's more spicy pepper that very slowly fades in the long-lingering finish. The bitterness is kept in check, leaving it nicely balanced despite the spiciness.

I find it interesting in that the dryness at the end prompts you to go back to the beginning where you found that juicy fruitiness, making it almost compellingly drinkable. What it lacks is something that I find kind of intangible, or at least hard to explain in many cases, and that has to do with the complexity of the yeast. This is fairly straightforward, and essentially "clean", which is usually a great thing but this time around I'm missing a little bit more of the funkiness or unusual yeasty character that you sometimes find in a saison. On the other hand, they do state that it's "A MODERN TAKE ON A BELGIAN CLASSIC", so I can hardly complain - and as I look at an empty glass I really can't complain! If you can handle the spicy pepperiness that'll build on your palate I'd recommend you give it a shot.

 1,724 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.99/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, brewed 5/15/15

Pours light and near clear, off white head stays around nicely.

Coriander and lime on the sniff

More of the same on the palate biting lime, tonic, pepper, coriander again...oh yeah and crisp hops....aggressive - surprise - saison from Stone

 272 characters

Photo of thebrood1987
4.91/5  rDev +37.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looks like a summer beer! On the smell I get citrus/lemony notes and a hint of lavender with the grains of paradise and grainy malt smells underneath it. I also smell the clove from the Belgian yeast. A nice wave of citrus/lemon hits the tongue with a tiny bit of lavender in the middle and ending with a slight hoppy bitterness, grains of paradise, grainy malt and a slight habanero burn from the peppers they use in the brew which isn't listed but in the tasting notes. Perhaps they wanted to leave it a secret like Stone does with some of their recipes.

The base of the beer reminds me of Samuel Adams summer ale (I know Greg Koch doesn't like Jim Koch) but with a belgian yeast and way more spices. Being that I live in socal and knowing all the herbs and spices in this beer were grown on a farm not too far away from me really is a nice thought while sitting outside sipping on one of these! Good to know Stone can really nail other styles and make it their own!

 970 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nearly clear, this beer is pale gold/dark straw in color. The head is fluffy. It settles with lumps slowly. Surprisingly, there are only a few spots for lace.

The smell starts off musty. I also smell olives and mushrooms on the second whiff (really?). There's also a complex potpourri of spices on the third smell: oregano, lavender and rose pedals.

Smooth start that is mostly pale malt. The swallow and finish is biting but not quite bitter. The aftertaste has a strong fresh flower component along with a dry, bitter bite. Fuller body with a slightly above average carbonation. The taste of the beer is complex. There is an element that reminds me of EATING flower pedals on a whim--it isn't what the smell promises.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A-Pours a darker yellow color. Mostly clear small head. I poured it very softly in order to fit into my glass. Not much lacing.

S-Goodness, that is strong on the clove. Very spicy and peppery. Almost smells like bath soap; the lavender really comes out here as well.

T-Cloves and pepper with all that lavender. Some lemons. A little earthy. The aftertaste is like a clove cigarette. And now that I think about it a get such a peppery aftertaste it almost feels like there is some actual heat in my mouth now.

M-Medium bodied with a ton of carbonation. Dry with some bitterness. The peppery mouth feel is odd but amusing.

O-The first sniff and sip I was very unimpressed. It grew on me slowly and invade six of these things so I will finish them all but it's not going to be the best experience.

 799 characters

Photo of RebornStussy
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of N1Nkasi
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of WhoDatMatt
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.

Pours a very clear golden yellow colour, with a very light and airy body. Head forms a fine brilliant white, but settles out to little more than a minimal ring. Lacing forms spot and nothing more. The colour is nice, but otherwise it looks like a fairly forgettable beer.

Nose is clean and bright, but reliant on a spice addition that a really classic saison would not. It smells a little like pot-pourri, with a slight twinge towards more zesty citrus. It's not unpleasant, but it's also quite clearly not like a regular saison. Peppery and fake.

Taste is similar or slightly worse. Here there's a genuine lagery character to it: like what you get with a hint too much sugar in the mash—it's both too sweet and too light. There's a noticeable spice character that comes through, but it really doesn't feel much like the yeast is making itself felt. Back is a little harsh, despite the fact it's only 6% ABV.

Feel is heavy. It really has that over-drawn thickness that is acceptable in a big hoppy ale like Stone does so well—but in a delicate beer like this, it just doesn't work.

Nup. It's okay, but only okay. Stone are good craftsmen—they have the skill to get the fundamentals right—but there's absolutely no art to the beer, and this is a style that demands it. It's a weak, disappointing echo of a great style, and there are far better examples out there for you to find.

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Photo of ALLISON01
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DavidGross
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of kraticus41
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of Takashi
4.06/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of taospowder
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of alwaysplayin
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of beerman73
4/5  rDev +11.7%

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Saison from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 1,274 ratings