Saison Du BUFF | Stone Brewing

very good
549 Reviews
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Saison Du BUFFSaison Du BUFF

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in collaboration w/ Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Stone Brewing Company, and Victory Brewing Company, who each brewed a version at their own breweries.

Brewed with Parsley, Sage, Estate Rosemary & Thyme. Checkout the video for more:

Added by Todd on 05-05-2010

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Reviews: 549 | Ratings: 1,337
Photo of MEsoJD
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Poured into a generic tulip glass]

I: Yet another cheap bottle I picked up along with my main purchase of Stone's "16th Anniversary IPA". Stone collaborations have been hit or miss in the past, but for around $2.00 nothing much is ever lost. The bottle says that it's "herbaceously outrageous", so I'm assuming this maybe very floral. I'm not the biggest fan of the floral element in certain beer styles, but a Saison will probably suffice.

B: [7.7% ABV. 12 Fl. OZ. 2012 Release] The bottles not much to look at, but it pretty much follows the subtlety of previous collabs. This is probably one of the best set of breweries to do a collab with stone. Dogfish and victory both have great reputations.

A: Transparent/slightly hazy golden body with a very nice fluffy white head(slow/moderate dissipation), and good lacing.

S: No particular dominate smell. Hints of pine, grass, earth, floral, sage, and various fruits(lemon most familiar).

T: They weren't kidding on the bottle when they said it's, "herbaceously outrageous". A floral bomb of grass, earth, lemon throughout, sage, and other spices that linger well into the back on your tongue all complimented by sweet yeast(taste Belgian?). Also that funk that you may get with some other saisons is present. The taste can only be summed up as interesting.

M: sweet/slight dry/crisp finish, medium bodied, moderate carbonation, and light apparent alcohol.

O: This was an interesting brew.... you could even say unique, but is it for the better? Well all I can say is that I'm conflicted. I don't think I was satisfied, but I encourage these sort of experimental beers. It was truly worth the price if anything. So with that said, I would recommend for the experience, but wouldn't continue to buy. Savor Great Beer!

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Photo of jrenihan
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle.

Cloudy golden colour. Moderately sized white head. Fades to a film fairly quickly. Good lacing.

Herbs and spices stand out strongly. Sage, white pepper, others. Lemon and other light fruits. A bit floral.

Taste is strongly herbal. Sage, rosemary, thyme. Almost peppermint. Some lemon and yeast below. Herbal taste is too much for me.

Light to medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall, not bad. Some good qualities but the herbal focus is not my thing.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a cloudy light orange with a small white head that fades to a collar and small pool in a duvel tulip
S: smells of pale malt, fruity esters, and all sorts of herbs with some spicy yeast aroma
T: nice pale malt flavor, a bit of fruitiness, spice from the yeast, sage and many other herbs, maybe some basil. swallow brings another nice herbal kick with a bit of fruitiness and some yeastyness. not a lot of bitterness
M: moderate with soft carbonation and it leaves the palate a bit wet
O: a pretty tasty beer. it has good flavors and nice complexity but isn't quite to style.

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Photo of Braseltonage
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a Beligan tulip.

A: Nice straw golden color. While hazy, clearer than expected. Very little head on this particular pour. Slightly clingy lacing however.
S: A few Belgian esters on the nose. A hint of banana-like fruitiness. A peppery note as well. Herbaceousness is present, although particulars don't stand out (parsley, sage, etc.) Smells of a nice farmhouse/saison.
T: An almost tripel-ish grainy sweetness right up front. Familiar Belgian template through most of the sip, but abruptly followed by the herbal punch. Again, can't pick out the particular herbs, but definitely a drying, bittering finish. Not a bright, fresh herbs in a sauce type of herb feel, or even a dry-hop type of flavor and aroma. If you didn't tell me it was an herbed beer, I'd probably just think it had some stronger bittering hop additions.
M: Mouthfeel seems appropriate for the style and ABV, nice a drinkable.
O: Interesting, but not necessarily over the top as one might expect from three particularly talented breweries. A really nice domestic saison in my opinion and while the herbs definitely have a presence, it kind of leaves you wanting just a little more. A fine beer none the less.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had the DFH and Victory versions of the Saison du Buff. I've been looking to complete the triple, and I happened to see this final one on the beer menu at RFD in Washington D.C.

The beer was served in a tulip and served with grace by my knowledgable server.

The coloring was a very light yellow with about three fingers of light foam. This foam retained very well and leaves some decent lacing.

I immediately smelled sage and rosemary before I brought the glass to my nose. These are two of my favorite spices (I'm a fresh spice slut).

I get a lot of rosemary in my first taste. You can pull out the sage by working the liquid over in your mouth. Overall there is some decent balance. The surprise is that I don't get any of the expected sour/horse blanket presence that is typical to the saison style.

This is a challenging beer to drink based on the complexity. This is probably the most challeging to drink light beer I've ever had.

I think this is a pretty good spice beer, but out of the three Saison du Buffs... I like the the DFH the best.

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Photo of JayQue
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I missed out on this one the first time around. I had the Dogfish Head and Victory versions but had to wait till the 2012 collaboration for this one. Very similar to the others, less lemon zest, more grassy hops but still heavy duty on the spices.

Pours a hazy gold color with a big carbonated white head and some thick lacing. Head retention is pretty good.

Strong aroma of grassy hops and rosemary and the othr spices.

Taste is similar to aroma. Spices up front, a little vegetable taste but not enough to mess things up and some grassy hops.A little lemon zest here, but not as much as the other versions. No funkiness or yeasty taste like traditional saisons Like the other versions, this is not a beer for mass swilling, the spices would get annoying after two beers.

Mouthfeel is light but not weak and watery, crisp and interesting on the tongue with the spices.

All in all, a good refreshing summer beer.

Overall a pretty good summer beer, I still like more traditional Saisons better

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Photo of spoony
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll preface this review by saying that I think this beer was well done, just not my thing.

A-Nice golden color, with a touch of brown honey color. It poured slightly cloudy with a thin off-white head (I poured from bottle into a pint glass).

S-Strong herbal notes...lots of thyme, a touch of lemon and straw.

T-The herbal notes carry through strongly, which is both good and bad, IMO. There is a slight hoppiness to it and somewhat vegetal taste that I found a little off-putting after about 3 oz. I would have liked more apple and/or pear flavors.

M-fair to midland...moderate carbonation, medium body. You notice the alcohol versus some other saisons.

O-It was a complex beer, with a long finish. True to its label, it was very herbal. However, that vegetal aspect rubbed me the wrong way and I could have used more yeast/fruit. I just don't think it was for me.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into chalice. 2012 version.

A - Pours a hazy golden color akin to apple juice. The head is thin for the style, little more than a halo. The lacing is unimpressive.

S - Fresh herbs dominate the nose as advertised. Thyme, sage and fennel seed come to mind. They combine with a slight barnyard funk to make this one smell like an herb garden. Lacks the citrus character I usually enjoy in Saisons, but this one works.

T - Starts herbal then sweet belgian yeasts hit midpalate. Slightly citric, unlike the nose. The finish is of funk and mild grassy hops. There is a slightly astringent aftertaste, but it becomes less noticeable as it warms.

M - Medium body with a dry finish. The carbonation is serviceable for the style.

O - Ironically this was the first of the three Saison du Buff that I tried, but the last I am reviewing. This one, like the others, is big on the herbs. I really enjoyed the aroma but my palate fatigued of the flavors somewhat, by the end. I would still rate it just above the DFH version, in the competition of interesting, but mediocre beers.

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Photo of Jsenay
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into Russian River goblet

A - Pours light straw in color with a heavy forming head and some thick lacing.

S - definitely picking up the sage and thyme with the rosemary coming through faintly and some hay.

T - Sage is the easiest to pick out in the flavor. I'm guessing its the herb that they used the most of. Some subtle sweetness is evident.

M - Starts off sweet and drys out through the finish. Carbonation is subtle and it finishes dry with a tinge of herbaceous notes.

O - A nice rendition of a Saison but, not something I would look to drink a lot of. The problem lies with the sage. I feel that they used it a tad too much and it completely masked the other flavors that I'm guessing they wanted the drinker to experience. Nice novelty item but, that's about where it ends.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Surly Goat in West Hollywood, CA.

Pours a clear yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, herbs, and spices. Taste is of malt, grain, herbs, spices, and yeast. There is a mild spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty easy to drink but I think it smells better than it tastes.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this version of SDB after waiting a long time to get ahold of this second brewing from Stone. Nice looking beer - golden color, crystal clear, and with a good head. Even after 20 minutes some head remains. Smell is bright with the spices and a good dose of lemon. Taste is enjoyable - very refreshing - in addition to the expected Saison flavor the hops come through a bit more in this version that Victory or DFH. Well done!

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a hazy, straw yellow with a white finger width head and decent retention, resulting in a fine lace with nice stick.

Smell - Strong herbal aromas, especially from the sage and parsley. Slightly minty hint; probably due to the thyme.

Taste - Starts with an herbal combination of flavors; somewhat earthy, minty, citrusy and slightly peppery; mid-taste there's a mellow banana note from the yeast, otherwise the brew is fairly consistent in flavor from start to finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and drinkable.

Overall - Very well executed, but not a necessarily a combination of flavors I'm really looking for or craving in a beer. The ingredients list reads off like something you might use to spice up one's spaghetti sauce.

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Photo of bmoriarty
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh, 12 oz. bottle into a half pint tasting glass.

Pours a very clear golden color with a thin pure-white head that faded slowly. Almost looks like a pilsner, which caught me off guard given the name.

Very powerful smell, with the strongest notes being of thyme and parsley, with a bit of lemon. Had a hard time picking out the rosemary, which is unfortunate. Very aromatic, definitely a unique smell that I really enjoyed.

Taste is not as powerful as the smell, at least up front. At first it's simply clean and clear - but the herbs appear in full force as the beer moves to the back of your mouth.

Finely carbonated, great mouthfeel, almost like drinking champagne.

Overall, delicious and easy to drink. No hint of alcohol. Distinctly HERBAL as opposed to the floral/citrusy flavors we're familiar with from hops & white beers.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottling, Stone edition.

A: pale gold with fluffy ivory head; subsides into a thin sheen, some motes of lace

S: picked up the herbal/floral notes from the parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

T: herbal, earthy, grassy, bitter, hoppy, yeasty; little citrus, little oak/wood

M: dry, clean, crisp, bitter

O: if both DFH and Stone are involved, always worth a try - very interesting tasting beer - enjoyed the spice combination, as it came through in both the aroma and flavor

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Photo of tilopud_rye
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I took the suggestion to try this beer not knowing anything about it. When I opened the bottle and smelled what was in there I knew that this would be quite different from beers I've previously tasted. It's a clear see through gold liquid that adopts the colors of whatevers behind the glass. It smells like a garden. The aroma of the herbs blend together to make this smell like a flower garden. The smell alone is relaxing and can take you to a different place. The taste is very unique. I noticed the bottle doesn't say beer anywhere but malt beverage. The flAvor of he herbs has a stronger accent on the overall taste than most recipes that you'd see them in. This is fine and pleasant in this case because they're guided by the light malt and carbonation that present the herbs to your tongue. The herbs still gently tingle on your tongue after a sip. Is a very nice beer for relaxing on a quiet day.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Disney scotch ale glass (yes, they exist...) in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the breweries. I'm growing increasingly skeptical of collaboration brews anyway. ABV is 7.7%; this is the 2012 vintage.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour head of okay cream, decent thickness, and pretty good retention for the high ABV. Colour is a clear yellow-copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Delightfully malty, with a heavy herbal and spicey character that I quite fancy. I get parsley and rosemary per the label, but not thyme so much. Some honey. In any case it's quite fresh and appealing. I can't wait to try it, though I'm disappointed that no yeast comes through. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Herbal, with some of its character bordering on medicinal. Honey comes through along with clean straw and bright malts. I wouldn't call it full-bodied, but it's fresh and flavourful. Well balanced and built, though it lacks complexity or much subtlety. I do like it for what it is. It's too sweet, especially on the climax. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet - a bit too much so. Too thick. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but lacking depth or much complexity. It's almost a bit too fresh for its own good, as though they should have held onto it before bottling. It feels fresh from the fermenter, but that isn't necessarily a good thing. I'd try the other variations, but I wouldn't get this one again. Saison fans should look elsewhere.


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Photo of FarmerJohnny
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass
No freshness date

A - A hazy golden color with a nice two finger foam from the pour. The beer presents very well.

S - Belgian yeast dominates the smell on this one. Hints of herbs come through as well.

T - A little disappointing at first, but the taste is growing on me. You can very much tell this a belgian style. Banana notes as well as parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme hints. Results in a very herby beer.

M - Full bodied up front with a crisp finish. An alcohol taste lingers well after the finish. Surprising for something that's not the most alcoholic (esp for Stone)

O - A descent beer, not my favorite from Stone and not my favorite of the Collaboration series but I'm glad I tried it. Fans of the Saison style beer should definitely try this one out

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Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage

a - poured a two-fingers thick fluffy white head into a tulip glass that had great retention throughout. the body was a slightly bubbly and bright golden color.
s - very sweet and floral with a hint of earthiness.
t - bready, grassy, fruity and spicy.
m - bubbly and medium mouthfeel.
o - very drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The best Saison I have tried so far though I have only had 2 so far.

Pours out a yellow with hints of orange, a big fluffy white head and a lot of carbonation.

The smell is heavy on the herbs used, especially the rosemary and there are a lot of earthy and slightly fruity notes too.

The taste is dominated by the herbs used and there are hints of fruits and it has a slightly bitter and dry quality to it.

Very easy and refreshing to drink. These breweries should do more together.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 12 Jan 2012. Served in the (512) One snifter.

Big lacy off white head. Well carbonated. Cloudy dark gold in color. Aroma is herbal, like a Simon and Garfunkel song, but with yeast and mint. Starts quite herbal, rosemary and sage are dominant. Somewhat sweet and fairly yeasty. Medium fizzy body, warming ethanol. Herbs linger in the finish and aftertaste. Somewhat drying towards the end.

Interesting take on the style but this wouldn't be an everyday saison for me.

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Photo of BigCheese
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale yellow/straw, very light in color, white head quickly dissipates, no lacing.

S: Some coriander and cumin soapy/pepper, belgian yeast, funky, candy sweet.

T: Spicey up front, a vast array of aromatic spices, cumin, corriander, cloves, all spice, curry, cilantro all come to mind. Some banana-y yeast flavors, hard candy. A fresh dash of hops help clean it up. I've never had a brew so spice based. Very complex/hard to identify flavors.

M: Medium carbonation, pretty light body, ABV doesnt come through in taste.

O: This is like curry in a bottle, crazy ammount of developed spices, other than initial spice kick not a hole lot going on though, minimal malt/hop flavors. One of the more unique beers I've had. Nothing I would drink everyday but one of the best "tick" beers out there. Give it a try as I dont think you'll have anything similar.

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Photo of MeneerBeerSnob
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At Churchkey DC on draft poured into a tulip

A-Pours a clear golden hue with a finger and half of off white head.

S-Strong, nearly overwhelming, smells of sage, rosemary and thyme with a background of Belgian yeast and lemon pepper.

T-All the herbs, lemon pepper and yeast blend beautifully into a flavor unique from anything I've tasted before.

M-Dry and light allowing the herbs to shine before a lovely crisp finish.

O-Very unique Saison and would definitely recommend to fans of the style looking for something different.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to tulip the beer arrives a brilliant golden color, fairly opaque in nature, with a decent 1.5 finger white head, good retention and lacing. Fairly translucent. The nose is an aggressive blend of peppery lemon, yeast, and herbs. Similarly the flavor is a punch of lemony pepper, yeast and then an abundance of sage, allspice, rosemary spice. Different, aggressive but not overly so. Mildy bitter and fairly clean. Not much hop character. Finishes a bit thin in nature with a lingering herb flavor. Overall, glad to have tried it. Might go well with a rosemary lemon pepper chicken? I enjoyed it but likely won't be back.

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Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Extremely blonde in color presenting a clear gorgeous body that resembles a pilsner/lager

S: The nose is moderately aromatic pushing forth the sage and thyme. Decent nose, more unusual but interesting    

T: This saison has been my favorite ever since it was released the first time awhile back. The sage and rosemary are phenomenal will light citrus pulling through at the end

M: A great offering that is dry and bursting with flavor

O: I fell in love with this beer when it first came and i am so amped it came out again. Easily my favorite Saison. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of mltobin
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle picked up in Westchester NY.

Appearance is a light gold, with a white head, fairly frothy. It has a nose which contains yeast, sugar, hay, sage and other herbs. Taking a sip of this saison and I taste rustic style bread, citrus and some soap. It has a mouthfeel which is medium, rather dry in the finish. A fairly sweet aspect to the finish as well. All in all, a solid saison, which I am happy to see has hit the shelves again.

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Saison Du BUFF from Stone Brewing
3.85 out of 5 based on 1,337 ratings.
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