Saison Du BUFF | Stone Brewing

very good
1,339 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 1,339 |  Reviews: 550
Photo of Stone4Life
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured this from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter class, only because i particularly enjoy aromas.

A: Beautiful golden honey color with about a 3 quarters inch of beautiful bright white head. Just an outstanding beer to look at.

S: Cant say a single bad thing about the smell of this beer. The fresh herbs(sage,parsley,rosemary,thyme) hit you in the face immediately at first smell. After a quick swirl and a second analysis the light but beautiful and fruitful hop smells came to the nose as well

T: At first I thought the smell was a front and was expecting much less from the taste of the beer. But being as stone is, the taste came through with lots of character and the fresh herbs are expressed beautifully

D: For a 6.8% beer this is extremely drinkable. Goes down as easy as a good pilsner or a kolsch. Would have def grabbed a second if i had another one available:(

Overall everything i expected from a collaboration of brewers of this caliber. Highly recommend it to everyone. the smell alone is worth buying this beer.

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Photo of tdawgydog
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple of bottles of this on my last visit to Half Time.

A - A little more clear than your typical Saison. Not in a bad way just not as unfiltered as I would have expected.

S - Possibly the greatest aspect of this beer is the smell. Strong scent of Rosemary is sweet to the nose and keeps you coming back for more.

T - The Stone influence in clear in the taste. You can taste the herbs that were put into this. Overall it is extremely enjoyable. One of the better beers that I have had this summer.

D - Well, just about perfect for a hot summer day like today. I've finished my supply and it's left me wanting for more.

M - Well done, maybe a little more head but that could be contributed to the style.

I'll be looking for more of this on my next trip to the beer store.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into sniffer. Version brewed at Stone.

A: Pours a citrus-golden with a huge bright white head that slowly reduced into a thick pillowy layer that left spots of sticky lace down the glass.
S: Wow! Really unique. I can really smell the parsley, sage, and rosemary. This beer smells really green, like fresh cut nature. I also pick up a notes of what smells like fresh mint leaves. There is a subtle sweetness to the scent as well, with notes of tangerine and fruity hops.
T: Very complex spicy and herbal flavor. Notes of mint, grass, sage, grapefruit, tangerine, bubblegum, coriander, black pepper, earth and a hint of thyme. Hits the palate sweet and finishes with a light funk and bitterness.
M: Carbonation bubbles up when it hits the mouth but stays even through the swallow. Medium body with a dry finish. Tea like qualities. Bitter/sour aftertaste is strange but light.
D: I wasn't expecting much looking at the ingredients of this beer, but I'm surprised how well they actually worked! Very unique and interesting flavor. Like chewing mint bubblegum you dropped in a muddy herb garden. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful hazy golden color with a frothy eggshell head that retains impressively and leaves nice lacing. The aroma has some fresh hay and bread dough upfront, along with white pepper, floral hops, spices (thyme, rosemary, parsley), a little honey and mineral. The flavor is similar to the aroma with biscuit and hay initially, along with some white pepper, spicy hops, rosemary, sage, cardamom, a little honey, some fruity esters and a little alcohol. The mouthfeel is light but not watery, and drinkability is good but a little limited by the prevalence of spices. An interesting saison here, definitely heavier on the spices that most examples I've tried.

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Photo of Rhynes2
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was first drawn to this brew when I noticed who had collaborated on it. The herbs really are the main feature of this beer. They take over the taste of this brew and deliver something so unique to your palette. Nice head for this one and it sticks around for quite a while. Aroma is spicy and matches the flavor of this beer perfectly. As my first saison I have to admit I'm very impressed and I'll be looking for a few of these to stock my fridge when i can.

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Photo of samie85
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-This one is a pale golden color with a one finger head.

S-Rosemary and thyme and in a big way. Some light malt and faint hint of Belgian yeast.

T-Rosemary and thyme but not as in your face as the nose with a bitter, crisp, dry Belgian yeast finish.

M-Light bodied and effervescent with medium carbonation.

D-This is one heck of an interesting beer. It's hands down the best saison I've had to date. This isn't a terribly easy to drink beer though as I fee like after one or two of these you'd get some hardcore palate fatigue from the herbs.

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Photo of bassmantin
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am really excited about this one. I always love trying collaboration brews, and the collaborators are among the best. Really cool bottle, too.

Ok... Pours are a glowing yellow/orange with nice thick foamy head that sneaks up on you and takes a while to settle down.

There a very unique herb in the smell. If I hadn't read the bottle, I probably would not have been able to pick it out, but now that I know what it is, it is obviously rosemary. In addition, there are citrus notes, and I can tell the malts are going to be delicious.

The taste is very unique. Lots of rosemary up front. Then the rosemary fuses with a sort of bitterness/alcohol taste that lingers for quite some time. The bitterness is actually a little too harsh for me, and it seems to overpower the malts. Or perhaps that is some characteristic of the rosemary.

Either way, I am not getting quite the malt flavor or the levity I expect in a saison. A little disappointing. I will drink the beer and appreciate the novelty but probably not pick this one up again. If only it had lived up to the smell!

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Photo of DIM
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a slightly cloudy golden color. It poured with a thick, sticky, and stiffly creamy white head.

s: Interesting! I have to admit that I thought the parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme was just a silly gimmick. Okay, so it is a bit gimmicky, but it smells pretty damn good. This is a pretty hoppy saison and that works well with the spices. I wouldn't say that I could pick out any specific spice though. Overall this earthy and musty with a fresh, prickly element. Absolutely unique.

t: Tastes as good as it smells. There are three components at work here and they blend together almost seamlessly. This is spicy, bitter, and earthy all at once. The combination tastes grassy and vaguely garlicy. There might be a rosemary tickle at the very end. Unique and difficult to describe.

m: Full bodied for a saison with gentle carbonation.

d: Its been a long time since a beer caught me completely off guard. What an outstanding collaboration!

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Photo of glennl
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

poured into a duvel glass from a 12 oz bottle with Stone Brewing cap.

nice golden color with thick white head that lasted a long time. strong herbal aroma with hints of cracked peppercorn and lemon.

the aromas carry over into the taste, with rosemary predominating, and *maybe* overwhelming. typical belgian yeast characteristics with champagne-like healthy carbonation.

this was a tough beer for me to buy because though I love saisons and all three of the collaborating brewers, I don't have much love for rosemary. So the fact that this was an enjoyable beer for me is a testament to the brewer's artistry.

i had the first 6oz or so paired with an arugula salad with shrimp and lemony mustard dressing, the second 6 oz by itself. i think this is a beer that lends itself better to food pairing due to the strong herbal component. overall very good, but it's just "out there" enough that I wouldn't see myself having more than 1 in a sitting.

in any case, big points for creativity!

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Photo of chrisgn
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The first thing that hits you is the amazing aroma of the hops when you pour it. This beer has a wonderful complex hoppiness and light mouthfeel. There are also some sweet fruit flavors on the backend. All round great beer. I don't think this is a beer you would be drinking a lot of, but it is certainly enjoyable with or with out food.

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Photo of gr8scott88
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden yellow, large head

S - This is a beer with a whole lot of herb. Got a lot of the thyme and rosemary with hints of basil and others.

T - The word that first comes to mind is "interesting". Definitely a unique taste, very fresh, and strangely appealing. This brew easily acts as a thirst quencher. The herbs come out strong with a few hints of citrus.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Definitely pleasant all around. Texture complimented by the head.

D - Definitely a great experience. Not something to be over consumed, but as a drink alone its a great overall taste and texture, and refreshing on top of that.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. 6.8% ABV, Age at Cellar temp 55°F or below, no date.

A - The hiss from the crack of the cap keeps me from being alarmed at the presence of a quickly rising head. Four full fingers of dense white foam disappoints by lowering quickly to a lumpy pile. Some clumpy, patchy lace covers the glass above the very pale yellow beer.

S - Lemon grass and spice bombards the nose with strength. Black pepper, coriander, grains of paradise, and more seem to be packed inside this beer. Saying it's spicy just doesn't seem to cut it. A pinch of yeast and pale malts falls deeply to the background.

T - A burst of citrusy lemon grass-like hops catches me off guard a bit before the taste turns right back to a very spice-oriented flavor. Black pepper, coriander, and floral notes overwhelm. It's an interesting flavor that reminds me of something the Bruery would put out.

M - Light-bodied and incredibly crisp with a sharp carbonation bite to the finish, Buff is spicy, dry, and semi-bitter to the finish. Still fairly smooth going down though.

D - I like spice in my beer. I also love saison beers. This beer is a combination of two things that I love which only proves that, sometimes too much of a good thing actually can be too much. I DO think it's good but I also think the spiciness is a bit harsh and could use a little less bitterness on the finish as well.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Poured a semi-hazy golden yellow color. Two finger light tan head that just showed amazing retention. Chunky lacing on the dies of the glass as I drank it down. Fantastic looking saison!

S- Bready yeast aroma from the front. Nice floral hops in the middle to backing with a light earthy tone to them. A nice peach like fruit aroma toward the middle as well. Rosemary is a big aroma that I get from this as a spice. I know there are some other ones in here but I can not make them out as individuals.

T- A nice kick to the mouth right off the bat. Nice peach flavor with some lemon zest to it breaks through a grassy taste. Spices come through the with rosemary coming on top. Very earthy tasting on the backend with some light bittery hops with a floral blast on the ending.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Rosemary left on the palate and dominates most of the aftertaste with a light yeasty taste. Flavors were muddled a little too much at times but everything was clean flavorwise. Light drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- This was a interesting beer to say the least. the aroma and appearance was better than the overall flavor. The rosemary in this beer was a little too much for me moreso after the beer itself warms up. Would love to try this again.

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

(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear golden yellow with a swirling sea of microbubbles and a creamy light tan head that last
S- The perfumy yeast aroma of saisons has a green hop snap with notes of mint and thyme and a very faint herbal parsley quality. There is a rubber balloon note to the finish of the hops. T- The yeasty saison flavor has a slight sweetness with a faint bread quality and a big pungent hop kick in the finish with grapefruit zest qualities that grow as the beer opens up.
M-There is a medium mouthfeel with a tight light fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.
D- The nice saison with strong American hops has an interesting herbal twist with mint and rosemary that is not over the top but.... interesting.

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Photo of alcstradamus
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a nice golden yellow with a finger and a half of head that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is very strongly spiced and herbal...wowee. Heavy notes of lemon peel and banana as well. The alcohol is noticeable at 6.8%.

The flavor is herbal and alcoholic. Not as much depth as I would have guessed from the nose. A bit musty too. Not really tasty at all actually.

The body is light and carbonation is spot on. Overall this is just unfortunately not a good beer.

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Photo of jmerloni
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Golden yellow-amber appearance with a yeasty haze. Sparkles in the glass. Head is big, sticks around, and laces nicely. If the fountain of youth exists, this is it.

S - WOAH herbs and spices just as marketed. Thyme majorly. Rosemary. Basil. Yeast. Smells so fresh. I just tried to picture the field that all of these ingredients came from but nothing I could imagine came close enough. This is an exceptionally smelling beer.

T - Oh man. As good as most any beer I've ever had. SO remarkably fresh. Pure and pristine and crisp tasting. Herbs and spices leave a tingle on the tongue. Perhaps the crispest beverage that has ever entered my mouth. Exceptional.

M - The head and the yeast give each sip a fantastic texture that compliments the way the spices make the tongue tingle. Dry and spicy finish. Well carbonated and light to meidum bodied.

D - A mind-blowing beer. That's all I have to say.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into 400ml New Belgium branded tulip glass.

Appearance: Golden-orange color with a very large, slowly dissipating off-white head that leaves lots of thick lace around the edges of the glass.

Smell: Slight biscuity malt aromas with a wealth of hop smells. Strong floral and grassy nose with a touch of earthiness. There's also a nice peach smell that comes through. Interesting spices. This is possibly the best smelling beer I have had.

Taste: Peachy flavor up front, backed up by a nice grassy bitterness. The finish reveals more peaches and a satisfying earthiness. There is a noticeable hop aftertaste in the back of the throat, but it isn't very strong. The spices are also apparent throughout the drink. Doesn't taste quite as good as it smells, but still damn good.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a lot of carbonation, though it isn't too sharp on the tongue. The finish starts off a bit watery, but dries out.

Drinkability: This is a superb beer and probably the best Saison I have had. I hesitated a little to buy this beer at first, but I am very glad I ended up purchasing it. If you haven't already tried this beer, you definitely should- strongly recommended!

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another from the collaborative series Stone has been doing of late: this one is a confederation with brewers from Victory and Dogfish Head. 12 oz. bottle, poured to a 25cl 'La Chouffe' tulip glass.

'BUFF' = Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor.
Ale brewed with Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

A: Cast into the glass with vigor, the result is mildly-hazed golden crowned by 3-fingers of cloud-like whiteness. The head drops gradually and loosely, opening with fissures like lava rock. Tiny trickling streams of carbonation are everywhere, faithfully replenishing the topping as it fades. Small dabs of foam for lace.

S: A light citrus, maybe even lemongrass, before a muddled herbalness takes control. Black pepper twitches in the nose, cut grass and just enough sweetness - a doughy yeast roll.

T: Piney hops expose themselves upfront in a beer that reminds me more of a 'Belgian IPA' than a 'Saison' from the first sip. Yeast offers a chalk-dry bittering, but the varied herbs remind me of a more-pronounced version of the "Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer" I just recently tasted. The sage and thyme really burst forth as this warms, with peppered bitterness to follow. Curious/tasty.

M: Crisp and reasonably 'light', plenty of lively carbonation and spices to keep the tongue busy. A lasting coating, oils that last for quite a while past the last sip.

D: I don't know that this wins me over from the traditional farmhouse saisons, but I certainly applaud the effort to push the boundaries and try something new. This is my second bottle and I'm bound to get a couple more and (since they're bottle-conditioned) keep at least one for a while to see what develops. A 'try' recommendation is an easy call...

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Photo of scottyb88
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Duvel glass

A- pours a cloudy dark yellow with a fluffy two finger white head with ok lacing

S-funky; sweet candied citrus peel with a hint of sage, rosemary, and thyme, but I couldn't pick it out if I didn't know it was brewed with those herbs; nice yeasty aromas

T-i think there is more sage in the taste than anything with a hint of woody rosemary; nice funky yeasty flavors with a light citrus and pepper

M-great mouthfeel; its the stone version, what do you expect; very full as always with just the right amount of carbonation for my liking; the aftertaste is decent with a mixture of alcohol esters, orange peel, and some herb

D-it's a unique offering but not as crazy or intense as the description says; the flavorings blend well and nothing is too overpowering; a bit gimmicky? perhaps, but it's worth a try.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours slightly cloudy straw-yellow with about a finger of white head, which fades fast leaving clumps floating in a film on top of the beer with a thick, clingy ring around the glass. Slow, fine visible carbonation. Smell is fruity -- bananas, a little citrus, some cloves, more banana.

Taste has only a hint of the banana from the smell, more cloves, a fair amount of parsley. Bitterness of lemon peel. Sour bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is light, airy, and good. Solid, drinkable beer.

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

12oz bottle served in a large wine glass.

L - hazed golden color with a fluffy white head that stayed as a layer and left trails of lacing.
S - saison aroma with a kick of spices.
T - the spices really shine through without becoming overbearing with a fruity hop bitterness on the finish.
F - medium bodied with good carbonation.
D - quite a tasty treat.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Unibroue Ephemere tulip.

A: Slight hazy gold/light copper, sticky, rocky head that lasts, leaves lace all over the glass on each sip. Constant carbonation bubbles race from the bottom. Nice looking brew, for sure.

S: Some tropical/citrus fruits, a little Belgian-like yeast, a little bit of slightly toasted grains, and then the sage and rosemary. If I hadn't read the bottle, I wouldn't have known they were in it. First smell reminded me of a Thanksgiving turkey, if it were covered in lemon juice.

T: Slightly sweet, hops are nice and bright, a little spicy yeast, although I don't think it's Belgian, and if it is, it's not a very potent strain, it's very laid back, IMO. The herbs aren't as noticeable in the flavor to me, and the beer is wonderfully balanced. It honestly reminds me of Hennepin if the hops were more pronounced and the yeast was subdued. Good flavor.

M: Creamy smooth, not bad at all.

D: Pretty easy to drink. The aftertaste is slightly weird at first, but the more you drink, the better it gets.

This one is a hit, to me. If the next BUFF collab is even half as good as this one, I'll buy it. This one is great, and if you can find it, buy it. Well worth the 3.99 per 12 ounce that I paid.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - this poured a light but hazy orange in color with a wonderful white head that seemed almost weightless.

Smell - The farmhouse funk is in full force here and fights for the head of the line with these wicked, resiny hops. The massive grapefruit in particular is going all out to take over this aroma but the funk ain't no punk. This is a bit Fishy as well - think hoppy sweaty feet.

Taste - The funky malt takes a slight step back allowing the big grapefruit and apricot to run a Victory lap. The combination though reminds me of Mary Jane, so if you enjoy getting Stoned this may be the ale for you.

Mouthfeel - This is almost medium-bodied with tight, professional carbonation and a sturdy bitterness throughout.

Drinkability - This is a one-off beer and you'll most likely never get a chance to taste anything like it again to get it while you can.

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Photo of Snover
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought as single 120z bottle. Poured into a Ikea version of a Riedel stemless Pinot glass. Pours a deep gold with a slight haze. Aroma is immediately noticeable. Strong spice, citrus, and yeast aromas. Light body (but not without character) with plenty of carbonation dancing on your tongue. refreshing. The spices dominate the flavor, but with a cohesive balance and enough room for a citrus notes. Crisp finish with a developing herbal aftertaste making you go back for more. As the beer warms in the glass I got more tropical fruit flavors up against the spice and the finish rounds out revealing some grains. It seems like you find rosemary and oregano flavors coming out about a minute after the rest of the flavors subside.

I wouldn't have 2 in a row, but this beer would be a fantastic one for food pairing. Might make a good steak marinade as is?
What I find incredible about this beer is that its use of herbs is right on target, making a statement without going overboard. It begs many questions for tweaking. I hope see more collaborations like this in the future!

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Photo of mdfb79
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a slightly golden color with high carbonation evident and one finger of fluffy white head.

s - Smells of citrus, spices, yeast, and bananas. Lots and lots of different spices in the nose.

t - Tastes mostly of spices. Also some citrus and tropical fruit.

m - Light body and hight carbonation that stings the mouth.

d - An interesting saison that makes it very clear it was brewed with a lot of different spices. Glad I tried it and different, but a little too much spice in the taste for me; would have liked more going on. Wouldn't seek out again.

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Saison Du BUFF from Stone Brewing
3.85 out of 5 based on 1,339 ratings.
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