Saison Du BUFF | Stone Brewing

very good
1,338 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,338 |  Reviews: 550
Photo of cyrock1
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Straw to pale gold.

Smell: Fresh hops out the wazoo, an almost canibus like aroma mixed with herb de Provence.

Taste: Not much malt character. It is dominated by citrus and pine notes.

Mouthfeel: A lingering bitterness in the centrer of the tongue is slightly off putting.

Drinkability: One is enough for me, a little too lopsided.

 347 characters

Photo of Spider889
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Winking Lizard last year along side the other two incarnations of the beer. This is one of my favorite saisons and I was really happy to drink all three versions side by side to compare.

To save my sanity, I will review these tap versions side by side, and then copy/paste into each respective brewery's page.

4, 5, 4.5, 3.5, 4
Easily the most herbal of all three.

This one is the most cloudy with the best head and lace.
The smell is strong with lemongrass, sage, and rosemary. Very distinct and attractive floral qualities. The saision 'yeastiness' is moderate, adding a little twang.

The flavor is again very herbal - rosemary and sage abound. I absolutely adore this beer.

This one has med-high carbonation, but was the most drinkable. My favorite without reserve.

3.5, 3.5, 3.5, 4, 3.5

The main differences here are that the beer is much clearer and a slightly lighter shade of gold. It shines well in the light. The head is light and fluffy white. Lace is spotty at best.

The smell begins to deviate more. Hops muddle much of the herbal notes. This creates a softer nose and flavor.

The taste has a lot of noticeable hop character - all earthy, mellow European hops, but this is Stone, and they weren't going to simply duplicate an agreed upon recipe, especially one that wasn't for a IIIPA. I mean, what the hell was DFH and Victory thinking making a non-hop forward saison with herbs in it?!?

On a serious note, the Stone version isn't outright bitter, but the hops overtake the rosemary and lemongrass that hide in the background. This version also tastes maltier, and of a higher abv. All of this leads to a sweeter character, almost honey-like.

I didn't care for this version nearly as much as I did the DFH version.

3, 4, 4, 3, 3

This version is the least impressive-looking. Crystal clear, and a very light pale yellow. It had the shortest head and left no lace.

The smell is different from the other two. While the herbal characters are present, there is also a sweet sourness to the beer that is totally unique to the Victory brew.

The taste also has the sourness. I was surprised at first, but it is actually oddly pleasant. As it warmed some faint funkiness grew out of the Belgian yeast and all of the sage and rosemary.

I was on the fence on whether I liked this or the Stone version more at first, but when I think of which I would rather have again in the future, I think it would be the Victory.

 2,473 characters

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

A: Clean light brown in color with not much of a head.

S: Different. There's a real herbal quality to this one. The rosemary definitely was the one that came out most in the smell.

T: Something a bit medicinal about it. The herbs are well balanced by some sweet malts and not allowed to take the taste over, which I think is a good thing.

 340 characters

Photo of julian
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pale yellow straw color, mild haze, and huge lasting frothy white head.

S: Huge lemon zest aroma and grass. that's pretty much it.

T: Lots of lemon zest, grass and peppery spice.

M: Highly carbonated, prickly, finishes clean.

D: Great taste, lots of lemon zest, a little prickly in mouthfeel, but very workable ABV. Could drink a few of these on a hot day.

 364 characters

Photo of BieresDesMoines
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear very pale yellow with a small head and some good lace. The aroma is amazingly strong with cooking spices, fresh parsley and mint with plenty of cage some clove, some cardamom, the whole spice rack indeed. The flavor has some lemongrass and mild spiciness, the beer is nicely dry and bitter with some parsley and sage. The palate is a little thin. Nice enough beer!

 383 characters

Photo of bishopdc0
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Novare Res, over the course of a few days i was able to try all three versions.

For the dogfish version it was perhaps slightly fresher in the taste compared to the stone but i couldn't distinguish between the three overall thus i gave them equal score.

Very clear pale yellow thick white head good lace

The nose is sweet with some citrus grassy hops and yeast the spices do no present them self

Starts with a sweet citrus and spicy it milds and finishes dry with a dry mouth the spices present themselves and finishes bitter much like you'd get from licking a lemon

 589 characters

Photo of BucBasil
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a large snifter.

A: The beer is a dark orange color, extremely cloudy, with a 2 finger thick off-white head that has great retention.

S: Very complex, herbacious smell. Predominantly citrusy with a hint of pepper and a slight savoriness with a bit of a twang to it. All the advertised herbs are represented. Very herbal and slightly floral aroma overall, reminding me of sitting in a steamroom with the herbal/eucalyptus spray applied - kind of minty, overall very herbal, very refreshing and fresh.

T: Complex taste here with a predominant pepperiness and a complex herbal finish. Floral later, like drinking fresh flowers, but in a good way. Very fresh tasting, with herbs taking over. Slight lemon twinge and a drying hoppiness in the finish. I can see this being a pretty refreshing beverage on a summer day.

On a spring evening, this was still a good choice, and an interesting experience overall. I'd pick this up again if they continued to brew it but really I'm looking forward to the next collab...

 1,046 characters

Photo of afausser
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a golden hue that reminds me of wheat but is a bit more amber-toned. Almost a figer of frothy, bubbly, uneven head, which doesn't seem huge for a saison, but looks very nice. Very hazy, with small carbonation bubbles mingling around the glass and larger ones streaming in a variety of sizes and at a variety of speeds to the top of the glass. Very strong smell--a bit like Bell's Hopslam, oddly, with only a few herbal saison notes that I'm picking out. Pleasant enough. Smells like it'll get a lot funkier as it warms, and is pretty nice. Tastes good, love what they did with the style/creativity. Mouthfeel is absolutely awful and inconsistent. Drinks smoothly on a nice spring-like day.

 695 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I cooled this one on the back steps in the snow, then let it warm back up a little before pouring. A nice yellow body with a very slight haze, three and a half fingers of a nice rocky head. Head was made up of very fine bubbles, and subsided to a 1/8" layer that left major lacing on the glass.

Aroma starts out with some citrus and floral hops, but quickly transitions into herbal/grassy notes. I can pick up a little lighter malt underneath, but it's tough.

Taste starts out as bitter and peppery right up front. Herbal notes come through clearly. Mostly sage, some thyme. Rosemary and parsley seem hidden, but I am sure there is some contribution that is just too subtle for me to pick up. Underneath it all I can detect clean, light malts. I think it's a little out of balance with the herbal/hoppy character taking most of the stage.

Mouthfeel is OK. Good body/viscosity for the lightness of the flavor. As mentioned above, it's a nice clean malt character if you can find it. A bit creamy, due to the carbonation. But it's hard to exclude the slight heaviness that the herbs contribute.

Drinkability is just average for me. I can finish one, and if there was nothing else, maybe a second in a social situation. But if it's just me at the computer, or watching TV, one would be plenty. I had Stone's version, and initially considered trying the other ones if I could find them still on shelves. But after making it most of the way through this one, I think I'll pass.

 1,477 characters

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: cloudy golden on the bottom, to amber gold up top. huge fluffy white head, pillowy, and sticky. legs all over the place.
S: all of the used herbs come through, perhaps least so the parsley, but maybe that brings all the other herbs back down to earth. big sage honestly, with even some peppercorn that im picking up ( maybe the nicie spicie i had the other night makes me
sensitive to it).
T: wow just like i thought on peppercorn. i dont know if its just the overload of herbs or what, but it hits hard. big sage and thyme with a HUGE peppercorn taste. this is an overly herbaceous beer. i almost feel like i lose the beer and just have a mouthful of herb. i rate this high for the sheer volume of flavor and sharpness, but its almost too much.
M: nice carbonation level, the beer itself is fairly light, but the ingredients make it heavy and tolling on the palate.
D: i love whats going on here, but i gotta say ones enough. very very interesting concept, just too much concept.

 984 characters

Photo of breweryaprntc13
4.82/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick foamy white head which gradually recedes leaving excellent lacing, underneath sits a vibrant gold body, slightly hazy.

Citrus hops lead, some yeast? notes, grainy, some sourness, apples, slight tart, clove.

Citrus hops most noticeable, bready notes, corn, slight earthy bitterness, weak sour undertones, some herb and clove flavors detectable.

Medium carbonation but smooth and slightly creamy.

A complex, deliciously flavored beer, great to enjoy regularly or with a good dinner.

 491 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer pours a clear golden orange color with two fingers of fluffy white head.

S: Smells quite herbaceous. A lot of sage and quite a bit of pepper as well. A bit of lemon and rosemary is present as well. The malts are really overwhelmed and there's a touch of dryness to the nose.

T: Pepper, sage, and rosemary are strong up front. The peppery quality continues all the way to the finish. A touch lemony with a very herbal tea quality to the beer. Slightly warm toward the back end with a dry finish.

M: The body is medium with a high carbonation.

D: I would like to taste the actual beer instead of an herb garden. I'm curious if the other versions are at all different, but not terribly so.

 702 characters

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

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip.

Well, this earns honors as my second almost-gusher and super foamy beer of the day. At the moment I have four inches of eggshell foam, meringue on top of many large bubbles, and one of well hazed dark yellow beer. The lacing is chunky.

The aroma is certainly herbaceous, the four varieties coming together to produce cold, fresh mint with hints of weed. Light lemon and bready malt. Rosemary and sage are distinctive, but the thyme isn't really apparent and the parsley is lost.

The flavors yield up more of a balance between herbs, malt, and yeast. The body tastes like rounded biscuit and pilsner malt. The yeast is lightly Belgian with lemon, and up front the sweet mint and rosemary come through. Down the stretch though, herbs become savory, like those for roasting a chicken.

Bubbles are numerous and feel rather large, this makes the mint all the more fresh. The body is medium.

I've been interested in this beer since I first read about it and I'm glad I tracked it down. It is even better than I expected, one of the best, most interesting Saisons I've had. It would pair very well with food.

 1,136 characters

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

Review is based on a comparison of the three.

Pours golden with the most head of the three. A bit murkier than the others. Smells strongly of Rosemary actually. And thyme. More balanced than the others. A bit overfly carbonated but definitely the best of the three

 265 characters

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

Did a side by side w/ dogfishheads n victorys (thanks urbancaver!).
Smell - much better than victorys, very spicy smelling - maybe a hint of thyme
Taste, more.balanced, overall better beer. Hops at the end, overall good from start to finish
Drinkability - not an everyday drink, but decent change up.
Mouthfeel - decent

 321 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

So this bottle fell out of my fridge when I was fixing lunch for work and the cap started fizzing. I was scared it would be flat when I got home but I couldn't pound it before work so I resolved to drink it asap at home. Apparently there is so much carbonation in this beer that knocking the cap halfway off and letting it sit for 9 hours has zero effect on the gushiness.

Pours a chill-hazed goldenrod with a three-finger plume of dense off-white head that takes several minutes and several pours to fill the glass properly. Aroma is golden malts coupled with a heavy helping of both rosemary and sage, which imparts a sweet and zesty quality. The parsley and thyme are much less forward. Flavor is very similar. Very herbal and green with a flabby pale malt baseline. Finishes dry from tannic astringency and I'd be lying if I said the high carbonation wasn't distracting. Body is too thick and sweet for the style. Perhaps DFH was in charge of the attenuation process in this collaboration.

 995 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: A real gusher. A monster 4 inch foamy head forms instantly, and I have to wait a few minutes to pour the whole bottle out. The color is golden tangerine, hazy from the yeast. Tons of lace.

Smell: Brewed with sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley, and these are all present in the nose. These are hard to distinguish individually, but after reading it on the bottle, I can convince myself of their presence. Herbal with tropical fruit hops as well.

Taste: There are a lot of flavors in this beerIt actually starts a bit sweet that reminds me of white grapes, but the malt really takes a back seat to the herbs. Herbs and spices, blended together fairly well together. Spicy and bitter hops come through in the end. Even with the complexity, I have a tough time assessing how much I really like this. The finish is mostly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, with medium-sized bubbles adding a crispness that I like in the style. With each sip the feel dries out even more.

Drinkability: I'm not really sure; I was able to drink this glass pretty fast, but I may need some time to drink about whether I would want this again. Or maybe I just need to explore the style a little bit more.

 1,232 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #41 (Jun 2010):

Yet another collab, this time between Dogfish Head and Victory. Fresh herbs and attitude. Clear golden orange, and the lacing impresses. Herbs in the nostrils in this order: rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley. Crisp medium body, a little bitty. Dry maltiness meets a slightly chalky yeast. Herbs are very forward and all over the palate. Alcohol shows up with a dried fruit flavor and some warmth in the back. Baste a chicken or drink with one? Vive la American Saison!

 526 characters

Photo of engagechad
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at the Saison du BUFF tasting in Richmond, VA at Capital Ale House.

I had this beer with the other two saisons (victory and DFH)

A - Pretty golden yellow but hazy

S - very nice, herbal with a present sage

T - very very good, VERY similar to the DFH interpretation but not quite as fruity. You can get a bit of licorice undertones

M - Smooth, but after a good hold it dies a little

D - perfect, I could have many of these

 442 characters

Photo of GatheringBrews
2.74/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Certainly a unique beer.

Pours a light golden color, puffy white head that laces well.

Aroma is intensely herbal, which follows through into the flavor. Hints of hops, malt, barnyard, but a bit overwhelmed by the herbal aromatics.

Taste is dominated by the aromatics, sage, thyme, pepper.

 294 characters

Photo of thepeter
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the most complex and interesting saisons I have ever had. Poured light bright adn full of life. Nice head decent lacing and just pretty. Made with herbs and they were very present in the aroma along with lemon zest and slight funk. Very fresh and lively both in aroma and in taste. All the Herbs are present in the taste as well as the lemon, zesty yeast flavors, grass and some earth. Again, this is a lively beer in every way and it's having a party in my mouth. I was told that I was dirnking the 2nd to last one in London, so after I finished I had the (what was said to be) the last bottle. I would drink mor eif I could find more. Really a beautiful beer.

 668 characters

Photo of ckeegan04
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pale golden in color with a thick foamy head. Head is a good three fingers and slowly fades to about one finger thick. Sheets of lacing left behind.

S - Lemon zest, a hint of tropical fruit and various other citrus notes hit the nose first. The herbs quickly come through to match but are in no way overwhelming. Cant really pick out specific herbal aromas other than a touch of what I think is thyme. Hints of wheat come through on the back end.

T - Lemon zest and rosemary right of the bat. Citrus and tropical hops are the primary taste, but the herbs are just a touch behind. The herbs become the dominant taste as the beer warms, but the tastes do balance each other well.

M/D - Medium bodied with just a hint of chewy wheatiness. Excellent carbonation carries the beer through and the alcohol is not at all noticeable until a light warming at the end. Given the wide array of tastes flying around I still find the beer rather drinkable. Not sure it is somethign I love, but it is definitely interesting and not something I would turn down in mhe future.

 1,066 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by matt9875. Thanks Matt!

A: This saison appears a hazy straw yellow color, with an inch of fluffy, cumulus cloud-like head perched at the crest. The head displays very good retention, and leaves a good amount of lacing upon the glass.

S: The aroma is very potent, with huge floral scents, spruce, citrus, citrus peels / rinds, and lemons.

T: The flavor is bold as well, with a potpourri of everything I found in the aroma. However, the beer soon becomes a bit cloying, as a lemon household cleaner flavor begins to cut through more and more as I make my way through the glass.

M: The feel is medium / thin in body with plenty of carbonation.

D: An OK beer that could likely improve considerably with a few tweaks.

 734 characters

Photo of joepais
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I poured this bottle into a tulip glass and was greeted with a short lived white fizzy head sitting on top of a extremely orange bodied brew. The aroma was like sweet oranges with a lot of herbs thrown in for luck. I mean some herbs, sage rosemary parsley and pepper. I thought I was a cooking a Thanksgiving turkey. Flavor wise I got pretty much the same thing a big old herbal mess not to much Saison flavoring going on. In other words a little bit of herbs go a long way. It had a medium feel in my mouth and good carbonation. I think drinking the 12 oz bottle was enough for me there was just to much going on.

 614 characters

Photo of dlmccabe1
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a straw color with slight cloudiness and a nice foamy head that sticks around. Strong citrus aromas share the nose with the smell of bread biscuit.

This is a bold and flavorful saison. There is complex spiciness and intricate flavors, although no distinct or dominant single herbal flavor. There is nice subtlety to this beer. It's dry with a slightly bitter finish, has nice citrus and Belgian undertones.

 414 characters

Saison Du BUFF from Stone Brewing
3.85 out of 5 based on 1,338 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.