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

Hazy straw colored, with heavy visible carbonation. Huge fluffy white head.
Nose is yeasty, sweet, and herb-filled. You can make out the rosemary, but it's mostly just smells "green" or like plants. Slight spicy hints, like white pepper.

Taste is too heavy on the herbs - it smacks you up front with strong sage and rosemary. Pizza-esque. Some lingering hops, maybe? No real saison qualities.

Decent mouthfeel and drinkability. Interesting beer, but it doesn't quite come together. Too much of a mish-mash of spices.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.22/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from [forget where I got it]

Had this back-to-back with the other two versions for comparison. DFH's is clearly my favorite, Victory's was almost undrinkable on tap, yet better in the bottle. Stone's came about somewhere in between.

Poured surprisingly pale and clear compared to the other versions, straw-yellow color, with a thin white head that dissipated to nearly nothing. Aroma was herbal and slightly fruity, spicy, with the rosemary taking a slight edge, as in the other versions. More of this in the taste, the spice blend coming to the foreground, lesser notes of somwhat sweet pale malts, light citrus, herbs bordering on potpourri. Light mouthfeel, moderate carbonation. Good in small doses.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.22/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Nice saison-y billowy white head and aggressive lacing all over. The head is wanting to stick around forever. The beer is a clear honey color with lots of rising bubbles.

S- Oh. My. God. It smells like a spice rack! Very odd for a beer to say the least. The rosemary and sage are very very strong. Some how the spices dont drown out the actual beer. Theres lemony hops, some slight funk and sourness. The spices are really really dominant though.

T- SUUUPPPPERRR spicy and herbal. Bitey, very herbal and chai tea like. A crack of pepper and a bite of sourness finish it out. I think the spices carry this beer away but it is really unique.

M- Light, prickly, crackly and drying. Very crisp despite all the insane herbs and spices.

D- Not as drinkable as a normal saison. But still good.

This beer is wildly herbal and spicy. It is very out of the ordinary and crazy. But if it werent then these guys wouldnt be doing their job.

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Photo of JTahoe
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured into tulip glass, straw yellow with excellent carbonation leaving a big fluffy (almost meringue-like) off-white head nearly two fingers with decent retention.

S - Quite herbaceous, but with a refined quality at first. Minty, piney, and slightly floral and sweet. As it warms, some spicy yeast and fruit come up.

T - Starts out very nice with characteristic Saison feel, but the herbs quickly kick in... blended flavors up front with none of the herbs taking center stage, rather it is a wave of flavors and a distinct basil-mint flavor with fresh grass. Next some clove and earth begin to creep in... and just when I'm thinking I'm really getting into it... WHAM... I'm struck by a distinct medicinal flavor. What happened? The medicine even gets into the nose at this point. I decide to push through it, and I am able to find some redeeming qualities, but it never recovers for me as the flavors become quite muddy. There is a surprising bitterness through the center, in a nice way, which is what I latch onto as the saving grace. I've balanced the scoring based on the start and the finish.

M - Average body for the style, and appropriate carbonation.

D - As I said before, it starts alright, but continues to go down hill and gets all Simon and Garfunky... (get it)... anyway, overall the drinkability takes a big hit in my book as the flavors just become more muddy as it warms and as I make my way through the glass. I wouldn't go for a second in one sitting. But all said, defiantly worth trying (though the price makes going for a second try less appealing).

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Photo of Onenote81
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Finally getting to this one. My first of the collab. I've got the DFH one I'll try later. 12oz bottle poured into a goblet-style glass. Pours a dark urine gold, cloudy. A large 3-finger off-white head caps it off. Great retention; tons of lace left behind. The nose is absolutely bursting with fresh herbs and fleshy hops! Piney sage, grassy hops, lemon, etc. This is one of the more potent noses on a beer I've ever experienced.

The mouth is bubbly and spritzy as expected for the style. Crisp finish. The herbs used come forward much more pronounced in the nose than in the flavor, which is nice. I get an herb-y aftertaste, but the typical saison flavor is still there, unmasked. Definitely earthy and full of freshness. This isn't an everyday beer for me. I'm glad I tried it. I appreciate its uniqueness, but I'm done with this one...until the DFH version later that is.

*Note: This beer gave me a violent case of the hiccups. Crazy hiccups. I can't stop. Seriously. Old wives' tales are no match for these hiccups.

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Photo of oN3xM
3.19/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A malt beverage brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

A - A hazy golden body with a bubbly white head that dissipates within a few seconds. The lacing on the glass leaves a sticky white bubble layer that glimmers while you're drinking.

S - Lots of citrusy lemon notes, sweet honey, some clove, and an underlying citra hop body.

T - Tastes like it smells but there's a ton of other flavors from the herbs listed above. Some orange citrus at the back along with the bitterness from the hops. On the front there's a strong cinnamon clove presence.

M - A thin body rests on your tongue that goes down smoothly. Not a ton of carbonation.

O - I wouldn't buy this again. It's not a bad beer, but I wanted to say that up front. I hold all three breweries, Dogfish Head, Stone, and Victory, in high regards, so I guess my expectations were set higher than what I experienced.

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

Pours a five finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Slight sage nose. Flavor is sour citrus with a lingering sour/herb finish. $3.49 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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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.

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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.

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

On Tap at City Tap House at the end of PBW 2010. From old notes I just found.

A- Bright yellow, hazy orange with a big clunk of tightly packed foam and sagging lace. A nice looker, bright and bold.

S- A literal spice rack with a touch of earthy hops and some grain on the end. Not very pleasant, goes off in different directions.

T- Getting rosemary up front with some thyme following and other spices following. A small earthy hop bite in the middle followed by a malty finish that is not that large.

M- All in all this finishes pretty dry on the mouth afterwards. Could use a touch more crispness for the style. Less than medium with a spice punch, be prepared.

D- This was a bit much for me, a bit rugged and not very quaffable, I suppose I like more str8 forward saison's.

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Photo of berkey
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on draft 07/05/10 in a tulip glass at EJ Phair in Concord.

Very clear honey blonde body topped by a small but fairly well retained head. Very nice lacing.

Strong herbal, spicy, and floral nose. Enjoyable enough although not all that complex.

Spices are even stronger on the palate and become a little too much. To be honest the beer kinda falls apart for me here. A healthy share of bitter hops does little to bring things back into balance. In addition to the Simon and Garfunkel list of herbs I hear this includes I could almost swear I get some ginger in the aftertaste. There has to be more to this beer but it seems to be buried. I like herbs de provence as much as the next guy but this just doesn't work the way it should.

Reminds me of food I've had that has been over seasoned destroying my ability to taste the 'meat' of the meal. Really kills the drinkability overall.

I had moderately high hopes for this one but it seems to be another collaboration that is less than the sum of its parts. The good ones continue to be few and far between.

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Photo of sampstar
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Went to the Stone Tap Takeover in Charlotte, there was about a 20 minute delay for the second round of samplers, so i ordered this one with high hopes. They described it as a farmhouse ale?

Appearance was a light golden straw, it did have a nice white lacing
Smell was encouraging to me, smelled slightly 'herb-like' with maybe some citrus as well.
Drinkability was the downfall with what to me was an overpowering pine or herb taste that just wasn't enjoyable. i wished i had ordered any other beer that i had already tried.

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Photo of dertyd
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a tasting glass

A:poures a golden apple juice color with decent carbonation.little to no head verry light lace not like most saisons I've had.the others have towering heads and sticky lace

S:smell of chemicals is strong off the batt with a big wiff of lemon plege not much funkyness or spicey smells that you normaly get with saisons

T:just like the smell but with more lemon pledge it feals like your whole pallet is cleaned. There is a little bit of the funky yeast going on but its over powerd by the lemon pledge taste

M:clean,very fresh and so cleean

O:overall a diffrent saison but I realy liked it saisons are one of my fave style I hope I can get the beers made by the other breweries and do a blind tasting would b fun

Live life drink beer!!!

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear golden-orange color. Light slightly rocky white head quickly turns to a heavy film with some big clusters of bubbles.

Smell: Has a spicy aroma of oranges, with hints of yeast, salt, and herbs coming through.

Taste: An even blend of noticably hoppy citrus and yeast. Sweet at the start and through the finish, but there's this arresting bitterness in the aftertaste, like burnt spices. With more sips, the sharp bitter aftertaste shifts towards just being astringent, and you can taste the herbs (sage, rosemary, and thyme per the bottle) throughout. It is hard to pinpoint any one standing out... they all tend to pop out from time to time. Eventually you get a bit of lingering salt flavor in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied with minimal viscosity. Mostly smooth, with just a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability: The flavor is a bit tough here, and while the ABV isn't very high it feels like there is a lot for some reason.

Interesting, but what the heck? This is pretty off the wall; seems that they were stretching to figure out what to do here. You know these guys can do better - sometimes it is best to stick to what you already do well.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.09/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a big creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is spices, floral, some fruits with a touch of weird sourness.

The flavor is a little sweet fruitiness followed by a pretty strong weird bitterness and slight sourness from the spices. Tastes a bit like a gruit I made but not as harsh (we added wormwood too). The mouthfeel is medium bodied with full carbonation.

Overall, interesting to try, but the spices kind of killed it. Experimenting is fun, but doesn't always work.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip. I drank the DFH version a few nights ago and now I'm drinking the Victory and Stone side-by-side.

4.5 A: Nearly clear medium yellow color. Like the DFH version, this one gives a hell of a lot of head. Fortunately, it looks great with super dense white froth. Unfortunately, it takes forever to subside and getting a full glass took a while. Still pretty though.

3.5 S: Easily the worst of the three versions. This smells like the DFH one tastes. It was a minty vegetal/herbal flavor reminiscent of the time I used yerba mate in a pale ale. This doesn't have the lemon zestiness the other two half. Not horrible, but the aromas don't mesh well like the other two.

2.5 T: The taste is a bit of a disappointment after the appearance and nose. The herbalness that made the nose so nice works again in the taste. A general vegetal herbalness exists, but not as strong as either of the other versions. Still has some of the yerba mate component though. About as sweet as the Victory version, which works better than the DFH and a bit of lemon with a touch of pear fruitiness. Alcohol is hidden as in the Victory version. Grassy hops. Not bad, but not great, but at least better than the DFH and about on par with Stone.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. No problems, but could be creamier.

3.0 D: None of the versions are that good, but I think I'd probably pick this one. It has the best overall traits, though a bit more carbonation is needed.

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Photo of trevorjn06
3.01/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden color with a thick white head that dissipates in about a minute.

Aroma is quite interesting! Herbs, rosemary and sage come through first, thyme and a hint of parsley. I grow all of these herbs and use them frequently and they come through quite well in the nose, as well as a distinct oregano aroma. There is also some light malt and a bit of herbal hops. Really one of the more unique noses on a beer.

Taste is very interesting as well. Starts out light malt, then transitions into an herbal taste, the thyme and sage come through a bit (as well as that oregano flavor, even though there is none in the beer) and this leads to a finish of parsley and earthy hops. A bit dry but not overly so. Overall the taste is good, but a bit odd. The saison taste doesn't really come through, not very yeasty, citrusy or spicy.

Moderate carbonation and medium mouthfeel.

Drinkability is low, I could hardly finish this beer.

Overall this is an interesting beer but I don't think that these herbs really belong in a beer, at least not this one. I wish it were bottle conditioned as well (I don't think it is) because this wiould lend a bit more authentic saison taste, depending on the yeast used.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.96/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Big thanks to GoGriz for this bottle!

Simon & Garfunkel would be so proud (or so litigious...whichever...). It pours an almost clear, somewhat hazy golden straw topped by a more-than-healthy couple fingers of white froth. The nose comprises a dichotomous mixture of wheat and citrus assaulted by a a horde of window-box garden spices (must be the S&G "Canticle" spices). The spices return to dominate the tongue as well, providing more than enough garnish for the dish, both literally and figuratively. Some citrus flies in behind them, but this is quickly quashed by a strong earthy/spicy collaboration. Still, though, the herbs/spices maintain their iron-clad grip on the situation. This is the first time I've experienced a sammich's filling be completely o'ershadowed by the bread. Honestly, I think I find it a bit too much. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, I gotta say I am underwhelmed by this brew. Brewing with the window-box greens is fine, but I don't think they should dizzominate the proceedings like they do here.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.91/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly darker than straw colored golden. Nice 3 fingers of fluffy white head and excellent retention and lace. Lots of active carbonation rising up from the nucleation point. Looks quite good.

Smells of lemony citrus and italian spices-- almost like a chicken marinade that I would use on the grill. I actually want to use this beer as a marinade now! There is, aside from the spices listed on the bottle, a white pepper and a whole black peppercorn note that I get as well. Not a whole lot of noticeable malts on this one in the nose-- but there is a slight dry spicy malt I get-- perhaps some barley and wheat? Hints of orange peel come creeping in now too. I am not particularly fond of the taste of this beer. I prefer my saisons a little more refreshing. This ends on such an herbal/spice note that it really hurts this beers' overall score in my book.

The mouthfeel is fine. Good carbonation. And I could drink this if it were offered to me... But I won't buy any more of it.
Just not one for me, I guess.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.91/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-pours a slightly hazy straw colored beer with a nice tight off white head with a great lace.

S-different, tons of rosemary and sage on this, lots of herbal spices. notes of citrus and a touch of honey towards the back.

T-not really a fan, so much spice in this, the rosemary and sage really come through. probably thyme in there but not sure what that tastes like. pepper spice as well, notes of lemon and honey with a light lingering bitterness.

M-syrupy texture, medium body, reasonably smooth, lots of carbonation and a good crisp finish.

D-the spice is insane in this and lingers for quite some time. it is actually a little weird and I just don't think it works for me.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
2.87/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured all head at first, white and slow to drop. There's an immediate strong hoppy smell like a strong IPA. Body is a hazy yellow. Tasty is both hoppy and herby and considering it has a spice cabinet of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme in it no wonder. Finish is too bitter. I'm not sure where they get off calling this a saison because the flavor isn't really from the yeast or malt so much as the spices and although other saison's might have zest or peppery spicing they don't go down the savory route like this example. Saisons are supposed to be refreshing beers brewed for farm hands whereas this is more of a savory broth I'd target to the autumn.

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Photo of mrkrispy
2.85/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had this on tap tonight before a movie. Didn't know much about it, so I went in with a clean mind...sometimes objectivity isn't the best way to approach a beer I've now realized.

Arrived a slight amber pale, hazy with a decent foam head.

Overwhelming aroma of rosemary and herbs, some grapefruit and lemon in there. Even though I found it somewhat repulsive I give it a 3 because I assume they were aiming for a big rosemary nose and they nailed it.

Based on the aroma not looking forward to to the taste...which actually wasn't as bad. At first. Starts as a light refreshing citrusy saison, bit funky, and then the taste of someone spilling their italian herb blend in hits me. The base beer seems quite promising, but the herb thing just plain sucks. Zesty, bit of a tart astringent finish. 4oz probably would have been enough. The beer gets near solid 3s just because the base beer seems quite tasty...if it wasn't as solid this would be 2s all the way.

I don't get excited about Collaboration beers, and this is the perfect reminder for me. No more plunking down my money for a bunch of brewers to get together and circle jerk.

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Photo of augustgarage
2.84/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Troubadour tulip. Best before August 16, 2011.

Clear light amber body with a whispy ivory head that recedes quickly to a gossamer slick surrounded by a small collar.

Herbaceous nose is full of spicy earthy greenery. Pale malt and minty hops accentuate the herbs.

Thyme, basil, sage, etc. form a weedy palate entry which is vegetal and borderline overwhelming (though less so in the bottle than from a fresh keg). The yeast that should be central to any good saison is nowhere to be found, instead there is a mild hop bitterness and a malty core struggling to offset the gimmicky potpourri.

Rather thin with average carbonation and no effervesence. Again, rather poor for the style and anything but "buff."

More interesting than good - freedom from convention here supersedes respect for tradition. Best served with food, but otherwise avoided.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
2.81/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

poured into a tulip, nice clear looking golden color. smells like pasta. very herbal, tomato-y.

rosemary and thyme dominate, parsely finishes it out. really over spiced. i don't want to feel like i'm drinking spaghetti sauce.

mouthfeel is light, drinkability is not good. this beer is way over spiced. i'm okay with spiced beer but this beer pushes the limit.

maybe i have terrible taste but i don't want to feel like im drinking spaghetti sauce in a saison.

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