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: 1,336
Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a collboration beer between Stone, Victory and Dogfish Head...Pours a hefeweizen-like cloudy, lemonade-ish color. Lightly carbonated and has a very short head. Good lacing...Aroma is heavily loaded with rosemary, but has a real Tuscan shape to it overall. Kind of like the spice that makes a good fricasse...Some citrusy notes in there too, keeping with the style. Not bad but I'm not a huge herbed beer guy...Flavor is very herbal. Lots of the Thyme, sage, rosemary notes but I'm not getting the parsley. Very good mouthfeel, and the carbonation is nice. Very bitter, in a bad way, on the finish. The herbal notes don't diminish at all. Well-priced at $2.99/12oz. bottle, though, so that brings the drinkability up. A light-bodied and crisp ale, but not really sessionable because the herbal notes are overpowering. They likely accomplished their goal with this, but it's not up my alley. Worth trying for its unique qualities and many of you might like it, particularly if paired with a Tuscan meal.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip.

A: Gentle pour creates a 3 finger powdery white head with incredible retention. Beer is a clear lemon yellow. Lacing is patchy and ringed with great cling. A beautiful beer to behold.

S: Vanilla, sugar, lemon, cloves, peppercorn, coriander, and other sweet, floral esthers. Noticeably lacking is the horse blanket funkiness and barnyard.

T: Big lemon tartness upfront with a boozy, ethanol background and abundant floral notes. Bitterness as if someone crushed lemon seeds and sprinkled them over the beer. Flower petals and peppercorn in the middle. Yeasty bitterness towards the end with a chalky, soapy finish. Aftertaste is dry and powdery, dusting my tongue and making it bitter.

M: Light to medium bodied with good carbonation. Lively in the mouth but not overly so. Chalky and powdery with a slightly grainy and dry finish. Aftertaste lingers.

D: This one says its deliciously herbacious on the back... and its definitely herbacious... too bad most of the herb is covered by the lemon and actually ends up being rather chalky and unpleasant. Fruitiness is appreciated though. An very pretty beer to say the least the the finish and aftertaste are too aggressive on the palate. Worth a try since its definitely an interesting beer. But not my cup of tea.

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Photo of chinchill
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz 2012 bottle Stone / Dogfish Head / Victory Saison du BUFF brewed by Stone and served in a Unibroue snifter.

Pours a yellow-gold color; clear at first, but after a few sips I added most of the rest of the bottle which had a considerable amount of sediment. Appears to have very fine, natural carbonation.

Aroma: funky, yeasty, hoppy, weedy, herbal aroma. Interesting but too funky to really appeal to me.
Taste is similar but even more weedy/herbal and, thankfully, less funky. Lightly tart; neither sweet nor bitter.

O: very interesting and very different from a ’standard’ lager, but refreshing and not challenging ... once you get past that funky aroma.

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Photo of JeffH
3.29/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Three style pushing breweries creating an American Saison- sounds good! The aroma is a herb bomb with big rosemary and thyme notes. The taste brings a nice saison spice along with big herbal flavor. At the end there is a warming from the alcohol and some dark fruit. Overall, not a beer I would drink everyday, but a great example of what all three of these breweries are all about.

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Photo of sevenarts
3.29/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Pale and cloudy orange, with a modest white head, moderate retention, not much lacing.

S: Lemon, spices, somewhat grassy and fruity. Interesting blend of hoppy aromas with spice accents.

T/M: Sweet up front, with some lemony flavors, mild spices, smooth and creamy. Then an unexpected bitter, piney, hoppy finish, rather harsh on the way down. Leaves behind a pleasantly lingering lemony aftertaste.

O: As expected, an interesting if not wholly successful collaborative experiment. Bold flavor combinations, but the contrast between the lemon/spice flavors and the harsh finish is too much. Still, worth trying.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my La Fin du Monde chalice, beautiful slightly hazed bright sunshine golden hue with a bright 3-4 finger stretch of head. Lacing is fine and evenly scattered between sips, nice stuff. Aroma has a bright herbal garden nose, the rosemary additiones stand out but I don't think I could pick out the others individually very pleasant. There's also a pleasant lemon/lime tone to the nos. Flavor is harsh with herbal spices, the underlyng saison is hard to determine because the untraditional brewing additions create a blanket of bitterness I'm guessing the thyme did this. It overpowers chicken when fresh and overused. Mouthfeel is medium bodied not boozey just a cast of bittering herbs sticks to the palate like Tom's organic toothpaste. Drinkability isn't what I was expecting herbal Saisons don't work to well, checkout reviews from Great Lakes version last spring.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear yellow/golden rod color that produced a good white head with some good retention. Left tons of lacing behind.

(S)- Wow, big burst of resin-like pine and rosemary with a twist of lemon and biscuit. Very different, but interesting. All that rosemary creates a very festive character.

(T)- Same as the smell. A huge pine needle and rosemary profile with a twist of lemon.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Has a very sharp bite to it with such a strong pine & rosemary character to it. It does grow on me the more I have of it.

(D)- An interesting take on the style with the addition of all the spices. Reminds me more of an IPA than a Saison however. Still, its good, but not really fitting the style in my opinion. Yes it has the spice, but not the funk or bigger fruits.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip.

A - Poured a beautiful vibrant yellow with explosive carbonation and a bubbly white frothy head (about 1 finger thick). Lacing was a bit slippery, but held the glass a bit as I drank the glass.

S - Fantastic smell. Citrus all the way. Really gives me that farm fresh feeling. Wheaty, banana, clove...all the usual suspects with a nice sweet smell. As it warmed, it got a bit funky and sweaty smelling which I wasn't too wild about. Started out smelling great though, but the warmth actually made it smell a little gross so I'll grade it right in the middle.

T - Flavor follows the nose, but definitely more bitter and hoppy than the nose leads you to believe. I'd prefer a little bit less on the hops for this style. Not bad for a beer, but for a saison, I like more sweetness and less bitterness. Almost more like a hoppy pale ale crossed with a saison.

M - Nicely balanced, good carbonation, slightly bitter aftertaste.

D - Not my favorite saison, but a fun one to try. I love the concept of these collaborations, but usually I find that the sum of the parts isn't as good as the parts themselves...seems more like a marketing and community thing than about making a great drinkable beer. Not something that you'd drink a few of, but more of something that you'd want to just give a shot to.

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Photo of dtivp
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden yellow with a fluffy white head.
Aroma of citurs and spice.
Taste of citrus grapefruit and lemon with a grassy hops and some spice.
Light body beer with moderate carbonation.
This collaborative beer is a nice Saison, very light and drinkable. Just not my style of beer that I enjoy.

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Photo of tchenery
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Belgian snifter. Tremendous head and excellent light orange/yellow color. Highly carbonated.

Smell is very spicy. Almost too peppery. It does have floral hop notes but you almost have to sneeze first after the original sniff. It smells like ginger root now, very prevalent ginger root. It's an interesting smell, but it's not an incredibly pleasant smell. It almost smells like the inside of a greenhouse.

Hardcore ginger on the first taste, blending into a grapefruit hop flavor. Very very peppery. I'm not crazy about this. It's almost like they took the definition of a traditional farmhouse ale and put it on steroids. (not an uncommon technique in the 'big beer' world these days) It's a unique flavor but I don't care for it much.

Mouthfeel is dry and too spicy. Also makes for a not incredibly drinkable beer. This is a sipper and one's enough for me.

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Photo of krisandajt
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A tasty treat courtesy of mymrrngjckt. Cheers Kevin!

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into my DFH glass, the beer is a very cloudy, light yellowy golden color with a huge mountain of thick, creamy looking, stark white head. I had to take my time pouring this one as I almost had me a couple of foamy overflows. As I sit here and wait for the foam to subside I have to admit that the retention on Mount St. Buff is impressive.

Smell: A spicy, flowery bitterness is immediately present. The rosemary and thyme stand out the most to me, I can pick up some of the parsley, too. A veritable potpourri of spices that is actually a bit too much and is almost overwhelming.

Taste: Well, if the spicy smell isn't overwhelming, the taste certainly is. Wow. It tastes like an epileptic had a seizure and dropped the entire kitchen spice cabinet into the wort. The flavors aren't bad, really, just taken a bit too far.

Mouthfeel: A nice light to medium body, clean crisp feel, and plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability: This one is tough. It's a good beer, just a bit too heavy on the spices. I'm glad I got a chance to try it as I love the beers that each of the three breweries make, but this one just goes overboard with a good thing. Worth a try, certainly, but there's no way I could have more than one of these in an evening.

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Photo of Trilogy31
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy pure golden yellow, with a creamy two fingers of head leaving thick curtains in its wake. Wow, the nose hits you straight away with its bouqet garni - strong coriander seed right away, wild fennel (strong licorice scent that you would smell when hiking in the bay area) along with a wet earthiness as well, nothing like i have spelled before - very intriguing though not necessarily what i want from a beer. Also there is a layered hint of belgian yeast spice as well. The mouth brings all the herbs together which is impressive to taste all the flavors thats its made with though to me thats not a good thing as im not the biggest herb fan in the world. Coriander sings first, with sage coming in right behind it holding till the end - with a wisp of rosemary showing itself in the middle. The finish is good and refreshing and somewhat cleans up the herbage on the finish. A well made beer though not my taste whatsoever.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of tko741
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hay-gold, slightly hazy, showing light carbonation. A pure-white, three-finger head forms with with strong lacing.

Smells of exactly what is listed on the label: definite notes of cooking spice, citrus, slight resinous hops and perhaps a little bit of fresh mint leaf here and there.

Taste is very full, definitely hopped, with strong suggestions of the four spices used in brewing the beer. A malt presence is subtle if present at all, with lingering mint leaf and citrus in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is on par with the saison style, bubbly and alive.

I'd try it again after some bottle aging, which I may have to do once I buy a second one, but I wouldn't really order this again just because of the very un-beer taste of it.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another collaboration brew I really don't care much for.

Pours a good golden clear with a very nice head and lacing. The appearance is the best part.

Aroma is a little weird. Sage is the most pungent aroma. I can smell the Thyme and Rosemary as well.

There's too much going on in this beer. I don't like those spices in beer. It got a little better as it warmed up but I still wouldn't buy this again. Carb and stuff was good but I hate beers with too much spices and Sage should never be on food.

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Photo of TheJollyHop
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass from the tap at Tony's Darts Away; head fades fast leaving behind sticky lace.

Tropical and citrus fruits on the nose with an herbal hint of rosemary. Golden amber with a solid one fingers worth of off-white head. Second whiff yields parsley and time.

Strong herbal flavor of rosemary with a sweet and slightly spicy/hoppy finish. Tastes of apricots an peaches are noticeable as well, which conjures up images of Sam from DFH lugging bags of apricots for his Aprihop brew. Carbonation is medium/high and the body is light, which are both a plus for the mouth feel. Coats the tongue and is a bit salty as well. Again, the overbearing herbal flavor hinders the drinkability.

The intense herbal flavor is something better kept in the realm of solid food. It tasted a little too much like sipping on roasted chicken broth. Bitterness lingers a bit too long, but not in a harsh way; but rather in a past your welcome kind of way. Nice idea, but better kept on the drawing board.

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Photo of PEIhop
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured an unexpectedly hazy, cloudy golden straw color. There is ample carbonation and an extremely frothy head that quickly disappears.

S - Lemon dominates the aroma with an herbal backing (cant decipher the herbs)

T - Taste mirrors the smell. Lemony-citrus notes explode, but quickly leave allowing a grassy earthiness to finish the taste.

M - Medium-bodied. The carbonation is very nice as it gently pierces your tongue.

D - Very nice interpretation of a Saison. Very glad I got to try this collaboration between three amazing craft breweries. However, the intensity of the lemon notes and its one dimensionality have me longing for a Belgian saison/farmhouse....Fantome..mmm.

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3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Draft pour into a 12 or 13 oz tulip for $5.75.

A: One finger of foamy white head. Decent retention with a lingering film and sudsy collar. The body is darker than most saisons. Amber colored with roughly 50% transparency. Minimal lacing.

S: The nose is wonderful but not exactly saison-like. Herbal hops dominate balanced by some citrus and a bit of summer fruit. Plenty spicy. Slightly medicinal. Light menthol. A lady at the bar likened the aroma to 'Tom's from Maine' (the natural toothpaste). If you didn't pick up on it yourself, order another while this brew is around...I can't get past it now.

T: What is unique on the nose is less successful on the palate. Complex with a plethora of herbs which are not quite offset by lemon-orange hops, followed by floral notes. Rated a 3.0 (average) in taste, but this is anything BUT your average saison.

M: Lively, biting carbonation with a medium body and a dry, bitter finish. No alcohol is detected.

D: An unparalleled saison in terms of stretching your imagination. But the drinkability is average only. Points given for creativity, points taken for creativity. Some hits and misses, all within this one brew.

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Photo of buzzardman
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I've now had a few different saison beers and I can see why they almost went extinct in the beer world. The taste of these beers is not something I look for in a beer at all. I'm also just not a fan of spices of any kind in beer, leave that to chefs and bakers. this beer was interesting to try but I would never buy it again. they only reason I tried it was because it's a colab between the bigger micro breweries.

the taste is heavy on rosemary and maybe some other spices which give it an almost food flavor not fun to drink. it poured a nice golden yellow color with a decent two finger head. it held carbonation well and felt dry to the mouth.

i love tgat brewers are experimenting with beers but this should not be sold to the public. it should just be made available as an experimental beer maybe at the breweries themselves. I think I'm done with saison beer in general.

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Photo of Brooke1
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great Summer beer! Crisp and carbonated with lots of zest.The bubbly beer is what I call it. With lots of carbonation which is great on a hot day. I could definitely taste layers of herbs.Rosemary beginning followed by hints of parsley and thyme. Overall a nice beer to enjoy on a hot summer day!

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice crisp yellow with a big white, fluffy head. A bit of lacing appearing. Golden with a very light looking head.

S: Grassy and herbaceous. Parsley and thyme are very present. A good bit of sage, very interesting aroma for a saison. A bit of a Belgian type aroma. Some banana and a splash of citrus.

T: Herbs are far too strong here. Tastes like drinking rosemary and sage juice. Not getting much else besides the strong, earthy herbs. Not too characteristic of a saison. There are some small notes of citrus and grass, but the herbs are very potent and a bit off-putting.

M: Leaves the impression of chewing on a handful of parsley and thyme. Bright and clean, but far too strong and earthy as well. This would be fantastic if the herbs were toned down a few notches.

D: Having a hard time with this one. Being in the culinary field, it's hard for me to not love the flavors going on here. I am just having a hard time with the intensity of each herb. Could see this working well as a soup base or stew beer. Herbs are just a bit too strong to make this enjoyable every sip.

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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.

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Photo of wifehatesbeer
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I really like this style, so I was excited to finally try this beer. It's definitely a more creative version than a traditional saison, but it was interesting.

Pours the expected hazy golden. Huge herbal scent and flavor. Nice mouthfeel, as one would expect from a saison. I think the rosemary note overwhelms what I hoped would be a slightly more crisp flavor. But I'm not disappointed, because you have to expect these breweries to push the brew in a new direction.

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Photo of claspada
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a copper yellow with just a touch of haze. Above average amount of bubbles rising to the top.

Smells like a "spicy" saison, which is good or bad depending on your tastes. Spices, herbs, malts and slight yeast notes.

This is really different, but almost in a good way. Starts out like a traditional saison,then it's followed by an aftertaste of a bouquet of herbs. Crazy herby tastes finish the beer but not like you would expect; it def still tastes like a saison. The PERFECT accompaniment to drink/enjoy with food. Traditional Dogfishhead lack of carbonation; also due to the higher ABV for the style.
While I really enjoyed this and all it's interesting and different tastes, 12oz is just enough for me. Could never have more than one, but it is good enough that you need a whole 12 oz to completely enjoy/appreciated this beer. Good collaboration, but let's not start mass producing this gents...

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Saison Du BUFF from Stone Brewing
3.85 out of 5 based on 1,336 ratings.
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