Saison Athene | Saint Somewhere Brewing Company

very good
299 Reviews
Saison AtheneSaison Athene

Brewed by:
Saint Somewhere Brewing Company
Florida, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Saison Athene is a bottle conditioned Saison brewed with chamomile, fresh rosemary and black pepper. A dose of wild yeast at bottling adds to the complexity.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-29-2007

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Reviews: 299 | Ratings: 460
Photo of tomordonez
1.32/5  rDev -66.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

"Handcrafted Belgian Style Ale" from the US, says the label. Although there is not much of Belgian here. It pours flat. Swirl it hard like a wine and still no head. Headless. It tastes like plain white wine. No carbonation. No flavor other than slightly bitter. This is not a beer

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Photo of drpimento
2.46/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Jesus! Explosive beer. Once I removed the cage the cork blew out of the bottle. I tried to drink the beer out of the bottle faster than it gushed, to no avail. had to pour some out. Appearance- not so good. Color is ok, but better in my glass. Aroma is nice except for having to wear it. Flavor is like aroma and better in the mouth than on the floor and my body. Finish is wiping the mess up. Think I'm generous in my rating considering...

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
2.56/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured a clear amber gold with a fizzy head that dissipated very quickly.

The aroma is kinda like lemon pledge with dust and some light malty notes going on.

It tastes a lot like it smells with strong lemon peel notes and an oxidized cardboard note that I find very unpleasent. The brett comes through a bit as it warms and the horseblanket makes the beer have a chalky dry finish.

The body is a bit thin and the carbonation was nice.

Overall I think I got an old bottle and the brett took over. I like some brett beers just fine as long as there is balance between the belgian yeast character and the brett but I didn't get any of the fresh yeast character I enjoy just a heavy handed spice flavor and brett. I think I would try them again if I can find a fresher bottle or when they get a bit older as a company and work out some of the oxidation issues.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.79/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark golden color. Off-white head is thick and frothy with alot of staying power. A pretty beer.

Smells pretty funky. Brett? Smells like gruyere cheese, rotting wood and smokey malts.

Spicy and hoppy flavors dominate this one. Tastes like funky yeast, cloves, white pepper, baked yams, floral hops, fresh cut grass and kiwi! I know...very strange, but true. A ton of different flavors going on here, but they dont really work together all that well. Don't be afraid to throw this one in the cellar for a while, as a year or so might help meld the flavors together better.

Dont think I would seek this one out again. It is quite pricey and is not a very good representation of the style. It's ok, but there are so many other saisons out there...gimmie a bottle of DuPont over this any day.

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Photo of beerwolf77
2.81/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Split this bottle with BeerFMAndy. Poured into my pint glass the beer is a clear bright golden yellow. The stark white head is massive. Even with a careful pour it reaches at least three inches high. After some serious waiting the head recedes leaving an impressive webbing of lace.

The aroma is super strong black pepper. After some warming I'm able to pick out a hint of banana and clove but not much else. I'm really surprised by this.

The flavor is pretty much the same as the nose. Black pepper, clove, coriander, banana and light oranges. This is way to spicy for a saison.

Medium to light body. Super dry finish. Loads of carbonation.

Overall very dissapointing beer. I had high hopes for this one and was let down. Just too much spice.

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Photo of errantnight
2.83/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ugh, what a disappointment. And such high hopes! Damn you, Allstrom Bros with your hearty endorsement!

So I picked up this gorgeous looking 750 @ Healthy Spirits in SF, super excited to see it available. Even moreso to read about the funk and the hops... just a little reticent at seeing the "ale brewed with spices" on the side. Why, in a heavily hopped and brett tinged beer need there be spices? Ah well... maybe it'll augment the overall experience.


So this pours a ruddy pale straw, hazy with a bit of creamy head and moderate lacing. An orange tinge, but it's pretty pale. Nothing extraordinary, but a solid saison-like appearance.

The nose is a bit disconcerting... there's an effusive coriander and clove forward note... but it's saved by a wonderful background grapefruit tartness and musty funk. It's not strong, but it's there.

Unfortunately on the palate this is a horrendous mess. It's practically powdery on the tongue with awful over-spicing which overpowers any delicate yeast notes to be found. Hops are merely an afterthought, and even the bitterness comes through as a spice bitter. The funk does actually manage to shine through around the edges, and this is drinkable, but the spicing completely kills the experience.

It had been a while since I'd had ridiculously over-spiced American saisons (from brewers who should know better)... but now I remember why they're such a risky proposition (although to be fair, Coronado's Saison by the Sea was tied with Avery's 12 for reminding me first... but I came to those with no expectations of not being killed with spice).

The only caveat I'll give is that there's a chance for this beer and it involves a dark cellar and three years plus of aging. Unfortunately my space is limited and seeing whether or not vastly disappointing beers at horrendous prices can be redeemed after lengthy aging on my part is not an enticing proposition.


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Photo of Crosling
2.83/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light orange color with a well lasting foam. Interesting aroma, with hints of ginger and other spices, orange and a hint of cork. Flavor is heavily spiced and doesn't have much yeast derived complexity. Dominated by spices, it's almost like a pumpkin ale, not a saison. Poorly balanced. I like it ok as a beer, but it's a poor saison.

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Photo of Oxymoron
2.84/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I think I knew a girl name Athene, or maybe not. Pours a very hazy straw colored yellow with a super foamy head. Took awhile to dissipate and actually review it but did have good retention and lacing through out.

The nose seems dominate with a perfume smell. But beyond that, there are some nice saison aromas that come through. A light grainy aroma with some bready and Belgian malt notes. A hint of honey on the back end as well. The yeast comes out nicely, minus the strong perfume, with some white pepper and citrus and fruity notes. Citrus with some lemon zest mostly. Some off notes, bandaid/medicinal and a hint of butyric.

The taste is similar. The perfume is not as noticeable versus the nose but is still very present. The malt comes out nicely with a grainy and light biscuit flavors. The fruit back off a bit but some hints of orange. This is hidden a bit by the carbonic bite which really distracts through the whole taste. Some minor yeast notes as well. A bit muddled. The band aid flavors are lighter versus the nose but still there.

The body is hard to tell with such a high carbonic bite. Way too carbonated. Definitely is a distraction and hides out some of the best features of the beer. Some off notes with the heavy perfume and baid aid notes really leave a lot to desire in this beer.

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Photo of Hex92
2.91/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Saisons are not my favorite style (or even in my top 10) so keep that in mind with my review.

Ap: Looks great. Nice color and head that laced the glass nicely.

smell: meh. Not what I am looking for. All I know is when I smell a beer like this I know it isn't going to be my fav.

Taste: tart (and sour), funky, coriander

Mouth Small bubbles. clean, crisp. Not bad.

Not a fan of the flavor so I am not going to drink more than on one.

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Photo of marinermc
3.02/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Muddled orange appearance with a small amount of particulate; haziest toward the end of the pour.

S: Smells like a heavily diluted orange drink, with a slight whiff of alcohol -- but not offensive; probably the most likeable part of the beer.

T: Taste does not match the aroma, despite the essentially lacking nose. The alcohol sting in other saisons is not present; perhaps it was overpowered by the citrus!

M: Very smooth -- but not in a very good way. It felt lacking and should have had a strong presence of mouth-tingly bitterness.

D: Drinkable only because of its lack of overall complexity -- and because I hate to waste.

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Photo of mactrail
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cork blew out on releasing the cage. Marked 2010 on the cork, once I found the landing zone. Big foam but settled down to a nice head. Plenty lively on subsequent pourings. Very prickly and sprightly on the tongue. Smells like the sediment in the fermenter when you're siphoning into the secondary.

Buttery and tart at the same time. Immediately get a little sour taste. Big yeasty funky stew of flavors. It's hard to taste the malt for all the acidity. Likewise the hops, if there are any, are buried in the Belgian bitterness. Aack, heartburn on the way.

From Best Damn Beer Store in San Diego. If it was on tap in an abbey, we'd be grinning, so I give it points for seeming too authentic for words. For drinkability it's tough to get very much down, but I am missing the coarse crusty bread and aged Gouda.

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Photo of pitasoup
3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

thanks to TheEpeeist for this bottle - a very generous trader in my book.

A: pours hazy straw yellow with a finger of head. a bit of lacing but the foam subsides quicker than expected. Cork was explosively ejected as soon as I untied the cage. No gushing though - or I caught it in the glass and it did not seem overly foamy.

S: lemons, wheat, harsh phenols, typical saison yeasts. significant floral smells later, dandelion, lavender, and a hint of rose. A bit of dusty oxidation as well.

T: slightly bitter then lots of peppery yeast. overly phenolic and almost malt-liquorly bland in the middle and end. the finish and aftertastes are significantly underwhelming and not expected based on smell. The minimal amount of wheat and biscuit malts appear much later.

M: light-medum body, significant carbonation makes this seem smooth, even though it is not. clean but distinct aftertaste, that of a high alcohol beer.

O: An ok saison, overly phenolic, harsh and unbalanced. I wish I could say that this would be better with age, but I was told this was an 09 bottle. That this is still so boozy and offensive either says I do not know my saisons, or the Athene is a ragged example. As a homebrewer, I am not offended by the offering. Saisons are a fickle mistress, and putting one in balance is not an easy task. I did have high hopes for this one.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
2008 stamped on the cork
A- This beer pours a pale straw yellow body that is a bit hazy with a strong carbonation of big bubbles. There is a lumpy white head that sticks to the glass in places, but soon fades to a thin film.

S- The bright tartness has a soft white mushroom note that gives way to a big dry spice note with cinnamon bark, and coriander bursting through. There is a little note of cat pee in the dry slices and that fades to a funk hint in the finish that is almost musty but not quite. As the beer warms the aroma of dry spices really comes over the top and is to much, so that it smells a bit chemical.

T- The soft taste of cherry cough syrup turns into apple cough syrup flavor as the beer warms and it continues to grow. There is a soft tart cider note that is a bit dry at the finish. For as crazy and complex as the smell is there isn't much in the taste. There is a lemon tartness that comes through in the middle of the taste as the beer warms along with yeasty flavors.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat or big astringency and a dry finish.

D- I think this beer is to young and might do better over time. All the aromas are strong and almost offensive while they don't seem to work together. The flavor didn't have much depth and was the exact opposite of the aroma. This beer has a bit to many obnoxious spices with no support to really be enjoyed.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml corked wine bottle split into an American Tumbler. 2008 on the cork but no other date. 7.5% ABV.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for splitting this brew with me!

A - A rough pour gives this beer a massive white head at LEAST three fingers tall. Great retention leaves this beer with TONS of delicate white lacing all down the glass.

S - What a funky aroma for a Saison! It smells like Ramen or something! The aroma is full of spices. Lots of black pepper and...anise? Totally spicy with almost nothing to support it. A bit of yeast and grainy funk.

T - Holy crap...this beer tastes like a spice rack that fell over into a batch of beer. Tons of anise, pepper, clove, the list goes on. It's a bit ridiculous in the spice department. A touch of yeast helps even the playing field as does a hint at pale malt flavor.

M - Completely spicy with a light body and a crisp, refreshing feel. The flavor lingers for a while.

D - Way to spicy. It's taking me a long time to try and finish my pint of it. It's just too much. It could be the age, but it says that it ages well. I just don't know. I'm not a huge fan of this one.

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Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Ibrew2or3. Thanks! Pours a dirty orange color with zero head. Bottle is clearly flat, despite a very tight cork. Shame, because the flavor was really nice. Smell is fruity and maybe a minty, cinnamony spiced scent. Taste is fruity, orange, and cinnamon. Very unique, and a nice drinkable flavor. Would be a great beer, I think, if the carbonation had been present.

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Photo of GatorBeerNerd
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours an orange with a reddish tint with a small amount of head that quickly dissipates to a very small ring. There is no lacing to speak of since there is basically no head left after a few seconds.

S: The nose has both floral and citrus aromas. A slight hint of malt as well. It makes you look forward to see what the flavor will be like.

T: Unfortunately, the taste doesn't match the aroma. The taste is very sour instead of sweet like the smell. There is a lot of spice, but it isn't pleasing since the rest of the flavor is so sour. It leaves the mouth very dry.

M: Thin and lacking in anything outside of spicing and some mild carbonation.

D: The only reason I would have to knock this back is to get it finished so I could go to the next beer.

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Photo of ccrida
3.11/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, a clear effervescent gold with a big billowy white head that's pretty rocky and quickly settling but leaves really nice lace rings

Smell is strong and sugary, heavy on the ginger, with some clove and lavender, a touch of mildew and clean alcohol. The sharpness really isn't doing it for me...

Taste is also a little heavy on the ginger, perhaps yeast esters I'm not familiar with, but I assume it's just spices, which I'm not a fan of in saisons, and view as a bit of crutch. Some sugary sweetness, more of the floral nectar from the nose, with a bitter, boozy finish that is clean but sharp, perhaps amplified by the spices. Something about this flirts with medicinal, but more childrens formula then pure solvents. In a blind test, I'd call it a BSPA.

Mouthfeel is crisply carbonated, medium bodied with a dry, sugary finish.

Drinkability is ok, not really my taste in saisons, it probably could stand some garding to temper the spices. I'd read some great things about this, but it really doesn't measure up to the classics of the style...and IIRC, the price is pretty much in line with the Belgian masters...but hey, with that Florida water they're working with, I guess it's not half bad!

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Photo of msquared36
3.11/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Corn yellow with a little haze. Minimal head and lacing.

Herbal aroma, rosemary and thyme. Hint of fruit, maybe apricot. Lingering funk.

Taste is predominantly a lemony funk. Herbal taste is noticeable but not as much as the scent.

Carbonation best described as fizzy.

Wasn't a fan at first, however, it grew on me as I worked my way through the bomber. Glad to have tried it. Not sure I'll find my way back to it though.

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Photo of Spider889
3.14/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Datz's Deli in Tampa on 7/12/11. Review from notes.

A - Served in a Stella chalice. No head, no visible carbonation. Clouded golden hay color.

S - Spicy. Lemon and sage with the ubiquitous coriander of many Belgian styles.

T - Bitter at first, pithy lemon peel, sage, thyme, and orange zest flavors. Lots of fun and crisp flavors. Sweet crackery finish,

M - Thin with very low carbonation. Quite boozy for the abv. and quite an unwelcome addition in a saison. Felt more like this was 9.5%.

O - Flavorful but unbalanced and way under-carbonated.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - the cork blows with focus and intent, upon cork inspection I see this is a 2009 vintage. Foam starts rising up the neck immediately. Pointing it towards a sampling glass, I barely can hold the flow, but by the slimmest of margins the glass contains the beer's exuberance. The beer is a slightly hazy macro lager color with *plenty* of suds. After the head subsides, the lacing is ropy and plentiful but not overwhelming. The bottle continues to push out foam for a minute or two until I get a good 6 or 7 ounces into the glass.

Aroma - slightly soapy, slightly a janitorial bucket of cleanser. Saisons for me are still a challenge to enjoy/appreciate.

Taste - lemony, soapy, dry wine-like notes. Plenty of intensity as far as flavor goes. I just find some of the flavors hard to get into. The lemony side is fine, but the funk and solvent come across as Pine-Sol and lemon juice. Despite that, it is fairly enjoyable given my personal alignment with the style and I welcome the prospect of trying to finish the bottle solo.

Mouthfeel - plenty of bubbles, refreshing body, well done here.

Overall - with some palate adjustment and mental preparation for a 'winey' beer, this is an eye-opener for a tasting, or a fitting session for someone into the tartness and such of the style.

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Photo of drunkmonk
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Paulthebeerguru, for the chance to consider this one.

Green corked and caged 750ml bottle. No bottle on date that I could find.

Cloudy bronze appearence. Nice white fluffy head gives way to firm steady lace wich sticks nicely. Fresh herbs, lemon grass and some minty aromas. Slight mustyness as well. Here is where things get interesting. Starts with some nice citric lemon grass like flavors, and some grassy hops as well, not bad. The finish is very dry and chalky. I'm left with a strange phenolic taste in my mouth, I can only describe it as remenicient of rubber glue. Yeah rubber glue? I have no clue where I am getting this from? Yeast maybe. The carbonation here is a bit on the high side. Interesting Saison, but not one I would seek out again.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost witte like cloudiness with a solid half inch of head (albeit with poor retention) and a muddy orange color. Aromas are just spice city; lots of cinnamon, coriander, orange peel, black pepper. Very floral, but also lacking some signature saison funk that Dupont has mastered. On the palate, this beer comes across almost like a Belgian pumpkin ale. The spices are just overbearing. The mouthfeel is really smooth and easy drinking, but the flavors are just all wrong for style. These guys need to read up on what a saison should taste like.

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Photo of akorsak
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to jw347 for this 750 mL bottle.

A: As soon as I loosened the cage, the cork exploded out of the bottle, followed by a stream of yeast-mixed head. Several pours were required to fill my goblet. The ale is cloudy, gelatinous-looking and still. Best as I can ascertain, it is an egg yolk and milk mixture (appealling, huh?) with a thick coating of foam atop it.

S: Lots of coriander, laden with pepper zest. A funky yeast aroma offers up citrus fruits with a tart presence. The nose is very earthy.

T: Very tart. Sharp citrus flavors, lemon primarily, start the sip off. Pepper and cinnamon follow the tart beginning. The spice is rather concentrated as it passes over the palate. Behind the spices, a caramel biscuit sits base. That is the result of a big drop-off from the citrus and yeast to, well, very little. The yeast rears its head again after the malt, drying things out and reinforcing the spice profile. The saison is very gamey like the Fantôme family of ales.

M: The cinnamon and pepper is an odd touch. The general funky presence that permeates the ale is a little to natural for me.

D: If you like the funkier Belgian saisons, go with this one. Me? I'm more of a neo=saison man.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.22/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Cork date of 2010. Poured into a tulip glass a banana straw colored yellow with very little head. Opaque. Has a very "sharp" nose. Cloves and pepper really stand out along with he Belgian yeast characteristics. Acetone type flavors in the taste. Slight bitterness in the end. Lemon and pepper flavors. Light mouthfeel.

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Photo of jwc215
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing me back two bottles of this from Florida!

750 ml cage-corked bottle - "2008" on cork:

Pours hazed golden yellow with a foamy white head that doesn't quite endure the trip, but lasts long enough to appreciate it. Thin, uneven rings of lacing stick.

The smell is grainy, perfumy, with orange/lemon zest and black pepper - a bit too perfumy/medicinal. Smells fits with style, in a "different" way.

The taste is sweet and perfumy/medicinal. Spicy with hop spicing coming across as almost aspirin-like, giving a bittering dry note in the finish. A touch of alcohol comes through.

It is on the fuller side of light-bodied with a Belgian-inspired effervescence that almost hits the spot. The spiciness and herbal/medicinal notes border on almost too much, and slow it down. An "interesting" brew that is obviously "Belgian inspired". Black pepper is a bit heavy in the aftertaste. An over-spiced attempt at the style, IMO.

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Saison Athene from Saint Somewhere Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 460 ratings.
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