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: 457
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Whitish body with lots of white foam on top. Yeast and lightly spicy aroma. Easy drinking medium mouthfeel, the taste is a light bitterness integrated with the spicy yeast, a little boozy but most drinkable. Drying finish. Bottle picked up in Brandon, Florida. A very good saison, although not the greatest I have ever had.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger typical frothy saison head, pale hazy golden body with some lacing.

S: musty yeast, light fruit but overall a little light. Sage is nicely represented.

T: I like the tart but sweet floral, earhty and yeasty flavor. Subtle peppery and spiced notes.

M: light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation.very refreshing.

Overall: Another nice saison by this brewer with the sage adding a nice, memorable touch.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i like all of the beers i have had from saint somewhere, they are authentic and rustic and just different enough to be memorable. this one is really clever, the wild funky yeast is subtle and secondary to a very belgian strain that is the backbone of this brew. mostly wheat on the grain from what i gather, and an almost berry smell from the botanicals. i dont get rosemary right away, i get it in the finish. but it seems more fruity than spicy to me, even with the black pepper and the spicy belgian yeast doing double duty. striking carbonation lightens a pretty hefty body, and fruity esters hang out in the finish. alcohol is invisible, but the stature of this beer remains apparent. i like its wild nature, just funky enough, and beautifully dry. definitely worth picking up if you see it around.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a nice cloudy looking saison, it's got a yellowish color to it and a big viscous white head on it. This brew is very lively. The smell of the beer has some yeasty fruit notes with a bit of herbal aromas too. The taste gives off an interesting flavor of some fermented fruit and some very herbal flavors. The aftertaste almost feels like it has some kind of menthol cooling the back of the mouth. Very different. The mouthfeel was bubbly and has plenty of carbonation to it. Overall it's a very interesting Saison from a very interesting brewery.

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Photo of metter98
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is golden yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two finger high bright white head that has excellent retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: The nose has moderately strong aromas of herbs and spices that are very similar to what you would expect from a Scottish gruit beer. Notes of lemongrass, rosemary and hints of wine are noticeable.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has some peppery and spicy flavors. The brett adds a touch of sourness. The finish has a bit of funkiness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a high amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink because the herbal flavors don’t overpower the smell and the alcohol is well hidden. The beer tastes particularly well with aging.

Note: 2009 vintage

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not knowing a lot about authentic Belgian Saisons outside of Dupont and a few others, this beer carries a lot of aged and characterful notes that make be beleive it's authentic.

As the bottle propells the cork toward the ceiling, the beer instantly begins to ooze out of the bottle. Quickly grabing my glass, the beer pours a very efforvescent pour of glowing golden hues A very froathy and airy head forms on the glass and laces extremely well with cotton-white foam.

Aromas are extremely aromatic with perfumes, fruitiness, herbs, spices, and must. Apples, pears, pineapples, lemons, and appricots give a huge fruity burst of esters while sharp spicy pepper, cumin, and spice for balance. Hop aromas add to the spiciness and contribute bitterness, earthiness, and a hint of cheesiness.

Flavors are very fruit forward as well. But the spicey phenols give much more character and balance that expected. Flavors of orange zest, chamomile, corriander, and tropical fruits add a lot of sweetness which raise the malt flavor from dry to sweet. Still, the beer has a dry bitter balance that, once again, gives that cheesy note.

The body is very airy and efforvescent with dryness and spiciness to match. Although some sweetness exists, the carbonation and alcohol reduce these to more subtle and digestible qualities. The mouthfeel likely saves this beer from becomming a single source contradiction.

I very much think this is a fantastic Saison, but the ginger-chamomile-orange things going on seem a bit forced. I love the dry, efforvescent character of the beer.

Thanks Ding!

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Photo of brentk56
4.77/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: After an explosion from the cork, pours a cloudy honey color with a frothy head that retains and laces well

Smell: Apple and pear, white pepper, candi sugar and yeasty herbaciousness

Taste: Opens with a balance of sweet and dry apple flavors, with a yeasty element building by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors become more intense, with a peppery, hot cinnamon finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: After a bad experience with the poorly carbonated first batch, the brewer has obviously gone overboard in the opposite direction; still, this is a great domestic saison and I am glad I had an opportunity to re-visit it so soon after my previous experience; my only recommendation would be for the brewer to keep safety in mind as somebody is going to get hurt by the exploding corks

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of Beerlando: Poured a light dirty yellow color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of funky yeast is easily detectable and quite enjoyable. Taste is also dominated by the funky yeast but it is not as dominant as the aroma would suggest. Nice Belgian type malt base is also noticeable but hops presence is hard to notice. Body is quite full with some good carbonation and alcohol is not apparent.

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Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 marked on the cork

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden orange color with a three-finger, eggshell white head of fluffy foam. It left sticky trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled fruity and sweet with yeasty and phenolic notes.

T - Spicy with lemon, yeasty and grains. There is a light, sweet caramel flavor.

M - It was very sharp - it popped on the tongue. A medium bodied ale that finished very dry.

D - This is good, but it should be shared. After a while the flavors started to overwhelm my taste buds.

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Photo of oline73
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden/amber color with very little head.

Smell: Some sweetness, a bit fruity, apple, and some herbs.

Taste: A mild sweetness along with a little spice and some herbal flavors. Refreshing fruit notes, apple and mild citrus. The finish is a bit spicy.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with mild carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: Very different, kind of reminded me of a spicy cider. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours nice and golden with a white head and some nice lace left behind. Nose is pepper, orange, citrus, spice, and pear. Taste is a bit of citrus with spice and light fruits. Mouthfeel is really quite nice; light and good carbonation. In the end, tastes almost like Sweet Tarts. Good stuff.

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Photo of nickfl
4.83/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Update: Several months later, all of the kinks in this beer seem to have been worked out.

It has aggressive carbonation and huge, rocky head that will not go away.

The aroma is a perfect blend of sweet and sour with lots of tropical fruit.

The flavor is now an interplay of sweet and sour that is only matched by the best Flemish beers, and it is quite dry as well. The wild funk is present but subdued into a supporting role where it brings out all of the complexity of the saison yeast.

Now that it is properly carbonated, its drinkability has shot through the roof and it has become one of the most pleasant beers that I have ever had.

A - Vigorous pour gives maby one finger of head and it doesn't stick around long. Golden, orange color with a thick haze.

S - Citrus and herbal hop aroma. Some distinctive brett funk in the background but at a very low level.

T- More citrus and some bready malt, accompanied by wheat notes. The funk is more prominent in the flavor and it is accompanied by some sourness. The finish is more herbal hop flavor and moderate bitterness. Slight lingering sweetness.

M - Full and mouth-coating, with low carbonation.

D - Sadly, this was waaaayyy undercarbonated and a not quite dry enough (I would like to think that both of these problems would have taken care of themselves in the bottle if the beer had a few weeks to age). The aroma is nice and the flavor shows true promise. I look foreward to trying this again when I have one that has conditioned properly and I also plan to age a bottle for six months or so to see how the funk develops.

Overall impression: this is far and away the most exciting beer being brewed in FL right now. Once they have a chance to iron out the kinks in the production process, St. Somewhere could produce some truely world class beers.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours hazy golden straw color with a nice 3 finger fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big lemon zest, floral, pepper, orange, grass, herbal, and slight funkiness. Very nice and straightforward aromas with decent complexity. Taste of lemon zest, pepper, grass, herbal, floral, coriander, orange, earth, bread, light funk, and tart earthiness. Light tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of pepper, herbal, floral, lemon zest, orange, coriander, and bread on the finish for a while. Nice balance of peppery spiciness and citrus sweetness. Fairly high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very crisp and prickly mouthfeel as expected for the style. Very easy and smooth to sip on. Alcohol is pretty much completely hidden with hardly any warming noticed at all on the finish. Overall this is a damn nice and well rounded saison offering! Nice balance of flavor complexities; and very smooth to sip on. Really well done.

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Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Somehow haven't had any of their beers yet, or at least reviewed them. I've had them here and there at festivals, and esp at The Festival in Portland got to know the guys a bit thanks to rudzud hanging out with them. This one was actually given to me as an extra thanks to Stogies, which is cool since I've haven't manned up enough to buy any of these since I hadn't tried them yet.

Pours a fizzy larger head that fades pretty much instantly, looks like apple cider with many bubbles rising up the center but no head can form, very slight hazy golden cider color.

Nose is really unique, a bit saison, but cider, but tart fruit and almost lambic like, champagne, etc. It brings a nice apple cider that was spontaneously fermented. A bit of a Belgian beer, kinda like saison bit more French light saison, and some Belgian tart lambic like fruit, a but if a champagne like effervescent aroma, some interesting spices in there not quite mulling spices and not quite cooking but somewhere in between.

Taste brings more interesting blended goodness, hard to say what to start with... a immersing apple cider, with cinnamon even and apple skin etc. Again an interesting effervescent like champagne and floral characters, with a bit of a farmhouse funk, a spontaneously fermented apple cider, s light tart apple like fruit, and light vinous touch. There is a hint if Brett like funk, with a dry lighter style French saison again, more light floral spices, and a bit of a floral fruity hop character. It also brings a light doughy blond malt character with a hint of fermented straw, probably from the saison character. Finish is dry but slightly sticky feeling, lingering more spontaneous fermented apple cider with spices and cinnamon like, light saison flavours lingering, hint of bitterness.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, effervescent carb.

Overall quite unique, interesting saison, apple cider, champagne, etc. Almost the perfect beer for a hot summer day.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, corked and caged. Nice label.

The Saison Athene pours a glowing golden orange body beneath a massive head of creamy off-white that holds remarkably well and leaves beautiful rings of sticky, creamy lace as it goes. The initial pour was fairly clear; subsequent pours were hazy.

The aroma expresses chalky yeast, bright spice, and grainy malt. I can't pick out any exact spices except for coriander, but it kind of smells like sandalwood, and even a tiny bit like patchouili - maybe just like a display of different types of incense. Really unique. I've never smelled that in a beer.

In the mouth it bristles the tongue with an elevated, very-fine bubbled natural carbonation from bottle conditioning. The body is medium-light, and as it warms it becomes more supple, and even a touch creamy.

The flavor delivers a beautifully-rounded combination of lightly sweet wheaty malt, delicate yeasty golden fruit, a dry mineralish note similar to ground granite, chalk, and a delicate dusting of spice. Hmmm... notes of cedar and lemon? At first the spice is subtle, giving flavors of coriander, clove, and a hint of cardamom, but in the finish it comes up quite bright with a note of ginger and white pepper. It leaves a tingle on the tongue! The bitterness is kept in check, and rightfully so, because the spicing does more than an adequate job of drying it. The lingering spiciness is really nice. The alcohol never shows. Really well done.

Unique! Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a large white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of spices; ginger, clove and coriander along with Belgian yeast, light malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is likewise very spicy with flavors of coriander, ginger and clove. There's a bready Belgian yeast flavor and hearty malt character that follows along with some sweetness. There's a very mild hops presence. The after-taste is spicy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's a good beer but I just don't like the intense spice flavor. If that's your thing, it's worth drinking for a while.

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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 Rifugium
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Served in a tulip glass, a slightly hazy bronzed orange color with a small white head, moderate lacing and retention. Got a full whiff of fruity funk on this one, perhaps a bit too much for some people if not ready for it. Taste was equally funky, barnyard hay dominating, notes of apple and pear and overripe peaches, sugar, yeast, and some peppery spice off in the distance. Pretty chewy mouthfeel, medium-bodied, but a bit syrupy. Good beer, but not for amateurs.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clearish, yellow-orange body with a... hmm, there's not really any head to speak of, so let's just go "n/a" for that.

Smell: Gah, what a very fragrant and perfumy aroma. It's the beer equivalent of an incense shop! Ginger, jasmine, red sandalwood, and patchouli!

Taste: Upfront, there's a lemony honey-like flavor, but that's not to say it's actually sweet. I will not go on the record as having said that. Flavorwise, the intense incense experience rages on with hints of myrrh, crystal amber, Arabian frankincense, and even more ginger. The finish is surprisingly abrupt and somewhat sour. The spicing lingers on and on.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Mild carbonation. Normally, I prefer less carbonation, but I gotta say this one could use a bit to clean away all the spices.

Drinkability: The most exciting thing to come out of Florida since oranges!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautifully hazy Golden Delicious yellow with an alabaster colored head that is dangerously close to Belgianesque in both size and texture. A loud rifle shot on cork extraction was the first clue that the beer was well-carbonated. Abstract patterns of sticky lace complete the picture of a classic saison.

The label includes those enigmatic words 'brewed with spices'. I'll guess grains of paradise, along with at least one other. Coriander perhaps? The beer is also bright and lemon zesty. It's a good nose, but it isn't quite complex enough to earn a bigger score. (Edit: chamomile, rosemary and black pepper are used).

Saison Athene tastes good as well. Having said that, my favorite saisons/farmhouse ales derive their flavors from yeast, bacteria or hops (especially hops!) as opposed to added spices. When the spice in question is this dominant, it tends to turn potential complexity into actual simplicity. How one feels about the flavor, for the most part, depends on how one feels about the spices.

The malt bill is almost certainly 100% pilsner and/or pale. There's an underlying sugar cookie sweetness that is countered beautifully by both bitterness and spiciness. Saint Somewhere thinks SA has a dry finish. It ain't that dry, although the hops keep things quasi-crisp on the back end.

Complexity or no complexity, I'm enjoying the beer too much to stay stuck on a score of 4.0 for flavor. This is a beautifully constructed ale whose positives definitely outweigh its negatives. It's hard to say if the beer's lemongrassiness is due to lemongrass or to hops. The brewery says that flavors will continue to develop over several years. My thinking is that fresh (and hoppy) is best.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite match the excellence of the Belgian and French masters, but it isn't far off. It's at least medium for the style and has a sneaky viscosity that keeps beer in contact with taste buds for an impressively long time. All those bubbles do a great job of injecting a smooth-edged creaminess. What the hell, I guess it deserves to be rewarded after all.

Talk about cognitive dissonance. What are the odds that a relatively new craft brewery in Tarpon Springs, Florida could create a Belgian saison that is able to stand up to all but the world's best? This is fantastic beer that I wouldn't mind drinking again. Recommended.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle which was served at cellar temperature and poured into a snifter. Consumed on 07/12/2008.

I was lucky enough to be able to have my sister in law bring me a couple of these up from Florida on her last trip down there. Really fantastic looking bottle I have to admit. Great artwork on this one, with a classic feel to it. The bottle was heavy as hell as a side note. The pour was very nice with a rich golden yellow. Lots of haze and cloudiness here with a large two finger high head of white foam that just would not receded. Lots of carbonation coming up from the bottom to reinforce it.

The aroma was loaded with spices. Hints of lemon and cinnamon where abound here, with a rich earthy mix to it. Lots of almost a nutmeg I am picking up here. The flavor took off right where that left off. A rich mixture of lemon, fresh grass, light fruit flavors and a ton of spice. Nice hints of allspice, cinnamon and pepper here. Nice light to medium body feel capped it off very well and the overall drinkability was very nice,

Overall not half bad. Not the best in the style I had ever had, but definitely worth seeking out to try again. A very solid beer that will do nothing more then encourage me to try the rest of their offerings. Very solid.

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Photo of russpowell
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

09 vintage is courtesy of Beertracker, thanks Jeff!

Pours an effervescent, semi-hazed straw with 3 fingers of pearl colored head. Insane lacing & great head retention

S: Apple peels & a bit sourness, some peach & apple blossom, ginger & saffron as this warms up

T: Fruityness, apples, peach, pears & tart lemon up up front. & nice tartness to go with the fruitty sweetness up front. fruittyness, tartness, a touch of ginger & saffron all show as this warms, plus a touch of light funk. Finishes tart, a touch crisp fruitty & spice, not totally to style, but I like where they went with this

MF: Spritzy, light/medium bodied & warming

This drank very easy & hid the ABV extremely well. This may not be funky or sour enough for some, but this really worked for me. I'm guessing this what Avery was shooting for on their 16th anny beer, this is way better!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Brass Rail Deli, served chilled in a taster.

A - The appearance is radiant golden with moderate haziness, rocky cap of pillowy white with small bead and significant lacing collects

S - A very lactic aroma, hard to describe other than a lemony sour with tannic white grapseskin and mild accents of funk for good measure, lightly spiced fragrance adds to the acidic citric nose

M - The feel is not that tart, yet is has a nice level of acidity with mild spiciness and high effervescent feel gives a slight gassy quality -I felt the need to burp after the first two sips. The mild sweetness augments the slight sourness and the saison has a generally dry finish which is refreshing

T - The flavor is best described as peppered lemonade. The sweet and sour dichotomy is present with the lemony yeast essence and light tannic bite, the nice peppery spice notes are a good counterbalance to the tart fruit notes and gentle dry warmth of alcohol comes through slightly in the flavor.

D - I originally tried this at Philly Beer week a couple years ago in the bottle, and I was glad I got the chance to try this on tap - the saison is good and I would recommend it for those who enjoy a mild sour flavor and the spice you probably expect from saison yeast - a decent example of the style.

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Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tasting glass. Poured a light golden color with a thin bubbly white head to it.

The rosemary really stands out to me in the aroma. I get a moderate earthy flavor to it that I assume can be attributed to the wild yeast. Some crisp, citrusy flavors are there as well. Overall it has a lot going on but managed to bring everything together relatively well.

The taste is sweeter and shows a little fruitiness to it up front. More of the herbal, rosemary flavors come out in the finish. It has some crisp, citrus flavors to it as well that help the drinkability for me. Pretty flavorful and drinkable overall.

The mouthfeel is thin with carbonation being on the higher side. Overall a pretty tasty and interesting beer of the style. The rosemary was very evident in it but didn't overpower the beer thankfully.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden in color with a large white head. The rosemary is the dominant aroma. There is a hint of chamomile that comes through, too. Though it’s not in there, a hint of sage, too. A touch of citrus peel and a lot of malt and sugar sweetness. The flavor is interesting. Quite herbal and spicy up front with the rosemary once again being the primary flavor. The finish is very sweet and has an almost Swedish Fish candy flavor to it. Really weird.

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Saison Athene from Saint Somewhere Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 457 ratings.
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