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 ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a cloudy golden hue with a huge, frothy, fizzy, white head that slowly dissipates into a solid persistent lace leaving a great trail down the side of the glass.

S: Extremely sweet and citrusy aroma with a lemon zest.

T: Sweet and tart flavor with a citrus and Belgian malt background. Hints of apples and pine in the finish.

M: Medium body and high carbonation.

O: Wow - this beer blew me away. Excellent flavors, aromas, and mouthful.

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Photo of silentdonkey
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A big thank you to ediaz for this one! Obtained through a trade. Poured from the bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a nice big fizzy head that leaves some nice thick lacing on the glass.

S: Bready malts, cracked black pepper, lavender, chamomile, and musk. Some hints of earthiness and funky yeast.

T: Very earthy and herbal. Lots of pepper up front that follows with a hint of citrus and lemongrass. Finishes with a lot of floral and herbal notes. Very heavy flavor of chamomile, rosemary, and lavender. It leaves a very pronounced floral/herbal aftertaste that coats your pallet. Some funkiness there, but it is overpowered by all of the herbs.

M: Lots of carbonation but surprisingly creamy.

O: Not at all what I was expecting. A very interesting Saison. Too herbal and floral for my taste. It made me feel like I was drinking a potpourri tea. However, worth trying.

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Photo of champ103
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy, nearly opaque orange/red color. At first a two finger bubbly head forms, and recedes in a second. Not much lace either.
S: Musky, basement like yeast in the nose. Lemongrass, pepper, herbal chamomile tea. Very earthy, but very enjoyable.
T: Follows the nose. Musky yeast, peppery spice, slightly tart lemons. Very herbal and earthy. Chamomile tea is apparent. A bit more sweetness than in the nose. Though still very dry in the finish.
M/D: A medium body and crisp carbonation. A great crisp, clean, bite. The dry finish is great. Something so enjoyable to sip on. Lots of layers going on, but still an easy an enjoyable beer to sip on.

This is one hell of a complex beer. So much is going on it is hard for me to describe. Though it all seems to meshes right. Which says something. Really interesting and recommended.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle from 2010, poured into a Duvel tulip. Big thanks to my buddy Drew for opening this during my birthday celebration.

A: Cloudy pale orange body under a cap of fine off-white head that settles into a ring. Mediocre.

S: Weird. Sweet, sour, and spicy. Lemongrass, ginger, and citrusy candy. Bizarre and interesting, but not exactly to style.

T: Peach, apricot, orange, and lemongrass. Sweet and tart up front, spicy and clean on the finish. Not bad, not great.

M: Medium body, prickly carbonation. Meh.

O: I don't know if a bit of age treated this poorly, or if it's just a sub-par Saison. Either way, it wasn't terribly impressive.


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Photo of ocelot2500
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden color with a frothy white head that leaves decent sized chunks of lacing.

Smells of some spice notes.

Tastes of some sweet malt with drying spices. Malts lead off with a slightly sweet bread note. Some fruits come in with pear and apple notes. A bit of spiciness comes on the end and adds coriander along with some peppery notes. A bit of lemony hops comes through as well.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with a slightly assertive amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a very good saison and can stand up to some of the style standards.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.81/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a hazy light gold color with a full finger of head that retains a bit before becoming an 1/8 inch ring around the glass’s edge and spots of surface foam. Decent lacing.

S- Deep scents of rosemary and plenty of chamomile. One of the most floral beers I’ve ever smelled. Also maybe some sage and thyme notes.

T- Lots and lots of rosemary, which is fine. Actually, more than fine. It’s just as sweet as it is herbal without going overboard on either front. A bit of Belgian yeast characteristic comes through also. Additionally, some notes of cinnamon and coriander. The flavor is all over the place and I love it! Very little malt and seemingly no hops.

A- Spritzy and fluffy due to medium-high carbonation. Also has some bite from the heavy spicing and is slightly acidic.

O- Where Saison du Buff fails, Athene succeeds. An all-around great take on the style.

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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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Photo of impending
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


750ml into a tulip. Cork broke, wine opener preceded an explosive POP. A middln hazed dull yellow, towering froth with a careful pour, recedes looking like meringue, ridiculous lacing. exuberant carbonation

Aroma too announces itself. Wonderful blend of citrusy hops, chest rub and musty yeast.

Flavor follows the nose with the citrus, spices and six day old wet hay. Very little bitter to speak of, dry herbal finish fades fairly rapidly with a dab of medicine cabinet remaining a long lasting echo. Warms well. Thin lively mouthfeel.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly cloudy gold with a tight white head.

S: Aromas of lactic yeast, lemon, grass, black pepper, rosemary, and chamomile assault the nose.

T: Notes of lactic yeast, grass, minerals, lemon, spiced pear, banana, rosemary, chamomile, and black pepper linger on the palate. The finish is both lactic and spicy with plenty of yeast, pepper, rosemary, and chamomile flavors.

M: On the lighter side of medium, bone dry, and very firm. Carbonation is very spritzy. Alcohol is a bit punchy on the finish. Slightly harsher in the mouth than it needs to be, but still easy enough to sip.

O: This is an incredibly complex and unique saison that remains approachable. I could see this being a great ale for those who have a basic working knowledge of this incredibly variable, anarchic style and want to challenge their palates a bit. Even though it is a bit harsher in the mouth than I would prefer, Saison Athene is a great beer, one that is fully deserving of its reputation.

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Photo of julian89
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer a while ago, just now reviewing from my journal.
Bottle to pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a semi hazy yellow “saison” body. Minimal head with no lacing. (3.5)

Smell: Oh so fresh and herbal. There is sweet ginger, coriander, toasted bread, and south France herbs. (4.5)

Taste: A very herbal and fresh saison. Obviously the spicing citrus/wheat is there. It flows very light with a stronger ginger hint to it.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin with light carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty tasty saison, but it was not as good as the Saison I personally brewed for my saison party.

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Photo of BrownNut
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No date. Served cool in a tulip.

Cork started rising slowly as soon as the cage was removed and shot itself out with a loud pop and hit the ceiling hard. Then foamed over a bit. Be ready!

A - 4.0 - Pale cloudy gold, approaching hefe pale. Pure white head of loose foam, regenerating itself furiously from below.

S - 4.5 - There's a definite funk going on here. When It first blew open, I smelled almost a skunk smell but not quite (it's not an offensive smell). With my nose down in it, it's more like that smell crossed with something like cedar, and maybe a bit of that blanket I'm always hearing about. Underneath it is something sweet and spicy, almost clove-like.

T - 4.5 - The taste is less exotic than the aroma... at first. That skunk cousin smell recedes to the background. Up front is more appley. Some have mentioned chamomile, and I've always thought chamomile was kind of appley, so that makes sense. But with each sip your nose takes in some of that cedar-esque something. Somebody else mentioned herbal tea and lemongrass below and I would never have been able to put my finger on that but can totally see that now. I'd have gotten lemon. Aftertaste is warm spices wafting up the throat pipe and a little on the tongue - which is very pleasant. There's a peppery base, or maybe the heat of ginger, and then sweeter spices. This is the pepperiest beer I've ever had and I like it.

M - 4.0 - Loads of carbonation helps it feel very refreshing and light. It's fairly dry.

O - 4.5 - Wow. What a treat. The first beer I ever had by these guys was an abomination, but I heard such great things about them that I got a couple more. I'm so glad I did. What a super-interesting and complex beer, which is what my whole beer odyssey is intended to find. There's so much going on. I'm going to have to go buy more of these just to finish exploring the flavor notes.

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Photo of fmccormi
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight pour from 750ml cork-and-cage bottle to my nice HF stemware, basically an oversized wineglass. No dating visible on the bottle, but I purchased this within the last couple of months when it was first available in my area so I figure it can’t be that old—right?

Appearance (4.5): Now THAT is a beautiful saison pour. Lots of head, fast, but no gushing—just bone-white foam that slowly bubbles away to leave fat gobs of lace all around the glass. The body is a very hazy, glowing straw-golden color, absolutely gorgeous. Big, fat rings of lace here and there. Could only ask for more if the lacing were more solid, but this is great.

Smell (4.0): There’s that nice, musty, bretty scent that I dig about brett’d beers. Damp and earthy, but it’s not heavy at all in this case. You can actually smell the black pepper, too, which I wasn’t expecting. And, the chamomile. Pretty distinct, but not overpowering, scent. There’s a fruity character in the back, too, like fresh-cut oranges and apples.

Taste (3.5): That chamomile is very apparent on the palate, too, but there’s a peppery note from the yeast that helps balance it out. There’s a slightly medicinal taste that comes out in the finish and hangs around for a while, but fades into a little more pepper, long after the fact—also was not expecting the finish to fade so slowly. The funk is surprisingly bright, and slightly tart here, too—a bit of green apple? The brett is definitely musty and peppery, too. No alcohol and not a lot of sweetness on the palate, this seems really, really highly attenuated. Finishes dry as a damn bone, too. This has a lot of good qualities, but they’re just not all meshing as well as I’d like.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Light, effervescent, quenching, and dry in the finish—all true to the style—though I wish the carbonation stuck around a while longer and were more “playful”!

Overall (4.0): This may be an odd comment, but I really like the way the cork smells! It’s nice. This is a nice beer, and an interesting take on the style, but I’m not sure I really dig the chamomile and this isn’t my favorite example of bretty farmhouse beers. A bit too much black pepper for me, too. This might be great paired with the right food, but by itself it’s a good, but not excellent, example of the style.

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

A - Pours a hazy golden brown with a massive almost four finger white head. Head has good retention, but doesn't really leave any lacing.

S - Light lemon, pepper, quite herbal, with sage sticking out. Light yeasty funk. Very light bubblegum presence.

T - Taste is light and refreshing, but flavorful. All of the elements of the aroma are there, leading to a crisp taste with lemon, herbs, faint bubblegum sweetness, and a nice peppery finish.

M - Light, crisp mouthfeel with a dry peppery finish. Lively, prickly carbonation.

O - Nice, easy drinking saison. Sometimes I find the herbal component to be overdone, but that isn't the case here. Nice herbal flavors that don't compromise drinkability.

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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 01001111
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Sparkling, pale gold with ever so slight green hue towards the edges.

S: Chamomile with a citrus zest.

T: The chamomile dominates, closely followed by the black pepper and yeast funk. There's a slight hop bitterness to the finish.

M: Paradoxically light, crisp, and syrupy.

O: Another good saison from Saint Somewhere.

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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 gatornation
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from corked caged 750ml bottle 2009 vintage

A- popped the cork and 2009 was stamped on the cork it poured a lively dark yellow color with a fresh 2 finger brilliant white head, nice lacing

S- was herbal and musty with funk, lemongrass, pepper

T- was silky smooth with musty funk and tart lemon, it mixed in some tart and sour lemon and fruit with pepper and spice a touch of vanilla

M- silky smooth with puckering tartness, nicely carbonated considering it was 3 years old

O-an outstanding saison so surprised at how tasty it was @ 3yrs old it was funky. sour and tart with a delicious barnyard saison taste one of my top saison to date

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

A: Pours a cloudy pale yellow with 2 fingers of fluffy white head that cracks and fizzles as it dissipates. Aggressive champagne-like carbonation with spotty lacing. Some yeast lays at the bottom of the glass.

N: Lemon juice, lemon zest, clove, peppercorn, coriander, sweet grains and a light funk.

T: Slightly tart lemon juice, clove, ginger and peppercorn upfront. Mid-palate showcases the spicy Belgian yeast and earthy funk along with coriander and light grains. It also becomes very "perfumy" with maybe some rose petal. Finishes with some hay, subtle lemon zest, a zing of Sprite, some barnyard and lingering spices.

M: Light bodied, crisp, clean, dry and tingly with carbonation.

O: An excellent easy drinking Saison. Huge lemon notes pummeled with complex spicing and overall perfume-like aromas. Light funk notes and ultra dry.

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Photo of biegaman
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To a photographer it's known as the 'golden hour', to brewers it might as well be called the Saison: a bright but not so intense golden hue that is somehow softer and warmer than the standard pilsner or lager, perhaps owing to the very slight haze that makes long shadows out of fingers pressed against the other side.

Time in the cellar heightened scents of apple and pear, standard fair for saisons that are a little long in the tooth. Looks like I've opened this bottle just in time; there's still just enough spice, farmhouse must and creamy vanilla to emulate some of Belgium's finest offerings. This bouquet is word for word out of the style guidelines book.

The combination of yeast and bready malt imitate warm, airy white loaf. The chamomile, rosemary and pepper add a pinch of spicy/savory complexity without really exposing themselves at all. I couldn't have guessed. The tastes of orchard fruits are subtle but accented by tartness and a floral (though by now significantly faded) hop profile.

Hops are a natural preservative but they aren't immortal. (An estimated) three years on the shelf has taken some toll on the pungent green pellets, but they've still got some punch left in 'em. The aftertaste is laced with bitter herbal and grassy undertones, a pleasant compliment to a considerably sweet malt bill. Alcohol is found nowhere except on the label.

Whereas a lot of American saisons are "Belgian" in the same way that the Olive Garden is "Italian", Saison Athene is traditional farmhouse ale in substance as well as style. But while authenticity - however you define it - is a redeeming quality, it is not the most important one - I'll take flavor and good quaffability any day. Luckily, this has all of the above.

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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 TheFightfan1
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy yellow with a nice fizzy white heading that stuck around for a little while. Left some nice ringage as well. Very lively action going on in my glass.

Very perfumey aroma's coming out this brew they hit you a mile a minute.Ridiculous amounts of rosemary detected. After it settles a bit a more of an earthy kind of horse barnyard smell comes into play.

Much like the nose. I am getting again a heavy dosage of rosemary in the taste. A heavy middle of almost a hot nail polish like alcohol that takes to the cavities and strips enamel. After this mellows the taste soothes out to a nice spicey and peppery finish.

Medium bodied and a nice carbonation action going on. Excellent balance and finishes a little dry.

This one surprised the hell out of me. Very nice saision one of the best I have tasted. Drink this as fresh as possible.

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Photo of Mahlik
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle from Pearl Specialty Market and Liquor. Poured into a tulip glass.

I was surprised (and excited) to find this beer out here in Portland. I remember having a couple of Saint Somewhere beers while I still lived in Florida.

A - Pours a clear golden yellow color with a large, puffy white head. The head sticks around for awhile. Sticky lacing is left all over the sides of the glass. Lots of bubbly carbonation could be seen.

S - Fruity and spicy. The aroma of pears and apples combine with pepper, coriander, cinnamon and various other herbs/spices to create a quite pleasant aroma. Some funky yeast notes exist. I found the aroma to be almost champagne-like.

T - Very similar to the aroma. A wonderful taste of pears and apple sauce. The spices hit a bit harder here. It's a bit peppery . Again, some funk yeast notes come out to create a subtle tartness.

M - Light bodied with light carbonation. The carbonation stops just short of being prickly. Crisp and refreshing with a dry finish.

O - A pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed this saison from Saint Somewhere. I thought this was a beautiful beer with an aroma and taste that are both complex and appealing. The spice level might turn some off but I actually enjoyed it. As the Bros stated, a bit more carbonation wouldn't hurt this beer. I'd be curious to see what a little aging does to this beer.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle with 2008 on the cork a lightly hazy yellow-orange with a thin white head.

Aroma of sage, lemon and freshly-baked bread.

The taste is very herbal with the sage. Makes me think of a Thanksgiving turkey. Lemon, bubblegum, yeast, white pepper round are present as well. Finishes with a kick of cinnamon.

Lighter bodied and quite sticky with a sharp carbonation.

The sage makes it a very unique-tasting Saison from the folks at Saint Somewhere. I like it.

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Photo of mdvatab
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage
Poured from 22oz corked & caged bottle into Bordeaux glass.

Aroma: Light lemon, orange blossom, black pepper, some wild funk, freshly-squeezed orange juice, chalky yeast, coriander, and grapefruit zest. Intoxicatingly fragrant and complex!

Appearance: 3 finger, persistent off-white head settles slowly. Opaque, golden-orange body. Nice, foamy lacing.

Flavor: Lots of cinnamon and spicy clove up front, honey sweetness, but not cloying. Lacking the dry, peppery character of some saisons, this one resides on the more floral, fruity end of the spectrum.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full mouthfeel, medium-high carbonation, tingly pepper hits the back of the throat on the finish. The finish is otherwise very smooth.

Overall: Very soon after I removed the cage from this one, I saw the cork pushing its way out of the top of the bottle and with a "pop!", it hit the ceiling in my kitchen. Needless to say, this one was well-carbonated. For a brewery and a brand that I've heard very little of, I was VERY impressed with this one. EXTREMELY drinkable, yet deliciously complex. If you find this one, buy it!

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