V Cense
Brasserie de Jandrain-Jandrenouille

V CenseV Cense
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Belgian Saison
Ranked #1,702
Ranked #32,582
3.74 | pDev: 10.96%
Brasserie de Jandrain-Jandrenouille
Very Good
V CenseV Cense
View: Beers
Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 95 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of aleigator
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clouded nut brown color with a noisy, medium sized head.

Smell is surprisingly hop forward, revealing a noble, matured quality among slightly less pronounced caramel malts and melting toffee.

Has a vivid, yet balancing carbonation with a lighter, refreshing mouthfeel to it.

Tastes of ground coffee, bakers chocolate, wet leaves and a hint of toffee, blending together to a balanced and complex first impression. This gets enriched by the beer‘s higher carbonation, adding a mineralic quality, which tones down the well fitting sweetness in this. Finishes mellowed out with some wood bark, more pronounced bakers chocolate and faint hops.

I expected something totally different but this was a great surprise. Very complex and well balanced, this convinces, due to its unique flavor profile.

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aleigator from Germany, Sep 21, 2019
Photo of Beginner2
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Great fortune to have this "5th Sense" on a hot summer day at a family reunion (one of my nephews is a hop-head.)
Aroma was hugely citric and the initial taste was refreshing, but the hops took over and I drank no more as I knew it would not go with the food. And what are saisons for, but to go with food?

Interesting that this beer is inspired by American IPA's. But, they seemed not to make it too bitter to drink...just too bitter to go with food.
Bought this because it was on the "1001" beers list and, arguably, should not have been.

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Beginner2 from Illinois, Mar 19, 2016
Photo of pat61
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It pours a clear chestnut color with a nice creamy one finger head. The aroma has sugars – caramel or molasses with a little spice in the aroma and they admit to adding a secret spice. This is their amber. It’s a good drinking beer and probably leans towards the Farmhouse ale biere de garde category with its sweetness and spiciness.

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pat61 from Minnesota, Jan 26, 2015
Photo of Chico1985
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml split 2 nights ago, reviewed from notes.

This poured a brownish amber color, darker than expected, off-white head retains fine. Pretty cool and unique dark farmhouse thing goin' on. I get apple, pear, musty grape, earthy/farmy yeast, light caramel malt, lots of various spice rack (cinnamon?). Good foamy carbonation with a dry finish.

Better/more interesting than expected, the spice element is nice somehow blend well with farmhouse/dark fruit/wine-like flavors. Would like to try this again.

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Chico1985 from Massachusetts, Oct 07, 2014
Photo of dcmchew
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%

Pours hazy dark orange, going to ruby, small head quick to a thin lace and some sticky traces.
Orange jam in the smell, candi sugar, tons of caramel, crackers, dried apricots, white raisin, persimmon, cherry plum, faint mango. A sticky "tasty" smell.
Didn't detect any tartness in the smell, but there's a bit in the taste, right from the start, a bit of cherry with a faint hint of vinegar. Also a bit of lactic sourness. Not that fruity tho, aside some red apple, there's some apricot, some faint raisin, fig, some orange, all pretty faint, but otherwise just a layer of caramel sweetness and grainy biscuit. Saison funk, with hay, grass, spices. Finishes with some mildly bitter hops and lingering yeasts.
Medium body and carbonation, easy to drink. Aftertaste is fruity, hoppy, yeasty, all at once.
The main characteristic of this beer is that the flavours keep mixing, taking turns, i guess. Berry jelly and dried fruit one time, then funky, then crackery, then fruity again, and so on. The flavours may be toned down, but it's all quite complex. Still a bit more of an "oomph!" would've helped.

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dcmchew from Romania, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of babaracas
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with billowing cream colored head, rings of thick lace down the glass. Smell: spicy, sweet orange peel, whole grain cracker, dried apricot, dates. Taste: sweet and fruity upfront: apricot, marmalade; then cut with mild tartness and soft grain; then milk caramel note and rye cracker. Medium bodied with hefty, fluffy carbonation, finishes drying with herbal notes. Really tasty and interesting composition, with a sweet label. Unlike IV and VI, can't find any date on this bottle.

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babaracas from Florida, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle served in a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a beautiful dark color. Clear. Forms a thick, solid and creamy beige head. Good persistence and some spotty lacings left in the glass

S: Sweet nose. Strong notes of caramel. Red fruits. Spicy too: notes of honey, black pepper. Flowery hops and Belgian yeasts in the end

T: Follows the nose: sweet and fruity. Strong notes of caramel and crystal malts. Notes of honey, black pepper and red fruits. Flowery hops. In overall, a sweet, malty, peppery and watery taste. Mild hops bitterness in the very end. A bit metallic too

M: Light, watery and slightly molasses body. Medium to low carbonation. Caramel and pepper as aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Quite close to an amber ale, in fact. Too mild spiciness to a Saison but still a pleasant beer

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eduardolinhalis from Switzerland, Aug 27, 2013
Photo of pixieskid
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

How this is categorized as a saison is beyond me. As a big fan of the IV (an excellent saison) and the VI (saison/wit hybrid imo) I figured it was time to retry this one as it has been a couple of years and I didn't really remember much about it.

Pours a deep ruby/amber color with a thick white-ish head. Quite dark for a saison, but amber saisons are out there...

Nose; caramel, ripe fruits, brown sugar, this is smelling and looking a lot like a Belgian Amber.
Taste; yup, straight up Belgian Amber ale. Faint spice/yeast character, sweet fruits, caramel, some grains, nothing saison about it aside from the fact that it is somewhat dry. This is a prime example of how the term/category of "farmhouse ale" is stupid. Just because it's brewed in a "farmhouse brewery" doesn't necessarily mean you will have a beer that is a saison/saison like.

Sweet and creamy, a little dry, but not nearly dry enough for a saison.

Overall; this is a great Belgian Amber, a style that does very little for me, but this one was quite good. If you're looking for a saison fix, skip this one and grab the IV or the VI and you won't be dissapointed. If you like a good Belgian Amber, grab this one.

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pixieskid from Germany, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of rudzud
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Recently stumbled across my notes from The Festival 2012. Lets do this!

A - Poured a clear crimson hue with a thin off white head that faded rather quickly to leave behind a thin off white halo.

S - Aromas of faint malty sweetness, light darker fruits, caramel, spice, and rather fake cherry cough syrup.

T - Taste is like the nose, not bad enough with light figgy sweetness, caramel, spice notes, and them wham, medicinal cherries.

M - Mouthfeel isnt bad, nice carbonation but still feels a bit heavy/syrupy.

O - Overall, not my favourite one at all. Way too much fake cherry here for my taste.

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rudzud from Massachusetts, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of hagbergl
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I had a glass of Jandrain V Saison at Lord Hobo in Cambridge on the recommendation of one of the servers. I was glad to try this interesting take on the style.

Appearance (4/5): Jandrain V pours a hazy straw/yellow color with a minimal white head. It has that typical, great look that quality saisons often have. Nice, tight bubbles and a bit of carbonation is visible when looking at the beer from above.

Smell (3.75/5): Some Brett and peppery, yeasty funkiness going on here in the aroma! One thing that's very interesting about this particular saison is that the Brett has imparted a bit of lactic tartness to the beer. Underneath the funkier smells I detect some light sweet malt. Interesting, though not quite a beauty.

Taste (3.75/5): Lightly noble hoppy flavor that I didn't detect in the smell hits first. A bit of tartness from the Brett flexes in the middle and back. Spicy, peppery, musty yeast is also quite notable and makes this more than your average, run-of-the-mill saison. There's also a fruitiness that comes on late that tastes similar to black cherry. The flavor is fairly complexed, though a bit jumbled and incoherent. The unpredictability keeps the beer interesting, but I'm not enamored by the flavor. The 7% is well hidden.

Mouthfeel (3.5/5): The mouthfeel lacks in the carbonation department a bit (it would have benefited from a more spritely carbonation level), but the beer has good medium body to it.

Overall (3.75/5): Jandrain V Saison is a very interesting take on the farmhouse ale style from a Belgian brewery that we don't hear a whole lot from. Its complex yeastiness is something most American breweries couldn't hope to reproduce. It's definitely worth a try, but I wouldn't name it as a standout in the style category.

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hagbergl from Maryland, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of StJamesGate
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cherry amber with craggy pitted sandy head that refreshes from a stream of bubbles in the middle.
Apple spice, waxy yeast, brown bread and some orangey US hops on the nose.
Stewed apple, red pear, autumn leaves, raisin bread and dried cranberries with an ester hit, a hint of cocoa, slight yeasty white pepper there tangerine and tea leaf hops.
Citrus finish and spicy linger.
Medium, round, some chew, no burn.

There are lots of other reviews here talking about honey and lemon like this is a saison, but that's not what going on.
This is an amber farmhouse ale ,like Jenlain, dry-hopped with Amarillo (which everyone also seems to miss.)
There's also a mystery spice in there, which shows up big, making this pretty wintery.
Some fruity notes recall a dubbel but the spice and hops hide that along with any distinctive yeast character.

Unique and interesting but not quite extraordinary - falls short of JJ's other numbered beers.

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StJamesGate from New York, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of FLima
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful amber and ruby color. Though, last drops were a murky brown. It poured a thick and persistent off-white head.
Piney and earthy hops and fruity aroma, notes of figs, medicine, condiments, licorice and mandarin.
Very complex beer with mutating flavors, licorice, prunes, pine, citrus, mostly grapefruit and mandarin. Also present, toasted notes, spices and condiments. Dry and condimented aftertaste.
The 7%ABV is very well hidden. Still it has a light body with a light carbonation with small bubbles.
Very refreshing beer but also complex and tasteful. With Saisons you have to drink it without any expectations, past experiences comparisons or fixed standards, as long you follow that rule you will encounter good surprises. Not following this rule results in mix discounters of opinions in the evaluations.

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FLima from Brazil, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of busternuggz
3.17/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 into a red wine glass.

Slightly muddy orange-amber color with a big ass off white head after the pour that recedes to a thin film with some spotty lacing.

Big fruity & malty nose with mandarin orange, apricots, dates, and a sweet syrupy smell. A little boozy, some Belgian-y esters. Complex and interesting but it's kind of off-putting how sweet it smells...is this a quad?

The taste is surprisingly light given the scent. Still fruity, with dried apricot, orange, and lemon notes, a little hay and earthiness. A bit of funk, and some prune notes. Whole wheat bread notes come out as it warms, and the malt gets a little sweeter, bordering on cloying. Fairly balanced overall though.

Great carbonation, helps balance the malt and lighten the texture.

Hard to know what to make of this one. It's not a traditional saison, if it really is one at all (the label just says "Belgian Farmhouse Ale", and the website is no help). A malty saison? A quad or dubbel made with saison yeast? Whatever it is, it's interesting but I'm not in a hurry to buy it again. I might enjoy it more in the Fall. I liked the IV Saison better.

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busternuggz from California, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia.

Pours a dark ruby red color with mahogany edges and two finger off white head.  Good retention slowly fading into a lasting ring.  Streaks of lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with some funky yeast, zesty spice and vinous dark fruit.  Slightly medicinal with zesty pepper, grape and other dark berries.

Medium bodied but fuller than expected with a blast of peppery spice that lingers over the funky yeast and dark fruit notes into a sweet yet dry finish.  Slightly syrupy/medicinal with a strong spice presence followed by subtle funk and sweet fruit.  Abv well masked but the heavy spice hurts drinkability a bit.

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corby112 from Pennsylvania, May 21, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The excitement grows when introduced to authentic Belgian saisons, for these are the driest, spiciest, and fully characterful beers of the Belgian family of ales.

V Cense pours with a creamy and darker appearance than is usual. Russet bronze hued beer releases its creamy carbonated head to cap the beer with a blanket of off white foam. Approaching nearly dunkel-like aesthetics, only the abundance of carbonation and delicate creme tells me otherwise-that this beer is indeed Belgian.

Spicy aromas of mild toast char and black peppercorn tingle the nose with confidence and sharpness. Backup notes of caramel, red apples, and figs are unusual in the aromatic profile for saisons, but traditional versions have been known to exert a lot of lead way in demonstrated flavors. Yet, the highly phenolic notes of medicine (maybe band aid and light smoke) seems to dominate the balance, taking away from the dry-estery mix.

Stronger flavors of caramel and red apples are boastful, even more so than the light apple, lemon, and herbal notes of contemporary saisons, yet this more robust example balances with spicy peppercorn, dry toast, and overall mediciney taste. It's that medicinal note that strikes me as a bit misplaced and begins to dominate the balance in somewhat distracting manner.

Medium bodied, the richer taste translates to slightly elevated weight to the palate. Moderate alcohols could be higher, yielding a drier and more airy impression to lift the beer from the mouth and adding the elements of refreshment and drinkability to a better degree. Finishing lightly powdery and minty, the warmth helps to dry the beer and create a short lived finish.

I'm all for a revisit to old world recipes of saison and their inherent experimentation as long as the dry fruit balance to spicy pepper remains intact. Here, the spice overtakes the beer and disappoints the palate, if ever so slightly.

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BEERchitect from Kentucky, May 06, 2012
Photo of barczar
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear garnet color with a quarter inch ivory head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma is imitation cherry, sweet, becoming sherry-like with a vinous, almost vinegary character. There's a bit of underlying horse blanket funk.

Flavor is fairly medicinal. It's much drier than anticipated from the aroma. Stale malt overcomes the initially winey profile, leading to a peppery, bitter finish. Hints of fruit tease me into thinking there will be more flavor. As it warms, the flavor more closely aligns with the aroma. Still somewhat disappointing.

Body is moderate, with fairly high carbonation. There's a substantial alcohol warmth.

Overall, the aroma promised a lot more than the flavor delivered. I was hoping for much more sourness, given the aroma.

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barczar from Kentucky, May 05, 2012
Photo of Cozzatoad
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, label says best before see bottle but i can't find it

A- Pretty intense orange colour. One finger white head that shows both good retention and lacing. A bit of hazyness and quite a lot of yeast sediment in the last pour

S- Delicate malts with caramel notes along with a light yeast note. Fruity notes of stawberry and cherries in the background. Maybe the faintest citric touch. Overall very much on the sweet side but still soft and delicate

T- Quite sweet for the style with notes of caramel and honey from the malts. Subtle fruity notes on the back of things as the smell suggested, with strawberry being the easiest to pick up. Some slight floral/herbal hints showing up from time to time. A bit of citrus in the aftertaste. Quite dry on the finish. Sweet for the style as the smell suggested. Reaper16 nailed it by saying subtle but not complex

M- Light to medium body with medium carbonation, a bit too watery given the ABV

O- Decently refreshing. Being so fruity this is not your typical saison, but still a not very interesting or complex one in my opinion. Highly drinkable and overall still pleasant. I'm a saison fan, but i was not impressed with this one

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Photo of Reaper16
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a dark orange-red, bordering on brown. So, garnet, basically. I didn't expect this color at all, which is exciting. Less than one finger of tight buttermilk foam. It dissipates pretty quickly, leaving sparse lacing behind it.

While the color of this beer is boisterous for the Saison style, the nose is all subtlety. There's a base note of breadcrusts, like amber malts. I pick up on cherry pits and rose petals. Which is to say that V Cense is fruity and floral, but very quietly so. Some herbaceous quality comes out as the beer warms, but again only quietly so. This has the distinction of being subtle but not complex -- there isn't a whole lot going on here. That's fine, of course.

The taste is similarly subtle-yet-not-complex. There's the amber malts, of course. These are brightened up by a flavor that reminds me of honey-lemon cough drops. I'm thinking that flavor is part phenolic. Regardless, there isn't a lot of flavor being pumped out by this yeast. Some strawberry comes out after a while, which is very welcome. A bit of a floral finish. Also pennies, weirdly; kinda' distantly metallic. This is an alright saison, but there isn't anything exceptional about it.

The mouthfeel is pretty solid. It's quite light-bodied but there's enough carbonation to make it OK. This is a dry beer, which suits me fine. Overall, this is a pretty average Saison. It does its job competently, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to acquire this again. It's like an inferior version of Stillwater Stateside Saison.

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Reaper16 from Alabama, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of Mebuzzard
2.71/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer had promise. I was told it was pretty good by a fellow geek. Perhaps I got a bad bottle, the price dictates I won't try it again.

Pours a dark cherry red and amber. Clean and clear. Nice pinkish head. Slick lacing.

Aroma is faint. Nothing really to it at all. Some sweet caramel and light malt. Hints of faded spice.

Nothing bad in the taste, but nothing stands out or even has any strength. Sweet caramel, very light. Maybe some spices and faint red plum.

Horrible feel. Slick and light. Nothing there. Carbonation either escapes or was never there. This is a bland beer all around, save the visual.

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Mebuzzard from Colorado, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of largadeer
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Garnet colored with good clarity, really nice looking. Pours with an inch of froth that settles to a sticky collar. A lot of brett on the nose, not sure if that's intended with this beer, but it works either way. Barnyard, strawberry, mineral, light toasted malts. Very yeasty and funky with sharp esters. Tastes funky, somewhat metallic. Big fruity esters, reminds me of strawberry rhubarb pie. Little bit of toasty dark malt, but more yeast centered. Mouthfeel is a bit fizzy, slightly thin. Brief finish. Pretty enjoyable and unusual farmhouse ale.

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largadeer from California, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Thorpe at a recent tasting with two others from this brewery, this was my least favorite out of the three. Served in a snifter.

Beer is brownish, hazy, thin off white head small bubbles, some lacing, low retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is weak, a little hoppy, a little floral.

Beer is light in body, mild earthiness in the midpalate, mild fruity esters in the front half of the beer from the yeast, the finish is a little bland, not my favorite.

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drabmuh from Maryland, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is dark orange/sunburst with a quarter inch of white head that leaves some decent lacing on the snifter. The aroma is rather mild, offering subtle hints of hops and light floral notes. The flavor is pleasant, though unexciting. Clean and easy. Light in body with appropriate carbonation. The least complex of the IV,V, and VI we shared tonight. Overall, decent.

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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy red in color and poured with a thin white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A slight amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are strong aromas of floral and citrusy hops along with notes of berries and hints of citrus. The flavor is very complex for the style.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the hops are subdued and the flavors of berries are stronger.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a quite tart on the palate and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is slightly unusual and isn’t as refreshing compared to other beers in the style, but it’s very complex and interesting to drink.

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metter98 from New York, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of kmo1030
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a red-orange hued amber with a thick shy of white head that fades to a dense ring. herbal hops, green apple, citrus and caramel are the major players in the nose. there is a faint whiff of hay and mint.
in the mouth the are some denser fruit flavors in addition to whats on the nose. plum comes to mind, fading into some strawberry oddly enough. the caramel is still there as well as some earthier characteristics remeniscent of root vegetable or butternut squash. the hops are present in a grassy herbal capacity.
the mouthfeel is soft and finely carbonated and medium in body.
overall a great darker saison, lots of complexity going on, and i like the substantial hop character.

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kmo1030 from Massachusetts, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle served in a lambic basket at Moeder Lambic St. Giles during last week's Belgium trip. Reviewed from notes.

Served in a Jandran-Jandrenouille goblet.

Pours a moderate brown that is fairly transparent with a big head.

The nose is pretty tame when it was first poured, but then becomes much more complex as it warms up just a little bit. Nice bit of toast and spice along with a bit of pepper. Other spice in there as well. Quite complex. Good phenolics combine well with toast and a bit of roast. Light chewiness and a good body. Dry finish and a slight bitterness. Very nice.

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Thorpe429 from Illinois, Sep 16, 2011
V Cense from Brasserie de Jandrain-Jandrenouille
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 95 ratings