Notch Valley Malt BSA | Notch Brewing

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Very Good
33 Ratings

Brewed by:
Notch Brewing
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jlindros on 11-03-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 33 |  Reviews: 14
Photo of jkeefe1800
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of SuperHop18
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of dmachado
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Fletch1dotnet
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of BeerTerrain
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Spent quite a while trying to hunt this one down. Finally found it with dust on the bottle a full four months after it's release. Certainly this living beer had changed over time, but to my surprise, it was still quite good.

The pour was almost excessively foamy and I was worried, but once the five inch head settled down and I could finish filling my glass, I knew I was going to be alright. The aroma was obvious even without tipping it under my nose, yeasty toast.

the color was consistent as a light brown slice of toast. A tad chunky with bits of fallout dropping to the bottom and sending up trails of little bubbles. I liked it even more.

The foam really set the tastebuds in motion and I got fresh straw, flowering meadow and a funky, aged cheese hint at the end.

made with locally grown grains and malted at Valley Malt, this is about the best way to preserve the local harvest.

 893 characters

Photo of Streetcore
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of mjstacker
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of MAbeerNE1
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of mrovelli
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a lighter dirty brownish with a slight head. No lace.

Cardamon nose and some yeast and spice. A little funk and wet newspaper.

Lean watery flavors with some yeasty and tart notes. Some spice, white pepper, cardamon. Feels weaker and thinner than it is. Some boiled grain as this comes to the finish with some mild watery bitterness.

Carbonated but thin.

Not a fan. Why waste time on this when nearly everyone else makes a better version of this style. Too many undeveloped and off-flavors. The hook is low alcohol? Who could session this?

 548 characters

Photo of Maxwell
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a murky browned yellow like dying straw. The head is a finger width, fluffy white, and lasts forever, leaving thick sticky sheets of lacing on the edges of my glass. There are lots of carbonation bubbles racing up to replenish the head, though the beers body is murky enough that I cannot see through it at all, and would definitely classify it as opaque. On the nose, this beer smells fantastically saisony. Great spicy wafts of earth, biscuity malt, and saison yeast-funk caress the nose. Citrus hops and citrus esters are there in great helpings, with light piney notes also shining through. Slight hay comes through from the malt and esters, while banana esters are surprisingly there in amounts that make me think of a hefeweizen, especially as the beer warms. This smell is really alive with a great complexity, reminding me of lemon banana biscuits, spiced and buttered. On the taste, the beer is light but flavorful, slightly sweeter than the smell might suggest, though still quite pleasing. The taste begins with light hay moving into earthy hops, then opening into big citrus and biscuity buttered malts with hints of creamy banana. The malts, however, are eaten away rather quickly by the bitters from the hay-like and pilsner-feeling hops, which play with each other well into the after taste. Sweet citrus lingers in the mouth as light spicing. The more I drink of this the more I think of strongly citrus-zested bread with hints of banana, while the beer as a whole remains light and lovely on the stomach (just as any Notch beer must). Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety till it begins to slide down the throat and slight carbonation prickles tickle you. The beer is crisp and smooth, though a little thin, leaving the mouth wet on the sides and kind of hop dry on the top of the tongue. Overall, this is another great beer by Notch. In my mind, Notch does saisons right, with perfect amounts of biscuit, funk, and citrus. I could chug this beer all night, or sip it forever, and I would love to get a sixer of it. My one complaint is that the mouthfeel is oh-so-slightly off, but really this is a great beer, and definitely stands up to Notch’s regular saison. Try this beer. Drink this beer. Drink even more of it. Notch has done it again. All hail the king of sessionable beers.

 2,311 characters

Photo of jbertsch
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains wheat, yeast, light caramelized malts, bananas, citrus and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of Belgian yeast, wheat and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of citrus, bananas and caramel come in. The hops presence is on the strong side for the style and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

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

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer worth sessioning with for a long time.

 798 characters

Photo of trevorpost
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jondeelee
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

BSA Harvest opens with a Saison-meets-Belgian nose, full of bananas and cloves, with heavy emphasis on fruits (berries, oranges, pears, in addition to bananas) and peppery spices. Yeasty baguettes and rising wheat bread dough add a sense of earthiness and help balance things out. Touches of lemon from the hops add a citrus zest that nicely pairs with the fruits and spices. The aromas are quite strong, and as a whole are finely balanced between bread, fruit, and spice.

On the tongue, the taste is heavily Saison-oriented, with a peppery banana and clove body made sweeter by berry, orange, pear, and just a smidgen of pineapple. Touches of brown sugar add additional sweet layers, and a bottom of toast crust, rye bread, and yeasty, floury baguette helps offset the sweetness, and a lemon layer adds pucker and pizzazz. The aftertaste is mainly spicy fruits, with smaller touches of bread, and lingers for a time. In subsequent sips some of the nuance of the beer diminishes, but enough remains that the beer continues to be very drinkable and flavorful. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is extreme--to the point that my unshaken bottle foamed over for two to three minutes after opening, removing a good one-tenth of the beer by the time it was done.

Overall, this is very tasty beer--surprisingly so, considering the low 4.4% ABV. It’s also nicely balanced, the spiciness perfectly offsetting the fruits and breads. The carbonation was too much, however, and the way the flavors diminished over several sips was disappointing, making the beer seem watery. Still, this would make excellent hot weather fare.

 1,626 characters

Photo of pburland23
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I like that I'm seeing more and more sessionable craft beers on the shelf. I like big beers just fine but more often than not I'm looking for something I can drink and enjoy with a high ABV.

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into my Great Divide tulip glass.

Appearance: As others have mentioned this one is a bit of a gusher. Fortunately, thanks to BA, I was prepared. Beer pours a hazy, rust orange. Carbonation created two fingers of clean white head. Very nice head retention and lacing.

Smell: A little sweet and yeasty with some delicate fruit notes with the most prominent being banana and orange.

Taste: It's described as a farmhouse ale but it's a beer that defies style definitions. There's some nice spiciness up front and a touch of bitterness. The finish is dry and there's a very Belgian yeast aftertaste. Seems like there is a lot going on here and it seems slightly out of key to me. Something is missing but I'm not sure what.

Mouthfeel: Very sharp prickly carbonation. The drinkability us very high at 4.4%. As the bottle says, "Low Gravity, High Flavor, Long Drinking."

Overall: It's an interesting brew. Lots going on here but I'm not sold on it in its entirety. I definitely dig the low ABV and the idea of Brewer Supported Agriculture (BSA) is pretty cool.

 1,282 characters

Photo of polishkaz
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of wesley14
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of busterthecat
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of kevgod
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of jongullotti
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of greenengineer
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz Bottle - "Bottled in October 2011"

Poured into my Chimay tumbler.

A - Lots of foam upon opening. Pours golden and clear - not hazy. Frothy head, and lacing. Head fades quickly
S - yeasty sweetness.
T - light, a little bitter, hints of citrus and spice. Yeasty, like a good farmhouse should. Dry. No real strong flavors here - light and mellow.
M - quenches my thirst, lots of body considering the alcohol content.
O - Nice, I could drink this again. Love the idea of Brewery Supported Agriculture. +0.5 for that.

 524 characters

Photo of CP20
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: ½ inch head, high carbonation, golden orange in color, clear

Smell: smokiness, wheat, and banana

Taste: wheat, lemon, banana, and light Belgian spice

Mouthfeel: light body, sweet, high carbonation

Overall: Not what I was expecting but wow is this a good beer. This may be Notch’s best to date. I love the light wheat taste. It tastes more like a nice and refined hefeweizen than saison. I will certainly get this again.

 439 characters

Photo of BlueBombardier
5/5  rDev +29.9%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Notch Valley Malt BSA from Notch Brewing
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 33 ratings