Arctic Soirée
Grassroots Brewing

Arctic SoiréeArctic Soirée
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Style:
Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #900
ABV:
6%
Score:
87
Ranked #16,671
Avg:
3.9 | pDev: 9.23%
Reviews:
69
Ratings:
486
From:
Grassroots Brewing
 
Vermont, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  15
Gots
  71
SCORE
87
Very Good
Arctic SoiréeArctic Soirée
Notes: Ale fermented and aged in oak tanks with Brettanomyces, lime juice, and hibiscus. This beer is crafted with organic hibiscus flowers, lime, and the essence and imagination of our Vermont farmstead family.

Brewed and Bottled at Anchorage Brewing Company, Anchorage, Alaska
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Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 486 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

I could have sworn I'd already reviewed this one, but I guess I haven't typed up my notes? Or else it was just their Arctic Saison...

Batch 1 750ml brown glass bottle. November 2013 vintage. Hood-and-wire cage surrounds the cork. Brown and crimson label design.

"Ale fermented and aged in oak tanks with brettanomyces, lime juice, and hibiscus." 6% ABV. 12 degrees plato. Distributed by the Shelton Bastards.

Dried lime, subdued but nevertheless present oak, barnyard-bent hay and straw-like grassiness. Brettanomyces/wildyeast induced funkiness is evident, but this is far from as intricate yeast-wise as the best saison style beers out there. Lacks microfloral intricacy as well as the bacterial and woodsy notes I'd expect in a great saison with this premise. For a beer fermented in oak, it tastes surprisingly sterile (as though actually fermented in stainless).

I don't taste the hibiscus. Not floral hopwise either.

Oddly smooth, wet, and coating. I'd expect less slickness in a saison, especially targeting a rustic spicy flavour like this...coarseness and dryness would really help this accentuate its brettanmyces' subtleties.

A competent saison, but its high price relative to the likes of Boulevard, Ommegang, and even Prairie leaves me reticent to recommend it.

Low B- / WORTHY

Apr 11, 2020
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kitch from Hong Kong

3.49/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A corked and caged 750ml bottle, Batch #1, bottled in November 2013. Poured into a 3 Fonteinen stemmed glass.

Appearance: A lightly hazy golden orange colour with a thin white head that dissipated fairly quickly and left only some sparse lacing.

Aroma: Light to moderate funk, lime, lemon peel, floral, tea and oak.

Taste: Funk, light tartness, lime, stone fruit, citrus, lemon peel, tea and a touch floral.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: The flavours didn’t really work for me. The lime seemed to overpower everything even the brett, and floral notes are not my favourite so it didn’t help balance it either. Not as complex or tasty as Arctic Saison.

Oct 21, 2019
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Gatch from Massachusetts

4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #2 October 2015

Three years old! Picked it up right off the shelf at a clearance price. Apparently Floridians don’t appreciate the beauty of HF/Grassroots. My score is obviously inflated because three years in the bottle has enhanced the Brett character to make it incredibly complex yet simply delicious. The Brett has become funky yet subtle and has lost that chalky flavor and feel that I find in younger Brett beers. The lime and hibiscus are still there, giving it a fruity finish and feel. This is stellar. What a steal!

Oct 05, 2018
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dertyd from California

4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out a slightly hazy golden peach color, with 1 finger of white head--------------- the aromas are of bandaids, funk, oak, lime and grassy/floral notes-------------- the flavors are of hibiscus, lime and oak with lesser funk and spice, the beer has a light body with a dry finish--------------- overall this beer was nice it's a wonderful saison, it's complex and all the components of the beer work well together

Mar 02, 2018
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy yellow color ale with a nice large foamy head. Aroma of tart notes with light funky ester. Taste is a mix of tart notes with funky Brett notes and easily distinguishable lime notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Interesting mix of lime and Brett notes with some complexities.

Oct 09, 2017
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rand from California

3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

750 mL bottle into a Duvel tulip glass

The beer has a peach-pink appearance with apparently low viscosity as virtually no head forms on a fairly aggressive pour. Soda-like effervescence as well.

Classic saison/Belgian pale aromas - dry grassy notes, a little citrus snap and a touch of funk. Fairly subdued bouquet for the style.

Lemon-pepper/dry citrus notes at the front, quickly followed by lime zest and a touch of crackery yeast. Not much going on here...hibiscus and Brett are nowhere to be found. There's a bit of a lime rind punch toward the end of the sip, quickly finishing with lingering bitter-citrus notes.

Light, effervescent complexion makes the brew at least drinkable.

Not at all what I was hoping for. I presume the acid from the added lime wiped out a lot of the flavor profile. If you've ever made ceviche, you know how you have to be careful with lime as an ingredient. Seems like I recall a lime-added brew from the Bruery that was a disaster, even worse than this. This is just kind of bland.

Jul 23, 2017
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BeanBump from California

3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cool pinkish orange color with little head. Smells a bit funky due to the brett and slightly floral. I never got any of the bitterness that other reviewers mentioned. Rather, I got sort of a malty, brett/saison with hints of hibiscus and a little lime tartness. Overall, pretty good beer. Its light and drinks well on a warm day.

Jun 29, 2017
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

2.67/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Classic golden color, great carbonation, thin lacing. Aroma is a very traditional Brett saison with the expected tart barnyard smells along with loam, but also has a bit of rubber / plastic in there too. Taste lacks dimension, and has a very sharp bitterness at the end which almost tastes like lime gone bad. Not bright, complimentary tartness but just sour & bitter. Zero hibiscus that I could detect. I think the Brett & lime really clashed with each other, and the result is a very disappointing beer from two very reputable brewers. Can't all be winners, I guess.

May 18, 2017
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stortore from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled October 2015, batch #2, had on 5/31/16.

Pours a good looking cloudy pink, with a one finger head and a fair amount of foamy lacing. Smell is tart, yeast, lime, Brett, lemon, a floral scent. The taste is lime, yeast, Brett, some lemon, some pear, oak. Fair amount of hop bitterness midway through the finish. Smooth. light bodied, the taste lingers.

Like the flavors, how the lime and hibiscus work well together. Well balanced overall. It's certainly worth a try.

Jul 09, 2016
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superspak from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; Batch #2, bottled in 10/2015. Moderate gusher upon popping the cork. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy pinkish orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy light pink head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tart lemon, lime, grapefruit, cranberry, pineapple, mango, pear, white wine, peppercorn, hay, straw, grass, oak, honey, cracker, light musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity fruity/spicy/funky yeast, lime/hibiscus, oak, and light pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tart lemon, lime, grapefruit, cranberry, pineapple, mango, pear, white wine, peppercorn, hay, straw, grass, oak, honey, cracker, light musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Good amount of peppery yeast spiciness and light fruity/tannic tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart lemon, lime, grapefruit, cranberry, pineapple, mango, pear, white wine, peppercorn, hay, straw, grass, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy/funky yeast, lime/hibiscus, oak, and light pale malt flavors; with a great tartness/spiciness balance and no astringent flavors after the finish. Good amount of dryness from tart/spiciness as well. Medium-high carbonation and light body; with a very smooth, crisp, and fairly acidic/tannic/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Brett saison, All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy/funky yeast, lime/hibiscus, oak, and light pale malt flavors; and very smooth, crisp, and easy to drink with the balanced acidity. A very enjoyable offering.

May 19, 2016
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a pretty beer. When I poured it my immediate thought was Pink Flamingos. It's a very still beer, no head.
Aroma was floral, funky, and fruity.
Very strong lime taste. Earthy/funky from the brett. Late bitterness, like they threw in the lime zest.
Light-bodied, crisp.

Mar 20, 2016
Photo of Trevor11
Trevor11 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Arctic Soiree was not as palatable to me compared head to head against the Arctic Saison both of which I picked up from Fischmann's in Chicago. It has a rosy hue (originating from the hibiscus most likely). It is a very clean beer that lacks certain depths maybe from the overwhelming lime notes.

Mar 02, 2016
Photo of BenGap
BenGap from Alaska

3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A reddish pink hue with light white head. The nose is almost entirely floral, as is the taste but with a bitter citrus undetone. Seems like grapefruit bitter but the description notes limes. I get the hibiscus in nose and taste but little brett funkiest which would help this beers complexity. Decent saison, but not my favorite from Anchorage.

Jan 11, 2016
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hopley from Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really enjoyed this beer - the brett is more of a background note, if that. Pours a nice color light orangey pink color, smell is waftingly wonderful, taste is fresh and sweet, and the mouth feel is tasty. A pretty pedestrian description if I say so myself - for a beer that I was not optimistic about based on reading the reviews, but came away very satisfied with after drinking. The only negative I would add is that I actually prefer this on the colder side as when it warmed up too much, it was a little watery - seems to lose a little of its cheerfulness...

May 09, 2015
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boredalready from Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am probably a bit of a Hill Farmstead/Grassroots homer but I enjoy this beer. Granted, I don't enjoy it as much as Soigne or Convivial but it is a dry, refreshing, and slightly fruity saison with decent drinkability. Nice color from the hibiscus as well.

Mar 03, 2015
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GOBLIN from Ohio

3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Got all excited when I found this bottle. Figured with a name like HF on the side it had to be good. Well it was, but not great. Easy drinking but rather bland and lacking in the flavor department.

Feb 02, 2015
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itsJB from Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, light pink, 1/2cm lacing around the edge, stream of bubbles in center of glass

Aroma: like Chardonnay, light, oak, vanilla, perfum-y flowers, lime

Taste: funky, not-dry Chardonnay, light, more floral, hint of lime, touch of oak/vanilla/sweetness

Feel: Crisp, light, soft

Overall: light and refreshing, seems complex but flavors are simple and muted, funk comes out more as it warms, super pretty color

Jan 10, 2015
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden orange in color. Hazy in appearance. Hints of lime, brett and minerals. Simple grain malt profile. Very light and refreshing. No sourness. Kinda bland.

Jan 05, 2015
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Auraan from Arizona

4/5  rDev +2.6%

Poured a clear reddish amber with one finger of bubbly white head. A good looking sour, more Kriek than Saison, but nice. Scents of lime juice, grapefruit juice, medium-light hibiscus and passion fruit, sour barnyard Brett funk and light malt. Overall impression of aroma is of a sour, fruit-forward aroma with lesser levels of barnyard funk than expected. A nice aroma, odd and experimental as true farmhouse Saisons tend to be and overall pleasing. Flavor begins lightly sour with notes of funky yeast, medium lime juice and light hibiscus tea. Middle adds some light lime zest flavors, but continues the above flavor profile, with lime flavors becoming medium-high. Finish is dry with medium-high notes of lime juice, light hibiscus tea, light white pepper and very light oak barrel and funky yeast. Sourness is medium throughout, not overwhelming. Aftertaste is lime juice, hibiscus and light grainy malt with hints of white pepper. Overall impression of flavor is of a light, lime-forward, moderately sour ale that gets most of its sourness from the lime flavors and not a big amount of yeasty funk. The oak barrel is also light, yet the hibiscus is present. An odd experiment that is extremely refreshing. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high, effervescent carbonation and a slightly watery and puckering feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a very light, crisp, refreshing beer, perfect for summer. Overall this is a good experimental sour. The added ingredients are still present after a year of aging in the aroma and flavor profiles and the flavor and mouthfeel are quite refreshing. However it is not without its faults. The Brettanomyces character is far to low considering this is a 1-year aged bottle and the oak tank is barely present in the aroma or flavor. It is a good beer, but it lacks a bit compared to other sours as a result. Still worth trying.

Dec 13, 2014
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ClePaul from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look 8/10
Smell 15/20
Taste 34/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 17/20

Overall 83/100

A very average DIPA, I for some reason really thought this would rock. However it had a bit of a soapy after taste and the body was a bit flat. However it was very easy to drink~

Nov 09, 2014
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ADZA from Australia

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours a pinkish orange hue with one finger head that doesnt hang round long,the smell is funk, oak, brett and I definately get the hibiscus, the feel is medium bodied with above moderate carbonation and on taste its a little muddledit starts off like the saison it is with that rustic farmhouse taste but its overhauled by the brett and hibiscus and finished with a touch of lime and overall im abit let down by this was expecting more but will still quaff the bottle cheers.

Oct 14, 2014
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coriswrasse from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

good but not fantastic.
rose to peach hue with a thin layer of head.
hibiscus is there with other subtle flavors.
not much sour bite. finishes oaky dry.
low carbonation.

Sep 25, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.4/5  rDev -12.8%

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pinkish orange body. Hazy. Big white head. Medium collar.

Smell - Floral. A little lime. Some brett. A little sweet and musty.

Taste - Sweet and floral up front. Lime is kinda lost. Brett builds. Kinda drops off and leaves some bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Eh. Just shy of what I'd consider good.

Sep 13, 2014
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homebrew311 from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev 0%

Appears a pale orangeish pink with white head. The nose is full of lime, fruit, citrusy hops, and a hint of funk at the back end. The hibiscus is certainly present but I can't really put my finger on any descriptors for it. The flavor is juicy and refreshing. The flavors are relatively mellow for a saison as it lacks that farmhouse funk that I am used to with the style. Well balanced and refreshing.

Sep 08, 2014
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kevanb from Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -15.9%

750ml bottle poured into an Anchorage Teku. Enjoyed on 9.2.2014, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a pinkish orange color, light amber, very clear with many bubbles rising to the top of the glass. A fizzy, off white, slightly pink head rises, maybe a finger or so, that has low retention and lace, but nice film. The aroma is very herbal and medicinal with plenty of hibiscus and wildflower, lightly funky, mild oak and a touch of fruit. The flavors showcase a bit more complexity, but are still dominated by heavy and medicinal hibiscus flower, a bit of the limey citrus comes out with some oak and funk, and the fruitiness from the yeast is a bit clearer. The body is oddly thick, but still struggles to coat the mouth, carbonation is a bit lower, but still lively, and the finish is a bit creamy but generally unsubstantial.

Verdict: A bit of a miss from Anchorage and Hill Farmstead here, the hibiscus is just a bit too overpowering and dominant and the texture is very odd, heavy but wispy and ethereal at the same time. There are some redeeming qualities in here for sure, the tart citrus from the lime could use a bit more oomph to balance things out, but this was generally unimpressive.

Sep 06, 2014
Arctic Soirée from Grassroots Brewing
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 486 ratings