Saison By The Sea | Coronado Brewing Company

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Saison By The SeaSaison By The Sea
43 Ratings
Saison By The SeaSaison By The Sea

Brewed by:
Coronado Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 08-24-2008

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep golden-amber body with a small, whitish head.

Smell: Rather malty nose dipped in caramel with notes of added spices, fruit, toasted grains, and a particularly strong jolt of aromatic ginger.

Taste: Caramel maltiness, a touch grainy, and having a honeyed sweetness. Hmm, the certainly didn't skimp on the spices. Again, that ginger comes through pretty strongly. Middling fruitiness with a hint even of candied orange wedges. Fairly phenolic at times. No more than a mild hop bitterness. Picks up a bit of bread crusts in the lightly sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Shows some promise (and spicy promise at that), but it comes off a bit too sweet and a bit lacking in carbonation for what I'm looking for in a saison. Maybe some other time, Ariel.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.67/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors."


Polished apricot with multiple bubble streams animating the interior. Maybe a little yeasty haziness will appear on subsequent pours (note: it does). Several fingers of fawn colored fluffy foam float atop the beer. The crown looks good enough to get by. Small chunks of soap sudsy lace are beginning to appear on the glass.

The nose is toasted and earthy and spicy, which is a valid variation on the saison style. It isn't funky in the least, which rules out wild yeast. Too bad the brewers had to add spices rather than relying on a kick-ass yeast strain. The beer smells 'brown spicy'... like allspice or maybe cinnamon. Ginger is in there too, I'll bet.

Saison By The Sea tastes more like a spiced beer than a saison. As the former, it's pretty good. As the latter, it's less good. One particular spice is right upfront (too much so) and it's killing me that I can't identify it. Ginger and allspice? There might be a dash of white pepper as well.

The base beer is toasted malty, somewhat nutty, and is sweeter than most beer of this style. Grains of paradise (alligator pepper)? All right, enough with the guessing. In the end, this so-called saison is a cheat and doesn't hold up when compared with the world's (or even America's) best.

The mouthfeel is more big (i.e. viscous) American ale than Belgian ale. Since I like the feel of big American ales, the mouthfeel score will reflect that. Keep in mind, though, that this isn't one of those lightly lush, creamy, amazingly expansive Belgian saisons.

Maybe the brewers at Coronado weren't trying to recreate the classic European saisons. That's fine, but they missed the style mark by a wide enough margin that they should have named the beer something else. Spice Islands Ale may not be quite as poetic, but it's more accurate.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.01/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer pours a fairly clear golden orange color with a tall, soapy white head.

S: This thing smells almost entirely of sage, ginger, and green peppercorn. Almost medicinal herbal notes with perhaps even a touch of eucalyptus. A light bread and malt sweetness, a bit of yeast.

T: Just way too much spice. Lots of cinnamon, ginger, and pepper. A moderate malt and bread sweetness, perhaps a touch of yeast. Just a light fruit flavor and sweetness.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Way too much spice and herbal character, it was just unpleasant.

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Photo of bigred89
2.75/5  rDev -21%

Photo of afsdan
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of Bitterbill
3.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought this bottle from South Bay D&L. Thanks Joey!

It pours a hazy orange with a 2 finger head of foam. It leaves some nice sticky lacing but the head retention degraded as the session went on.

The smell is fruity and spicy! I get notes of pear, lemon, some peach, corriander, clove, and an earthy yeasty tone. Nice and complex.

The taste starts off both earthy and sweetish. The fruit plays it big here. Lots of pear and peach tops, with some apple, with a lemon twang that I find mostly in the finish. Plenty of spiciness as well with some big notes of ginger and lesser notes of pepper and clove. Underlining it all is an earthy yeasty presence.

It has a light body, the carbonation is light, and it finishes slightly bitter and ginger spicy...a very dry finish. I can feel the alcohol after I finished my first pour but it doesn't show up in the smell nor the taste. Just some light warming after the swallow.

Bottom line: I think this is a good example of a Saison, lots of fruity and spicy flavours going on but...and this is no slight to Coronado but, I think there is something about it that, well, doesn't inspire me to seek it out again. I can't really pinpoint my reason for saying that. Maybe too much fruit and/ or too much spice? Though I "will" finish this 22oz bottle, the more I sipped on it, the more difficult it became to take another sip. Maybe I just picked a bad time to pop the cap on this one...

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Date 08.08.08; Sampled August 2008
As I pour this into my 25cl tulip glass it is quite obviously spicy and aromatic with notes of earthy coriander and freshly grated ginger being quite prominent. The beer pours with a three finger thick, light tan colored head. The beer is a ruddy, amber color that shows a hazy, amber-tinged, copper color when held up to the light. The spices clearly dominate the aroma of this beer, with the two mentioned spice notes being the most prominent. There are also aromas of clove, candied apple, dusty slight stale cracker like malt, woody pepper in the nose, some nail polish and a concentrated pear note.

Lightly sweet, which accentuates fruity flavors of pear, some light sweetened lemon zest and sweet apple cider. The spice flavors actually numb the tongue a bit with the prominent ginger and turpene-driven clove notes. Finishes a bit on the warm side from both the piquant spice character and some touches of higher alcohols. This definitely has an earthy spiciness to it, certainly contributed by the yeast character, but there might also be a touch of coriander here (though then again maybe not). Really gets phenolic, especially as it warms up; strong clove notes are joined by lacquer and nail polish flavors that, while not overwhelming or harsh, are definitely noticeable. Medium bodied for a saison, though I would not say it has too much heft, though I prefer both a drier and lighter version of the style.

Very spicy interpretation of a Saison; they used both a very spicy yeast strain and chose to spice it quite well were one or the other probably would have sufficed. Not bad and even somewhat tasty, it just comes off as being a bit overboard.

Purchased: South Bay Drugs, Imperial Beach CA

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a medium orange with a light white head, solid retention, spotty lace.

S: Quite spicy with sage, rosemary and spearmint. Nice to smell.

T: Some malt, but dominated by the spice, goes from coriander and a very yeasty flavour to almost a winter spice flavour at the end. Fun to drink.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth and creamy. Medium long aftertaste.

O: Nice beer, I like to see the spice in saisons if they do it right. Worth a try.

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Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of weeare138
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a hazy light gold with a frothy white head that slowly fades. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of chamomile up front with refreshing herbs, citrus, and teal blended with a wheat wheat addition.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas. Not a true saison by definition but I've been punished myself for that...not to mention that I don't really care that much about style guidelines. It's an alright beer. It would go great with sushi. Palate cleansing, refreshing, and dry. The herbs are there to be noticed. I would love to try this beer sans herbs. I bet I would like it that much more.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.26/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Southern Tier tulip style glass. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a dark orangish-amber color with a 3/4 inch white head that retains nicely before reducing to an 1/8 inch head. Resilient and fluffy lacing.

S- Smells very spicy, like potpourri. Ginger and the chamomile come through very well. Also a bit of cinnamon.

T- Tastes like cinnamon buns and gingersnaps. Doughy malts also provide a sense of balance amongst the special ingredients. Pronounced notes of ginger and subtle notes of spearmint.

M - Crisp and a bit prickly due to the spice. Medium carbonation and a semi-light body.

O- Doesn't taste so much like a saison than rather a straight up spiced beer since there is not much of a Belgian yeast tone. Still very good.

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Photo of akorsak
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Tap and Table in Emmaus, PA during their Saison fest. Served from a firkin in a tumbler.

A: The saison is a golden yellow color, bright enough to make you appreciate the orange hues. A half a finger of head laced nicely in strata as I consumed the ale.

S: The nose is very floral and spicy. The yeast strain has created a sweet 'n' sour aroma that has flowers (no hops, mind you) and herbs (anise). A very intriguing aroma.

T: The first sip caught me off guard with the strength of the flowers. A grassy, herbal flavor, from the yeast not hops, drives the taste with a dandelion flavor. Took me a while to pin it down but then I recalled eating the little yellow flowers when younger. Anise and spices are abundant, more bitter than sweet and a nice foil for the flowers.

M: The mouthfeel is unique, floral and very refreshing. A nice start to the night, although I didn't notice anything other than the head that suggested a firkin.

D: The dandelion wildness is worth checking out (maybe that is the firkin at play?). Welcome to PA, Coronado Brewing.

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Photo of atone315
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of twiggamortis420
2.83/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber pours a fairly clear, light copper color with a creamy off-white head. Pretty good looking brew, although a bit on the darker side for a saison.

Nose is laden with spices, I get all of the ones listed; ginger, chamomile and spearmint. Light malt backing and belgian yeast is not present, unfortunately.

Taste shows the mint and ginger plenty, and the chamomile adds a bit of perceived sweetness. This might fare better under the Herbed/Spice beer category. It is actually not all that bad, just not really saison-like. Most of the flavors are completely covered by the heavy spicing…yeast, malt and hop flavor for sure. A moderate hop bitterness on the finish pokes through. I had a somewhat interesting time working my way through the bomber, I certainly would not buy it again, but I am not regretting the purchase or the quaff. Unique, to be sure, but an average brew at best overall for me.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a golden amber with 1 finger of white head. Appears cloudy with low carbonation. Some yeast sediment is suspended in the glass. Has a thin layer of tight lacing.

N: Light grains, lemony citrus and pilsner malt with hints of apple and pear. Some subtle wheat also makes an appearance.

T: Lemon, cantaloupe, pilsner malt, caramel, honeydew and wheat upfront. Mid-palate shows both black and green tea, notes of apple & pear and hints of grassy noble hops. Finishes with Pinesol, faint chocolate, some dirty hay, ginger and faint black pepper.

M: Light-medium bodied, smooth, clean and slightly crisp.

O: The malts are really more dominant than what I want in a Saison although it does still retain some juiciness and is quite refreshing. The spices and funk are very subdued in the finish. Not bad, not great but slightly better than average. Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of calcnerd
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of hopdog
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle acquired in trade with Dunk (thanks!).

Poured a deeper golden / orangish color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of ginger (stronger), citrus (oranges), caramel, and other spices. Tastes of citrus, ginger, caramel (more than aromas), and honey sweetness.

Notes from: 9/26/08

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Photo of deapokid
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of ffejherb
3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle into tulip on 7/9/09.

A - Poured a deep caramel/copper-tinted body with solid finger's width of bubbly off-white that settled into a patchy veil and left some spotty lace around the tulip.

S - Spicy aroma with peppery notes and hints of cinnamon and clove. Almost possesses a cola-esque sweetness with brown sugar, caramel, sasparilla, molasses, licorice... you get the picture. Pretty complex nose overall.

T - Spicy initial flavor with plenty of sweetness by way of the malt. Spicy yeast delivers a hint of pepper and perhaps even some ginger root. There is lots of caramel, molasses and licorice happening here. Very sweet and syrupy flavor overall.

M - Medium bodied with a sticky, syrupy texture and moderate carbonation providing a spicy tingle on the tastebuds. This is an extremely sweet saison, perhaps bordering on cloying.

D - Pretty nice saison overall, however a bit too sweet for my personal taste. A bomber was certainly more than enough for me. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the complexity of this brew and pulling out all of the aromas and flavors.

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Photo of SFC21
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of WynnO
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of HalfFull
3.03/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fresh 22 oz. bomber poured into a globe glass. This 'Saison by the Sea' tilts the scales at 7.0%, not 8 as mentioned. Shows an orange golden in color with good clarity, and offering a short lived white cap of foam.

Aroma is strongly tilted towards the added spices vs. any Saison yeast influence, though surely present behind the curtains. Ginger is pronounced on the nose and carries firmly to the palate. Though it is a bit overwhelming to say the least, and hints of noble hops are oddly lacking prior to warming to room temperature at which point they deliver a light lemon character.

Flavor of floral spices, ginger and chamomile. The spearmint mentioned on the label is a bit too shy to reveal itself. Finish lingers with the ginger spice and offers a touch of faux picante pepper spice. Dry and clove/peppery on the finish with a subdued malt body. Average mouthfeel with the ginger spice seeking to disguise itself as the carbonation that isn't really there and lacking any yeast sourness.

Overall this brew is pleasant but flagrantly spiced and with a subdued yeast character and an underpowered carbonation level. To label it a Saison is arguable.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber orange college with some quickly disapating head. Lots of floral notes on the nose, some citrus, taste was similar, lots of floral flavors, some earth/and acidity. Medium bodied, on the heavy side for a saison. Overall a decent saison with high notes of floal.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into my glass a golden orange with nice two finger head on top and some active bubbles. Aromas start off with a mixture of caramel and fruit salad malts along with a forward yeasty spiciness that brings notes of pepper. There is a lot of spice here with hints of clove, ginger, coriander and more. Sweeter and more robust than a typical saison.

First sip brings sweet malts upfront that move into a rush of spice and fruit tones. Hints of pepper, clove, ginger and cinnamon all come through as it flows down with a yeasty kick. There's a touch of alcohol on the finish. It's a bit too sweet overall though.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat chewy. It's a bit heavier than I would like personally. Overall, an interesting brew but a bit off from a traditional saison. The bottle goes down easy enough and I'm glad to have the chance to sample it. Thanks to KingG for offering it at his store.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear gold with a bubbly white head. TONS of spice in the aroma; coriander, clove, cinnamon, pepper, ang maybe ginger. It smelled like opening a bag of spice gumdrops. The taste was also TONS of spice. More of the same, with a good helping of citrus hops. The beer got to be overwhelming. The only thing I could compare it to would be eating a spice cake blended with a fruitcake in the middle of an old chuch during Christmas time while they were burning incense. Just too much after a while.

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Saison By The Sea from Coronado Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 43 ratings