Saison Dolores
Almanac Beer Co.

Saison DoloresSaison Dolores
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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #1,347
Ranked #24,991
3.83 | pDev: 8.62%
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States
Very Good
Saison DoloresSaison Dolores
Notes: Introducing Saison Dolores, Almanac’s newest year-round beer. A bright, aromatic brew for all seasons inspired by San Francisco’s Mission District. We combine barley, rye and Sonoran Wheat grown in Mendocino County and ferment the beer with our house Saison yeast. Finally we dry hop it to create a California Saison with flavors of spicy white pepper, fruity melon and a clean food friendly finish.
Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 242 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of monkist
monkist from Hungary

4.74/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Whoa! What a saison!!! What a farmhouse ale!!!
It is misleading to label it a Belgian Saison... although it does contain sone of that remarkable yeast, thanks to the mastery of Almanac, it is something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. The fermented yeast is somehow totally blended into the fruity multitude of hops and is interwoven into the rich layers of taste. It is almost like an IPA with its hop fruitiness and the yeast supports those fruits in these perfectly: I'm getting peaches, melon and candied stuff. It feels rather sweet fruity and overall perfect - there is nothing that could be better with this beer! Simply because it is a dry-hopped Californian Saison, a category on its own. The local rye and wheat play an essential part in it's perfect taste.
I am extremely satisfied with this brew - I am confident to state that this is simply the BEST (Belgian style?) yeast-y saison that I've ever had. Long live Californian saisons!

Sep 08, 2018
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matjack85 from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as part of a Christmas beer assortment from my sisters, so I don't know where it was bought or what it costs. It came in a 22oz brown bottle with no freshness date. This will be my first beer from this California brewery.

The beer poured a clear rich golden honey color, which was a little surprising since they use wheat in brewing it and wheat usually leaves beers cloudy looking. The beer made a 2-finger white head that lasted about a minute before dissipating, and left some decent lacing on the glass.

The beer had a nice citrus smell - mostly oranges and tangerines, along with some spice and some funky yeast.

Sweet and citrusy taste along with a hefty dose of spices - mainly rye and white pepper. Very little bitterness, but very noticeable Saison-like yeast flavor.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

My first offering from this brewery, and so far so good. I liked it.

May 02, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a glossy burnt yellow to orange color with a sly transparency about it. Carbonation rides up at a nice pace. Quickly dissipated head. Barely any lacing. The smell started off with a sweet herbal to earthy aroma rolling over some light grassy tones. Some white pepper. Light floral qualities. Light breadiness. The flavor brings it all together, mainly leans sweet. Sweet herbal aftertaste with a smooth sweet finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a nice sessionability about it. Controlled stickiness. Overall, really nice saison that I would come back to.

Jun 20, 2017
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tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A big thanks to the commander of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Despite no agitation, this beer can gushing out, resulting in a dark golden color with a 1 1/2 inch head. Smell is of yeast, fruits. Taste is fruits, citrus stands out, spices, some yeast, tasty. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is a quality beer.

Mar 23, 2017
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polloenfuego from Canada (ON)

3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely golden clear with a large fluffy white head. The head breaks slowly and there is some really nice lacing left behind. The smell is very nice with typical Belgian candi notes, some citrusy hops, fruitiness, and a touch of that peppery smell. Taste is a little sweet citrus and then the bitter of hops. There are the elements of pepper and other spices present as well. You can also taste the rye. The feel is medium with medium zingy carbonation. There is a nice citrusy and bitter aftertaste which eventually becomes a bit sweet.

Overall, a nice beer. I enjoyed taking my time with this beer, and experiencing all the flavors. My first experience with an Almanac brew, and based on this, I will get more.

Mar 11, 2017
Photo of crob3888
crob3888 from California

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy honey gold with a large fluffy white head. Lots of carbonation as to be expected. Aromas and flavors are phenomenal! Nelson hops and rye wheat bring out tropical fruits, melons, pineapples, subtle spiciness, and rye bread qualities. For a six-pack saison this may be my new go-to, incredibly fresh and wonderful.

Feb 18, 2017
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breadwinner from California

3.44/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Something weird on the nose, almost like vinyl, clear hint of New World hops too. Palate isn't dry enough for a saison, IMO, too reliant on the fruity hops. This fits in the Almanac brand, but it's not my cup of tea.

Dec 28, 2016
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TX-Badger from Texas

2/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a clear yellow color with white head. Herbal, very floral and some other odd soapy tones on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with the same weird flavors.

Dec 28, 2016
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hman43 from North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours golden with a slight bit of haze. The head is off white with orange tinges. Leaves some Belgian lace.

Smell: It has aromas of wheat, basement, leather, and pepper.

Taste: There are flavors of barnyard, pepper, spices, wheat, and leather.

Feel: It has a moderate body with a quite dry finish.

Overall, it has many funk elements blend in with the spices, but the fruit isn't really that prominent.

Dec 09, 2016
Photo of CNoj012
CNoj012 from New York

3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a beautiful, vibrant, hazy golden color with a gigantic, fluffy bright white head. The retention is tremendous and there are many soapy patches of lacing.

The smell is very bright and tropical. Melon, mango and pineapple are all apparent with a bit of rubber like funk.

Taste is similar although the tropical fruits aren't as pronounced. They are the first flavors present, but are quickly swept aside by the funk which lingers into a spicy finish.

Feel is light and moderately carbonated. Nowhere near as crisp as I would like it though.

Overall a good beer. This is a middle of the road saison for me. With the hoppy tropical flavor it is not really to style, but is an interesting take.

Nov 27, 2016
Photo of drtth
drtth from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a clear golden yellow color with a 1" fluffy white head that slowly recedes to a thin layer of foam, leaving lots of interesting patches and legs of lacing on the sides of the glass. Sipping creates some scattered patches and legs of lacing, some of which slide back down to the liquid.

The aromas include some spice, some fruit (apricot?), some rye, a bit of wheat, a touch of citric zest, and a hint of white pepper.

The flavors are a complex combination of players that include the rye up, the zest, some lightly sweet fruits (apricot and mango), with a bit of spicy white pepper and a touch of bitterness throughout.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with some slightly prickly carbonation. The finish is on the long side of medium length with the sweetness and fruit flavors fading more rapidly than the rye and pepper thus allowing the hop bitterness to emerge more strongly as the dry, spicy pepper and bitterness move to the back of the palate and a fairly long dry, spicy and lightly bitter aftertaste.

I'm enjoying this beer while it isn't quite what I'd normally expect in a Saison the rye and fruit flavors are showing nicely. It is definitely a complex well-made beer and I certainly could have another without any difficulty. That said, it doesn't make it onto my list of saisons-to-have-again simply because it would have to bump off either the Boulevard Tank 7, the Goose Island Sofie or Dupont's Avec Les Bons Voeux which are my top choices for my regular rotation.

Oct 30, 2016
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ScaryEd from New Hampshire

3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear amber color with a large fluffy off-white head. Excellent retention and lacing.

The aroma is definitely not what I was expecting for the style. Tons of sweet mango and pineapple up front, followed by some spicy rye bread and a hint of cracked pepper in the back end. There's also some banana and wet grass hiding in the back.

The flavor brings lots of mango and bananas, as well as plenty of spicy rye. There's some pepper spice that stings the tongue after each sip.

The feel is medium bodied with moderately high carbonation. Very smooth but a tad sticky.

Overall, a pretty unusual saison that drinks a lot heavier than expected. That said, it's still a good beer and very reasonably priced to boot.

Oct 22, 2016
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MFMB from Idaho

3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep golden/Amber with a clean white foam. Smells of melon, banana and Belgian yeast. Taste of melon skin, light banana and spivey pepper. Very spicy in a good way. The white pepper and spicy notes come through well. A bit of citrus on the backend. Finishes crisp and fairly dry. Light to medium mouthfeel.

Oct 09, 2016
Photo of ChipChaight
ChipChaight from New York

4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can from Noble Grains NYC on the UES
Pours clear straw yellow/orange with creamy white head that lingers and great lacing, smells sour, spicy, and roasty with a hint of some sweet banana esters, taste is a bright spiciness up front followed by sweet banana yeast with a wheat finish, medium to light feel with bright carbonation. Accessible, tasty, solid, nice to see some affordable canned Almanac in NYC too!

Sep 24, 2016
Photo of Mongrel
Mongrel from Maryland

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drinks a bit bigger than your typical saison, and certainly more hoppy and bitter. Reminds me more of a Belgian IPA. Smells like some new, strange hop varietal(s), like maybe Calypso? Melon and medicinal notes carry through to the palate, along with some earthy pear and pine. Sweet, spicy yeast. Finishes pretty dry despite the big mouthfeel. Quite an interesting beer, but not sure it would be a repeat buy.

Aug 12, 2016
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Ri0 from Wisconsin

3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured 22oz bottle into snifter. Color is a clear apricot with a thinner 1 finger white head. Spotty lacing and fair retention. Bright fruity notes of melon and apricot along with yeast. Flavor is big on the yeast and clove with a good amount of melon. Hints of apricot and peach compliment a weak spicy finish. Feel lis light and bubbly with good carbonation and a dry finish. Very pleasant Saison that was a delight to drink on this hot summer day.

Jun 19, 2016
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours a clear darker golden orange body, two finger white head, fair retention, decent lacing. Smells of crisp orange citrus hop aroma, a bit of banana, wheat, a bit of grain. Flavour is a similarly crisp citrus hop bite, bit of wheat, light bubble gum. It's sort of like a hoppy wheat beer; a bit more nuanced than a hoppy pale ale. Mouthfeel is medium lighter bodied, lighter carbonation, a bit heavy with a lot of lingering bitter bubble gum and wheat. A decent hoppy wheat beer, overall nothing too special.

Jun 09, 2016
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VirginiaBeerMan from Virginia

3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not a very big fan of this one. It might be that I just don't seem to care for a Saison. I struggled drinking this, and did not care for the dry bitter aftertaste

Apr 15, 2016
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver from North Carolina

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

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip to a light gold topped by two fingers of dense white head that fades to a small mat with decent lacing
S: Smells of fruity esters, spicy yeast, honey, and pale malts
T: Taste is fruity esters up front with notes of pears and honeydew, with some spicy yeast coming in as well, honey sweetness and pale malts on the back end. Swallow is grassy hops, slight citrus and spicy rye
M: Lighter side of medium in body with slightly prickly carbonation and a dry finish.
O: Overall this is a very tasty beer. Saison is kind of a catch all style for Belgian beers that don't fit anywhere else. This one is pretty good if not perfectly true to style. Very enjoyable to drink with decent complexity.

Mar 08, 2016
Photo of VashonGuy
VashonGuy from Washington

3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is the kind of beer that will not appeal to style purists. It's classified as a saison, but the rye and spicy character (both aroma and taste) are unusual for the style. There's a bit of fruit, a good amount of Belgian yeasts, a solid amount of rye, and some hops (although I didn't find it particularly bitter, unlike some reviewers). I can't think of another beer quite like it. The longer I drank it, the more I adjusted to this beer's own terms, and the more I liked it. Points for originality and execution. If you grade to style, this isn't for you.

Serving: on tap.

Oct 17, 2015
Photo of goldendenizen
goldendenizen from California

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I really like the dry hopped melon flavor. My only request is if they used a yeast that imparted a strong saison sense. Im not complaining but if it is house yeast, perhaps step it up a notch. Overall, a very enjoyable brew!

Aug 30, 2015
Photo of TruePerception
TruePerception from California

3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Almanac's Saison Dolores, dry-hopped saison, brewed with local rye and wheat. 6.8% ABV.

A: Over two fingers of head. Very faint sheeting. Light lacing. Nice, clear, slightly-orange yellow. Appears clear in the dimple.

S: Subtle rye spice, and citrus-y hop aroma. A hint of wheat bread, around the edges. Very faint green melon.

T/MF: Very crisp, with a decent tartness, and present, yet not overwhelming hop bitterness. Hops also give off some sort of fruity quality, but I can't quite place it.

The hoppiness is still a bit much for me, but this has a great drinkability, and would make a great summer twist for pale ale fans.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Jul 15, 2015
Photo of Phigg1102
Phigg1102 from New York

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Straw hazy yellow with a full three fingers of foam. Head slowly settles into a rich raft. Lots of grass in the aroma with banana and some hints of barn funk. The heavy carbonation hits you strong and carries more hop bitterness than I'm used to in a saison. Lots of biscuit and hay flavor as well.

Jun 28, 2015
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Beerswag from California

3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Simple, clean saison. Medium dryness, creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation medium. Peach, brett, a little pepper on the finish. Pair with chicken pizza, vegetable pasta.

Jun 15, 2015
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Smakawhat from Maryland

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep bright crystal clear golden body. Fine and very aggressive middle column carbonation running right through the body. Bright as a brass rail. Head is soapy retention and shampoo clumpy with a classic white appearance. Big soapy look but also hanging with lots of thick chunks on the edges. Very impressive looking saison.

Interesting aroma. Hop forward with some hints of tropical but mostly floral like sweetness. Good herbality notes and hints of earth to match with it. Has some juicy character surprisingly. Doesn’t come off that much Belgian in character but somewhere in between wheat American and Saison. Quite interesting, but a little confusing too.

Palate comes out a little more basic. Lots of hop bitterness on the finish, that seems to be more pine oriented than anything. Light bodied but a hint of honey like thickness with out the sweetness for palate feel. Subdued fruity tones in the mid palate, slight juiced orange, muted farmhouse qualities, a bit of Christmas tangerine orange sugars manage to sneak in but just barely.

Kind of comes out as a bit of a dry hopped crush taking away much of the classic styles character. Surprisingly not getting the rye notes either, but as usual I am not a big fan of excessive rye brews with some exceptions. Hard to pin this one down to style, but overall as enjoyable it is but not really grabbing me either.

Jun 14, 2015
Saison Dolores from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 242 ratings