Honey Saison | Almanac Beer Co.

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Honey SaisonHoney Saison
BA SCORE
3.35/5
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171 Ratings
Honey SaisonHoney Saison
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States
almanacbeer.com

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RblWthACoz on 08-26-2012

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#42,747
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
171
pDev:
17.01%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
10
Trade:
0
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Ratings: 171 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of Texasfan549
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle I brought to share at jmgrub's tasting.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy bone colored head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, herbs, spices, and yeast. Taste is much the same with lots of earthy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but quite earthy.

 552 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of kojevergas
2.83/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewed with ginger root, Saaz hops, Mount Hood hops, Bay Area honey from Marshall farms, wheat, French oak, and two-row barley. I imagine they used oak chips? 4.8% ABV confirmed. I like the label; stylish burnt orange etching on brown glass. 12 fl oz bottle with branded pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Acquired as part of a four pack.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

I've had a fair amount of Fantome, Hennepin, and Avec Les Bon Voeux, so I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what a good beer in the style is. This style's been really growing on me lately.

A: Pours a 1.5-2 finger beige colour head of fair cream, decent thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention - though the ABV is fairly low. Body colour is a clear lemon yellow of limited vibrance. Translucent. Littered with carbonation bubbles - seemingly too many. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It isn't much to look at, to be honest. It's also quite bright for the style; I'm asserting that's the honey.

Sm: Biscuity yeast, light honey (not at all fresh or nectary like I'd expect), light oak, pale malts, floral hop character, and yes, a bit of ginger. The ginger is well balanced, but I want a lot more from the honey. I don't get a barrel character of the oak wood; I think it's safe to say they used chips. Lemon zest. Muddled orange rind. No alcohol is detectable. An average strength aroma. In a quality saison, I expect complex spice and peppery qualities in the aroma but they're absent here.

T: Floral hop character is pleasant but lends it too much bitterness, which clashes with the stale lemon zest and bland murky orange rind. It tastes a bit dirty, not at all fresh or refreshing. Honey? I have trouble finding it. No peppery character at all. I do get ginger, but it intrudes on the balance and feels forced and out of place. There's little cohesion here; it doesn't work holistically. Messy. Some light biscuity yeast notes. Crystal malt. Oak is as underwhelming as can be; they ought to have just saved the ingredient cost and not even bothered. Pale malts form the body, joined by weak thin barley. There's not much positive to say about this.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Thin and weak. Too wet, but I'd stop short of calling it watery. A bit scratchy and chewy. Not seamless and uniting like a good saison would be. Slightly overcarbonated. Not executed to style. It doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well either.

Dr: I'd heard good things about this brewery and was excited to try their beers, but now I'm wondering if I made a mistake buying this and two other Almanac offerings. This is a subpar saison; standard bland fare for an American brewed example of the style. Low ABV is concealed, but that's insubstantial. It's drinkable, but I don't see this turning any heads anytime soon.

C

 2,975 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of largadeer
2.76/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Clear straw gold body capped by a finger of froth.

Smell: Strangely, the first thing that comes to mind is smoked meat. There's a strong fresh herb presence, honey, floral notes, some spiciness that I wouldn't necessarily identify as ginger if it wasn't printed on the label. The odd meatiness dissipates after a while, and floral honey comes to the forefront. There's a bit of zesty lemon, too.

Taste & mouthfeel: On the palate it becomes clear that the strange meaty note I was picking up on the nose is coming from the addition of French oak. It contributes a spicy, tannic, savory quality that feels out of place in a beer like this. There's a big herbal note, too, with some zesty citrus fruit and ginger behind. The body is light, bordering on thin. Hidden somewhere beneath all the adjuncts, there's a very light bready malt foundation. Honey and ginger come through more near the finish, and they pair nicely. The beer ends on a fairly bitter note, but it doesn't dry the palate as much as I want a saison to.

Overall: Decent but heavy handed with the adjuncts. As far as I'm concerned, most of the top saisons out there are fairly simple recipes that let the yeast contribute most of the flavor. With this beer it feels like the yeast and malt are taking a back seat to everything else.

 1,311 characters

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of mactrail
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a golden color in the Affligem chalice, but the head is short-lived. A modicum of fizz and tartness on the tongue. Hints of honey in the aroma, but just a touch in the mouth.

Light maltiness followed by total dry yeastiness. There gets to be some peculiar herbal taste as well as a hint of plastic after some sipping. The yeasty bitterness takes over the more interesting flavors thoroughly. Though this is pretty undrinkable after half a glass, it does have a lot of what I've been looking for lately-- light, flavorful beer with a hint of Belgian yeast. This one just has far too much of the latter.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at Bine & Vine in San Diego.

 667 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.37/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Light haze on a wheat gold body. Fine white head with ok lace and retention.

S - Delicious nose of fresh wheat, bosc pear, macadamia nuts, and honey.

T - Straw, wheat, dried leaf bitterness, light honey, and peppercorns.

M - Off the beaten path for the style with a thick body low carbonation for the style.

O - Reads more like a belgian blonde than a saison. Nice flavor profile, but definitely needs more carbonation.

 427 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of atrocity
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mdaschaf
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of drewone
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of stakem
3.24/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a snifter. The brew appears a clouded golden orange color with a white frothy topping a finger strong that slowly fades leaving a full wall of sudsy lace.

The aroma is rustic with a really earthy feel with faint clove-like spice and fruit like apple/pear skins. A bit lemony, sulfuric, cheesey, mineral-filled and carbonic. Not the best smelling saison but not the worst by any stretch either.

The flavor is quite dry and earthen. Some clove spiciness has suggestions of clove, grass, minerals, sulfur, lemon rind and carbonic quality. Trace amounts of fruit like pear/apple skins and a grain presence that feels like straw.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Pretty earthy and spot on for the style with the way it feels. My only gripe being the excessive carbonic/mineral quality and a bit of alcohol warmth that hits more bold than you would expect of a brew under 5%. I appreciate the chance to try this Joe, thanks again.

 969 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an okay saison, I suppose. The first thing I'd have to ask is where the honey might be. I get basically no aspect of it on the beer. Beyond that, there is a minor soapy tone that I'm glad is not the main characteristic of the beer. The earthy tone that is there, instead of the soap, really doesn't do as much for me as I would like.

The bottom line is that I appreciate the other Almanac releases more than I do this one. Though I will say that the print on this bottle is one of the nicest I have ever seen (even nicer than Stone does).

 550 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.93/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a hazy golden amber with a massive white head and lacing. Aroma of saison yeast, Belgian spice, light bready malt, hints of honey, lightly floral and slight mineral. Interesting semi-sweet stone fruit, lemon and honey, drying out into a wild yeast inspired spicy finish with light fruit esters.Slightly astringent in the finish, but not outside the range of dry saisons. Medium bodied with pleasant sharp carbonation. An interesting take on a saison with a pleasant flavor progression that combines both saison dryness with sweet fruit esters that play off of each other. I'm not able to detect the ginger nor oak as separate elements, but the flavor is moderately complex so its hard to identify some components. Not traditional, but I liked this quite a bit.

 800 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of flagmantho
3.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a light haze and a moderate effervescence. Head pours three fingers of pillowy white foam with decent retention. A nice-looking beer.

Smell: sweet malt with a bit of a noble hop character and a middle-of-the-road saison funk. Pretty well balanced, although lacking a lot of unique character.

Taste: slightly sweet malt with a light graininess and more of those noble hops. Saison funk is, again, quite on the light side, but it still adds an interesting character to this light and sessionable beer.

Mouthfeel: light body with a good carbonation and a decent, if ephemeral, creaminess. Not too bad.

Overall: this beer is pretty light and might even be a bit over-attenuated, leaving little in the way of body. However, it is refreshing and drinkable and delivers quite a pleasing drinking experience.

 878 characters

Photo of StoutSnob40
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of BillRoth
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Stevedore
3.34/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, no bottling date. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass today, 1/10/2014.

Pours a light straw-orange body, with a very fluffy white head that is quite overcarbonated. Takes a long while to settle down and finish the pour.

Smells nice and spicy up front- peppercorns, lemon zest- with a solid breadiness in the back. Very pleasant nose, not too intense but not weak at all. Enjoyable.

Flavour is kind of weak, but not bad. No peppery spices are present like in the nose, and behind the breadiness there is a solid yeast spice flavour backing it up. Not a complex or particularly interesting saison, but by no means is this a bad beer.

Thinner bodied, but well carbonated and refreshing. Easy to drink, not a sipper by any means.

Decent shelf saison, not the most interesting but not the worst either.

 816 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +19.4%

Nose: ready grains, honey, spice, ginger
Pours gold with a slight haze under a persistent, rocky, 2" bone white moussey head that produces excellent lace.
Palate: fruit, light bready grains, a touch of heat from the ginger, a touch of hop bitterness on the finish for balance, very well put together.
Very creamy, medium high carbonation, medium body

 351 characters

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Honey Saison from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 3.35 out of 5 with 171 ratings
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