Vieille Artisanal Saison (Cranberry & Spice) | Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

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Vieille Artisanal Saison (Cranberry & Spice)Vieille Artisanal Saison (Cranberry & Spice)
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Vieille Artisanal Saison (Cranberry & Spice)Vieille Artisanal Saison (Cranberry & Spice)

Brewed by:
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 241
Photo of PatrickKellyCT
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Delicious and refreshing. For the ABV, wish it was a little bit more affordable, but it is very complex. Tart cranberries, bretty funk, refreshingly carbonated mouthfeel. Delicious.

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Photo of prdstmnky
4.46/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass, gorgeous ripe watermelon color when held to the light. A finger of head fades fast, but leaves a layer of bubbles on the surface during consumption - also some nice lacing going on. Funky nose, some oak and cranberry notes are prevalent.

Fruity and tart, cranberries are very noticeable. Nice funky finish...fairly dry. Nice mouthfeel, mildly sour and prickly on the tongue. Above average carbonation. Another great beer from Crooked Stave! Ive only had 5 or 6 of their offerings, but each one is different, complex, and very tasty! Didn't pick up any of the spices, but really didn't need any! Great tart cranberry saison!

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Photo of Zach136
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Red, thin head.

Aroma/Flavor: Slightly tart, cranberry and spices on the nose. Same on palate with a touch of vanilla and oak.

Mouthfeel: Bone dry and dissipating.

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Photo of Floydster
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375mL bottle

Appearance is red with mildly pink tinge, one inch of aggressively bubbly pink head, minimal lacing, no retention

Smell is cranberries, sage, cherries, cloves, pumpkin pie, lime, allspice, brett, and hay

Taste is sour cranberry up front, wild yeast in the middle, with oak lingering in the finish as it warms I get a little black pepper and a rustic hay flavor similar to what I picked up in the smell

Mouthfeel is thin with high carbonation, finish lingers though, not much booze in flavor, refreshing

Overall it is a unique spin on a saison and definitely leaning more towards a wild ale, the Christmas spices made this intriguing

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to waratdenison for this awesome extra!

poured into crooked stave tulip glass.

375ml bottle sealed with white wax and pressure cap; bottle is dated "holiday 2013".

Appearance: translucent medium red bodied beer with huge 3 fingers of white head that drops down to a thin ring around the glass and a large clump of head in the middle of the glass. Moderate lace on the side of the glass.

Smell: tart cranberries, wheat malts, musty funk, and rooibos tea / herbally notes(I think thats the hibiscus that I smell). Initially I dont smell the cinnamon, but as this beer nears room temperture it is easy to detect the smell of cinnamon.

Taste: Mild tart cranberries. Pale wheat malts and hay. Hint of a red herbal tea. I taste a hint of "sweetarts" brand candy. Some greek yogert and cheesy funk. Hint of oak barrel. Not any spices to speak of in the flavor profile of this beer, but I dont think that I need the spices to make this beer enjoyable for me. I actually think that having strong spice character in this beer would make the beer unpleasant to my personal tastes. Really nice balance between saison, cranberries, funk, and the oak barrel.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Creamy carbonation. Slightly dry, but also a little bit watery. Very drinkable!

Overall: Never had a cranberry saison. In true Cooked Stave style this was another really good beer! This beer is way underrated!

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Photo of scottfrie
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle into Duvel Green tulip. “Holiday 2013” release.

A: Pours a deep bright pink with a thick and fluffy light pink head. Head took its time fading into a thick collar that left a network of sticky lace down the glass.
S: Hibiscus and cinnamon are easily noticeable. Vanilla, nutmeg, and oak, along with the yeasty saison base, create a creamy, almost ice-cream like quality that reminds me of spiced fruit cream. I get a few notes of tart cranberry juice as well.
T: Cranberry, hibiscus and cinnamon up front, followed by vanilla, nutmeg, bready yeast and a touch of citrus. The finish is a bit doughy, and the aftertaste is drying and has a few gritty oak tannins. I get hints of peppery spice and a hint of lemon as well.
M: Medium-full body, creamy soft and juicy mouthfeel, with silky carbonation that’s smooth. The cranberry is lightly tart, and the finish is gritty and drying.
O: A very unique and interesting beer. I quite liked it. Spices and fruit work well over the saison base. Recommended.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this just hit shelves yesterday as far as I know. beautiful white wax on top, elegant and festive. the beer inside is just the same. its a gorgeous pink color, from the cranberries and hibiscus no doubt. it doesn't have much head, but a lot of haze and some patches of white fluff floating around. the nose is immediately tart from the cranberries, with the floral elements from the hibiscus coming next. both the cinnamon and the nutmeg are subtle, not robust like in the other hibiscus cinnamon brew. the cranberries are the most dominant flavor too, starting it off and finishing it off with a distinct acidity and tartness of fresh berries. in the middle is white wheat malt and crooked staves patented blend of brett and other yeasts, whatever they use, its familiar and well done. spice is subtle, cinnamon only flashing warm on a deep breath. the low alcohol makes this an easy beer to drink a lot of, although its not particularly well carbonated. the dryness brought on by the cranberries really makes it in the mouth. overall another great release from crooked stave, I am glad they finally put something new out to the public instead of giving everything to the cellar reserve folks. I hope more of this is forthcoming.

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Photo of 14erFan
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being Crooked Stave, this was of course easy to finish, but it wasn't one of my favorites of their's. The cranberry flavor was tempered nicely and the tartness mellowed quickly. A nice flavor, spice done moderately and tastefully.

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Photo of Marius
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared. Semi-hazy dark amber with a thin pink head. Notes of hibiscus, resin, cranberries, farmhouse funk. Medium body and carbonation and a funky lightly sour finish.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into mini cognac tulip 12/9/15

small pour, small review, salmon colored liquid, smells like cinnamon, hibiscus, fennel, faint oak, raspberry and cranberry. Tastes similar but has some sourness, maybe a little citrus peel, thin but carbonation gives it some life, a little soapy on the finish but my palates pretty much wrecked at this point so I could be way off.

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Photo of flayedandskinned
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2013
Poured into a standard tulip glass

Appearance: (4.25)
Pours a very attractive, hazy pinkish red with a slightly orange hue. As soon as the beer is poured, a very tightly bubbled, bright white 2 finger head forms and quickly recedes, leaving a light coating of lace behind.

Aroma: (4.25)
As you raise the glass to your nose, you're immediately greeted by a gentle, but very nuanced Brettanomyces character; light stone fruits, predominately dried apricot and peach flesh. These stone fruits are blanketed in a soft, funky mustiness. Layered beneath this Brett are some very pleasant fruity, tropical tones from the hibiscus that was used in this beer. Adding some nice contrast to the fruity nose are some spicy notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. As the beer warms, some tart cranberries begin to surface.

Taste: (3.75)
A blast of tart, but very refreshing cranberry juice hits your palate right away, quickly followed by some fruity hibiscus and some cinnamon and light nutmeg. These spices give way to a very gentle, musty Brettanomyces character. The beer finishes slightly tart and dry with only a glimpse of a cracker-y malt backbone. The finish leaves long, lingering notes of cranberry juice, dried apricot, cinnamon and bitter grapefruit rind.

Mouthfeel: (4)
Very light bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Very crisp.

Overall: (4)
Crooked Stave takes their very refreshing Saison, Vieille and throws in some cranberries, hibiscus, cinnamon and nutmeg. What comes out is a very refreshing Holiday Saison. Crooked Stave really added just the right amount of spices to add some pleasant contrast to the fruity tones of cranberry and hibiscus. Highly recommended.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Seasonal Cranberry Vielle Saison poured into a Goose Island glass.

A- Ruby red, transparent. Minimal head with decent retention for this kind of beer.

S- Barnyard funk, horse funk, hay, some cranberry in back.

T- It almost comes off more of a Kriek than a cranberry saison. I wonder if anyone else thinks this. Getting some CS funk, but it is tamed by the cranberry, which is not that prevalent.

M- Pretty thin here, not the best aspect of this beer. Not that a saison are suppose to have great M.

O- I think this was an interesting take on a cran version of their vielle. I thought it tasted more like a kriek though.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip. Pours a translucent orange/cranberry hue with a frothy, half-inch, bright white head. Nose expresses spice and tart cranberries. Taste is subtle and refreshingly tart - the spicy/herbal quality slightly overshadows the cranberry. Mouthfeel is light and lively with a pleasant, refreshing carbonation. Overall, a very drinkable and flavorful low abv farmhouse. I'd love to see this inoculated with a wild yeast strain.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 4.12.14
Holiday 2013

A - Pours a cloudy, light red-pink with a fluffy pink-white head that fades slowly.

S - Funky, oak, subtle spices and cranberry.

T - Tart-acidic oak, very faint cranberry and spices.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Light and funky, but not much cranberry and spices.

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Photo of Mongrel
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not sure why I was surprised when this one poured pink. Pretty tasty! Not too heavy on the spices. There's tart cranberry of course, but also lemon and lime, and that characteristic CS minerality that I love so much. Some salinity on the finish and very light nutmeg lingers on the palate.

I normally feel that Vieille tastes just a little watery, and this one is no different. Still, nicely done and not over the top as I feared it might be.

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Photo of spoony
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap into a tulip at the Crooked Stave Taproom.

A-The brew is reddish pink and mostly clear with a pink-tinted head of about one finger in height. Lacing is decent at first, but fades away quickly and leaves a few streaks of white residue on the glass. A few bubbles of carbonation are visible.

S-The smell is earthy with mild tartness and a heady dose of funk. Cranberries are obvious, but not overpowering and tartness is mild compared to many CS brews. I get some barnyard and a bit of dirt, but not much spice.

T-The taste is less earthy and a bit more refined with the cranberries offering an acidic hit of fruit to balance the solid backbone of earthy funk. There is a bit of barnyard in the taste, which doesn't do wonders for me, but doesn't kill the brew, either. Spices are pretty much non-existent (this is no Hibiscus and Cinnamon, for example).

M-The feel is medium to light in body with moderate carbonation and a crisp, dry finish.

O-After sampling Raspberry Dark Origins earlier this week, I know what CS is capable of, and this beer doesn't quite live up to it. This version of Vieille had none of the complexity or layering of flavors that my favorite CS beers have and I kept coming back to how dull it tasted. I suspect it was the cranberries, which can get a bit dirty tasting at times, but this one just did not turn my screws.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm kind of torn with this beer. On the one hand it lacks the flavor profile the label so indicates. On the other, those flavors are there, just subtly in the palate and not overbearing.

It pours a light pink/reddish. Light fluffy head, dissipates quickly.

Aroma has that hint of cranberry, some funk and other sporadic spices. Is this a fruit beer, flavored beer? Hmmm...

The answer is neither. It is a saison, with the saison feel to it, albeit a bit light. The slight funk and sulphur give the cranberry something on which to cling. While the cranberry flavor is light, the tannins come through to offer a nice dryness.

This beer is intriguing. It's not over the top, yet will suffice as a nice dessert pairing, like with cheesecake.

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Photo of jbsteiny
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Some kind soul going back to Colorado from Yokohama offered to bring me a beer and I said "Anything from Crooked Stave" - this is the bottle I got! Very excited - I'd tried a couple of Chad's creations (including, I believe, another cranberry sour) at a fruit beer fest in Portland last June, and as a big fan of the funk, I've been jonesing for some more!

375 mL bottle with white wax - wonder how long people are going to be sitting on these to warrant the wax sealing - only 4.5% ABV... or maybe that's just a standard thing from CS? Don't have anything to compare it to - wish I could taste it alongside the regular Vielle... but can't look a gift bottle yada yada.

Poured into a weisse glass, beautiful rose-orange, slight haze, fine carbonation, and a terrific dense white head that has a pinkish hue when you look down into it. Great lacing too! Absolutely beautiful beer.

Nose is full of funk (bit of barnyard, cat pee, tropical fruit), light acid like a red wine vinegar... and... I guess oak, although I probably wouldn't have picked that out on my own. Still, very appealing aromas to fans of Brett.

Cranberry comes through more on the palate - tart! Don't get much of the spices - I think the hibiscus comes through on the finish, but again, I wouldn't have figured it out on my own. Still, a nice dry sour with light funk and something like a red herbal tea going on. Terrific finish - I could drink this all day.

Very happy to have this over here... Wish I had thought about buying some DME to cultivate these yeasties... as it is, maybe I'll boil some water and throw some honey in there and see what they do in a mead.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375ml waxed and capped bottle into Tired Hands stemware. Shared by schen9303.

Pours a huge, 3 finger fine pink colored head with moderate to low retention. Beer is a clear, bright red. Patchy lacing sticks around. Very nice.

Nose is spice and cranberry dryness. Sweet and slightly tart with a nice, lively spritziness.

Opens tart cranberry and spice. Some soapiness and cane sugar in the middle with a dry woodiness. Peppery with a touch of cobwebs and more spice. Finishes a bit hot and tart. Same aftertaste with a big cranberry presence. Slightly awkward but not bad.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and goes down aggressive and sparkling. Dry finish with a filmy, lingering aftertaste. Drinkable.

A unique beer for sure but the pepperiness and cranberry works for some reason. Very drinkable and lively. Worth trying.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a dull garnet topped by a thin pink head that sticks and no sediment. The nose is winter warmer spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, etc) upfront with tart berries underneath. There is no (or minimal) yeast/funk, grain, or bitterness in the nose. The taste is an overpowering cranberry/spice mess. It would be easy to mistake this for ocean spray with spices. There is a slight yeast presence on the back end, but it's mostly dominated by the spice profile from start to finish. It's light bodied, tart, and over-spiced, but relatively drinkable with modest carbonation, minimal alcohol, and a pleasing semi-dry finish. This was not a CS winner for me, will pass on in the future.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours out the color of grapefruit flesh - a dark pink color with hints of orange. Slightly hazy. About 1" of white head forms, which has hints of pink as well. Pretty good retention and very nice lacing around the edges of the glass. All in all, a very attractive beer.

Smell: Not too much going on on the nose. Definitely a lemony, brett funk that comes out initially. A bit of a grainy malt base becomes apparent as I dig a bit deeper. But not much else. Leaves some to be desired. The funk is nice but there is little else to complement it.

Taste: This is a bit more like it. That grainy malt base is right there again, but that is followed by a hint of cranberry bitterness and undisclosed "spice". On the back end I get some nice lemony tartness, as well as some brett funk. A nice, semi complex saison.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation. Very good feel, and very drinkable. Overall, a pretty nice saison. Complex enough, with a nice and pleasing level of brett funk. A nice variation of the original Vieille.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from 2014.

Pours light red with a pinkish hue and a faintly pink head. A partial skim coat for the duration with some short lacing.

Aromatics lead off with tart red fruit and spice. Hints of rosemary, nutmeg, maybe camomile.

Light bodied with a crisp mouthfeel.

Tart cranberries with bretty funk on the palate and mild spicing.

Finishes with some lingering fruit and spice. Tasty enough but I just have come to expect a more complex, challenging beer from Crooked Stave.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly clear red-orange with a thin bubbly slightly off-white head. Leaves some lacing.

The nose presents all those adjuncts listed. Lots of spice coming in the form of cinnamon and nutmeg. The hibiscus provides a nice floral aspect. Acidic cranberry. There's gotta be some Brett in there as well. Interesting aroma with all that going on.

The cranberry provides plenty of flavor and a touch of tartness. Doesn't come off as spice filled as the nose indicated thank god. That could be a little much to deal with. Not much hibiscus either. Gets pretty musty.

At only 4.5% the body is understandably a little thin and watery. Nice prickly saison carbonation. Gets a little dry.

All the additions got me to pick up the bottle. Don't know if I'd do it again though but worth a try.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Corey for the extra.

Poured into a CS tulip, a rosy amber color (gotta love hibiscus), hazy, with a full inch of frothy pink-white cotton candy for a head, nice retention and blankets of lacing. Nose was dominated by earthy funk, notes of wet grass, oak. I really had to search for anything resembling cranberry, and there was no spice at all, which was kind of a let-down. Surprisingly this was not the case in the taste. Still lots of grassy funk, mineral and earth, cranberry ginger ale, oak, toasted wheat, some herbal potpourri, very light cinnamon spice that came out a bit more as the beer warmed. The spice was a nice touch, and not overdone. Slight tartness, and quite drying, with a crisp mouthfeel, medium body. An easy drinker and quite nice overall.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Holiday 2013, bottle picked up locally, enjoyed from a crooked stage snifter.

a - pried the wax and opened the beer. Brew poured a soft transparent pink that settled into the glass as a semi transparent ruby with a darker core. The brew boasted a big foamy pink head that dissolved leaving the glass coated in a layer of foamy lacing.

s - nose screams of cranberry and all spice. Soft cinnamon is chased by big floral notes. The brett keeps things crisp and the oak gives it a soft vanilla like glazing.n really interesting bouquet of aromas.

t - taste is a bit odd at first. Sharp. The flavors clash and there is some metallic undertones. Cranberry juice dosed with cinnamon and spiked with all spice. Festive? Indeed.

m - crisp, sharp, leaves a tingle. A bit metallic. The spicing doesnt help the base beer, but provides interesting results.

o - overall, wanted to love this one. Not bad, but from crooked stave who can do no wrong by my taste buds, this is a bit of a misstep. Maybe it is that i love regular vieille so much? Interesting brew.

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Vieille Artisanal Saison (Cranberry & Spice) from Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 241 ratings