Above The Clouds
3 Stars Brewing Company

Above The CloudsAbove The Clouds
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #894
ABV:
6.3%
Score:
87
Ranked #17,928
Avg:
3.91 | pDev: 8.7%
Reviews:
19
Ratings:
95
From:
3 Stars Brewing Company
 
District of Columbia, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  2
Gots
  24
SCORE
87
Very Good
Above The CloudsAbove The Clouds
Notes:
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 95 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This DelMarVa (+ DC) adventure of mine has morphed into my latest CANQuest (tm) focus! I really had no idea that MaryCANd, especially, was putting out so much beer. 8=O It seems as though every time I feel like I a close, some more beers from that area Pop! up from out of hiding to surprise me. Further, I am back to work so I CANnot keep up the pace that I set during the Christmas/Winter Break. 8=( On top of all of that, even New Beer Sunday is off-limits due to prior CANmitments. 8=( Inna meantime, a shout-out to my local, in-person trader, @tone77 who recently dropped this off for me.

From the CAN: "Farmhouse Pale Ale"; "Always Sunny".

I was CANcerned that flocculation may have taken place so I did some in-CAN agitation prior to
Crack!ing open the vent to ensure that everything was back in suspension. I went with a heavy-handed aggro Glug for the same reason, watching in rapt fascination as it formed two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, French Vanilla-colored head with excellent retention. 8=O Color was a deeply-hazy/lightly-cloudy Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9). Nose had the traditional mustiness normally associated with a Saison, although the funk was not as pronounced as in some in the style. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but definitely solid for a Saison. The taste was rather fruity with banana getting mixed in with lemon & orange, all sprinkled with black pepper for a spicy fruitiness. I am not usually a fan of Saisons, nor do I like banana Hefeweizens, but this one somehow fell squarely between the two! Wow. I CAN get behind something like this! Finish was very dry, as I would expect in the style. Very impressive. YMMV.

Jan 19, 2020
Photo of MrOH
MrOH from Malta

4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Hazy yellow, brown highlights (bleh). Fluffy white head with good retention (yeah!). Spotty lace.
Very fruity, lemon, tangerine, papaya, guave. A hint of spice.
Lots of lemon and tropical fruit up front, some peppery spice on the finish. Bready malt underlying all the way.
Light, refreshing, but satisfying.
Dang good summer beer.

Jul 04, 2019
Photo of cyclonece09
cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Pours orange yellow with a large fluffy white head. Smells of sweet grain and slight banana. Tastes of sweet grain with nice notes of banana. Beer is light bodied and very easy drinking, good carbonation. Overall, a very good beer.

Feb 09, 2019
Photo of JamFuel
JamFuel from Sweden

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

On tap at 3 Stars in D.C.

Pours a semi clear yellow with fine, soft head.

Smell is fruity with some yeasty notes along with grass and spices.

Taste is yeasty and citrusy with a bit of spiciness and pepperiness folllowed by a substantial bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium, with bright carbonation.

Overall, a really nice, rustic saison with quite a bit of bitterness.

Dec 09, 2018
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
Thomas_Wikman from Texas

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

I recently had this Saison at a local DC bar. I thought it was pretty good.

Look: hazy light golden hue with a half-inch thick white head

Aroma: yeast, citrus, orange

Taste: There's dough bread, yeast, lots of fruit, tangerine, orange, grapefruit, some lingering bitterness.

Feel: light, refreshing with some funk and carbonation

Jun 15, 2018
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

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

A: The beer is quite hazy light yellow in color and poured with a massive two finger high bright white head that gradually died down, leaving lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass and a large pillow of bubbles on the surface. The color changed to cloudy yellow when the yeast was poured out.
S: Light to moderate aromas of Belgian yeast are present in the nose along with hints of orange and tangerine citrus.
T: The taste has flavors of Belgian yeast and associated notes of spiciness along with hints of lychee fruit, oranges, and tangerines.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this to be a nice saison with an interesting mix of flavors from the hops. If you're not a big fan of Belgian yeast and are looking for a fruitier season then you can simply not pour out all of the yeast from the bottle.

Serving type: can

Nov 19, 2017
Photo of illpass78
illpass78 from Maine

3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz on draft in a snifter at Fare Well in DC.

Appearance: Cloudy orange. Goes flat fast.

Aroma: A little rye, some lemon.

Taste: Nice pepper note along with wheat, rye and lemon.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing, easy. Alcohol is hidden. Has a pleasant bite that seems adjacent to pepper note.

Overall: Nice little number. Nothing wild but something pleasant.

Aug 13, 2017
Photo of Smakawhat
Smakawhat from Maryland

4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap at Nats Park, clear solo cup.

Pale lemon gold body, with a good glow. Creamy frothy out of the tap, rich head bleach white with lots of staying power. Has a bit of OJ look but not too much, seriously frothy head.

Soft herbal nose and Belgian yeast. A chewy sensing malt bill, lots of hay and grass tones but with a good malt density.

Palate hits all he right notes. Wonderfully sharp and good funk, lots of hop biting bitterness with earthy and herbal tones. Big hop aftertaste with large amounts of grass but controlable. Herbs and spice and everything nice.

Through in some funk for good measure, and a very pleasurable saison.

Jul 27, 2017
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a cloudy bright yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is funky, bananas, hay. Taste is malts, fruits, pepper, a bit of lemons, light hops, refreshing. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

Jun 21, 2017
Photo of mynie
mynie from Maryland

4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In a reasonably priced can in a Baltimore liquor store.

Pours like a saison. Hazy, pale yellow with a rocky and retentive white head.

Smells boilerplate, but good. Light pepper, thick doughy yeast, and some bright grass and hay. It's what you would expect from an American saison, only without any of the cloying, chemical, or soapy nodes found in lesser offerings.

Tastes... much less boilerplate than I had assumed it would. Thick and spicy up front, moving into a middle that's like that of an underhopped pale ale, with bright malt and yeast, finishing with bread dough yeast and a bit of dry hops. It's a fairly unique take on an American saison, and while it's not 100% perfect, it's still good and interesting.

Apr 27, 2017
Photo of jfmorey
jfmorey from Virginia

4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Meridian Pint in DC, poured into a snifter
Cloudy yellow with plenty of head and lacing
Taste is clean and refreshing, but farmhouse base is overwhelmed by hops; this is a Belgian IPA

May 04, 2016
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow from Minnesota

4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Boy, this has a killer aroma. A great mix of spice from the yeast and fresh fruity hop character from the hops. I can just keep smelling this all day. Wonderful. (it seemed to fade some and became largely yeast oriented in time, so I down graded it a bit)
Cloudy and darker orange juice looking. Big full rocky very white head. Neat looking. Some stick lacing.
The pop of the cork with really subdued but there is plenty of carbonation. It pours a lighter color than it looks in the glass.
The combination of bittering and dryness are pretty big on this, and bigger than my tastes prefer. Overwhelms the other flavors I enjoy more. Nice smooth malt, bits of fruit, a little spice and then the hop flavors show (grass, fruit) before the finish. Quite a bit of grapefruit with tartness and taste thereof.
Nice feel. A little lighter body but lots of soft carbonation rounds if off well.
Enjoyable. I like where they are going on this. The bottle notes "subtle bitterness" which is a pretty big understatement.
Many thanks to cjgiant for this enjoble 750ml.

Apr 10, 2016
Photo of cmf
cmf from Maryland

4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into snifter. Turbid golden apricot with small foamy head. Apricot fresh fruit odor. Smooth with some foam and texture in the mouth. Tastes like a pure golden ale should with a hint of apricot nectar. Sweet with orange pith bitters at the end. Overall delicate and subtle and excellent.

Mar 12, 2016
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Modern Liquors. Nice crisp, dry Saison. Pours out with a pale golden body, fluffy, area head. While head dissipates, streaky lacing remains. Light citrus aroma reminds of pineapple and grapefruit. Other floral notes come into the taste, tangy finish. Light and tasty.

Feb 29, 2016
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

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

Super cloudy straw yellow body with a white cap. Clove, banana, bready, aroma. Akin to a German hefeweizen. Hop and citrus character throughout. Light bodied and tasty.

Feb 28, 2016
Photo of joe1510
joe1510 from Illinois

4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml
Corked & Caged

A great big thanks goes out to Wil for scooping up a bottle of this on a trip to DC! Above the Clouds sports a glowing apricot body with enough haze to make seeing through the body impossible. That same haze breaks up the light when backlit to create the glowing effect. The foam is dense and pure as the driven snow. It easily reaches a couple fingers in height, takes it's sweet time to dissipate, and leaves sticky lace that will have to be scraped off the sides of the glass.

This beer has a very interesting nose. It's spicy and full upfront, even a little medicinal at times in a complimentary way. First off let me start by naming off the fruity characteristics so prevalent in saisons and Belgian pale ales. The peach and pear are both vibrant and a touch sweet. This is certainly spice forward with notes of white pepper, cardamom, and orange peel. A biscuity maltiness wraps it up. Me likey!

The flavor profile follows the nose closely but the end surprises with a rather bold, though sneaky, hoppiness. The slightly medicinal, cardamom spice hits upfront along with a sprinkle of white pepper. That saison orchard fruitiness mentioned above is the backbone of this beer while biscuity malt adds a touch of sweetness. The hop profile is dense orange, oil, peel, pith with a dash of lime brightness as well.

The body weighs in at moderate and although it doesn't have that aggressive carbonation and airiness like its Belgian brethren but what's there fits. The body is slick and smooth with a bitterness assertive enough that it lingers after each drink and bites along the sides of the tongue. Drinkability is up there, folks.

This is a damn good beer from 3 Stars Brewing. It's not as light and vibrant as its Belgian counterparts but it's more bold and hoppy. It's an American pale ale with saison yeast and spice...or maybe just an American hopped, american version of a Belgian pale. Either way, it's good, and very unique. I'd certainly drink this one again.

Feb 07, 2016
Photo of Lucular
Lucular from Maryland

4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Between Above the Clouds and the citra lemon saison, this one came out clearly on top. It's slightly spicy but also fruity with some vanilla notes. Haven't had the peppercorn saison but I'm curious to see how they compare.

Jan 30, 2016
Photo of REVZEB
REVZEB from Illinois

3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy yellow body with two fingers of white foam. Smell features the belgian yeast, citrus zest, banana, black pepper, grass and slight flowers. Taste is pretty much the same, leans more spiced than fruity or bready. Feel has sharp interjections to the rustic and grassy feel. Just missing that it factor to make it stand out, technically proficient.

Oct 11, 2015
Photo of cbutova
cbutova from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It sure is fun being on vacation as a BA.

A- Fairly hazy pale aprioct orange body from the 750ml into two glasses. A thick head forms over a finger high with good retention. Lacing starts fast with thick blankets continuing on as heavy webs.

S- Belgian yeast is the main act with classic spiciness, slight citrus and pale fruit esters. Pink peppercorn, yeast bread, wheat, coriander and pear are some specifics.

T- Bright and zesty yeast up front. Peppery, coriander, pear, pale wine grape, cooking herbs, apricot, citrus and floral hops, slight tropical fruit and wheat bread.

MF- Foamy and creamy medium overall body. Carbonation on the high side but enough has been done to provide smoothness. Finishes with an herbal bitterness.

My expectations were for something with a bit more American hop influence but to be honest it doesn't really affect my opinion. Flavorful yeast with heavy spice and pale fruits leading to a hint of citrus and stone fruits. Shelves are packed so send more kegs to MA.

Jul 31, 2015
Above The Clouds from 3 Stars Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 95 ratings