Saison Rustica
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Saison RusticaSaison Rustica
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Belgian Saison
3.65 | pDev: 9.59%
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Saison RusticaSaison Rustica
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 114 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Zach136
4.19/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Medium clarity golden body. Rocky, 3-finger head in an NB Globe glass.

Aroma/Flavor: Lemongrass and anise definitely come through on the aroma and palate. Peppercorn waits to make an appearance on the finish. Belgian yeast leaves the slightest hint of fruity-ness as well. All flavors are very in check and balanced.

Mouthfeel: Effervescent carbonation, light bodied, mostly dry, and refreshing.

Flavor levels and mouthfeel are tell ale signs of a great saison, and Hardywood nailed this one.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Poured a golden orange body with minimal head and minor lace patches.
Slight bit of funk in the aroma as yeast and sour citric notes come out
Light and crisp, there is a bit of funky dryness to this beer and then some balance comes from a bit of juicy fruit sweetness.
Yeast helps keep it smooth and I get some spices and citric notes.
Not a bad saison but just didn't seem to pull everything together as everything seemed faint.

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Photo of Pencible
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: This poured a cloudy light straw color with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like lemongrass and waxy hops, with some spicy Belgian yeast and earthy grass.
T: It tasted like strong herbal malts and waxy hops, with some lemongrass and peppercorn and anise. It had a clean waxy aftertaste.
M: It was oily with lots of smooth natural carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was an interesting saison, with unique scent and taste. I wasn't a fan of the peppercorn and anise. The body was solid, but the finish was unpleasant, so this wasn't very easy for me to drink. Others may enjoy this, as I suspect it is a quality brew that meets the brewer's intent. But it's simply not for me.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A bomber obtained through the Rustico bottle club. Poured into a tulip. Bottle on 5/23/14.

I like the label art but its downhill from there. Generally a refreshing beer, but unremarkable in my eyes (and taste). Liked the low sessionable ABV, but maybe that’s the beer’s downfall. The peppercorn, lemongrass and star anise are not obtrusive and for me not very evident. 3.5

A – Pours a pale orange, slightly hazy, with a three-finger off-white mousy head with a rocky top. Head dissipates to a constant thin layer. 3.75

S – Citrus/lemon, yeasty, some barnyard, faint spiciness, no alcohol evident (only a 4.5% ABV), grassy hops. 3.75

T – Herbal, mild grassy hops, a bit citrus/lemon. 3.5

MF – Medium-light body, dry finish. 3.75

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into a wine glass.

A: Pours a cloudy straw color. There's a finger worth of white colored head, with a fizzy texture and low retention. Just a tiny ring of lacing is left on the glass.

S: I feel that saisons should have a mild 'strangeness' to them - and this certainly does. Lemongrass notes pop first, along with some spicy bread. At times, there are vague hints of fruit and garden herbs. I enjoy the bevy of varying aromatic notes, but it doesn't fully coalesce for me. Still, a solid aroma (especially for 4.5%).

T: It starts with a bit of lemongrass. The real 'star' of the show (for better or worse) are the aniseed flavors right before the finish. It's not quite like a friggen' Jagermeister, but it's rather licoricey. It finishes like a typical saison with notes of herbs and black pepper. Nothing exciting or complex here, unfortunately.

M: No doubt this is dry - so massively, parchingly dry. Sadly, it comes off a bit dinky. As it traverses the palate, the fizzy texture does a good job of filling the mouth (making it seem bigger), but reveals a watery finish post-swallow. Did I mention it's fizzy? Holy crap, it's so carbonated it's a bit harsh. Still, it's drinkable...then again, something's wrong if a light saison ISN'T endlessly crushable.

O: It hits the basics of a light saison decently, but doesn't have any standout qualities to make me truly enjoy it. It isn't deep, it isn't bursting with flavor, and worst of all, it isn't really balanced that well. This does have the potential to be a good saison, it just needs a couple tweaks (that, and less star anise...)

2.95/5: It doesn't convince me it's bigger nor does it balance fully...

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Photo of Smakawhat
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A very light and pale yellow body, almost watery and translucent. Small rising column of carbonation in the middle, with very very fine bubbles rising through a bit of an opaque body. Head is very soapy and bright white, but easily makes three fingers tall and a decent one finger puck while slowly settling.

Weird nose. THere is big ash quality to this, like cigarette smoke. Small hints of light and tart fruit peach and apricot, and a bit of spice. At first very alarming, but sweetness kicks in with the fruit after some time, and really grows on me.

Palate is very dry and light body. Hints of fruit, but very wet finish and a classic mild pepper heat a bit on the finish. Some good brut crackery dry sensations, but misses a lot of malt depth and Belgian character. There's also not a lot of the spice or lemongrass coming through this very much

Overall, it's the lack of depth in this beer compared to most saisons that seems to be lacking. It does have a great flavor profile and big dry quality however.

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Photo of Badger6
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle, marked 2014 release, into a tulip.

A: Orangish yellow color, white head that diminishes fast, decent lacing.

S: Clearly funky. Malty, with citrus, stone fruit and a hint of anise. Seems to be unbalanced toward the malts, with the yeasty characters just laid on top.

T: Malty and funky. Lemon citrus, more stone fruits, lightly spiced, with a yeasty note. Finishes slightly bitter.

F: Medium body, carbonation is balanced and matched. Dry, feels crisp on the palate.

O: It's saison. But in a style that is increasingly popular, this falls in the realm of average. It's not bad, but it isn't great.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-slightly orange golden color with a decent white head and some lacing

S-grainy malt, yeast, fruit, lemon, hint of anise

T-cracker, lemon, apple, pepper, little anise, yeasty, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and dry

O-decent Saison, but nothing that really elevates it to a top example of the style

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Photo of dtivp
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy pale straw gold with a finger and a half fluffy white head that fades quickly into a thin cap with light lacing.

Aroma of citrus and clove with a slight hints of pepper and yeast.

Taste is starts with lemon and orange followed a by a slight hop bitterness with hints of glove ad pepper spiciness. As the beer warms a licorice / anise flavor appears.

Mouth Feel is light body with moderate carbonation, slightly dry with a little tingliness. Well balanced and refreshing.

Overall this is a nice light and refreshing warm weather beer.

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Photo of portia99
4.14/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into an Idle Hands tulip.

A - Pours a pale golden color, translucent and hazy, and a finger of fluffy white head that falls fairly quickly and leaves some light foamy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Very, very lemony up front...nice complement of orangey citrus as well. Spicy, touch of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg. Touch of pepper and a mild hop and yeast presence too. Very citrusy saison overall - smells light and refreshing.

T - Lemony citrus carries through to the flavor too. Hops are more prominent in the flavor with a middle level bitterness that gives a touch of bite to the flavor. Mix of spicy aspects - mostly cloves and black pepper with the star anise providing just a hint of licorice-y flavor towards the finish and on the exhale. Very mild malt base - dry and biscuit. Fruity orange aspect increase as the beer warms a bit.

M - Light in body with a firm carbonation that is tingly and a touch foamy. Dry malt base with tons of citrus, plenty of spiciness. No trace of alcohol. Very smooth...nice warm weather beer.

O - Well balanced saison - hops, malt, spices, citrusy flavors work together quite well. Super citrusy with lemon taking the lead - makes this very easy drinker and goes down very fast on this warm evening with dinner. Really appreciate the lightness of this beer. Flavor intensity is good, lots of "lighter/summery" flavors keep this an easy drinker. Very nice...pleasantly surprised a bit by this. Would definitely have again.

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Photo of nickfl
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours with a small head of white foam on top of a hazy, golden body. Earthy, peppery hops, musty yeast, and clove in the aroma. Thick malt, coriander, and herbals hops in the finish. Medium thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a balanced finish. Not bad, a little bland on the yeast, but nice hop character.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.21/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 22 oz caged and corked bottle

Appearance - Golden tan slight straw yellow, minor 1/8 inch head with some lacing.

Smell - Belgian yeasts, Sour/funky. Added sugars and spices. Floral grassy hops. I do get a peppery aroma, I'm guessing its the peppercorns. I have no idea what star anise is suppose to smell like, I know anise and im not picking any of that up.

Taste - First sip is really fruity with minor bitter/sour notes. Nice spice and pepper flavors add more character. The classic orange and banana is also present. Nice sweet yeasts and lemon grassy/farmhouse feel. No alcohol is noticeable.

Mouthfeel - The beer is crisp, nice and light, the tongue gets yeasts, hops and spices. The palate really gets sugars, spices and the lemongrass, along with some sour notes. The aftertaste is minor bitter, a little sour and fruity.

Overall - Really nice super easy to drink and enjoy beer. Each flavor is nice and mellow and can shine on its own, and then work well with the next flavor. Nice beer for someone that maybe cant handle or just getting into Belgium beers, and for the experienced drinker that wants quality in such a smooth low alcohol beer.

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Photo of InsolublePancake
4.36/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Gorgeous deep gold with just a touch of haze. Head comes to about 3/4 of an inch before receding to about 1/4 inch and staying there.

S- Pungent yeast and light pepper. Of the three touted ingredients (lemongrass, star anise, and peppercorns) I expected to peppercorns to be the least noticeable, but they're rather prominent in the nose. There is also a bit of a lemony tartness as the beer warms.

T- Begins with a shock of sweet bubblegum and tropical fruit, surprising given the savory notes in the aroma. The anise definitely comes through here but it does a really good job complementing the other flavors rather than overpowering them (a concern I have with many beers that list star anise as one of the ingredients). The sweetness at the beginning quickly gives way to pepper and a moderate bitterness. Finishes quite dry and pleasantly bitter.

M- On the light side with very lively carbonation. Very quaffable.

I was a little hesitant to try this despite it being from an outstanding local brewery and being one of my favorite styles. I don't tend to like it when breweries mess around too much and add a bunch of weird ingredients. However, the guys at Hardywood clearly knew what they were doing here. The brewers displayed a deft hand with the ingredients and expertly melded them with the classic saison flavors. This is an outstanding beer and a great, low-alcohol summer quaffer. I'll have to stop underestimating Hardywood. Recommended.

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Photo of Jason
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml caged and corked brown bottle with no freshness date, there is a vintage date of 2013 on the label.

Decent looking head, dissipates quicker than anticipated. Hazed orange straw color. Spicy aroma with hints of anise, lemongrass, yeast, cracker-like maltiness. Semi-crisp, mild creaminess with a moderate sized body. Yeast and dried grass to start, mild herbal phenols, peppery spice, lemongrass, faint anise, ripe pears, rounded maltiness, modest hopping, semi-dry finish.

Love the flavor and aroma here, was hoping for a bit more dryness and for it to pop a bit more. The lemongrass does add that feigned element of a mild tartness, a bit more tartness from somewhere else would have been welcomed. Regardless of all of the nitpicking, this is a good quaff.

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Saison Rustica from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 114 ratings