Alter Ego
Smartmouth Brewing Company

Alter EgoAlter Ego
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Belgian Saison
Ranked #1,490
ABV:
6.2%
Score:
85
Ranked #25,691
Avg:
3.79 | pDev: 8.71%
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
141
From:
Smartmouth Brewing Company
 
Virginia, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  1
Gots
  43
SCORE
85
Very Good
Alter EgoAlter Ego
Notes: This brew is a shout-out to the alter ego in each of us, beckoning it out of dormancy. Porter Hardy, IV, brewery president, left his career as an attorney to heed the call of his weekend passion, making beer. Along with some friends who were just as consumed by beer, he established Smartmouth Brewing Company in 2012. Alter Ego, brewed in the farmhouse style of a Belgian Saison, is an effervescent and refreshing beer with fruity notes, a hint of pepper and a dry finish. Try pairing it with seafood, especially oysters or mussels, smoked sausages or cured meats. It complements aged gouda, chevre and ripe soft cheeses.
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 141
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the can, it pours a hazy amber with a large vibrant head that sticks around and leaves lacing. In the nose, it is malt and a bit of spicy yeast, to me. In the mouth, it is a pleasant malty and a touch of something I can't describe.

 238 characters

Photo of Kinger22
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I love the color of this beer - it's a bright a bright maze yellow with a small head. The smell is heavy on fruit, but the smell is not. The taste is very smokey with a pepper hint as well. This is a pretty decent farmhouse with a lot going on.

 244 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a lightly hazy pale golden straw yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and faint bright yellow + apricot colored highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense sudsy foamy white head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of pale malts with minimal amounts of sweetness and slightly spicy saison yeast.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of pale malts with minimal amounts of sweetness. That is followed by light flavors of slightly spicy saison yeast that fade quickly giving way to an almost strawberry lemon fruity sweetness which linger in the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol. Enjoyable but a little more fruity than I generally prefer my saisons - I like them to be a little spicier and drier.

 1,086 characters

Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very hazy yellow in color. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of yeast are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has initial flavors of peppery spices, but these quickly dissipate and are repacked by fruity flavors.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer smells like a typical saison but the taste is uniquely fruity.

Serving type: can

 584 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm trying this at the brewery. The beer poured a clear orangish with white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent had hints of Belgian spice. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink just enough Belgian sugar to make it know it's a saison. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a solid beer.

 337 characters

Photo of SeanShank84
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm really particular about saisons, and this one's great. Alter Ego has just the right texture and subtly citrusy flavor that I expect from beers of this kind.

 160 characters

Photo of Mfilchock
4.61/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

As near to the classic Saison from the US. With DuPont considered by many to be the best, this is very good. Others are north coast brewing Le Merle and Heavy Seas' Red Sky at Night when they brew it.

 202 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smartmouth Brewing Co. "Alter Ego"
12 fl. oz. can, "CANNED ON 04/19/17" and sampled on 06/27/17
$1.99 @ Total Wine & More, Virginia Beach, VA

Notes via stream of consciousness: Very hazy... perhaps even cloudy, golden amber body beneath a massive head of rocky white that slowly settles. The aroma expresses sweet malt, clove, apple, and banana. The flavor adds in a hint of tartness, a light touch of spiciness, and more fruit (strawberry, lemon, orange). As it warms I'm finding more floral character in the nose, and I see now that the head has dropped to a thin but solid surface covering and is leaving spots of lacing behind. Moderately bitter, the slight tartness and light spiciness help to dry it in the finish. Medium-light in body and delicately crisp. Very nice overall ~ a little sweet, a little tart, very fruity, lightly phenolic and spicy, and moderately bitter. Easy to drink and enjoyable.

 908 characters

Photo of Dragginballs76
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours clear golden color with decent white head that quickly dissipates. No lacing.

Aroma - Very nice peppery spicy aroma, Belgian yeast, floral notes, a bit of malt as well.

Taste - Taste reminds me more of a Belgian ale that a saison. lots of lemon and orange, yeast, wheat and very nice spicy flavor.

Feel - Light bodied clean crisp, well carbonated.

Overall - A good beer, not what I am used to in a saison but clean crisp great flavors.

 459 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Traded for this beer recently, never having this or anything from Smartmouth before. This was canned on 1/21 so obviously, this wasn't as fresh as I would have liked but it was still a decent beer with a heavier feel to it than the style and amount of alcohol would have led me to believe.

The pour to this was decent as the beer was a hazy apricot with a big head full of big bubbles. Not a lot of lacing was left behind as I worked my way through this and the aroma wasn't terribly strong either. Some pepper, yeast, spice, light citrus, and bread were in the nose and all of these were in the taste as well. Heavy, somewhat slick, and just a bit thick, this went down easily but it didn't have the typical flavor found in a Saison or Farmhouse Ale. The carbonation was light and the alcohol wasn't easily detectable, but the former may have been because of the age or this. Regardless, this wasn't terribly funky and the earthy feel of this wasn't that strong either.

When I finished this off, there was a slight warming effect that I could feel. It would have been great to have a fresher can of this as I feel that there was a lot of potential in this beer. The best aspect of it was the funky design of this as it held my attention for a while. As for the beer, it was relatively easygoing and one of the more accessible examples of this style that I've enjoyed.

 1,371 characters

Photo of stakem
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a pint appears a hazy golden to copper with a white cap.

Aroma is a bit of citrus then yeasty phenolics like clove and pepper.

Taste has clove spice, black pepper, slight citrus dry wheat and a touch of carbonics.

Light in body and modestly carbonated. Overall not bad.

 294 characters

Photo of WunderLlama
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can poured into sam Adams glass

Clear golden yellow, active argonaut ion, thick, frothy two finger white foam cap

Aroma of grassy malts, sweet, yeast

Taste of saison yeast , malt

Light mouthfeel, slightly tart

Nice beer

 226 characters

Photo of maddogruss
3.19/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: pours hazy grass yellow body with small white head with ok R&L
S: sweet, malty smell with some dank notes
T: sweet, semi fruity notes with some some fruity, apricot aftertaste
M: medium bodied and fairly crisp
D: nice M&T combo; ok saison

 241 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a can to a pint glass. Had an orange-gold color and a cloudy consistency. There was a two inch, creamy, long-lasting head. Below average lacing.

S: A nice aroma of fruit, spices, and some Belgian yeast.

T: Tasted of yeast, light malt, spices (cloves), citrus (lemon), the typical saison funk and a slight bubblegum tinge as well. The flavor with this beer really shines in the finish when the the citrus and other sweet elements come out. Generally very tasty.

F: A high amount of carbonation with a smooth, yet lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole this is a well made, easy to drink saison. Light, refreshing, and vibrant.

 651 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours clear and golden with a massive head that befits the Belgian style; plenty of lacing

Smell: Spice cake and bubblegum, with white pepper and orange blossom tones

Taste: Lemon spice cake, up front, with bubblegum flavors building; pepper and orange blossom tones emerge in the middle; the finish verges on the sweet side

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Sweeter than expected and not necessarily to style, but I still enjoyed it

 478 characters

Photo of argock
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz can into a clear glass tulip. Canned on 10/11/16 on bottom.

A: Clear orange amber with frothy prodigious 3-finger head which dissipates quickly and leaves a respectable collar of lacing.

S: Black peppered apple and pear with pilsner cracker malt with light pleasant phenolics

T: More peppery and phenolic through the early and mid-palate but finishes with a nice pilsner malt and pear-apple sweetness. Low-medium bitterness, plenty of phenolic and fruity yeast character.

M: Light on the carbonation for the style but otherwise pretty bracingly dry on the finish with light-medium body.

O: A really nice, easy-to-drink, no frills saison.

 663 characters

Photo of golf_n_beerguy
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: golden yellow with a thin head and sparkling lassing

S: real funky yeast smell with a bumble gum smell to it

T: definitely taste funky yeast. Very decent. Nothing to write home about but a very good brew

M: mild to light carbonation. A little bubble gum after taste at the back of the throat

O: nothing to write home about but it's a solid good beer. If you have the chance I'd definitely try one

 403 characters

Photo of JWU
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz. can poured into a chalice

A- looks fantastic, a bright orange with gold tinting. A bright white head sticks around and laces well.

S- very sweet. lemon, clove, a hint of belgian sugar, and tons of belgian yeast.

T- Taste is far more delicate than the smell, but it wakes up a bit as it warms. Delicate spicing mixes with lemon, clove and the slightly funky belgian yeast

M- Quite carbonated and scrubs the palette well. Comes off a bit lighter than you would think though.

O- a regular production solid Saison. More? Yes, please.

 548 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a stemmed pilsner, the beer is a cloudy, opaque, honey-gold coloring with a tall, frothy, foamy, big bubbled, off-white head. Aromas of subtle citrus, cinnamon, nutmeg, hints of clove, a bready backbone, and caramel sweet. Flavors are tangy sweet forward, with a blend of citrus and berry sweetness, highlights of floral hops, pepper spice, a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, some subtle funky notes, and a kick of resinous hops. Pretty balanced, and damn flavorful. The body is smooth and full, with a crisp, dry undertone. The aftertaste is more of the herbal blends, with citrus sweetness shining through, as well. Smooth, slightly effervesced, slightly dry finish. Good beer.

 707 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #80 (Sep 2013):

Quite the bold Saison we have here. Feigns to be bigger than it actually is, and works for the beer rather than against it. New complexities open up with each taste. A real treat to sip, and we had no problem polishing off the growler. Perhaps Smartmouth should dabble a bit more in the Belgian arena?

STYLE: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
ABV: 6.2%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

LOOK: Hazed golden orange, sufficient lacing

SMELL: Lemon zest, green peppercorn, pithy, taffy, bready, nutty yeast, hint of alcohol

TASTE: Crisp pop, smooth, medium bodied, grainy, mildly biscuity, peppery, alcoholic warmth, mild medicinal phenols, lemon peel, balancing bitterness, bread crust, yeast, ripe pears, semidry finish

 745 characters

Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Smartmouth Brewing Company. Pours a hazy golden color with a nice white head. Has a nice, fruity taste and good body. An across the board above average Saison.

 179 characters

Photo of sierratwohearted
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

12 oz can, canned 8/27/14. 6.2% ABV.
a - hazy straw-yellow, frothy head.
s - spicy, banana peel - subdued classic belgian yeast scent.
t - spices, fruit. banana peel, lemon. a little juice-like in the finish.
m - slightly creamy, light-med bodied.
o - comparable to a classic belgian saison...even a belgian wit for some reason. not very unique. clearly an imitation of the classic belgian taste. a good offering though, from a small, local brewery.

 449 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

I had been saying for a while that once I finished with the Great Bottle Purge of the Summer of 2014, I was going to resume The CANQuest (TM) in earnest and I am doing just that! I've been away so long that it's good to be back.
From the CAN: "Born and raised in Norfolk, VA"; "It's who you are on the inside that counts."; "Brewed for thought."; "The unexamined beer is not worth brewing"; "Release your inner spirit with Alter Ego (TM), an effervescent and refreshing beer with fruity notes and a dry finish. Brewed in the Belgian style, this Saison is a shout-out to the Alter Ego in each of us. Not only does it pair well with shellfish & ripe soft cheeses, it also inspired a certain lawyer to quit his job and go start a brewery."; "For refined palates".
I heard a nice, loud Crack! and so it was time for an inverted Glug. The tawny head was as fizzy as soda pop and so I sat back to see what would settle out. The answer turned out to be "not much". It fizzed its way down to nothing but wisps! Color was a cloudy Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 -5). Nose had a very typical musty, sweet, mixed fruit smell along with a light pepperiness. Mouthfeel was medium. Taste was musty, like old newspapers in the attic, with a fruitiness and a slight pepper bite on the tongue. Finish was semi-dry, leaving a lingering cheesy taste in my mouth. My palate may not be refined enough to truly appreciate such a beer, but I really would have liked to have had some cheese and crackers with this one.

 1,485 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy golden color with a medium size delicately bubbly white head. Good retention and some lacing on the glass. The aroma is mild...some Belgian yeast and light fruit.

Taste is more prominent. Light fruit, some Belgian yeast, lemon zest and a bit of spicing.. Good flavor but lacking the Saison "funk" that I like.

Mouthfeel is light (not weak or watery) and nicely carbonated. Lighter than most Saisons

Overall, a good summertime ale. Not the best Saison out there since it lacks the musty/funky aspect.

 515 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz can, no date, served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy golden yellow. Thin white foam with lots of persistent fine lacing.

Smell: Musty, earthy, grains, chalky yeast.

Taste: Earthy herbal/leafy hop flavors dominate. Some wheat and bready malt underneath it all.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light carbonation, good thickness. A little bit sticky on the teeth.

Overall / drinkability: I've been spoiled by Saison Dupont, and with this I view it as having some of the flavors of a saison, but not capturing that light refreshing feeling. Still, tasty enough, just not a great beer. An above average one though.

 611 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Alter Ego from Smartmouth Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 141 ratings