Alter Ego
Smartmouth Brewing Company

Alter EgoAlter Ego
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Smartmouth Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #761
Ranked #21,507
3.79 | pDev: 8.97%
Apr 16, 2022
Nov 03, 2012
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by clayrock81:
Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
by clayrock81 from Florida

Poured a cloudy orange with minimal head and lace on top of a spicy, citrusy with mild fruit ester aroma with touch of sweetness. Lighter bodied than other saisons, a tad too spicy for my liking, kind of draws away from some good orangey-citric and sweet fruit and malt flavors. Spices and some sharp carbonation lead to a dryer finish than usual and there's a touch of sour puckering as I get near to finishing this beer. Not fantastic but a good session saison.

Nov 15, 2012
More User Ratings:
3.85 by rorjets from Connecticut on Aug 08, 2021
Photo of BiologyBob
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by BiologyBob from Texas

It looks like liquid gold, a bit hazy, and smells like soap and apricot. There was a nice white head, but it did not stick around. It has a nice balance of hops and farmhouse flavor. Medium bodied and very drinkable.

Jun 30, 2021
Photo of VABA
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by VABA from Virginia

Pours a nice hazy golden color with a generous head and lacing
Aroma had citrus, lemon and pepper hints
The taste follows the nose with a pleasant citrus, lemon and peppery flavor
A light bodied moderately carbonated very crisp beer
A good Saison

Jun 04, 2021
4 by Velivolus1 from Vermont on Aug 05, 2020
Photo of jfmorey
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by jfmorey from Virginia

From a can purchased at my local supermarket in Vienna, VA, about 200 miles from the brewery; poured into a tulip glass.
I've always liked saisons, particularly in the warmer months. Many brewers miss the point of this style, a drinkable, refreshing ale with the particular note of strangeness from the Belgian yeast. At 6.2%, the alcohol is a bit high, but otherwise Alter Ego hits the mark perfectly.

May 20, 2020
Photo of paging12
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by paging12 from Virginia

Can to tulip.

Just had the sirens lair saison from fair winds, down the road from Smartmouth. It was good, hoppy and strong for a saison.

This Alter Ego is what I think of when drinking saison. The aforementioned didn’t, like I said, a bit hoppy and strong. This is heavy on the mouth, dank dampness, musty, but tart with some citrus and Bhrett. Hazy, unfiltered, golden apricot.

Mar 08, 2020
4 by Velivolus from Vermont on Nov 27, 2019
3.5 by wilfonzo from Florida on May 19, 2019
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

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.

Apr 17, 2019
4.16 by BigFishCA from Virginia on Dec 28, 2018
4 by Stengelfoot from California on Nov 18, 2018
Photo of Kinger22
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by Kinger22 from Virginia

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.

Sep 09, 2018
4.04 by jricharc from Virginia on Sep 03, 2018
3.69 by Nate139 from Virginia on Aug 24, 2018
Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by dbrauneis from North Carolina

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.

Aug 11, 2018
3.6 by smithj4 from New York on Aug 11, 2018
Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by metter98 from New York

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

Aug 11, 2018
3.87 by Hockey_Fan from Maryland on Mar 31, 2018
3.82 by Dewsby from Kentucky on Jan 23, 2018
3.9 by Professor_X from Virginia on Dec 28, 2017
3.87 by robebo44 from Virginia on Dec 22, 2017
Photo of WoodBrew
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by WoodBrew from Ohio

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.

Nov 09, 2017
3.74 by dextermcgurk from New York on Oct 22, 2017
Photo of SeanShank84
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by SeanShank84 from District of Columbia

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.

Jul 23, 2017
Photo of Mfilchock
4.61/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by Mfilchock from Virginia

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.

Jul 05, 2017
3.87 by ThreeBeersWalkedIn from Maryland on Jul 01, 2017
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

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.

Jun 27, 2017
3.99 by 6thstreetbrewpub from District of Columbia on Jun 19, 2017
Photo of Dragginballs76
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by Dragginballs76 from South Carolina

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.

Mar 08, 2017
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

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.

Sep 11, 2016
3.79 by Dave1999 from North Carolina on Aug 22, 2016
Photo of stakem
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
by stakem from Pennsylvania

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.

Aug 12, 2016
4 by RBorsato from Virginia on Aug 05, 2016
Photo of WunderLlama
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by WunderLlama from Massachusetts

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

Aug 04, 2016
3.68 by bitterandtwisted from England on Jul 10, 2016
3.68 by BrewsandBlues from Florida on Jul 07, 2016
4 by Scott_McCool from Florida on Jul 02, 2016
Alter Ego from Smartmouth Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 150 ratings