Alter Ego | Smartmouth Brewing Company

very good
125 Ratings
Alter EgoAlter Ego

Brewed by:
Smartmouth Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Beer-A-Lot on 11-03-2012

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 |  Reviews: 26
Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of nmann08
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of brentk56
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
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 Boone757
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +4%
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 nathanmiller
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of atrocity
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

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 paulish
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of stakem
3.63/5  rDev -4%
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 GarthDanielson
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
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 VeganUndead
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of ShanePB
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was unexpected. The day after Christmas and I'm still receiving presents; this time it was a full glass of Virginian saison, courtesy of Halcyondays. Served growler style at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

Looks a lighter orange color with solid head retention and good lace ringing around the tulip. The nose is somewhat sweet for a saison, offering apples and pears, with a modest rusticness. At first, the beer tastes fruity and rustic. Notes of apple, pear, lemon and vague rustic notes make a solid foundstion. As the beer warms, it seems to pick up some herbal and minty notes, adding to the excitement. It's a medium bodied brew with low carbonation, and is an easy drinker.

Easy to approach and not too funky, I dig it.

 734 characters

Photo of redfox405
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 463 characters

Photo of lupercmda
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64 oz. growler shared with friends and enjoyed by me at home, brought back by my sister from Norfolk, VA, thanks Sarah Parah, growlered (if that's a word) on 12/17/12, just listed as 'Saison', I'm assuming it's this,

A: Pours a burnt orange, with a hint of haze, still has some considerable carbonation which I was happy about since this was lugged across the southern USA. Nice lace.

S: Quite yeasty with a fair amount of sugar initially. Nice bits of orange peel and pear.

T: Pear and apple esters with a lot of spice, especially on the back end. Nowhere near as sugary as the nose would suggest. Hints of orange blossoms, honey, and bready malt.

M: Medium-bodied, though it has lightness about it. Refreshing, crisp, the low alcohol is clear, this is quite a bit more drinkable than a lot of the saisons I've had. Definitely clean for the style.

O: This is a beer you can still taste on your tongue a half an hour after you finish drinking it. Nice to see a new brewery with a beer this good on their starting lineup. Well made, if I'm ever in Norfolk, I'm going to check these guys out.

 1,095 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of avalon07
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
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 Dave_Treat
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of deonreds
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of argock
3.78/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Alter Ego from Smartmouth Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 125 ratings.
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