Alter Ego
Smartmouth Brewing Company

Alter EgoAlter Ego
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Style:
Belgian Saison
Ranked #1,489
ABV:
6.2%
Score:
85
Ranked #26,103
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.
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 141
Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy, light golden-aber hue, with a thin, quickly-fading, off-white head.

S: Fruity esters dominate, with faint vinegar notes. Sweet, yeasty bread also present.

T: Not much malt - it goes straight to tart, dry fruit, and even that is short lived. The dry, bitter finish arrives early and stays late, albeit with some yeasty and earthy notes as well.

M: Moist and nicely carbonated, transitioning to quite dry in the finish.

O: Less complex than I was expecting for the style, and even based on the smell. Drinkable, but I've had better saisons for sure.

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Photo of Xandrose
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Orangish and a bit hazy. Poured a two finger head. Left a nice ring around the glass.

S - Low amount of citrus hop aroma. Fairly sweet nose with a bit of honey.

T - Belgian yeast apparent. Slight malty sweetness on the front end, but more dry and spicy at the finish. A bit of pear coming through.

M - Light to medium.

O - Solid and drinkable beer overall.

Type: on-tap and then from growler 2 days later.

Note: As of 7/13/13 when I visited the brewery, this beer has an ABV of 6.2%, not 5.3%. They must have changed/improved their recipe since they opened in Nov. 2012. (Also, I showed up 10 minutes after they closed and they still gave me free samples as well as a private tour of the brewery. Nice!)

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice hazy-orange color. Small head but decent lacing.
S - Mild, citrusy.
T - Light, easy-drinking beer with more going on than you may first realize. Very refreshing. Well-balanced and not overly carbonated.
M - A bit light, but gets better as you drink.
O - A nice beer. Well done for Smartmouth's first offerring.

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Alter Ego from Smartmouth Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 141 ratings