Howler Old Barn Ale | Howler Brewery

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Brewed by:
Howler Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 10
Photo of cbutova
3.72/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I think I have had this one before but that was quite some time ago. Will be interesting to see how Howler is progressing.

A- Cloudy almost murky golden-apricot body from the 22oz into two glasses. A white cap builds up to about a finger with poor retention dying to a medium thick ring. Sporadic sheets of lace at the top with spotty patches later.

S- Top of the malt capacity for the style with an instantly noticed sweet grain aroma and toasty Pilsner grains. Banana, clove, peppery yeast spice, pale fruits, slight Brett hay and a hint of lemons.

T- Fairly sweet as the aroma suggested but not too much for the style. The rest of the things are mostly balanced with each other as the brew delivers banana, coriander, wheat bread, Brett straw, clove, peppercorn, lemon and pear tones.

MF- Perhaps the best mouthfeel I have had from Howler. Silky and creamy consistency to a light body; puffs up without being foamy. Carbonation moderately high.

Honestly a pretty solid Saison and probably my favorite bottle of Howler I have had thus far. Well blended mix of yeast and malt flavors and a very smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.29/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on May 29, 2015.

Slightly cloudy pale yellow pour under a big white foamy head that diminishes fast.

Aroma of vague pale malts, Brett, banana, cellar mustiness, and low to no hops due to the Halletau hops the labels says it is brewed with.

Soft but medium body.

The taste has a mild sweetness but just about no bitterness. Tastes a little yeasty but not in a good way. Maybe this old ale was really an OLD bottle.

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Photo of jlindros
3.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Last 2 beers I had from this brewery were infected and horrible drain pours. This could work OK with Brett, but infection is usually a bad version of the Brett so we'll see how this one goes.

Wow... the cap just FELL OFF!!!! I didn't even have to pop it off... that's a bad sign.

And it pours with pretty much no head, probably very little carbonation as the cap was so loose, clear honey orange tan color. 3

Nose thankfully isn't infected at least, but just an OK saison... quite sweet smelling, little honey and candy, touches of lemon, grainy wheat, toasty and little orange grist like wheat husk and wet hay, little funk, faint fruity esters, and some mild chemical phenols. Despite not being infected, it's still sweet and so-so as a saison. 3.5

Taste starts flat, with sweet candy again, very Americanized sweet candy sugar and a little honey malt, with some more grist and wheat malt with little straw, like wet straw and germinated malt. Mild farmhouse notes, with some toasty straw, into mild citrus orange peel, etc. Then mild fruity esters, and some chemical phenols, into a mild bitter rindy grassy hop note. Finish is drier but still a bit sweet, more candy lingering, a little bitter grassy and rind note lingering, and touch more chemical phenols. 3.5

Mouth is med to lighter bod, no carbonation. 2.5

Overall meh, at least it's not infected and not a drain pour, but it's not a very good saison either. Too sweet, phenols are there but not in the best way, candy flavors more like it was Americanized than a Belgian/French style, not very enjoyable, and also no carbonation really makes it bleh. 3

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Photo of DIM
3.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: Clear, slightly reddish golden color; poured with a small fizzy head.

s: Prickly Belgian yeasty, kind of fruity with banana and sweet apple. Kind of sugary overall.

t: A sweeter farmhouse ale. Banana esters and sugary fruit. Finishes abruptly with a hint of lingering plastic.

m: Soft with gentle carbonation.

o: An okay farmhouse ale and reasonably priced, 4.50 I think.

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Photo of Bob6518
3.77/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not sure if this beer is available in stores in the area, I bought it in a butcher shop that was carrying the beer on behalf of the brewer.

A- appearance was medium brown not unlike a typical brown ale with a nice inch head on it that quickly dissipated

S- smell was very rich of malts and toffee with a slight hop aroma in the background

T- taste was very malty and somewhat sweet with almost no hop flavor which I very much prefer

M- this beer had medium to low carbonation which allowed for much more of the flavor character to come through. This was a very smooth beer.

Overall I'd have to say that this is a good beer for just a relaxing day and without needing a specific food pairing to bring out its true flavor.

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Howler Old Barn Ale from Howler Brewery
Beer rating: 3.18 out of 5 with 10 ratings