V-Saison | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

very good
181 Ratings

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rotsaruch on 07-14-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 181 |  Reviews: 161
Photo of TheJollyHop
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on July 07, 2007, poured into a tulip

Prevalent yeast phenols (farmhouse, musty scents) with honey, lemon, bubblegum, peppercorns, cooking herbs, and diacetyl; yes butter.

Earthy and spicy upfront with a smooth peppery middle, fading to a dry, mouth coating finish. The body is on the lighter more effervescent side, and carbonation is quite high, which is near perfect for this style of beer.

Overall, a very pleasant, balanced, and flavorful saison that interestingly enough, is accentuated by the diacetyl quality.

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Photo of awright
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Also purchased from Whole Foods. Wife says our 11-month-old daughter picked it out for me.

A - Nice appearance. A resounding pop with a clear, gold pour, strong effervescence and a sudsy, persistent, white head (about an inch).

S - Tart, earthy smell. Light smell of pineapple and hops.

T - Quite bitter and some off flavors. Drinkable and pleasant, but a bit aggressive for the style. Funky belgian yeast very forward on the palate.

M - Refreshing and clean, but with a salt-and-pickle sensation, and spiciness that lingers.

D - Complex and slow-drinking.Light and fairly dry, but with tartness, bitterness and complexity that makes it somewhat filling.

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Photo of blackc5
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Probably got one of the last bottles at Whole Foods since they had it on sale for $6. Would have bought more had they had more... Anyway...

A - Popped the cork, with just a bit bubbling over, and poured a clear and clean pale gold. Large pure white head with small bubbles. Good lacing as well.

S - Earthy. Some funk. Apple and pear fruitiess. More herbal hops. And lots of spice.

T - Was careful to not disturb the dregs. Fairly malthy with an appropriate level of coriander and peppery spice. Fruity backbone giving way to a fair amount of earthy bitterness from the hops. Yeast is pleasant as well.

M - Light bodied with a dry finish. Perhaps a bit thin in the mouth. Zesty on the tongue though.

D - Probably could have let this cellar a bit more. But it was still very nice and enjoyed every last dr... or actually about 720 ml of it.

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Photo of appenzeller
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden amber, quite hazy, very good head that has retention and leaves much lacing. Aroma is of fruit, citrus, hops. A fine tasting beer with great body, but is yet refreshing. Sweetness of apples and citrus, balanced well but not overpowered by piney hops. Crisp and clean, although this is no session beer! In summary, a nice one, I'd look for this again.

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Photo of Golden
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL corked bottled in July 2007. Cellared for a while.

Poured into a stocky Ommegang 10 year anniversary flute, producing about 1 cm white head that quickly reduced to a thin layer. The color is golden with a slight haze. The lacing slides down the side of the glass. The smell is slight horse blanket with a slight lemony citrus. It smells sweet and slightly dirty. The taste is great, slightly bitter and earthy with plenty of sweetness. There is some grassy and coriander tastes. Finishes crisp with great mouth feel and nice effervescence to balance the sweet.

A great beer!

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Photo of philbertk
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Saison Ale--Earthy Delight as a rustic and refreshing pale ale, redolent of field fresh hops, in keeping with this classic Belgian ale style-V Series--2009 25.4 oz. Bottle. 7.50% ABV. 10 IBU's? (4.0 / 5.0) Thin mild lace white head. Hazy bright orange sun gold color. Wild floral fruit ester mild hop front. Zesty thin dry sweet fruit ester citrus tangy wild Belgian Golden Wheat Ale Body. Clean lingering Belgian EtOH mild hop fruit spice wild Saison Orange End. Sampled 5/28-29/2010. 2 @ $6.99 Each.

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Photo of bobsy
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I had one of these kicking around at home from a past trip to Buffalo, and I'd squirreled it away and more or less forgotten it, when I came across a thread that stated the Helios that I picked up on my most recent trip is in fact a repackaging of Victory Saison. Two of the same beer in my house is a rarity, especially as a result of a trip down south. A bit of digging, though, revealed that Victory may well have tweaked the yeast strain, which can alter the character drastically: "Victory has also ceased the release of Victory Saison in 750ml bottles, reformulated it with a new Belgian yeast strain and renamed it Helios. It is packaged in the increasingly popular 22oz size and should reach the market in a week or two." Interesting. So I have two bottles that are either potentially different or potentially the same. I'll crack one now and the other in the coming days.

So V-Saison it is, looking very pretty in its corked and caged bottle. The good looks continue on the pour, which reveals a deep gold body and an effusive white head. Large streaks and spots of lace are left as this descends to a rocky cap. Retention is good, and its hard to fault the beer on its appearance. The aroma has a large fruit component, which reminds me of pear, but then segues to zingy lemon. A grainy, herbal, grassiness provides a good backdrop, and a peppery spice betrays the presence of the yeast.

Fruitiness continues in the flavour, but any sweetness is cut by a very mild sour edge, just in the same way as a good hefe has that balancing sourness that keeps it refreshing. Big, grainy and bready spine, with some grass and lemon sprinkled throughout. The finish is surprsingly spicy, as if the pepper has been amped up, and a small amount of ginger added. Its very drinkable and refreshing, which is as a saison should be. Medium-light body with a high, but pillowy carbonation that works well.

So, on to Helios next, but dwelling on V-Saison for a moment... This beer didn't blow me away as some saisons do, but it did impress me with its competence. While it doesn't excel in any one area, its impossible to give it anything less than a good score because its so lacking in obvious flaws. A good saison, and another fine brew from Victory.

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Photo of corby112
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very slightly hazy light golden orange color with golden yellow hues and a one finger foamy white head with decent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring. minimal spots of lacing.

Earthy funky aroma with lots o crisp light fruit, earthy piney hops and straw.

Very quaffable with a slight funky earthy presence as well as a lot od crisp light fruit notes. Nice soft carbonation with a slight spicy peppery flavor. Subtle hops with hints of apple, strawberry and cream and pear. Dry finish.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a brass, amber colored-hue with a minimal frothy head that lay atop a hazy, and cloudy appearance. Great smell, bursting with fresh florals and fruit, noticeable pears, and apples. Taste strongly complemented the smell, very Belgian-like and authentic, with pleasing nuances of slight grapefruit, apples, pears, honey,lemons, citrus zest, fresh florals and fruits. Nice, crisp, refreshing mouthfeel - this beer would be perfect for a hot, lazy, Summer day.

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Photo of BDLbrewster
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled JUL 2 2007

Pours a bright fiery golden with hues that bring the tip of a flame to mind. Light, tiny bubbled, airy carbonation and no lace to speak of.

Light barnyard up front along with some yeasty sweetness. Some grassy notes and a light amount of spice round out this distant smelling brew.

I pick up a lot of fruity esters on the front, as with the nose there is quite a bit of yeasty sweetness along with more very subtle barnyard and grass. The alcohol is non-existent in the flavor, but it I feel this brew may be just past its prime. Wonderful flavors all around. I'm glad that I sat on this one.

The mouthfeel is creamy and luxurious, the carbonation is reminiscent of champagne and has held up amazingly over the last two years. Good stuff.

Overall I really, really enjoyed this brew. I have been staring at this bottle for much, much too long and am very happy at how it has held up. Fairly high, yet unnoticeable alcohol content and a great mesh of flavors. Wonderful.

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Photo of prototypic
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to csmiley for the bottle.

Bottled on July 2, 2007

V-Saison is a straw color. It's hazy, but not opaque. Backlighting gives it a nice gold look. Carbonation seems active. The cork popped out with some force and it's topped with a foamy white head that's nearly two fingers tall. It recedes to a surface covering quickly and leaves light, thin lace behind.

The nose is pretty good. A little underpowered. It features some nice fruity aromas up front. Apple and pear are the most prominent. Earthy and herbal scents are prominent. Smells a little grainy. It is more malty than I anticipated and has a slight buttery scent to it. I'm not too enamored with that, but it's not overtly bad. Yeast is present, but seems like a secondary feature. I'm not picking up any alcohol. It's not bad. A little rough around the edges, but still pretty good.

The flavor is a notch above the nose. Apple and pear fruit flavors are strong initially. They're complemented by nice earthy, herbal notes. It's not at all vegetal, which is a good thing in my book. There's an acute spiciness to it that adds just the right amount of pizzazz. I'm a little amazed, but I think there's a rather substantial hop flavor that's still here. After two and half years, that's incredible! It has a strong buzzy, bitter kick. The yeast flavor is alright, but doesn't rival its authentic Belgian colleagues. That's not too surprising from an American brewery. Alcohol is blended well. It finishes bitter and a little dry.

V-Saison has a light-medium body that feels far too thin. It needs more body in a bad way. Active carbonation doesn't help the cause much. It feels buzzy and thin. Not a good combo for this style. Drinkability is above average. I like the flavor alright and it goes down pretty easy. Having said that, there are a number of better choices out there in the style. I'm good with a 750.

V-Saison is a pretty good effort. It's not one of my favorite Victory releases, but it's far from a bad beer. The nose could use more muscle and the body needs a lot of work. That's by far its weakest attribute. It just feels too flimsy. Overall, it's worth a try. I'd stick with a single 750 though.

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Photo of nickd717
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from K&L Redwood City, bottled on July 3, 2007. Part of my first haul after Victory started distributing out here, which was very exciting since I'm from Pennsylvania. This bottle is well over 2 years old, and that worried me a bit about how it might have aged. Fortunately, it seems not to have changed much over the years. Cork comes out of the corked & caged bottle with a nice pop.

Pours bright golden with lots of tiny bubbles rising up and a creamy, lumpy white head that leaves some good lacing.

Aroma is barnyard funk, Belgian yeast, pale malt, and spiciness.

Flavor is pale malt, Belgian yeast, funk, mild citrus, black pepper, and floral hops. Not at all oxidized or stale.

Body is medium-light and palate is somewhat peppery and lively.

Drinkability medium-high. Overall this is a very nicely done saison.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Wegman's this past week...noticed the bottle said it was put into bottles in 2008, which can't mean horrible things can it?

Pours a golden-honey color with about 2" of fluffy white spongy head. Crystal clear body.

Fairly earthy aromas come through with a pale yeast aroma along with some alcohol on the nose. Fruits (white grapes) come through as well. Some spices aparent but hard to distinguish.

Lots of alcohol comes through on the flavor actually. Mostly comprised of yeast flavors & grains. A bit of sugar and spice comes through just a bit along with some grape flavors...reminds me of a rather weak bottle of white wine.

Solid body. Medium-to-light in body with a bit of carbonation up front on the sip, reverting to a bit of drying on the finish. Nice.

Fairly easy to drink saison...definitely not my favorite style, but this one is solid amongst it's "peers".

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased this bottle from Ray's Liquor in Paradise, CA. Date on bottle says April 1, 2005. Crazy! I've never even come near a saison this old, but $3 for a 750mL was impossible for me to pass up. Here goes nothin!

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Cork let off a mighty pop after I literally yanked it out of the bottle! I poured the beer very delicately, and as the cup filled a loose white head billowed upward and produced a chorus of crackles and pops. Nearly five years of aging seems to have made this beast angry. The body is cloudy and banana-colored, with just enough clarity to make the silhouette of the thick, central carbonation plume visible. Even though the head was extremely loose and violent at first, it has since calmed down. It now sits comfortably as a white film. No stickiness; no lacing.

Smell: Green apples, mild vinegar, white grapes, and barnyard funk. The nose is quite fruity and syrupy, but overall subdued. Not a whole lot of complexity, but pleasant.

Taste: Apple cider, hay (or what I imagine hay would taste like), yeast, sour malt, and earth. Finishes dry with fruity esters and white wine vinegar. As with the smell, the taste is enjoyable but nothing surprising or complex. I like the balance, but this one really doesn't stand out.

Mouthfeel: The active carbonation pairs very nicely with the rich, creamy body. To clarify, when I say "rich" I mean excellently balanced and creamy; this beer is neither thick nor heavy. Finish is dry, and the aftertaste is mild but long-lasting. Wiseman Zach noted that this would be an excellent Christmas beer and I agree, especially in terms of feel.

Drinkability: I think the four and a half years may have added some sourness to this one, but it really wasn't drastic. Overall, this went down pretty quick. I've still got another bottle lying in wait - I may just sit on it for another four and a half years and then see what happens ;)

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Photo of Beejay
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light orange, slightly cloudy with white head that dissipates to a ring.

S: Tart, like apple or cherry juice.

T:Tart and tangy.. Slight fruit taste, and something odd in the background. Finishes bitter, and a little funky.

M: Plenty of carbonation. Heeps of it..

D: Not the greatest I have ever had, but not bad. Especially since it was on sale for 4Buck. Of course, since it is retired, I don't think I will be getting a lot more.

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Photo of william5586
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy due to the yeast. Dark golden yellow with lighter yellow edges. Big three finger fluffy, airy white head.

Lemon and spice blend together for a bright refreshing smell.

Earthy yeast, grassy, lemon zest and ample carbonation combine to form a crisp bright mouthfeel. A moderate dose of spice and a hint of hop bitterness combine for a semi dry finish.

This is a solid, easy drinking saison. Assuming that Helois is in fact the same beer I have to remember to buy this more often.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bomber corked and caged, served in a tulip

A bit of a gusher upon opening, but not too bad. Pours a deep orange body with a slight haze and a huge, bone white cap that fills the tulip. The head fell to form a thin protective barrier and mild lacing.

Green apples and pears lend a sweet/tart aroma with some earthy, floral hops and farmhouse aromas. A good amount of spice from the hops as well as some pepper.

Spice jumps to the front of the class with earthy, floral hops quickly in tow. A strong, sour belgian yeast flavor comes through with green apples and pears leading to a finish of horse leather and more spice.

The carbonation is turned up a bit, but it doesn't get in the way. Light to medium body with a crisp, tart finish.

I found this to be refreshingly drinkable. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of drtth
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. (My last bottle of a favorite summer beer that has always come in a 750ml bottle. Time to review it in hopes I'll be able to tell how different it may be from the re-branded re-packaged version to soon to appear in 22oz bottles.)

Appearance: The beer pours out a nice bright and clear gold color with a bit of copper tone that then gets a bit cloudy as some yeast is poured as well. The 2" thick almost off-white recedes gradually leaving lacing on the sides. Sipping produces some interesting lacing patterns. Later on as the head recedes to a ring and patch of foam the speckles of lacing become more sparse and leggy.

Smell: The aroma is sweet and fruity, with green apple and fresh pear putting in an appearance. There is some nice light malt and there are some grassy, spicy notes from the hops.

Taste: The flavor is lightly sweet from the pale malts. There are fruity tastes (the green apple and the pear are here but there's more I think) with some tartness as well. While there is a bit of alcohol here it is barely noticeable. There may even be a touch of spice (clove)?

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and creamy with ample carbonation. The long finish begins as a mix of sweetness from the malts and tartness from the fruits and then ends in a nice soft spicy and dry bitterness.

Drinkability: This is a nearly ideal summer brew. Clean, refreshing tastes that are reasonably complex and end on notes that leave you wanting another sip. If I hadn't poured this for two people I could easily drink the other half of the bottle

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a deep golden body that would be clear were it not for a fine dusting of particles. Large, languishing, white head.

Smell: Earthy, leafy, florals blend into tart fruity notes and, finally, we reach some faintly grainy malts sprinkled over with ground pepper and golden syrup.

Taste: Lightly grainy pale malts with a distant hint of sourdough but more than a hint of simple syrup sweetness. Citrusy lemon, crisp apple, and tart pear fruitiness. Dash of fennel seeds and pepper. Lightly spicy, lightly leafy hops with a restrained level of bitterness. Mixture of sweetness, fruitiness, and spice until you reach the semi-dry, spiced finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: A fairly good, fairly enjoyable stateside-brewed saison, though the body is heading towards being a bit too heavy for me.

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was a 2008 vintage I've aged for just about a year now.

This overflowed when I popped the bomber, very fizzy and carbonated.
Dark golden color.. very well carbonated and extremely fizzy.. a good inch or two of head on top.
Smell is sour citrus: lemons, oranges, slight spices and mild hoppiness. Delicious flavors here: mild citrus, pears, apples, and peppery spices.
Extremely drinkable, very mellow without much alcohol presence.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lucky me - found one bottle 04/01/2005 - four years of aging done for me. Poured a clear straw gold color with great carbonation and minimal fizzy head. Wonderful floral aroma with yeast sticking through, breadiness, and some sour spicey smell. Light-bodied and smooth, chewey, has a great fruit taste like apple, pear, hints of lemon and there is some sharp sourness that balances the sweetness (derived from yeast and breadiness) thanks to the carbonation. Passes easily and finshes clean; a great thirst quencher. A good light beer for anyone to try.

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Photo of vrazionale
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter. Bottle reads: "Bottled on: May 30 08."

A - Quick-forming head with a dark-orange translucent body. The head is formed of many little bubbles, eventually settling down to wispy threads across the surface of the brew.

S - Lots of inviting spicy funk. Fruit is of a darker variety than other saisons - yellow peaches, red pears, dried apricots, dark figs. There is a really impressive interplay between the funky and spicy notes - it smells as you would imagine a bouquet of spices would smell in a dank, wet basement.

T - Very robust profile. Juicy stone fruit and pears against a yeasty, wheaty backdrop. Lots of spicy complexity here that complements the fruit and yeast well. The hop flavors have mostly faded with age, but there is still a touch of bitterness that holds the other flavors together, and stretches the finish a little longer.

M - Very crisp, with a carbonated "pop" that helps you enjoy the long finish. Fairly light bodied, but lots of dark flavors help to counterbalance that a bit.

D - A winner. Fans of saisons should get their hands on this brew. This will only improve with age, I'm sure. I would pair this with a rustic ploughman's platter for lunch - some charcuterie, cheese, bread, and this brew would so satisfying.

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Photo of errantnight
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks hackomal... been wanting to try this one for a while.

Pours a hazy orange-tinted straw color with several fingers of head, nice retention, moderate lacing.

Aroma is very bready and yeasty, with light pepper and warm spice notes and just a hint of floral notes.

On the palate this is a dry, balanced, drinkable saison. Bread and yeast notes combined with light wheat and pale malt for a subtly complex mixture, spice really resides only on the outside. Missing some of the tartness or earthy funk of my favorite saisons, this trended more towards the Hennepin side of things, brushing up against an American Wheat beer in character... which isn't a bad thing, necessarily, and certailny not here.

Lively carbonation gives this appropriate lift combining with the dryness to make this eminently quaffable.

As a more affordable (as saisons go) and readily available saison I could see this being a regular for lovers of that style.

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Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at the Allentown Wegmans for $8.50. Bottled August 08.

Just like the label says, this is a nice, earthy saison. The aroma has a soft bready scent with sweet sugar candy and a hint of spice and barn funk. The flavor is a crisp balance of lemon candy, white grape, and French bread, with black pepper and earthy (there it is) hops pulling up for the finish. Dry and drinkable. A well-balanced, well-made saison. Also, the bottle says to serve at 45F, but I really enjoyed this better at cellar temperature.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P- Brass Rail

caged and corked 750 ml poured into a weizen glass. My first farmhouse ale and i heard that you either love em or hate em.

A- a cloudy dull yellow color. A huge 3-4 finger head that is quite carbonated. Leaves a spideweb lacing on the glass and takes time to dissipate.

S- floral yeast and spiced apple. Alcohol is also rounding off the aroma.

T- A couple different things going on here. A cour, spiced apple flavor at first. Then the alcohol hits you and then the floral yeast kicks it down through the throat.

M- leaves a floral coating in the mouth. tastes like biting into a spiced apple candle somewhat. Quite a punch on the tongue.

D- with all the uniquities going on here i struggled somewhat to put this bad boy down. Don't get me wrong it was a good beer but after a few the alcohol comes out pretty quick and smacks ya in the face.

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V-Saison from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.92 out of 5 based on 181 ratings.
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