Saison Du BUFF | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Saison Du BUFFSaison Du BUFF

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

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in collaboration w/ Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Stone Brewing Company, and Victory Brewing Company, who each brewed a version at their own breweries.

Added by garuda on 08-24-2010

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Reviews: 269 | Ratings: 688
Photo of Rifugium
1.39/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

I had the DFH version of this in a bottle last year, so I thought it would be interesting to try Victory's version. I like Victory a lot, and I liked the DFH version of this beer. That said, I'll now say this: whew...this has gotta be one of the worst beers I've had since I entered the craft beer scene. I don't know if it was a bad keg or what, but something was clearly off here.

Served in a tulip glass, crystal clear golden color with a thin white head that dissipated almost entirely. Nose loaded with spices and stale funk, minor fruity esters. I kind of recoiled instantly, but I decided to go back for a taste anyway. Taste of bland malts and sundried tomatoes, overripe fruit, raw mint leaves, way, way too much rosemary on top of the other spices (I don't mind spices in beer, but the amount used here was literally sickening), phenols, grassy funk. I gagged half of this down before pushing it aside. Mouthfeel is chewy, medium body, very off-balanced, with a really stale, vegetal feel all over.

Rarely do I find a beer that I seriously cannot choke down, but this is one of those. I will definitely stay far away from this one in the future.

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Photo of TopherBreski
2.13/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Clear yellow with a lot of carbonation. Smell of hops and citrus is above average. Usually Victory makes pale ales without all the bitterness that most breweries have. This one doesn't. Victory is a great greT brewery but this is the worse beer I've ever had from them.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.26/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a yeasty, bold, gold with no head or lace. The aroma is of yeast and slight citrus with a hint of wet hay. The flavor is lomony with notes of honey, dough, and some banana in the background. The mouthfeel is light-medium. Victory Saison du Buff is a decent beer, more like a slightly sour witbier than a saison/farmhouse ale. Recommended.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.32/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

$2.79 for a 12oz bottle @ BevCo. Brewed withPilsner malt, wheat, rye parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Hopped with Centennial, Cascade, Citra
6.8% ABV.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear medium golden, forming a thin white head with poor retention and sparse lacing. Nose of cat urine, guava and papaya. Mouthfeel is crisp, biting acidity, tart, ruddy finish, peppery dry. Taste of cat urine and tropical fruit, pepper and herbs. Higher alcohols in the middle, medium bitterness, more than expected for the style. Bone dry finish.

Not my cup of tea. Ruddy, hot, the cat pee is way too much. Can not recommend this.

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Photo of mdaschaf
2.39/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a DFH pint glass

A: Poured a clear golden color with a small head, a little retention, and decent lacing.

S: I get a faint aroma of some of the herbs used here, but an overwhelming aroma of bubblegum.

T: Again, there is a huge bubble gum taste that dominates. I get the herbs on the back end but just barely.

M/D: Mouthfeel is good, with strong carbonation. Not really sure what happened here. I have had the 2 versions made at Stone and DFH and liked both of those. Just a confusing beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.39/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle - $2.99 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed, dim-looking yellow body with a large, foaming, white head.

Smell: Curious mixture of various notes of herbs, weeds, leaves, etc. The aroma reminds me of a just-cut lawn when the yard is simply rife with wild onions and wild garlic. Instead of being inviting, it's a bit unappetizing, really. Let's press on!

Taste: Lightly toasty, lightly sweet maltiness for a fast second, then it becomes like angrily chewing through a meal of pungent, just-picked common garden weeds. Who ordered the poke salad topped with low-grade chimichurri? Upsettingly harsh, bitter herb flavor with a curious garlic taste, but not a good garlic taste, more like it was carelessly overcooked, leaving it bitter and nasty. I'm sitting here stunned, with the mood-setting Simon & Garfunkel song Scarborough Fair still playing on loop in the background. The idea for the beer is interesting, the final product is not. Sadly, a lesser work from three renowned breweries.

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

Drinkability: This conversation is over.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.54/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a slightly hazy straw yellow color with a huge, soapy white head. Head has descent retention and leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Smell is herbal, yeasty and a hint of bread dough.

T- Taste is yeasty funk, herbal and a bit of pepper. Quite a bit of herbs almost over kill. A bit of pepper in the finish.

M- Light in body and good amount of carbonation.

D- Pretty interesting ingredients listed on the bottle for sure. Just think they go better on food rather than beer. Found this one on the harder side to drink. Just didn't have the beer taste that I really enjoy.

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Photo of ThickNStout
2.67/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle from JustDoIt1234 (thanks). Enjoy by 11/11/15. Served in a goblet.

Pours a brilliant, clear golden yellow with almost two fingers of white head. The froth lingers, leaving a good bit of lace from its healthy ring.

Smells spicy and floral with notes of hay, earth, parsley, lemon zest and clove. It's ok but not a aroma that excites me.

The herbs and spices take over in the flavor. Clove, sage, rosemary, peppercorn, hay, earth, a mild, faint sweetness and a hint of some strange, off-putting metallic note. I honestly drank more than I cared for looking for a redeeming flavor before pouring the second half of the bottle.

Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Awkward, disjointed spicy herbal finish.

Wow. For my tastes this is a mess that I would not have expected from three brewers that I respect so much. The herbal additions unfortunately augment notes I happen not to care for in the style- thus taking a style I already don't gravitate towards and making it a complete turn off. Had this been my first saison it likely would have kept me away for good.

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Photo of irishking1977
2.76/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear, bright golden hue, with a minimal head. Decent, but ususally Saison's have big, white pillowy heads.

S: Hmmm. I don't know what to make of this. Smells like a vege pizza without the cheese and sauce. And with lots of garlic. Bizarre. I can only imagine what it tastes like.

T: Again. Puzzled. I don't think I hate this, but I definitely don't think I like this either. Barely a hint that this one is actually a saison. Garlic and parsley are the first two flavors that hit me right in the "balls" of my palate. I guess credit goes to the brewers that collaborated on this one for trying something different, but sometimes different is not always a good thing. I doubt this was brewed solely for the purpose of cooking, but I think this might be the only useful means for this beer.

M: Good, solid strong carbonation, with a pretty watery finish.

D: One and done. Nice try to the brewers, but this one just doesn't sit well on the palate. I, for one love trying new and unique beers, but this one is way off of style, and way off on good, bizarre beers.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
2.89/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

$5 for this bottle.
It poured a hazy yellow color with a minimal white head.
Pleasant citrus aroma, but also a pronounced herbal presence, which was a little bit jarring.
Things went downhill from there. There was some lemon, a fair amount of thyme and rosemary, and a big, huge dose of garlic. I felt like I had just eaten some scampi or other heavily garlicked meal, and was breathing garlic.
The garlic and herbs made for a sharply unpleasant mouthfeel. Won't drink this again.

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Photo of Phelps
2.91/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Compared to the Dogfish edition of is beer, this version of Saison du Buff is lighter and much clearer -- a pale wheat color. Half an inch of white bubbles pops away in just a few seconds.

Gonna come out and say it: this smells a little like pee. There's a weird, urine-y funk that covers all the good stuff, which could be good if given the chance. Lemon, pear, black pepper...pee.

Thankfully the anomaly is gone from the flavor. Just-picked pears, pepper, coriander. Crisp and mostly dry.

Moderate, pinching carbonation. In a medium-light body. Just a touch of fizz. A hint of alcohol heat.

More citrusy than the other editions, and the potty aroma really turns me off. I wouldn't pour it out, but I probably wouldn't have it again.

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Photo of Damian
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a tulip
Thanks to my friends Dave and Cassandra for this birthday gift.

Brassy yellow and nearly crystal clear in appearance with a stiff, bubbly, bright white, two-finger head. The head slowly faded to a thick ring of lasting bubbles. Small droplets of lacing clung to the sides of the glass.

The nose was super crisp and clean with a distinct herbal quality. Strong sage, thyme and rosemary notes were apparent. Smooth and grassy. Very fresh and somewhat yeasty, in a Belgian-y sort of way. Slightly citrusy. Jasmine flowers were noticeable. A tad sweet.

While the herbal quality was rather pleasant in the nose, it quickly became quite overwhelming in the flavor profile. The beer started out like a typical saison. Crisp and clean up front. There was a nice interplay between the pilsner malts and the grassy hops. Rosemary, thyme and sage came through strong in the center. Notes of heather, orange peel and wild flowers appeared as well. The beer reminded me a lot of a Scottish gruit. The herbal notes crescendoed on the finish. Bitter, piney hops were also quite apparent. As the beer warmed, the intense hoppy/herbal combination made this beer practically undrinkable. On the plus side, the 6.8% ABV was well buried under all these flavors.

The body was medium-thin with a fine, moderate carbonation. A touch more watery than I anticipated.

I usually love intense flavors in my beers but this offering pushed the ticket too far. This is an interesting collaboration effort for sure but definitely not one that I would visit again.

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Photo of udchemist
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smellls like a babys diaper - absolute crap. Its enough to put me off from drinking it. Did a side by side with dogfishhead and stones. Out of the three, this was by far the worst one.
Mouthfeel - slim to none
Drinkability - low - especially since the smell was so awful.
Taste - very boring, a little bit of hops on the finish, not much else (flat, ug).
Appears much clearer than the stone n dogfishhead. No head retention but very pretty color

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Photo of jwinship83
2.99/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle drank from my duvel tulip. the best by date on the bottle is impossible to read.

A- the pour is a very translucent golden straw colored body with a moderate white head on top. the head takes its time receding and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing i think after smelling this is how intensely herbal and floral this smells. somewhat medicinal. thats about all. intensely herbal and floral.

T- as with the smell, the first things i get are floral, herbal, and medicinal notes. it reminds me of a tea. there is also a slight sweetness to it.

M- light and crisp with a high level of carbonation.

D- this one wasnt for me. way too over the top with the herbs. this is a cool idea that isnt executed in a way that appeals to me.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light gold with alot of suspended particles floating yet remains translucent through and through. Light lacing.
Aroma is nice and soft spicy with citrus zest, lemon grass and differant teas. A sort of Chamomile like aroma or another white tea along those lines.
Flavors have an initial White pepper soft hit to the palate as the steeped teas and warming alcohol approach, and flowers and herbs once again like chamomile float on through. light hopping gives the citrus qualities to this.

For me this was an average Saison, not bad at all and i enjoyed it, but not a great bottle of saison either. Doesn't make me think farmhouse ale.

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Photo of Swim424
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a boston lager pint glass

A-Clear gold yellow. Small head leaving a white layer on top. Lots of bubbles coming up.

S-Smells of wheat, yeast, a bit bready maltiness to it. Sort of like a hefeweisen (sp?).

T-A bit of spices in the immediate front, moving towards a very dull middle, and finishing with a bit of a wheaty flavor. Not really any hops present. Definitely a taste of yeast throughout. Not very sweet.

MF-A very thin beer. Seems a bit watered down, which probably makes it taste a bit better since the flavor isn't all that great. Leaves a bit of a bready coating in my mouth afterwards.

O-This is alright. Nothing special by any means. I have had a sip of it on tap and it wasn't much better and I had a few sips of the dogfish release as well. I do enjoy a good saison, but this isn't doing it for me. Love all three breweries but I expected a lot more from them. I will still try to find the one in the stone bottle as well just for my collection, its not so bad I couldn't have it again, but over all this is very average.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.04/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter at The Firkin.

Part II of the BUFF triple play. It pours a generally clear pale straw topped by a half-finger of white foam. The nose comprises light pasta sauce (a red one), garlic, Belgian yeast, and a more-than-healthy smattering of window-box herbs, mostly those four Simon and Garfunkel entries. The taste holds notes of wheat, horse blanket, the aforementioned herbs, Belgian yeast, greens, and a light kiss of citrus hops. The body is on the lighter side, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, I find this thing to be a miss. The herbs just don't do it for me. Without them, I think this could have been a pretty solid saison, but that point's moot now.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewed at Victory in co-operation with Stone and Dogfishhead.

A: Pale straw pour appears brassy yellow in the glass. Fizzy, slightly soapy head disappoints and dissipates rather quickly before getting a good visual sense. The lacing is equally disappointing leaving the glass squeaky clean. Visible carbonation was light and lazy on the rise, laid back and lackluster would be other words to describe.

S: The nose was average as with the visual appear, disappointing, weak with a pale showing of lemony peels and some soft solvent notes. Not much else to be had here.

T: Sweet grains meets a kiss of lemons and a spicy hopping. Warm pineapple slices, pine and a touch of grapefruit-grass are also supporting factors. The malt base is light, composed mostly of pale grains with little speciality influence. There is a distinct yeasty character of grain feed coming about while the finish finds a brief candy sweetness followed by a wet lemony hopping and spicing that reminds me a bit of sorachi hops. Decent but stops a tad short of being good.

M: Light bodied the texture is a bit watery finding a spicy dry lemon fade upon the swallow.

D: Not something I would drink often or in multiples. Probably the weaker of the three interpretations. Worthy of a single purchase, a six pack would find its way sitting around for a while.

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Photo of mactrail
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Quite lovely in the Mort Subite globe. Golden color with a light foamy cap. Quite spritzy in the mouth. Smells like boiled greens, but as you sip the nose is pleasantly flowery and herbal. Light body.

Fairly malty but quite sharp. Rather bitter. It has a taste like one of those cocktail mixing bitters. Tart, bitter, and herbal sums it up. The thyme seems to stand out, unfortunately. Resiny along with the big yeasty bitter flavor. Not especially drinkable, though it's interesting if you like to try bizarre flavors in your beer.

I am not on board with the stew of herbal flavors. In fact I don't believe that any single one of them would be a great addition to beer. Well, the Craftsman Triple White Sage was interesting, but that was still too much of a good thing. From the 12 oz bottle.

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Photo of engagechad
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer at the Saison du BUFF tasting in Richmond, VA 1-6-11

A - pale, clear yellow

S - smells of herbs, ethanol is a little too present

T - the alcohol stings the tongue a bit

M - kind of thin and difficult to hold on the tongue for too long

D - I wouldn't have more than one

I understand this may seem kind of like a harsh review, but in comparison to the other two beers I felt that this one came in third in my very humble opinion (DFH, Stone, Victory)

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. I drank the DFH version a few nights ago and now I'm drinking the Victory and Stone side-by-side.

3.0 A: Nearly clear medium yellow color. Interestingly, unlike the other two, this one poured with just a touch of head that falls quickly, but leaves a ring of lacing. Small particulates throughout.

4.5 S: Though DFH is close, this one smells the best. Like the DFH version, "Big healthy amounts of herbs. I can smell the parsley and rosemary very well and imaging the rest of the aromas can be attributed to the sage and thyme (I don't use them ever so I have no idea what they smell like by themselves). Lemon zest citrus and a touch of general light fruitiness." The difference here is that the herb combination makes the distinctive heart candy aroma from around Valentine's Day. This just flows together even better than DFH's.

2.5 T: Again, like the DFH,the taste is a disappointment. The herbalness that made the nose so nice works against in the taste. It had the same yerba mate like flavor found in the DFH, though thankfully not as strong. Sweeter than the DFH, which works better and a bit of lemon though not much else fruitiness. Alcohol is more hidden this time. Grassy hops. Not bad, but not great, but at least better than the DFH and about on par with Stone.

3.0 M: Medium body. Unlike DFH's "dead carbonation", this carbonation is more typical. The problem, however, is that it's on the low side. Could be creamier and smoother, but all three need this.

2.5 D: This one falls second to the Stone version, but none of them are that good. The Stone one is a bit tastier with a better mouthfeel, giving it the edge.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.19/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Did 7-Up make a beer? Bubbly, astringent... just off. Raul ain't doin' it and it ain't doin' Raul. Like Medussa, Raul better not look at it again because it will turn his a%$ into stone!

Like Michael Jordan, this thang should stay in retirement.


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Photo of YouSkeete
3.22/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Piss yellow, mildly cloudy, small head, moderate lacing.

S: Classic kitchen spices and herbs, such as Thyme, rosemary, sage, some parsley. Citrus aromas are upfront in the nose as well, lemon zest and orange spice. More of a yeasty smell than an earthly one.

T: Taste doesn't differ much from the nose, although it's a lot more bitter and hoppy than i had imagined it would be. Sweet honey taste follows the herbs and spices.

M: Medium body, medium to high carbonation, dry finish.

D: A bit too dry, but a good farmhouse ale nonetheless. If you're curious, go for the DFH version first.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.24/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2010)

Port Bottle Shop
Carlsbad, CA

Clear goldenrod and yellow with a very thin, almost non-existent, white crown. Spotted lacing down the glass.

A strange, herbal aroma consisting of spicy pepper and rosemary (and thyme?). There's some hop/citrus aromas, but they're not the highlight or standing out.

Strangely herbal flavor dominated by rosemary, thyme, ?garlic?, and a high level of bitterness. Nothing marries here particularly well, but it's not at all bad. The lingering aftertaste of plant stems is the most unfortunate aspect of this beer.

Medium bodied. Ample carbonation.

This version is slightly better than Stone's, but I don't particularly like either.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.24/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All notes are based on comparisons between the three.

Pours clearest of the 3 with almost no head that disipates immediately. Smells not good. Just kinda blah. Tastes malty and loses all of the herbs. Disappointing compared to the other two. Less carbonated and definitely not as good as th other two

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Saison Du BUFF from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.82 out of 5 based on 688 ratings.
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