Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Saison Du BUFF | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
270 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 270 | Ratings: 687
Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

All three "buff"'s poured at once...
Victory pour is kinda lame. Golden macro looking, no head and somewhat flat. Typical, but ever so slight, saison funk with a bit of crisp herbs, sage, and slight hops. Taste is crisp, mild, saison and sage. This entire brew is somewhat mild, but easy to drink. Its ok, but I wouldnt get again...I would say its an entry level saison to appeal to the non-saison type.

 403 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Was excited to try this. Pours funky greenish brown with lots of head. Spicy aroma, earthy, grassy, spice rack. Taste is certainly interesting with some cilantro or thyme flavor, dry, vegetal. No sweetness to speak of. Light mouthfeel with medium high carbonation. Only okay. Would not go for it again.

 302 characters

Photo of vicsju1991
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle int pint glass
A - beaitiful dark honey colour, small head stays for a little
S - mainly honey and lemon, kindy spicy smell, very nice
T - follows the nose, veyr strong lemony spice flavour, delicious beer
M - crisp and smooth
O - just what i would expect form three excellent breweries

 299 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden yellow with a razor thin white head that laces poorly. The nose is spicy with a great herbal zest that's boosted by the beer's sweet malt base. Every time I smell one of the saison du buff beers I'm reminded of the other ones as well as stillwater's cellardoor (which is brewed with white sage). The beer's herbal pungency isn't quite as pronounced as the stone version (which I enjoyed on tap 2 weeks ago @ BCTC 2012), but also isn't as overpowered by the yeast, like the DFH version. The taste is sweet and leaves a fresh, herbal aftertaste lingering on my palate. The beer has a medium, sweet body with ample carbonation and malty sweetness. The %abv is well masked and doesn't overpower the beer's yeast or spice. Overall, this is a tasty beer, but I'd love to try the beers all together at some point.

 819 characters

Photo of secondtooth
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden upon dispensing, with some nice suds and beautiful loopy lace. Some sediment, but still quite lovely.

Aroma is fruity and citrusy, with a hint of spice. Unusual and appealing.

Taste is unique, too. The fruity and spicy character of a saison with a crisp hoppy presence. Quite well-done, and easily recommendable.

 326 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2012 batch. Served at around 40-45F.

Pours slightly hazy gold with a one finger white head that leaves some webs of lacing and holds a small cap.

Aroma features a lot of spices, banana, green grapes, golden raisins. Excellent strength.

Flavor is tangerines, lemon, banana, spices, golden raisins, moderate sweetness, decent bitterness, a bit of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little oily, good carbonation.

Tasty brew. Not a big Saison drinker, so I’ve got a limited frame of reference, but this is well made and very flavorful.

 556 characters

Photo of Kromes
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A light gold color with a thin soapy head.

S: Lots of spice and earthy aromas going on here. I smell grass, rosemary, sage, a clove-like spice, on toasted malt.

T: A little more powerful than the aroma. Some cut grass, rosemary, sage, maybe a bit of pear and a peppery hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium body and a peppery carbonation on the tongue. A dry finish.

O: An interesting Saison. The herbal flavor in this is strong but not overwhelming. I got a 12 ounce of this and that was actually a bit too much. Definitely a one and done sipper type beer.

 566 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 7/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a nice orange amber with a thin off-white head and lacing. Spicy saison aroma. Spicy citrus and mild brett up front, sour and more citrus middle and finishes with light hops and bittering herbs. Medium bodied with some creaminess. Nicely done.

 309 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

3.68/5 rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a hazy, straw yellow with a white finger width head and decent retention, resulting in a fine lace with nice stick.

Smell - Strong herbal aromas, especially from the sage and parsley. Slightly minty hint; probably due to the thyme.

Taste - Starts with an herbal combination of flavors; somewhat earthy, minty, citrusy and slightly peppery; mid-taste there's a mellow banana note from the yeast, otherwise the brew is fairly consistent in flavor from start to finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and drinkable.

Overall - Very well executed, but not a necessarily a combination of flavors I'm really looking for or craving in a beer. Tired this the day after the Stone SdB, and there was virtually no difference.

 835 characters

Photo of inandon
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color, yellow with a hint of orange color.

Smell - has a light citrus earthy tone to it. Hints of clove and a flowery aroma.

First taste, it has a great light and clean feel to it. Hint of clove and lemon zest with a earthy herb tone. All the flavors and aroma come together for a great beer. I think that Victory, stone and dogfish head did a great job at making one beer that expresses their individual uniqueness.

I will have to go out and buy another bottle before they are gone.

 488 characters

Photo of cratez
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at Rozi's Wine House in Lakewood, OH.

Pours a burnished golden hue with a slight chill haze, one finger of eggshell white froth, and several strands of lacing. Head lasts for the duration of the beer.

Smell is rosemary, thyme, cardamom, clove, dandelion (sappy-resiny), fresh cut grass, mineral water, lemon zest, faint mustiness, and flowery-perfumey aromas.

Taste is lemony, grassy, and weedy flavours, very spicy and zesty, bold herbaceous middle with rosemary, thyme, and basil, light floral notes to end.

Mouthfeel is spicy zestiness upfront, crisp and clean palate, spritzy carbonation, big herbaceous middle transitions to a drying finish with fading afters.

Overall, this is a one-of-a-kind beer with extremely strange flavours that somehow work well together. It's a ballsy, out-there saison that pushes the boundaries of the style. But given the calibre of the brewers involved, I guess that's unsurprising.

 947 characters

Photo of welldigger888
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice golden hue with a nice foamy snow white head that receedes to a nice ring that leaves behind nice sheets of lace.

A grainy base that builds with layers of fresh herbs and citrus style american hops playing well together. The fresh herbs work well for me, being an ametuer herb farmer selling at the all locals market.The parsley jumps out at me 1st then it is a toss up for the lemon thyme hops and sage, while very pronounced the rosemary seems a supporting player to the rest of the greenery, this actually is shocking to me as rosemary is sooo pungent. Well played for sure.

Crisp and bitter with a nice subdued herbal character that leads way to a nice graininess and hoppiness that is so tastey.

Nice and carbed up with an emminent quaffability, dry and leaving me to want more.

I dig this brew, I applaude these cats for the guts to do thisw brew.

 864 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Mostly clear yellow-orange, some carbonation and a one finger head

S-Lots of grass with good deal of spice. Some wheat but grass/spice notes dominate.

T-Over done with the grassy spice flavors. Wheat is there but once again dominated. Little to no bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, nice deal of carbonation.

O-Like the DFH verision the spice/grass notes are not dialed in to where they should be. And an obligatory reference to Scarborough Fair.

 446 characters

Photo of Lordquackingstic
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottled poured into a tulip.

A: Clear straw yellow with a huge sticky white head. Lots and lots and lots of bubbles! Almost looks like an off colored champagne.

S: Spicy lemons and hay with a sweet maltiness.

T: The spices come through first and dominate the palette followed by a funky banana sweetness. Very refreshing.

M: Huge on the carbonation with a smooth finish.

O: A pretty decent saison. I sort of wish the herbs it was brewed with came out more, but still nice nonetheless. Will seek out the other two.

 524 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 7/8/2012 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellowish gold color, with a short dense white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains spices, Belgian yeast, some wheat, light caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong citrus sweetness that I did not pick up in the smell along with flavors of spices and bananas. Then some breadiness from wheat and Belgian yeast come in. The hops presence is strong for the style and the malt character is hearty but not too heavy creating a good balance.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style with an American flair to it, this is a very solid beer to drink for a long time if you’re in the mood for the style.

 915 characters

Photo of BrewDocCT
3.49/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's pint.

Appearance: Crystal clear yellow with a thin white head.

Smell: Lavender soap. Very floral. Rosemary as well.

Taste: More flowers, lavender in particular, but some bitterness and hop character comes out. Lemon,coriander, black peppercorns. Finishes better than it starts. Lavender fades giving way to smooth bitterness. Nice malt character totally blown out by everything else going on.

Mouthfeel: I expected more carbonation from this one, but no complaints.

Overall: This one misses for me. Way too much in the way of flowers and spice, unbalanced by anything else. Not unpleasant, happy I tried it, but I won't be buying it again.

 688 characters

Photo of righthereisay
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a single bottle. A fan of some Victory beers, why not.

Appearance is golden, nothing to write home about. A little lacing.

Smell is rather unique. Lemon, possibly parsley? Rosemary,vanilla, very interesting. Lots of of character.

Taste....rather complex...I'm impressed actually. Not bitter, lots of different tastes in here. Parsely, sage, citrus, very interesting.

Very nice body, I'm actually pretty impressed. Just looked at the bottle and saw a dogfish symbol. Interesting.

Overall, this was much better than expected. Might have to pick up a case.

 569 characters

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a clear golden color with a finger of fluffy white head.

S: Rosemary and guava up front with quite a bit of citrus. Very strong with the spices but refreshing smelling.

T: Much like the smell, but now the spices are even stronger. Very dry with rosemary and some guava in the background. I really like the concept here and this is very refreshing, but the spices are a bit strong.

M: Very light with strong carbonation.

O: The concept of this beer is very nice - I really like how the flavors work together. The beer is very refreshing, but the spices are a bit strong. With a bit less spice, this would be a really great summer beer.

 675 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I loved Saison Du Buff from the Dogfish Head part of the collaboration. I had problems getting the Victory version in the last release, and I never got my hands on the Stone version. I'm trying to get one this year.

I love the spice presence found in the du Buffs. In the nose you get a bunch of thyme and rosemary. This is awesome if you like spice in your beer.

The flavor is decent... a little muted in comparison to the DFH copy. You get less of the spice, a little grassiness, and some sour from the saison style.

This is a very different style/version than most of what is out there. I recommend the experience. It is not for everyone, but this should only sell by the bottle (so you wouldn't be out much if it is not your style).

 739 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – The brew was served a nice golden color with a small white head. The head faded fast to give a light amount of lacing.

Smell – The smell was a blend of spice, malt, and yeast. The malty base was biscuit in nature with the spice being of more herbal nature; rosemary thyme and a light pepper and grass smell

Taste – At the front of the tongue there is a light biscuit flavor with a good dose of rosemary and thyme. As the flavor advances some spicy hop flavors meet the tongue, bring an almost grassy and lightly earthy taste to the tongue. Yeast son enters the flavor profile where with a lighter sage flavor take the taste to its end.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is medium in thickness with a carbonation level that follows on par with the body.

Overall – Herbal with some interesting tastes and flavors. Nothing I would go to on great occasion, but a good one to try.

 941 characters

Photo of NEhophead
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown bottle served in a tulip.

Pale straw/thin gold in color with only a slight haze; rather good clarity. Noticeably active carbonation. Creamy white head that caves to a porous sheet after a moment. Little lasting lacing.

Muted coriander and some herbal aromas mark the musty quality which is brightened by lemongrass, lemon zest, and raspberry.

Initially, there are some light, pleasantly muted berry and barely-sweetened melon qualities; very clean, absent from any tartness. The herbal, medicinal quality plays in the background throughout the sip, yet only comes to the forefront following an earthen, somewhat bitter finish.The herbal quality lingers just a bit too long in the aftertaste.

Rather light on the palate, even for the style. The carbonation is kept in check; remarkably smooth.

A lighter Saison both in terms of traditional flavor and body. Although there are some flaws in flavor, this is a really nice take on the style with a bit of a twist.

 980 characters

Photo of dougdecinces
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Bought this at Findlay Market in Cincinnati. I didn’t realize when I purchased it that each brewery made their own version. Stone’s and Victory’s were in stock and I ended up getting Victory’s version. This is my third attempt in my goal of getting in to Saisons. First was Saison DuPont, then Tank 7, now this. Poured a slightly hazy gold. Thin layer of persistent head. Very effervescent. Smell is predominantly pear and orange zest. Medium body and carbonation for the style. Pear flavors and a medicinal taste which must be the rosemary and sage are present. This medicinal taste is by no means unpleasant. It’s just what I interpret it as. The ester/phenolic ratio is greatly shifted towards the former. In fact, I can barely trace any perceptible phenolics. This is good, as I think the strong phenolic flavors are what I don’t like about the style. Tart. Medium body and carbonation for the style. Somewhat sticky finish. I’ll need to check my notes, but I think this is my favorite Saison that I’ve had thus far. Solid beer.

 1,056 characters

Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear straw color with a 1 finger bright white head. Lots of visible effervescence. Initial funk on the nose of barnyard and sour fruits. As the beer airs intense floral hops become prominent with some earthy spiciness.

Actually pretty hoppy from start to finish. Bright effervescence with a medium mouthfeel. Bright fruits, mixed with rustic earthiness dominate the mid-palate, sweet cereal like grains play with the tip of the tongue, and the beer finishes with a spicy herbal bitter snap. A slightly sour aftertaste lingers in the mouth, but it's nothing overwhelming.

A unique take on a Saison but the focus seems to be on the hops rather than the yeast. A good beer, but maybe it strays a bit too far from the intended style.

 741 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Couldn't find a bottling date, kind of unusual for Victory. But, we'll proceed without haste.

Pours a yellow-orange Riesling color and with nice clarity. Light haze. Light head. Almost none at all, actually. Looks like wine now except for a ring of foam and some surface scum.

Sweet herbal nose with light rosemary, chewed-up parsley, and some sage. Some candied citrus peel in the background. Smells lightly spiced. Perhaps, coriander?

Not as sweet as expected. A plethora of cloaked herbal notes. Primary black pepper and thyme in the flavor. Has a pulverized yeast flavor that couples with notes of rosemary and oyster crackers. A mild concoction, but teeming with herbal and spice notes. Touch of the floral. Snappy hop character and subsequent bitterness preside over the middle-end with a sneaky alcohol note that is piercing, yet transient.

Almost creamy medium body with the effervescence at work here. Not brushy, but smooth. A little smack of booze, and almost warmth, brings me back to earth. The booze gets stuck between my teeth a bit and in around my gums.

Balance is a little questionable. Absent dryness would bring me some relief. The flavors are all in-sync and the nose is a little more terrific than my score would suggest (where's that 3.75 rating when I need it?). Not as raw and showy as Dogfish Head's version, and unfortunately not as good. Evened out with a little sweetness; enough to mask the punchy herbal notes of rosemary, thyme, and sage. Worth a spin. I'd, personally, like to complete the trifecta and nab a bottle of Stone's Du BUFF.

 1,573 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Southern Tier tulip

A - gold with a soft cap of white, loose head that has little retention

S - rosemary, thyme, faint yeast; like my Italian grandmother's kitchen

T - faint malt up front with a heavy, herbal, bitter hoppiness that follows. The rosemary, sage, and thyme are noticeable but not as pronounced amongst the hops. They're present mostly in the finish. The is only a slight hint of Belgian yeast.

M - medium bodied, a bit warm, crisp, well carbonated

This is a nice Saison. It has a nice hop character that I really enjoy. The spices are noticeable and balanced which is also great. The drinkability is pretty high, but after a full 12 oz my palate was looking for a change of pace. It's definitely worth a try. I would probably have this again.

 775 characters

Saison Du BUFF from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.82 out of 5 based on 687 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!