W'12 Dark Saison | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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W'12 Dark SaisonW'12 Dark Saison

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Availability: Spring (2012)
Bitterness: 25 IBU
Alcohol by Volume: 5.5%

Original Gravity: 11.75 Plato
Malts: 2-Row Pale, White Wheat, Caramel 120L, Vienna, Dark Chocolate
Hops: Alchemy, Saaz

Added by leedorham on 12-31-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 268
Photo of seedyone
4/5  rDev +17.3%

04/24/13 At Home Bottle. Nice surprise. Very drinkable. Nice body for a session mate. balance...balance...balance. With all that balance one might think it's banal, but far from it. Can't wait to try it on tap.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.27/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Sampled on tap @ 1702, Tucson; February 2012
A dark Saison for sure, but only a dark, concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, full amber hue with gold highlights to it. The head is a nice, tan color and starts out about one-finger thick and it leaves some nice layered lacing on the sides of my glass. The aroma is quite subtle after having the our-side, but is softly musty, with a touch of phenolics, some cracker like grain character and there is a fruitiness that gets more noticeable with time. The fruit character provides hints of pear, a touch of apple, and even a touch of floral / tart melon character.

The beer has a sweetness that is accentuated by the fruit character; it is actually fairly light bodied though does have a touch of viscous character to it (especially considering the lower alcohol). The fruit notes have lots of floral apple character, a touch of red plum and perhaps some pear notes to it. There is a touch of spiciness to this brew that has some light peppery character (brought out by the soft carbonation), some subtle though lingering clove, and perhaps even a touch of ginger. The spiciness has a muted mustiness to it that affects the malt character quite a bit; the grain character comes through a touch muddied, but with flavors of slightly stale crackers and whole grain character as well as a touch of caramelized, brown bread like malt character.

This is a decent Saison, but it certainly pales in comparison to the Stillwater Our Side that I just had. The yeast character isn’t quite defining enough and somehow it seems to muddle the malt character here. The fruitiness is the defining part of the flavor here, and it doesn’t quite do it for me as it sort of reminds me of oxidized cider.

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Photo of metter98
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is very hazy brownish yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that quickly died down, leaving a few bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of Belgian yeast are present in the nose along with notes of toasted malts and hints of fruits and spices.
T: Flavors of earthy yeast and toasted malts are present in the overall taste; notes of cloves and spices are present in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low amount of carbonation.
O: This beer doesn’t taste like your typical saison and seems to be closer to a bière de garde, especially with the flavors of earthy yeast. I think I would have enjoyed this more if it had a little more carbonation and dryness.

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Photo of Bernard_Lettuce
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy copper with minimal head retention.

S: Warm and chocolatey with underlying citrus notes.

T: Crisp, prominent chocolate/caramel flavor; aftertaste of lemon and yeast.

M: Light, mild carbonation.

O: Pleasant and refreshing, nothing too bold, good for a warm afternoon but really not much of a saison.

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Photo of gpogo
3.21/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- Clear amber body with white head that dissipates to white foam ring.

A- Sweet caramel syrup. Cloves and belgian spice.

T- Light sweet belgian flavor. Light stale caramel malt flavor with a slightly sour finish.

M- Medium light body and moderate carbonation.

D- Meh. Alright, but I was hoping for better.

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Photo of Omnium
3.82/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a darker copper hue, very little head, no lacing, This is an older bottle, but I've had it many times in 2012.
S - Nice complex smell, lots of belgian scents coming out of this, bubblegum oddly, some roasted coffee beans, spices and herbs, a light grapefruit peel smell.
T - You kinda feel the spices pop in this, a mild tart flavor of citrus, some nutty malts, and a little yeast.
M - I dont remember it having that bubble gum flavor linger, but now it certainly is, still gets a sourness and complex spice flavor.
O - I thought this was a pretty good beer, I know a lot thought it was garbage, but I enjoyed it, its a different kind of saison, one that was easily drinkable and had lots of unique qualities.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Perfectly clear. A rich copper with dark golden hues. Small off-white head has ok retention. Sticky lacing. Creamy and rich.

Smell: Caramel malt sweetness. Tons of Belgian yeast. Clove, banana, touches of bubblegum even. Big sweetness. So much clove. Candi sugar. Peppercorns. Vaguely breast. Very yeast and spice heavy. A bit of roasted malt adds character.

Taste: Big yeast and sweetness. Clove and ripe banana. So much clove. Sweet caramel malt presence. Cooked and caramelized malts. Bready in small amounts. Underlying earthiness coupled with some floral and citrus notes. Mild hopping. So very Belgian. Almost cola-like sweetness. Caramel and something akin to honey in the back. Vaguely spicy outside of clove.

Mouthfeel: Body runs on the lighter side of medium with a moderate carbonation. Minor dryness on the finish.

Overall: I think I missed the part where they made a saison.

A Belgian dark ale of sorts. Missed a saison in character and practice. Actually decent as a Belgian dark but a mess as a saison.

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Photo of AHood
3.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from an over sized wine glass which allowed the aroma to impact me at 6 inches from my face. Head retention was weak, but the colour was a brilliant oxidized orange I would categorize as copper. While I was impressed by the aroma of meyer lemons, subtle floral hops of delicate white flowers and low to mild sourness, I was slightly less impressed by what was exposed on my palate. Relatively simple, a nice fruity citrus with a light balance of hop flavour in the expression of nutmeg (fitting for the season, as it is the end of November). I suppose I was expecting a bigger bang on the palate. I did taste a nice brown buttered malt that I rather enjoyed which lingered a bit on the finish with a touch of bitterness. Mouthfeel was surprisingly light, but coated my mouth well, adding a subtle tartness.

My overall impression of this beer is that, while it isn't life-changing, I would drink it again. Very easy to drink as a refreshing aperitif to get you going for the rest of the night. I would drink it alone or with a sandwich, because I like sandwiches. But seriously, a mellow smoked gouda; panini with ham, caramelized onions, the aforementioned cheese, spinach and tomatoes; or even a grilled chicken thigh with a reduced mushroom broth/sauce and wild rice.

I would buy a 6 pack of this to serve to my friends to get them ready for the big boys!

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Photo of russwbeck
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The color really surprised me as I was expecting it to be black. It actually rests in my glass a deep, clear amber color with around a finger of off white head. The head doesn't last at all and I also don't see many bubbles raising up through the beer, which both hurt its score in this category.

S: The aroma is much like a saison with some underlying roast and malt. Light spice, lemon, wheat, and what I'm equating to roast. Basically, I'm getting saison and a nice, new underlying aroma I can't quite place.

T: The taste is right on par with a saison with the malt lingering on the backend. The lemon and sweetness is up front, with the spices (as they were on the aroma) being very light. The malt provides a nice balance and sits at the very backend.

MF: The beer has a crisp and clean finish. Overall it has a thin to medium body with lower than average carbonation. I found the beer to be really drinkable.

O: I liked this take on the style, which is one that could be hit or miss for me. I didn't think it was great, but I've certainly had worse.

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Photo of tlazaroff
2.74/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A bit sweet on the nose, like caramel and brown sugar. Quite different than what I expected, it does not smell like a typical Saison.

Really nice brown and ruby in color, especially when held to the light. Few carbonation bubbles passing by and no speakable head.

This is very off-putting, it really gives me the impression of being a sour beer, without being sour. It has that really light apple taste, with a tad of funk on the back-end. Highly carbonated and light in body makes this one moderately easy to drink. I probably wouldn't be seeking this one out again.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.12/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep, mildly cloudy browned amber with a short off-white head.Weak retention, with long legs on the glass. Caramel malts, coffee beans and sour fruit on the aroma with sweet, mildly spicy undertones. Big carbonated punch of fermented fruits including oranges, plums, dates with a solid malty backbone. Overall body has lots of darker fruits and molasses-like flavors with a sticky, milky mouthfeel. Chocolate, heavy cream and Finish is on the sweet side, mild hop bitterness. Not what I had anticipated for a saison necessarily, but decent nonetheless.

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Photo of iSip
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Widmer Dark Saison: Well, I am not sure what a saison is, but none the less, I can give my impression of this beer. Body is a mahogany color, with a touch of red if held up to the light. The head is thin, but holds up well. The aroma is faint, but lets you know there are some Belgian strains of yeast at work. The flavor is distinctly tea, with a hint of cherry in the background. Again, some Belgian yeast makes an appearance. Overall, quite different from an average beer. I enjoyed it as something different, but it will not enter into my rotation of favorite beers. If I am in the mood for something in a Belgian style, there are many better options out there.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.76/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a burgundy pour with 1" white head which quickly dissipated.
smells of yeast, citrus, roasted grains.
the taste is surprisingly sweet, yet refreshing like most saisons.. very subtle flavors of sweet malt, lemon, pepper, banana.
light body+, slightly creamy on lips, high carbonation.
a fantastic saison! we just started getting widmer in nj, i believe, but i ordered this from halftime because it was something i haven't seen around here. glad i did!

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Photo of barczar
3.82/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with a frothy half inch cream head that dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving no lacing.

Wine-like sourness, a bit of musty funk, and coriander comprise the aroma initially, with belgian yeast esters finishing up. The caramel malt backbone is pretty sweet.

Belgian yeast dominates, with esters carrying throughout. Notes of tangerines, pears, and sour orange are accompanied by coriander and clove. Malt lends a bit of toasted bread character, but is fairly subtle. There's underlying hints of funk...hay and barnyard.

Body is moderate, but the high carbonation lightens the mouthfeel.

Overall, a very complex brew. The darker malts didn't really shine, but that yeast added lots of character. Not to style, as it lacks dryness, but I like it.

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Photo of Jsteez
2.94/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

A-Reddish, dark brown in color. A 2 finger head that lasted for 45 seconds and then dissipated. Did not leave much lacing on the sides of the glass. Disappointing.

S-The smell surprised me. Spicy and sweet, with a touch of sweet malt. I sensed cloves and oak/pine/bread.

T-Spicy and sweet, slight hops and quite woody/earthy. The aftertaste was a blend of cloves and pepper. There was something very wrong with this brew...

M-Flat and too watery....disappointing.

O-It could have been better considering the fact this style of beer can be quite nice. Widmer Brothers brews are hit and miss, some are great, some are mediocre.

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Photo of jzeilinger
2.53/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a hazlenut color, minimal head that dies off quick, no carbonation, and a very thin lacing ring - looks more like a barleywine by the color.

S - Faded aroma, light Belgian funk, bready light carmel malt, cloves, and a little bit of spice.

T - Banana, cloves, spice, bready caramel malt, light funky earth.

M - Thick, biscuity/bready, and malty for a saison. Mellow carbonation on the palette.

O - I feel like I'm drinking a dark German wheat beer with a slight bit of tart funk. Had it been called something else and not a Saison I may have reviewed it differently.

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Photo of Scotchboy
2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The last of my reviews from the variety pack...W12 Dark Saison poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A: Pours dark gold, almost brown, with slight haze and minimal off-white and lacing. Carbonation is visible in the glass.

S: Belgian notes...clove and banana...some malty sweetness, traces of toasted grain and earthyness.

T: The palate follows the nose; Belgian notes, traces of spices, banana, slight dryness though I prefer more from a saison.

MF: Smooth creamyness and a nearly-medium body take this saison places where I don't want my farmhouse ales going...a bit too much body and malt presence.

O: Not a strong offering, no off flavors, but no desirable qualities for me, and with a more dense body its tougher to drink than most prototypical farmhouse ales.

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Photo of CHickman
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Lark in East Northport, NY: pours cloudy dark amber copper color with a 1 finger creamy tan head that faded and left minimal spotty lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, yeast, caramel, grains, brown sugar, grass, clove, banana and herbs or light spices; nose is soft with floral notes like hops or flowers in the mix.

Tastes of caramel, sweet malt, yeast, grains, brown sugar, grass, clove, wheat bread, banana, herbs or tea leaf, floral hops, fruits that are almost sour like pear or apple, spices like coriander, pepper, cinnamon and allspice, and a potpourri essence; initial taste is good and then the flavor trails off a little weird, but not so offensive that it's bad - just a little off.

Mouthfeel is smooth and on the crisp side, with light zesty carbonation, a medium body and an herbal feel that seems like it's thicker than it is, with a tart fruity finish.

Nice effort and good flavor from a US brewer in this style, which gives this extra points. I'll overlook the strange flavor part since this was OK overall and went down easy enough. Nothing special, but not bad either – a flip of a coin type of beer. I’d try it again, perhaps out of a bottle to see how that tastes.

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Photo of Billolick
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

32 ounce growler filled at Green Growler Grocery in Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Pours medium chocolate amber, under a loose light tan head that does stay around for a while, slight film, slim collar and minor but fine lace.

Yeasty, with fruits (bananas mostly) and mild pepper on the nose.

On the light/near watery side mouthfeel wise.

Notes of light chocolate, more fruity yeast, with ripe bananas, again some pepper adds to the mix. A slight mettalic/plastic not also is noted, not too pleasant.

Far from a fine saison, this one seems a bit off to me....try at your own risk, or go for one other hundreds of better saisons out there..

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Photo of bubseymour
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a - dark ruby brown and clear with 2 finger head. Moderate retention

s - very floral and spicy. Very nice smell.

t - A very light bodied yet flavorful beer. Belgian yeast are noticable with the spice, but also some fruity tart/sour notes as well that is very unique and pleasant. Slight hop crispness in finish.

m - a tad watery

o- A very nice summer beer option with lots of flavor and complexity if you are in the mood for something tart/sour. I enjoyed this beer and would purchase again.

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Photo of bmwats
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Medium-dark brown. Pours about a finger and a half, frothy, brown-white head. Settles quickly, leaving a thick foam blanket and a beer ring. Sporadic lacing.

S: Hickory and sourdough.

T: Light woody flavor of light hearty grains and tea leaves.

M: Light but hearty feel. Light flavor, and subtle non-distinct aftertaste.

D: Goes down easy.

Atmosphere is decent. Dark hue with a frothy head and only sporadic lacing. Nose is subtle woody grain. Flavor follows suit with a soft woody grainy feel, complimented by some fresh tea. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into an oversized wine glass.

Look - red/dark amber in color, clear, with about half a finger's worth of foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - sweetish, musky aroma, with mild hints of spices.

Taste - immediately a bit spicy, but more in taste than in feel...maybe corriander. It sweetens up a bit in the middle and lasts into the finish. The begin and ending tastes/feels converge in the end, instead of melding into something new.

Mouthfeel - pretty well-balanced, but leans a tinsy bit more on the watery side.

Overall - pretty interesting brew. Good taste, and fun to think about.

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Photo of Mora2000
2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a clear medium to dark brown color with a white head. The aroma has some orange citrus notes, as well as some Belgian yeast and spice. There is also a hint of toffee. The flavor is a little bit medicinal. I get some pepper and orange citrus, as well as some yeast and toffee and biscuit malt. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of tronester
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish brown, with a thin tan head. Smells of soured malt. Taste starts with a quite tart, sour flavor, that then transistions to a bit of biscuit. After that is a bit of earthy spicy hops. Mouthfeel is pretty good. Overall a decent beer, though the tart, slightly sour taste isnt especially to my liking.

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Photo of Durge
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found at My Place in Newtown, CT this stuff is a semi- transluscent brown color with a nice light tan head and lots of lacing. The aroma is sweet brown sugar with toasted wheat bread and chocolate, and just a hint of pineapple clove. Not bad. The flavor brings a thin malt brown bread and a touch of bubblegum and light coffee and tea nuances. Despite a “tiny bubbled, but adequate”, carbonation it has a bit of a limp feel. Not bad but forgettable.

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W'12 Dark Saison from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.41 out of 5 based on 268 ratings.
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