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 MrHurmateeowish
4.34/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle purchased as part of their mixed 12pk at Market Basket in Somersworth. Pours a dark amber to copper crystal-clear body with a half inch or so of khaki-colored head. Spice and sweet citrus and fruit waft from the aroma. Apple, spice, dark chocolate, nut, and just a touch of orange zest comprise the flavor, harmonizing with each other extremely well. Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. This one goes more quickly than I wish it would. Wasn't sure what to expect, but this is bright, flavorful, unique, and delicious. Slam dunk.

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Photo of ccrida
4.12/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale caramel color with an off-white head leaving nice lace.

Smell is estery, spice and tropical fruit, some caramel fruit as well. Nice brightness, yet classic mineral pithe.

Taste is similar, esters more clove-like, a little yeasty flavor as well as some biscuit malt. Snappy herbal finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, medium light bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good. The name implies this is some kind of hybrid saison, but the caramel is well with in the classic style range. Reminds me of saison silly (which I admit I haven't had in years).

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Photo of flagmantho
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich orange-brown hue with only the tiniest touch of haze and a nice effervescence. Head poured a thick finger of frothy ivory foam and leaves a nice lace as it dissipates. I like it.

Smell: light malt with a bit of a clove and banana aroma combined with a light funkiness. Out there a little bit, but approachable.

Taste: murky funk with a hefeweizen-ey clove flavor and a tiny hint of the chocolate malt. A touch of sourness balances this beer very well in my opinion. Bitterness and hop character are both pretty minimal.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a big carbonation and big, if short-lasting, creaminess. Good.

Overall: I've had quite a bit of this stuff since it came out, and I've simply fallen for it. The intangibles of this beer satisfy my palate in a big way, and I find it immensely drinkable.

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Photo of gkunkle
4.08/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a transparent light brown color with a 3/4 inch off white head. Less dense and less retention than a typical saison head. Body of the beer is transparent and I can see a few plumes of rising carbonation. In the smell I get saison yeast funk. Maybe just a touch of a roasty smell. Taste starts with a light malty sweetness, then I get a little bit of dark fruit as it crests the tongue, then a touch of saison funk and finally a sweet but slightly dry finish. Mouthfeel density is a little above aberage. I expected more carbonation, as with saison DuPont and the likes, but the average carbonation seems to suit this beer well. Overall this is a fantastic beer for a spring day. I am looking forward to having more of this, it doesn't hold up against something like La Merle, or saison DuPont, but I like it for what it is. I got a 6-er of this for $6.88, though this beer isn't world class, it is a great value.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.02/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought a six-pack of W'12 Dark Saison in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours an amber/copper color and is clear. Foamy off-white head dissipates to a froth on the surface of the beer. The froth sticks to the side of the glass leaving a thin lace.

Smell is a sweet soft fruity smell, like pears, with some dark sugar scents along side.

Taste is also sweet and sugary, with the soft fruit flavors, pears and melons. There is a very mild almost imperceptible bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is thin but still a little cloying.

Overall a drinkable brew. I'm not much on the style, but I would certainly have this again.

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Photo of TheFlern
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Widmer + saison = wtf????

Appearance: Light copper color. White head dissipates quickly to a thin layer that remains for the rest of the glass. Decent lacing.

Smell: saison yeast dominates the smell, as it should. Light malt and hops are very pleasant in the background.

Taste: hmm, not sure what went wrong here. I taste nothing. Very light on the palate. Light apple taste.

Mouthfeel: almost effervescent. very light, dry finish. good carbonation. this is where the beer wins imo. If it weren't winter but instead a hot summer day I think this stuff would be just what I need.

Overall: Glad Widmer is branching out still. They've got some good year around brews and their seasonal and one off stuff is really good for the price. I wouldn't mind seeing this one put into barrels to sour.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Similar to that of an amber or copper ale. Head was short lived, but a thin layer of bubbles remain.

S- Smell is great, Belgian yeast smell with dark fruits and a hint of lemon.

T- Same as smell, but with a tobacco smoke taste in the finish, with a savory lemon after taste.

M- The mouthfeel is good. It doesn't have a huge carbonation feel, but it has just the right amount for an easy drinking brew.

O- I like this. It is easy drinking, and for the people who might be looking to branch out in their styles Widmer is doing something right with this brew. It isn't too in your face like some Saisons can be, but can be enjoyed by a larger range of people.

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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 Docer
3.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: (3.5)
- This beer pours a nice dark sun-tea brown with a quickly dissipating finger of fizzy off-white to greyish head. A small ring of lace and island of thin foam rest behind. Overall solid, it isn't a big frothy Saison that I am used to.

Smell: (4.0)
- Nice esters in the nose. Plumb and fig along with some zesty clove and herbal spices. Light sweat bready grains and a zesty lemon-like presence. This puppy smells good. Perhaps a dash of molasses sweetness and earthy aromas.

Taste: (4.0)
- I like the balance in this light and smooth tasting Saison. The bready semi-sweet grain melds well with the zesty esters and spices. The balance is spot on in this brew while remaining rather light. It does however leave me wondering a bit what a slightly stronger version of this would be like. It does have a slight earthy and grassy aftertaste which contributes to some of the feel. This beer is good.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Overall this is a light bodied to slightly medium bodied brew. It's sessionable, and is just a touch chewy and cloying. It has a nice drying effect which causes me to not put my glass down. Overall well carbonated and quite nice.

Overall: (4.0)
- Certainly no let down here. The beer is just very balanced, and is a smooth tasty drinker. It actually tastes very good, and doesn't have some of the random off flavors that many of this style have. The smell and taste is where this beer shines, which I feel is the most important. I think this will be a great intro beer for new and future craft beer enthusiasts.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A creative melding of a Belgian saison and a roasty-malted dark ale, this intriguing brew pours a rusty amber with a nice head and superb lace.

Nose is caramel and candied fruit. Promising!

Taste is fruity and yeasty, with a hint of roast at the finish. Very much in the saison tradition, but with a tasty and enjoyable twist. I really liked this one.

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Photo of ezec
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear and amber/red in color with a fluffy tannish head that dissipates quickly to a thin layer. Fruit and light spices on the nose. Sweet ripe fruit on the front of the palate, with a nice esthery character. Medium caramel malt in the middle and an edgy citrusy nip on the finish. Medium to light in body, this is a very drinkable beer with the great flavors we enjoy in this style. Nice work.

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Photo of dfwprosportsjon
3.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Dark brown with very limited head 3.5
S Malty smell with a saisson yeast smell. 4.0
T Very sweet maltiness with the unique saison tang. Not sour but has a great tartness that mixes well with the dark malts. 4.0
M Pour head but solid carbonation. 3.5
O A unique one time beer as it takes away a little of what I like about the saison as it isn't as spicy, sour, or tart but makes up for it due to how interesting the pairing of malt and yeast is. A good one timer but I wouldn't want it again. 4.0

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.91/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet. Thin head layer on top of a copper, transparent body.

Complex smell: raisins, apples and wet malt.

Sweet tasting, harsh bitterness midway to balance the sweetness. Dried fruit, plum.

Thinner body and moderate carbonation.

A good take on a Dark Saison.

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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 GallowsThief
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a growler from The House of Brews in Jensen Beach.

A – Poured out a fairly dark copper with a half finger of crisp white head that receded quickly and left almost no lacing.

S – Fruity, earthy and an almost woody like aroma. Faint but pleasant.

T – This has a very mellow flavor all around. Lemon, light grape, sweet apple, banana and a touch of spice. I also get a bit of grain and a nice light malt sweetness as well. Not real bitterness at all.

M – Mellow and smooth. Light bodied with light to medium carbonation. Refreshing really.

O – This is a nice easy drinking summer type of beer. I could drink a few of these on a hot summer day. Really a nice brew.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-copper with a thin white head

S-caramel and bubble gum. belgian sugars. a touch of funk. decent strength.

T-comes in with an odd blend of belgian sugars and nutmeg. usually when i use the word "odd" with beer, i mean it in a negative way, but this is oddly decent. the after-taste has a belgianesque farmhouse saison aspect to it, though it seems a bit more artificial than raw.

M-creamy carbonation with a creamy finish

O-if you're going to compare it to an average saison, its not going to fare too well. but of course the average saison would also be heavier and more expensive. so with that in mind, this saison is easy drinking and different at a decent price.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed once in I guess December 14th which is my brewed on date.

A - Well it's dark for a Saison with a dark tint amber brown. Head was a minimal 1/4 inch that turns to a rather thick lace ring.

S - I smell mostly Saison notes of lemon and mild funky yeasts. Little to no roast to make this "black"

T - Well I do get some fruit flavors along with my lemon. Reminds me of a bock a bit. I nice touch of fruity yeasts and a roasty finish. Different.

M - Light to medium very acceptable for the style.

Overall I kind of like the idea of adding black malts to Saison style. Very tasty.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark amber color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left some sudsy rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of dried dark fruits and some sweet maltiness. Slight yeasty aroma.

T - It had a spicy bite upon first sip with a strong yeast presence. Bready malt backbone mixed with dried plum and raisin.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This is a pretty tasty beer, although I'm still not sure what to think of dark saisons. It seemed more like a Belgian Dark Ale.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the Dark Saison in a shaker pint.

Appearance- The head is not as large or chunky as most saisons I have tried. It maybe hits a half finger of white fizz before barely getting full coverage of the cap.

The body is a pretty and transparent ruby-copper. Only a few strings of slow moving carbonation are noticed in the beer.

Smell- Soft and earthy yeast is at the forefront of the nose. Maybe a little tangy citrus is also appreciated, a lemon scent one second and an orange scent the next. There is a peppery quality here too. No real dark malt can be found. It is reminds me of a saison/wit combo.

Taste- A hint of cream corn and earthy yeast come right away, making the best case for this having a saison base. It also showcases that pepper-spice alongside some faint fruity qualities, like a combo of lemon and pear.

The finish is very interesting with the roasted malt and slight cocoa finally coming into play. It is a signature finish to what was just an "all-right" tasting saision. Let me stress how light these flavors are though. Would be much better if it were amped a bit.

Mouth feel- The medium to light body is made better by the creamy carbonation. This really helps the beer finish smooth and clean. The finish would be hurt without it.

Overall- I do not know if saison drinkers will really get behind this beer. I think Widmer has crafted a good beer with just a hint of dark malt and wit characteristics.

I think they advertise it to have a more pronounced dark malt presence than what there actually is, and in a way, that is disappointing. But I can't argue with how easy this beer is to drink.

If you don't worry about what this beer was supposed to be, and have a palate for saisons, you could do worse.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dark Red in color with a pretty clean, filtered look to it. Head and lacing retention is very good!

Smell - Sweet Malts, Bananas, figs/spices, cloves, and strong yeasty notes. It also has a very overt sweetness smell to it, almost like cotton candy.

Taste - Very Sweet and Malty upfront with bananas, cloves, biscuits/Yeast, Cotton Candy, and I'm getting some faint floral hops in the back as well This is a very sweet (as in candy/sugar sweet) tasting beer.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, and since the carbonation is fairly subdued, it's pretty easy to drink and it feels very crisp!

Overall - Not a bad Saison at all. It's a little sweeter than what I'm used to but I liked it! It's easy to drink and the flavor is pretty good for what it is.

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Photo of jkdrummer
3.82/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like a nice brown ale, not black - but a dark amber. Not much a Saison fan here to begin with, but this is a bit milder like a light chimay. The Belgium bubble gum and tartness are there but not over powering. Nice wheaty sweet maltiness. Goes down easy but not a clean finish, bubble gum, esters etc stick around with a strong kinda sour after taste.

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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 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 welldigger888
3.81/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a wonderful garnet hue with a nice white head that recedes a bit leaving ample lacing down glass. Nice color that I really like.

Rather tame nose here, it has some funk and a whiff of roast, maybe an earthy character from the hops.

A touch sweet, but. The grains come out to play a bit with the funk. Nice earthy after taste that goes well with the funk.

Nicely quaffable warm weather drinker, and for your money get some. Seems medium light bodied that is a bit too sweet, good any how.

These folks are brewing interesting beer on a HUGE scale, I respect that.Beatiful color again on this beer.

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Photo of ngeunit1
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear amber-red with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some light lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of toasted caramel and brady malts with some Belgian yeast, coriander, clove, and a touch of citrus.

T - Starts off with some toasted sweet caramel malts with some Belgian yeast flavors and a bit of citrus. Through the middle, some bready malts come through with some coriander, clove, and other spices. The finish is a mix of sweet bready malts with some light spice, Belgian yeast, and citrus.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. A bit thin, and not overly dark, but otherwise pretty okay. Very sessionable.

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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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