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 KTCamm
3.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a medium dark brown with no foam. Completely clear atop. Funky farmhouse smell. Bubblegum. Maybe subtle cola. Lots going on.

Malty citrus taste. Strange/different hop bitter close. Light carbonation but enough to drive the flavor to the right level. Nicely blended saison, tasty with a bunch of things going on.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A – Pours a crystal clear copper brown with a very small head that vanishes almost instantly and almost no lacing to speak of.

S – Equal parts roasted grain and sour funk. Smells almost like a Belgian ale. Aroma is nice and strong. Strangely compelling.

T – Taste follows the nose, with roasted caramel grain taking center stage. Not anywhere near as sour as the nose would indicate; instead, it’s only a slight hint. Yeasts definitely taste of the Belgian variety, adding the ubiquitous esters of banana and clove. Bittering slightly earthy hops in the finish. Something about the Belgian yeast/dark malt/just slightly funky combination I am really digging. Tasty.

M – Medium bodied, with prickly carbonation makes for easy drinking, which is a nice match for the style. Thankfully, stops short of being “fizzy”. Finishes dry with a champagne like quality.

O – Ok, so maybe it’s not the deepest or richest example of the style, but every once in a while you get a brew that just presents everything nicely without any major flaws. This is one of those for me, and I really enjoyed it. Could have used some more head, but hey you cant have everything. Perfect beer for a nice 80-degree fall day in Arizona. I will buy again.

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Photo of goldennectar
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into Sam Adams tulip glass.

Appearance: Copper brown with a thin white head that quickly fades

Smell: Yeasty, bready and slightly spicy, interesting

Taste: Like the aroma with some maltines to it

Mouthfeel: Light and and highly carbonated, maybe a bit too much carbonation, at least for me

Overall: Maybe strays a bit from a traditional saison but still a refreshing and very drinkable beer, something you can enjoy several of on a summer afternoon

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Photo of Guden
3.76/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A medium amber body with a red tint and amazing clarity. Lots of little carbonation bubbles rise up into the small but long lasting off white head. I expected this to be darker based on the name is the biggest flaw.

S- Candy, both toffee and gummy worms, are the first thing to hit the nose. These mingle with earthy and funky yeast character and some spicy hops.

T- The taste is surprisingly different from the nose. While there is a bit of sweet candy character its balanced with a moderate hop spiciness and a noticeable but mild bitterness that stays on the tongue a bit longer than the other flavors. It's tasty and a little different but seems all a bit subdued.

M- Moderately dry with some creaminess and moderate carbonation, seems a little fuller in the mouth than most saisons but with the dark grains it works.

D- This beer is very drinkable but isn't quite what I was looking for. It's a bit like an English brown ale that was made with saaz hops and saison yeast, sweet and fairly mild but with those added layers of complexity.

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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 TheSixthRing
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a semi-clear ruby amber with an off-white finger width head. Retention is good, leaving behind a healthy, sticky lace.

Smell - Belgian yeast qualities on the nose, overripe banana, brown sugar, a touch of clove and caramel.

Taste - Predominately Belgian yeast flavors; slightly sour with hints of banana and clove. Faint caramel notes come into play mid flavor. Finishes slightly spicy with a mellow banana fade, and a slight metallic twang.

Mouthfeel - A touch watery. Decent carbonation, but not enough to save a fairly disappointing body.

Overall - A pretty good effort from Widmer here. Not sure how this constitutes as being a dark saison, but it's a good one regardless.

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

My crappy internet connection caused me to lose my original review for this a few minutes ago, but I'm pretty sure I can recreate it from memory, so here it goes, sans the original flowery verbiage:

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Chestnut with glowing amber highlights throughout.

Lots of wheat smells at first: honey, bubblegum, with an anise quality thrown into the mix.

Taste is wheaty again: honey, bubblegum, there's the anise, but in comes a huskiness that ends a little burnt. Lots of flavor & aroma packed into a 5.5% package!

Light-bodied but also a little sticky & with that lightly burnt character.

Gotta say again, this packs a lot of flavor into a not-so-big beer, & an unusual flavor at that. Personally, the closest comparison I can come to is the "dark-witbier-with-anise" homebrew I made out of Randy Mosher's "Radical Brewing" - a lot of the same characteristics. Not bad, I'd go for it again.

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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 lonestar4lunch
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red has a bright white head that doesn't seem to go away. The aroma is funky good. There is a bit of banana to go with the earthy aroma. Some very light hops in there. The carbonation seems to hit at the front then the taste really comes forward. That saison, earthy & slightly malty taste really is well done and there is just a bit of citrus hop toward the end. It has a nice dry finish and doesn't leave you guessing about the style. To me this is just another well done brewmasters release from Widmer. It is no KGB but really enjoyed it.

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Photo of mactrail
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A lighter variety of Saison, but it has its charms. Quite lovely in the big chalice, with the dark amber color and decent foamy cap. Nice mouthfeel with plenty of fine carbonation.

Fairly sharp yet malty with an underlying sweetness. Not exactly a classic Saison. You have to think of this as a great light beer that has a Belgian pedigree. Reminds me of the Flying Dog Biere de Garde. The darker color doesn't seem to translate into much flavor, but there is a touch of caramel. Light body and tart. Bitter twang in the aftertaste.

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Photo of weerezboy
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark Amber in colour, pour a thick white head that slowly dissipates. Leaves light lacing of head down the glass as you drink.

S- Sweet fruity/banana smell at first. Has an undertone of hops and earthy malt.

T- Strong fruit start to a thick malt flavor. Ends with a hoppy bite in the back of the mouth. fruit and hop both do not overpower the taste of malt throughout the mouthful.

M- medium, with thin carbonation, unlike most Saison I have had.

Overall the beer is good but not what I was hoping for when I saw Saison, especially after enjoying Boulevard's Tank 7 a few weeks ago. I guess a dark Saison can have a totally different profile. Drinkable but filling, a pretty enjoyable beer from Widmer.

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Photo of dmadsen
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a great, deep color. Amber, almost brown. There is a light head with light lacing. The smell is great. Very robust. Strong flavor, there are a lot of elements to it. Fruit, smoky, bit of remaining sourness on the end. Good mouthfeel, stays on the tongue. A bit of carbonation.

Not very familiar with Saison, so I couldn't compare to other strong versions of the style. Overall, a good beer with good flavor. This came in a sampler pack. I'd think twice about 5 more for the right price, but not 11.

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Photo of flexabull
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark and clear amber color with a thin white head.

Aromas are spicy, some yeast, dark bread, hard candies, and grass. Smells pretty nice.

Taste is bready, nutty, light cola, banana and of spicy yeast. Some hard candy sweetness, light sourness, and a bit of a grassy quality. Finish is crisp with light mineral hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth, lighter body, about right for the style.

Overall this is a pretty unique and above average beer. Worth trying, but not really something I'd want to drink more than one of in a sitting.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz picked up at the COOP.. poured into my little CC goblet.. off white head with good lacing.. the brew is a good deep amber ... very clear..

Slightly phenolic in the aromas.. a bit of clove and some pepper.. some light caramel and fig notes...

toasty elements with some dried raisin and light clove... interesting almost molasses traces that are of place.. dark rye bread crusts on the finish.. a smattering of honey essence..

The body is expected light/medium.. the carbonation is a touch light for the style but within forgivable range...

Pretty interesting brew with the current Saison craze in the PNW... I think this one cuts through the masses and makes for a good approachable dark(ish) saison ... the "dark" qualities seem too much when compared to the benchmarks of the brew...


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Photo of jbakajust1
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into Deschutes Tulip

A - Pours a rudy reddish brown, clear, w/ 1" head that quick fades to a thin ring and leaves decent lacing.

S - Smells of fruits, clove, pepper, citrus, peach, light dark fruit aroma, toasted biscuits, big on the fruits.

T - Taste mirrors the smell. Fruity, citrus, peach, tropical, toasted biscuits, raisins, cloves, white pepper, light sweetness, slight metalic note in the end.

M - light, kind of watery, semi dry finish, slight bitterness, lacking in carbonation for a Saison.

O - When I popped the top there was no... well... pop! I knew that would be an issue from the start, not enough carbonation. I was very impressed with the aroma and taste, much of the attributes I have in the Saison I just brewed w/ WY 3726 Farmhouse, lots of big fruits and some spiciness. If this had classic high Belgian carb, a dryer finish, and the metalic taste was gone, it would be awesome. I will still have more while it is around, just wish they would have gotten the carbonation right.

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Photo of djbreezy
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - transparent copper hue, light retention, light lace

Smell - faint but sweet and dark fruit notes

Taste - banana, dates, sweet fruit

Mouthfeel - light, watery

Overall - not sure what they were going for here, just tinting an average saison with cracked malts? that's not to say its not good but it's not outstanding either

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a clear copper color with a creamy cap of tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

Nose shows off a fair amount of yeast esters with bubblegum and banana leading the charge. Toasty caramel comprise the malt aromas. Smells pretty good actually.

Taste does not quite follow through with the same class as the nose, but still not half bad. The toasty malt with a touch of honey blends pretty well with a mild yeast and a dry hop finish. Its more earthy than I like to see in a saison, and the yeast is too clean. While I was happy with half a sixer, I dont really think I would want to buy again.

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

I picked this up in a mix six, poured into a goblet chilled, shared with tenderbranson69.

The color is mildly hazed caramel with some bronze shades with a thick cream cap that settles to a ring of white. The bead is fine and carbonation is visible. The smell is very yeasty with a slight phenolic tinge with slight spice and mild clove with a mellow malt accent. The feel is pretty good with a gentle bitterness and mild malt sweetness with mostly dry body which is medium heavy with slight creaminess and moderate carbonation.

A taste of dried fruit and slight spice with some dark bread and light pepper in the tertiary. The flavor has a lot of yeast presence which is slightly peppery and adds a hint of tangy tropical flavor to the saison. There is a light taste of ripe banana and the mild toast notes accent the herbal nutty and spiced flavors. Overall I enjoyed drinking this, but it doesn't stand out as far as other saisons on the dark side of the spectrum for me.

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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 russpowell
3.57/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a chill hazed orange with a sliver of tan head. Average lacing & good head retention

S: Green apple peel & cinnamon, some perfumy notes as well

T: Follows the nose, faint grassy, lemony & woody hops up front. Appleskins, pears & grassy hops as this warms. Finishes fruitty, grassy & with a slight apple juice sweetness

MF: Light bodied, firm carbonation

Held up well for a 4 month old beer, but nothing special. Nice trainig wheels saisin I suppose

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Photo of ckollias
3.56/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark amber-brown hue with a thin, 2-finger, white head that quickly dissipates in to a wispy lace, leaving a nice trail down the glass.

S: Sweet malty aroma with a dark fruit background and slightly yeasty.

T: Sweet crisp caramel and dark fruit flavor that finishes very clean.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Decent saison ale – a little too sweet for me – but it was enjoyable and went down easy.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sort of caramel/brown in color with an off-white head. Heavy on the yeast aroma with a bit of pepper and some spicy noble hop aromas. A hint of chocolate (chocolate malt?) and some faint caramel. The flavor has a definite banana character and there is some pepper, yeast, and dark fruit to it, too. The malt is sweet, but the beer is also a touch watery. Overall a decent beer, but not great.

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

W’12 Dark Saison opens with a lovely Saison-style nose, full of bananas, cloves, funky spices, yeasty bread dough, and lovely fruits. The funky spice notes are immediately apparent, with cloves dominating the profile, and subtler touches of pepper and coriander beneath. The fruits are surprisingly spritzy and light, with orange zest and white grape mainly present. As a whole, the nose is well balanced and enticing, though the “dark” part of the beer’s name--which would seem to connote more ashy flavors--isn’t immediately present; only touches of fig and grape seem to fit the moniker.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a banana, clove, and coriander shot, followed immediately by a small touch of ash and wood. The darker notes here are quite light--nowhere near the intensity of even a porter--but play off of the fruits and spices quite well. Other flavors include brown sugar, orange, grapefruit zest, lemon zest, and an assortment of whole grain breads and toast crust. The aftertaste is lingering banana and spicy pepper, with remnants of bread, as well as an alcoholic vapor of medium strength, and fades with moderate quickness. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good fare, and the subtle ashy layer that underpins the spice and fruit is a neat touch. The beer, however, comes across just a bit too light and watery in both taste and mouthfeel (though I recognize this is characteristic of the style). The 5.5% ABV does make it an ideal summer beer candidate, and the flavors would be quite welcome on a hot day.

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Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a thin layer of soft, white head that quickly fades away. The nose has is faint and is dominated by some Belgian yeast and light spices. The flavor is lightly malty with faint notes of caramel. The taste is dominated by yeasty, peppery, spicy notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, but a little heavily carbonated.

This is an easy dirnking, Belgian-style ale. The flavor isn't anything to write home about but it's interesting. I probably won't seek it out again, but it was worth a try once.

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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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