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 mothman
2.43/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a layer of beige head. Color is a caramel hued copper.

Aroma: Caramel and chocolate. Some saison flavors and belgian yeast. Bananas and cloves. Reminds me more of a dunkelweisse.

Taste: Oddly roasted malts. Chocolate and bananas. Cloves and spices. Yeast. Not very saison like. Malty with some fruits.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, this wasn't anything like a saison. It was more like a german dunkelweisse so I have no idea what happened with this beer. It is okay if you don't think of it as a saison.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.44/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

16 ounce pint - $6.50 at Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Lightly hazed, dark coppery-brown body with a half inch of near white foam depositing creamyish lace on the descent.

Smell: Grainy, spiced nose atop pale malts with a cautious sniff of a discarded fruity bubble gum wrapper. It's lacking, it's unappealing. Waiter!

Taste: Grainy-tasting toasted pale malts, also with a little smidge of wheat. Then, a generous helping of ground peppery spices and a taste like stale strawberry-flavored chewing gum. Lightly hopped, some bitterness. Semi-dry, chewing gum finish. Check, please!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Just a hair above medium carbonation.

Overall: I was in the mood for a good, albeit dark saison and this just didn't deliver. At all. Actually, it didn't feel particularly saisonesque.

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Photo of IPAguy2009
2.49/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- dark amber color, clarity is medium.

S root beer raisiney smell. Slight vanilla in there. Smells kinda bland. Somewhat soapy like as well.

T- I don't know if I'm labeling this right but I'm getting bitter root beer with tobacco like notes as well. Little almost homebrew like taste at the end. Not digging it too much.

M- pretty thick with a touch of carbonation on the way down.

O- anything with the name widmer on it for me is pretty solid. Their drifter pale ale was my first favorite beer and was the beer that was responsible for showing me the beautiful world of beers, so I always got widmers back! They got a special place in my heart. But sadly, I have discovered my least favorite beer by them. Sorry widmer, but I don't recommend this one.

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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 sairvin
2.65/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

What do we expect in a saison? This is it in a light version. A good mass produced version of it. Lot's of clover, hints of caramel. Great starter beer for this category, especially for those just being introduced to it.

I gave mouth feel a low rating because it honestly escapes compared to most saisons. No lingering fruits or herbs. This is surprising, especially looking at the grain bill.

Overall, enjoyable, but Widmer does better.


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Photo of bigflatsbeerman
2.74/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A very clear dark amber color with a one finger head.
Smell: I did not pick up much of a smell at all.
Taste: I did not pick up much of a taste at all.
Mouthfeel: Pretty light.
Overall: Maybe a good session beer, I'm not picking up a whole lot of taste which I would really expect in a saison. I bought a six pack with high hopes (I don't have much of a saison selection in my area) and am disappointed.

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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 ronniebruner
2.78/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I never thought I would ever say this about a Widmer beer, but I was not impressed one bit with this beer. The beer has a charcoal color to it, with little to no carbonation or lace,but a ton of head. It smells like burnt wood, which can be enjoyable under the right circumstances, but this is not it. The beer tastes of burnt charcoal as well and leaves a semi-pungent aftertaste. While this beer is not horrible, I would not call it good either. Worth a try if you like weird tastes, but not for everyone.

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Photo of lwillitz
2.81/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12-oz bottle into Samuel Smith "Tulip" pint glass

A - clear red/copper body under 3 fingers of off-white/khaki head; minimal cabronation bubbles

S- funky like a Belgian IPA; banana and clove

T - estery Belgian yeast, funky mix of fruits and spices, not much else to it

M - light/medium body with average carbonation; smooth and creamy

O - This is not something I will buy again. The Belgian yeast flavor disagrees with me.

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Photo of shand
2.84/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

This beer pours a garnet red with a small head. The aroma is sweet - yeasty and clove-y. Ack! My worst enemies. The taste isn't that bad though, there's a lot of stuff going on here. Surely the yeast, banana and clove flavors are strong, but there's a decent amount of malt here baking things up. Nothing to really make me want to take another sip, but it could surely be someone else's bag. Mouthfeel is smooth, and the drinkability is alright. Yet another saison that's not really my bag. I wish I could say I've never met a saison I liked so I could stop giving them occasional tries, but that wouldn't be completely true.

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Photo of RedBiddy
2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nothing to get my motor running. The color was reminiscent of henna. Very weak lacing and foam...disappeared rapidly. The smell was faint...I was hoping for something that would slap me across the face but didn't get a good whiff till the schnoz was wet. The taste was like many mass produced belgiums. Spicy - peppery black anise. The mouthfeel was disappointing. For me it was overly carbonated to the point of distraction. After the swallow I was left with a faint satisfaction of having ingested beer but wanting a bit more. All in all I would say so-so. Mediocre at best.

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Photo of beertunes
2.91/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in tulip. Poured a clean, clear light mahogany color with just a thin cap of light tan head that had very low retention and no lacing.

The aroma had mild grain and spice notes with only a bit of yeast coming through. I didn't really find any outstanding features in the nose. The flavors were the same, nothing technically wrong, just nothing really notable either. Kind of bland.

The body was a bit on the thin side, but was smooth and even. Drinkability was pretty good (as I find most Saisons to be) and went down easily enough. Overall, an OK take on the style. Nothing wrong with this beer, but nothing memorable either. Probably worth trying if you see it, but definitely not worth an effort to find.

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Photo of orlandomag
2.92/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

My first thought was "where's the body?"

I poured this into a nice Ommegang chalice. It pours a dark amber with a thin yet significant head that does not lace and dissipates very quickly.

The nose on this saison has a lot of the familiar characteristics you'd come to expect from a saison with the additional notes of smoke and wood. There is a nice sweetness on the nose as well.

When you first take a deep pull of this saison you get some dark fruit with a tiny bit of funk but the flavors leave very quickly.

The mouthfeel is so thin on this beer that it's hard to grasp the entirety of this saison. All signs of this having passed through your palette move on very quickly. You are left with a slight tartness with little to no mouthfeel.

Overall I am very unimpressed with this after having somewhat above average hopes. If there were more body and the brew stayed around a bit longer you might get something out of it yet the mouthfeel really lets it down.

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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 harrymel
2.95/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 14DEC11

Pours a red amber with some white foam. Less carb in appearance than most in the style. Excellent clarity. The yeast comes up in the nose spicy and sweet with a wheat like character. Every so often I get a hint of honeydew in the nose. Some grassy flavor.

A bit sharply grainy initially with some peppercorn and a lemony finish. The grain is pronounced with a good sweet flavor. The "saison" flavor is classic and simple. Not a top contender by any means. I'm also not getting anything (maybe a hint of toasty flavor) from the dark malts used.

Mouthfeel is medium light as expected but the carb is just a hint low for the style (which is good IMO). I actually like a hair more body for the sweetness displayed.

It's a decent beer, especially at the price point, but likely the last time I will have it.

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Photo of Bung
2.96/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. darker amber pour, light cream head, roughly a fingers worth.

Aroma, light yeast and toasted malt. Faint fruitiness? Not much going on really.

Taste is a little better. Some yeasty spice, clove. A kind of watered down malt, apple, pear.

Drinks easy. Carbonation is fine, lighter body. Pretty thin. An uber gateway Saison possibly, otherwise pretty meh.

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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 avalon07
2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of fruit, malt, and little bit of spices.

T: Tasted of malt, light citrus notes, cloves, some yeast, and an unwelcome grassy quality. Even without this last quality, the flavor would be a thin, watery, unfocused mess.

M: A good amount of carbonation here, but it has an unpleasant medicinal quality in the finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not what I would call a great beer. Could have been better than it was.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled 12 oz. bottle poured into a weizen pint glass. Bottling date 12.19.11.

Look- Clear medium amber with plenty of frothy off-white head. Settles quickly to a half inch of loose foam, leaving an intricate web of lacing.

Smell- Crusty bread, light molasses, cinnamon, and banana, along with mild Belgian-ish spicy yeast and bubbblegum. Subdued pineapple, perhaps. Pleasant but underwhelming.

Taste- Quite malty, little of the complex yeast-spawned fruit and spice I was expecting. I'm also guessing that the grains bill included a moderate amount of wheat and maybe some rye. Odd cocoa like flavor dominates the middle. Aftertaste is biscuity with a hint of orange blossom, which is the only touch of hops I get. Really, it's just about precisely what I would imagine an OK bock produced with Belgian ale yeast would taste like. Again, it's not bad, but it falls short when compared to most saisons, and it's not really very dark, either.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, nearly flat, and a little on the watery side. Clean feeling, quite drinkable. Very bock-like.

Overall- Saison-esque, well balanced, and drinkable, but I was really expecting a bit more despite the surprisingly low cost and lack of bottle conditioning. Doesn't really pass muster as a saison, which it is marketed as, and feels a bit off, palate-wise and historically. I probably wouldn't pick it up again.

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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 ExtraStout
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had the Dark Saison in a 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 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 Halcyondays
3.01/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear brown with a medium white head, some spotty lace, good retention.

S: Toffee, winter spice, biscuity malt.

T: Good malt flavour, some floral hop character. A bit astringent at times, no real yeast character, I'd be hard pressed to call this a saison.

M: Medium-bodied, fairly smooth, creamy, some biting carbonation.

O: This is a good beer, but really tastes more like a brown ale than a saison. An enjoyable effort, but don't think saison going in.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.01/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a Tripel Karmeliet tulip.

A - Pours a beautiful clear ruby color with a frothy off-white head. Average lacing.

S - Bananas and clove are the first things to hit the nose, pear, apples, wheat bread, faint bubblegum when warmed to room temperature.

T - Follows the nose with banana, clove, pepper, some sugary pear, candy syrup sweetness, wheat bread. Yeasty, and a tiny hint of peppery alcohol on the finish.

M - Medium body, low to medium carbonation.

Very tasty brew. Good flavors and inviting aroma make this an enjoyable brew. But, style wise this goes against the grain of a Saison.
This is more of Dunkelweizen than a Saison.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
3.02/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Pours the color of birch beer with a one finger tan head into my DFH glass. Head fades away quickly and leaves a nice bit of lacing all around. Lots of red, yellow and orange highlights.

S- A little bit of banana and bubble gum, lemon-pepper, and a bit of wet hay funkiness. Some nice sweet honey and caramel in the backround.

T- Lemon, banana, earthy dirt and hay. A little black pepper, sweet malts and yeast. Nothing really special here.

M- Kind of watery and bland. Lacks carbonation and any kind of distinction between flavors.

O- More of a Wit meets Oktoberfest... I dunno? Other than a bit of lemon-pepper notes, it doesn't act or feel much like a Saison. I probably won't be seeking this one out again.

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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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