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 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 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 Bookseeb
3.12/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance has a dark ruby brown color supporting a thin head that dissipates leaving nil head. Smell has a light aroma of fruit with some Belgian style yeast in the background. Taste has a tartness with the fruit and a little spice. Mouthfeel is lighter than medium with good carbonation. It’s got the basics of a saison, but not the complexity.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a tulip glass

A - It is dark amber with amber highlights. It had a fleeting inch of beige head.

S - I get a little funk with some sour cherry. There's also a little soap smell in there.

T - I get more of that soap in the taste. The wild yeast also presents a slight funk. I also detect just a hint of roasted malt.

M - Medium with lots of carbonation.

O - It is a soapy beer with some funk.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Looks more or like with a brown ale, with a red-brown color. Head is thin and does not retain well. Some lacing.
S- The aroma is pretty mild but has a light sweetness on the nose. A bit of spicyness. A faint charred aroma. Really having the strain to pick them out.
T- It tastes essentially like an average saison with some spice and light phenolic flavors. There is a bit of char in the finish, with a lightly sweet underpinning.
M- It seemed dry at first but it does linger a bit. Body is a bit light. Fairly crisp carbonation.
O- It's a cool idea, but in the end it just tasted like a weak dunkelweizen.

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Photo of purplesugar
3.17/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wasn't horrible. Shit, I'll take it any day over Bud Light.

Honestly, a pretty decent beer.

I'm not a Saison man, but I can tolerate this beer. Also, I've never visited a site with a minimum character review. I'm struggling to get in that 250.

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

An interesting take on the farmhouse style that’s firmly on the sweeter and fruitier side of the ledger. It’s somewhat murky and dark brown, with a smallish head and patchy lacing. Bubble gum aroma laced with spices continues into the taste; lots of juicy fruit or bubblicous; reminded us of banana runts as well. Light spice phenols could have been more prominent to increase flavor interest; it’s a little one-dimensional overall. Decent caramel malt backbone.

Medium bodied with average carbonation. Lingering sweetness in the finish. Not something I’d seek out again. Not bad so much as unexceptional.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.11/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Bottled on January 19, 2012.

A - Pours mahogany with significant ruby hues when held next to the light. About a finger of almond head that settles at a quarter inch. Spiderweb lacing. Hard to rate the appearance vs. other saisons, but I think it looks pretty good.

S - Pear, dark fruits, soda bread, molasses. Some Belgian aromas of banana, clove, and nutmeg but no funky Brett character here. I'm getting more Dubbel than Saison.

T - It is very tart, bordering on salty. Lemon, sea water, pear, and some biscuit malt. None of the sweetness from the nose comes through and there is very little flavor overall.

M - Light-medium body with decent carbonation.

O - I was intrigued by the prospect of a "dark IPA" but this was pretty disappointing. Lacked depth of flavor/complexity and quite literally left a bad taste in my mouth. I much prefer Tomfoolery in the dark saison category. I won't be getting this one again.

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Photo of Zorro
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear dark amber to light brown colored ale with a small tan colored head.

Smell is intensely spicy and fruity. Caramel apples and pepper with a little menthol.

Starts out fruity apple with a lot of caramel taste. Mild bitterness. Sweet with some pepper in the finish.

Mouthfeel is about average.

Overall too sweet for the style.

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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 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 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 Blargimus
3.07/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into tulip. Bottled on 12/14/2011.

Pours about how you would expect an amber ale to look, maybe slightly darker. 2 fingers of fluffy white head. Not bad looking.

Smells eerily like a saison. It's the same cognitive dissonance you get when you smell a black IPA. A little yeasty, a little malty, a touch of sourness. Quite pleasant.

Taste is a little disappointing. There's a yeastiness to start off, followed by a bit of roasted flavor near the end, but there's not a lot of depth. The aftertaste, however, is quite bad. Stale, almost. Blech.

Mouthfeel is fairly dry and thin, but it is a saison, after all. No complaints.

Overall, this is something I'd happily drink if given to me, but wouldn't buy again.

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

Finally bought a six pack as the weather turned a little cold and this looked perfect. Poured from bottle dated 2/27/12 to NBB globe the beer arrives a translucent ruby brown with a small 1/3 finger white cap that quickly fades to a slight film with some lacing. The nose is a disappointment. Sharp and astringent. Almost vinegar in nature with very little saison character. The flavor improves with a mild saison yeast that blends fairly well with a toaste caramel flavor. Mildly bitter with a lingering toasty flavor. Crisp, almost too much so. The mouthfeel suffers as a result, not reminiscent of a saison. Overall this is fairly average which is unfortunate as I had high expectations. Not bad but nothing glorious.

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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 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 hoplover82
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a solid 2 finger with a vigerous pour into a Duvel chalis. Excellent lacing and head retention.
S-The aroma is of bready malts and green apples and green grapes. Subtle spice notes like nutmeg and cinnamin. Very faint noble hop notes. Very pleasant nose indeed.
T-This is where I think the beer fails. The taste is very bland at first with some mild astringency. Then as the beer warms, it gets a little better. The green apples and grapes come in to play along with the bready malts, but it still is nothing in light of the aroma. The spice notes come in on the finish. I don't know what it is, but the flavor just really dissapoints me.
M-The mouthfeel has a crisp, medium body with a mild dry finish. Good amount of carbonation for the style.
O-My overall impression is, for the style it's truly average. I think if they firmented this beer at a higher temp, the esthers would have come out more and would've turned out better.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours dark amber, with a small uneven head. Not much lacing.

S: mild clove, caramel, a note of some lighter fruit, perhaps strawberry. Also, I'm occasionally getting something of a musty, wet-dog smell.

T: A little sweetness and solid biscuit malts. A mild orange caramel finish. A mild saison / farmhouse earthiness throughout.

M: Medium-light body, very easy drinking. Good carbonation and a pleasant linger.

O: Thoroughly average beer. I don't regret buying a 6-pack of it, but wouldn't necessarily seek it out again. Worth a try, though.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.32/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12ounce bottles poured into a 22 ounce glass.
2012 bottling date
A - coppery caramel with a thin little head and a small bit of lacing. Does not look very bubbly.
S - faint lemon grass aroma mixed with a sweet caramel malt.
T - again the light lemon grass comes through but is drowned by the caramel malt. A little touch of sour but not really an earthy tang like a saison should have.
M - somewhat sweet and sticky despite being relatively thin bodied and a bit undercarbonated.
D - not an easy drinker for a Saison and not worth the effort to find again.
It just doesn't have the Saison qualities that I like. Reminds me of sour brown ale without the heaviness.

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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 gatornation
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle part of a mix sixer

A- pours a clear dark copper color with 1 finger tan head and minimal lacing

S- was sweet malts, candied sugar dark fruits and yeat

T was dark fruits with a sweet and sour funk some spice and yeast

M-is creamy smooth with medium carbonation fruit and funk

O- tasted like a hybrid dubbel to me lots of ruit and sugar bread it was drinkable but not great

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

not wild about this one, and it was given to me for free at a bottle shop, so that should say something. pours a dark red tinted copper color with a one inch tan head. aromas of stinky yeast, vienna malts, and burnt sugar. flavor has that saison tartness to it, but its very generic and uninspired, almost dead. the malt profile is decently complex, and i like the idea of darker saisons, but the yeast component is off in the beer. feel is well carbonated and lighter for the color, appropriate. overall not a beer i will buy again, but i appreciate the attempt at something different.

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Photo of KajII
3.24/5  rDev -5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Best served in a Tulip glass]

The pour was a mahogany brown with a small (less than 1 finger) white fizzy head that dissipated in a matter of seconds, down to almost non-existent collar with poor lacing.

Aroma had a mild funkiness to it with a mild straw malt, a barnyard scented yeast and notes of a mild dark chocolate, some very ripe fruit (plums, dates and pears) and a mild peppery spice.

The taste was very lightly sweet with a nice malty feel and a hint of fruit from the beginning with the finish having a strong funky yeast taste and a mild peppery ending. The flavor lasted only a short time proceeding the swallow being mostly of a funky spicy yeast flavor that disappeared very quickly.

Mouthfeel was a shade or two above light in body and watery, yet creamy in texture with an almost flat carbonation.

Overall a very unique tasting Farmhouse Ale, but good none the less...

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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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