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

Appearance: Clear amber, with a modest white head, thin glass-coating lace, and very slight carbonation.

Aroma: Strong earthy notes, with almost a barnyard note, swith our hay, and decaying wood. There is also a slight note of dark fruit.

Taste: Notes of earthy, medicinal notes from start to finish. There are also moderate herbal hops, and a grassy undercurrent, and a faint note of sweet alcohol. Finishes with a lingering. slightly spicy hop note.

Mouth feel: smooth, sof, and quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A decent and interesting example, worth a try.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a standard Pilsener glass.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 leedorham
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at a local grocery. Pretty good deal for a sixer. Like 8 clams I think.

Pours a deep brownish red with a thick white head. Pretty clear beer. Good lacing and head retention.

Smell is a bit acidic with some sour cherry. Not too powerful.

Taste is of tart fruit. A bit candy like but not overly so. A bit of sweetness to combat the tartness. Not much depth.

Overall this is as good as I would have hoped at the price point. Widmer is stepping up their game lately methinks.

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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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