W'12 Dark Saison | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

117 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 268
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.

 671 characters

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

 473 characters

Photo of socon67
3.32/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark copper pour, some lacing, and good foam retantion.

S - Smell of belgian yeast, earthy spices, and fresh grains.

T - Only okay. The balance seemed a bit out of whack. Didn't have that crisp flavor typical of a good saison.

M - Decent drinking beer, but after a while the flavor seemed bland.

O - Wouldn't try it again. Was curious about a dark saison, but this almost seemed like it really wasn't to the style.

 423 characters

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.

 427 characters

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.

 1,291 characters

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.

 485 characters

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.

 1,731 characters

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.

 545 characters

Photo of jar2574
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark saison, pours a very dark brown color with decent tan head that dissolves a little too quickly. Lacing is OK. Smell is weak for a saison and there isn't enough barnyardy funkiness for my taste.

Overall, it's a very drinkable, mild, beer that has some malt caramel sweetness, a touch of chocolate, and some funky yeastiness.

I could have used a livelier mouthfeel. I don't mind drinking it, but I'm not crazing another.

 426 characters

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.

 416 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a tulip glass. Pours a dark brown color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is fruity malt, caramel, bananas, and Belgian yeast.

T- The taste like the aroma has some malt up front along with banana, spices and yeast. 

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, this one fell short for me. I was excited about the concept of the beer but it was just lacking. This beer in not bad by any means, but it is merely on the average side.

 501 characters

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.

 967 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark saisons are the evil cousin to the standard farmhouse style. Where the elegant dry fruit and earthy spice of the original takes a dark and somewhat deviant turn to charred fruits and black peppercorn, the whole world of saisons turn on its axis.

Pouring a deep and dark bronze color, the nearly bark-brown beer shows allows for garnet highlights to show. Creamy carbonation releases a thick and somewhat liquefied head of ivory-white foam that retains and laces nicely throughout the duration of the session. It seems that I wanted a more bubbly appearance and head character that was more airy, rocky, and sticky.

Aromas of toast rise to the nose immediately and do so with a spicy jab of freshly cracked black peppercorns. Background notes of thin caramel, baked breads/bread crust, and barley malt complement the toasty scent and balance the fruity notes of charred plumbs, grapes, and currants.

Flavors follow, but do so with an introduction of light caramel malt, nutty, toasty, and fruity sweetness. Spicy notes seem of pepper, earthy rye, and zesty hops and seemingly do so with spice additions instead of unique yeast character. Fruitiness of apples, plumbs, and dates- all of the toasted varieties, begin to seem more of an English-like ale rather than Belgian fruity/spicy interplay.

Creamy sweetness coats the mouth in full fashion. Where the effervescence should wash away the malt sweetness and usher in the fruity, spicy dryness- here, the malt sweetness and body lingers long past mid palate and only lightens as the warm alcohols and hop dryness assists in finish.

Saisons are one of my favorite styles, and I enjoy all the variations that the style takes. Even traditional ones are known to be darker and toastier. Although this is a pleasant enough beer, it misses the bone dry fruit and sharp earthy spice that make Saisons so unique. I feel that a few 'conveniences' were taken that hinder the beer and doesn't allow it to compete favorably with classic Belgian varieties or even Goose Island's Pepe Nero.

 2,035 characters

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.

 507 characters

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.

 533 characters

Photo of billab914
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my Ithaca glass. It poured brown in color with a thin, frothy head covering the top of the beer.

The aroma shows a lot of peppery, earthy, yeast spice to it with banana being one of the predominant flavors. I get a good amount of the sweeter, malty, caramel flavors with just a hint of chocolate as well.

The banana and clove notes are pretty evident in the flavor as well. The caramel and malty sweet flavors are there as well. The yeast flavors give it a bit of a hefeweizen like quality, but the maltiness obviously sets it apart. Pretty good flavors overall.

The mouthfeel is a little light with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a pretty good beer. It was flavorful, drinkable and a little unique as well. It didn't really taste very Saison like to me though, maybe more like a malty hefeweizen, as unintuitive as that sounds.

 861 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

bottled JAN 06 12. 12oz into tulip.

A: dark ruby hued brew. head is bubbly, white with red tint. dies to a rim with minimal lacing.

S: fruity. a touch of pineapple. rich caramel malt. yeasty ester notes as i swirl the glass.

T: very clovey off the bat. hop presence is minimal as the yeast and malt are the primary players here. slightly metallic. chewy cereal grains linger into the finish.

M: average carbonation on a medium body.

D: the flavor reminds me so much more of a dunkel than anything resembling a saison. it would certainly make a solid showing as a dunkel as well, however this brew claims to be a dark saison, which it is not. pass.

 657 characters

Photo of Psilo707
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: A beautiful mahogany colored liquid pours into a nice, new Fat Tire stein and leaves very thin head right away wiith some erratic lacing. Not too prominent at all which is strange since some other reviews said it was thick and lacy. Either way, looks decent!

S: Musky, dark scent coming off the top. Smells a bit like cotton candy apples and molasses, but the scent isn't too strong.

T: Tastes pretty decent. A bit coppery at first but fades into some nice tasting brew pretty quickly. Has an acorn, walnut, dark sugary appeal while still keeping the spicy nature of saison brews complete and in-tact. Pretty good overall and doubtful to give any of your friends or family beer drinkers a sour face.

M: Somewhat thin. Wish this were more creamy so it could expound the flavor into your mouth in a more full-bodied way. Not too bad though - just mediocre.

Overall: Decent release from Widmer but not quite up to par with most of their family line of brews. I'm glad this will stick in the Brewmaster pack and probably won't make it to the full bottled production version. Decent, but skippable!

 1,100 characters

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.

 484 characters

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.

 784 characters

Photo of timtwoface
3.12/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am in no way advocating that this beer is not good; I know plenty that love this type. I'm just not into the really strong, malty, classically Belgian-style beers that are out there, and this definitely fits that mold, in my opinion. If that's your thing, give this seasonal beer a try if you can find it.

 307 characters

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

From Notes:

P: A Beautiful clear dark copper with amber highlights with a crown of airy inch thick white head. Streaming bubbles race to the top while the head rapidly dissipates leaving bubbly lacing which doesn't stick.

S: Earth forward smell with yeast, honey, sweet orchard fruits, grains and hay. Upon being swirled a delicious aroma of bananas and spice surround a small amount of funkiness.

T/M: Lightly watered down and sloshy feel that brings earthy grains, timid funky yeast, bubble gum and apples. Gentle grassy hops massage the palate and finishes dry with a lingering taste of carrots.

O: Very impressive brew with an interesting flavor profile and an exquisitely easy to drink beer. Robust flavors that marry well together to provide a fantastic beer. Best part is that it comes in a six pack. Will definitely be a regular in my house.

 855 characters

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.

 659 characters

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.

 683 characters

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.

 543 characters

W'12 Dark Saison from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.41 out of 5 based on 268 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.