Great Lakes 25th Anniversary Belgian Saison | Great Lakes Brewery

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Very Good
32 Ratings

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by liamt07 on 08-17-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by WeedKing4:
Photo of WeedKing4
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First glass of the 750ml pours a clear golden with a good amount of head. The second glass was nicey and hazy with the golden colour as well. Tastes of slight spices with a bit of banana cloves and some slight citrus with the finish. Very refreshing overall and drinks down very smooth. Been impressed with their anniversery beers. I just wish they were more available.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle as part of the brewery’s 25th anniversary celebrations release. According to the label, this brew uses saison yeast, coriander, pepper, and grains of paradise in the recipe.

Poured into a tulip glass. Hazy bright golden, with a big bubbled head of a couple inches that receded into a thick ring with some lacing flecks. Carbonation graces the sides of the glass, giving this a champagne quality in the early stages of the pour. Minimal sediment.

Nose is lively and fresh, with notes of yeast, coriander, and a big lemon component. Grassy and floral hints as well.

Tasty saison, with fresh citrus, coriander, bubblegum near the finish, a bit of yeast, nice slightly bitter finish. Hits all the marks for me. Slightly dry and puckery feel, little sediment, medium bodied.

Another solid brew for the anniversary release. I really hope this release acts as a sort of coming out party for Great Lakes, and that we see more brews like this from them on the shelves.

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Photo of BGDrock
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: slight haze; flat gold colour; egg white head is decent, lasting several minutes

Aroma: spice, coriander; orange or mandarin sweetness; a lot like a weisse

Taste & Mouthfeel: intense tart flavours up front, lightly balanced with sweet malt and a bitter, spicy hop that moves forward in the finish quite aggressively; strong spice flavour throughout and some lemon; brings to mind autumn on the farm or in the woods; hops are slightly grassy too which is a good compliment to the spice notes - in fact the whole range of fairly diverse flavours end up pairing well; medium body and easy drinking

Overall: a complex, friendly, delicious saison; you would think they've been brewing it for years

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Stouts. Fresh and slightly citrus aroma. Initial taste is a lemon and orange citrus flavoured ale, and then it transitions to a yeasty beverage, more of a saison as it warms. Hazy yellow coloured body with lots of lace. Pepper, more in the sediment of the glass. Drinkable for the summer heat,though nothing exceptional.

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Photo of heebes
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle.

Pours a slight hazy golden with large three finger white fluffy head that recedes quickly. Nose is spicy, Belgian yeast, light fruit esters, pear, candied raisons and grain wheat backing. Taste is light and refreshing, malt character evident with some spiciness in the finish. Corriander on the back end. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, drying towards the end.
Overall, a really great end of summer saison.

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Photo of kirkse
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to GL 25th Anniversary snifter.

A - Slightly hazy pale yellow colour. One finger of bright white head that receded to a thin layer.

S - Belgian yeast, clove, spice and bready malts with a slight sweetness present.

T - A big peppery spice profile up front. Belgian yeast, cloves, bready/grainy malts with a slight sweetness. Some floral notes in the background.

M - Medium body, somewhat creamy. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of ThinkAgain
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of spinrsx
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 10$

Appearance – Slightly hazy gold colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains/wheat, citrus, yeast

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste grains/bread mixed with light yeast, citrus, and some peppery notes. There is also some yeast mixed with apples/green grapes. It ends with a slightly spicy aftertaste.

Overall – Good not great.. I was expecting a little more, especially based on the price. A decent beer for the summer months, but a little too pricey for what you get.

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Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of liamt07
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at C'est What, into a pint glass.

Hazy golden yellow, with good head and mild retention (and lacing as good as can be expected from a C'est What pint). Yeasty nose, lots of lemony-orange-general citrus zest, and a bit of spice and wheat. Taste is again dominated by the citrus rind/zest. Lightly drying, and a hint of residual spice. Yeasts and some wheat as well. Fairly simple, yet flavourful and refreshing - shame this showed up at the end of the summer and not at the start of it.

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Photo of SebD
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice semi-cloudy golden/yellow color to it. It has a nice white head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of Belgian yeast, spices, citrus, lemon and bready and grainy malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some Belgian yeast, peppery spices, citrus/lemon note, and bready/grainy malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of jrenihan
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is light blonde, slightly cloudy. Moderately sized white head. Decent retention and lacing.

Nose is full of banana- seems like lots of wheat. Floral. Spices, includng coriander and what I assume is grains of paradise given the label, but frankly I am not sure what those smell like! Comes across like a spicy hefeweizen to me.

The yeast comes across more in the nose, bringing out the saison qualities more. Light fruits, a bit citrusy, with spices. Coriander for sure. Spices linger in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied, moderate to high carbonation.

Overall, pretty good. Not exciting, but tasty. Would like a bit more emphasis on the yeast and a bit less on the spice, but enjoyable.

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Photo of MattPS
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of wizo
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of KeKeKumba
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of korguy123
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Freshly bottled, purchased at the brewery 8/16/2012
Poured into Great Lakes 25th Anniversary tulip.

A- Crystal clear, rich golden pour. Two finger snow white head, slowly deflates to a thin ring leaving small gobs of lacing.

S- Apples, pears, grapes, some spicy Belgian yeast and a nice loaf of bread in there.

T- Spicy yeast right up front, makes way for apples, pears, grape skins and some digestive cookies.

M- Light bodied, slightly chewy, lingering finish.

O- I like this, not as much as the porter but it's still definitely worth getting at least one. I have 2 more bottles to enjoy.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of biegaman
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLB 25th Anniversary Belgian Saison has enough golden straw to build a bale house. It also, however, has the same degree of clarity as grapefruit juice; the colour is bright but the complexion is hazy. It's an attractive and unique aesthetic that works well with the little bubbles stirring about. Its head is unimpressive (especially for a saison) but leaves a lacing that looks like a prehistoric riverbed.

Although all beers are subject to some extent of interchangeability, Saison as a style has a definitive, unmistakable smell. Just as bananas or onions or bacon can be readily identified by their particular and pronounced smells, so too saisons (regardless of differences of degree) all share a distinguishably peppery, bready, herbaceous, and sometimes lemony scent. Going by smell, I'd call this a bona-fide Saison.

The flavour begins on a bready maltiness that at mid-point gives way to a fruity, sugary, grapefruit or orange marmalade note. A peppery, clove-like spice parachutes itself in on the finish and leaves a big, zesty tingle in the mouth. Between all these elements, no single entity stands as rider to the flavour horse. Each sip has the twists and turns of an episode of Breaking Bad. There's lots going on.

Between the rash of spice and lemony acidity, this beer has more ferociousness than most around the six-point-five percent mark. It's no struggle to drink, but it does register on the palate as stronger than its stated abv. There is a spoonful of honey to the malts, but between grains of paradise, pepper and coriander, spices run the show. (As an aside, I'm not sure they needed to add spices, the yeast is pretty flamboyant.)

Great Lakes Brewing is a bit of a jack of all trades. These anniversary series offerings do well to highlight that, as this (slightly exaggerated, but) convincingly "Belgian" saison attests. I've often complained that New World brewers don't understand the sophistication of Old World saisons, but I won't ride that hobby horse here. And while this beer uses the crutch of spices, the means justified the ends, in my opinion. This is good stuff.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(3.5) A: Slightly hazy golden amber colour with a micro-bubbled foam head. Recedes to a ring with spotty lacing down the glass.

(4.0) S: Grains, grasses, honey, belgian-style spices (clove & pepper), sweet tropical fruits (primarily banana), and tart orchard fruits (mainly pear & apple). There’s also an appealing floral element to this. Perhaps a little subdued but nonetheless a very good team of aromas.

(4.0) T: Dry grains, noticeable lemon, tart orchard fruits, spices, and a bit of banana and honey to sweeten this up a bit on the backend. Lingering bitter and dry qualities are nice. Overall taste profile leans to acidic/sour with maybe too few sweet tropical fruits as I’d like to see, but still very tasty make no mistake.

(4.0) M: Medium bodied with a moderate (prickly) carbonation. Quite heavy and oily (pleasingly so) with a solid dry finish. Nicely done.

(4.0) D: Happy to see one of my favourite ON breweries brewing one of my favourite styles that isn’t exactly all that common on the shelf. It’s quite a good saison and something I would pick up again.

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Photo of Kremlock
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Darker straw colour with hues of orange. You can see fairly well through the beer but it is still hazy. Pours a nice thick creamy white head that stays persistent as it falls to a bout 1/8 inch during drinking.

S: Fruity esters, some mango and tangerine are noticeable. Spiciness present. Reminds me a bit of light cinnamon, some cardamon, hints of white pepper.

T: Some tangy orange flavours mixed with some cinnamon and pepper. A slight tart flavour is present with a nice dry finish.

M: Low-medium body, high carbonation, slick on the tongue, slight acidity balances the dry finish and the fruity/spicy flavours.

O: A good saison by all means. Well balanced on the fruity and spicy notes. Acidity and tartness are complimenting.

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Photo of rappmann
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ML bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours a light straw yellow, very effervescent. Soap like white head forms and goes as quickly as it came. nice lacing.

S - Cloves and spicy yeast notes come through first, followed by lemon rind and a bready sweetness.

T - Spicy yeast again, from the Belgian yeast used. Lemon, pepper, and clove follow.

M - Really really light and easy drinking, heavy carbonation makes this great and similar to many great saisons that I have had.

O - A good beer, but I would have enjoyed it much more in the summer. It's a very light crisp summery style, but I still appreciated it a lot after a hard days work.

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Great Lakes 25th Anniversary Belgian Saison from Great Lakes Brewery
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 32 ratings