Captain Fantasy | Short's Brewing Company

very good
49 Reviews
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Captain FantasyCaptain Fantasy

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by womencantsail on 08-22-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 233
Photo of Cresant
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Undated 12 oz. bottle. Reviewed from notes. The body was a hazy yellow gold with minimal head.

The smell was an interesting musty pear. There was a Belgian yeast pungency too.

The taste was funky, sweaty wool up front with enough bitterness to cut through. Pear is fresh and evident. The components are distinct and work well together.

The body was medium with an assertive carbonation. Enjoyable.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - The beer pours the color of liquid gold. A modest white head clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell - The aroma initially makes me think of banana liquor, but then I get the pear. The saison notes hover between liquor and funk.

Taste - On the initial taste, I detect a bitter wash of farmhouse funk. The bitterness hovers amid the carbonation. I am made to think of soured banana chips or a dry sour candy. The beer finishes a mediciny sour taste.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is quote present and almost attacks the tongue. It does sweep away the taste rather nicely.

Overall - Shorts eccentric brews are sometimes an adventure. Some are winners and some are not winners. While I love the Elton John reference in the beers namesake (my personal favorite album from Sir Elton), I am not a fan of the beer.

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Photo of maximum12
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to tectactoe for my annual load of Short's, which I need just to remind myself that there are still people brewing push-the-boundary beer in the world...every day at Short's, evidently. 12 oz. bottle split with my wife.

Pour is dark, dehydrated after a day of hiking yellow, skimpy carbonation. Nose brings lemon, pear, lime, & a side order of sweetness. Yeast doesn't really reach the nostrils.

Captain Fantasy jukes to the left of the nose as the yeast takes over. Gentle funk suffuses the beer; this is classic saison. The advertised fruit comes in a distant second as slow hints of lemon & pear, slightly sweet. White grape a bit stronger. Smattering of earthy hops. Six ounces is OK with me, though I could have done the 'whole' bottle.

Put a picture of this in the dictionary next to 'typical saison'. I'd have liked the hopping or the pear to make more than a cameo, but one plays with the hand one is deal. Pretty good, but very low on the Short's-weird-o-meter.

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Photo of kevanb
2.64/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a stemless wine glass.

The beer pours a hazy, cloudy, gold color, that has some slight clarity when settled. A small head appears, a finger at best that has poor retention, but yields a fair amount of soapy lace. The aroma is fruity, certainly from the pear, but decently so from the hops, although the beer is quite bitter and astringent, even on the nose.
Belgian yeast, or any funkiness known to a saison are afterthoughts with this, the hops really dominate. The flavors are bitter, earthy, but with some juicy fruit flavor, but a substantial amount of mustiness, somewhat in line with a traditional saison but it's mainly due to the hops, bitter and dank with some dryness that confuses the flavors. The body is very crisp, a bit thinner than expected with a very dry and sharp finish.

Verdict: A creative and ambitious take on the saison, but it's a big miss for me. It's one dimensionally bitter, lacking any depth or complexity, the pear comes across well at times, but the profuse hopping doesn't do this beer any justice.

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Photo of Flopjack
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into snifter

Appearance - Golden yellow light maltiness, smaller head that settles quickly leaving an intricate lace like quality atop the beer. Ring wraps around the glass

Smell - Juicy and fruity. Starts out with pear and a wheat like Saison note. Hops notes enter more towards the end but not extremely citrus like. Spicy herbal notes, yeast. Lots of floral like aromas.

Taste - More hop forward in the taste as opposed to the smell. Starts out with notes of pear, not to sweet also not tart. Hop character comes forth in the middle part of the taste with citrus notes of orange, grapefruit, lemon. Ends with a herbal spicy ness with coriander and some wheat. Hop character also lingers a little in the after taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body. Highly carbonated refreshing crisp feel.

Overall - Good beer. Has a floral like character that reminds me of a flower shop. The taste offers a unique experience. Not only are you getting pear and sweetness but you get a sticky pungent goodness that is like an IPA. Still has that earthy spice to it with ginger and coriander notes. Try one and decide for yourself.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from IAmJacksHopTongue (thanks man!). No easily dicernable bottle dating. Served in a Sweetwater snifter.

Pours a briliant, hazy gold with a tight cap of white head that quickly fades to a neat ring. Little lacing.

Smells yeasty with notes of hay, spice, fruit skins and earthy hops.

Taste matches the description. I get pear, dry yeastiness and floral hops in a nice balance. Pear, apple, hay, yeast, grass, pine, clove and green peppercorns. A good bit of depth without any noticeable booze.

Medium light feel with generous carbonation. Dry, bitter finish with pear skins, pine and slight yeasty funk.

Is it a hoppy saison or a Belgian IPA? If there is a line between the two, this stradles it well. The addition of pear to the mix is enjoyably inspired. Arguably the best hopped up saison I've had.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

$2.19 for a 12oz bottle @ BevCo. Brewed with pear and Sorachi Ace hops.
6.7% ABV, 55 IBU.

Pours out to a brilliantly clear straw golden, forming a big white mousse like head with superior retention and solid lacing. Carbonation is brisk, ~3.25 carbs or so. Thick layer of heavily compacted yeast in the bottom of the bottle. The aroma is quite nice...a blend of pear, yeast, citrusy hops and yeast esters of green banana, moderate DMS and pineapple. Quite yeasty in the nose. Mouthfeel is light and light bodied, finishing quite dry. The taste is a recap of the aroma...pear, green bananas, yeast, lemon pith, moderate DMS, medium hop bitterness lingering into the finish. Although not mentioned as an ingredient, I suspect beet sugar was used to get the attenuation needed for this beer and to get the OG and ABV where they are.

An interesting beer. The bitterness and yeastiness is a bit much for me, but it's still worth trying, especially if you like Belgian Triples and Saisons.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 fl. oz. bottle

A - This beer is hazy and has a golden hue with pale yellow highlights. It is topped with a couple inches of off-white head.

S - It is light and fruity. I notice the pear but not the hops.

T - The hops are definitely present in the taste. The citrus hops almost cover up the pear and musty flavors. I still taste them, but the finish and aftertaste are all citrus hops.

M - Medium and highly carbonated.

O - It is a pretty good beer. Although, I am starting to find hoppy styles of nontraditionally hoppy styles of beer tiresome.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Like that one girl that Raul had his eyes glued on every morning as he passed her while on his way to Biology class, this one is unique. Funky, slight bite, and a good dollop of pear... Yeah, like when Raul thinks of the success of Nicky Manaj, this one leaves him scratching his head.

I like it, but...

Like Raul's high school fantasy girl, the main man may never fully grasp the enigma that is Captain Fantasy, but it will always keep him intrigued.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - The beer pours a hazy golden yellow with a bright white head.

S - Fruity, citrus zest, pear, yeast, bread dough.

T - Fruit forward - apples, pears, wine, followed by the hops and yeast. The hops take over to finish. This is a unique concoction.

O - This is such an interesting brew. After one sip, I thought wow, this might be a drain pour, but after each sip I began to enjoy the marriage of saison and IPA. I would try it again.

Notes - Shorts label purchased from Copper Vine

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Photo of deadchef
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

poured into a pint glass from bottle

a: light gold, short and quickly dispersing head. slight haze.
s: tropical, floral, light belgian funk.
t: pear flavor there. bitterness from hops seem a bit high for the style. slightly bready.
m: a bit dry. light heat from alcohol.
o: overall interesting beer. aggressively hopped saison with some pear flavor. i don't dislike this beer but i wouldn't buy another.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a hazy golden orange with a thin white head.

S - Some yeasty funkiness, light amount of sweetness from the pear.

T - Nicely balanced. Funky yeast up front, followed by a good amount of pear sweetness. Finish is pretty much all hops producing some bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

O - Good saison. Hoppiness tends to take over he finish, otherwise a very well balanced beer.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

A- Clean, golden body. 1-1/2 finger, fluffy, off-white head. Moderate carbonation. Great stick.

S- Tons of pear up front. Underlying hops hint at citrus or tropical fruits as well. Light doughy element.

T- Fruit overload, though not just from the pear. The hops add a huge grapefruit flavor, getting pithy even by the end. Some cracker-like flavors. Clean, hoppy finish.

M- Full bodied. Though carbonation may be significant, it struggles to keep up with the viscosity of the body. Quite dry (pleasantly).

O- By no means a bad beer. However, the hopping takes away from the overall enjoyment in my opinion. Both the pear and any farmhouse/saison qualities get lost. It reminds me of more of some of the popular American pale wheat ales which have been overly hopped (which I can generally take or leave). Certainly good for what it is, just not in my wheelhouse. Maybe I'm more of a saison traditionalist.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Short's Captain Fantasy today for $2.09 at The Lager Mill. I've been wanting to try this ever since I heard about Short's collaborating with Half Acre to make a Pear Saison, I didn't get a chance to try the first release of this beer so I made sure to try this years release and this was the beer that I voted on when Short's had people vote for a beer to be bottled this year, lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a tulip.

A- The label looks weird, it's not bad, but it's far from the best looking Short's label. It poured a slightly hazy yellow color that took on a golden color when held to the light with two fingers worth of slightly off white head that died down to a slightly thicker ring that stayed till the end and left some patchy and spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by some Saison aromas showing up first imparting a lighter barnyard funk aromas with some more and Saison like aroma with a very big spicy aroma. Up next comes come orange rind and lemon grass like aromas with some pear aromas sticking out the most and imparting a nice fresh pear aroma. Towards the end come some earthy, slightly grassy and spici hop like aromas. This beer has a pretty good aroma, there's a good balance of Saison and pear aromas.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by some some grainy, bready and slight wheat like malt aromas, up next comes some yeast flavor that it isn't very farmhouse like and it's pretty spicy tasting and it's followed by some c citrus rind flavors and a nice amount of noticeable fresh pear flavor. On the finish there's a pretty big hop flavor with some earthy, grassy and spicy hops really coming through imparting a pretty high amount of medium bitterness that bordered on being highly bitter with a lingering bitterness, grainy and fruity aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting beer, I liked the pear flavors, but I thought the bitterness was a little too much for this beer to handle.

M- A little smooth, clean, crisp, linger bitterness, medium bodied with a medium amount carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer, I wouldn't say it's a good example of a straight up Saison, but Short's calls this as highly hopped Saison brewed with pears and as that it's pretty good, it's neither a Full on Saison, fruit beer, or IPA, it's a mixture of all three. This beer had ok drinkability, it was a little smooth, not filling, and the taste did a good decent job at holding my attention, I think a bottle or two would be nice, but anymore than that and I think the bitterness would start to wear on me. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma, it was pretty good and it had some nice Saison aromas along with some really nice fresh and juicy pear aromas. What I liked the least about this beer was the higher amount of bitterness, the hop flavors weren't bad, but I wish the bitterness was toned down a little, it seems to be a little overpowering. I would buy this beer again, I only bought one bottle to see if I liked it, but I'm sure I'll grab a couple more before they are all gone and I would recommend this to anyone that thinks Short's description of this beer sounds good to them. All in all I didn't love this beer, but I didn't hate either, it was nice to have a chance to try this beer. I've tried many different styles from Short's but I've never had a Saison from them and while I wasn't super impressed with it I still enjoyed up. Nice work guys, thanks for keeping the creative beers coming.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

appearance: light yellowish orange color. almost no head but a small off-white foam that leaves just a touch of lacing on the edges.

Smell: slightly tart flavors mixed with a yeasty spiciness. a mixture of fruits, some sweet some bitter. not super fragrant

Taste: opens up with pear, yeast takes over with a spicy taste. finishes off with a good dose of super lemony hops. and equal bitterness. almost like biting a lemon skin at times. some bready and pale malts fill out in the backside

Mouthfeel: has a bit of warmth for the alcohol content. huge lingering bitterness and very dry.

Overall: a vastly complex and interesting beer. Its pretty good but is a sipper due to the dry warmth and bitterness.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 11/21/13 and poured 12/4/13 -- 13 days later. Poured this into a shaker pint.

Appearance: I poured the whole bottle in, including the stuff at the bottom. The beer is a golden, lemon sort of yellow color with a finger or two of an egg white head. The lacing is quite patchy, but nice. I really like the swirly haze the beer offers from the way I poured it -- works well with the whole "Captain Fantasy" name. The label art isn't quite as great as some of Short's others, but I definitely like the colors, and it's certainly eye catching.

Smell: Candied pears (that's a thing, right?), with a lot of lemon. A bit of that saison funk. Maybe some tropical fruit.

Taste: Much like the smell, but with the addition of hops and malt (this IS a beer, right?). The lemon/pear flavor is still on the forefront though. The hops and malts seem to come together for me in the finish. The hops add a nice bittering, almost leafy sort of flavor to the beer, and the malts leave a bready sort of aftertaste.

Feel: I'm relieved this beer has a decent body to it, because if this were any thinner, I'd enjoy it a decent bit less. The body's fairly light (hey, it's a saison), but it has enough that it doesn't drink like lemon pledge cereal water.

I haven't had many saisons, but I really quite enjoy this beer. The smell is very inviting with its fruitiness, and the beer has a solid bitterness and dry finish to keep you wanting another sip. It's not exactly a "knock your socks off" kind of beer, but it's a tasty one. Like a reviewer below said, I'm not sure I'd get a six pack of this (or if I did, it'd sit for up to two weeks probably), but it's something I'd very gladly have again. The freshness is fantastic, and this would be a great brew to enjoy to signal the start of spring and/or summer.

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Photo of PaulyB83
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass

A- Pours a nice golden straw color that is pretty clear compared to other saisons I've had. I swirled the bottle and added the sediment halfway through which I tend to do with bottle conditioned beers, it's like getting two beers in one! After adding the sediment it become the cloudy roasted lemon color I'm accustomed to in saisons. Nice high white head that dissipates to a thin film.

S- Some mild dank funkiness, and some sweet pear coming through as well as a decent hop aroma. Upon adding the sediment it becomes more balanced with the hops and yeast.

T- The hops are really taking over in the taste, the yeast next, then the pear. Probably could have advertised this as a Belgian IPA, however it is labeled as having "profuse hoppiness".

M- Medium body, good level of carbonation.

O- A nice saison that becomes more full flavored once the sediment is added. I've learned it is a "no-no" really to do that but I prefer the more unfiltered beer flavor that comes with adding sediment. This is hopped with Sorachi Ace so naturally the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace comparisons come to mind. And while that is a better brew, this one definitely comes close in flavor profile.

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Photo of elNopalero
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a clear golden yellow. I get an estery-floral aroma of pear blossoms and white grapes, perhaps? The flavor has a floral profile with white grape and a slight funky note on it. Opens pleasantly as it warms. I thought of this as being like a Belg-pale ale hybrid.

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Photo of dfillius
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass
A: Moderate pour yields 1.25 fingers of white rocky head with good retention. Hazy golden color.
S: Lemon, lime, pear, Brettanomyces
T: Fruity sweet and tart right up front with pear lingering in the aftertaste. Not as much Brett dry funkiness as in the aroma. Thank goodness! Just a tiny bit of funkiness. Unique. Some whole wheat breadiness lingers on with some pear as well. Nelson Sauvin or citra hops maybe? Not readily apparent.
M: Smooth, tart, dry.
O: Unique and enjoyable. Very nice. I'd order another. Perfect for a sunny day. I wouldn't buy 6 probably, but I do want it again.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 8/2/2011. Pours very hazy golden straw color with a very nice 2 finger dense white head with great retention that reduces to a thin cap that lasts. Some very nice soapy lacing on the glass. Aromas of big pear, apricot, herbal, grape, orange peel, lemon zest, grass, pepper, yeast spices, and light funk. Nice, complex, and balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of pear, apricot, orange peel, lemon zest, pepper, herbal, grass, and yeast spices. Light tartness on the finish, with lingering notes of citrus zest, pear, pepper, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Great malt and spice flavor balance, with the malt being stronger. No cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a slightly slick and crisp mouthfeel. Very easy to drink; with hardly any alcohol warming after the finish. Overall this is a great saison. Nice fruity flavor and balance; and very easy to drink.

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Photo of webmanspidey
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Cloudy pale color with lots of soapy head. Smells of Belgian yeast, pear, and apple. Taste is a very drinkable mix of hops, spice, and pear. Alcohol presence very low. Mouthfeel fairly creamy. Very tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/20/12
*From notes

A: Gorgeous cloudy lemon in color. A good pour yields a 1.5 finger fluffy white head. Really sticky and thick lacing rims the glass as the heads refuses to fall.

S: I get some blue cheese funk at first, and as I really inhale, I detect tart, acidic citrus.

T: Mildly funky. The balance here is pretty on-point. Plenty of acid and biting citrus. I do continue to get some blue cheese, but it's not overwhelming. There's a lasting lemon rind and hop quality to it. Pretty nice stuff.

M: Bubbly as it should be, and with a bit more texture then your average farmhouse ale. It really helps to bump up the flavors.

O: I haven't had many Shorts beer, well....many I've liked anyway. This, though, is quite nice, and something that paired beautifully with my dinner. One-of-a-kind and tasty. What more could you ask for? Recommended for sure.

*Paired with grilled chicken gyros

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Photo of russwbeck
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy yellow pour with a ton of bubbles racing to the top, which hold a wispy white head. The beer actually becomes quite clear once it has sat for a while. Not much retention here, but the lacing is quite nice.

S: There's a lot going on in this guy's aroma! Typical saison funk and yeast, but with definitely some pear and far more than your average hoppiness. The label is not lying to you here folks.

T: The taste here really surprised me, I thought I was ready. Huge hit of pears start it off, followed by some fruity and bitter hops. A bit metallic at times, the beer does still boast some barnyard funk. Something about the taste is putting me off, and now that I taste it, I smell it as well. Just an odd metal like character that I do not like.

MF: Over-carbonated, but light and crisp in body. The beer stings the palate ever so slightly and has a dry finish. Not all that drinkable with the strange, disjointed taste.

O: This was damn interesting. I liked parts of it, and hated parts of it. I would certainly recommend it to someone who wanted to delve into something they've never had before.

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Photo of danwho
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though not usually a fan of saisons, this one tastes different to me.
Must be the pears, there is a pronounced sweetness on the palate. Very nice and totally unexpected.
Got this bottle from FourKicks as an extra, last October.
Poured into a tulip, nice head, lasts a while, with lacing.
Smells more sweet and less spicy than most farmhouse ales.
A pleasant surprise.

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Photo of stakem
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to StormKing47 for gifting me with a bottle of this. 12oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass. The brew appears a pale yellow with slight haze. 2 and a half fingers of fluffy white froth sits atop the brew composed of larger than average bubbles. It maintains an uneven froth completely across the top supported by constantly rising bubbles of carbonation. As the cap slowly fades, it leaves a thick webbing of lacework sticking to the glass.

The nose on this brew has an interesting mixture of fruity aspects. Lemon hits first that blends into a bit of tropical quality. Notes of sulfur are fairly strong coupled with peppery spice, straw-like grain and herbal to veggie-like hops. As the brew warms up, it picks up an interesting aroma that almost smells like cooked cabbage.

The taste is mildly fruity with a lemony tartness. More sips bring out an earthy flavoring with toasty straw grain flavoring. A bit of peppery spice is noted along with some clove and more earthy flavors that blend with something along the lines of cooked vegetables. A touch of bittering hops is noted towards the back and comes out as the brew warms and it mixes with the earthen flavors. Light hints of fruited quality are present but never really gives a true nod in the direction of pears as listed on the label. If anything, the pear quality of this brew is present with a skin flavor and earthy feel, not so much the fleshy ripe aspects.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a lively amount of carbonation. It finishes quite dry which increases the drinkability quite a bit. By all means this is an interesting brew that is worth a try if you like your saisons with a fruity twist. All in all I think this one worked pretty well but it should probably be drank on the cooler side since that awkward cooked veggy/cabbage aspect is quite distracting when it comes out. Thanks again Josh for sharing this.

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Captain Fantasy from Short's Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 233 ratings.
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