Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Your Top 10 Saisons

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Immortale25, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Ricelikesbeer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Posts:
    737
    Likes Received:
    331
    Location:
    Colorado
    Yeah Funkwerks is great. Tropic King is my favorite so far. Recently their Deceit (strong golden ale) won gold, and they won small brewery of the year. They're pretty easy to find in Colorado, but doubt they'll distribute too far from home for a few years. They seem to really compete (by reputation) with Crooked Stave, which hasnt' really begun to bottle and distribute much.
     
  2. tbm882

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Posts:
    60
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    New York
  3. smakawhat

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Posts:
    6,472
    Likes Received:
    50,363
    Location:
    Maryland
    I am really on the fence with "black" saison, I've only had two one which I mentioned already Saison Darkly which is quite memorable. The other being the well known Pepe Nero which I just didn't care for. Always giving the Goose a whirl when it's something I haven't tried, but I unfortunately didn't care much for that one. I am no sure if I'd try another...
     
  4. smakawhat

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Posts:
    6,472
    Likes Received:
    50,363
    Location:
    Maryland
    I've always sort of wondered about this myself, but they... well... sure do seem like to me they have that saison profile but there's something also unique and special about those HF saison brews. I can't quite put my finger on it but those brews Shaun is making I have no idea what's being done (fairy dust in the well water?), but they are unlike any other saison or beers I've ever had. Clara even though I wasn't the biggest fan, it's still real solid, I don't care what they are they just taste and feel like something very special.
     
    grandmeaulnes and grassrootsVT like this.
  5. CASK1

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Posts:
    537
    Likes Received:
    876
    Location:
    Florida
    Worth every penny and then some.
     
    fmccormi likes this.
  6. Immortale25

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Posts:
    2,833
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Then what are they?
     
  7. BlueRogue

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Posts:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    21,976
    Location:
    Maine
    I don't even think I've had 10 saisons. I plan on trying more next Spring/Summer.
     
  8. Immortale25

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Posts:
    2,833
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I should be getting a bottle of Tank 7 from my girlfriend for Xmas. Boulevard doesn't distribute to Florida, so she's buying it off of letspour.com. I'm 99% sure I've had Saison de Lente and loved it but I didn't review it for some reason so I didn't know where to fit it in the top ten (I was going by descending order of my ratings).
     
  9. Zhiguli

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Posts:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    787
    Location:
    California
    is interested in this thread
     
  10. vurt

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Posts:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    3,788
    Location:
    Oregon
    Logsdon makes a Fresh Hop version of Seizoen?! Wow. I'll bet it's fantastic.
     
  11. BedetheVenerable

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Posts:
    818
    Likes Received:
    472
    Location:
    Missouri
    1.) Jolly Pumpkin IO Saison and Fantome Saison (too close to call, tie for first)
    2.) Hennepin and Dupont Saison (too close to call, also)
    3.) Stillwater/Hof Ten Dormaal Bronze Age
     
  12. vurt

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Posts:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    3,788
    Location:
    Oregon
    Argh. I can't believe I overlooked them. I've enjoyed their regular Saison and Tropic King.

    Oh Face from Trinity is another Colorado saison I really enjoyed this year. Unconventional, complex, layered, and delicious.
     
  13. hogansct

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Posts:
    194
    Likes Received:
    1,031
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Saison Dupont
    Hennepin, Jack D'or and Sofie for domestics
    The Smuttynose Farmhouse was also solid.

    I really enjoy this beer style by I haven't had too many different ones. I've been looking for Fantome Sasion but can't seem to find it in my area. I spotted the Allagash Interlude recently so I may give that a try.
     
  14. starrdogg

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Posts:
    938
    Likes Received:
    719
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    I love me some saisons, so here goes, in no particular order:

    Hill Farmstead Civil Disobedience #1
    Hill Farmstead Juicy
    Hill Farmstead E.
    Hill Farmstead Vera Mae (2011 version with the old yeast)
    Goose Island Sofie
    Boulevard Saison Brett
    Fantome Saison
    Fantome Saison D'Erezee Ete
    Logsdon Seizoen Bretta
    Upright Fatali Four

    And a some honorable mentions: Upright Rose City Seven, Upright Saison du Bloget, Dupont Avec Les Bon Voeux
     
    raveskdr, Thorpe429 and grassrootsVT like this.
  15. SeaOfShells

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Posts:
    286
    Likes Received:
    258
    Location:
    California
    Unfortunately they don't distribute to Florida, but this.

    It's one of the greatest saisons I have ever had.
     
  16. socon67

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Posts:
    774
    Likes Received:
    602
    Location:
    New York
    I was just scrolling through until I saw Hennepin and Fantôme. Two of my favorites of the style.
     
  17. Immortale25

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Posts:
    2,833
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I've never seen any of these beers on a shelf or in a bar/restaurant because you can't get any of these beers in Florida (where I currently hail from) or Delaware (where my hometown is) and I haven't had the fortune of finding anyone who's had any to trade...speaking of which, ISO: Hill Farmstead, Upright, Logsdon, Fantome FT: Commonly available CCB, St. Somewhere and Terrapin.
     
  18. Immortale25

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Posts:
    2,833
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I can agree with that. I'm just going by BA's declaration that it is one and the fact that it says it is one on the bottle (which I know doesn't necessarily make it true).
     
  19. JackHorzempa

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Posts:
    18,873
    Likes Received:
    22,542
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    “Too bad the brewery doesn't seem interested in making it lately.” Are you referring to the bottling aspect?

    It is my understanding that McKenzie Saison Vautour is a year-round beer at the brewpubs (it has always been on tap when I was there at the multiple locations).

    McKenzie Saison Vautour is indeed an excellent Saison; it has won multiple Gold Medals at the GABF.

    Cheers!
     
  20. Immortale25

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Posts:
    2,833
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think chamomile was used in Athene. What you were tasting was probably the rosemary which, yes, there was a great abundance of.
     
  21. JackHorzempa

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Posts:
    18,873
    Likes Received:
    22,542
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    “ …Sofie, which is great fresh and ages extremely well.”

    I have only had fresh Sophie (mostly draft but a few bottle). Could you please expand on the topic of “ages extremely well”. Does the Brett character become evident with aging? How long do you need to age it?

    Cheers!
     
  22. grandmeaulnes

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Posts:
    507
    Likes Received:
    489
    Location:
    Ohio
    Good post. Agree with all of it.
     
  23. Immortale25

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Posts:
    2,833
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Location:
    North Carolina

    This was very close to being on the list but Guava Groove beat it out and I was going for a variety of breweries rather than a strict ordering of greatest-to-least-greatest.

     
  24. Immortale25

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Posts:
    2,833
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I was lucky enough to find a bottle of Jack D'hor in Philly when I still lived in Delaware. Loved it, but that was before I started reviewing beer so I have no point of reference on where it should fit in the list.
     
  25. fmccormi

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Posts:
    3,390
    Likes Received:
    5,257
    Location:
    Florida
    From the beer description on this site: "Saison Athene is a bottle conditioned Saison brewed with chamomile, fresh rosemary and black pepper. A dose of wild yeast at bottling adds to the complexity."

    Personally, I thought the chamomile was pretty noticeable, and while I like the black pepper I thought it came off a bit strong; I actually really enjoy rosemary, generally speaking—thought it was a great part of the Saison du BUFF beers.
     
  26. gory4d

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Posts:
    495
    Likes Received:
    355
    Location:
    New York
    The posts here lean heavily toward the American saisons. That said, I'll list a few myself (some of which have already been mentioned), after the European ones.

    Fantôme
    Saison d'Erpe-Mere
    La Moneuse
    L'Amalthee
    DuPont
    Fantôme Pissenlit
    Saison De Pipaix
    Avril
    HF Vera Mae (second dandelion saison on this list; and all the HF beers I've had are good)
    Pretty Things Field Mouse's Farewell (which is a lot like Boulevard's Tank 7, which is also great; both are reminiscent of the Saison du Swamp)

    I'd list more, but you said top ten. Cheers!

    Edit: I prefer DuPont in the brown bottles, which I've only ever seen at Total Wine in Orlando; so you may be able to find those.
     
  27. fmccormi

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Posts:
    3,390
    Likes Received:
    5,257
    Location:
    Florida
    Oh yeah, they're around. They don't seem to get as wide distribution, for whatever reason. But the 250ml (?) four-packs are always brown glass bottles.
     
  28. gory4d

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Posts:
    495
    Likes Received:
    355
    Location:
    New York
    Probably 33cl. When I was in Orlando earlier this year, I got those and the St. Bernardus Prior 6, which my wife loves - that one only comes in gift packs up here, for some reason.
     
    fmccormi likes this.
  29. fmccormi

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Posts:
    3,390
    Likes Received:
    5,257
    Location:
    Florida
    Ah, okay. For some reason I was thinking DuPont comes in 750ml C&C, 375ml C&C, and 250ml pry-off but you're probably right.
     
  30. Thorpe429

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Posts:
    420
    Likes Received:
    365
    Location:
    Illinois
    Just this past weekend, we had bottles of 2009, 2010, and 2012 Sofie. The 2009 had gotten to be a bit past its prime, IMO, but the 2010 was fantastic. It was incredible dry and highly carbonated, with a nice light tartness. Funk was very minimal, tending more toward citrus flavors. All in all, I prefer the beer between about 6 months and 2 years, though that's not to say it isn't quite good at other times.
     
    fmccormi likes this.
  31. starrdogg

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Posts:
    938
    Likes Received:
    719
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    The Sofie mini-vertical was awesome, but I happened to think that the 2012 was the best of the 3. The beer definitely changes over time though, and the older ones definitely had some interesting flavors going on. I think I liked the '09 more than anyone else.
     
    Thorpe429 likes this.
  32. superspak

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Posts:
    3,902
    Likes Received:
    46,680
    Location:
    Michigan
    Top 5:

    100's:
    Fantome Saison
    Ommegang Hennepin
    Brooklyn Sorachi Ace
    Dupont Foret

    98:
    Lost Abbey Carnevale - This was a huge surprise for me this year. The brett really made this outstanding

    Below that we have: Bruery Saison De Lente, Saison Rue, Goose Island Sofie(love this shit with 1-2 years on it, I have a 2009 right now, I'd like to see how its doing), Saison Dupont, and Saison Brett 2009.

    I still have a ton of promising ones to try in my cellar too: Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux, Lost Abbey Red Barn, CCB Guava Grove, Allagash Interlude 2008, De Glazen Toren D'erpe Mere, Fantome Strange Ghost, Logsdon Seizoen Bretta, FFF Zes Zes Zes, Jester King Noble King.

    I have some work to do
     
    fmccormi likes this.
  33. ArlVABeerGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Posts:
    297
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Virginia
    I've never had HF (someday, I hope), but I have been lucky enough to enjoy many of Funkwerks' saisons. I'd rank them up there as some of the best American saisons I've tried. +1 as well to Logsdon, Upright and Boulevard Saison-Brett.
     
  34. DaveHack

    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Posts:
    329
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I'm pretty sure I could live off Hill Farmstead, Tired Hands, Logsdon,Crooked Stave, and Upright. There are some really awesome saisons out there, but these guys are consistantly doing it!
     
  35. immobilisme

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Posts:
    588
    Likes Received:
    716
    Location:
    Illinois
    From the top of my head... this is difficult!
    Fantome Saison
    Fantome Strange Ghost
    Logsdon Seizoen Bretta
    McKenzie Saison Vautour du bois
    Hill Farmstead Arthur
    Hill Farmstead Art
    Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux
    Flossmoor Wallonian Saison
    Anchorage Love Buzz
    Southhampton Saison Deluxe

    Honorable mention: Boulevard Saison-Brett, Hill Farmstead Vera Mae
     
    Thorpe429 likes this.
  36. fmccormi

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Posts:
    3,390
    Likes Received:
    5,257
    Location:
    Florida
    Guava Grove was awesome, I thought. It's been a while since I've had it, and judging by my experience with it and when I had it there's a chance that it was actually one of the "infected" batches that gave it a little bit of a tart, funky twang. Which, if that's the case, was a great complement to the guava character.
     
  37. reverseapachemaster

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Posts:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    582
    Location:
    Texas
    Saison is probably my favorite style of beer overall. Easy to drink while still being complex, allowing you to enjoy it for thirst quenching or for flavor pondering. There's a lot of diversity in the style.

    There's also a lot of shitty saisons made stateside. It's like the recipe for a crap American saison is pilsner malt plus a bunch of unnecessary adjuncts/specialty grains plus the Dupont strain fermented way to low. If you use Dupont's yeast, it has to be fermented very hot or it tastes bad.

    Lots of good saisons here. I'll also show some love for Funkwerks. Funkwerks Saison isn't exotic, it's perfectly balanced. It seems boring to some but there's a lot subtlety going on. I prefer Casper, the lower ABV version. I also like the White a lot (although not a saison). I'm not a huge fan of the Rakau hops in Tropic King but I liked Exotic King. I liked Fruition although a lot of people didn't. Lots of good lesser-distributed beers in the taproom. Great group of employees, I always have the best time there.

    Crooked Stave used to operate out of their brewhouse as well, so you could get both brewer's beers in the taproom. I don't think the two compete in the same space. Chad is doing mad scientist stuff with brett, Funkwerks is making (mostly) clean saisons.
     
    denver10 likes this.
  38. Immortale25

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Posts:
    2,833
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Ah, my bad.
    I really like rosemary too, which is why I love Saison Athene. Saison du Buff, however, was a disappointment to me. Felt like I was drinking thin pasta sauce. I guess I prefer the flavor of something that reminds me of pork roast (rosemary and black pepper) to something that reminds me of spaghetti (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme). Haha.
     
    fmccormi likes this.
  39. Skunkdrool

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Posts:
    397
    Likes Received:
    358
    Location:
    California
    Anchorage Love Buzz! Done with Pinot Noir barrels. Anchorage needs more credit for what they are doing right now.
     
  40. fmccormi

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Posts:
    3,390
    Likes Received:
    5,257
    Location:
    Florida
    No worries, man! I got to try and review each of the Saison du BUFFs this year and thought DFH had a slight edge over Victory and both of those were somewhat better than Stone. None of them were perfect, but they were all interesting and I liked the experimentation of the series.

    Saison Athene, while good enough that I could definitely appreciate its attributes, I just found to be way too heavy on the pepper and I can't stand a lot of chamomile. Ah, well.
     
  • 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.
  • Quick Navigation

    Open the Quick Navigation

  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe