Dark cola brown with a good light khaki head that fades quickly. Bubblegum and pine tree hops in the aroma. The flavor brings in a little lemon zest, slight mocha and toffee. The aroma is a little surprising with that hefty dose of American-smelling hops. I’m really digging this Saison that seems to be in the spirit of Saison if not exactly what you’d expect from the style.
~ Initial Review, 07-09-2004:
Me and my bud Matt shared a bottle of this at O'Brien's this evening -- when we were both in the mood for something a bit darker and heavier than what O'Brien's normally has on tap (read: IPA's). All I can say is that I'm glad that Richard recommended this, since it is indeed a world-class darker-than-the-average Saison.
Came across as more of a Belgian Dark Strong Ale than a Saison at first..., until you start thinking about some of the more arcane Fantôme offerings.
Complex malt back-bone, to go hand-in-hand with rather sweet yet slightly bitter/complex front and middle. Struck me as something of a Belgian-esqe Barleywine (or Braggot, if it had any honey), but with enough lighter-and-more-refined Saison-ish highlights.
Filling, and worth slowing down to savor, IMO. Quite drinkable, but I think it might suffer from a bit of an identity crisis in the long-run, since this does seem to cross over traditional Saison guidelines here and there.
A worth-while beer, as long as you plan on drinking something that doesn't neccesarily stick to the hard-and-fast rules of what a Saison "should" be. Recommended.
~ Re-Review, 04-24-2005:
Split a pitcher of this with Darren and Erica on a hazy lazy day at the Pizza Port Solana Beach location. I would think that this coming from both the brewery of it's origin, and being pulled fresh off the tap, would give this interesting beer even more zip.
But actually, this wasn't nearly as appealing as what me and Matt split almost a year ago. I've never had a "bad" beer at Pizza Port, but something wasn't quite right with whatever we got off the tap. Took some work from three of us to determine if this was indeed the SPF, and not some off-flavored Brown Ale.
Much darker than the norm -- and with the thick rocky head of foam, there was some discussion as to if we received the wrong beer altogether! But no, the Saison-y highlights showed up as this warmed.
Not terrible, but we didn't exactly rush through this pitcher either.
Poured a mahogany red color with a small, light tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of spices, fuzzy cherries, nuts, roast, smoke, caramel, and lychee(?). Taste of raisins, tart cherries, grapes, bananas, more spices, lots of dried fruits, a tad dusty, and finishing with light roastiness.
on draft, Pizza Port Solana Beach a ’rustic’ saison, in my words, reddish brown, opaque with all sorts of fruity (mostly dried fruit) complexiites. I enjoyed this beer. this saison would be great with a winter meal of roasted meat.
From a 750. Poured a very dark brown with amber highlights. A thin light tan head on top. The aroma is raisins and toffee with a slight hint of dank moss and wood. There is a little tartness at the edges. The taste is a subtle raisin bread with some hint of soft spices like nutmeg. There are also some sour cherries and smoke in different drinks. There is also an earthy wet wood finish. Certainly interesting.
Damn was this good. Black cherry color with moderate brown head. Smells like a black forest cake. Chocolatey and chewy. Tasts much like a blackforest cake with a hint of burntness, carmalized fruit and a milt tartness are sighted in the background, flavor lingers finishing with a crisp burnt encore.
One of my top 2 or 3 fav beers, a perfect choice for my 100th BP review and my first perfect 5 rating. This is a farmhouse ale, but not in the saison style. More in the sense that it is the product of the inventive use of locally available ingredients. This beer tastes like love plus a four hour boil. Super dark brown-black color with a hazy, opaque and thick body. Aroma is earthy, spicy, and slightly tart. Fried raisins and rosemary are detectable in the beguiling flavor. Finishes smooth and dry, with barely a hint of hop bitterness.
I am absolutely amazed at how dark the body on this bier is, it’s basically dead black! There is a beautiful light kaki colored head on this sinister Saison!
The bouquet is euphoria! It’s an amazing sensation of picnicking, and eating cantaloupe in a late spring garden. This is filled with ripened melons; reminiscent of cantaloupe and honeydew, then darker fruits like dates, plums, sugar rolled raisons and figs. The flavor is rather toasty; bursting with toffee, caramel, chocolate covered cherries, and then rounded out with a lovely patch of spices, rosemary, clove, and basil. Notes of vanilla and Blue Mountain coffee bean are set up in the finish. The aroma and the flavor in this Bier are only vaguely related, bringing an aroma of Mandarin oranges and tangerines tossed in a popery of spice… and the flavor showing & presenting the toasty malt backbone! The palate can’t get much more rich and velvety in a bier; and the finish…. The finish shows a presence of smoke, kilned chocolate malts… it’s absolutely saison sensational! Unlike any other Saison I’ve ever examined… an utterly extraordinary use of dark malts, citrusy hops and country spice!
This saison pours with a dark brown body topped by a medium thick, tan head with some lacing. The aroma is great. I caught wiffs of banana as soon as the bottle was openned. That was followed by sweet, yeasty and malty notes with a nice spiciness and a bit of raison. The flavor is bitter and full of spice with malt and banana showing through in the lsight sweetness. Full bodied and tingly from tons of carbonation with a very slight dryness.
nice black cherry icecream and chocolate cake aroma..yeasty dark black cherries are alive with subtle sourness, bread, black cherry icecream...the definition of dark complexities..nice burnt fruit notes too..very similiar to a certain vintage of Fantome noel..
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