Friday, April 13, 2012

Dogfish Head/Stone/Victory Saison du BUFF (2012 edition)


This beer was a collaboration between Dogfish Head, Stone, and Victory brewing companies back in 2010. I thought it was a one-time-only brew, but I guess they're bringing it back this year. It's literally brewed with herbs - parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (isn't that from a Simon & Garfunkel song?). I'd like to try the other two versions, although supposedly each brewery made the exact same recipe.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (646) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 12, 2012
I poured a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head glass.

Appearance: Pure gold color, almost completely transparent. Forms a large, white, frothy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Lemon and orange citrus, plus distinct spice rack scents from the herbs in the brew. An outdoorsy/farm-like scent of hay and grass as well.

Taste: A lot of beers tend to have an herbal-like taste to them, but Dogfish Head Saison du BUFF is literally brewed with parsley, rosemary and thyme - so it’s no placebo effect here. It’s also got a lot of hops to create for a light citrus note and crisp bitterness, but nothing to an extreme extent. The palate begins with a hoppy/citrusy flavor of lemon and orange peel, plus black pepper. Nothing too overly bitter, but enough hops to taste and experience.

The beer seems to change on a dime to something more dry with the herbs all rushing in at once. It’s a taste you don’t experience much with beer, so it’s comparable to homemade spaghetti sauce. It disappears for a moment as the finish is again lemony and slightly tart. Then the aftertaste comes and the spices reemerge out of nowhere creating for a dry, peppery taste and sensation. The aftertaste lingers momentarily, creating for a pleasant, but noticeably dry taste and a slightly chalky sensation. It’s a well-balanced and creative palate as the hops and spices are both prominent throughout, but neither distracts from the other.

Drinkability: I was a little surprised by the energetic mouthfeel of Dogfish Head Saison du BUFF. Bigger bodied than you’d think as there’s constantly something happening with the flavors, and enough carbonation and spice to make it a little prickly across the tongue. It goes down smooth and is quite refreshing while it’s in the mouth, but does leave a considerably dry aftertaste. I’m surprised the beer is 6.8% ABV since it doesn’t have the density of something that big. It is a strong enough beer to stand up to a meal, but a little too big to session or use as a summer refresher.

Grade: 8/10

NOTE: Read my review of the Stone-brewed 2016 edition here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2016/04/stonedogfish-headvictory-saison-du-buff.html