Monday, November 8, 2010

Saison du Buff

Tasted after a 7 mile morning run and after a curried vegetable omelet. But interestingly, as I sit here tasting this beer, there is a line-up of spices sitting in front of me, inclusive of Sage, Rosemary, Parsley flakes, and Thyme. I want to make sure I get a full sense of the herbs used so I don't miss a beat. In fact I bought this 12 Oz bottle by itself from Binny's early on Saturday. Felt kind of funny purchasing this bottle for only $2.99, but my original purpose there was to create a shopping list for later in the week to bring back to school. Anyway, this is what I think:

Appearance: Incredible white soapy foam head that stands 3 fingers strong within the large wine glass by which it was poured. Well sustained. Hardly dissipates by the 5 minute mark. Color takes on a strong straw color with an ever apparent chill haze that took hold the moment it was placed in the fridge. Micro-bubbly carbonation is evident as well. Clarity is minimal, yet evenly distributed.
Aroma: Aroma takes a strong herbal smell with distinct notes of pine, particularly from the rosemary. Malt sweetness complements this subtle smell quite well. The other spices take a far background status within this category. In combination, this beer is well balanced with its earthy, herbaceous aroma.
Taste: The taste is quite interesting. The aftertaste is of salad greens, reminiscent of the thyme leaves. The sweetness isn't necessarily of malt, but of an interesting combination of sugar adjuncts and still spicy tropical fruit hops. The earthy sensations felt on the palate are very complex. Gradually the sage accompanies the thyme in the aftertaste, where the rosemary and hops take hold the sweet combination in the foretaste. I'm not sensing the parsley anywhere (good). Finally grapefruit peel and citrus are a continually emerging flavor within the sweetness. Alcohol begins to creep up towards the end of the glass.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with a perfect carbonation. Mouthfeel is heavier. Alcohol makes little impression to the texture. Nevertheless this beer has a creamy feeling on the back of the tongue.
Overall Impression: As much as I don't want to say it, this is a pretty special ale (what am I saying, Of course I want to say that!).  Enjoy the combinations of spices that are hardly overwhelming to taste, but just enough to be palatable in between the normal wheat/pale malt and the citrus tastes of the hops. This is totally a beer to try -- just to try. It really epitomizes the experimentation with beer if people would just be more open minded to the vast potential of different flavors compatible with today's beer. I'm fascinated by this one. I would like to try those other two that were brewed at the other breweries to taste the flavors resulting from the difference in water and technique and how they differ.

Note: I found an interesting document online (
and I found the "Buff" part of Saison du Buff to mean Brewers United for the Freedom of Flavor (BUFF).
This beer was made three times, once at each brewery. I bought the one made at Dogfish Head's Brewery in Milton, Delaware.


  1. Oh boy. I've been wanting to try this. I tried to get some in September in Chicago and couldn't find it. I imagine it would go really well with a goat cheese mushroom flatbread. Whaddya think?

  2. I'll try to buy them out when I get to Binny's this week. I'll get you a bottle if you can't get one..