93 Whole Foods Silver Jubilee Farmhouse Ale, North Coast Brewing Co. (CA). 7.3% ABV (5/06)
Brilliant golden amber color with a foamy head. Sweet dried stone fruit and caramelized malt aromas follow through to a frothy dry-yet-fruity full-bodied palate with golden raisin, peaches, toasty malt and brown spices. Finishes with a fruity, lightly salty fade and a crisp, earthy hop impression. An excellent and well-balanced US version of saison with a distinctively hoppy finish that really fits the style.
92 Hennepin Farmhouse Saison Ale, Brewery Ommegang (NY). 7.7% ABV (5/07)
Golden color. Lavender bath soap aromas follow through to a fruity medium body of tangerine, toasted wheat bread, honey and spice flavors. Finishes with a mandarin orange, spice custard and talc fade. Interesting and quite lively and refreshing. Very wine-like.
89 Saison Impériale, Andelot Proefbrouwerij (Belgium). 8.5% ABV (5/06)
Copper. Funky, earthy, wild yeast aromas. A frothy entry leads to a medium- to full-bodied palate with dry caramel, burnt sugar, salt and pepper with hints of coriander. Dry caramel and singed citrus finish. Quickish, minerally fade. A funky, Burgundy-like flavor profile.
89 Festiv Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 6% ABV (5/06)
Hazy golden amber color. Sourdough and orange blossom aromas lead to a frothy light-to-medium body with bright tart citrus and berry skins, faintly toasty malt and a touch of peppery spice. Finishes with a very tart pomegranate and crisp bittering hop fade. An interesting citrusy and almost lager-like interpretation of the style.
88 Heavy Seas Red Sky at Night Saison, Clipper City Brewing Co. (MD). 7.5% ABV (4/08)
Copper in color with a fluffy white head. Aromatics consisting of orange peel, melon and hints of citrus zest and bubble gum. Spritzy mouthfeel showcasing nice caramel, sweet cream nougat and slightly almond/filbert-like malt character. Finishes dry with hop notes of pine, grass and lightly cheesy notes. A balanced brew to pair with a farmhouse cheese plate or try grilled veggie skewers.
85 Shifty Belgian, C B & Potts (CO). 6% ABV (4/06)
Brilliant amber color with a quick bubbly head. Light caramel, dried apple and lemon aromas follow through to a zesty entry and a dryish, lightly carbonated medium-bodied palate with caramelized pale malt, lemon rind, faint peppery spice and caramel flavors. Finishes with a crisp toasty, lemony fade. A nice quaffer that’s really more of a flavored pale ale than a saison.
82 Saison Du Bastone, Bastone Brewery (MI). 5.5% ABV (5/07)
Lightly hazy golden amber color. Coriander, cardamom, caramel and prosciutto aromas follow through to a fruity, medium full body of aggressively spicy, white toast, lemon soap and rendered duck fat flavors. Finishes with a malt vinegar and sour milk fade.