93 Sofie, Goose Island Brewing Co. (IL) 2010. 6.5% ABV (5/10)
Bright yellow color with a lacy head. Complex aromas of kumquat and lemon zest, cherry cider vinegar and sautéed squash have a distinct vinous quality and follow through on a satiny entry to a dryish medium-to-full body with emergent savory and spicy dimensions. Finishes with long, tangy, vegetable soufflé and lemon curd accents.
90 Le Merle, North Coast Brewing Co. (CA). 7.9% ABV (5/10)
Hazy golden yellow color. Bustling aromas of sweet citrus, spice and bread follow through on a zesty entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with dried stone fruit, citrus zest and peppery ginger notes on the long, refreshing finish. Very drinkable yet substantial and quite Belgian in style.
89 Urthel Saisonnière, Brouwerij de Leyerth (Belgium). 6% ABV (5/10)
Deep golden color. Aromas of toasted baguette, sautéed vegetable, crystallized ginger, earthy hop and delicate baking spice aromas follow through on a round, supple entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body with very good depth and a tart, citrus pudding and bitter melon-like hop finish with lingering astringency. A well-hopped version of saison.
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.
88 Fille Du Fermier, Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. (MI). 6.1% ABV (4/09)
Hazy copper color. Aromas of anise seed, spearmint leaf, orange pekoe tea and peach marmalade follow through on a round entry to a dryish medium-to-full body with good integration and a tangy, tangerine, celery seed, nut and toast accent on the finish. A solid food beer.
86 Samuel Adams Longshot Lemon Pepper Saison, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 6.4% ABV (5/10)
Bright, clear golden amber color. Aromas of yeasty sourdough, toasted panattone, piney coriander and lemon pepper follow through on a soft, silky entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with good depth and a tangy, citrus custard and spice finish. A zesty, creamy, spicy take on the saison style.