Individually, any beer from both Stone Brewing and Dogfish Head could very likely qualify as an “unusual” beer. And I would easily call any of the collaboration brews Stone participates in unusual. So when Stone, Dogfish, and Victory Brewing all collaborated earlier this year—you know the resulting beer, Saison du BUFF (Stone page, Dogfish page), was destined to be reviewed this week.
Saison du BUFF is a Belgian-style Saison brewed with the herbs parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Yes, like the song—seems odd that a song made famous by Simon and Garfunkel would be an influence to these guys—but I’m pretty sure it’s the first beer I’ve encountered with these ingredients.
It’s 6.8% alcohol by volume, and was released in three bottled versions, one from each brewery—the Stone version is all I’ve seen around here (pictured below).
Appearance: Light and honey-colored with big and generous egg white head.
Smell: Herbal—rosemary and thyme are the most prominent I think, and there’s a spicy Belgian note and—I think—a touch of Brett funk.
Taste: The herbs take a big tangy up front approach, spicy and pungent. There’s a green bitterness that may come from the herbs, maybe the hops. Pitchy. Nicely dry saison character that seems well-complemented by the herbs.
Mouthfeel: Crisp, dry, with a long bitter aftertaste.
Overall: Different, creative, flavorful. Bold flavors, but fairly balanced.