Brew Review: Anchor Brewing Saison

by Kelli H. on March 18, 2015

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Beer: Anchor Brewing Saison
Date: 3-17-15
Location: San Francisco, CA
Availability: Spring Release (March – May)
Alcohol: 7.2%

“Anchor Saison Spring Ale is a traditional Belgian-style saison with a California twist. The distinctiveness of roasted Belgian wheat malt is enhanced by the peppery, clove-like flavors of a locally cultured saison-style yeast. And, for this release, we chose three California ingredients—lemongrass, lemon peel, and ginger—whose synergy adds a tangy crispness and herbal spiciness to this sharply refreshing, uniquely Californian saison” – Anchor Brewing
 

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Appearance: Orangish-golden, clear, small white head retention.

Aroma: Citrusy sour, Belgian yeast, a little funky.

Body & Texture: Light to medium bodied. Bubblegum flavor right up front! Pretty good carbonation for a saison, tangy up front and also sweet.

Aftertaste: The tangy sweetness dissipates quickly to bitter.

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Overall Impression:
I’ve been wanting to try Anchor’s Saison since last spring when they released a saison. Unfortunately I never got around to tasting it before it was already gone. Luckily this year I managed to give it a try, thanks to my mom who brought a six-pack to our St. Patrick’s Day dinner get together at my brother’s house.

I really like the label on the bottle. It’s super simple and reminds me of the 80’s. It looks a little throwback-ish. What I liked about this saison was the color. Usually saisons I drink are a very pale yellow color. I was surprised how dark this saison was but the color was gorgeous. I liked the bubblegum flavor that I was getting upfront, too. I asked David if he could taste it and he confirmed he could too. Initially I thought this saison had great carbonation but once it warmed up the carbonation fell pretty flat. Not before providing for some satisfying burps.

Overall this beer did not go over too well for 3 out of 4 people who tasted it. Dad’s thoughts were that he’d never drink it again, Mom said she’d had better, and David felt the same way. To be fair, my dad is not a saison drinker by any means, and my mom is just starting to get into them. I asked David later if he really thought it was that bad and he told me that he liked it at first but the more he drank it the less he liked it. Unfortunately, I kind of felt the same way. I thought it was great upfront and had some cool twists to it, like the color and bubblegum, but once it wasn’t cold anymore, I found myself not really wanting to finish it.

I would drink the last two bottles left, but I wouldn’t buy this saison again. While I’m glad I gave it a try, it just didn’t grab me as much as say 21st Amendment’s Sneak Attack or Firestone Walker’s Opal. Have you tried Anchor’s Saison? Do you know of a Saison I should try next?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

jen @nutcaseinpoint March 18, 2015 at 1:07 pm

I’ll have to see if my local store imports this! I’m with you though, I like saisons at first, but then lose interest as I continue to drink. We have a local brewery that makes a pretty spot on saison but they release a VERY limited amount.

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David W. March 18, 2015 at 1:56 pm

I would give this beer much higher marks if it never warmed up or lost carbonation! But the flavor profile changed as it warmed up, and the carbonation disappeared which resulted in a beer that I just did not enjoy. Perhaps if we split a 12-ounce bottle so that we could drink it before these things happened, it might be okay!

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Meghan March 24, 2015 at 5:45 am

Too bad you didn’t like it! I really like the label 🙂

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health March 24, 2015 at 9:14 pm

I’ve been on a lemon kick lately so the description sucked me right in! But I can see how the lingering bitter flavor wouldn’t be so great.

I haven’t tried a Saison so I can’t recommend any but now I’m curious to find one so I can try it! 🙂

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Kelli H. March 25, 2015 at 6:14 am

I’d recommend 21st Amendment’s Sneak Attack. It’s in a can, but it’s a really drinkable saison that I think would be a good introduction for you.

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