Thursday, June 3, 2010

338. Dogfish Head/Victory/Stone Saison du Buff

BUFF (’bef) n. Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor. A clandestine organization committed to liberating collective taste buds, citing the dastardly and/or oppressive reign of so-called “fizzy yellow beer.”

“The description on the label combines the obnoxiousness of both Stone and Dogfish Head—how did Victory get involved in this?”

Between these three breweries, we had quite a few beers, so I’ll refrain from listing them all and just note that this beer will be brewed three times, once at each brewery using the same recipe. The expected release dates for each brew are as follows: Stone: April 2010, Victory: July 2010, and Dogfish Head: August 2010. Collect all three and trade them with your friends!

Described as an “ale brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary, & thyme,” Saison du Buff pours a pale clear straw with a clean light white head that slowly rings the glass. The nose is a combination of spicy herbal aromas and exotic fruits—there are touches of banana, pineapple, and citrus zest–it’s like they stole the pineapple sage plant out of our front yard, and dumped it in their beer. Opening with a dry sweetness, Saison du Buff quickly moves into the herbal flavors of the middle, with pine and evergreen from either the rosemary or the hops, and some general spicy herbal flavors. The end has some lingering bitterness along with lemon zest and a bit of vegetal flavor. With a medium to light body and bright, lively carbonation, Saison du Buff has a very dry and well-attenuated body that allows the herbal and hop spiciness to shine through. A very good beer, one that is better as a slow-sipping beer that gives time to savor the nuance; there is a bit less of the crisp refreshing nature of some of the other saisons that we have tried this year.

From the bottle: “It’s a saison of sorts; hellaciously herbaceous and hopefully contagious. This was not a ready made ale. But it is a ready made collaboration. Meaning Stone & Victory are 2 breweries that are exactly like Dogfish in that they do/brew exactly what they love and do/brew it exactly like no other brewery out there.”

From the Dogfish Head website: “This beer is collaboration between Dogfish Head, Stone Brewing Co. (Escondido, CA), and Victory Brewing Company (Downington, PA). The idea for this beer germinated way back in 2003 when the three guys (Sam from Dogfish, Greg from Stone and Bill from Victory) formed the BUFF alliance (Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor) - a noble endeavor with the goal to highlight the passion and camaraderie of the American craft brew movement. So, BUFF didnt really do anything (beyond talk a lot of talk) until 2010 when the three brewers finally got together to jointly brew at beer at the Stone Brewery. Saison du BUFF will first be brewed at Stone and then replicated at each of the other two breweries - same recipe, same ingredients, three different breweries throughout 2010. Plans call for Saison du BUFF to be a 6% alc/vol Saison brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. This beer will be brewed three times, once at each brewery using the same recipe. The expected release dates for each brew are as follows: Stone Brewing Co.- Late April 2010 (release date 5/3/2010, visit Stone Brewery for more information).”

ABV: 6.8%
Bottled: 5/3/2010

I do feel compelled to note that you can’t be a “clandestine organization” when your mantra adorns a beer bottle—not quite so secretive there, tiger.


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