Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saison du Buff: A Comparison

I had the pleasure to be able to try all three versions of Saison du Buff from Victory, Stone, and Dogfish Head at the same time. I thought that this would be an interesting comparison to do and see if there are any variations in the three versions, especially since I did notice a few in my individual reviews of each beer. All versions were brewed with the same recipe but at each brewery's location. Therefore, a difference in water or brewing method could change the beer slightly.

When the beers were poured, the Stone version maintained head longer and was much more foamy The Victory version had almost no head compared to the other two. The Dogfish Head version had a good lacing. Looking at the colors, the Victory is slightly lighter in color and seemed more filtered and translucent. In the aroma, the Dogfish Head version is completely filled with citrus while the others are not, Stone had more butter and rosemary, and Victory hits more with sage and a slight butter accent.

I thought that in the taste, none of the beers had a big citrus profile except for Dogfish Head. There were faint hints available on the Stone version with the after taste. The Victory version finishes lighter and is not as intense on the tongue, but it did hit with sage more on the finish. The Stone version was a little more hoppy and hit with rosemary and the Dogfish Head version was slightly more citrusy with lemon and orange. Stone lingers on the tongue with the hops and on finish, Stone is the driest, Dogfish Head is the sweetest, and Victory is the smoothest.

In my opinion, I would rank Dogfish Head number 1, Stone number 2, and Victory number 3. The rank does not say that the Victory version was not a good beer; it was just the least intense beers of the three. I really enjoyed this tasting, especially with three friends and sharing opinions back and forth on the three Saison du Buff versions.

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