BEER REVIEW: Dogfish Head Saison du BUFF
Price: $3.99/12-oz bottle at Total Wine
Sight: slightly hazy gold, rocky white head, leaves lots of lacing
Smell: sage, orange, coriander, dried herbs
Taste: sage, thyme, citrus, coriander, grass, biscuity finish
Overall: “BUFF” stands for “Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor,” and this recipe is a collaboration between Dogfish Head, Stone, and Victory—each brewer made their own version of this recipe on their own turf. The key ingredients come straight out of Scarborough Fair: “parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.” Out of the four herbs listed, rosemary has always seemed to be the most intensely flavored, so I expected a lot more of that piney edge at first sniff; however, the big player for me is actually an aggressively spicy whiff of sage. Besides that, orange peel and coriander emerge next to a blend of other dried herb aromas. The flavor of this ale is grassy and delightfully savory, with a big bitter spike on the mid-palate (where I suspect the hops have been neatly tucked in). The thyme/sage at the beginning slowly gives way to the parsley as it passes across the palate, and the finish brings a little squeeze of orange over traces of yeast. As the beer warms, the bitter herbs soften a little and the citrus becomes more evident. I’m shocked to say that I’m totally missing the rosemary, though the herbs I do taste are quite enough without it. I think I’d really like to have this with a piece of baguette toasted with herbs & olive oil, and a slice of fresh mozzarella on top. As intensely herbal as this is, I imagine it being incredibly food-friendly—though it’s mighty delicious on its own.
More Saisons du BUFF: Victory | Stone