Monday, June 14, 2010

Stone Brewing Co. - Saison du Buff

This weekend was the final weekend that Beer Yoda (Kenny) will be in San Diego. Sadly, he's moving back up home in a week to attend pharmacy school at USC in the fall. To send him off right, on Saturday night we went to one of the best beer bars in San Diego- Toronados. If you've never been to a beer bar, it's absolutely worth checking out. They're usually not too crazy- just a good mix of people who really like their beer.

I've been to Toronados a few times and they usually come up with a pretty good mix of beers on tap. This time, I finally got to try an Allagash beer for the first time (their white- delicious). However, the beer I'd like to talk about is one that I was even more excited about when I saw it on their list- Stone's Saison du Buff.

The Saison du Buff that Stone makes is a collaboration with two other really solid breweries- Dogfish Head and Victory. I had heard a lot about Stone's collaborations and I had even looked for this one at a local BevMo (sadly, to no avail), but this was the first one I had actually tried.

This beer poured a clean light brown and the smell was, well, different. Kenny had told me ahead of time that this beer had rosemary in it, and you could really smell the rosemary coming through the hops. Later, I found out that not only was there rosemary in this, but there was also parsley, sage and thyme (ala Simon and Garfunkel). The taste was nice and full, with definite herbal flavors throughout. These mostly came on the finish and, while I was a little skeptical about how well something like rosemary would work in a beer, the herbs were nicely balanced and weren't too over the top.

Despite everything going on in this beer (and there's a lot), the balance is nearly perfect and it creates a beer that really is special. Nice work, Stone.

Final Grade: A

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