I have made it pretty well know in this space that I love collaboration beers, it’s fun to see what happens when two or more talented brewers share their skills and ideas. I also think it is a great way for the brewers themselves to hone their craft, even the best brewer in the worldcan still learn new tricks and perspectives. The one downfall to collaboration beers (aside from the fact that most are one-off recipes, which sucks if the product is amazing), is that expectations can be sky high. It is easy to fall into the trap of “Brewery A is amazing and Brewery B is amazing so their collaboration beer must be twice as amazing!” Many of the best beers in the world took years of experimentation and fine tuning to achieve perfection, so it’s unlikely that a one-time experiment is going to find that level. Regardless, if I see a collaboration beer involving multiple brewers that I have enjoyed in the past there is a good chance that I’ll be sampling it. Recently I noticed a new saison brewed by three well respected leaders in the beer community, Victory, Stone and Dogfish Head. Apparently the idea for this beer was hatched in 2003 at a retail sampling in Boston, and a version was finally brewed and released this year. The beer is named Saison Du BUFF, where “BUFF” is an acronym for Brewers United for the Freedom of Flavor. Saison Du BUFF is brewed with fresh parsley, lemon thyme, sage and rosemary along with Centennial, Cascade and Citra hops. It is available on draft and in 12 oz. bottles for a limited time.
Victory/Stone/Dogfish Head Saison Du Buff pours a clear copper with a minimal white head. The scent is mostly from the Belgian style yeast, spicy and a little fruity. The yeast also leads the flavor, touches of pepper, apricot and coriander. The adjunct spices are present but subdued, I taste the thyme and rosemary but it’s very subtle. The beer has a solid malt body, notes of biscuit and crackers along with some citrusy and earthy hops that also crisp up the finish. Saison Du Buff is light and easy to drink, but packs a little punch at 6.8% ABV. In all this is a solid saison, complex but drinkable. I guess I am also guilty of unreasonable expectations when I see the heavy hitters listed on the label, but I enjoyed the beer. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.