Almanac Saison Dolores
Brewed by: Almanac Beer Company
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: Belgian
- Variation: Saison / Farmhouse
- Seasonal: No
- ABV: 6.8%
- IBU: N/A
Notes: A member of Almanac Beer Company’s “Fresh Beer” series.
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
A bright, aromatic brew for all seasons inspired by San Francisco’s Mission District. We combine barley, rye and Sonoran Wheat grown in Mendocino County and ferment the beer with our house Saison yeast. Finally we dry hop it to create a California Saison with flavors of spicy white pepper, fruity melon and a clean food friendly finish.
Additional: Rye and Sonoran Wheat
More Almanac Saison Dolores Images
Artwork: Follows the Almanac Beer Company brand label template, with orange background.
Color: Hazy, golden to orange tones.
Aroma: Mild grain and wheat, with hints of orange and clove.
Arrived in: 22oz. Bottle
Served in: International Glass
A few months ago at Modern Times Hella Tight Bay Area Beersplosion, we were really impressed with Almanac’s Devil’s Advocate. When Saison Dolores was listed on insidethecellar.com, we snapped up a few bottles of this, along with their Farmer’s Reserve Pluot.
Almanac Beer Company’s newest year round offering, Saison Dolores was named after the Mission Delores neighborhood in San Francisco. The ale was billed as “a dry-hopped California saison brewed with local rye and wheat.”
If you are not familiar with Almanac, their motto is “farm to bottle” or “farm to barrel” (depending on the beer style), since they source all of their special ingredients from locally grown crops. They are also gypsy brewers, meaning they brew their beer at another brewery’s facility, renting their space and equipment.
Saison Dolores’ color was a beautiful bright golden to light orange hue, with an off-kilter, patchy cap of pure white foam on top. Most saisons are cloudy from their yeast, but this one was different, with just a slight haze. With wheat being used, we were expecting it to be much cloudier, but it was surprisingly clear overall.
Speaking of wheat, it filled the ale out to a medium body, making for a creamy mouthfeel at first. But at the end of each drink, a wave of tight carbonation washed over for a sharper mouthfeel.
Saison Dolores started with tangy fruit and spices, mostly orange and clove, very similar to its aroma. Right when it got to the funky, yeasty “farmhouse” stretch, the rye kicked in for a subtle spicy kick.
The true finish followed, with increased bitterness from the dry hopping. The transition from rye spiciness to bitter hops was seamless, and reminiscent of a mild rye-(I)PA.
We enjoyed the creativity behind this Belgian ale, but traditionalists may balk at the dry hopping, and addition of rye. Their use masked some of the hallmark “funk” that saison / farmhouse ales are known for.
Final Score: 3.5/5
Almanac Saison Dolores put a unique twist on the saison style, that showcased its special ingredients. The wheat made for a heavier, yet silky body, while the rye added a pleasant touch of spice near the finish.