Phillips Atomic Buffalo Smokey Red Saison

Reviewed by on July 8, 2016 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Phillips Brewing Company

  • Origin: Victoria, BC, CA

  • Rated On: July 8, 2016

  • Best Before: November 14, 2016

  • ABV: 6.2%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Smoked Red Saison

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Victoria, B.C.’s Phillips Brewing has released this wacky-named offering, which is a smoked red Saison. What is it with this brewery and animals with laser beam stares?

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium copper amber colour, with three fat fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and mildly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some layered streaky lace around the glass as it quickly and evenly subsides.

It smells of lightly roasted and bready caramel malt, a bit of spicy wheatiness, Belgian yeast, wet banana chips, a subtle mixed table pepper zinginess, and plain earthy, leafy, and floral green hop bitters. The taste is thick bready and doughy caramel malt, damp wheat crackers, a softly smoked meatiness, laid-back musty yeast, banana pudding, muddled generic spice, and more understated leafy, earthy, and sort of herbal hoppiness.  The carbonation is quite active, but gentle enough in its palate caressing frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and mostly smooth, maybe the char taking things down a peg or two. It finishes well off-dry, that mutt of a malt bill still limping from the smoke treatment, but pushing hard past everything else to the end.

Overall, there’s nothing particularly ‘atomic’ about this offering, just a tamely smoked, dark (ok, red) Saison, with the typical yeasty astringencies kept to a pleasant minimum. Easy to drink, if a bit sweet, but this would work nicely as a gateway brew for the style – not to mention the eye-catching label and its flashy marketing angle.

Brady White



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