Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. was started in 2011 by Rassul Zarinfar with Ryan Robertson hired for the honorable position of brewmaster. They settled down in Houston not too far from the towering buildings of steel and glass. The beer line-up is split into two categories; the Heritage Series consists of the mainstay usual offerings and the Secessionists series to which all the “experimental” brews fall under.

Buffalo Bayou Saigon Sunset bottle

Today’s beer is an American black ale named Saigon Sunset. It is brewed with Amaya Roasting Co. coffee, Vietnamese cinnamon, and Madagascar vanilla beans. There are a bunch of Sunset beers under the Secessionists Series and all of them involve two of life’s greatest liquids, coffee and beer.

In reference to its Sunset beers, Buffalo Bayou says:

Brewed in homage to the Sunset Coffee Building: built on the Buffalo Bayou in 1910, it imported and roasted coffee that fueled our greatest city’s early pioneers.

In a Teku, Saigon Sunset shows a jet black color and a half finger of dark tan head. That head is a welcome sign because when I popped the cap there was zero indication of carbonation. The aroma is just massive espresso notes with green bell peppers, dark chocolate, and charcoal. Not much cinnamon or vanilla is evident.

Buffalo Bayou Saigon Sunset

Upon tasting, the vegetal green pepper note comes through strong at the front accompanied by black coffee and a cigar smoke or tobacco component. The finish is bitter dark chocolate and lingers. A lot of dark beers tend to balance more towards the sweet side but Saigon Sunset definitely tends towards the bitter side. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and the body is medium-heavy. There is really nothing good or bad about Saigon Sunset, and that citizens marks the end of a mediocre review of a mediocre beer.

Buffalo Bayou Saigon Sunset
BREWERY: Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Houston, Texas
STYLE: American Black Ale
ABV: 8 percent
IBU: 30
PRICE: $10.99
RELEASE DATE: 2015
AVAILABLE IN: 22-ounce bottles
BEERS POURED: One
Overall, Saigon Sunset probably won’t wow anyone but is not bad by any means. The green pepper is odd but not uncommon for coffee beers. The cinnamon and vanilla are pretty much non-existent unless you force yourself to imagine it’s there. Try it if you must but there is a good chance you’ll just forget about even having it.
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