Wolaver's Farmhouse Ale - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
3.95/5 rDev +17.6%
Polished lemon with a large head of sun-bleached sheep's wool white. The quasi-creamy cap looks good after the pour and as it slowly departs. It's also tacky enough to result in pretty decent glass coverage in the form of sudsy splotches.
If there's anyone out there who doesn't know what cloves smell like, they need to smell this beer. The nose is a combination of fresh grain, lemon zest and that very spice. It's nice to know that the brewery uses a true Belgian yeast in this 10th Anniversary saison. Color me impressed.
Word is, current bottles are hit and miss. If that's true, then this bomber is a 'hit'. We're not talking top-40, but it has a nice groove and you can dance to it (well... maybe after two bombers). Wolaver's has done a more than credible job, even if breweries in France and Belgium aren't exactly quaking in their boots.
Pale and pilsner malts (guesses) stay out of the way in terms of flavor. The focus is on zesty-grassy-lemony noble hops and a humdinger of a peppery, spicy yeast strain. The Band-Aid phenols that have ruined more than one organic ale are nowhere to be found. Farmhouse Ale may be short on complexity (not too short), but it's long on deliciousness.
The mouthfeel falls tantalizingly short of good. The lively carbonation is spot-on, as is the lightness. To really be impressive, though, the beer needs to be either more expansive or more viscous and mouthcoating.
I've been let down too often by Otter Creek/Wolaver's to have been enthused about Farmhouse Ale. Until I tasted it, that is. Too bad these guys can't deliver this level of quality when it comes to the rest of their lineup. This one should still be available and should age acceptably well.
01-14-2008 16:42:41 | More by BuckeyeNation
More User Reviews:
3.63/5 rDev +8%
From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue I:
Brewed as a tribute to the farmers they work with and their loyal consumers, 10 percent of the sales will be donated to the Organic Farming Research Foundation (ofrf.org).
Pours dirty blond, cloudy due to being unfiltered, with a massive three-finger head that drops to a respectful lacing. Fruity in the nose with juicy pears and stone fruits, sweet alcohol suggestions, spices and peppery back. Apart from some rough and raw edges, it's fairly smooth on the palate with a creamy carbonation mouthfeel. Hay-like up front, with a ton of wheaty and oaty tannins. Biscuit dry, with spicy phenols and a big black pepper center. Another juicy and sweet spot of apples, pears and apricots, but then it's gone and replaced with a raw and oily pithiness that coats the palate--akin to banana peel innards. Bone-dry finish.
An interesting Saison that's all over the place in its complexities, but perhaps a bit too raw. If the tannins were cleaned-up a bit, it would allow the dryness and spiciness to take the lead for a far more drinkable beer. However, its rawness is more authentic and traditional (farmers used whatever ingredients they had and wild yeast) vs. other American interpretations that are arguably too clean. Regardless, it's worth a try for those wanting to explore the style and organic beers, and it benefits a worthy cause. We recommend allowing this one to warm up a bit before tasting.
11-13-2009 17:14:21 | More by BeerAdvocate
3.63/5 rDev +8%
Bomber bottle, no freshness info offered. Pours semi clear, mildly orangy amber, creamy light tan head, that lasts and lasts at about 1/2 of depth and leaves thick ringed sheeting. Spicy, coriander nose. More coriander, very light pepper and perhaps a light wiff of bubblegum. Sort of mushy in the midsection and off kilter. Give em points for being a crunchy organic offering from Vermont, but this is not my favorite Saison....
03-06-2008 01:05:48 | More by Billolick
3.95/5 rDev +17.6%
Appearance: It's clear! A filtered farmhouse ale??? It is a medium golden color, as it should be.
Smell: A tad heavy on the coriander and/or a citrusy yeast. Hops get lost in the coriander.
Taste: Coriander! and a firm medium dry maltiness. Good firm, but not overdone, hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Slightly astringent, which is fine for this style. Body could be a little lighter
Drinkability: Goes down easy... too easy. Could be more complex, drier and less spicy. Still very refreshing but the overspicing hurts.
02-16-2008 22:59:25 | More by skivtjerry
4.2/5 rDev +25%
So another farmhouse ale finds it way to me. I have actually had quite a few of these lately, must be the time of year. Saw this one sitting on the shelf in Asheville and figured I should give it a shot. Poured a nice and hazy golden amber with a frothy two finger head on the top. Some very nice side glass lace was present at the finish. The aroma was nice and hoppy with a bit of a sour fruit note to it. Also was picking up some mild grass like aroma. The taste was very funky, with a huge sour note to begin and finish it off. There was a noticeable amount of yeast flavor here, and a great deal of flavor with the grapes and the pear flavors taking center stage. The feel was very frothy and creamer with a light to medium body. Overall this was very nice. The bitterness was a welcome treat and it really helped to define it, there was a noticeably grain like quality to it and it taste very unfinished which was actually a very good thing. I thought this was nice and will defiantly have to try it again if I can find another. This style is really starting to open up for me, cant wait to try some more.
11-15-2007 00:21:04 | More by mikesgroove
3.35/5 rDev -0.3%
Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.
A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.
S: The aroma is of light malts, wheat, spices, lemon, some Belgian yeast and some hops.
T: The taste starts out spicy and a little fruity with flavors of clove, coriander, lemon, bananas and a little caramel. There's a hearty malt character and a mild hops presence but the Belgian yeast backbone is kind of weak. Even with all of the different flavors going on, there doesn't seem to be that good of a balance.
M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.
D: Flavorful, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, not the best representation of style, this beer just didn't do much for me.
03-10-2009 02:48:12 | More by TheManiacalOne
3.28/5 rDev -2.4%
22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Westboro, MA.
Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/4" eggshell head over the cloudy golden brew. Meringuey head lasts very nicely, with heavy coating lace. Aroma is lightly sweet, lightly tart, lightly spicy, lightly exciting. Taste follows the nose with nothing standout, until it goes sort of sour at the close, not leaving much room for the usual delicate characters of a farmhouse ale. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, and drinkability is limited somewhat by the flavor issues mentioned above. Not something I'd rush out to get again, but not a drainpour either.
06-22-2008 21:10:17 | More by ppoitras
3.53/5 rDev +5.1%
22 oz. bottle sampled on August 17, 2008.
Appearance: Warm, cloudy, tan-peach color with nice white lacing.
Aroma: Not as strong on the nose as I'd hope. A slight fun, fruity funk: apricot and citrus. A bit of malt, with a very mild (Saaz?) hop presence toward the end. It finished with a whiff of chamomile.
Taste: Tangy, sweet, slightly sour, malty. Overall, I find it a bit too sweet. The taste drastically improves when food is brought into the equation. This is a dinner beer much more than an on-its-own beer.
Palate: When it comes to the mouthfeel, I could drink this one over & over.
Overall: As I mentioned above, it's a little unbalanced on the sweetness scale. I have very high expectations for this style (with the likes of Saison Dupont and Foret, it's hard not to). But, this one is definitely leagues better than some farmhouse-styles I've had. It is excellent with Asian (esp. peanut-sauce) dishes.
08-19-2008 15:15:20 | More by drperm
3.73/5 rDev +11%
Picked this bomber one up in my expanison of the saison pallet at Whole Foods on Columbus Circle. I had tried a few Otter Creeks at parties and festivals and was happy to get one and sit down, pour and drink properly and with ease.
A: I poured into one of my Stella Tulip glasses to show off a off yellow color with a big boy head and off white finger and creamy half head but turned away from impressive too fast for my taste.
N: This beer is not sublte when it comes to presenting it self front and center in the aroma category. Big time grain comes to your nose first, then followed by a vast armada of cloves and citrus accents. A great way to allure one into their first quaf.
T: I came to enjoy this beer with each following drink and as the time past. You really cannot jugde a beer after it's been first poured or even after the first 5 or so minutes. There is a complex mixture of malts going on, then as with the nose, the citrus theme along witht eh low key aka noble hops returns with more emphasis. Slow sips reveal a nice spiceyness which I would attribute to some form of pepper. Not a very complex creation, but that is not a draw back at all. It's a simple rendition of a long matured style.
M: Falls back a bit from the taste and that you don't get a prolonged feel but the carbonation is still up and front. I would have enjoyed a slightly thicker delivery but again as I cocentrated on what Otter Creek was doing, or at least what I assume, less may just be more in this case.
D: I think the reviews on this Otter Creek creation are a wee bit harsh. It's on the milder side of the saison/farmhouse style, not as much phenols or esters, but still tried and true a good imbibe.
11-29-2008 03:08:41 | More by Brianmerrilyn
3.4/5 rDev +1.2%
The beer pours a hazy gold color with a beautiful, rocky white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid pale malt scent along with a dry, earthy yeast aroma. There are plenty of fruity esters present; very nice. The taste is decent. It's smooth and easy drinking, yet it lacks the depth of a true saison. It needs a bit more earthiness to it. It's a little too fruity without the necessary farmhouse funk. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a refreshing beer and an interesting take on the style. However, I prefer saisons with a bit more farmhouse character.
02-24-2009 02:46:10 | More by WesWes
3.25/5 rDev -3.3%
Pale straw gold color with a hint of amber. Incredible pillowy off-white head that leaves plenty of sticky lacing on the glass.
Light malt scent accompanied by lemons and slight grassiness. A hint of yeast as well. Not a particularly aromatic beer, but nothing to write home about in this department.
Lemons from start to finish. Little bit of grassy herbal hops linger on the palate. Pretty malt-heavy, but the malt comes across a little syrupy. A little on the sweet side.
Mouthfeel reminds me more of a strong ale - thick and viscous. I think it could do with a hint more carbonation, less body, and a drier finish.
I think the sweetness of this beer hampers the drinkability. I feel that a saison should be a bit lighter and drier.
02-08-2008 06:37:28 | More by DGryger
2.42/5 rDev -28%
This beer poured a light orange color, bearing the appearance of a spiced belgian (Hoegardeen-esque in color). It had trails of head on top, although they were small, no noticable thickness to the head nor the beer.
Its taste left a lot to be desired, with a biterness that was not hoppy goodness nor had a lot of notes. It seemed exceptionally light and reminded me of American light beers of the macrobrewed variety.
I will not be having this one again.
02-26-2008 04:05:51 | More by chugamugofsud
2.75/5 rDev -18.2%
Picked up a bottle of this at Party Source in Syracuse. I have never seen it there or anywhere else before, although it looks like it's probably in the neighborhood of 2 years old (bottle says 10th anniversary and since 1997).
Pours a hazed golden color with three fingers of rocky off-white head. Retention is excellent, keeping a very full, thick lace and coating the sides of the glass with some rings of stick.
Smell has some honey sweetness, citrus, and some musty and earthy yeast. Also some grain and cloves as well as some grass. Surprisingly I get a whiff of alcohol now and then. Otherwise it's not too shabby.
Taste starts off grainy and slightly phenolic, then has some lemon zest and ends a bit on the astringent side. There is some earthy and spicy yeast along with some clove, as well; in fact, it gets very earthy and bitter in the finish with a strong lingering clove flavor. Becomes more herbal as it warms, but that doesn't really improve things. I find it to be out of whack overall. It begs for a more fruit character and a hint of sweetness to offset the grainy, bitter and spicy bite, and the astringency is the death knell, which pretty much kills it for me.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very crisp, with aggressive carbonation. It does have a nice smoothness to it, however, which helps overcome some of the astringency.
Simply put this isn't a very good saison. Too much clove and phenolic flavor, too much bitterness and grain, and an offputting astringency to top it off. There were some flashes here but at the end of the day it was not very good.
05-23-2009 21:19:48 | More by number1bum
3/5 rDev -10.7%
Pours a golden pale color with a small head. Aroma is nice and sweet, fruity and even spicy. There's a slight hint of apple as well. Taste is more sour/bitter than fruity with only the spiciness lingering towards the back of the throat. The fruitness is more subdued and difficult to pick out. Despite cleansing of my palate beforehand, I cannot detect much beyond what I've already described. Ample lacing.
While this beer would pass as an average saison, it just doesn't compare to other saisons I have tasted. I'm glad that it supports a worthy cause (10% of sale go towards organic farming) but I can't help but wonder if Wolavers should have put more effort into getting this saison closer to the actual style.
09-26-2007 01:27:47 | More by Brad007
3.68/5 rDev +9.5%
Appearance: Pours a cloudy peach color with a rocky white head that leaves threads of lace along the sides of the chalice
Smell: Yeasty and lemony, with a noble hops aspect; pepper and clove, too
Taste: Relatively neutral malt profile up front, with the yeasty phenols doing their thing by mid-palate, with lemon, pepper and clove joining the noble hop flavors; after the swallow, the flaws emerge, as it has an unpleasant mineral aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with spritzy carbonation
Drinkability: I was prepared to be underwhelmed as I have not been a fan of many of the other Wolaver's beers, but this was pretty good; while I wasn't a huge fan of the flavor profile, they did manage to produce a fairly impressive saison
03-02-2009 23:56:52 | More by brentk56
3.7/5 rDev +10.1%
Hazy and tawny golden, with a child's rendition of a smiley face for a head. The smiley soon becomes a noseless cyclops, but it was cheerful to start, and that should count for something.
Smells spicy and phenolic, with peppery overtones to the caramelized, toasty malt. Floral hops, apple and green grape esters. A little bit of a strange vegetal scent, kind of like cooked cabbage. It's mild, but lends an odd undertone to the aroma.
The flavor opens and closes spicy. Sweet and malty up front, with sprightly carbonation. Green grape esters and spicy, peppery phenols dominate the finish, balanced by well placed floral hopping. How could i miss the lemon? Maybe because it's right in front.
I haven't had a farmhouse ale in a while, but this feels up to snuff. Not quite equal to the giants of the saison realm, but terrific for the price. I paid $3 for a 22oz.
02-07-2008 11:01:08 | More by UnionMade
2.45/5 rDev -27.1%
Bomber poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Wolaver's Farmhouse Ale is a hazy darker gold with a very large and super tight and creamy white head that is painfully long lasting, very rocky on the settle, leaving heavy hunks of foamy lace. Very impressive!
Smell was citrusy and mineral laden, but was quickly dominated by toffee malt and alcohol, coming out more as it warmed from fridge serving temp.
Taste is a bit thick and sugary, with a heavy, fusel alcohol bite on the finish. The saison esters are there, fruiter, but it's to boozy. Having a handful of nuts strangely brought out a sharp, tinny metallic bite, although that mostly subsided after a few sips.
Mouthfeel is pretty dry, but with a medium-heavy body.
Drinkability is lower, I was in no hurry to finish this - in fact, I didn't! Overall, it's just not too good, it's needs to be more attenuated, with less maltiness, more esters and way less fusels. I let it sit for a good while before throwing in the towel, hoping that warming up further would help, but it didn't - if anything, it got worse. Great appearance, but really downhill from there.
07-24-2008 02:05:28 | More by ccrida
3.9/5 rDev +16.1%
Wolaver's Farmhouse Ale pours an orange color with a white head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is fruity. The taste is also fruity with a peppery finish. This is an easy drinking Saison, it may not please hardcore Saison drinkers, but it's definitely worth a try.
01-03-2008 04:33:24 | More by Drew966
3.15/5 rDev -6.3%
Another brew provided by the man known as Gillard.
A: Pours a light cloudy straw yellow color. The head is big tall and puffy. The retention is good with nice lace.
S: Light sweet malt with hints of peppery spice. Some lemony hops hide beneath along with a touch of grass.
T: Light lemon grass flavors with hints of pepper. There is quite a bit of malt in this one which shows up sort of biscuity.
M: Nice full bodied brew for the style. It is also heavy in carbonation.
D: So So in the drinkablility department. had the Southampton Saison before this one and it is in a different class.
07-10-2008 16:46:31 | More by tpd975
3.88/5 rDev +15.5%
Pours out a golden yellow with a large white head that stays. Very fluffy. Smell has some nice spicy notes with yeast in the background. Actually, this smell is very complex. I am impressed so far.
Taste isn't as great. Light in the beginning and a bit sweet. The middle drops off and the metallic ending is a bit off putting. Not very complex and a bit too clean. No funk at all which is one thing I love about the Farmhouse / Saison style. This is not a bad beer at all. It is a good beer that I am going to enjoy just not drool over. I appreciate their efforts.
03-01-2008 23:27:19 | More by CharlesRiver
3.85/5 rDev +14.6%
22oz bomber poured into a Duvel snifter a hazy pale orange with a thin head that diminishes to a ring. The aroma is sweet fruits and some spice including coriander, orange peel is present as well. The taste is a nice blend of sweet malts and spice, there's just something a little off in the finish, a funkiness I can't quite put my finger on. The beer is rather crisp and the 7.06% abv is fairly well hidden. This one is right about on par with what I expect from an American made Saison: drinkable, but nothing spectacular.
11-07-2007 01:40:25 | More by atsprings
3.13/5 rDev -6.8%
The Farmhouse Ale for the organic effort from creek of Otters is a light pale orange with a 1-2 finger foam head, sea foam lacing.
The smell is dominated by a yeasty aroma. It was spicy when you drank it but then was fairly boring. Not much in the way of flavor. It was light in the mouth and spicy on the finish. It was definitely a middle of the road farmhouse.
08-07-2008 04:23:52 | More by cswhitehorse
2.4/5 rDev -28.6%
Love organics....love farmhouse ales. An easy purchase. 22oz bomber. Glass - oversized duvel shape
Eyes: Bright...not a nip of haze. Head dissipates quickly. Keeps a thin white head however.
Nose: Vegetal ....nothing more
Tongue: Some malt but finishes w/ yeast autolyzation...."slight beef jerky" taste
Texture: Smooth outside of this probably being a bad bottle.
Overall experience: I would try it again solely to allow for redemption purposes from a great brewery with great ideals
12-16-2007 01:41:15 | More by HombreWing
3.63/5 rDev +8%
Poured a foggy yellow-orange from a 24oz bottle into a 20oz Tulip pint, leaving some in the bottle. 10th anniversary says the label.
Has the sweet aroma of a Belgian style ale for sure. More hops than I am used to in a Belgian-style which is a bonus as this isn't my favorite style. The malts and yeast make a nice fragrence in the nose as one drinks, and the hops keeps that yeast/malt flavor from becoming too sweet and annoying. This beer has a rather clean crisp finish to boot, leaving a spicy sweetness on the tongue.
This is my idea of a Belgian ale. Not something I'd drink often, but I have a feeling that I'll wake up one day with a craving for this well balanced ale.
10-22-2007 23:34:28 | More by FatSean
Wolaver's Farmhouse Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
79 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.