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Farmhand Ale - Driftwood Brewery

Farmhand AleFarmhand Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

105 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.48%


Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our interpretation of this Southern-Belgian farmhouse ale uses a partial sour-mash and the addition of freshly ground black pepper. We use a very unique strain of yeast from Belgium to add further layers of spice and complexity to this rare style of beer.

(Beer added by: Derek on 12-20-2008)
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 52 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 11.21.13

Beer is clear copper in colour, with a small off-white head. Head fades quickly.

Nose contains Belgian yeast and spices. The black pepper shines through. Some light fruits.

Like the nose, the flavour contains black pepper quite strongly. A bit much, but not overwhelming. Light fruit flavours bring some balance, and are quite nice. A bit of yeast.

Medium bodied, moderately carbonated. A bit spicy.

Overall, nice. Not exciting but good.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 17:53:21 | More by jrenihan
Photo of darryletlesballons
darryletlesballons

British Columbia (Canada)

4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been "checking in" on this beer every now and then for a few years now, as much a review of my partialities as of the beer itself. Still a favorite.

Visually appealing golden-amber beer with a full white head. I enjoy the gritty interplay of spicy clove and pepper on a sour base. Reminds me of a grassy Wit with more spice to bite, ending on the same dry "where-did-all-my-saliva-go" finish. Definitely the aroma of Belgian yeasts up front, setting the stage with a light sour grassiness and hints of tart apple followed by cloves. Not too much, not too little for flavour.

Until next time Madame Farmhand.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 18:35:19 | More by darryletlesballons
Photo of JasonLovesBeer
JasonLovesBeer

British Columbia (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has been a staple all summer for me, just a great thirst quencher with a little more character than the typical pale ale.

Nose: Spicy! Lots of spice, from pepper to nutmeg to clove to steak spices. Some banana and apple/pear.

Taste: Crisp, light but fully mouth coating and nicely malted - spices both start and finish prominently, the pepper stays around for a while. Banana and apple, maybe a touch of peach? Not much breadiness for me, though what there is might be sourdough in nature.

Overall: Not a thinker, but a really enjoyable saison.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 04:35:38 | More by JasonLovesBeer
Photo of EspressoGuy
EspressoGuy

British Columbia (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: amber with orange hints; low carbonation; transparent
S: low intensity grapefruit rind, pine, nutmeg, bread dough
T: clean, broad, malty, well-balanced; more spicy maltiness than hoppy character; bitterness is there from the start and builds till it's prominent --but not excessiveness-- in the finish. Leaves a nice rich lingering aftertaste.
M: medium-modied
O: not particularly complex but rich and enjoyable. Very nice with simple hearty country food (ploughman's lunch, lentil soup or salad...)

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2013 00:19:56 | More by EspressoGuy
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Garrick's Head

A - Medium orange; cloudy. A ring of off-white head.

S - Sweet bready malts, Belgian yeast and a big banana aroma with some spice in the background.

T - Clove, Belgian yeast and banana with a good spice profile in the backgound and some sweet breadiness.

M - Medium body. Moderate carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2013 22:58:56 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of Siriusfisherman
Siriusfisherman

Montana

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice Saison with a great peppery yeast character and nicely carbed body. The hops are not a dominant as some of their other beers, but they do lend a nice herbal presence to go with the yeast spice. The brewers here seem to know how to make great beer, haven't had anything I did not find great.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 02:00:07 | More by Siriusfisherman
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a fairly clear amber-gold with a thin, bubbly off white head that doesn't last long.

Smell. Fruity belgian yeast and peppery spices, just a bit of bananna and clove.

Taste. Doughy, lightly toasted malts, some Belgian yeast, a little clove, pepper and spices with just a trace of orange and lemon. Very nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, medium+ carbonation.

Overall. Very nice belgian style farmhouse ale with mild flavours that I would think would go well with almost any food. Really easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 02:01:22 | More by Rutager
Photo of spoony
spoony

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hapa Izakaya in Vancouver, BC.

A-Nothing special, but not awful, either. Light gold in color and very little haze. A one-finger off-white head dissipates quickly. Lots of lacing.

S-A little funky. Some sweet yeast and a little spice. A touch of banana. Not a hop-monster by my estimate, but there was a hop note or two.

T-Tastes much like it looks and smells, i.e., a little funk and a hint of spice with a pretty sweet, yeasty backbone. More banana bread notes in the taste than the smell. Some malt flavor with very little hops.

M-Not much in the way of carbonation. Had a bready, sweet quality that I would rate as heavy medium body (for the style, especially). An easy drinker.

O-Not a bad effort... One rung below my New World saison measuring stick that is Tank 7. It wasn't a complex show-stopper, and it was a touch sweet (and probably would benefit from a little more carbonation), but I would drink this again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2012 05:37:34 | More by spoony
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Alibi Room in Vancouver, BC.

Pours a deep amber colour, almost flecked with copper. Head is a mild, filmy white that leaves some spidery fine lace. The worst part, however is that it just looks flat and still. C'mon, this is a saison! I want it Alive!

Nose is lean and soft, without much funk or acid (or acid funk?). Some honeydew melon rind and a bit of green organics is as close as it gets. It's pretty mild all up, without a lot going on.

Taste is similar. Smooth, mild Belgian notes, backed with just a touch of green vegetative organics. No funk, no yeast notes (apart from a hint of that round Belgian sweetness), no real saison character. It feels very weak, limp and insipid.

This is a very average saison, without much going for it. It's drinkable in its way, but it's a poor example of the style. Once again, I'm at odds with the general consensus around Driftwood, but I just couldn't see the appeal in either of the beers of theirs I tried.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2012 09:19:08 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber - Thanks to Lubiere for sharing

Appearance - Clear copper colour with a small size sizzt off white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, herbal/earthy notes, spices

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the taste is made up of caramel and malts mixed with some grassy hops. There is a hint of spice and some strong herbal notes. It ends with a slightly spicy and malty sweet aftertaste.

Overall - Not what I was expecting from a Saison. The taste is fine but it's a little too earthy/herbal and boring for me. Some of the taste reminded me or the flavours found in Beau's beers. I wouldn't seek this one out.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2012 17:37:28 | More by spinrsx
Photo of FondueVoodoo
FondueVoodoo

British Columbia (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Fantastic colour of deep super clear copper, very low head with only a minimal thin layer lasting. While not dealing with the beers appearance it's worth noting the simplicity and clarity of the label. Driftwood uses icons to lists the ingredients, for me it stirs a confidence in being able to see the minimal list of ingredients.

S: Sweet malts and yeasty high notes with a hint of pepper. Tiny bit of hops, or citrus fruits at the end. It's a great balance of malty earthiness and very subtle citrus after notes.

T: Balance of yeast and rich mildly sweet malts and after taste of citrus peel on account of the hops. After spending the majority of the day running errands this beer is the perfect cap to sit and enjoy with a hardy meal. It's the balance that is most striking and comforting.

M: Tiny bit of sting from the carbonation on this medium bodied ale, again it's the balance of airy carbonation and thin syrup mouth feel that stands out.

O: Well balanced easy drinking ale. I would pair this easily with a hardy meal intended to draw the day to a close. Whether it's steak and potatoes or roasted root veggies, this beer tastes like comfort.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2012 03:17:37 | More by FondueVoodoo
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a liquor store in Vancouver. Best Before July 2012.

A - Pours with a one finger light brown head, dark gold, bright, strong carbonation. Some chunky lace and a film of retention.

S - Sweet spice, yeast, grain, a mild funk. Hops come through and blend well bringing this full circle as a nice saison aroam.

T - Sweet spice, yeast, grain, banana and other types of fruitiness with a tiny funk in the finish. There's definitely a hop note there too but I can't tell what it comes out as.

M - Good carbonation with little tingly bubbles, medium to full body, a spicy finish, maybe some pepper.

O/D - A bit spicy for my tastes in a saison. Definitely a solid saison. The body is bigger than the style and ABV would warrant, though it's pleasant and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 02:17:33 | More by tbeckett
Photo of kjyost
kjyost

Manitoba (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Undated bomber acquired at Luxelune, Winnipeg. Poured into a weizen glass at around 4C.

Deep copper body with substantial haziness and a light white head that leaves gorgeous lacing. A muted nose at first until the thick cap drops, leaving belgian barnyard esters and a hint of peppery spice to come out from beneath it. An odd body in a way as it is quite thick and sweet, but finishes with a light peppery dryness. Too thick for a saison, but with nice esters. A nice beer, just not what I was expecting. Worth having again.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 06:13:26 | More by kjyost
Photo of LampertLand
LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-poured into a pilsner glass , a nice inviting rich copper , minimal head that receded leaving some lace on the glass
S-some fruityness like banana bread in the front with black pepper in the background
T-the mix of flavors follow the aroma fairly close , fruit followed by spices
MF-good body , medium to full , enters the mouth nicely then burst's with sweet , fruit , bitter , spice , a crisp finish that will slightly sour the longer its held in the mouth
Ov-a well balanced saison , pleasant to taste and very easy to drink

Cheers LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 05:39:33 | More by LampertLand
Photo of beerayrton
beerayrton

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought for my second review i'd do one of my favourite British Columbia breweries, Driftwood out of Victoria.

Appearance - You get quite a nice rich copper colour, which is accented by a minimal head. It's not hazy at all, quite clear.

Smell - You get banana and citrus right off the bat in the front, with pepper in the back.

Taste - well, if you thought the smell was peppery, the taste hits you with it, but it's a mellow pepper. It's very present, but not so much so that it gets you over the head with a hammer. The taste gets rather yeasty, but in a good way.

Mouthfeel - With this beer you get a medium carbonation with a taste that lingers. Sour notes predominate the longer it's held in your mouth.

Overall - I like it. It's a saison that I love drinking anytime I get a chance, and it's very good, on the whole. It's not overly amazing, but definitely one of my favourites for a quiet night in.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 03:15:48 | More by beerayrton
Photo of chickenm
chickenm

British Columbia (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours orange-copper and has an off-white head with low retention. Nice fruity aroma with spices and yeast. Spicy taste with citrus, pepper, sugar, and sweet malts. Mouthfeel is a little watery. Very drinkable though, this is another solid beer from Driftwood.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 02:02:31 | More by chickenm
Photo of xuptygm
xuptygm

Nebraska

4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish orange, very thick soapy head which recedes quickly leaving some lace but not much. I have to admit I was congested when drinking this so I do not have much to say for aromas. I gave it the benefit of the doubt with a four. A very complex and unique beer when it comes to taste. Coriander, tea, lemon, a touch of honey sweetness. A very unique malt flavor. Spicy pepper taste compliments the higher level of carbonation. A well balanced beer. Carbonation leaves a prickly sensation in the mouth yet the beer is very smooth. Overall a very easy drinking complex beer. My second favorite find from my trip to Victoria. I brought home a few bottles of this stuff. Well worth it!

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 04:02:27 | More by xuptygm
Photo of IllNate
IllNate

British Columbia (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a very clear amber with a heap of off white head. Very appealing.

S - malty and hoppy, but mostly yeasty, with a bit of funk.

T - caramel malt, with a balancing bitterness.

M - medium bodied, smooth. Well done.

O - well done beer, I imagine drinking this after a day on the farm.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 02:59:44 | More by IllNate
Photo of ChrisCage
ChrisCage

Alberta (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a pint glass, though it's my wide topped Heineken glass....was met with a super nice foamy head that was at least three fingers thick, eggshell in color and with excellent retention! The lacing is super plush on the side of the glass as I drink this down! The beer itself is a yeast hazed rusty orange color and has fine looking bubbles rising to the top! Very enticing upon first glance!!

S- There is a lot going on in the aromas....right upfront, I detect the black pepper that was used in making this. On top of the fresh ground berry scent, there is a blend of funky yeast, banana peel and clove spice. The sweet malt is present too and helps to counter everything else....the finish has a dry spice/bitter hop aroma that ties everything together!

T- The flavors follow the aromas fairly close...banana fruit, cloves, a very modest peppery flavor, lots of rich Belgian yeast/bread like qualities....it really delicious. Overall, everything is toned down from the aroma, and I find it dry on the palate, especially at the end...a really nicely balanced and flavored brew! Just as a note, as this warms up, the peppery character becomes much more noticeable and even leaves a little zing on my tongue, just like freshly ground black peppercorns would do on my food!

M- This is, in my opinion medium-full bodied, and is smooth as silk on the palate! The richness of the yeast is really prominent, and the balancing act between sweet/fruit/spice/bitter is really great. At the same time, this is a really crisp finisher and keeps my palate yearning for more.

D- I've never had a Saison that was brewed in Belgium but this is a world class beer in my opinion and I just know that this would rank right up with the authentic varieties! Another great pick up by my wife, who got this in Victoria for me and I would definitely get this again if given the chance! Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 01:20:14 | More by ChrisCage
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber poured into pint glass April17 2011

A clear golden orange with loads of bubbles that move around like snowflakes in headlights swarming in from every direction, carbonation this heavy will maintain a thick foam all the way down the glass leaving lace everywhere, first in rings then tightly packed speckles

S peppercorns and funky yeast take center stage with floral, fruity and spicy hops in the background, this ones a little hard to wrap my head around

T not quite the complexity I found on the nose but still quite nice, the spice is magnified in the mouth and hides some of what I smell but still lots of flavor for 5.5%

M enters silky then explodes to a thick creamy body mid way then a bit of a bite and a lingering aftertaste

O summer session brew to say the least, pretty complex for something I could drink a gallon of

A crash course in Driftwood 101 has been a pleasurable surprise to say the least. With some of the best beers I've had from Canada in recent memory and I still have some of their top guns to take down, I'm thinking this will be a good week. chickenm provided me the liquid textbook for this particular lesson in Driftwood 101

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2011 05:58:41 | More by wordemupg
Photo of ericj551
ericj551

Alberta (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Driftwood Farmhand pours a clear deep gold with a nice fluffy head that lingers. Thick lacing works its way down the glass. The aroma is dry and earthy with some light, fruity malt. The flavor is dry malt with more earthiness and fruity easters. The beer finishes crisp and dry. There may be a hint of pepper, but that could be the power of suggestion.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 07:17:04 | More by ericj551
Photo of joemcgrath27
joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - hazy copper orange, 2 fingers of soapy head, dissipated slowly leaving random lacing
S - very fruity with apricot, orange, yeasty esters, and subtle clove sipce
T - fruity blend of peach, apricot, and banana quickly gives way to clove, ginger, pepper, and bready malt, extremely flavourful
M - big body carbonation, very tart the spices really get into your nose
D - so rich in summer fruits and spices that I can imagine people waiting for this to be ready come summer, big kick in flavour and feel, but a pleasure to drink at any time in my opinion

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 05:44:21 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of bishopgary
bishopgary

Utah

4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rich golden straw color, with thick 2 finger head. Great retention, slowly faded to prominent lacing. Hazy, just as a Saison should be. Glowing and effervescent.
S: Yeasty, slightly sour. Orange, pepper, clove and banana. Rounded out by a bit of malt. Somehow smells more Belgian than most real Belgians.
T: A little orange peel, and spice upfront, followed by what I would call a banana smoothness that leads up to a really good sour funk. Finishes with a peppery kick.
M: Great body, not heavy not light. Can't exactly call it medium either. Leaves your palate wanting more.
D: Really good, this could be dangerous session beer. The alcohol is well masked. One to look out for.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 22:47:01 | More by bishopgary
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bomber, brought back from a visit to Kelowna earlier this 'summer'...

This beer pours a hazy medium golden orange colour (very fall foliage-esque!), with two fingers of roiling, foamy eggshell white head, which leaves some splotches of lace around the glass as it duly recedes. It smells of white grain, banana, clove, and yeast. The taste is quite fruity - banana, apricot, some orange pith - mostly overshadowing the more demure malt. Balancing this is a nice even spiciness - clove, black pepper, some funky yeast, as well as an earthy, leafy hoppiness. The carbonation is very soft, the body full, round, smooth, and slick. It finishes clean, and pretty dry, the grain and spice staking their claim.

Given the very fall-like weather that we've been having for the past few weeks, my harvest mentality has definitely set in (California grape shipments are imminent!). As I am a few levels removed from any actual harvest, this beer definitely helps out. It is a solid example of the style - very flavourful, and everything in equilibrium. Spicy, fruity, yeasty, it's got it all. And at a pretty normal ABV, easy as pie to put back.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 23:56:24 | More by biboergosum
Photo of scott451
scott451

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip glass. A slightly hazy apricot with a massive bubbly light tan head. Great head retention and strong lacing.

Fresh malt smells with hoppy hints. Pepper overtones. Slightly fruity up front. Actually fairly mild tasting overall. Slightly hoppy pepper finish. Very well done.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good. Refreshing and very pleasant overall. I had no problem finishing the bomber by myself.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 04:20:36 | More by scott451
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Farmhand Ale from Driftwood Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.