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Farmhand Ale - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
Farmhand AleFarmhand Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

120 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 120
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.7%
Wants: 10
Gots: 12 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 120 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ChrisCage:
Photo of ChrisCage
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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!

ChrisCage, Aug 07, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

beerhunter13, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of trail77
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

trail77, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of nomoon
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

nomoon, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of chickenm
3.98/5  rDev -1%
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.

chickenm, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of jpbebeau
4/5  rDev -0.5%

jpbebeau, Aug 30, 2012
Photo of JonnyBeers
4/5  rDev -0.5%

JonnyBeers, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of intoxabroad
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

intoxabroad, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4.38/5  rDev +9%
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.

biboergosum, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of Metalmonk
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had this one at Salt, a cheese-tasting room in Vancouver, B.C. Was impressed with it then and hope to be now. Note: brewed with all the usual stuff (water, barley malt, hops and yeast) and then black pepper. Hmm.

Bountiful two-finger head of latte-like foam with a rush of bubbles up through a copper/sunset/amber color. Head never totally disappears and lace clings to the glass in a thick wall. Very Belgian indeed, as far as its looks go.

As per style, yeast forms the basis for the aroma, bringing various herbs and spices to mind, and sure enough I'm getting black pepper. It's not overdone, and I ain't sneezing, it seems to be added in just the right amount to offer a bit of extra personality. Some mellower fruit elements creep in as well.

Speaking of mellow, the flavor delivers a gentle, delicate mixture of herbal, spicy and lightly fruity characteristics. Yeast plays a part in the profile and some fresh-baked wheat bread and toffee/butter hints follow through behind it. Reminds me of Van Steenberge's Bruegel in a way, in its gentleness and subtle flavors.

Fittingly, the mouthfeel is silky and soft, just right for the flavors, although it might be a tad thinner than it could've/should've been.

A wonderful saison, which has become a popular style for North American brewers to tackle as of late. Thankfully it offers something more subtle and less spice-driven than its modern counterparts on this side of the world while doing its representatives from the original homeland proud -- reason enough for any Belgian and Belgian-style fan to seek it out.

Metalmonk, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Derek's bottle and he has confirmed better on tap. Good summery beer, altough not great for style, yellow with bubbles and creamy, soapy head, lacey. Peppery white, although it says black pepper. A little funky tasting, yeasty aroma, and a little lemon.

Sammy, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of CanuckRover
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a lighter copper. Big pillowy head settles fairly quickly to a thin ring of film. Lacings are spotty. Loads of bubbles floating to the top.

Wonderful yeasty aroma with a really refreshing fruit character, almost pineapple-like.

Mmmm. Refreshing right up front with some very subtle hopping. Light biscuity malt takes over, given a bit of an edge by the lovely yeast flavours. Finally the black pepper comes through, really nice and a great contrast to the initial refreshing sweetness. Finished quite dry, peppery notes linger for a good while.

Excellent mouthfeel, carbonation really piques your interest and the smooth body doesn't disapoint.

A fantastic beer, should have brought back more!

CanuckRover, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of CWVegas
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

CWVegas, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.18/5  rDev +4%
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

joemcgrath27, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of 1stOffender
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

1stOffender, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of Rutager
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Rutager, Sep 23, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of Belgian malt with fruity ester and light barnyard notes. Taste is not as funky as expected but notes of light barnyard and fruity ester are nice but fall a bit short from some of the style best offering. Body is about average with good carbonation. Well done but unfortunately lacking some character.

Phyl21ca, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

TheSevenDuffs, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of pudoo
4/5  rDev -0.5%

pudoo, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of adhallick
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

adhallick, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of ritzkiss
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Edit: 11/06/09

Grabbed the last bottle from the shelf - good sign.

Still heavy carbonation out of the bottle but manageable, raises a couple fingers of nice rocky head. Leaves light, patchy lacing down the glass.

Looks great, clear burnt orange/ harvest orange color that has hints of brown. Tons of bubbles.

Smells has some vague fruity esters, lemons, a hint of pepper, almost a hint of tea leaves.

Taste is a light and springy: the lemons mix with a slight breadiness, pepper notes jive with a hint of earthiness, a herbaceous hops quality leaves a slight drying in the finish.

A little light on the body. Not too bad though. Upon re-drinking I can gladly up the score a bit but still feel there are better saisons out there. This is one is unique in coloring but I feel fails to deliver in complexity of flavors. Light drinking and an excellent option for summertime and decks. Another good brew from Driftwood.

ritzkiss, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of EspressoGuy
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
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...)

EspressoGuy, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of findango
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

findango, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of ThirstyDutchman
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

ThirstyDutchman, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of Emmo26
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Emmo26, Jul 23, 2014
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Farmhand Ale from Driftwood Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 120 ratings.