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Farmhand Ale - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
Farmhand AleFarmhand Ale

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

116 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 116
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.48%
Wants: 11
Gots: 6 | 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)
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Ratings: 116 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of benbou17
benbou17

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev -0.2%

12-05-2011 02:55:23 | More by benbou17
Photo of Mages64
Mages64

Washington

5/5  rDev +24.7%

12-03-2011 00:03:00 | More by Mages64
Photo of EskimoDave
EskimoDave

British Columbia (Canada)

5/5  rDev +24.7%

11-21-2011 03:10:35 | More by EskimoDave
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
Photo of cratez
cratez

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle purchased by my dad at The Brewery Creek Liquor Store in Vancouver, British Columbia. Pours a hazed amber gold with two fingers of bubbly, eggshell white froth and strands of lacing on the stemmed wine glass. Smell and taste are fresh oranges, lemon, faint nuttiness, clove, dried mango, a tad earthy and resinous, jujube candy, marmalade, smooth and tart maltiness, green banana, mildly citric orange peel bitterness, fleeting finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and peppery spiciness upfront, prickly tang on the tongue, passing dryness to end. The black pepper is evident in the aftertaste. This reminds of Black Oak Saison, but with a few more nuances due to the beefier grain and hop bills and higher ABV. Seems like a pretty versatile beer, good for sessioning after a hot day or pairing with a light meal. Overall it's a nice quaff in the summer season.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2010 21:26:29 | More by cratez
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

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

A - Pours a nice hazy golden orange colour, thin finger of head with little retention, leaving some lacing throughout.

S - Scent is largely bready, wheat scented malts, with a bit of a sweet kick on the finish consisting of apricots and honey.

T - Quite delightful! Although I found it a bit bland in the mouth, the flavours really come through on the finish. Fruits are bananas, oranges and apricots, while the spices (not noticeable on the scent) finish nicely with cloves, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg that linger on the palette.

M - This one is poundable! Goes down silky smooth, perfectly carbonated, though it was noticeably dry on the finish.

D - Quite impressed by this offering. Full of flavour, very drinkable and an excellent take on the Saison style. Highly recommended to anyone who can get their hands on this stuff!

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 21:03:50 | More by andrenaline
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber-orange colour with white head. Excellent head retention. Smell has ton of spice upfront, with Belgian yeast and banana. Lots of pepper in the taste, which is great because I love pepper. Nice bready malts with the Belgian yeast flavour. A bit overcarbonated for my preference. This wasn't hard at all to get through the bomber by myself.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 23:59:58 | More by kwjd
Photo of OskarL
OskarL

Sweden

3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber/copper color with a dense off-white head that has good retention and leaves nice lacing.

Smells of spicy pepper, pale bready malt with citrus and fruity notes.

Tastes of peppery yeast, bready, fruity, lemon with a tart finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, medium body with lots of small carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2010 01:36:19 | More by OskarL
Photo of strangemusic
strangemusic

British Columbia (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been impressed with Saisons in general lately, here's one from Victoria's Driftwood Brewing.

The appearance is a clear dark amber, with lacy tan head (nice!) and evident carbonation.

Smell is of hayloft, malt, orange, banana, sea air, yeast and peppery spice.

The taste is bready, very smooth with a tang of hops and pepper, tart juicy fruit flavours, more hayloft, florals... it's complex, but not really eye-opening - all-around tasty though.

The mouthfeel is really odd! It's chewy-textured and very soft, but also feels light in the mouth... strangely balanced! Clean sip with a tangy finish.

Drinkability is quite good - had a whole large bottle to myself and enjoyed every drop.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2010 23:28:48 | More by strangemusic
Photo of Graham5161986
Graham5161986

British Columbia (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Belgian style saison pours a brilliant copper orange colour with a frothy, slightly rocky white head that dissipates into a bubbly film but leaves some nice lacing on my glass. I do, however, miss the classic Belgian yeast that this one just doesn't seem to have.

Smells of classic Belgian candied fruit and caramel with banana and spice (I definitely pick up the black pepper added to this one). A really nice buttery aroma wafting off this one as well.

Taste is actually quite bready up front with the spice and candied dark fruit coming through mid-sip. The finish displays caramel, bread, nuts and a hoppy bitterness that balances out the sugars. Awesome.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very crisp and clean with a spicy finish that leaves my mouth watering.

At 5.5%, this is a very drinkable belgian style ale. It's full of complex flavours and is not too sugary or spicy. Overall, a well-balanced saison that I could see myself drinking all night long. Excellent, excellent stuff. Kudos to the guys at Driftwood for another stunning beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 18:20:22 | More by Graham5161986
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one at Volo. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Two and half fingers of off-white foam, with superb retention and tons of sticky lacing that eventually settles to a thick cap. A slightly hazed golden color that glows in the sunlight. Not really sure what else I'd expect from this style of brew.

S - Spicy Belgian yeast, pale malts, zesty orange peel, and black pepper. It's solid and pleasant, but doesn't have any of my favorite sour/funky elements.

T - The taste is pretty similar, with light bready malts, Belgian yeast, black pepper, perfume and floral notes, and fresh pears. Thankfully the spice and black pepper are held in check. Again - it's solid but a little pedestrian.

M - The texture is lovely - light tingly carbonation, medium body, super soft texture, and very refreshing.

D - I drank the whole bomber by myself, and it never felt like a chore. I'd have this one again (although probably not by myself if it was a 22oz bottle again). The clean aftertaste, low ABV, and pleasant taste make it easy to drink a lot.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2009 01:20:55 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 03:10:58 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mgermani for this one.

Enjoyed this last Wednesday night and shared partially with my wife with our supper which was spaghetti with a garden-style sauce.

Poured from a bomber, best before Dec. 5, 2009.

Appearance: Big cloudy yellow/orange body with a mega huge head that is easily 4-5 inches. A little too much foam for me. I liked the fact though that it seemed to bubble and make gaps in the head.

Smell: Tart with lemon, pepper, yeast and fruit esters.

Taste: Lots of lemon i found with a bit of pepper that becomes slightly more pronounced as it warmed. Taste is subdued IMO. A little tartness with a good mix of floral flavors.

Mouthfeel: Mild with an active carbonation. Glides easily down the throat though i found it it be a tiny bit watery.

Drinkability: I'd say yes. It was good though not great. No troubles drinking it.

Overall: I think i would like to try it fresher next time. Though the style is cellarable, maybe this particular beer is better when fresh? Worth a try for sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 20:07:03 | More by papat444
Photo of Methodd
Methodd

British Columbia (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

650mL bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Hazy reddish/orange. Lots of frothy, clumpy white head that never completely dissipates. Lots of curtain lacing.

Smell: Faint. Sweet fruit, herbs, floral hops.

Taste: Refreshing. Citrus, spice, pepper and a bit yeasty.

Mouthfeel: Dry. Heavy carbonation. Lots of bitter after taste.

Drinkability: I’m not a huge fan of the style but good none the less. I think this type of thing would be more suited to spring and summer; for me at least.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 06:35:30 | More by Methodd
Photo of Grunewald
Grunewald

British Columbia (Canada)

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

A - poured from a 650ml bottle into a tulip glass. It pours clear orange with a clumpy, foamy head.

S - yeasty malt, apple, and a light salty smell (seaweed)

T - yeasty malt. light peaches and slight hops (apple)
that linger into the finish with the malt

M - medium carbonation and body and neutral finish

D - great yeasty flavor in the malt. I could have many of these.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 04:43:27 | More by Grunewald
Farmhand Ale from Driftwood Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.