Saison Sauvin - 8 Wired Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Saison SauvinSaison Sauvin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

162 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.4%
Wants: 16
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
8 Wired Brewing Co. visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ADZA on 07-22-2011

Saisons have been around for ages. Traditionally brewed by Belgian and French farmers to provide refreshment during harvest. I'm guessing that flavour wasn't a main concern back then; the priority was to provide a beverage that was safe to drink, because water usually wasn't. Never the less, over time they developed a beverage chrarissed by beer geeks of the modern world. The alcohol content was low, so the workers could consume enough to keep hydrated and still perform their job: To load the barn with enough barley for next years brewing season. I bet these hardworking, humble farmers never imagined, that centuries later, their style of brewing would inspire brewers from all over the world. As all our beers, this is a very modern, you might say new world, interpretation of this style. Based on the tradition we have used a French Saison yeast, which provides a plethora of funky, earthy, very "Belgian" flavours. From there we have upped the ante a fair bit by doubling the amount of malt, and thereby the alcohol, and loaded the kettle with punchy Nelson Sauvin hops. Unlike the original, this is not a beer meant to be drunk by the gallon. Moderation is the key for full enjoyment of all great beers.

50 IBU
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 66
Reviews by matjack85:
Photo of matjack85
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up this 500ml brown bottle at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL for the hefty price of $10.99 a bottle. The beer is named for the use of Nelson Sauvin hops, which are used to brew this beer, and are native to New Zealand. No freshness date, but there is a 2 paragraph blurb about the beer on the side of the label.

The beer poured a hazy golden/apricot color with a creamy 1-finger white head that had decent retention and decent lacing.

Big earthy and herbal smell with underlying fruit and a touch of alcohol.

Earthy, herbal, and spicy hop flavor with moderate bitterness (50 IBU's). There's also a touch of fruit cocktail-like fruitiness underneath. For the most part it's pretty dry, despite the use of 5 different malts, but the fruits keep popping their heads up throughout the consumption.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel, on the dry side, with moderate carbonation.

It's OK but not a favorite of mine, and with the high price tag I probably won't be buying this again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BrewerMike
4.59/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled during a beer tasting at Streetcar Wines and Beer in JP, and then immediately bought a bottle. This is quite an interesting beer. It does not shout, "Saison!" but it is nonetheless pretty amazing. Pours a crisp, crystal clear golden straw color with a substantial head that remains throughout the entire session. The aroma is a straight blast of grapefruit. You'd think you're about to drink grapefruit juice. Crazy! The mouthfeel is creamy up front and then somewhat prickly and dry on the finish. Very nicely balanced but more bitter than malty for sure. More grapefruit in the flavor with some lemon zest and other citrusy notes. The dry finish leaves you immediately wanting another sip, and therefore I shall take one! The is a very drinkable and intriguing beer. Tastes more like an IPA with just a twinge of saison flavor/earthiness hidden in the background. This beer really shocked me, since I wasn't expecting this hop character. If I wanted to be critical, I'd ding this beer for not being what I'd expect to be a saison. It's really an IPA brewed with saison yeast from my perspective. But I don't want to ding the beer because I liked it so much. I definitely recommend this, but don't go in expecting a traditional saison.

Photo of biboergosum
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. 8-Wired is 4 for 4 so far in my books, so, no pressure now...

This beer pours a hazy, medium golden straw hue, with two pudgy fingers of tight, foamy, creamy dirty white head, which leaves a decently consistent pocked wall of lace around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of prominent bready sourdough malt, bitter citrus rind, moderate tropical fruit, and further leafy, earthy hops. The taste is yeasty, doughy caramel malt, acridly bitter pithy citrus, some muddled guava and pedestrian orchard fruitiness, a few light white pepper notes, dowsed clove spiciness, and soft, floral, somewhat perfumed hops.

The carbonation is present, and well restrained, the body a so-so medium weight, and generally smooth, in that slight fruit acid-tinged sense. It finishes a smidge off-dry, the yeast, sassy fruit, and indulgently bitter leafy, citrusy, and even piney hops all hanging out until last call.

An amped-up saison, this much is for certain - they proclaim as such on the label, and do not fail to deliver, as the subtle wheat characteristics give way to a heady, hoppy, rather New World treatment. No biggie, just the machinations of a Danish (gypsy, seemingly by nature) brewer setting up shop in rural New Zealand. You gotta expect this sort of thing. I choose to embrace it.

Photo of Sammy
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very fresh aroma, white wine notes. Big and bubbly head on a blond body. A good mouthfeel, hoppy which leads to a dry bitter finish. Tropical fruit, honeyish. Yeast is there, but it is a minority of the flavours. Superb drinkability. Worth seeking out.
John's bottle, thanks.

Photo of alphagnome
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Light orange-colored body, incredibly cloudy, topped by a porous, finger-thick off-white head. Great retention and solid carbonation.

Potent tart character and decent fruit and spice - coriander and pepper. Orange, grapefruit, and kiwi take over the aroma-scape with a decent herbal punch on the tail end. It's all over the place, but I really like it for this reason!

Dry, bitter, and tart. Very earthy hop presence. Grass, Lemon and pepper. Not much funk, but if you're caught off-guard, it could make you pucker. Alcohol on the finish.

Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Very dry finish.

A unique entry in the style. It's definitely more bitter than most, but points for originality. Due to it's heavier body, I'd have a hard time pouring one of these to accompany me while I'm workin' the grill, but it's worth grabbing for a cold day by the fire.

Photo of Infamous7100
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy, honey, golden color. It's has a slight head with little to no lacing.
S: Aromas of sweet malts and fruit hit me first, perhaps pear or apple? This blends nicely with some lemony citrus notes that are accompanied by an earthy, grassy aroma.
T: this brew does well to follow the nose. At the front, the malts and fruits make themselves known but not in an overpowering fashion. Towards the middle and pack, the profile seems to change into the funky yeast flavors this style is known for. This is bit more pronounced than more traditional saisons. There is a slight bitterness that does well to break up the funk.
M: Light in body but highly carbonated. It's slight creamy but finishes with a tart and spicy hang.
O: It's an interesting brew and a cool interpretation on the style. I am not a huge funk guy and much prefer the more traditonal saisons but its nice to try something that expands your horizon. Give it a shot.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - mildy hazy bright golden, tower of soapy head, retained endlessly with random lacing
S - sour citrus, grain, leafy, and some yeasty bread
T - starts tart with a surprisingly big kick of grapefruit rind hoppiness, cracked grain and a touch of pepper and sour fruit
M - medium body, prominent bitterness, spicy and medium dry finish
O - much more hoppy and spicy than many saisons i've tried to date, tasty and unique enough to make this a must try

Photo of bum732
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Grassy, almost like grass clippings. Spicy, wine notes, pears, big hoppy wine notes overall.

L: Slightly hazy burnt orange, creamy white head with good retention and lacing.

T: Dry clean malt with a prominent wine hoppy backbone. Some spiciness and light grassy notes as the beer finishes very dry. Wine hoppy notes in the finish.

M: Medium full bodied, medium high carbonation. Big for the style, not as crisp.

Pretty good, enjoyed the NZ winey notes. Nice and dry overcomes the lack of crispness. Solid.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a large, lasting head.
Nose shows passionfruit, lychee and grapes. Underneath are funky notes and belgian phenols. Very fruity!
Similar flavours with fruity and piney hops alongside dry funky belgian spicy notes. The belgian characters are a bit too aggressive, mixing in with the hoppy bitterness to create a harsh finish.
Could use more carbonation.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a hazy golden hay color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some great lacing. Aroma consists of fruity hops with nice floral hay undertones. Taste is a refreshing and complex mix of fruity hoppy notes with some dry floral notes with a solid addition of rustic malt with well balanced sweetness level. Body is full with limited filtration and great carbonation. Complex, refreshing and well balanced beer from a great brewer.

Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy sunburst color with a rocky white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of grassy and citrus hops with a little funk.

Tastes of the funkiness with some pepper notes along with a good helping of malt. Grassy and light fruit notes lead off. Citrus comes through and compliments some of the fruitiness. A solid malt body develops and gives some grainy sweetness along with bread notes. A bit of pepper comes through on the backend to round everything out.

Mouthfeel is medium with slightly assertive amount of carbonation.

Overall, I quite like this and just wish it was a little cheaper, I paid $10 for a half liter.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light, coppery color. Fingers worth of whiteish head, small for a saison. Aroma was herbally, with a fair amount of fruity esters, peach, some malty sweetness. Taste had some bittersweet tropical fruit notes, breadiness, yeasty notes. A peppery finish. Sort of a robust feel to it. Very creamy texture. Not wildly carbonated.

Overall, it's tasty. It's not the funky, light, effervescent Saison I've become accustomed to, but it's good in it's own right.

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color with some amber hues and a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high off white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of gooseberries are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has notes of passionfruit and hints of spices.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer really accentuates the aromas and flavors of the Nelson Sauvin hops but is a lot easier to drink compared to an IPA.

Photo of spicelab
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle thanks to Chris@Slowbeer

Bright and clear orange capped by a huge light and pillowy white head. Very slight lace.

Saison? This smells like an IPA. Seriously tropical and grassy. Intense passionfruit, tangerine cut grass with a slight funky edge. Oh yeah, and passionfruit.

Again, strong resemblance to Hopwired IPA. Sharp and distinct Sauvin character, feijoa, guava, lemon pith, white pepper and earthy resin. Passionfruit is much less prominent than in the nose, but still there.

Quite chewy and syrupy, with booze heat weighing a little heavily. Tart and dry finish - probably the most Saisonesque characteristic of this brew.

Sure this presses all my buttons, because I love the hop character, but I battle to see how this is a Saison.

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. Timmermans Flute glass. Enjoyed on agt´12. Orangish amber color. Foggy appearance. White, very small size bubbled, froth. Close, thin layer, lasting crown. Herbal & spiced -hints of pepper & clove- aromas & grape juice notes. Fresh & crispy upfront. Sour & fruty flavor (pear & apricot). Funny palate. Medium to high body. Moderate but lively carbonation. Watery to oily texture. Slightly astringent & acidic touches in the middle linger into a dry finish. Refreshing & delightful.

Photo of joecast
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy golden amber. Shines bright from room lighting. Huge frothy white head. Great stability and lacing. High carbonation gives it a sparkling appearance.

Some pungent Belgian aromatics. Slightly funky, a bit yeasty, and some faint hops in the background. Pretty heavy. Aroma is strong with this one.

Definitely new world saison here. Big one two punch from the yeast and hops. Both are strong, but stop short of being overpowering or dominating. The combination though is something to be reckoned with. Not a big fan of hoppy Belgians but this isn't as full on as some others and while this is a not so subtle variation, I can still sense a trueish saison in there somewhere.

Photo of Cresant
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served this 500 mL brown bottle in a tulip flute. No date listed. The body was a hazy apricot. The head was nearly white and it left light lacing.

The smell was lemony. Earthy and mildly sour. Fruits and hints of chalky yeast.

The taste was fruity and peppery. Heavily flavored of baked pears with a kiwi like aftertaste. There was a gentle breadiness. Strawberries and key limes. This one finishes dry and slightly sour.
Unique and flavorful.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with modest but adequate carbonation.

Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Yellow gold with a light greenish tinge and a slight haze. Moderate amount of tiny bubbles. Huge 4 fingers of almost blue tinged head (like some old ladys' hair). It has large and small bubbles, and looks almost glass like, the consistency of sugar caramelizing on the stove.

S: Light fruitiness like fresh red plums, lemon, light herbal notes, children’s aspirin.

T: Again, fresh plums, children’s aspirin, light herbal notes, light astringent notes. Really covers the alcohol.

M: Smooth, light, champagne like, little fine carbonation. Dry, tannic finish.

O: Excellent saison from New Zealand. Reminds me of Saison Dupont. Smooth, well crafted. Got in Thailand, drank in Kunming China Jan 3rd 2014.

Photo of SebD
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a beautiful hazy golden/orange color to it. It has a nice thick bubbly off-white head that dies down moderately slow and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of pungent grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, some peppery spices, light grass and faint yeast.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some grapefruit, lemon, light pepper, some funk, a touch of grassiness and some yeast.

Mouthfeel: It has a med-high carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas.

Photo of skipxtracer
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really great saison. So happy to find this in San Diego at best damn beer shop. Poured cloudy dark yellow with a huge white head. Really fruity nose with lime citrus notes. Yeasty delicious taste. Great start to a five course Nelson sauvin tasting! :)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden amber in color with some orange highlights and significant amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall fizzy white head that is just a touch creamy and slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer evenly. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of spices (black pepper) and tropical/passionfruit hops. There is almost a light amount of sourness/funkiness in the aroma which is from the hops - they are described as having a gooseberry aroma to them.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of pale malts - slightly stronger than I expected for this style. There is a moderate amount of spicy/black pepper from the yeast. Light to moderate flavors of tropical/passionfruit and gooseberry from the hops - there is also a light hint of sourness as well. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Dry, almost chalky, in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable and a great showcase for one of my favorite hops. Really enjoy hoppy saisons and this one does not disappoint. Definite would get this one again and it is an easy drinker.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Vintage Estate in Boardman, Ohio on our way back from DLD 2012. Served in a Mikasa tulip. Pours a fairly-cloudy orange color with some light copper highlights. Nice foamy off-white head with good retention and some nice sticky lacing on the sides of the glass as it goes down. The nose brings some classic Nelson with a good dose of white grape and all around fruitiness. Yeast has some light spice and nice fruit. Body is light-medium with moderate carbonation and a bit of alcohol along with a smooth bitterness. Quite nice.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.77/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, earthy and slightly wine like. In the taste, a light green apple tartness and a nice earthy presence. A small tart bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry tart green apple to dry earth in the aftertaste. Nice tartness, earthy, and very nice!

Photo of Davepoolesque
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Really bitter, super carbed. It's just meh.

Photo of KFBR392
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: A bold golden/orange color to this brew. There is a medium bodied murkiness. Low head on the pour and close to zero retention while drinking. A pretty saison.

Smell: The belgian influences on this beer are felt right away. Exotic, wild yeast greets the nose with plenty of leafy greens, bread accents, and spices. There is a really solid hop base provided from the Nelson Sauvin hops which add plenty of depth to this aroma.

Taste: The front is a rather mild hop sweetness which yields to a much more present yeast body. Leafy greens and medium to dark fruits jump all over the palate. The back end and finish of the beer is a pleasant mix of starchy dryness and hop sweetness. Some slight alcohol sting is felt on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice transitions of hops and yeast accents. Finish is slightly hot but drinks very easily.

Overall: Nelson Sauvin hops fit right in with this Saison. Bright exotic yeast tones surprise the palate and the hops beat it up pretty well. A great change of pace beer, enjoyed sipping on this one.

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Saison Sauvin from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.