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Saison Sauvin - 8 Wired Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Saison SauvinSaison Sauvin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

68 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 169
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 17.56%
Wants: 16
Gots: 11 | 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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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 169
Photo of ccrida
4.83/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Saison Sauvin is pale auburn with a huge, frothy off-white head that is very slow to recede, leaving huge hunks of lace.

Smell is earthy and very herbal, fairly pungent hops, some fruity esters as well, which blossom with warmth.

Taste is also funky, earthy and herbal. This one is really heavy on the earth, in a good way, like damp forest floor, dark topsoil, fallen logs and moss. The herbal hop flavors are really accentuated by the yeast. Big pungency and bitterness. Lingering finish. Very nice new world saison, in the Belgian IPA style.

Mouthfeel is dry, spritzy, medium light bodied. A touch over carbonated, it's making me bury, but that is probably exaggerated due to the rapid rate with which I am compelled to suck it down!

Drinkability is awesome. A wow beer, and aligned very much with my favorite style (in fact, I regularly home brew a hoppy saison very similar, but with paler malt and west coast hops).

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Photo of TeddyBrew
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I picked up a few bottles at City Beer and San Francisco. Expensive! $10.99 for a bottle marked 1 pint, .9 fluid oz.

This is so good I had to review it right away. Pours a pleasant cloudy colour. Fuller mouthfeel than many saisons I have tried. Nice subtle spices come through. Great balance. This one is just a great beer!

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.79/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to @epiclurk for the bottle for my birthday. Shared with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a very dark, almost amber-copper colour, way off for a saison, with a pock-marked head of lazy white foam. Lacing is good—solid and consistent, forming in rings as the beer goes down. Body is light, especially for 7% ABV, but that probably goes with the slightly twisted New Zealand style.

Nose is, yeah, wow, getting freaky with shit. Huge Sauvin Kiwi hop character of passionfruit, biting green redolence and vinous acidity. But along with this is a slight bodily organic funk that lends savoury and unsavoury characters in a wonderfully anarchic mish-mash of hedonistic chaos. Oh hell yes you can do this with a saison thankyou.

Taste is... oh god it works, but it's so weird, and it bastardises a style I hold so dear. The saison funk and acidity is present, but it's warped and twisted with the slight acidity from the Nelson Sauvin hops, giving a perverted clinging bite to the basis of pancake sweetness, throwing up weird characters of smoky barbeque sauce, melon, passionfruit soaked in bourbon—it doesn't stop. Every sip gives you something weird and unique; pummeling you with characters that shouldn't exist, and then showing you just how awesomely they work. It's sacrilegious.

Holy shit, what a beer. It does something so wrong that turns out to be so right. It makes me want to cry into my glass—but whether I'm crying with joy or with sorrow, I can't tell.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.77/5  rDev +21.4%
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!

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Photo of BrewerMike
4.59/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, earthy orange with a creamy off-white head.

S: Sweet mango, pineapple, peach, and apricot in the nose.

T: Beautifully dry, spicy, mango, apple, apricot and pineapple.

M: Medium-light bodied, and fairly smooth.

O: The flavor Nelson Sauvin hops impart the most, at least to me, is pineapple, and I love it. This beer is exactly what a saison should be. Hoppy, light, but full in tropical or citric fruit flavor.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours gold with a very slight haze under a rocky, volcanic 3” white foam collar that erupts above the rim of the glass without pouring off onto the table. A small dollop of foam remains in the glass to the very end. S: A berry tropical fruit white wine nose emerges from the foam. T: Fruity berry and white wine flavors ride a mild malt backbone. the saison yeast flavors accentuate the hop character. The white wine and berry flavors become more pronounced in the aftertaste as the malt flavors fade. F: Very effervescent, medium high to high carbonation O: A very enjoyable, well made saison.

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Photo of Trizzle
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glowing orange hazed body with a generous head. Solid retention and lace.

Nose is monster interesting. Equal parts passionfruit and brett funk. A background hint of a rodenbach type sourness and some skittles and old wet timber.

So much going on in the mouth. Spicy, zesty funky and a just tart. loads of southern hemisphere hop flavour: passionfruit, green grape skin, mangos and what not. Just a touch of that vinegarry sourness hinted at in the nose and the brett is present all the way through.

Great tight carbonation and a more than solid malt body.

This is a quality Saison. Nelson Sauvin and Saison should become a classic.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is god darn good looking beer right here. Nice golden color, mostly clear, huge white, sticky head. Head just doesn't go away. Great lacing. Should've taken a picture.

Aroma was hard to capture because I stuck my nose too far in and snorted some goodness. That tingles! But, I did get some nice esters, spice, white grape and subtle biscuit malt.

This has a nice balance to it, but a bit of booze creeps in to thin out the flavors. Biscuit is nice. White grape and white pepper seem to be the forerunners. Esters and some herbal spice here and there. The sauvin is bold and easy. Kinda like this hop

Feel could use a bit more carbonation to lift the malt and gamey part of the hops. The booze thins it out a bit, too. Otherwise a real nice beer

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy golden-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down very slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet grainy and bready malts with grapefruit, pineapple, and tropical hops with some Belgian yeast, spices, wheat, and lemon zest.

T - Starts off with some wheat and grainy malts with some lemon zest, grapefruit and tropical hops, and a touch of bitterness. Through the middle, some more lightly bready malts come through with some Belgian yeast, spices, and some spicy and floral hops with a bit more bitterness. The finish is a mix of sweet grainy malts, wheat, grapefruit and spicy hops, Belgian yeast, and lemon zest.

M - Medium bodied with moderate-heavy carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and citrusy finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice saison with some extra hops. Good overall balance.

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Photo of skipxtracer
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
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! :)

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of evilkalla
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle bought at a grocery store in Blenheim on the South Island in New Zealand.

A: poured a yellow color, pale orange, with about a quarter inch of head. Poured clear, was not cloudy as others have noted.

S: spicy and earthy, hints of grass and pepper and lemon. Very very good.

T: has a somewhat earth yeasty character, with strong hints of pineapple and grapefruits. Slightly hot with alcohol. Peppery. Very nice. The NZ hops definitely set this one apart from other beers in this style.

M: about the right level of carbonation, and just about perfect thickness.

O: this is very good beer. We are on vacation here so I'm glad I saw it and snagged a bottle.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into tulip 13/9/12

A just a slight chill haze in a golden orange body, tiny slow bubbles feed a very well sustained massive head that ever so slowly falls to a thick film leaving soapy rings of lace well down the glass

S tropical punch bowl going on here, passion fruit, grapefruit, guava and pineapple with the vinous Sauv Blanc notes that make this hop so unique. the yeast is quite nice with some dusty funk with a little spice, cereals, and very faint pine with just a hint of booze, smells wonderful

T lime and lemon rind I didn't pick up on the nose but everything else is slightly toned down, not quite as tropical but that still leaves it pretty fruity, a little caramel but not much, tasted very good but I preferred the nose

M medium bodied and just a little airy but its no issue, leaves just a little behind and has a mellow bite, long finish of spicy rind

O I really liked this one, something different and I'm loving the Nelson Sauvin hops, I was close to a 5 for smell but couldn't quite drop it so perhaps a little higher score here

look out for this one it a winner, if you see it drink it. I see the BB date a couple years away so that leaves me wondering

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Photo of thezach
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

500mL bottle, no freshness date.

Frothy fluffy white head that lasts and lasts. A bit of an odd flavor (that's "flavour" for you Kiwis), that must have something to do with the caramunich and aromatic malts. I love the complexity though, and the sweetness and body added by the specialty malts really complements the dry, peppery character of the yeast. Effervescent carbonation, lively, and prickly. Very bitter, considering it says only 50 IBUs for a 7% beer, I was surprised, but it must be a result of the dry, light body. Oh, the hops. They're peppery, vinous, spicy, fruity. It's tough to pick them apart from the yeast, but who cares, the flavors work together to perfection. A great saison, and one of the better uses of Nelson Sauvin.

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Photo of seand
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy orange amber, with a large amount of foamy off-white head with big bubbles. Enough retains to leave nice clumps of lacing.

S: Fresh floral hops; very reminiscent of a white wine, which is not too surprising. Really nice.

T: Medium dry sweetness, with a slightly citrusy hop finish. The balance is nice, and while it's hoppy it's not overly bitter. It doesn't quite have the complexity or freshness promised by the aroma, though.

M: Medium body, dry, medium prickly carbonation.

Overall, nice, refreshing, and different. Something similar at 5% in reasonably priced 6-packs would have a good shot at being a go-to summer beer. It's a little strong for that purpose, but still very nice.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing this - enjoyed chilled in a pint glass.

The color is golden with hazed peachy hues and thick snowy cap with fine bead. Lace sticks in a random way, retention is good. The smell is very tropical up front with some gooseberry and slight sweet grassy odors in the nose with a hint of mango and citrus to round out the aroma. The feel is slightly bitter with moderately high carbonation and mild sweetness with a subtle astringency and light alcohol in the dry finish.

The taste is very good with some hop flavors blending with the fruit tinges in the yeast flavor which is augmented by a slight clove taste. There is a mild herbal and citrus zest flavor in the hops with the light tangy yeast accents providing good cohesion with some dry cracker-like toasted grain underneath. The finish is slightly creamy with yeast as it warms with a mild spicy flavor from the hops. Overall I think this works well as the Nelson Sauvin hops are a good compliment for the saison yeast. This is a full flavored hoppy saison that will satisfy those who like saisons or ipas.

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Photo of Ri0
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 500ml into snifter

A - Golden peach with 2 finger white foamy head that lingers. Forms a thick cap and leaves thick lacing on the glass.

S - Aroma is full of Belgian yeast, with notes of citrus, lemons, pears. It is very earthy with some funk and the hops bring a fruity and almost grape aroma.

T - Has a slight tartness with earthy funk. Citrus, lemon zest and pears. I taste the fruity and white grape like notes from the Nelson Sauvin hops and it even finishes with a touch of bitterness or spice.

M - Crisp and dry with great carbonation. Very refreshing for a bigger Saison.

O - Very flavorful Saison and the use of Nelson Sauvin really brought it together.

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Photo of dansmcd
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Big, frothy head, orangey amber body.

S - Looks like an IPA, smells like one too. Big tropical fruit fragrance. Apricot, passionfruit, peach, orange, rockmelon.

T - Apricot is the dominant flavour, but the sauvin hops are very prominent on the palate too. The hop bitterness lingers.

M - Moderate, slick body, strong bite.

O - Tough to catergorize this one in terms of style. Definately a quality drop with plenty of intricacy to offer though.

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Photo of nickfl
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with a huge, four finger head of white foam with some big, fish eye bubbles in it. The body is a hazy, golden color and the foam settles slowly and leaves fairly thick lace on the glass.

S - A very herbal/floral aroma with notes of bready malt, lavender, clove, pepper, and pear.

T - Dense, sweet malt up front with notes of bread, clove and pepper. Some more diverse spice notes in the middle with lavender, chamomile, nutmeg, and more pepper. The hop character show up towards the finish with a slightly pine note and a bit of grapefruit which fits in well with the pepper and almost mango like flavors of the yeast.

M - A thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - The malt is too thick and the sweetness excessive, but those are my only two complaints in an otherwise interesting and well made beer. The yeast and/or hop profile is really unique with variations on the traditional saison characteristics that are a bit different from anything I have ever had in a beer before. Really worth a try if you have the chance.

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Photo of ADZA
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brewery is definately becoming one i look forwards to everytime something new is released they just keep pushing the envelope in a good way and this Saison pours a golden copper hue with nice carbonation that leaves behind a creamy two finger head and a rim of lacing,the smell is boiled candy,lychee,Sav Blanc grapes and gooseberries and it really does smell like a nice Sav Blanc,it has a medium bodied smooth creamy mouthfeel and has tastes of belgian funk,gooseberries,lychee,paw paw and finished with a tropical fruity dryness and overall i could drink this all night as the ABV is so well hidden it only feels like 5% and this brew really showcases NZ hops in the light they should be shown a tropical punch explosion,thoroughly recommend.

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Photo of SebD
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8 Wired Brewing is showing off their prowess with an array of beer styles, techniques, and ingredients. With the saison style driving the bus as one of the fastest growing of all beer styles, it's somewhat predictable for this semi-infant brewery to take a stab at this zesty, fruity, and dry ale. What's not predictable is the inquisitive use of obscure Nelson Sauvin hops.

Saison Sauvin opens with a semi-hazed pour of sunset golden hue that demonstrates proudly the yeasty workhorses that belie the beer. A nearly rocky ecru head separates from the beer underneath and caps the beer with confidence and semi-clumped lace. It's the spirited carbonation that fuels the foam stance and gives the beer a champagne-like appearance.

Bright and zesty to the nose, the beer's balance of dry fruit and peppery spice is on prominent display while the underpinning of crisp malt aromas offer soft cracker-like breads and the herbal hop tones offer a tinge of earth and must.

Fruity esters and the understated malt richness gives an early impression of sweetness, but without any of the weight that's associated with sweetness. Instead, the dry malt taste seems lightly wheaty and mildly of wet barley and is the perfect springboard for the apple, pear, juniper, and tropical fruit flavors from which to bounce. Not to be outdone, the twig-lke flavor of spicy phenols and hops counter with the thin acidity of lemony sassafras and sprucy gin. Mild citric bitterness refreshes the palate as the rustic earthy notes of sandalwood and minerals round into the taste of light sea salt and musty brine. The Nelson Sauvin hops are a great variant from the norm and complement the traditional flavors of saison very well.

Never weighted on the palate, the ample carbonation erupts off the tongue and seemingly never allows the beer to touch. the beer bounces from bubble to bubble and us ushered down the gullet before I prepare for the finish- the beer is gone. It seems to dissolve off the tongue like cotton candy, but with a return of dry fruitiness, peppery spice, and mild alcohol warmth.

8 Wired is having no trouble hitting all the stronger chords of the saison style and will be a crowd pleasing ale for the full refreshment of the upcoming summer season. As true farmhouse ales are intended, hot weather beacons for this beer!

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Photo of mick303
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A 'very fresh' bottle had at BrewDog Edinburgh into one of their teku glasses. This was a hazy yellow orange colour with some whispey film and lacing, unfiltered, good crisp carbonation.

Hits off with strong aromas of lemon and apple with some definite hay-like farmyard funk aromas, very fruity forward though. Like fruit punch with the strong tropical note, but the yeast notes develop in the glass and come forward more.

The taste has a strong mango note with some more subtle tropical fruit like passion fruit. Some more yeasty notes in the background mostly contributing to a full yeast 'feel' to it to remind you its a saison not a super-fruity IPA. Overall quite good, the NZ hops add a different take on the style. Mouthfeel was adequate and firm enough. Left a finish of drying fruit with some of the hay and field notes as well. An enjoyable offering that I would have again. My first from 8 wired.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
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

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Saison Sauvin from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.