Saison - Four Winds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

49 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.72%
Wants: 3
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Four Winds Brewing Co. visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JasonLovesBeer on 10-25-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 12
Reviews by Agent1:
Photo of Agent1
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured into a flute. Not very active. Very few bubbles rise to the top (possibly the sign of poor carbonation) and the white head dissipates fairly quickly. A golden amber. Overall, a typical Saison color. Very little lacing.

Smell - Subtle grassy notes, coriander, brown sugar, ginger, fresh cut wheat, lightly bready/ yeasty, subtle hops (barely detect Cascade, which is a good thing in my opinion -- a traditional Belgian Saison usually never uses American hops) and subtle floral notes.

Taste - This may be this beer's strongest trait. Nothing unique or ballsy here, but a well-balanced, reasonably complex Saison. Flowers, honey, coriander, vanilla, pilsner malt, banana leaf, soft/light breadiness, orange peel, candied orange, faint butterscotch notes and wheat or grassy characteristics. Citrusy and dry. Very nice. Again, nothing new, but a really great job at balancing various elements. A surprisingly nice use of hops, and to be honest, I am a bit shocked that the "Pacific Northwest Cascade" hops didn't ruin this beer for me, which it had full potential to do. Nice bittering and the hops really pull it all together.

Mouthfeel - Not bad. Nice, balanced attack on the tongue and mouth. You can feel this everywhere, but mostly on the front of the mouth. Not the greatest use of carbonation, and I feel this beer would really pop with more.

Overall - This is a solid Sasion. Surprisingly, non-Americanized for a Saison brewed with West Coast/ American hops! Well disguised and balanced. My one major complaint is that it needs more active yeast, and as a result, more carbonation in the bottle. This would improve the overall activity, mouthfeel and head dilemma that I feel this suffers from. If Four Winds was to really crank the carbonation up, I would score this beer much higher. The rating I give this on taste really helped make up for the poor appearance and mouthfeel lashing I dealt it. That being said, it's delicious and I would buy this again, given the cost.

More User Reviews:
Photo of souvenirs
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden and cloudy, with lots of visible carbonation. Smell is yeasty, with maybe some apple or pear and lemon. Dry and acidic.

Photo of papat444
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to FondueVoodoo for this.

Poured from a 330ml bottle, no #freshbeer info.

Pours light gold, nice chilled haze with a 3 finger head and average lacing. Expected a bit more. Aroma is nice and spicy, very airy. Flavor has strong lemon overtones, nudging tartness a bit but traditional estery flavors pull it back. Discreet pepper in the background. Simple flavor wise but very much enjoyed it.

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: An exceptionally clear yellow gold with 3 fingers of slightly off-white head which settles to a thin layer with plenty of lacing.

S: Traditional saison yeasts along with bright lemons and slightly spicy pepper notes. Hints of grains and wet grass in the background with a light dankness.

T: Slightly spicy yeast, lemons, wet grass and hints of dank funkiness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: A great offering from Four Winds which I can see as being a go too summer beer. I'm happy to see a BC brewery taking on these saisons and I will be getting more for sure.

Photo of spinrsx
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $2

Appearance - Gold colour with a gigantic size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Hops, yeast, breads/grains, lemons, pepper

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains, hops, and a peppery spice mix. There is also corn, coriander/clove, and a bit of a herbal-grassiness.

Overall - A great scent and an interesting flavour. I can pick up on a touch of an adjunct flavour in the taste but still, a pretty tasty beer. The peppery bite on the finish lingers for a while. One of the best of the BC mixed 6 pack.

Photo of thehyperduck
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 mL bottle from the BC Craft Brewers Guild mixed pack, now available at many LCBO locations. Served slightly chilled, and poured into a wine glass.

Pours a cloudy golden-amber colour - very effervescent, with a virtual jetstream of bubbles whizzing their way from the bottom of the glass up to the surface. The head is brilliantly white and quite lofty at nearly two fingers high. It is also incredibly resilient - this is as appealing a saison as I've ever seen, and the aroma is similarly enticing. Hints of orange citrus and floral hops underlie more dominant notes of grainy malt sweetness, banana, and spicy Belgian yeast with a slight coriander vibe.

The first sip left my eyes wide, and the next few subsequent sips then had a similar effect on my smile - this is a tasty little saison. The malt backbone is quite grainy, with a sugary, fruity sweetness reminiscent of banana and appleskin. It is the unusual combination of hops which grabs my attention, however - very grassy and herbal, with strong undertones of lemony citrus. Yeasty, spicy finish; lots of pepper, with floral notes as well. The bitterness is quite persistent into the aftertaste. Medium-bodied, with assertive carbonation initially that gradually softens as you make your way through the glass (and the beer warms); transforming from a very crisp, somewhat astringent Belgian ale into a smoother, more satisfying sipper.

Final Grade: 4.06, a respectable A-. Four Winds Saison is probably the stand-out beer of this sampler pack, offering up everything I expect from this refreshing, hot-weather style - and then adding an extra, spicy kick from the yeast to make it really stand out. The use of Cascade hops seems questionable at first, but they add an enjoyable citrusy, floral dimension to the beer that blends nicely with the yeasty, fruity nature of this style. This and the Steamworks Pilsner are reason enough to pick up this sampler.

Photo of JasonLovesBeer
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Their "standard" saison available in the tasting room. Really impressed by these guys!

A: Rich gold with modest head that dissipates to nearly nonexistance

S: A sharp spicy note combined with apples, banana bread. Some citrus as well.

T: Rich spices of clove, maybe nutmeg or cinnamon? Rich and flavourful throughout, this is a wonderful saison. Slightly tart and quite fruity with a little bit of a straw-like finish. Apples, pears, apricots and peaches along the way.

M: A bit light on the carbonation, but otherwise great.

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%

330 ml bottle served cold into glassware. About $2.25 CDN for a bottle as part of the BC craft brewers sampler pack.

Appearance - Dark gold in color, extremely hazy capped by a head that is too many fingers to count. Great lacing and head retention. Tons and tons effervescent bubbles rise to the surface.

Smell - Some Belgian breadiness with a significant fruit and floral presence. I get some peaches and a hint of lemon zest melded together in this flowery brew.

taste - Huge amount of flavor, some nectarine sweetness balanced by the powdery doughiness of the beer. Some bitterness in the back just cuts through the sweetness as to make it refreshing.A hint of lemon mixed in too.

Mouthfeel - Very well carbonated, drier than average finish and some warmth in the back of throat. Body is heavy for the style but works well enough because of the substantial flavor profiles.

Overall - A wonderfully crafted saison, probably my second favorite in the style after Hennepin from Ommegang. Wonderful robust flavor, bold aromatics and a great feel make this truly and exceptional beer. Four Winds Brewing has quickly moved near the top of my list of new BC brewers to check out. i can only hope that more makes its way to Ontario.

Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Handsome sudsy golden amber brew in the snifter. Spritzy mouthfeel. Aromatic with yeast and fruit.

Quite a powerful yeast flavor, and it dries out taking no prisoners. But the fruity pear and passionfruit flavors are nice. Some wheat malt flavors and a distinct bitter aftertaste. Some Tettanang hops bring the IBUs up to 30.

Interesting and bold Saison. On tap at the brewery south of Vancouver.

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Four Winds Saison has a complexion that's simultaneously frosty and sunny; the apricot colour is bright yet dense, glowing despite being far from clear. Its head looks like foamy milk and just so happens to extend a Milky Way-like pattern of lacing down the glass.

Saisons are quintessential summer beers but this particular example is somewhat reminiscent of autumn; it smells of whole cloves and mulled apple cider. Finishing the beer with Cascade hops has imparted some citrusy notes of marmalade and lemon zest, and there's appreciable breadiness too, but it's that spiced orchard fruit compote character that stands out most.

Different brewers will impart (or detract) different elements of the style and Four Winds, whether intentionally or not, seems to have emphasized the yeast-driven spicy qualities; cracked peppercorn, anise, and clove are more tamed on the palate but they're easily appreciable. Combined with a (not exactly shy) alcohol they make a fiery mouthfeel.

Certainly not lost in all this is a fruitiness that centers on orchard produce: apples, pears, and apricots. There's not much by way of citrus notes, though acidity is substantial. It - alongside a pretty active crew of bubbles - cut through the initial sweet, doughy breadiness and leave a dry, grainy finish. Stewed and mulled notes of the fruits linger in the finish.

This Four Winds offering gets four stars from me. Though far from my favourite interpretation of the style, this Saison is nonetheless very well-made, distinctive, and highly enjoyable. It provides a great glimpse into the spiciness, fruitiness, and farmhouse-like qualities of this refreshing yet medium-strong style of ale. A true delight.

Photo of TerryW
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Great looking beer. Big white head, lots of chunky lace over a hazy honey coloured brew.

Distinctively sour and yeasty nose. Big dose of sour happening. Flowers and fruit hanging out there in the background. Boozy, but well integrated to the rest of the beer.

Sour to taste, finishes up quite bitter and dry, lingering feel of alcohol on the palate. You can tell this is a well put together beer, but it's too much on the sour side for me to enjoy. The sourness pretty much kills the other subtleties lurking in the beer.

Worth a try, but didn't quite work for me. I like earthier saisons.

Photo of mick303
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A 330 ml bottle from the lcbo taster pack, enjoyed in a chouffe tulip. A large rocky head on this, creamy colour with good retention. The beer says unfiltered but has cleared nicely, attractive honey gold with plenty of carbonation.

S- full smack of dupont yeast, light peppery and yeast aromatics, dried fruit, apple, lactic pilsner malt, grapey and a mild tart sourness. Quite a robust and complex aroma, some lemon citrus, tons of yeasty complexity with great integration.

T - initial zesty lemon leading to more robust orchard fruits, apple and apricot, with a tartness developing. Firm pilsner malt undertones, a stripping yeast spice, getting a bit herbal and spiced toward the finish. The acidic malt lends some of the prickling tart and acidic character that is quite noticeable. Firm florals blend with some of the dry citrus, does take a bit to delve into and explore this beer.

M - firm carbonation, moderate bodied with a palate coating acidic character, this gets a bit more pronounced as the beer finishes, then has a nice balance in the end. Pleasant drinkability.

The acidulated malt takes some getting used to here, and it might throw some people off. Once all the flavours come together it is a really lovely tart saison. I initially thought it would be a dupont clone but the cascade and tartness give it some unique qualities, it leaves a slick tart finish. Quite nice, very forward on the acidity and carbonation, I would look forward to having this again.

Saison from Four Winds Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.