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Farmhand Ale | Driftwood Brewery

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Farmhand AleFarmhand Ale
BA SCORE
3.97/5
Very Good
183 Ratings
Farmhand AleFarmhand Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada
driftwoodbeer.com

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

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 STATS
Ranking:
#10,834
Reviews:
68
Ratings:
183
pDev:
9.57%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
25
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of Bf_89
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of thehyperduck
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber purchased at the LCBO with no discernible freshness info; served slightly chilled. I've had a few bottles of this previously, going back to May (when it first started rolling out across this province), which means I've had some added time to refine my thoughts on this one.

Pours bright, clear and effervescent; its golden-hued body is crowned with a layer of creamy, white, meringue-like head, which is nearly an inch thick and lasts on and on. The lacing is a bit scant, but it looks great otherwise. I'm loving the peppercorn spiciness on the nose - it's subtle, blending in sublimely well with notes of clove spice, banana ester and bready, grainy pale malts; there's also a few light, fruity suggestions along the lines of apple skin and pear. Not only is it exactly what I expect from a saison, but that black pepper also gives it some added punch.

A quality brew all around; flavours of coarse grain and bready pale malt sweetness supply the backdrop, with peppercorn spiciness also being a sort of permanent (albeit faint) presence throughout the sip, peaking towards the back end. In the meantime, hints of apple, citrus peel and banana flit across the taste buds, followed up by a grassy, slightly spicy hop finish - a beautiful complement to the peppercorn and clove spice it accompanies. The aftertaste dries out quickly. Light-medium in body, with moderately low carbonation levels that weakly agitate the palate; honestly, this one could use a bit more of a bite, because it mostly feels smooth and soft - though that peppercorn spice does help fill in the void.

Final Grade: 4.14, an A-. Driftwood's Farmhand Ale is a pleasing, approachable, highly thirst-quenching saison that leans toward the lighter, more 'traditional' side of this style's spectrum. Bear in mind, this saison's abv is actually pretty low compared to most modern interpretations - thus, this brew more than makes up for its slight complexity deficit with its extraordinarily high drinkability. Not a mind-blowing beer, but still high-quality stuff that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

 2,082 characters

Photo of byronic
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of spokenwheels
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of polloenfuego
3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kier
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Review from notes after some lawn work. 650 ml bottle was $6 CDN, glad to see more Driftwood offerings out this way. Served cold into a chalice.

Appearance - Hazy, rich golden color with lots of bubbles. Capped by just over a finger of dense and foamy white heas. Really good staying power and great looking beer.

Smell - Quite fruity with apples, pears and a hint of citrus. Some bready grains and candi sugar in behind as well as a distinctive Belgian style yeast.

Taste - Clean and crisp flavors with pear and peach and candi sugar sweetness most apparent. Some yeasty bits and definitely floral tasting leafiness mixed in. Perfumey but on the tastebuds. Just a touch too sweet.

Mouthfeel - Fairly crisp, medium bodied, good carbonation and more sticky than dry in the finish.

Overall - A tasty if slightly too sweet take on a Belgian Classic. Has a little La Fin Du Monde light going on with the peach and pear and perfumey flavor combo. Not as good, but similarities to that beer are never a bad thing.

 1,014 characters

Photo of Simon212
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nullbort
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Perry_W
3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Very disappointed in this beer. The marketing is strong but the payoff is not there. Tales on the label of a special funky beer being made for seasonal workers leaves you anticipating some nifty flavours

Unfortunately this beer is basically just a run of the mill belgian ale type beer. Not bad.....very session-able (though not at $6 a pop)...but also very forgettable.

The look is okay. Slightly pale but nice and murky. If it's murky you know there's some good flavours goin' on. The smell is nice...perfect bouquet of a belgian wit or ale. The mouthfeel is great...nice body on this one. The flavour is where this beer drops the ball. The pale appearance was an indicator because the taste is just watered down. This is clearly a beer for normies who would rather be drinking some shite macro brew but every once in awhile go out to some gastropub

 853 characters

Photo of Smakawhat
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a globe/tulip glass.

Tangerine orange and slightly clear with a touch of haze. Very fine carbonation, real hard to see that rises to an off white two finger head that dissolves and snaps out pretty quickly.

Aroma is quite nice if subtle. Mild sensations of brett, but a nicer almost juicy citrus orange like quality. A touch of floral and citrus mix and soft malt quality on the nose. Flirts with a bit of baby aspirin flavor also.

Quite a juicy palate for a saison. Peppery feeling and somewhat tasting mid palate, but more of a juicy tangerine citrus note than anything. Light bodied but a bit of malt depth with more fruity tones and quality than expected. Doesn't seem to have much classic Belgian character, and even the funk is small, but this almost has a bit of IPA like West coast fruityness mixed in.

Pretty unique tasting saison, if a little off character, but quite tasty I must admit.

 936 characters

Photo of StormAles
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of pootz
3.39/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap - pours a hazed burnished gold with orange tint - 2 finger off-white cap. Bight spicy-peppery character, med-light body - aroma is fruity-spicy with solid cereal notes and some funk from the Belgian yeast. The flavor profile uses these elements but they hit the palate with different timing - light pastry malting p front is balanced by a bright peppery spiciness then fruity esters emerge - clean increasingly bitter-spicy finish - refreshing and well made.

 465 characters

Photo of ILOVEHAM
2.86/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Tpop1005
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of FadetoBock
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SmithyAlan
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DucksFan16
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

07/05/2016

10 characters

Photo of SithDarkLord11
4.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of Leif_Eriksson
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of largadeer
3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of N_E_Beer
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jotora
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of jcubz
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of D-HopSupreme
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy orange body with a pearly white head, no lacing. The scent is very strong with floral, yeast, and fruity flavours, a bit like LFM. The taste has a great deal of spice to it from the black pepper, along with great ester flavours. It's overall pretty smooth, though I think the carbonation could be better contained. Very pleased by this.

 349 characters

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Farmhand Ale from Driftwood Brewery
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 183 ratings