Farmhand Ale | Driftwood Brewery

BA SCORE
89
very good
170 Ratings
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Farmhand AleFarmhand Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

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.

Added by Derek on 12-20-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
170
Reviews:
62
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
9.48%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
22
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 170 |  Reviews: 62
Photo of grub
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled july 16/09.

pours crystal clear dark amber with a big fluffy cream coloured head. the head seems to last forever and leaves a thick blanket of lace as it falls.

aroma is good. light alcohol. orange peel. light spice. nice yeasty character. bit of funky barnyard character, but very restrained. light caramel. white bread and cracker. bit of grain. big floral component too.

taste is good. light alcohol. the spicy character comes through even more than in the aroma. orange peel and a bit of fruit. nice floral character that never gets perfumey. white bread and cracker. grain. bit of slightly funky character, but again very restrained.

mouthfeel is good. medium-high carbonation level. under medium body with a fairly dry finish.

drinkability is great. very well balanced. certainly one of the better north american farmhouse ales i've had. good stuff.

 924 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.33/5  rDev +8%
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

 1,177 characters

Photo of BDTyre
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great Saison from Victoria's newest brewery. Nice cloudy burnt-orange colour with a foamy white head. Spicy, peppery malt and hints of citrus and fruit and hops. Good spicy and malty taste - the black pepper is fairly subdued but noticeable enough to be "felt."

Slight burn to the mouthfeel, probably from the pepper but a great beer and this would probably be excellent in the summer.

 388 characters

Photo of bishopgary
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

 690 characters

Photo of astout
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great summer beer and a pretty decent example of the style although a little watered down from the belgian versions.

Pours a straw yellow colour with a decent frothy head.

Aromas of pepper and lemon dominate with a but of yeasty funk in the background.

Milky and smooth on the palate with lots of citrus upfront and a peppery kick on the back end although not as much as I would have expected. Light and very drinkable with moderate carbonation. Not as funky as some saisons but a very delicious summer beer for sure.

 520 characters

Photo of nomoon
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of intoxabroad
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of CWVegas
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of rogerdandy
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of sherpahigh
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of IanSpindler
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of deNevers
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Iggy12
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of KalanM
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Vic1983
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of scott451
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

 467 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, big thanks to ritzkiss for hooking me up!

Pours a clear coppery orange, really thick off white head forms, drops down to a thick ring leaving a ton of lace chunks on the glass, looks good. Smell is real nice, sweet and malty, orange peels, light spice, yeast, toast and bread, lemongrass, wheat, very refreshing and fruity aroma. Taste is nice too, orange peel and tea up front, lemons, toast and wheat, light honey sweetness, very malty, some fruit and a touch of peppery spice in the finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, goes down real easy. A very nice saison, I could drink a lot of this stuff. Thanks Eric!

 658 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hot damn this is one tasty Saison, big spicy and full of lots of citrus and that belgian yeastiness that defines the style. I got a lot of complexity out this beer as it warmed up and I am starting to realize that Driftwood is quickly becoming one of the best and most innovative brewers in BC( Canada?)

 303 characters

Photo of ZachT
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Metalmonk
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had this one at Salt, a cheese-tasting room in Vancouver, B.C. Was impressed with it then and hope to be now. Note: brewed with all the usual stuff (water, barley malt, hops and yeast) and then black pepper. Hmm.

Bountiful two-finger head of latte-like foam with a rush of bubbles up through a copper/sunset/amber color. Head never totally disappears and lace clings to the glass in a thick wall. Very Belgian indeed, as far as its looks go.

As per style, yeast forms the basis for the aroma, bringing various herbs and spices to mind, and sure enough I'm getting black pepper. It's not overdone, and I ain't sneezing, it seems to be added in just the right amount to offer a bit of extra personality. Some mellower fruit elements creep in as well.

Speaking of mellow, the flavor delivers a gentle, delicate mixture of herbal, spicy and lightly fruity characteristics. Yeast plays a part in the profile and some fresh-baked wheat bread and toffee/butter hints follow through behind it. Reminds me of Van Steenberge's Bruegel in a way, in its gentleness and subtle flavors.

Fittingly, the mouthfeel is silky and soft, just right for the flavors, although it might be a tad thinner than it could've/should've been.

A wonderful saison, which has become a popular style for North American brewers to tackle as of late. Thankfully it offers something more subtle and less spice-driven than its modern counterparts on this side of the world while doing its representatives from the original homeland proud -- reason enough for any Belgian and Belgian-style fan to seek it out.

 1,576 characters

Photo of Hornet2003
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650mL bottle.

Appearance: Golden-amber in colour with a creamy white head that laces well.

Smell: Lots of fruity yeast aromas. Musty bread notes as well. Very pronounced aromas remind me of a good solid Belgian.

Taste: Nice hoppy bitterness with a fruity tang bite. Orange, banana, and lemon notes.

Mouthfeel: Nice and light. Perfect for a refreshing summer saison.

Drinkability: Extremely high. They should sell this in 5L mini kegs because it's low-ish alcohol and ridiculously refreshing. Great for a hot day thirst quencher.

Overall: I had this on-tap at Alibi room a while ago and am reviewing this from a bomber I bought after the initial taste. Such a smooth drinker and one of the most thirst quenching beers I've had in a long time.

 747 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a fairly clear amber-gold with a thin, bubbly off white head that doesn't last long.

Smell. Fruity belgian yeast and peppery spices, just a bit of bananna and clove.

Taste. Doughy, lightly toasted malts, some Belgian yeast, a little clove, pepper and spices with just a trace of orange and lemon. Very nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, medium+ carbonation.

Overall. Very nice belgian style farmhouse ale with mild flavours that I would think would go well with almost any food. Really easy drinking.

 517 characters

Photo of JasonLovesBeer
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has been a staple all summer for me, just a great thirst quencher with a little more character than the typical pale ale.

Nose: Spicy! Lots of spice, from pepper to nutmeg to clove to steak spices. Some banana and apple/pear.

Taste: Crisp, light but fully mouth coating and nicely malted - spices both start and finish prominently, the pepper stays around for a while. Banana and apple, maybe a touch of peach? Not much breadiness for me, though what there is might be sourdough in nature.

Overall: Not a thinker, but a really enjoyable saison.

 555 characters

Photo of Eric_Standard
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Farmhand Ale from Driftwood Brewery
4.01 out of 5 based on 170 ratings.
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