Saison Sauvin | 8 Wired Brewing Co.

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Saison SauvinSaison Sauvin

Brewed by:
8 Wired Brewing Co.
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by ADZA on 07-22-2011

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 191
Photo of dpasotti
2.76/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Hazed brass color with massive creamy head. Solid lacing. Fantastic aroma of peach, grape, lemon, fresh flowers, sweet spice, and a bit of vanilla. Very complex and distinctive; hard to describe.

The flavor surprisingly diverges from the aroma a lot, and not in a good way. There's very little of the fruity and fresh nose; instead it is dominated by an abrasive weird funk (not a Brett funk). Very earthy in a one-dimensional way. Apparently I am not a fan of Nelson Sauvin, at least as a flavor hop. Finishes very dry and on the bitter side.

Medium-high carbonation and med-low body. Thin, but not refreshing. On the whole, I am disappointed with this beer, and possibly with the hop strain. Will have to try a different Nelson-centric beer to confirm. I had very high hopes when I smelled this, but the taste was just completely different. Won't be back to this one.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pint .9 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a N'Ice Chouffe beerflute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Having tried the Sultan, I'm excited for this beer.

A: Pours a half finger head, quite thin, with little cream, and of average retention. Colour is a semitransparent textbook copper. It's generally appealing for the style, but far from special or unique.

Sm: Lightly funky, with bright malts as the foundation. Some bright esters - maybe pear? Light orange? A pleasant and inviting aroma, but one I can't quite put my finger on. A bit yeasty. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: More malty than expected. Some pear and perhaps passion fruit. Definitely esters, and I can't pin the dominant one - though I know I know it. It's a citrusy fruit ester that isn't orange, lemon, or lime. No alcohol comes through. It's a touch hoppy for the style, but luckily no bitterness comes through. Pretty well balanced and interestingly built for a saison. I do enjoy it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but sharp on the third act. Too thick all around - likely resulting from too much malt in the recipe. A saison should be smooth, light, and highly drinkable. This isn't.

Dr: Drinkable, and well built - challenging (to an extent) conventions of the style. I like it but it's too costly (at least here in the states) for me to consider purchasing again. Fans of the style should weigh in, but for a stout lover like me it's not particularly impressive. Still, it remains an enjoyable beer in spite of its flaws.

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Photo of dgilks
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear amber-orange colour with a thick, fluffy, long-lasting, light tan head. Nice.

Nice, restrained Nelson Sauvin hop aroma with great gooseberry and grape notes. This is backed up by a moderate spicy and lightly citrusy yeast note. Good.

Very light malt with a lot of hop bitterness. Some citrus and a touch of phenolic but this is overly bitter with a harsh finish that shouldn't be there.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. Somewhat astringent.

This is the reason why Saison should be brewed with low alpha hops. The high alpha bitterness from the Nelson Sauvin rips through this beer and makes it difficult to drink.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

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Photo of joecast
3.47/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of Decko
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy straw colour with a slightly wispy head. The aroma is unmistakeably passion fruit to me. A bit overpowering in fact. The taste follows the nose but with the earthiness coming through a little stronger in the taste. Too fruity for my liking and I probably wouldn't go for it again. The alcohol is well disguised by the flavours.

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Photo of Infamous7100
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of matjack85
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

always keen for anything with nelson hops, but this is an odd saison. clear for one, throws me off, bright goldenrod yellow, with zero yeasty haze and a lot of rising bubbles amassing into a thick white head. the nose is nelson indeed, but in more of a buttering role than i have seen them in before. they are still tropical and floral and unique, but they seem to add a bit more bitterness then usual, maybe a longer boil time on them. french saison yeast also adds a wine character to the nose and the taste, an interesting choice for sure. lots of bitterness for a saison, seems to be exacerbated by this yeast. i expected a softer use of nelson, but this was not what i expected at all. well made for sure, but the bitterness is surprising, and not what this hop is known for. lots of malt body too, maybe more than just wheat. the clarity is also puzzling. tasty and different, but as a saison its definitely weird. good carbonation and refreshment value. a little pricey for what it is, but ill bet this is one thats a whole lot more enjoyable fresh where its made.

edit: definitely just had a fresher bottle, still with huge white wine notes, a more fruity nelson hop that i know, and quite a lot more grain than i think it needs to serve its purpose, but definitely better when fresher!

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I recommend caution, and a big thirsty towel, when opening this - the bottle I sampled fizzed like New Year’s champagne. Strong aroma is fruity, mainly apple with a little pear and a hint of orange, and quite yeasty. It pours a pretty clear golden amber with a very thick cream-white head. Crisp, fruity, sour flavor has notes of apple, grapefruit, malt and pear and a pinch of yeast. Smooth texture has not much fizz but good body.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500ml poured to a tulip glass. Been wanting to try an 8 Wired beer for a while now.

Appearance - Hazy, somewhat dull orange color. White head starts at about a finger, ends with a mostly full cap. Some strands of lace here and there.

Smell - Mostly just Nelson Sauvin hops coming through here, which bring grapefruit juice, lime, white grape and light earthy funkiness. There is just a bit of yeast and grains present. Nice, though could use more complexity.

Taste - Mostly follows the smell, mostly all about those hops, a little less pungent and discernible though. Less 'funk', but still a good mix of grapefruit/citrus fruits and herbal/earthy flavors with a general oddball vibe about them. Again, really not much for a saison base except some slight yeasty and grainy tones.

Mouthfeel - Somewhat hefty body for the style/ABV with lowish carbonation. Low bitterness and average drinkability.

Overall - A decent example of the unique Nelson Sauvin hops, not much more to it though, it may as well be an IPA rather than a saison. Not bad, but comes off as a little boring.

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Photo of gashe1
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A – Pours a clear golden with a slight tinge of red. Two fingers of off white head with good retention and lacing. The head dissipates slowly to about half a centimetre. It appears to be very carbonated due to both the bubbles and the large amount of head after a gentle pour.

S – Sweet malts, grassy, fruity erring on floral, a hint of coriander. In the background were some subtle hints of yeast and honey

T – Slight sweetness up front, with some apricot and peach, funk and dry grass, which gradually gives in to a hoppy bitter finish and a gentle acidity of orange/grapefruit peel. The nose doesn’t match the taste.

M –Medium body with a very dry finish, the carbonation is high as the appearance suggested.

O – A pleasant and refreshing beer, very drinkable. Bitterness is a bit overbearing for the style but would make for some pleasant spring drinking

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Photo of impending
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


500ml into a tulip. Pours a fully hazed deep orange tone, minor off white head recedes fairly quick, little lacing.

Aroma is a smorgasbord of fruity delights. Heavy grapefruit, pineapple, mango and apricots. If this was your kids' juice drink you would think they were drinking something healthy, the tropical punch your grandma served.

Big flavor. All the fruits appear briefly. Strong oily bitterness kicks in early and defines the aftertaste, very hoppy. A phenolic note is present in the aftertaste as well. Medium bodied mouthfeel. No funk in the scent or flavor. Closer to an ipa than a saison.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep orangish-gold color, with a towering 3-finger thick head of lasting foam. The beer has sort of a murky haze with a good deal of effervescent carbonation. Twangy hop nose with a lemony citrus bite. With all the foam clinging around the nose gets a bit soapy and bitter, but with a few hefty swirls I can get a little more of an earthy sweet malt balance to come through.

Taste is very dry with lots of sharp bitterness throughout. The citrus hop notes are nice, but get drowned out amidst the foamy carbonation and heavy bitterness on the palate. The beer could use a little more malt sweetness to balance things out. Alcohol is well in check and mouthfeel is again bubbly but otherwise unremarkable.

This beer sounded pretty interesting but in the end wasn't very special. It's a bitter, hoppy Saison, without too much complexity. Not bad but I wouldn't invest in another bottle.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a hop i have found to be exponential more fascinating the fresher the brew and case in point hop. i would say this a more a fusion of hoppy american effort and saison yeast. pours like a pale. mild orange. good retention. nose is more belgian than the palate is. not funky dry but IPA dry. nelson characteristic mineral hints that add to the texture. overall would have to say that is sort of one sided. grapefruit, straw, and chalk. i had them with pineapple empanades and it worked fantastically. there is a balance i would like to see with this hop and barnyard. this is a good beer. great with ceviche, corn and anything fried.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My buddy from Colorado sent me this beer.

Quite an aggressive and fluffy head forms. Almost has a pinkish tint to it. Makes no sense, but it’s definitely more than even off white. The beer is a brass color.

Aroma is a touch musty at first. Lots of notes from the yeast. Some grapefruit peel and a good amount of spice notes.

The yeast has quite a dramatic influence on the flavor here. Lot’s of spice and yeast up front. Some more traditional hop notes just below this. A moment of sweetness gives way to a finish which is both bitter and complex with some plastic, spice and other notes from the yeast.

A little thick in body, carbonation escapes early with aggressive head and very little is left later.

A decent little brew.

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Photo of brendan13
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark golden, almost orange hue that is fairly clear with a few centimetres of white head that falls away at a moderate rate.
S - Sauvin Saison is an apt name. Tropical fruity characters abounds with paw paw & melon being the stand outs.
T - The tropical fruit flavours continue into the taste with some sweet candy/bubblegum character also coming through. The is a subtle hint of earthy/funky yeast character.
M - Lighter side of medium bodied, a bit sweet up front and in the middle but finishes dryish.
O - A decent 'new world' saison but I generally prefer my saisons drier and more yeast character coming through. Still worth trying though.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a chalice

Thanks to Keanlacrosse for sharing

A fluffy white cap sits atop a golden orange body. A slight haze hangs over the beer with some minor bubbles pushing their way through.

Some spicy white pepper notes, earthy tones from the hops, and fruity esters from the Belgian yeast. There is a little bit of horse blanket funk laying low.

The earthiness from the hops is prominent and is complemented well by the horse blanket funk. Some fruity notes pop from the Belgian yeast. As this warms, the flavors really meld together, but nothing truly overwhelms me.

On the lighter side of medium with a good amount of dryness in the finish. A little bit of fruitiness pokes through the earthy bitterness.

This is a very good saison that features a hop that complements the flavors of a saison very well. Solid on all fronts.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: three finger thin frothy head on a slightly hazy golden with amber hue body.

S: green apple, grape, yeast, earthy hops and spices.

T: fairly strong almost boozy presence up front which become medicinal with herbal and earthy hop notes. tart and bitter citrus finish.

M: medium body with moderate to high carbonation. dry finish.

Overall: not quiet as drinkable as I like my saisons. This one is strong up front and it barely lets up in the finish. However, this one grows on you.

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Photo of Ratman197
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle from Mile High Wine and Spirits poured a clear golden amber with a lasting creamy ivory head. Aromas of biscuit, grassiness, white grapes, light spice and a hint of earthiness. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and crisp with a dry finish. Flavors of biscuit, grassiness, citrus, white grapes and a hint of spice with a crisp dry lingering citrus finish.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of alphagnome
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Saison Sauvin from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
3.94 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
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