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 bylerteck
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle split with Volcanicbeat. From notes.

A - Poured bright with a golden colour. Spotty lace was left from the one finger fluffy white head and a good film of retention. Decent carbonation.

S - Really fruity, sweet tropical fruits and some sweet grain.

T - Really juicy. Smooth fruity flavours. Tropical fruit, mango, pear.

M - Nice carbonation, medium bitterness and a medium body.

O/D - If you're down with Nelson Sauvin you'll like this. It's not really a Saison but it's a good beer. Really tasty with no hint of 7%.

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Photo of seand
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
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 avalon07
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an orange color and a clear texture. There was an inch and a half of creamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A surprisingly fruity aroma, coupled with that typical funkiness of a saison.

T: Tasted of the aforementioned barnyard funk, along with some spices, malt, some hops, and a big shot of light, tropical fruits. This last element, which is definitely not typical of the style, somehow adds to the flavor. A vibrant, interesting flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a crisp, smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not your average saison - the hops and fruit see to that - but a refreshingly sweet beer.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter.

A: Two fingers of generous head top a brilliant auburn beer. Hazy-clear. Good retention and lacing. Looks goods!

S: Not too much. Some spicy Belgian yeast, with hint of fruits and white pepper. Akin to a grainy BSPA.

T/M: Tasty! Round, soft tropical fruit from the Nelson Sauvin hops is highlighted by a moderate carbonation and light spiciness. Excellent mouthfeel. The maintaste at times can get a little funky, with some earthy/grassy overtones. Interesting, lively, and refreshing.

O: I really like this beer, but it's not amazing. Still, recommended, and I would drink semi-regularly were it not for the hefty price tag.

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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 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 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 Cresant
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served this 500 mL brown bottle in a tulip flute. No date listed. The body was a hazy apricot. The head was nearly white and it left light lacing.

The smell was lemony. Earthy and mildly sour. Fruits and hints of chalky yeast.

The taste was fruity and peppery. Heavily flavored of baked pears with a kiwi like aftertaste. There was a gentle breadiness. Strawberries and key limes. This one finishes dry and slightly sour.
Unique and flavorful.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with modest but adequate carbonation.

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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 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 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 bum732
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Grassy, almost like grass clippings. Spicy, wine notes, pears, big hoppy wine notes overall.

L: Slightly hazy burnt orange, creamy white head with good retention and lacing.

T: Dry clean malt with a prominent wine hoppy backbone. Some spiciness and light grassy notes as the beer finishes very dry. Wine hoppy notes in the finish.

M: Medium full bodied, medium high carbonation. Big for the style, not as crisp.

Pretty good, enjoyed the NZ winey notes. Nice and dry overcomes the lack of crispness. Solid.

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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 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 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 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 dansmcd
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
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 spicelab
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle thanks to [email protected]

Bright and clear orange capped by a huge light and pillowy white head. Very slight lace.

Saison? This smells like an IPA. Seriously tropical and grassy. Intense passionfruit, tangerine cut grass with a slight funky edge. Oh yeah, and passionfruit.

Again, strong resemblance to Hopwired IPA. Sharp and distinct Sauvin character, feijoa, guava, lemon pith, white pepper and earthy resin. Passionfruit is much less prominent than in the nose, but still there.

Quite chewy and syrupy, with booze heat weighing a little heavily. Tart and dry finish - probably the most Saisonesque characteristic of this brew.

Sure this presses all my buttons, because I love the hop character, but I battle to see how this is a Saison.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a russety-copper colour with off-white head, nice and dense. Feel like the head could be darker. Density is nice, but only thin retention. Lace is lovely, bead is steady. Looks nice.

Wow, didn't expect that. Mango to the max on the nose. So fruity, with dried mango, passionfruit, apricot, orange peel, peach and pear all vying to be fruit supreme. Tangy, but it's really just sweet and fruity. Could use more tartness or funk, but still, points for gathering the complexities they have within what is ultimately just a very light, fruity aroma.

Taste is pretty damn tangy, also with the fruit thing. Lots of mango on the front that magnetises peach, passionfruit and guava towards the culmination. Lots of almost roasty bitterness on the back, might just be the combination of the funk and hops but it just tastes like there's been too high a roast on the malt. Nice balance. Touch of tartness late-mid and finishes more chocolatey than anything but it's a nice weird palate; it reminds me of those dark chocolate blocks where they mix in mango, lime and chilli. Rich, fruity, but still predominantly weird.

Fairly full-bodied, and smooth. Really nice texture actually.

This beer is too weird for me to love. But at the same time I have to admit to having a soft spot for weird things. And did I mention this is weird?

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.79/5  rDev +21.6%
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 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 ADZA
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
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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Saison Sauvin from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
3.94 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
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