Hired Hand | Iron Fist Brewing Company

69 Ratings
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Hired HandHired Hand

Brewed by:
Iron Fist Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by womencantsail on 11-14-2010

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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 24
Photo of Copernicus
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of peensteen
2.25/5  rDev -37.3%

Photo of magictacosinus
2.71/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was one of the many beers poured at the December Albany Taproom bottle share. Not sure who brought this, but thanks! Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a golden amber color with frothy white head that dissipates rather quickly. Doesn't seem too cloudy, so my assumption that there's minimal bottle conditioning at play here. Bubbles are good, almost in a pilsner type manner, but it loses a lot of gas over time. Remains pretty modest, but doesn't strike me as something rustic or glimmering enough that tends to make up the realm of these types of beers.

Smells pretty bizarre, however - and, this is coming from a saison, no less! Big notes of musty apple cider, green apple skins, funky pears, and then some banana, clove, golden cereal grains, white pepper, and lots of candi sugar. In terms of making a starter's kit saison, I suppose this is one common result you'd expect, but the results are less than flattering. Pilsen malts are becoming more common in domestically made saisons, and a lot of these yeasts they're using tend to be bulk Belgian yeast strains that produce banana and pear phenols with light spiciness, yet no assertive dryness when melded with with the malts. Apparently they're "domestic" malts, and while I'm pretty convinced these are not ones of the pilsen variety, they awfully resemble it. Very unbalanced, and lacks creativity that I usually approach farmhouse ales for.

Yeah, they weren't joking about this being malty - but nevertheless, there's no way that this is a farmhouse ale in its representation, and pretty much everybody at the table agreed. The cider notes come at full force, with a tart green apple flavor being most predominant, with some pears and melon that turn into a one-dimensional grainy, husky flavor with notes of pepper, banana, and cereal grains. Finishes with a light husky astringency, as well as a little bit too much carbonation. Feels wet, sweet, and cracker-like, but lacks the vinous, yeasty, dry elements that I prefer the most in the style. Not the worst, but definitely not memorable at all, with all things considered.

Not sure if this is really a saison (it's more like a Belgian-style pale ale out of whack), but in the end it's a semi-mediocre, slightly expensive offering for what it's aiming to be. By far the most forgettable offering of the night. I'll gladly try other beers from this brewery, but it looks like a lot of aspects concerning their yeast and malt profiles are kind of at conflict with each other overall.

 2,525 characters

Photo of portmand1ngo
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of NorthSideSean
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of Rainier
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dirty amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of grainy malt with light citrus notes and some dry hoppy notes. Taste is sweeter than expected with a large dose of caramelized malt with a dry finish which kind of clash with the sweeter malt notes. Body is full with limited filtration and great carbonation. Sweeter then I like my saison but the dry finish is quite enjoyable.

 435 characters

Photo of Artjsantos
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of dwagner003
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of retry4z
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/9/2011. Pours hazy orange copper color with a 2-3 finger foamy and rocky off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of orange peel, pear, apple, grape, light banana, floral, grass, herbal, bread, clove, honey, light funk, and yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with good complexity of yeast ester notes with moderate malt presence; and good strength. Taste of orange peel, pear, apple, grape, light banana, clove, pepper, toast, brown bread, light honey, floral, grass, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of orange peel, light fruits, pepper, clove, toast, brown bread, light honey, floral, grass, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with very balanced malt sweetness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a lightly creamy, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good saison style. Good balance and complexity of yeast ester and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A bit too malty, but a nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,361 characters

Photo of PsychicBubblegum
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of beagle75
2.8/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a half-pint chalice.

A: Slightly hazy, light orange-amber color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Stone fruit is focused on apricot in the smell that stands above bitter almonds and weak butterscotch.

T: Begins off-dry, with a combination of early flavors that seem mired in chemical diacetyl that is only partly successful in generating fruity flavors when married with the malt and sugar. Drying nuttiness is observed into the middle, still apparently derived from the yeast. Bitterness is mild and stale, with lingering fruit that is clean compared to the rest of the profile.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly syrupy on the palate, with low carbonation that seems to accumulate and lodge in the throat.

D/O: Inconsistent is a fair word to describe this beer, in the way it shows some appealing fruit alongside distracting yeast qualities. It could benefit from a more faithful Belgian yeast presence, rather than whatever it does have.

 1,043 characters

Photo of Adamah_Adonai
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of jsmith6051
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Zorro
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chill hazed orange colored beer with a small white colored head. Seriously dark for the beer style.

Smell is malty with a strong coriander aroma. Herbal hop that is a little soapy. Nice floral scent, but I have smelled better.

Starts out dry and flowery with a decent spice note and a yeasty after taste. A bit extra malt than usual but just a touch. Nice floral flavor. Nice cl;ean basic Saison flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is good. Not quite Hennepin though.

 475 characters

Photo of Dactrius
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Devinph
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of TLieu
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of leodarko
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Photo of Schlais
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of vande
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Irrationalist
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Iron Fist Brewing Company in Vista, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with an off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt/grain, spices, and yeast with a slight fruity aroma. Taste is of malt/grain, fruits, yeast and some spice flavors on the finish. This beer has a very high level of carbonation with very crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good saison with some nice aromas and flavors.

 509 characters

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Hired Hand from Iron Fist Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 69 ratings.
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