Great Divide “Wood Werks Barrel Series #4 Saison”

Name: Wood Werks Barrel Series #4 Saison
Brewer: Great Divide Brewing Company (United States)
Style: Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (Base Style: Saison)
ABV: 9.2%
Review Year: 2020

The fourth edition in the Wood Werks Barrel Series of Great Divide Brewing Company is a Saison brewed with a base that leans towards the spicier side of the style. Spelt and rye were added to accentuate the earthy/ spicy component of the Saison before being laid down in a mix of merlot and cabernet sauvignon barrels for 10 months.

STYLE GUIDELINES

This beer is being evaluated as a Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (33B) with the Saison (25B) (Strength: Super) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.

TASTING NOTES

Cloudy pale gold; foamy white head. Aromas resembling wood, candied grapes, lychee, and Sauvignon blanc were noted; low musty and cellar-like scents were also picked up. Medium-bodied; moderately high carbonated. The flavor profile unearthed lychee, white grapes, spice, clove, and faint black pepper. Soft sweetness akin to white grapes; moderately-low orange citrus and grape tartness contrast. Saison-like dryness and alcohol warmth akin to Sauvignon blanc; medium bitterness. Finished dry but with more white grapes.

THE VERDICT

Wood Werks Barrel Series #4 Saison is essentially a dry, spicy, and moderately-bitter Saison that borrowed the attributes of wood and wine. These characteristics were surprisingly reminiscent of white wine rather than red. However, the musty and cellar-like aromas could be symptoms of an oxidized beer among others and should be remedied.

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