Goodwood Red Wine Barrel Saison – review

IMG_3071Recently I got my hands on a four-pack of the new Goodwood Saison. I really like the continuity of the new packaging and products of Goodwood Brewing. Every beer touches wood and every Goodwood beer looks like it comes from the same brewery. Nicely done.

The 12 oz. bottles’ labels were notched May 2015 – it doesn’t get much fresher than that! This Kentucky brewed saison is 5.2% ABV and has 33 IBUs. It poured with a lightly hazy honey colored body and had an eggshell colored head that faded to a filmy cap.

The smell was not strong but was definitely redolent of grapes and wood. There was a mild musty yeastiness that is certainly appropriate for the style. Maybe even a bit more subdued than in many saisons.

There was plenty of carbonation, a fine effervescence worked well with the medium heft of the body, giving it a nice mouthfeel.

The taste had a gentle fruity tartness and just enough grainy sweetness to give it some balance. There were a lot of vinous characteristics here – grape/wine flavors and light tannin bitterness predominantly. This is a very easy to drink saison – especially if you like wine. However, it did not have the “farmhouse” or earthy qualities that define the style. There was a lack of that damp concrete dankness and under-developed peppery presence that I expected to be more evident. The oak wine barrel really comes through in this beer and gives it a richness and complexity that really shines in this saison. It helped create a nice dry finish that kept me reaching for another swallow. Overall this is a very drinkable and approachable beer that I will enjoy often.IMG_3073

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