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Brad Darnell's picture

Judge’s Review: 88 Rating - Forbidden Fields by Grain Theory

January, 2023

Forbidden Fields

Forbidden Fields

Forbidden Fields, Grain Theory

Earthy and complex with notes of hay, white pepper and lemon zest - our Forbidden Fields French Saison made for an evocative partnering with red fruit, smooth tannins, and subtle oaky character of the amazing French Connection merlot barrels we patiently stored them in for 7 months. Each taste builds on the multifaceted nature of this beer creating an intriguing and rewarding experience sip after sip.

Beverage Profile
Served at: 
45º F
Pilsner, Wheat, Munich, Vienna, Aromatic



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Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
36 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Forbidden Fields by Grain Theory is being judged according to the 2021 BJCP Style Guidelines, Category 33B – Specialty Wood-Aged Beer.

A deep harvest orange beer sits in the glass in front of me, supporting a fizzy and bubbly, patchy white head. The beer is hazy and the head struggles to maintain its real estate on the beer surface. My initial sniff is full of white oak accompanied by rich grainy and rustic bread malt and soft Merlot notes. The initial flavor is Merlot notes underneath an oaky and rich bread malt backbone. Medium-light stone fruit esters add complexity to the malt-dominant flavor.

Revisiting the aroma, there are medium-high stone fruit esters alongside the vinous Merlot notes, and no other aroma characteristics. The flavor starts to show some alcohol strength, though it is in balance and not hot or harsh and contributes to a dry finish. There is some light earthy hop flavor with faint hop bitterness. Full body, medium-light carbonation and a medium, pleasant alcohol warmth round out this beer.

This beer, substantial as it is, would stand up nicely to a rich duck poutine.