Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Abner - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
No picture.
Have one? Upload it now.

334 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 334
Hads: 2,205
Avg: 4.58
pDev: 20.09%
Wants: 1,811
Gots: 210 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kingcrowing on 05-12-2010

Abner (1867-1953) is our great grandfather; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his fourteen children. In his honor, this Double IPA is dutifully crafted from American malted barley, a plethora of American hops, our ale yeast and water from Abner’s well. It is unfiltered, naturally carbonated, and double dry hopped. Aromatic and flowery, bursting with notes of citrus and pine, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Abner.

170 Theoretical IBU

Pale and Caramel Malt; Dextrose; Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, and Warrior hops; Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 334 | Hads: 2,205
Photo of Goalcam
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW, what a great double IPA. Goes down great without any bitter overly hoppy aftertaste. Great aroma and smell and fresh citrusy taste. Possibly the best beer I've ever had.

 177 characters

Photo of Adirondacks
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Best beer I every had. This means something since I had some amazing beers, like Heady Topper, Mastermind, Bourbon Stout from Goose before they were bought out..etc. The piney and citrus flavors linger on your taste buds like a fine wine. The complexity of the flavors is perfect. It takes me 4.5 hours one-way to get to their brewery. Well worth the travels!!

 365 characters

Photo of WreckedPalate
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

I've never had a beer before that claimed it was so high in IBU, but so delicate on the palate.

Huge aroma bursting with citrus, pine, mango, and papaya undertones, maybe some evergreen as well. Perfect carbonation, nice white fluffy head with lacing that seems to stick to the side of the glass nicely.

The flavor was to follow suit with the aromas, but I would add hints of kiwi and pineapple to add a definitive tropical flavor.

Overall, one of my favorite imperial IPA's for sure, but not by means my favorite. Amazing stuff though, hopefully I'll obtain more in the future.

 584 characters

Photo of GentalmensRelish
2.75/5  rDev -40%

Meh. I'm not really sure what the hype is about.

Popped a growler. low carb, thin bodied, light aroma, seems like a standard IIPA. Not sure where they theorize 170 IBUs pretty sure this is a made up number.

I would have left out the Dextrose. This seems to have dried out the beer a little too much and left behind some fusil alcohol notes which are undesirable.

Shaun really missed the mark on the this one.

 418 characters

Photo of RichKent
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Abner is an incredible DIPA. I wish it were easier to get, but as it is, I feel blessed to have had 2 growlers full (2L & 750). They're doing a lot of things very right at Hill Farmstead.

Perfect color - bright orange and hazy and gets slightly lighter around the edges. It's easy to pour with a nice fluffy 3-4 finger head, and the lacing on the glass is thorough as the head dissipates.

The smell is a bit understated. I don't want to imply that Abner doesn't smell wonderful, because it does - it's just that it doesn't fill the room with hoppy smells like some beers I've opened. That said I pick up a huge array of fruit including pretty much all the tropical fruits (guava, papaya, mango, pineapple, passionfruit) as well as sweet citrus and orange/tangerines.

Taste follows the nose. This is an incredibly complex and flavorful beer. Just like the smell, the taste has all of the tropical fruits as well as citrus, orange, tangerine, and more. The malt takes a back seat to the fruit, and any pine or resin present is very understated compared to the fruit as well. If you love fruity, juicy DIPAs, then Abner is your holy grail. Don't be fooled by the 170 IBUs either. Abner is so incredibly flavorful, smooth, and balanced that it doesn't taste bitter at all. I've had beers with half the IBUs that tasted twice as bitter.

Mouth is soft, smooth, and amazing. For a DIPA it's perfect. I'm sure Hill's water has something to do with it. As others have said, I'd really like to know what's in Hill Farmstead water that makes all their beers so soft and smooth tasting.

Abner is a truly world-class beer. I confess that as of this review I haven't had Lawson's DS (but have had MBC Dinner, lots of Heady, Ghandi, etc..), and I've heard some people say they prefer DS - and others give the edge to Abner, but I think it would be nearly impossible to brew a better DIPA than this. Abner is the holy grail and well worth the drive into the NEK of Vermont, regardless of where you're coming from. If and when I do try Double Sunshine, I'll update this review.

 2,065 characters

Photo of huddyball
4.18/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served out of a freshly filled (9/20/14) Hill Farmstead 750ml growler and into a HF stemmed glass.

L) Pours a hazy, tawny/orange with a average size white head.
S) Smells of beautiful hops and a bit of yeast thrown in there. I prefer mine a bit more citrusy, but this is still an amazing beer.
T) This is a well balance DIPA. Not too bitter and not too malty. Again, I would like a bit more citrus, but I'm just nit picking.
F) Nice. A bit dry.
O) Not going to lie, this did not live up 100% to my expectations. When drinking DIPA's I have to compare to MBC Dinner, which I thought was spectacular. Would I drink it again, yes, but I would not go out of my way to acquire again.

 684 characters

Photo of papat444
4.1/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very happy to have a chance to try this finally.

Pours a nice hazy, light orange body. Loads of juicy tropical fruit, lots of sticky lacing on the sides and very orange forward in flavor, but leans toward the fresh sweet ones. Lip smacking, well done.

 253 characters

Photo of dboon
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

Swing top bottle provided by maltzilla. Clear yellow pour with a white head. Fruity/citrusy hop aromas. Really tasty with pleasant citrusy hop flavors supported by a sturdy caramel malt backbone...

 200 characters

Photo of gcamparone
4.72/5  rDev +3.1%

Poured from a 750 ml growler into a hill farmstead stemmed glass. Best by 9/19, purchased 3 days ago at the brewery!

Pours a super hazy golden body with a big frothy head that reduces slowly to leave thick lacing and chunks of white foam.

Smells amazing - super aromatic with heavy citrus, sweet resin, bursting tropical grapefruit, pineapple.

The taste follows the nose with citrus being the dominant note, followed by tropical fruit, pine, floral hops, and creamy malt with raw hop oil sticking to the tongue, leaving a resinous pine bite on the tongue. Absolutely delicious, perfectly balanced. Medium carbonation with a rich creamy body.

Overall, does Abner live up to it's high regards? Drink it fresh (this was 3 days old), and the simple answer is a resounding yes. This is up there with heady, and with it's raw character and perfect balance, it's safe to say that it can give heady a run for its money.

 916 characters

Photo of Ready4aHeady
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Growler filled at brewery on 9/10, poured into HF tulip glass on 9/13.
Peach foggy color-- thick white head dissipates after a couple of minutes to thin white lacing
Aroma of citrus- orange and apricot, mildly dank hops, and vanilla
Taste is citrus, orange, apricot, slight mango, fresh hops and sunshine
Overall, a creamy smooth hop citrus bomb with just enough malt to balance---
The perfect beer! On par with Lawson's DS-- neck and neck, maybe better? Slightly preferred over Heady (my first love) and SS#7....
Sell your kidney for a growler if you must.

 559 characters

Photo of SebD
4.79/5  rDev +4.6%

Appearance: It has a beautiful deep hazy golden/orange color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down slowly and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrus, grapefruit zest, mango, light peach, bitter pine resins and some buiscuity malts on the back.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a loads of citrus fruit, grapefruit and orange zest, mango, peaches, some bitter pine resins and some buttery/buiscuity malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a low-med carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas. This is a fantastic DIPA. Shaun Hill is a genius with hops.

Serving type: growler

 712 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured out of a 750ml growler into a tulip glass. I seriously want to thank one fellow bottle share local who brought this and several other HF beers out to the Bay. It really was a one of a kind, special event.

Pours a cloudy, near murky amber color. Lots of frothy foam at the top, and definitely does its job to stick around. I no longer dock beers for their appearance, but it's definitely easy to say that this is quite rustic looking and not clear eye candy as "other" famous DIPAs are. Nevertheless, this is highly representative of the Vermont, home brewed styled aesthetic, and this beer can't be faulted for that.

The aroma is lovely - a combination of tropical fruit notes, citrus, herbal dank esters, and lots of complex yeasty and malt notes. Pineapple, guava, and mango are very evident here, as are lots of other citrus notes. Peppery and floral, with a lightly earthy and lightly wet and funky presence from the yeast. Very herbaceous from the hops - think green onions and you're on the right track. You can tell that this is ALIVE, and definitely delivers a punch that many hoppy beers of its nature strive for.

Tastes absolutely delicious, with no surprises based on the aroma. It's definitely bitter, with an enormous blast of citrus and tropical notes at the front, with a creamy, crisp characteristic that takes the profile that Vermont's yeast strains are known for to the next level. Notes of guava, peaches, and pineapple really hit point blank here, with a bittered citrus and spicy finish that is complimented by the fresh crisp toffee malt flavor and body of the beer. Could it be the water? The yeast? Regardless, all of the ingredients come together perfectly, and the finish is absolutely one of the most memorable I've had on a hoppy beer to date. Not only do the hops appropriately cleanse the palate, but the finish is clean and airy as any great beverage - or, hell, any great glass of water - is. The palate is immediately ready for the next sip, and the beer never becomes a chore to drink. I had two more beers from HF that night, and even though this was the best one overall (though not my favorite), the qualities of its body seem to be a common consistency among HF beers - and, arguably, I can see why people often claim they're the best in the US for that reason.

It was a true pleasure drinking this - the last of hyped beers I've ever wanted to try, and a perfect closure to my beer journey in the past two years. I shall gladly drink this again, but I'm glad I don't have to fly to Vermont to do so right away. HF beers are of world-class quality, and Abner is no exception. Sets the bar for what a good homemade recipe can be, and what it aims to define as to why we drink excellent beer in the first place.

 2,759 characters

Photo of spacebear09
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Appearance- Hazy yellow, medium head with good lacing.

Smell- Mango, guava, pine, slight acidity.

Taste- Citrus backed by light pale malts. Resinous but also fruity. This is extremely light for a double IPA. Way too drinkable, almost scary.

Mouthfeel- Crisp, clean, highly carbonated.

Overall- Vermont double IPAs are a style that I don't quite understand. The ones I have tried have all been lighter than most single IPAs but pack a huge punch. This was a delicious, very drinkable beer but not what I look for in a double IPA.

 534 characters

Photo of flipper2gv
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

From a refillable bottle gotten at the brewery today.

A: Like all the other DIPA's, this pours a dark yellow color, hazy, with a strong pure white head that has good retention. Lacing is pretty good too.

S: First things I noticed are the lemon and clementine juice. Then, there is ripe mangoes and apricot followed by very ripe pineapples. I didn't expect this much sweetness from this beer to be honest. It is like powder sugar and a tiny tiny amount of caramel.

T: First off, you get the lemon/clementine attack. Then, you get assaulted by the hops. A quite impressive amount of dry-ness comes in the shape of citrus peels, just like biting into a bitter grapefruit peel directly, very strong. Then, you get the powdered sugar finale. What is weird with this beer, is that it seems to "echo". You go back to the lemon/clementine then hops then sweetness all over again. It's like the tastes are so strong by themselves that they all lingers on. Alcohol is nowhere to be seen. Very sour and dry, but also sweet.

M: Quite light but quite sticky too, which is not my preference.

O: This is quite unique I must say in a world of copycats. From a brewery that mastered the DIPA style, I get this, and it is quite different but I can't seem to describe how it is different (maybe it's the use of more "traditional" hops than what we are used to see in the DIPA scene). A must try for any hop-whores. This is very drinkable stuff too.

 1,436 characters

Photo of mjpolzin
4.18/5  rDev -8.7%

My brother in law got this in a trade. It was fun to try something that we normally can't get in Wisconsin. This beer was very crisp and hoppy and all around, a very superb DIPA.

 179 characters

Photo of VTLocal420
5/5  rDev +9.2%

A: Golden, hazy, single finger white head, medium carbonation, beautiful lacing.

S: Citrusfruit Zest (Grapefruit, Orange and Tangerine) Peach, Mango, Dank/Pine.

T: Grapefruit/Orange Zest, Pineapples, Peaches, Mangos, Bready Malt Middle perfectly balancing this beer in the middle and finishing with a Dry/Bitter Dank/Pine Finish with a hint of fresh grass.

M: Full-Bodied and Chewy.

O: 100/100, Amazing, Bar-Non the "BEST" APA I have had the pleasure of laying lips to.


I don't know what else I can say about this delicious beer, other than this is the "real" best American Pale Ale in the world. This isn't about being a local either, Zombie Dust was and is one of my favorite beers that I have had the honor of sampling, but Abner is the real deal. As are his relatives, Edward and Ephraim...

All I can say is get some of this beer, this beer is going to be more common on Hill's Tap List in the coming future, so wait to see the response this beer will receive as more of a mainstay on the tap list like Edward... Come to Vermont and get some of this or hit up a trader with a growler. You won't be sorry.

 1,129 characters

Photo of PHBoiler
4.95/5  rDev +8.1%

Poured from a 750 mL growler at the Toppling Goliath taproom at the King Sue release. Really clean and bright yellow body. Huge green nose with spruce tips, grapefruit rind, and almost a dankness/ditchweed character. The beer has just enough sweetness and drinks like liquid hops. Minimal bitterness cold, while there's a bitter kick at the end as it gets closer to room temperature. Absolutely world class. The body is so clean, and the mouthfeel is so smooth. Nicely carb so it doesn't come across as sticky.

 517 characters

Photo of dank203
4.98/5  rDev +8.7%

This beer is exquisite, the hop flavors are so powerful yet blended and refined. It develops over the minutes that it spends in the glass. More flavors come out as I drink it. Definitely an IPA experience like none I've had before. I can't really think of any that are better than this right now

 299 characters

Photo of GJ40
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Sampled from a 750ml flip top bottle with a best by date of 8/21/14. Thanks to Clint for sharing!

Slightly hazy with a yellowish gold color and a fluffy white head. Outstanding aroma with great depth and complexity. Same goes for the hop flavor. There are so many subtleties to it.

This was a memorable beer.

 313 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

A very hazy orange with a glow at the center like the sun. White foam rose and fell quickly.

Enormous citrus aroma, heavy with oranges. Assertive and inviting.

Firm semi-sweet malt foundation. Explosion of fruit. Bitterness bursts at the swallow, and drags the fruit with it through the afterglow.

Nice prickly mouthfeel.

An outstanding IPA that lives up to the brewery's reputation.

 388 characters

Photo of rodmanfor3
4.74/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best DIPA's out there.

In a blind tasting, Abner beat out Pliny the Elder, Dinner, Second Fiddle, Mastermind, and Julius, amongst others.

Clearly one of the top ten, though curiously not even Hill Farmstead's best IPA.

 232 characters

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.49/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled 8/8/14 and poured into Belgian ale glass same day.

A) Cloudy amber, big head with good retention and lots of lacing.

S) Very floral up front, malts and some yeast in background.

T) This is all about the hops, very little of anything else. You get tropical and citrus flavors, lots of them.

M) Medium-bodied, light carbonation, very good balance, dry finish.

Definitely lives up to billing. Too bad the brewery is 625 miles away or I would be a frequent customer.

 483 characters

Photo of Yellolab2010
4.95/5  rDev +8.1%

This is a absolute gem of a beer. Hits right off with a great citrus burst followed by a slight pine taste. Hard for me to rate against other dipas but its in the conversation as the best dipa out there. Great carbonation and a fantastic smell. They should make women's perfume that smells like this.

 300 characters

Photo of GuitarIPA
4.6/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from HF growler
L - hazy yellow/orange, thick white foam and lacing throughout
S - citrus, pine, hoppy and dank
T - delicious, tons of flavor , grapefruit, dank and smooth
F - terrific, creamy, juicy, great body and sweet finish
Nothing overpowering in this beer - just great all around flavor and feel

 312 characters

Photo of Chaney
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at The Reservoir in Waterbury. Even though I'm not a huge fan of Shaun Hill's arrogance, I have to admit this brew is pretty legit.

A: Poured a very cloudy, golden color, with a slight, 1/2 finger head.

S: Floral in spades, with that certain "Dreadnaught-esque" candy-coated alcohol that is absolutely to die for.

T: Very Dreadnaught-esque in its IPA disposition: Fresh Orange juice, grapefruit, and some caramel and butterscotch thrown into the mix.

M: Hell, what do I know here. I guess I'll add that it's lowly carbonated, non-sugary, and damn-near perfect here.

O: This lives up to its hype, for sure.

 628 characters

Abner from Hill Farmstead Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 334 ratings.