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Florence Wheat Saison - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Florence Wheat SaisonFlorence Wheat Saison

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

109 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 109
Hads: 780
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 91
Gots: 142 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: skivtjerry on 08-18-2010

Florence (1915-1967) was our grandfather’s sister, and Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to her and her 13 siblings. In her honor, this Belgian inspired Wheat ale is crafted from American malted barley, Organic Vermont wheat, European and American hops, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. It is unfiltered and naturally carbonated. Soft, cloudy, and fresh, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Florence.

Pale Malt; Vermont Organic Wheat; American and European Hops; Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 109 | Hads: 780
Photo of Caudalie
4.94/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In my opinion, this is simply one of the best beers brewed by Hill Farmstead. Many seek big, bold offerings, while this is subtle, elegant, refreshing, delicate and simply outstandingly good. The overall balance of this beer keeps blowing me away, and I just seem to enjoy it more and more, every bottle being a real treat. The nose is quite subtle with bananas, citrus, apples, and what feels like jasmine flowers. Mouthfeel reminds me of great riesling, and the acidity brings a lovely freshness. I would trade all boozy, sweet stouts for an ounce of this beer. (563 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

First Hill Farmstead, courtesy of Jared. Thanks!

A: Pours a clear and pale golden color with a fluffy two finger white head. Good retention and just a trace of lacing with each sip.

S: Smells absolutely incredible. Rustic, a touch of wheat, barnyard, hay, a bit of spice, freshly cut wood and a refreshing tartness. Hints of lemon and citrus peel.

T: More tart than I was expecting and incredibly crisp. Lemon, hay, crisp grain and wheat, a little bit of citrus peel, lime and some lactic tartness on a long, lingering finish. Leaves you with a tart and crisp green apple and lemon bite. A really, really great beer. So glad I finally got to try this. (655 characters)

Photo of PHBoiler
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2/2013 bottle. This beer ages beautifully. Much more complex than fresh. Super dry finish with dandelion, stone fruit, and wet hay. Quenching and bright. Fresh Florence has a bit more bounce from the yeast and a tad more tartness. This aged bottle had a balanced acidity with sweetness. (291 characters)

Photo of mendvicdog
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What a great beer. The wheat addition adds a great dimension to this.

Taste is somewhat oaty and a little thicker than expected for a saison, in a good way.

Excellent mouthfeel. (180 characters)

Photo of mjohnson17
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled Jan 2013
Poured Jun 2013

A: Pours a hazy straw yellow with a billowing cloud of head; 3 fingers worth that dissipates to a dense half finger. The beer is the most beautiful hazy yellow of any beer I've seen. Clear enough to see carbonation rising but opaque enough to not be able to see through to the other side.

S: Lemon zest, straw, funk, cracked wheat.

T: Clean, crisp tartness that is absolutely amazing. Lemongrass is a great way to describe; lemon zest and a smooth bready ligh wheat malt. A subtle Brett flavor that funks up this beer beautifully with a nice combination of horse blanket and citrus twist.

M: Mouth-puckering tartness with a month sweet wheat malt, like a sweet pastry.

O: This beer is perfect; if I could I would drink this every day. Such a funky tartness that's so clean, crisp, and refreshing. Perfection. Florence is the lemon bar of the beer world; sweet, bready, but dominated by a lemon tartness. Yet it all melds beautifully into a symphony of fermented goodness that's near impossible to express. (1,047 characters)

Photo of kingcrowing
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into an Allagash tulip.

Pours a hazy golden wheaty color with a thin light yellow/white head with no lacing. Nose is sweet, funky farmhouse hoppy and crisp. Very nice.

Taste is spot on for a saison, it's really crisp, flavorful and funky. It's got a really nice creamy and full mouthfeel with lots of very nice light flavors. It's super drinkable and tasty. (373 characters)

Photo of jjdc
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

Soft sunshine in the glass. Citrus and a bit of funk on the nose. Lemon rind, minerals, tart citrus and some dusty hay. This beer is definitely underrated. Light, refreshing and tasty. Seek this out. (199 characters)

Photo of rjp217
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Light, airy and refreshing. The lemon zest is fantastic. It plays off the wheat and yeast really well. The year of age on this bottle gives it a nice sour presence. Think Arthur Light. Fantastic offering. (204 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Always a pleasure to try another brew from Hill Farmstead. The craftsmanship that goes into each beer has provided me with the best overall portfolio of any brewery I can think of.

A- Poured into two tulip glasses from the 750ml bottle dated December 2013. Immediately upon hitting the glass, the beer opens up with a huge creamy white cap. The foaminess reminds me of Duvel in a way and the head retention is very nice. The cap eventually falls down to a creamy, foamy ring leaving spots, patches and some huge blankets of lace.

S- Wheat certainly comes to mind right off the bat, like the crust on a nice dark wheat loaf. This is followed by a strong, tart citrus and wine grape fruity presence. A farmhouse yeast provides a spicy base but not enough to take over the other aspects of the aroma.

T- White wine grapes, apples and a lemony, lactic tartness really open up on the palate for me; significantly more than in the nose at least. Biting into that perfect "sour" apple comes to mind. These strong fruit flavors meld into a base of spicy Saison yeast and heavy cracked wheat grains. Earthy, herbal and grassy hints beyond this.

MF- LIght and pretty much dried out. This teamed up with the tartness really makes your cheeks pucker in a bit. Carbonation at a fizzy high level but a silky, crisp texture falls up on the taste buds.

One of the most fascinating things about Hill Farmstead to me is how much almost every one of their beers makes me think. "Vermont Wheat Ale" sounds straightforward and could even be viewed as such but deep down there are just layers of deep, great flavors here. The emphasis on unique, well crafted Farmhouse brews by HF is perhaps my favorite thing about the brewery. I know what beer I will be looking forward to next winter. (1,770 characters)

Photo of Ri0
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured 750ml bottle into snifter.

A - Pours hazy, deep straw yellow with a nice 2.5 finger white head. Retention is excellent and a thick cap with lacing remains for the session.

S - Aromas of citrus, peach/nectarine, and floral notes. There is breadiness from the pale malts and some grassy/earthy notes followed by hints grain.

T - Quite citrusy, with light peach/nectarine flavors. Floral and earthy hops along with grassy notes fill in with a bready or cracker like malt. Just a bit of spice and funk on the finish.

M - Light and crisp with fantastic carbonation. A tad granular on the finish.

O - Another favorite from HF. (635 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.57/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Hill Farmstead in Greensboro Bend, VT. Poured into my Hill Farmstead stemware.

Pours a murky, very hazy golden yellow. Huge, 4 inch head erupts, and won't subside. Nice lacing throughout the session.

Aromas of lemon, wheat, cloves, grass, and orange.

All of the aromas play forward into the flavors, with some apples and pears joining the orange, grass, wheat, cloves and lemons. An incredible yeast bitterness lingers on the palate with each sip- makes your tongue feel wonderfully prickly and alive. Some hop bitterness as well.

Full, cloudy body. Very crisp, especially from the bitterness. Medium bodied.

Simply an amazing saison. Probably my favorite of the style. (694 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.56/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you, Joe.

A clear straw yellow with a dense white head with excellent retention that leaves sheets of lacing, this looks spectacular. The nose is sublime. Doughy, earthy, lemony and tart with a blend of lactic acid and a mild but deep Brett funk, this beer is outstanding. Hops are noticeable with a mellow lemony aroma, the base saison is subtle but resplendent, the funk is exquisitely expressed, with the mushroom character pairing exceptionally well with the grainy wheat.

The palate opens bright, tart and bread like with lemon, a little yogurt, a clean and crisp cracker like wheat flavor and texture. The mid palate has flavors of grain, mild hop bitterness, moderate hop flavor before a long, drying and bright finish. Mild spice, especially a blend of juniper, white pepper and orange peel. A little sulfur is present too, though it complements the palate perfectly. Clean, crisp, this beer is refined beyond anything I can remember having recently. Outstanding. (981 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle obtained on trade(thanks as always, GMRFx!), bottled "07 2014;" poured into my 8 oz. Tired Hands glass and drank over 30 minutes

A: 3/3 - pale yellow-to-golden coloration; murky/hazy (cannot read or see through); received with an initial frothy white head that settled into a subtle glass lacing; small visible bubbles pouring off the bottom of the glass

S: 10/12 - predominately lemon and lime zest; some peppery/spicy Belgian yeast, pils and wheat with some alcohol

T: 18/20 - bright, refreshing lemon flavors immediately hit on first sip and continue to develop on the palate; as the flavor profile expands; there is a tartness without funkiness that becomes the predominate flavor; some mild alcohol on the back of the palate, but finishes dry and inviting

M: 4/5 - medium-to-high carbonation; light body

O: 9/10 - excellent Grisette-style wheat saison; just love the tart/sour qualities of their saisons that are perfectly in balance - present, flavorful but don't overpower the base beer; I've had Arthur before and this is right up there with it - world class and highly recommended

TOTAL - 44/50 (1,124 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the 750 ml into a Duvel tulip. The body is straw-yellow on the pour, but more golden in the glass, with a 1.5-inch foamy white head. Leaves a good amount of foam on the sides of the glass.

S: Nice nose. Cereal grains and wheat along with white grapes and white wine (think Pinot Grigio or maybe Sauvignon Blanc). Touch of lemony citrus and a wee bit of yeasty funkiness off in the distance.

T: First impression: Surprised by the tartness, as I didn't get that in the nose at all. Not overwhelmingly tart; it's noted mainly because I wasn't expecting it. . . . Apples come to mind immediately, along with white grape skins and a nice, vibrant lemony bitterness. Modestly spicy yeast is noted over a foundation of wheat and crackery grain. Herbal and grassy and somewhat earthy as well. Slight lingering fruity sweetness on the lips. This is a complex beer that in many ways drinks more like a good white wine.

M: Light in heft; carbonation appears benign in the glass but is pretty active on the palate, creating a nice clean feel at the finish of each sip.

O: Outstanding beer; truly world class. Not sure how this should be characterized, style-wise (I guess Saison works), but it's probably the best wheat beer I've ever had. (1,248 characters)

Photo of MarcWP
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%

Bottle into HF stem .


Pours super light straw yellow in color. Hazy like it should be. Smaller, less aggressive head than most other Hill Farmstead Saisons. 4.25


Aroma is light wheat malts, lemon zest, mandarin, subtle white grape, and sweet key lime pie. Luscious for low abv ringer. 4.5


Taste is also less aggressive than most other Hill Farmstead Saisons. Has light malt and wheat flavors, lemon , some flower notes, and towards the end of the palate a lime pulp like astringency. Certainly a more sessionable saison. 4.5


Mouthfeel, also a bit lighter. But still has that world class carbonation level of the rest of the HF line up. Tart but not as much as say Arthur or Brother Soigné. So damn drinkable. 4.75


Overall this is damn near perfect for what it's supposed to be, a lower abv saison. Not the most complex but it's not supposed to be. Could drink this all day long . (891 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a teal Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Purchased at the brewery a few weeks ago. April batch.

Pours a hazy golden orange body with a nice frothy 2 finger white head that reduces to little retention and leaves no lacing.

Characteristic saison aromas emanate from this beer - farmhouse funk, citrus, wheat, light fruitiness and banana, green apple.

On the tongue is a delicate balance of tartness and flavor - very tart upfront, sour apple and fresh citrus, on the follow through is wheat and a light fruitiness, light banana, some mineral character, finish is dry and clean. Medium-high carbonation, medium-light body with a nice refreshing, crisp mouthfeel.

This is probably my favorite HF "shelf" saison. Really balanced and drinkable. (770 characters)

Photo of Word2BigBIrd
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy lemon gold. Brett b. trois funk, light fruity ethyl acetate on nose. Pils sweetness leads, some pineapple, lactic sour finish, no bitterness. Dry, soft in the mouth. Excellent beer, I'd love to try it in summer (219 characters)

Photo of ZRBE
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Super neat bottle art.

A - Very light yellow. Looks like piss, in a great way.

S - Smells like saison. Lemon, zesty. Lots of floral notes, in a lemony way.

T - Goood. Super gooood actually. I dig it! So much.

M - Dry. Like a desert.

O - Lovely little saison. Super lovely. Lemons. (285 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a trade a while back with chippo33. December 2013 bottling, served in an Alchemist pint glass.

A - Creeping gusher. Big voluminous white foam eventually settles to a soapy cap and class-coating lace. Lightly hazed golden straw body.

S - Lots of wheat, lightly toasted grains, with a light lemony twang and tame phenols. Really excellent, but perhaps hard to distinguish form other Hill Farmstead offerings without virtue of a side-by-side comparison.

T - Surprisingly tart, refreshing almost. A lot more lemon and lactic acidity than I've ever gotten from growler or draft iterations of this beer; seems to be souring up in the bottle. A pleasant surprise, as it's evocative of the best Fantôme offerings. Clean grain and mildly peppery yeast.

M - Soft, creamy, medium body, with pleasant natural carbonation. Spot on, like virtually ever other Hill Farmstead beer I've had.

D - A pleasure to drink. I remember being indifferent to this beer in the past, but this bottle was excellent. Would happily drink again. Had no problem with the 750ml bottle. (1,068 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

In the memory of the Hill Farmstead roots, Florence is remembered in the form of a classy farmhouse ale. One that is true to tradition with premiere dryness, a spice-forward balance and with peps of wine and cork. With just enough of a wheatness to prevent total dryness, the ale remains soft from beginning 'til end.

The ale erupts in the glass, looking as much like champagne as it does ale. Only its glowing haze and its perpetual head retention speaks otherwise. Its creamy foam-stance is of honeycomb as intricate lace trickles down the glass. All this transpires on a canvas of goldenrod hues that's straw-like at its edge.

Bright and tangy aromas leap right out with the scent of fermented fruit. This sheds light on its wine-like undertow with peps of apple, spiced pear, white grape, under-ripened orange and a certain lemony twang. With its short wafer-thin malt support, balance is achieved instead with a pang of fresh cracked peppercorn with earthy cumin, cork, hay and fennel lurking behind.

Its malt taste is delicately bready, and perhaps more cracker-like. But that's all short-lived as the tart and tangy fruit flavors are slightly citrusy but more of the orchard varieties and nearly evoking teeth churning behavior. Playfully acidic and earthen, its chardonnay-like taste stems from the fruit and trends corkish with spicy hop bitterness and an herbal flavor of damp hay and lemongrass.

Its light and bubbly body keeps the ale floating above the tongue and ushers in a fast fleeting finish. The bulk of the beer's finesse flavors are almost more appreciated in aftertaste than on the early or middle palates. Its finish of spice, warmth and acidity is followed only by an echo of whole wheat.

Hill Farmstead does it again- the creation of traditional Saison in all its classic glory, with the perfect balance, the perfect body and just enough dry fruit and pepper- its a taste straight out of the Belgian Low Countries. (1,944 characters)

Photo of invertedcrix
4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

batch 7/2014
A: Staw colored with a thick white head. Lots of carbonation, leaves a bunch of lacing on the side of the glass.
S: The smell is amazing right now, cloves and lemons, some faint banana-y esters on the end. Really great.
T: Light and lemony, has a little funk going on and a nice bit of wheat in the finish. The HF house strain is really shining in this one.
M: Fluffy. I think could lay my head down and take a nap.

This one really got a bit more tart since I last opened one. Drinking perfect right now, wasn't crazy about this batch at first but some time has done it well! (594 characters)

Photo of skivtjerry
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler fill from the brewery.

A: Cloudy, yellow, with decent head.

S: Spices, fruit and earthy hops.

T: Nice hop flavor up front (Styrian Goldings? Maybe some Saaz?) fades into melon and citrus notes, finishes with clovey spiciness. Spice becomes more dominant as the beer warms.

M: Smooth and refreshing with medium carbonation.

D: Very drinkable; the wheat adds character without making the body too heavy. A lot going on, and flavors change as you sip. Really nice with a big hunk of brie and a couple of crackers. (533 characters)

Photo of Hab11
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed with Three Lions from 750 ML bottled Nov. 2014.
Look:bright white head, minimal lacing. Straw to golden yellow in appearance.
Smell: citrus, lemon coriander, slight light pepper notes. Lemon candy. Fresh flowers.
Taste: citrus, lemon all of the pieces of the nose are evident in the taste plus lemon zest and wheatgrass. Candied sour apple.
Feel: really effervescent tart at the start and finishes sweet at the back of the mouth. Finishes crisp really nice beer for a warm breezy summer night on Hatteras island.
Overall: this beer is not fake or pretentious. It hits it's mark and is solid throughout. It's parts are impressive but the some of said parts make it exceptional. (690 characters)

Photo of brianmandell
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 12/2013

Pours a hazy pale yellow with a thick head reducing to nice, fine lacing.

Smells bright and fruity, mostly apple and grape with some faint orange citrus. It is both bready and grassy with an earthy undertone. Slightest touch of pungent cat pee (an intense note but not unpleasant).

The taste is clean and crisp yet complex. Just a touch spicy. The acidity is unexpected and delightful. The fruit flavors are bright and with a hint of sweetness. Orange peel, apple and grape. There is a light bready malt accompanied by a slight touch of diacetyl. There is some wonderful earthy funk. The finish is dry and vinous.

The carbonation is active and creamy. It perfectly carries the bright acidity and fruit flavors.

This beer blurs the lines between a number of different styles I love. It has similarities to some other sour farmhouse beers like Crooked Stave Surette (although Florence is better) and SARA Saison Bernice. This is really well crafted and is the kind of beer that keeps me excited about beer. The only slight mark against it is a touch of breadiness and diacetyl. Love it.

Update: the 7/2014 bottling was not quite as developed as the 12/2013. Still delicious but a littleore watery and could use a little more funk. The yeast is still wonderful and the carbonation still shines - but the rating would be lower than my original rating.

The 11/14 bottling is similar to the 7/14. It is relabeled as "Vermont Wheat Ale". The carbonation and mouthfeel is classic HF but this is a simpler beer than the one I originally loved so much. This is a great beer but now not as good as the other HF saisons. (1,639 characters)

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome balance of lemon/lime, funk, yeast, and wheat. Great beer! As far as their standard saisons are concerned, this just may be my favorite...just hit me in all the right ways. (180 characters)

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Florence Wheat Saison from Hill Farmstead Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.