Florence Wheat Saison - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Florence Wheat SaisonFlorence Wheat Saison

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

722 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 722
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 7.86%
Wants: 91
Gots: 121 | FT: 20
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 722 | Reviews: 99
Photo of BakaGaijin
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

A - pours out a nice slightly hazy straw yellow. Foamy white head that dissapates rather quickly.

S - A little bit funky, wheat, a little saline, and lemon water.

T - A touch of lemon and slightly tart. Clean and smooth. A little more bitter on the finish then I would like. Very easy drinking beer.

M - Great mouth feel. Light, with lively carbonation.

O - Great saison. One of the best that I have had.

Photo of brewskifan55
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

Poured into a Hill Farmstead tulip glass. Thanks, Darren!

A: lemon yellow, opaque with a white 1.5 finger head that lingers. Lacing for days.

S: lemon zest, wheat. Fresh, clean.

T: Brett funkiness, lemons, tart, tingly. A bit of pepper. Crisp, smooth. Wheat rounds up the finish.

M: light to medium with tons of carbonation.

O: One of the better saisons I've tried. Just terrific. Wish I could drink more HF on a regular basis.

Photo of MarcWP
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%

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 .

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.4/5  rDev -19%

Appearance: Light straw yellow color. Small white head that leaves a slight lacing. Slightly hazy but some brightness and clarity. 3.75/5

Smell: fairly light and delicate whiffs of lemon and other citrus, a wheat malt base along with some belgian yeast character. a fairly strong vinegar along with some green apple skin. 3.5/5

Taste: Opens up with a slight wheaty tartness. rustic belgian yeast that plays in with the wheat to make notes of hay and some spices. lots of lemon and hints of lemon bread sweetness. backend is full of acid and vinegar. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: extremely light and whispy. Tart and acid. 3.5/5

Overall: I really like the use of some tartness in saisons, but the lightness of the body and the overly vinegary notes take away a bit too much for me on this one.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to Outcast for this bottle!

750ml bottle sealed with pressure cap.

bottle dated 12/2013.

poured into black logo Hill Farmstead Wine Stem.

Appearance: glowing pale yellow bodied beer with is slightly opaque not quite see through. Towering 3 fingers of bone white head resulting from a gentile pour. The head leaves lots of lacing on the side of the glass. Great staying power seen by the head of this beer that eventually drops down to a uneven, thick and chunky cap.

Smell: mild lemon tartness. Wheat malts. Slightly fruity yeast and a hint of earthy funk. Smells like spring time. Bright and fresh aroma.

Taste: almost reaching moderate level of tartness; mostly lemons with a hint of granny smith green apple. Citrusy orange zest/peel that adds just a touch of bitterness. White grapes that are subtle. A hint of sweetness from wheat malts. Dry saltine cracker character from the malts as well. Fruity yeast. Slightly spicy. Slightly grassy with a hint of earthy / musty / dusty funkiness. Completely suprised by how tart this beer is, its way more tart than the nose leads on. It is actually way more complex than I could have ever expected this beer to be.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Starts out bright, then finishes crisp and clean. Out of this world drinkability; I could honestly drink this beer in quantity and never get bored with it.

Overall: I have tried the likes of Anna and Aurthur on several occasions and like all HF saisons... I want to try them all and always look forward to a HF saison that I havent tried yet! As far as Florence goes, it reminds me of an authentic table beer and I got nothing but great things to say about it. I really think that it is a seriously under rated Hill Farmstead saison; its almost as good as Anna which I also hold in very high reguards. Now that I have had Anna, Aurthur, and Florence I think that I can say with confidence that Hill Farmstead makes some of the finest Saisons in the USA. Anna is my favorite, Florence is second, and Aurther is a respectable third. That is where I would put these 3 HF saisons in terms of my personal favorites.

Photo of dar482
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a straw yellow color.

The beer hits of lemony tart qualities up front, a good amount of wheat in the middle, as the beer lingers on with some spicy yeast, and the tart slowly tames down with a dry finish.

A good amount of flavor for its ABV, but less complex compared do its siblings like Arthur and Anna.

Photo of Stevedore
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, bottled 12/2013. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 4/24/2014.

A- hazy straw yellow body, two finger effervescent and thick white head. Lots of lacing, great retention. Typical of Shaun's saisons.

S- strong wheat character, not unlike a hefeweizen with an even stronger tartness, like green apples. Smells so crisp. And as it warms, more funk comes out. This smells just great.

F- Apple tartness, Vermont funk, wheat character, slight vinous character, lemon zest. This is wonderfully refreshing and easy to drink.

M- medium bodied, well carbonated and easy to drink. So refreshing and crisp.

O- I like this better than Arthur, but this is unique among all the different saisons here. I'm a big fan of this. Only Anna would go ahead of this for me.

Photo of brianmandell
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Kendo
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of cbutova
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer

Consumed 2/19/14

Appearance: Hazy pale yellow, with gold and straw - pours with an above average-sized head - leaves some quite nice

Smell: Straight-up saison - nice funk, perhaps cleaner than average - some nice spice, with some earth - light fruits, including apples, pears, and some citrus, including oranges and lemon - nice level of wheat and some lightly bready malts

Taste: Remarkably clean with some nice saison flavors - some great saison yeast, with some nice farmhouse flavor, earth, and light spice - wheat component is very nice, with some typical wheat twang, and some nice, bready, pale malts - some nice fruit esters, with apples, pears, and some citrus - nicely balanced overall, finishes dry and clean

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, smooth, great finish

Overall: Dear Hill Farmstead, please stop making good beer

This is a remarkably straightforward saison. No additional flavors, no fruits, nothing other than some big saison yeast and some exceptionally clean water. As annoying as it is to actually acquire Hill Farmstead beers, this is worth the effort.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Ataraxia for the bottle.

Appearance: Hazed bright yellow with a big fluffy bright-white head. Spotty lacing. Moderate head retention leaves a small collar and cap.

Smell: Light wheat. Pale malts add a nice bready/biscuity sweetness. Lemon flesh and some bright lemon zest. Typical Hill Farmstead saison yeast aromas. Very soft spice and a bunch of fruity esters. Banana, pear, and apple. Vague sort of tartness buried in the back. Incredibly clean and light. Slightly floral hop presence.

Taste: A bit of tart lemon flesh and zest. Soft slightly powdery yeast presence. Some fruity esters. Apple, pear, and just a touch of banana. Nice balance of wheat and sweet pale malts. Lightly undercooked dough. Incredibly light and clean. Mildy lactic. Bright pop of citrus. A touch damp and earthy.

Mouthfeel: Light body and a touch crisp on the finish. Juicy up front. Just delightful.

Overall: Outkast approved.

So fresh and so clean clean.

Photo of jbaker67
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pale yellow with a medium white head. Nose is full wheat, mild citrus notes, crackers and very subtle coriander. Flavor is full on wheat dominated, with signature Hill Farmstead Belgian yeast, very subtle tart citrusy quality, and more wheat. Finishes on notes of wheat and lightly tart citrus notes. Very light-bodied, medium carbonation, and very wheaty.

Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy bright yellow, nice carbonation, two finger fluffy white head.

S-Wheat, lots of it. Grass and lemon. Citrus as well, very slight tart notes.

T-Starts with wheat and lemon. Slight grass, not much in the way of spices, very mild tartness.

M-Lighter, well carbonated and crisp.

O-Some more tart notes would greatly improve the beer, one of the "worst" HF I've had but still a rather yummy one.

Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is a pale hazed straw yellow with a white head. The nose has lots of yeast, peppery, fairly strong dusty note, Lots of lemon in back. Taste is bright, balanced pepper, fairly dusty, moderate lemon and golden fruits. Strong carbonation, lighter body. Lemon and grassy hay like hops through the finish.

Photo of Caudalie
4.94/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

Photo of kevanb
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, winter 2013 batch, poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

The beer pours a soft, hazy lemon color, hues of gold and straw. Atop the beer sits a foamy, soapy white head, 2 to 3 fingers high, quite lively that has good retention and leaves a beautiful network of lace behind. The aroma is a delicate expression of funk, fruity yeast, soft malt, tart citrus and cracked, dry wheat. A touch of wildflower, slightly herbaceous is also present. The flavors are mild, easy and not too boisterous, matching the aromas well. Tangy citrus and tart lemon blend well with the floral qualities that bring out the funk and fruity yeast esters. Soft cereal grains and dry wheat dominate the finish. The body is lovely, lively, coats the mouth perfectly and softly with a lightly creamy finish that has a touch of tanginess and creaminess.

Verdict: A really delightful saison from Hill Farmstead that leaves me baffled at many of the previous reviews. The delicate and bright nature of the flavors is right up my alley. I would love to try Flora to see how this develops in a barrel, but this is solid on its own.

Photo of vonnegut21
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into a HF wine glass.

A: Beautiful pale, hazy gold. Three fingers of billowing white head.

S: Wheat malt, light lemon and orange peel. Gentle funk.

T: Bright saison spice, funk and a lovely level of tartness. Almost gueuze-like. Really nice.

M: High carbonation. Cleansing. Bright. Effervescent.

O: A delicious beer. Not sure why this one isn't rated that well. Better than many other HF offerings IMO. Really love this beer. Can't wait to open a Flora.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to cbanker for sharing this one.

Pours a murky light yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, spice, and yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of yeast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but is probably one of my least favorite Hill Farmstead beers to date.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Florence pours a hazy golden yellow with a small creamy head. Minimal amounts of lace on the glass as the foam fades away.

The aroma has strong tart notes of lemon citrus, plus some wheat, and Belgian spices (coriander).

Each sip of this medium bodied beer has a soft body and light carbonation. The flavor has nice lemon citrus, wheat, light spice (coriander) and bubblegum. It finishes dry and tart with mild bitterness. Once gone the lemon tartness and spice lingers on the palate.

A very tasty beer with a light body and nice balance between sweet malt and tartness.

Photo of MDDMD
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-hazy golden yellow color with a nice white head and good lacing

S-wheat, citrus, spice, malt

T-lemon, malt, wheat, pepper, coriander, hoppy bitterness

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and dry

O-the wheat was an interesting flavor here, enjoyable summer beer for a hot day!

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL growler into a shaker pint, the beer is a cloudy, bright yellow coloring that is opaque, with a filmy, sparse, white surface coating of head. Very herbal on the nose, with clove, all-spice, and coriander on a banana bread backbone. Flavors of banana bread and lemon square, with a solid spice blend of clove and all-spice. Smooth and light, with a spiced lemon aftertaste. Clean, light finish. Very drinkable.

Florence Wheat Saison from Hill Farmstead Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 722 ratings.