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Arthur - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
ArthurArthur

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

220 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 220
Hads: 1,734
Avg: 4.31
pDev: 7.66%
Wants: 461
Gots: 380 | FT: 65
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States | website

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kingcrowing on 10-03-2010

Arthur (1922-2005) was our grandfather’s youngest brother; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his 13 siblings. In his honor, this Saison is crafted from American malted barley, American and European hops, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Arthur.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 220 | Hads: 1,734
Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Hill Farmstead wine glass. A hazy yellow, orange body with a nice white head that stays and leaves good lacing. Smells great, mostly tart, with a light malt aroma. The taste is fantastic, a tart sour taste and fresh fruit, peach, nectarine, and some wildflower honey.
Mouthfeel is nice, as it leaves your mouth with that tart mouth watering sensation.
Delicious beer, glad I have a 2nd one.

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Photo of popery
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer is a light golden yellow with a big white head. It’s fairly cloudy with a good sized white head. Excellent retention. The aroma is wonderfully fresh with bright grain sweetness. Earthy yeast complexity. It’s just wonderfully pleasant. Lemony note in the taste. Mushrooms, earth, a little bit of dust. Soft feel, quite light.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to angrybabboon for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Slightly hazy yellow-gold. Head is bright-white and fluffy. Leaves big chunks of lacing. Head retention is decent. Drops to a small cap with a slightly chunky collar.

Smell: Soft Hilll Farmstead yeast. Hints of hay, grass, and a mild lactic tart edge. Pushes small hints of lemon juice with a small touch of zest. Super clean yeast profile. Mildly damp with a small hint of barrel. Malt base is incredibly light with pale malt and a touch of wheat. Some floral elements as well. Slight yeast spiciness layered in as well. A touch of hard water adds some minerality to the whole mix.

Taste: A touch of lactic sourness right up front. Some lemon juice and lemon zest layered over the top of a mildly spicy hop character. Hops add a deeply grassy note with some solid herbal and earthy elements. A small touch of citrus on the top. Yeast adds some damp earthiness with a decent amount of hay and grass. Solidly floral. Some minerality and a touch of rocks. Malts are lightly sweet. Pale malt with a decidedly European twist. Clean and mildly tart. Well balanced even by Hill Farmstead standards.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate to almost light carbonation. Standard fair for the style.

Overall: This is a chill dude.

It's a Hill Farmstead saison with a touch more lactic tartness than expected. The European malt base adds something unique and really helps the yeast and water shine.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 8/1/15

Split with Goblinmunkey7

A: Hazy, cloudy, medium orange with some hints of gold some straw around the edges - pours with a medium to large sized, bright white head - fades to a wispy cap, leaves some nice streaks of lacing

S: Bright, with some saison spice, while simultaneously clean - Hill Farmstead saison yeast in abundance, with some nice yeasty, peppery, and and spicy notes - very clean and crisp, as every Hill Farmstead beer is - pale malts with some pale grains

T: Saison yeast, clean water, and some tart notes - very yeasty, with some light spices, including clove and pepper, and some tart notes - light citrus, with some light fruits, like pear, apple, and banana - pale malts and pale, soft grains underneath - very refreshing, very interesting

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, spicy finish

O: Arthur is art (except I do realize that Art is a different Hill Farmstead beer)

I consider this a baseline for Hill Farmstead saisons. it's yeasty, spicy, and full of character, yet very clean, and very refreshing. I don't need to write anything else. Just buy it.

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Photo of SteveCarrozza
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great saison from the crew at Hill Farmstead. Poured from a 750 bottle into HF stemware. Pours a light straw like color and good lacing. Vintage saison nose and tastes.

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

For some reason I had a lot of saisons the night I tried Arthur, but this one was clearly in a class above. As usual, Hill Farmstead kills it. And while I do enjoy their IPAs a lot more, they can certainly brew a saison I would drink frequently if reached as far south as Florida.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 750 into Hill Farmstead stemware.
Pours a bright and beautiful honey straw color with little head, but great lacing.
Aromas are of chardonnay, oak, some honey and of course saison yeast.
Taste is very much in line with aromas. Approachable, quenching, delicious. A classic text book saison.
Mouthfeel is spot on. Finishes clean with a bit of bitterness on the back end.
Overall this beer is a beautiful saison and is so approachable it could be a nice introduction to the style for a newb.

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Photo of Hesscabob
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW WOW WOW! Very light, white frothy head leading into a sensational aroma of Saison yeast, sour/acidic tones, earthy but very refreshing. First Hill Farmstead and will search for more! Game changer of a Saison.

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Photo of Sparty1224
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving: 750mL bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter. Bottled on 4/2/15, making this almost 3 months old.

A: Pours a crystal clear, golden yellow color. Bubbly white head that circles the edge and effervesces with agitation.

S: Fresh flowers, rising yeast. Soft notes of banana and clove. Lots of fresh, earthy, grassy notes as well. Not super pungent though.

T: Very clean and delicate. The farmhouse yeast is there, but it isn't overpowering. A slight tartness to it as well. There's a lot of "space" in the flavor, letting different notes come through on their own. Some fresh-squeezed lemon, banana, biscuit.

M: Fully carbonated. Noticeably tart, but not sour. Very, very dry finish.

O: It's been some time since I've had a HF beer, and boy did I miss it. The best way I can describe their beers is that they're not all perfect beers, but they're all flawless. That sounds contradictory, but what I really mean is that while a majority of their beers may not be the best in the world, they do tend to have minimal imperfections within the style. A beer like this, a tart saison, doesn't completely blow me away and I'm sure there's better out there. But I'm having a hard time picking out something wrong with it. It's so meticulous and well thought out. Very clean and crisp and stoic. There's not a trace of off flavor. Using the farmstead well water to make it is just the perfect example. It's built from the ground up and every aspect is poured over until it's just right.

Recommendation: You need to try anything from Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of JMUbrewz
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delightfully tart and funky saison from HF. It straddles the style boundaries of saison and wild ale. Acidic lemon and orange peel up front, with a crisp, dry, and refreshing finish. I love tart saisons and this one really hit the mark for me.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is list listed as a Farmhouse/Saison but to me it borders on being a sour.
I traveled to Hill Farmstead in search of the brewery with the most highly rated beers, and upon my visit there I was quite disappointed in their beers compared to the beers ratings.
Having stated THAT, I am quite pleased with this beer, although I do not think that it fits within the Farmhouse/Saison category as one would think of it. I think, as I drink from a bomber savoring every ounce of this 6.0% beer, that this tends to lean more towards a sour than a farmhouse, to which i was quite happy with that conclusion. After visiting Russian River Brewing last fall I have gained a great respect for sours and this beer is close to bridging that gap.
I wish I had a great supply of this and a bunch of different Russian River's sours to keep me happy throughout the year.
All though I have not tasted all the beers Hill-Farmstead produces, this without a doubt is the one beer of theirs that I would recommend, if you like sours, or beers with the non traditional taste I'm pretty sure you will really enjoy this offering from the guys out there in the middle of nowhere.

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Photo of Onemoresolo
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is a truly sublime experience. It's hard to write anything beyond that; this beer is truly remarkable. Dry, complex, tart. This is the perfect saison.

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Photo of scotorum
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 25.4 oz. bomber into a Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip.

a; Hazy gold with an inch plus thick white head which receded to thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s; Belgian yeasty light ripe fruit combo with sour notes.

t: Difficult to begin to sip because inhaling the aroma of it makes me cough every time. Holding my breath, getting the same as the nose, with the dominant note being sour.

m: Light to medium, ok body, plenty of carbonation tingle.

o: A very good example of a sour saison. Easy drinking for those who favor that style. In this case my taste and overall ratings are based on perception of quality relative to the style rather than my personal reaction of enjoyment.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

the difference between a very good saison and a world class one turns out to be not all that much. its just that one extra degree of refinement and attention to detail, maybe knowledge of process or even quality of ingredients. its tough to pinpoint, especially here, in a beer that in so many ways is not that different from a million other saisons on the market. it has a soft fluffy mostly pale malt base, with a slightly higher dosage of hops than tradition probably calls for, but with classic varietals and a yeast strain that makes it special. the recipe is the same across the board, but arthur has that it factor, that distinguishing element(s) that puts it up into a category nearly all of its own. for me, one element is the yeast. its super super funky, but it isnt tart or sour at all, and while it definitely has wild ale appeal, it doesnt get as involved on that front, a level of reserved craftsmanship rarely seen. if there is a little brett in here, its mild and sweet. the other element is the hops, and we all know these guys do hops pretty amazingly, but its grassy and bigger in this beer, without even lending oils to the beer to make it sticky and heavy, and without much bitterness. its a special understanding of the ingredients and the processes that produces such dynamic balance. mouthfeel is special as well, its carbonated quite brightly, but its not the racing soda bubbles of most, its a more gentle upbeat tune this one sings, and i am really happy having it hum along on my palate. finishes nice and dry and clean, feels rustic and timeless, traditional but evolved, and like something to be revered and shared, which is exactly what we did with it. a common beer style, probably with common ingredients and processes, but of outrageously uncommon quality. this is the new benchmark in my mind.

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Photo of John_M
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Have had this beer many times, and like it quite a bit. There's a hint of sour to the beer (some batches seem a bit more sour than others), but is still in the range that I can tolerate. Otherwise, the beer is light, fairly dry, slightly bitter, and just very, very easy to drink. Very well crafted farmhouse ale from HF.

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.64/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic saison, shared a bottle with my wife over dinner. The funk is beautifully balanced with wheat tartness. Fresher bottle(3-15), will hold one for a little while to see what age does to it...

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Photo of adapt313
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely fantastic saison. So bright, lively, and refreshing. The nose is a fair bit more tart than the taste. Perfect balance of tart, funk, and wheat. Super sessionable. Crisp, refreshing, near flawless brew.

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Photo of aleigator
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to Ron for providing the bottle!

Pours a hazy sun-yellow color, with a big, froth head.

Has aromas of wet grass, hay, citrus green apple peel and a lovely, slightly fruity, acidity. Bretts blend well into the rustic characteristics of the nose, providing an enjoyable freshness. The nose reminds me more of a Berliner Weisse, than a classic Saison, while being a bit richer and more pronounced on the nose.

Has a lively, very refreshing carbonation. While the beer is still relatively low in alcohol, its got a decent body to it.

Begins with soft wheat, wet hay and acidic lime, inviting sour bretts to the palate. Has a truly refreshing beginning, almost mirroring the nose, balanced by bready, slightly biscuity malts. Taste is still without a doubt providing a very pleasant freshness, with the right amount of lactic citrus fruit among funky yeast and wheat. Ends with biscuity malts among citrus bonbons, revealing a good amount of sourness.

A real treat, my first Hill Farmstead brew, a fuller bodied Berliner Weisse - or a truly refreshing, sessionable saison. Either way, the beer provides a crisp, citraic freshness, well edged into a distinct wheat foundation leading to a very well composed brew, I would love to drink frequently during warm summer days.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.74/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received this in trade a few weeks back. I noticed the bottling date was from January of last year, still this one has held up very well, perhaps even better than it was fresh? Although there was no noticeable off flavors at all. Very well crafted beer.

Appearance: Light golden honey colored with a large amount of delicate white head.

Aroma: Tartness is the dominant aroma some sweetness in there as well. Very much a Belgian style ale.

Taste: Tart, citrus fruits and a little bitterness pretty complex, yet mild as well. Very clean finishing and truly enjoyable.

Overall: This is my first Hill Farmstead beer and I am amazed at how well crafted it truly is, if I had not just ran across the date I would never have been able to tell that it had over a year of age on the bottle. Super beer! I hope this is the first of many opportunities.

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Photo of ELS
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade. The bottle was 7 months old and I was surprised how well the saison held up considering the age. Makes me want to go to Vermont and drink some HF Beer on tap to see what it's like fresh.

The smell and the taste definitely have a lemon zest quality. There is a good amount of sourness which I'm guessing became more pronounced with age. The sourness is well balanced by a slight sweetness from the malt. It's a very well crafted beer that I would trade for again if the opportunity arises.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a golden yellow color with a bright white head.

Smell - Lemon & grass makes an impression in the aroma.

Taste - As part of the taste, I detect impressions of dry lemon, grass, and lemon rind. The dry after makes the drinker needs another drink in the potentially never ending cycle.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is appropriate for the style, brushing away sweetness and leaving dryness.

Overall - I am not huge on the style, but I enjoyed this one. It does not possess the medicinal qualities of some in the style.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Purchased at the brewery in November.

Pours a super hazy, pale yellow body with a big gushing frothy white head that reduces slowly to leave some lacing a decent, uneven white retention that sits for a while. Some sediment.

Aroma is super inviting with big fruity and tart aromas, namely tart citrus, lemon, and green apple mixed with banana-clove, peppery spices, farmhouse funk.

Taste is equally as complex, upfront is tart citrus but not overpoweringly sour, saison yeastyness & barnhouse funk, estery banana, a creamy caramel, with a spicy, peppery, and slightly bitter finish. Super complex. Excellently balanced. Easy to drink with a medium body and medium carbonation. Very refreshing.

Overall a world class Saison, super complex, balanced, and tasty. I expect nothing less from Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of KATCanada
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From bottle, fridge temp in snifter. 10/14 bottling consumed Jan 4 2015.Pours a light gold with beautiful cloudy white foam. Nose of barnyard from the yeasts with a hint of sourness. Taste is a refreshing saison with the late sourness but not over powering. Lemon sorbet - I'm thinking of the Lemon Ice on a hot day at the old Yankee stadium (go Blue Jays!), granny smith apple. Great acidity - eating eat with Sushi and would recommend this combo to foodys. Wish I had some oysters too. Overall enjoyed on it's own and with food. Thankfully I have another bottle which I will save for a warm summer's night.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.64/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL bottle to start of NYE 2014 after getting this in a non-BA trade a few weeks ago. As my first taste of Hill Farmstead, it's amazing that I was able to hold off this long. Label is marked with a bottling date of 10/2014. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack series tulip glass.

Appearance (4.75) - Starting off on the right foot, this is what a saison should look like. The body is a glowing lemon topaz hue with hints of spun gold and a slight haze that seems to enhance the glowing nature. A lazy trail of carbonation rises from the etching on the bottom of the inside of the glass to replenish a towering four finger head of stark white meringue-like foam. With the way the beer developed a half finger of foam inside the bottle after I popped the top, I was afraid it might be a gusher, but after some careful handling, the carbonation was just enough to provide the massive head. Rings of sticky lace adorn the sides of the glass after the head dissipates several minutes later.

Smell (4.5) - At first whiff, there is a decided acidic tartness to the aroma alongside notes of white pepper and citrus zest. Some light floral notes take the edge of the acidity and bring it back to it's saison roots, rather than straying too far overboard with any sourness. Some barnyard funk and the impression of sourdough comes through as the yeast and malt make their presence known.

Taste (4.75) - As wonderful as this beer smelled, the taste is even better. There is so much going on, but it's not busy or overwrought. Notes of clover and pepper blend seamlessly with a refreshing but delicate tartness that leaves just the lightest kiss of that pinch of sour on the tongue, with a dry finish to prepare your mouth for the next sip. Light citrus and the suggestion of peach dance over the more earthy notes of yeast and grain. While stronger than a traditional "session" beer, the taste of this beer is so excellent that I could easily drink bottle after bottle without tiring of it.

Mouthfeel (4.75) - Light bodied, but with enough heft to provide an excellent counterpoint to the tartness and pungency of the beer. Some beers like this can feel watery even though they are supposed to have a lighter feel. This one manages to have some girth without being heavy. High carbonation and a dry finish on the tongue.

Overall (4.5), this is just a fantastically crafted beer. The saison style is a broad-ranging one, so it's hard to compare takes on the style that can be quite different from one another. That said, I can attest that this particular beer more than lives up to the massive reputation that precedes Hill Farmstead. It's the quintessential tart farmhouse ale in my mind.

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Photo of mick303
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. 8 months since bottling. Poured a cloudy yellow gold, strong initial head and a great lacing and film on this, fair bit of visible carbonation.

S- gooseberry, pear, and a lot of estery farmhouse yeast, almond, orange blossum, some tart berry aromas and golden plum notes, pale mlt, some earthy bitterness underneath the with clove and forestry pine spice.

T- a lot of tartness comes through with a full bodied yeast profile, sour pear and honeydew notes, quite a bit of green tart fruity notes then some pleasant earthy notes and more robust yeast notes. Shifting from sharp acidity to horsey and mildly farmhouse notes, hay, barny and with a drying, tart finish. Crisp with lots of farmhouse depth and tangy notes.

M- quite a bit of acidity, moderate body with a cleansing carbonation, the acidity is quite strong but the finish is pleasantly balanced with a crisp dry acidity.

Quite a bit more tartness than I anticipated, which was a great surprise. Light and quenching with a lovely yeasty complexity, some florals and fresh citrus, with a robust barny undertone and some hoppy spice. A lovely saison and I will look forward to seeing how this ages. Balance is pretty terrific, but you do have to crave the acidic tartness.

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Arthur from Hill Farmstead Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.