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Flora - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
FloraFlora

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

94 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 94
Hads: 578
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 3.74%
Wants: 604
Gots: 92 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

Wine barrel aged Wheat Saison fermented with resident microflora.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 94 | Hads: 578
Photo of dvmin98
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was able to get this at a bottle share. You can definitely taste the wine barrels. Tart, but not overly. This was the best saison I've ever had, and I am not a big saison guy. Fantastic. (190 characters)

Photo of Bardwashrind
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 3

As many have stated, there are characteristics in the beers from Hill Farmstead that ring true and nearly iconic. I certainly have caught the bug and fallen under the spell that come with each new bottle or growler from this impressive brewery. I have had a previous experience with Flora, and yet, Batch 3 caught me off guard.

This is simply near perfection.

Funky but restrained, wild but with character, tart but wonderfully balanced and complex in such a long, heady way, there is something special about this bottle. While it shines with flavors that are comfortable and even defined, there is still a slight edge of origin that can't be replicated. This beer, possibly more so than other HF brews, sings with sincere voice of truth as to where it was created.

Flora doesn't plow one over with loud intensity, it's the subtle whispers that infect your head as the first glass is nearing end. Each sip is like a growing beam of light that takes over, heightens the moment and boarders on euphoric. I'm in envy of any within a 100 mile radius of this brewery.

It's the space in-between movements. The silence after the bang. The first light from beyond the darkness.

If this is the direction Hill Farmstead is taking with their spontaneous cultures/wine barrel aging program than we have a great deal to look forward to. This truly is the most engaging and exciting brewery in America, possibly the world. I only hope to one day see the view from the farm.

ISO: Flora batch 3, permanently.

Fucking magic right here.

Batch #1
Bottle came from the generous hands of RSchaeffer. Thanks so much for kicking things off like this.

The obsession fully takes hold after this bottle.

Upon the warmth of a later summer evening, the thought of a wine barrel finished Saison made perfect sense.

Flora poured with a lively head that topped our glasses with thick foam. Yeasty bread and peaches came to mind after first whiff. Some barrel notes, perhaps nutty and even hay based without being at all funky. Pleasurable with a rustic styled approach.

The initial taste brought upon a faint smile for it was so bare bones in application. Brett, stone fruit (peaches), more yeast and a distinct Saison element showed through. The mouth feel came off a touch on the lighter side but multiple sips allowed for the barrel presence to continually be felt. Quite nice because the base style could still be known. Not dominated by wine or oak but fairly obvious that more than just stainless was being applied.

Only the third Hill Farmstead I have tried but the first where I feel I understand where this brewery is coming from. While intentionally looking for subtle flavors, they can be found, if just drinking for thirst quenching reasons, the beer is still delicious.

Most likely one of the closest comparisons to that of the rural breweries of Belgium/France that specialize in farmhouse styles.
Flora was very enjoyable and the end of the bottle brought a sense of desire through delight that will only be fulfilled by experiencing more beers from Hill Farmstead.

4
4
4
3.5
(3,090 characters)

Photo of lovindahops
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

October 4th 2013 marked an incredible day for me at work so I felt my first Flora would be well deserved!

A- Flora pours a golden light orange with a glow all around the body. Crackling colors are seen throughout the glass. Weblike, thin lacing is caked to the edges if the glass, while a thin layer of white foam floats around. Flora glows as a fluorescent saison in a glass

S- massive Brett, vinious, white grape funk reaches out of my HF stemware and reaches my nostrils. Some peppercorn and wheat flavors are enrobed in some light wine characteristics. The time in the barrels did Flora well! You can go back and forth between a barn yard and vineyard companionship that delivers with a bready twist. Best scent EVER for a saison

T- light and elegant, yet so complete with the full bodied saison flavor profile Shaun seeks to deliver with. The bready yeast flavor layers the tongue with fresh cut grass and musty grape themes. Then the properties of white wine linger so softly leaving a mouth watering desire for more. So bold and spicy, yet so sweet. This beer is perfect due to the complex opposite themes occurring all over. Even better, they clash than match perfectly

M- perfect flavor drapes the palate with excellent carbonation

O- Hill Farmstead has made the best saison I will probably ever have. Flora dominates the physical features that one would want in a saison. Absolutely amazing with the combination of farm house funk meeting a detailed, delicate vinious brew. Great day to celebrate with the best saison I've ever had' (1,547 characters)

Photo of vonnegut21
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pale golden straw, with a finger or so of white head.

S: Citrus and a hint of oak. A touch musty. Light white wine character. Wheat malt with a hint of funk on the back end.

T: Lots of citrus. Lemon and grapefruit. Very nicely tart. Small amount of funk and a light spiciness from the yeast. As it warms, the wine barrel becomes apparent. Grape skin, a gentle oak character and this depth of flavor emerge. Lightly floral on the back end. Delightful. Very Gueuze-like.

M: Effervescent with an excellent body for such a low abv beer. Perfectly suited to the style and the flavors.

O: This is better than I could have expected. Easily one of my top 5 beers from Hill Farmstead. There's this depth and complexity that perfectly complements the tartness. A must try. (769 characters)

Photo of cfrances33
4.99/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 3 and batch 4 bottles, about a week apart, poured into a Hill Farmstead glass. Flavor profiles and review notes were checked and were nearly identical for both batches.

Pour: A hazy, glowing light orange with a nice two finger white fluffy head. Head is pretty sticky and leaves very nice lacing. Body is quite radiant.

Smell: Tart lemons and pear skin up front, followed by a light funk and light breadyness. Some white wine notes in there as well. A really nice oak comes through as it warms.

Taste: Tart lemons, pear juice up front, and a white grape must. A light funk, and some bready sweetness. A little bit of oak towards the finish really rounds everything out. Finishes tart with lemon juice and is quite dry.

Mouthfeel: Insanely drinkable. The beer is supremely refreshing. Very juicy, yet equally dry. Begs you to have another sip right after the first.

Overall: This beer is perfect. More simplistic, yet more elegant than Juicy. More drinkable and flavorful than Civil Disobedience #5. Fantastic. If any difference between batch 3 and batch 4 were to be noted, batch 4 had a slightly greater wine barrel presence, potentially due to the longer maturation in the barrels (1,195 characters)

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: light amber liquid with slight white head and nice lacing.

S: floral tones with marigolds and elderflowers

T: I suspect the saison dupont yeast was used, but this is much more soft in its floral flavor profile.

M: medium viscosity and carbonation.

O: very soft and drinkable. Extremely approachable. (306 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 4. 750ml capped bottle into a Cantillon tulip. Shared with schen9303.

A slow gusher. Pours a .5 finger foamy white head with as always, great retention. Beer is a crystal clear goldenrod that reveals ample carbonation. Lacing is thick, layered and web-like with excellent cling. Perfect.

Nose is white grape must tartness, some cobweb, wood, and floral/citrus/spice notes like coriander, orange peel, and a dash of peppercorn. Pretty mellow but very appetizing.

Opens citrus, froth, wood, and funk. Grape skins, coriander, and some Brett funkiness towards the middle. More spiciness at the back with a citrus and grape finish. A light, spritzy champagne-yeast tartness in the aftertaste. Delicious. Probably the best HF Saison I've had to date.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and goes down quenching, smooth and aggressive. Messy finish with a dry, lingering aftertaste. So incredibly drinkable and quenching at the same time. I could easily take down gallons of this and enjoy every sip.

This beer is almost perfect in every way. Possibly one of the best beers I've had from Hill Farmstead... which is saying a lot considering all of their world class offerings. Flora is magnificent from start to finish. It looks incredible, smells incredible, the flavor is complex, yet light and quaffable and the body and ABV are such that I could drink this all day, every day. Flora is a masterpiece. Do yourself a favor and seek it out! (1,480 characters)

Photo of JasonLovesBeer
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Golden orange, like a gueuze with the saturation turned up. The head dissipated to only traces of lacing.

S: Very gueuze-like - okay, so the gueuze reference in appearance only happened because the rest of the beer reminded me of such. It was very floral and with lemon-citrus and earthy notes as well. Like white IPA meets gueuze.

T: Lemon, soft floral, and a whole gentleness that was honestly quite shocking. Part of its lasting memory for me is that it seemed to cross so many boundaries. It had the floral qualities of a well crafted IPA, the earthy and gentle oak funk of a gueuze, and further saison and wheat beer qualities as well. Really complex.

M: Really soft water. Pillowy.

O: My mind was kind of blown, to be honest. (741 characters)

Photo of PHBoiler
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful clear, clean pale golden body with a big foamy head. This beer drinks like a white wine with green grape peel and light acidity. The funk is mild overall on this younger bottle. It complements any food. The carb and cleanness of the body make the beer very quenching and easy to drink. Super light body. Just a pleasure to drink. (345 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 3

Pours hazy medium yellow/straw with a small off-white head and some aggressive bubbles. Slight lacing down the glass.

Aroma features light fruits such as lemon and pear with a little bit of a grape like sweet. Good funk and a nice clean tartness.

I'm not sure words can describe how good this beer tastes, but I'll try anyway. Starts out with lemon, apple and pear flavors. As it rolls over the tongue, the tartness increases. Never getting overly sour, but pleasantly tart. Some white wine notes come into play as there are moderate amount of oak and a little chardonnay flavor. Finishes grainy and sublimely tart.

Creamy mouthfeel with good carbonation levels making the tartness really pop. I could've drank 3 bottles of this in one setting.

This is the best HF beer I've ever had and that's saying something considering how much I laud most of their stuff already. An absolutely perfect sour that was well balanced and complex without any one flavor or sensation overpowering the rest. I savored the last few sips of this and let it roll around all the parts of my tongue getting every last drop while secretly wishing I had chosen this to drink by myself instead of split with the girlfriend. Outside of Lente (which I'd need another taste of to compare) probably the best sour I've had.

If you have any bottles of this, please disregard the above review. They are bad. Send them all directly to me now for proper disposal. (1,444 characters)

Photo of Crookdrain
4.84/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing 2 different vintages - B4 (2012) and B5 (2013). Both 750ml bottles. B4 opened at a tasting with some awesome BA friends. B5 opened side-by-side with Flora Satsuma a week earlier.

A: Having had Florence, I wasn't surprised by how light this one was. I think someone else said "pale straw" in an old review and that's exactly the way to describe this. Pillowy head. B4 was a slight gusher. B5 was a big time gusher. The look belays the power of the beer within.

S: As close to perfect as a beer can get. Vinous-y wheat, a bouquet of oaky orange, some grape funk, and maybe grapefruit? Or is it lemon? Or both? This really hits your nose hard and fast - you almost don't want to taste it because you can't stop smelling it. B4 was slightly more pungent and aromatic than B5 - 18 months in the bottle will do that to it.

T: My first 5 rating on BA. I cannot overstate how amazing this beer is. It is liquid perfection. Citrus tartness smattered with funky wine must layered with the haunting subtle hint of oak and sweet orange juice. The underlying beer (Florence) acts as a ghost in the aftertaste. This is a complex mother f-er. B4 tasted like the fruits had soaked in a wine vat for a while. B5 was close but not there yet. I still think B5 will surpass B4 though after some time in the bottle, especially talking to people who have tried both fresh. Apparently B5 is one of the best fresh yet.

M: Perfect for the style. Just carbonated enough that it doesn't take away from the complex melange of flavors dancing around your mouth. Swirl it around a bit and enjoy what few will ever get to enjoy.

O: There's something about Florence - which is not a bad beer by any means but certainly not Shaun Hill's finest - that allows it to transform in the barrel into perhaps the best barrel-aged beer in the world. Sort of like how Cook County Stout becomes BCS. Batch 4 was without a doubt the best beer I've ever had in my life. Thanks to Sobeleg for bringing. Everyone at the tasting was blown away by it - it even upstaged Juicy!
Batch 5 is near perfection, but can't wait to try mine after a year or so in the bottle and see if it reaches the level that B4 did after 18 months.

Seriously, seek this one out. It was worth the 7 hour drive, the 4.5 hour wait in line, and the 9 hour drive back to NYC. There are 2 beers in my cellar I would never trade, not even for a white whale - and this is one of them. You would need to pry this thing from my cold dead hands to get it from me. (2,496 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Huge thank you to Montrealbcr89 for not only coming to my tasting, but bringing this gem. If there's one thing I've learned in my beer tasting career, a HF saison is something to be excited about.

Appearance. Pours a hazy straw gold with a thin white head.

Smell. Wildflowers, slight whiffs oranges and lemons, light barrel and white wine. My description can't do it justice and I spent a lot of time with my nose in the glass. Fucking amazing.

Taste. Some lemon sourness, light wildflowers and minerals. Again, I don't have the words to describe this one in a way that does it justice but it's subtly complex and somehting I could drink every day.

Mouthfeel. Light+ body, medium+ fine carbonation.

Overall. As always with these HF saisons, one of the best beers I've put in my face. Thanks again Tyler!! Best one of the night imo, and against some pretty heavy hitters. (875 characters)

Photo of hillvt4me
4.75/5  rDev +11%

A: light-golden hue, with snow-white head.

S: Citrus, vinous and a oak. Some funky/musty and wheat notes.

T: Tart Lemon, oak, vinous and funk. Delicious.

M: effervescent and balanced. Moderate carbonation.

O: The quality and depth of flavor of expect from HF; BA are always a treat. (286 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Sally – thanks! Judging by the reviews this is Batch 1, it’s unlabeled except for an “F” on the cage.

Pours a hazy golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with hints of wheat and large amounts of funk. Also present are earthy and floral hops, light citrus, and mild white grape aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though it manages to be even more complex. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by crisp light citrus and moderate amounts of funk. Midway through the sip a slight wheat twang works its way into things along with leafy hops that dry it out a bit. Near the end of the sip white grape flavors with hints of oak make an appearance, carrying through to a very crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass very quickly and could have a lot more of these.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer. Everything was done just to the right point and no one component was overdone. Very complex and well worth a shot. (1,156 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 750 mL bottle slightly chilled and split with a friend. Poured into two Hill Farmstead tulip glasses. This is a Batch 4 that I picked up from the Brewery Saturday.

Appearance: Light straw yellow in color. A bit hazy. Gushed just a bit upon opening, but none of the beer was lost. Really nice white head.

Aroma: Really strong tart notes are noticable right off. Lemon, some definite funk, green apple are there. Some light wine barrel notes do a nice job smoothing this out too. Took me a while to want to taste this as the aroma was so outstanding.

Taste: Nice, crisp but strong sourness upfront. The lemon and green apple notes are really big. This almost feels more at home being called a sour than a saison. Plenty of funk and a slight sweet tone to balance out the sour from the wine barrel. The wheat does well here too as a counter to the tartness. Really refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and really light. The carbonation is pretty spot on.

Overall, I thought this bottle of Flora was near perfect. Really strong sour character and bright flavors really work well here. I have had batch 3 previously and I don't remember it being this sour or nearly this good. Highly recommended. (1,203 characters)

Photo of SadMachine
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a medium sized fluffy white head that recedes to a half-finger and maintains well with good carbonation and leaves decent spotty lacing.

S- Wow! The aroma is incredible, with bright, tart citrus, white wine grapes, and oak tannins. A good bit of funky saison yeast pushes through along with wheat and some lemon. Absolutely glorious!

T- The flavor is similar to the aroma, with sweet and tart citrus flavors dominating (not the hoppy kind of citrus, totally different). Nice funky hay in the middle, followed by mellow oak and a wonderful dry, tart finish. The saison yeast and wine barrel yield so much complexity, with hints of lemon, clementine, and grass also coming through.

M- The mouthfeel is medium, smooth/mellow, and moderately carbonated.

O- Overall this is just a fantastic wine-barrel aged saison! Unbelievably enjoyable, and I wish I had more of this (other than the Satsuma variant I'm eagerly awaiting the occasion to drink)!! (990 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle of batch 5. Bottled 7/2013. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 4/24/2014.

A- hazy straw yellow body with a slight orange hue. Thick, effervescent three finger white head that recedes to one finger quickly and retains for a long time after. Tons of thick, sticky lacing.

A- white wine, oak, wheat character, funk, yogurt tartness, slight vinegar, pale malt. Explosive nose that is very complex indeed.

F- even better than it smells. Tons of white wine, wheat, funk and apple cider tartness. Some vinegar as well, with a nice wet oak presence. This is incredibly complex and interesting.

M- medium bodied, well carbonated but a bit lower than that of Florence. So drinkable, lots of white wine character perfectly complements the tart wheat aspects.

O- I see what the big deal is. Showcases a perfect saison blended with white wine character. This rates as one of the best I've had from Shaun, and I still cannot think of a better wine barrel-aged saison out there. (1,000 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Eulogy.

Pours a light golden orange color that is opaque with a two finger frothy, soapy white head that slowly fades into a thick lingering head.  Spotty lacing and chunks of soapy rings left behind.  

Slightly earthy, funky aroma that's bursting with lots of tropical fruit along with zesty spice and bready yeast.  Peppery with faint barnyard hints and light fruit.  Hints of mango, blood orange, pineapple and grapefruit.  Amazing!

Medium bodied with a perfect balance of funky barnyard, estery fruit and subtle spice.  Lots of citrus character with hints of blood orange, mango, pineapple, grapefruit and orange peel.   incredibly complex and dangerously drinkable.  Excellent balance of sweeter notes, earthy funk and zesty spice.  Highly recommended!   (783 characters)

Photo of jjdc
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

B6. Lovely hazy sunshine in the glass. The nose is bright, fresh and astringent -- lemon and minerals mostly. This a perfectly balanced beer that has citrus, pith, stone, vinous and oaky notes. Extremely smooth and endlessly drinkable. Another HF winner. (254 characters)

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Festival of Farmhouse Ales 2015. This was first time trying Flora (I had previously had the Blue/Black variant). While this doesn't quite reach the heights of Ann and Art, it is a tremendous barrel-aged saison. Wonderfully tart with a deep and complex flavor profile. (277 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage!

A - pours a very light almost watery glowing yellow color with a finger of light white head, decent retention and very nice lacing, especially considering the lighter appearance of this brew.

S - really great light sour and and wine tanin aromas, light bubblegum/yeastyness.

T - almost a dry carbonated sourness up front, Eventually mild sweetness and yeast come through. Aftertaste is a bit tart with wine tannin. Awesome awesome initial flavor

M - Lighter bodied, strongly carbonated. Fantastically drinkable. Great (536 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 10.10.31
Bottled 07 2013

A - Pours a hazy, very light orange with a soapy off-white head that slowly moves to the edges.

S - Tart lemon citrus, oak, subtle sweet funk.

T - Lemon, citrus, subtle funk, woody-oak, sweet hint from the wheat.

D - Light body with good carbonation.

O - Citrus, tart, delicious! A perfect BA Saison. (347 characters)

Photo of rodmanfor3
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6. A nice tart beer with a noticeable layer of barnyard funk and white wine barrel presence. Good carbonation, super dry finish. A fantastic barrel aged saison. (166 characters)

Photo of More_betterness
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Straw golden body topped with a fluffy two finger head. Brilliant looking beer. Absolutely glowing when held up to the light.

S: White grape, pear, and French oak. A hint of acidity and funk as it warms. Epic.

T: Follows the nose, but even more wine focused. Oaky and dry white wine, with a juicy tartness and a bright fruity finish. Could drink a hell of a lot of this

M: Fantastically soft mouthfeel while still supporting the flavors with an appropriately dry finish.

O: Incredible. Everything I hoped for. Shaun Hill is a master of balance and subtle cohesion of flavors. Wish I had more! (600 characters)

Photo of N17shelfside
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch 1 on tap at Farmhouse in Burlington. Drank alongside a fresh cantillon gueuze, which has much more farmhouse variety complexity, so some of my feelings might be tainted by that. Very dry, might actually have been a little past its prime. Had some nice funk to it, probably that natural Greensboro yeast. A little lemony, some grass, but overall just light and crisp. Overall a very good summer saison. (407 characters)

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Flora from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.