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Holger Danske - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Holger Danske
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

195 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 37
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Smoked Brown Ale

(Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 11-14-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jlindros:
Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev -1%

Light 1/2 finger creamy head fades at a med pace with decent lacing, over dark molasses colored beer with a ruby hue.

Nose has a big smoke, not much campfire smoke but more smoked cheese like, a chewy smoke, with a bit of wheat I think, some caramelized sugars, caramel, slight burnt toffee, light roasty quality, some earthy hops somewhere under that, and a touch of cocoa.

Taste starts a little creamy, but quickly turns to smoke, again not really campfire smoke more like a smoldering log smoked cheese, light toasted quality. Again light caramelized molasses like sugars, smoked wheat, light bitter roast and some earthy hops, light creme brulee with a bit of sweetness, and a light creamy cocoa. Finish is a bit drier, long lingering tasty smoke with a bit more dark chocolate, smoked cheese, little creaminess feel, and a big bitter kick at the end with more earthy slight grassy hops.

Mouth is med to slightly fuller bodied, decent carb, no booze.

Overall interesting, a decent smoked beer without over bitter or campfire, nice flavors, long tasty finish. Despite being a good beer, not quite as high caliber as most of the other Hill beers.

jlindros, Oct 16, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of bierdabbler
3.5/5  rDev -15%

bierdabbler, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of kingcrowing
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%

2L pop-top growler poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours a deep dark brown, perhaps a bit hazy but hard to tell because it's so dark. The head is really small, I'm a bit worried that the growler didn't hold the CO2 too well, but a small deep brown head does come and go quickly. The nose is great on this, very malty and sweet, but theres this strong smokiness to it that remins me of a backwoods BBQ, fantastic.

Phew, it's carbonated, albeit it bit light however that's fine for the style. Very smokey as the nose lead on, it's almost a bit like scotch in that peaty rustic smoke way. Theres a very velvety mouthfeel that is really mellow and smooth with just the lightest carbonation bite on your tongue that comes through when you hold it in your mouth. Some more caramel and chewy molasses starts to come through as you get through the smoke. Very unique beer, calling it an American Brown doesn't do it justice.

kingcrowing, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of doremite
4/5  rDev -2.9%

doremite, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of williamjbauer
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

williamjbauer, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev -2.9%

SPRichard, Jul 22, 2012
Photo of bonkus
4.45/5  rDev +8%

Had this on tap at Whetstone Station in Brattleboro VT.

Damn good beer - thought about getting a side of bacon to go alongside it.

It looks like a dark beer. That's because it is one.

The strong smell of smokiness is due to the malts being smoked over beech wood I'm told - which explains the pleasant campfirey quality there.

The taste is complex, there's a fair amount of acridity, but it's well balanced by a light caramelly sweetness and nice clean hop bitterness... it's a taste reminiscent of a bitter dark chocolate in that way. The smokiness is powerful without being overwhelming or off-putting. I feel like this beer is getting away with something.

The mouthfeel is phenomenal - it's at once smooth as silk and a little stingy with carbonation - it's got some kind of funky chemistry going on too, it'll strip the enamel off your teeth (but you know, in a nice way).

Overall this is a great beer. I've had several from Hill Farmstead here at Whetstone, and up till now my experience has been that they're always very crisp & clean with no frills... This is the first one I've tried that had anything I'd consider a 'frill.'

The smokiness in this is strong enough that I can't say I'd drink it every day, regardless of the obvious quality of the ingredients and process... It's a great beer - but I don't think I'll have another, if that puts it in perspective a bit.

bonkus, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -2.9%

acurtis, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of 05Harley
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%

Picked up two growlers at the brewery after having more than my share on tap. This small brewery up in Vermont just continues it's onslaught of top notch offerings.

Price - $15.00/growler re-fill

A big thanks goes out to Anders Kissmeyer for putting up with my shenanigans for most of the night at Shauns.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with a creamy white head leaving behind a column of lacing through the finish. When held up to the light some sediment is evident but not a concern. This beer looks tastey!

Smell: A near perfect aroma of smoked malt with a fair amount of bacon and some chocolate hidden in the backround. Smells like a summer campfire.

Taste: Smoked malt and bitter chocolate. No doubt the brown ale adds to the sweetness which results in an overall balanced flavor.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and silky smooth with a medium body. The balance between the smoke, sweetness and bitterness is amazing.

Drinkability: Very easy to consume glass after glass. I wouldn't hesitate to put this up against any beer in the smoked category where I think this beer would certainly shine. Too bad it's a limited brew :(

05Harley, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Griffith, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of nickd717
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

On tap at Ginger Man NYC.

A beautiful beer; very dark brown in color with a lasting, clingy two finger beige head.

Intense aroma of applewood smokiness, roast, dark chocolate, and anise.

The flavor is great. My little sister tried it and said it was like "drinking a fireplace." I agree, but to me this is a good thing. Very ashy and smoky with roasted malt, licorice, dark chocolate, and earth.

Very full-bodied and silky smooth on the palate, with a good soft carbonation level.

You've done well with this one, Shaun. A unique and tasty beverage this one is.

nickd717, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown. Small khaki head. Gone quickly. Transparent.

Smell - Woody and smokey. Malty, but I can't smell any real sugary components.

Taste - More malty. Less intense on the smoke. Very woody. Deep caramel malt, but again no sweetness. Smoke gets stronger throughout. A little chocolate in the back. Ashyand woody finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation. Very strong and bitter finish.

Overall - This is intense, but very strong. Much more caramel as it warms, but still strong verging on rough.

Alieniloquium, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of Kinsman
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%

Poured into a HF stemmed glass and fills it nicely with a dark brown body and light tan colored head. Fades a bit quickly but leaves some nice lace behind.

Smoke greets you first on the aroma but doesn't slap you across the face like some smoked beers. As it warms a variety of notes start to come out, especially from the non-smoked malts giving you the nice caramel and bready notes of a brown ale.

Like many smoked beers, I find the first sip isn't as smokey as the aroma but will make themselves known as you work your way though the grass. A nice caramel/toffee sweetness balances out the nice campfire notes. Rather light on the body with a nice smooth texture. Overall, a tasty smokey treat but falls just a bit short of the worldclass smoked beers coming out of Bamberg.

Kinsman, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of DarthTremens
4/5  rDev -2.9%

DarthTremens, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of waddellc2
3.75/5  rDev -9%

waddellc2, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of Neffbeer
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

On tap at the Blind Tiger:

A: Hazy brown with an off white head. There is limited head retention and no lacing.

S: Oh man is this a smoke bomb. I feel like I just walked into a smoke house in full effect. There is a hint of chocolate and burnt caramel until the smokey bacon and campfire resurfaces.

T: This holds up well to any rauchbier that I have had to date. Great smoke malt presence with enough sweetness to balance the roaring fire.

M: Smooth and creamy, just delicious.

D: I would have to limit myself to one at a time due to the overpowering flavor. That said, it was a great brew that I would love to try again.

Neffbeer, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of Ajlvt
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Ajlvt, Oct 04, 2013
Photo of wesley14
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

wesley14, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of mdillon86
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

mdillon86, Oct 30, 2012
Photo of threephase
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

threephase, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of RandyKemka
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

RandyKemka, Oct 01, 2012
Photo of jmccrum
4/5  rDev -2.9%

jmccrum, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of BrewUSA
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%

Holger Danske

Look 9/10
Smell 18/20
Taste 37/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 16/20

Overall 89/100

Had on tap at Prohibition Pig and Blackback. I always feel bad deducting points for a style I'm not crazy about. I like smoke... don't love it and had it up against a few other HF brews. Was still pretty amazing. Just felt like the smoke was out of place. More like an experiment, and yet still about a 90 in my book. Speaks volumes for HF~

BrewUSA, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

$6.00 for 16oz, served in a pint glass
Sampled 08NOV12

[A] Served with a finger high head, light chocolate milk in color and creamy in texture. Retention is a notch above average. The color of the body is dark chestnut brown, much lighter than your average porter, and a good deal of transparency can be seen through the bottom of the glass. The top two thirds of the glass are hazy - murky even. The film on top lasts long and deposits some drooping strands of lace with each sip.

[S] The nose is milder than expected. Peated malts are the most distinguishing factor, providing a musky, soily, smokey aroma. Damp earth. A bit one-note perhaps.

[T] Starts off with the peaty smoke flavor with faint notes of chocolate malts deeper in the background. Completely manageable heat is displayed on the follow through. Overall the flavor comes across extremely clean. If I didn't know any better, I'd guess that this one approaches Baltic Porter territory, with hefty lager-like smoothness.

[M] Stunning mouthfeel. But that is one of the many consistencies you can expect from Mr. Hill. Thick, smooth, velvety. Just big, round and full-bodied in every way imaginable. You can literally feel the beer being 'pulled' through your mouth on the swallow. Impressive.

[O] For me, the exceptional mouthfeel took this beer from 'good' to 'very good.' More impressive scores on the front end would have elevated Holger Danske to 'great.' And pretty easily. But, as always, the experience is always a pleasure.

FeDUBBELFIST, Dec 31, 2012
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Holger Danske from Hill Farmstead Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.