Holger Danske - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Holger Danske
No picture.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

43 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 43
Hads: 197
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 3.36%
Wants: 48
Gots: 4 | 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:
Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 11-14-2010

Smoked Brown Ale
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last
Reviews: 43 | Hads: 197
Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 10/01/12 notes. Had 2 8oz. pours of this at Pony Bar in NYC on the UES.

a - Pours a dark brown color with two inches of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of smoke, roasted malts, toasted malts, coffee, cream, vanilla, bacon, and bready malts. As first I didn't find it too smoky, but by my second glass of it I found it extremely smoky. Very nice nose; the coffee and cream/vanilla add something nice to it.

t - Tastes of of roasted malts, caramel malts, smoke, bacon, toasted malts, burnt malts, light coffee, and light cream. Taste doesn't have as much smoke as the nose; still very good, but a slight step down for me.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Nice body, pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a very nice smoked beer. Not my favorite HF beer but good for the style. Nose is super smokey, while the taste isn't quite as heavy on the smoke. Worth checking out, especially if you liked smoke beers, and I'd certainly have it again. (991 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Blue Dog.

Holger Danske comes to me looking the brown color but not deep dark and bold brown, just a simple brown with a nice sturdy amount of cream colored foam on top leaving some spotches on the way down, healthy looking beer. Smell is smoky but a nice amount of caramel, roasted malt, cocco, and earth pop through in the scent, not smoked to the max. Taste is pretty well rounded and I got more out of it with each sip. The smoke sort of surrounds the other flavors mentioned above and dont take over the show. Taste is decadent, body is rich and medium and the carb is not a tounge lasher, this went down rather smoothly, with no intrusion from the 7.5% I could of drank a lot more of this beer, it did not bonk me over the head with ash and smoke. Would get again. (781 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Brouwerij Lane.

Dark brown, decent head, stubborn lace. Aroma wreaks of smoked malts and wood, smells dry and roasty too which gives me hope.

Strongly roasty; malt-forward, mildly smoked. Big hop profile takes over midway through, carrying me through the end without offensive amounts of smoke. Dry, delicious, impeccably balanced. Rare for a style (smoked porter) where brewers typically go overboard with the smokey profile.

Could use more body. I hate most smoked beers and thought this was excellent. (517 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer appears dark brown with a small beige cap.

The aroma offers dark, roasted malts, Dense, crushed toffee, smoked malt. Different than a rauchbier for sure, this one is akin in some regards to a smoked porter.

The flavor offers smokey notes, but no meat, sauasage, or campfire character. Dense malt with a light BBQ flavor and brown ale tones. I like it. Whatever this is, it is tasty.

Medium bodied with fairly low carbonation.

A solid beer. Hill Farmstead can do no wrong it seems. (494 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had during a tasting at HF, it was one of my favorites that they had on draft (they had just tapped it a day or two before). This review though is from a 16oz serving served in a standard pint glass for $6 at Parker Pie Co.. Note- This review is from Parker Pie in Glover, VT (about 20 mins from the brewery) while still keeping in mind how it tasted at the source.

A- Very dark brown appears almost completely opaque black with a little bit of translucency around the edges and once you get towards the bottom of the glass. A thin layer beige mocha head. Doesn't appear to be too thick and about average carbonation for a porter.

S- Roasted malts, some sweet chocolate, a little bit of espresso, and a not too heavy smoked malt presence that balances well with the sweet robustness of the brown ale. A little bit above average aroma strength.

T- Roasted malts, espresso, chocolate, some sweet caramel all balanced with a nice amount of smoke. Full of flavor with a nice sweetness and in my opinion just the right amount of smoke (not overpowering, but definitely present). The beer at Parker Pie didn't taste nearly as sweet as from the source, but still tasted very good.

M- Very drinkable, a little bit on the thin side but still maintaining a slight creaminess, abv very well hidden. In my opinion could have been a tiny bit more full bodied.

O- This was a very well done smoked beer that is definitely one of the better beers of the style that I've had (pretty much like every HF beer). The sweet porter-like aspects of the beer were very well done that combined everything with a nice smoked aspect that wasn't too overpowering, but enough to give it a significant presence and add an additional flavor component to the beer.

If you like smoked beers I definitely recommend trying this beer, although I definitely recommend trying to drink it as fresh as possible and from the source. While the beer was good at Parker Pie it definitely wasn't as good as from the freshly tapped keg at HF. It seemed like a little bit of the sweetness was definitely missing from it. (2,087 characters)

Photo of maximep
4.52/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

another banger from the HF brewery

looks blackish brown, clear around the edges but gets really dark in the middle

s- smokey, toffee, chocolate, coffee, bready

t- same as smell, but a little sweeter and more pronounced chocolate

m- thin yet pleasant. reminded me of Nils Oscar's stuff

o- delicious and wonderfully balanced, HF beers never cease to amaze me. (363 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at HF Harvest Fest 2012...into HF wine glass.

Pours a darker brown/black color, tan-colored head, bubbles, thin collar. Nose is smokey, toasted malts, light roast, chocolate. Flavor is similar, perfect balance of smoke and sweetness, nice level of roast, cream, and tobacco. Medium body, good carbonation, creamy finish.

This reminded me of Fear & Trembling with slightly more smoke (now) and a lighter body. I really enjoyed this beer even more then I was expecting, and might have been the surprise of the Harvest Fest for me. Great smoked beer that's very close to a smoked porter. (593 characters)

Photo of jbertsch
4.76/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at prohibition pig in Waterbury.

Looks almost porter like. Very dark brown. Almost black. Light tan colored head is frothy and caps wells.

Aroma wasn't as smokey as I anticipated though I did gett a little. I mostly smelled a mix of roasted malts with a bit of meat and molasses.

Wow. I didn't expect it to taste so beautiful. To be honest I don't pick up on much of the smoke. It's faint for me. I mostly am enamored with the seamless blend of flavor notes that include caramel, coffee, chocolate, vanilla and roasty smoked grains that blend so well together that I can't ask for anything more. Yet none of those flavors overpower each other. Its an all for one kind of palate. So smooooth.

Mouthfeel is sublime. Velvet smooth. Reminds me of founders porter.

Overall I liked this more and more with each sip, and it paired incredibly with the beef brisket I ate. I know Shaun wins big with IPAs and Saisons but this shows he's got other talent up his sleeve. I didn't expect this to be one of my top favorite HF beers but it is. Wow. (1,051 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clearing out my HF notes. On tap at Capone's 1/7/11.

Pours an opaque near black with a thick mocha head. Nice retention fading to a thick collar and with clumps of lacing. Smokey, mild burnt aroma with balance coming from toast and chocolate malt. Thick, chewy body with a dry, ashy finish. Dark chocolate, licorice, roast malt, tobacco and faint dark fruit balance out the intense bbq and smoke of the flavor. Smoke in a glass? yes, but more complexity than typical for this style if you get past the initial "shock". (519 characters)

Photo of deapokid
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank on tap at Capone's on 1-8-11. Reviewed from notes.

My first Hill Farmstead!

This "smoked brown ale" has a black body, no head or lacing and a light, still carbonation. The lack of carbonation and liveliness reminded me of a beer with a much higher ABV, which would have explained the dullness and lack of body.

Aroma is lightly smoked, packing in some dry fruit, fresh firewood and a touch of spicing. It's subtle and complex, which works to its advantage.

Flavor packs a heavy smokiness that one would expect from a well-cooked piece of brisket. Beechwood in the conclusion is rich, acting as a a nice counterpoint to the dry smoke. Bacon, apple and cinnamon also peak out, adding a pleasant spiciness to the raging fire of smoky flavor.

The mouth is a shade thinner than expected, but that allows the bold flavors to be more forceful. Surprisingly, the balance is still there and the flavor profile is varied.

For those seeking a smoky, nutty ale, this is a nice sipping beer for a snowy Winter's day. (1,015 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours brown with a mild white head, no real lace, average head retention.

S: No kidding on the smoked beer aspect. Campfire, wood, an elegant but pungent aroma.

T: Smoke is dominant, but the caramel type malt flavour comes through, making it not as one dimensional as a lot of the smoked beers I've had. Not Schlenkerla, but good.

M: Medium-bodied, heavy smoke with a shaky but good balance of flavours. Long aftertaste.

D: One of the better smoked beers I've had for sure. I've never seen Hill Farmstead in the Southland before; I'll have to be on the lookout for more of their stuff. (618 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Listed on-tap at the Dirty Truth as "Hill Farmstead Smoked Brown." Notes taken last night.

A- Dark brown with a nice creamy tan cap that has good retention. Tons of lace all over the glass.

S- Huge leathery smoked profile with notes of all things smoked, bbq, bacon, etc. Nutty brown malt with some coffee presence to it as well. Grainy hints.

T- Very, very, very smoky (bacon, leather, ash, charcoal) which works nicely in this case over a nutty/toasty malt profile. Caramel, slight roast coffee notes as well. Dark fruit just a bit.

MF- Fairly light body with silky smooth lower end carbonation.

DB- A true smoke bomb and in a very nice way. I could see how people would be turned off by the level of smoke in a beer like this but to me it is great, especially over the toasty malt profile. If you want your fix of BBQ in a glass, find a beer like this. (860 characters)

Photo of orangesol
3.77/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Capone's into a sampler glass.

A - Pours deep, dark, brown with a strong half finger off-white head, dissipating to spotty patches of head, leaving streaks of lacing down the glass.

S - Lots of smokey darkness in this one for sure. A bit of chocolate and dark roasted coffee lend a bit of balance but the smokey ash permeates all aspects of the nose.

T - Lots of smoke up front giving way slowly to a mix of smokey ash and sweet roasty malt. Finish is, you guessed it, plenty of lingering smoke. I think this is what a beer would taste like if I brewed it in my fire pit. Soooo much smoke, if it was a little bit more balanced I think this could be an excellent smoked beer.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Nice soft feel on the pallet is a welcome addition to all that smoke. Finish is quite smokey becoming overpowering over the course of the glass.

D - Pretty good. I like smoked beers but this one was VERY smokey. I think I could still drink a few of these but the aftertaste would definitely get to me over time. (1,061 characters)

Photo of Axic10
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Capone's during their Hill Farmstead event.

Appearance: Brownish black with no head.

Smell: Picking up on this is a very heavy smoky malt flavor, which is enjoyable, mixed with some chocolate and malt notes as well.

Taste: Heavy Smokey flavor at first mixed in with dark chocolate and roasted malt, finishing strong with some more smoke.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: I'm not a huge smoked beer fan, but this was a good take on the style, which along the other Hill Farmstead beers I had was very good. (537 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Capone's.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest trace of lighter color when held to a light source and a 1.5 frothy mocha head. Decent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves streaks and spots of chunky lacing.

Smokey malt aroma with hints of charcoal, BBQ and bacon but the smokey character isn't too intense. There still plenty of chocolate, oatmeal, toffee and burnt toast in the nose.

Chewy medium body with a lot of roasted smokiness up fentanyl that lngers troughout into a long dry finish. Smokier than the aroma suggest with lots of charcoal, butane, BBQ and bacon but there is still a lot of silky chocolate malt as well as some oatmeal, toffee and hazelnut. The smokiness becomes more dominant as it warms but like the other beers ie had frm this brewery it is well balanced and very quaffable. (877 characters)

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

I have to be honest, I don't have a ton of experience with smoked beers, but given that I usually can't stand smoke in anything anymore (a devastating house fire will do that), this is outstanding. Pours a rich brown with an off-white/khaki head from a growler. Smoke is evident in the aroma with some malt.

As a brown ale, it's exceedingly well conceived, and the addition of the smoke works surprisingly well; it's not gimmick, it balances the other flavors well. (466 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (565 characters)

Photo of Neffbeer
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (629 characters)

Photo of 05Harley
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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 :( (1,123 characters)

Photo of kingcrowing
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (927 characters)

Photo of Jdiddy
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at La Laiterie in Providence. Holy, mother of god, Farmstead rocks! As I always knew, Shaun is a master of brewing. Easily, one of the smoothest beers I have ever tasted. The head on this is like molten, smoky foam. Perfect smoke, perfect brown, perfect beer. Nuff said. Exceptional smoked beer. Gives any smoked beer I have had a run for the money. (356 characters)

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the brewery and then again out of a growler a few days later. Once again Shaun has taken one of my favorite styles and created a fantastic interpretation.

This beer is dark brown, borderline black, with a hazy appearance when held to the light. A moderate foam tops my pour. Another of Hill's beers that features a great Brussel's Lace.

Smoke is front and center in the nose. I believe the assistent brewer said the woods used to smoke the malt were beechwood and applewood which were handsmoked by Anders Kissmeyer outside over the course of a day. A sweet maltiness is also present as are distinctive notes of maple, caramel and stone fruits.

Taste is a full-on assault of maple cured bacon. A smoky breakfast beer that was perfect at 11:30 a.m.! There is enough malty sweetness to keep the smoke in check. Bitterness is well in the background and thankfully the malt used wasn't over roasted which can give a smoked beer an ashtray note that is terribly unpleasant.

Mouthfeel was nice with the slight sweetness giving it some viscosity.

Drinkability is high for a smoked beer that has a tinge of residual sweetness.

Overall a great smoked brew that gives Aecht Schelenkerla a run for it's money. (1,226 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hill Farmstead on November 4, 2010. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass. Thanks to Shaun for his incredible generosity for spending a good deal of time with us.

The pour is a moderately-dark brown with a light tan head. A good dose of lacing as the brew goes down my glass. The nose is really nice with a combination of some smoked malt as well as a bit of light malt and bread. The smoke pervades the entirety of the beer, but isn't a complete takeover. A really nice balance of that in the nose, and it lends itself well within the flavor as well. Feel is of a medium body with a nice smoky presence. A really nice beer that I was glad to try.

I thought I'd add this as an American Brown Ale, as I didn't know if it quite rose to the level of a rauchbier. (771 characters)

first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last
Holger Danske from Hill Farmstead Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.