Clara Grisette - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Clara GrisetteClara Grisette

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

584 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 584
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 8.5%
Wants: 93
Gots: 84 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: starrdogg on 08-09-2011

Clara (1906-1969) was our grandfather’s sister; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to her and her 13 siblings. In her honor, this Grisette is crafted from American malted barley, Vermont Organic Wheat, European and American 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 Clara.

Pale Malt, Organic Vermont Wheat, American and European Hops, Ale Yeast, and our Well Water
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 584 | Reviews: 101
Photo of Jonada
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottled 9/2014. 4% ABV. Poured into a wine glass

Appearance: Pours a darker golden yellow color with 1+ finger of a white creamy head that settles to a thin coating. Body is lightly hazy with moderate visible carbonation.

Smell: Lemon, lacto, white grape, pear peppery yeast, wheat.

Taste: Highly tart, mildly sour, with flavors mimicking the aroma. Light funk, apple/pear, earth, pepper, lightly floral with some citrus rind as well.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with medium fine carbonation. Finishes dry and tart. Really refreshing.

Overall: Another great beer from Hill Farmstead. Definitely lighter than most of their other "shelf" saisons, but without sacrificing flavor and complexity.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks!

No batch number.

A: Pours a cloudy apricot orange capped with a finger of off-white head which falls into a thin collar. The back of the glass has nice lace curtains.

S: Lemon zest, dried hay, grass, bread, and white grapes. Quite nice on the nose, though it doesn't have much phenolic (pepper) character.

T: Hill Farmstead produces a lot of saisons, so it's no surprise that the recipes have gotten dialed in. Lemon zest, grass, white grapes, and green apple. The mid-taste evokes grain. The finish is redolent with minerals, earth, and yeast; there's a slight pepper bite, but it vanishes as yeast pulls into the aftertaste.

M: This was less effervescent than some of HF's other saisons, but to much nicer effect. The bubbles are soft and velvety, creating a soothing presence instead of a prickly one. The downside is that the flavor lingers, with a slick, yeasty aftertaste.

O: I suspect this is the kind of beer that gets lost in a big tasting lineup. Open it before other beers, or open it by itself. It's a nice experience.

Photo of cvm4
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled Sept. 2014

L - Pours an opaque golden/amber color and has a one finger eggshell head that dissipates to a ring around the glass.

S - Nice wheat base backed up by some yeast and floral notes. Also, a fruity tartness on the backend.

T - Whoa... Lemon notes in the front and floral notes in the back of the mouth, at the same time. I'm not sure I've experienced that before. Good amount of yeast and hay with some mild acidity.

F - Light bodied and medium carbonation. The carbonation is bubbly and just moves the flavors all around. It has a dry mouthfeel.

O - Rustic, simple but complex and that taste has me coming back.

Photo of Florida9
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

HF Clara
Apricot color. Hazy nice foamy head. Excellent retention. Some light lacing. Aroma is all Saison: yeasty, lemon, pepper and spice, bright with a slight acidity. Taste is nice: bright -and lemony. Very lift body. There seems to be a bit of oaky astringency on the back end, but this is still a pretty damn good Saison. Lighter bodied. Heavier carbonation. Virtually no bitterness. A nice beer from HF.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours golden yellow, fizzy head with light retention.

sour grape and tart apple with a sour mash.

tart up front with a rather light flavor overall. some pale malt and green apple seem to be most apparent.

very light with a rather moderate carbonation. leaves a bit of tingle afterwards.

this is really good for 4%. super easy and refreshing.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing this, Nathan.

Light yellow with a thin, white head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is excellent. Rustic with a grainy character with light lemon, Saaz hops, a little bread and light sugar are all noticeable. The palate opens moderately crisp, moderately yeasty and spicy with white pepper, light grass and hay. Again, a grainy malt character is present. Drying, grassy and with a mild Saaz hop character on the finish that lingers wonderfully, this is excellent.

Photo of Chico1985
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12/3/14 - Updated from a 3.75 'Had' rating. Have tried this a few times now and picked up two bottles of the 9-2014 batch. Split this particular one 3 ways.

A - Nice glowing orange with some haze to it. White head retains pretty well, a spotty cap/thick ring/some lace is left.

S - Light citrusy tartness, definite oats, lemon lime, light brett, lots of yeast, farm.

T - Brett opens up nicely here bringing on some nice lemon, grapefruit, general tart citrus goodness, farminess. Light tartness, a big yeast profile, almost chalky, some pepper spice, tangy wheat, oats.

M - Impressive body and flavor for 4%, kinda chalky, medium carbonation, very drinkable.

O - Great brett/light tartness without sacrificing drinkability or a nice straight-up light saison base. For the ABV this is a pretty remarkable beer. This one goes a bit underrated in my eyes. Easy-going and would make a great summer beer. It's been great revisiting this and HF's George recently - two 3.75s I now shake my head at.

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Matt. This saison is slightly sweeter than the others I've had from Hill Farmstead, still quite a nice little saison.

Beer is yellowish, hazy with a soft white head, good lacing, decent retention, and moderate carbonation.

Aroma is bready, sweet, yeasty.

Beer is light in body with a strong malt backbone presence to the whole thing. It is easy drinking with a nice floral palate, minimal hops, almost no bitterness. Easy drinking and a nice palate cleansing beer.

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

Pours a golden yellow color similar to most of the HF saisons.

Smells of interesting malt character, maybe rye or oat, some bready and floral notes. Maybe some slightly tart citrus test, but really as with several of the other HF beers I don't get the tartness in the nose, just in the taste.

Taste has the same rye/oat malt profile, more citrus zest and some tartness but not much acidity, flowers again.

Another really solid saison from HF.

8.0/10

Photo of cbutova
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Poured from the 750ml into a Hill Farmstead tulip. The brew pours with a light golden body that has substantial yeast haze to it. Massive white head starts forming immediately with a texture between creamy and foamy. Retention is very nice and the huge head falls to a thick ring. Thick patches of lace all down the glass.

S- Right of the bat a prominent lemon tartness I didn't expect above a nice funky farmhouse Saison yeast. Herbal and spicy with notes of lemongrass, wheat crust, citrus zest, yeast bread and grapes, like white wine.

T- Somewhere between dry white wine, Saison and Berliner for me. A certain white grape fruit aspect blended in nicely with the spicy and zesty Saison yeast. Tartness is pretty high for the style which is why I mentioned Berliner Weiss. Flavors of lemon peel, wheat bread, lactic acid, grapes, herbs and barnyard grassiness. Fairly funky.

MF- Light bodied and dry with a tartness throughout. Spritzy moderate-high carbonation in a beer that feels foamy overall.

Super flavorful with Saison, wine and Berliner attributes all coming together in a good farmhouse ale. Tartness is pretty high for the style but complimentary to the funky and wine grape flavors I get.

Photo of PerHops
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Starts out lively with a nice 1 inch head that settles at a moderate pace. The color is perfection for a saison; a brilliant golden orange with lots of lacing on the glass.

S- Definitely some funk especially when first opened. A little one dimensional at first, but as it warms up it reveals plenty of depth. Citrus and spice and grassiness meld nicely with the musty funk presumably from the yeast.

T- Definitely funkier and more tart than I anticipated. Reminds me a lot of a berliner weiss but with more complexity and a little less sour. The yeast shows up beautifully here and the spice is just barely noticeable. It also has just a touch of smoke on the finish.

M- Has quite a bit more carbonation than evident from the appearance. It almost borders on too much carbonation, but it works for the style.

O- This beer was a fantastic saison, or grisette if that is a category. I am more than impressed and enjoyed it even more than the arthur I tried recently. Yet another great beer from hill farmstead.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by starrdogg. Thanks Matt.

The beer is hazy yellow with a white head that leaves some good lacing on the snifter. Really nice aroma. Nice floral presence, yeast, light hops. Lacking the citrus presence found in most of the Fantôme brews we sampled that night. Easy to drink. Light in body. Lingering floral and hop notes in the finish. Overall, I found this quite enjoyable. Yet another solid beer from Hill Farmstead.

Photo of jeonseh
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Hazy yellow with slight golden body and a milky white head.

S - Honey up front with light tartness

T - Tart with lactic acid, lemon, lemon zest, slight grassy body to it. Light lemon and honey on the back end.

MF - Medium body with a good tingle and tart presence to it. Leaves a light dry finish on it.

O - Really good Saison with a good tart and sour presence to it.

Photo of MasterSki
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ChrisPro for sharing this one. Served in a Bruery tulip.

A - A finger-plus of foam settles to a thin cap and thicker collar - excellent retention and attractive lacing. Hazy peach flesh body.

S - Lemon, farmhouse yeast, light lactic character, a bit of milled grain, and a touch of sharp wheat. Tons of flavor for 4%.

T - Lots of flavor for the ABV as well. Some nice bready malts, hint of yeast spice, a bit of citrus zest, minimal sweetness,

M - Surprisingly hefty body for 4%. Chewy and smooth texture, pleasant medium carbonation, and a nice clean finish.

D - Great low-alcohol beer. Would like to have this one again, as it makes a great session option, packing a ton of flavor and sufficiently hefty body into an easy-to-drink package. More Grisettes please!

Photo of Resuin
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a stemmed HF glass. This was bottled in June 2013 which is anywhere from 1 to 2 months ago, depending on the day.

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber, gold and leaves two fingers of white, fluffy head which lingers for a little while before slowly fading to a white layer, leaving some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lemon, citrus rinds, peppercorn, light grassy funk. Nice light & refreshing aroma.

Taste: Lemon, mild grassy funk (not overwhelming but more than in the aroma), some mild sour, especially lemon. Pepper, bread, dry finish.

Mouth-feel: High carbonation with a medium, spritzy, yet slightly creamy body. Dry finish, yet fairly smooth.

Overall: Quality refreshing, grassy saison. More notes of lemon than many other saisons I have had, but the flavors are nice, balanced and light. Funk is pretty light. Pretty high carbonation as well which is interesting, and I think makes it more refreshing.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, fall '12
Hill Farmstead wine glass

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color. Finger and a half of fluffy bright white head. Good carbonation flowing from bottom of glass. Some lacing is left as it recedes.

S: Some funk. Barnyard. Wet hay. White grape. Green Apple. Spice, pepper.

T: On the front of the tongue, you get that traditional Saison pepper spiciness. That pronounced yeast strange really shows. I guess predominantly I get flavors of white grape and that slightly tart green apple hint. Maybe some grassy grainy hints as it get further on the palate. Finish is dry. White wine like. Love the low ABV here. Refreshing little Saison without the guilt.

M: Light leading into medium.

Photo of MDDMD
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-golden to slightly orange color with a nice white head and some lacing

S-wheat, yeast, hint of tartness,floral, hint of lemon

T-wheat, lemon, floral,yeast, nice tartness, hint of herbal

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp, slightly astringent

O-nice rustic farmhouse ale, good flavors

Photo of rodkin
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear amber-orange with a 2-3 finger head, big and fluffy. Reduces slowly with nice lacing.

Smell is big yeast, earthiness, slight spice, followed by a sweet fruity brightness - citrus and apple, maybe peach.

I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't that. Slight breadiness, berliner-style tartness, citrus, wheat and grain, finishes with a grassy, earthy flavor and some peppery spice. Quite a bit tarter than I was expecting, and very flavorful - especially for the ABV.

Mouthfeel is light, dry, heavily carbonated.

This beer is very sessionable. One of the best saisons I've had.

Photo of andrewinski1
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. There is a giant uncontrollable head on this beer atop a light golden clear colored body.

The aroma is full of sweet honey malt with some peppery spice.

The taste is very dry and crisp. There is a lot of pepper flavor and it's full of earthy spice.

This is light and strikes a good balance between being creamy and sparkling.

This is delicious. It's light and very drinkable with lots of flavor.

Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to TheLostGringo for sending this one my way - always excited to get Hill Farmstead stuff. Clara pours out like liquid gold - bright and beaming and completely solidified in terms of color; we are at 100% opacity. A slushy, white head builds up nicely, then breaks down and recedes almost as quick, leaving only a few spots of wet webbing on the side of the glass.

Hmmm... smells like a farm. A beautiful farm. Grassy notes, heavy must, lemon-lime zest, a mild citrus spritz and a moderate amount of lightly cheesy, barnyard funk. Yeasty, clumpy, with just a touch of spices and a faint tartness that brings everything together. Very masterful and refined on the nose - it just smells so refreshing, dry, and "well made".

There's a nice, slightly biting tartness that nips the tip of the tongue with each sip accompandied by a light basket of lemon zest and citrus flesh. The hops quickly come marching in; grassy, leafy, and one shade shy of floral. I haven't even swallowed the first sip yet, but I can already tell that this beer is a major rejuvenation and could easily be substituted as a thirst quencher.

A good bit of funk settles in mid-palate and lasts through the finish. Musty wood, light cheesecloth, and dust spread across an old, damp barnyard floor. The finish contains a good amount of that funk along with a lemon and apple skin, fruity reprieve. Tight, tight carbonation. Tight like a motherfuckin' tiger, snapping your tongue and whipping it into shape. Bold bodied for only 4% ABV, yet still relatively thin on the grand scale.

Wow, what a delicious beer. It would be so much dreamier in 12 oz bottles sold as six packs. This would be a definitely summer rotater. But alas! We must trade away our goods for a single 750 mL sized bottle. I'm not complaining too much, though, as I was generously hooked up and this beer would be worth it anyway. I was lovin' it hard. Refreshing, crisp, tasty, with insane, off the charts drinkability levels.

Photo of Satchboogie
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2L growler poured into a wine glass (from notes):

A: Pours pale yellow/straw, hazy, less than a finger of bubbly white head. Leaves just a little lacing.

S: Light floral/spicy hops with a little lemon, lots of toasted malts/biscuit, some funk.

T: What else would I expect from HFS. A lovely balance of light hop character, same as the nose, with a ton of malt character. The malt base isn't big nor thick, but as always with HFS, it has a ton of flavor. Layers and layers of grains (biscuit, buckwheat?, toasted malts, etc). I really don't know how he does it! Slight funk and tartness in the middle. Finish is clean with just a tiny bit of bitterness.

M: Light body and slightly high carbonation. Smooth and crisp.

O: Another fantastic beer from Shaun. This might be the most flavorful 4% beer I've ever had. Keep up the good work!

Photo of mikem0487
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750mL Bottle bottled on 6/2013

A-Poured a robust golden straw color. The body is on the hazy side. A very thin white head was poured and receded back into the body. The lacing of the beer is there but minimal and stays on the glass.

S-Aroma is full of citrus zest of lemon and lime. The yeast gives off a pepper smell and the malt is perceived as freshly baked bread crust. There is a funkiness to this beer that melds well with the rest of the aroma.

T-That funkiness found in the nose is more profound in the taste. Yeast driven the taste is with a rounded citrus/acidic taste full of esters. The wheat and pale malt give a nice back bone to the yeast forwardness and the hops though subtle, help to keep it a nice rounded enjoyable beer.

M-Definition of a saison. More on the thin side for the mouth feel with a dry finish. Nicely carbonated.

O-A very enjoyable saison. The funkiness threw me off at first because I was not expecting any brett characteristics. Still highly enjoyable and love the drinkability with the low abv. Perfect for a 90 plus degree night here in southeast PA.

Photo of dirtylou
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, split

Nice low ABV offering to start off a session on a very hot Seattle afternoon - lovely peach color and strongly carbonated. Nice notes of grassy, hay, lemon, light yeasty tartness, a touch of rye, oak. This was good and receives considerably less fanfare than many other HF beers - don't believe the anti-hype.

Photo of Treyliff
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, poured into a snifter

A- pours a murky bright golden-yellow color with a creamy white head that retains nicely, leaving some lacing behind

S- earthy and funky with some dried hay and must, lemon peel and coriander

T- tart up front with notes of earth and hay, followed by tart lemon peel, peppery spice, floral hop and yeasty dry finish

M- light body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a dry, crisp finish

O- very enjoyable saison that's loaded with flavor at under 5% ABV

Photo of joe1510
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml

Big thanks to Ryan for sending me this packed into yet another stellar box o' beer! Clara is a bright golden libation with orange hues when the light is right. A good deal of haze makes the body tough to see through but does amplify the glow. The head is easy to produce, even on a soft pour I get a thick cap of silky white foam that leaves patchwork lacing on its way down.

Wow, musty wheat leaps from the glass as I pour. Wheat steals the show but there's a good amount of lesser components. An earthy, hard water element makes itself known shortly after the wheat. The yeast and hop blend add perfume driven depth, floral and modest. A solid squeeze of lemon brightens it all up. There's a little must, a little wildflower, a touch of the wild as a whole, but it's perfectly balanced. Impressive, very impressive!

The flavor profile is bright and quenching. Wheat melds perfectly with barley for a seamless concoction. It's fresh and straight from the farm. Floral qualities flash through at the back of the throat while lemon runs throughout, a touch of acidity livens it up. Phil Harmstead's yeast add, again, some of that wild; hard water, wildflowers, fresh cut hay. This is a damn good beer.

You're met with, appropriately, a lively, bubbly mouthfeel to keep the light body moving at a respectable pace. It's light and airy, thirst quenching and dry. The finish even leaves a soft bitterness in its wake accentuated by that dryness. They nailed the mouthfeel on this beer, near perfect for the style.

Of all the good to great Hill Farmstead farmhouse beers out there floating around this is up at or near the top of my favorites. It's rustic and bright, complex yet easy drinking, and a joy to partake on every level. This is a beer worth buying as much as possible. Thanks again, Ryan!

Clara Grisette from Hill Farmstead Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 584 ratings.