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Biere De Norma - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Biere De NormaBiere De Norma

Educational use only; do not reuse.

58 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 58
Hads: 553
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 7.85%
Wants: 364
Gots: 101 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 01-12-2012

Brewed on the day of my grandmother’s passing (Norma), this is an inspired Biere de Mars fermented entirely in oak and soured with our house spontaneous culture.

Norma (1939 - 2011) was my maternal grandmother, my Guardian Angel, and the woman that nourished the laughter and innocence of my youth. In her honor, we craft this Bière de Mars each February and condition it in oak barrels with our resident microflora, allowing it to develop indefinitely until it is ready for release. We realize the influence of those closest to us only after having left their presence. At Hill Farmstead, our spirit is forever defined by Norma and the memory of our loved ones.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 58 | Hads: 553
Reviews by mjohnson17:
Photo of mjohnson17
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of rhong187
2.82/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

murky, reminds me of creek water, smells a bit sweet, probably its best attribute... Sweetness and oak up front, but not much of anything else. I'd like to call it one dimensional, but not sure what dimension that might be. Love HF, but this one was quite disappointing.

 272 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with thick red wax. Vintage 2013

Split 3 ways with my local beer crew into 3 HF Wine Stems.

Appearance: Orangish and murky crimson colored body maybe a copper hue as well. Thick cap of white head that drops to a thin cap.

Smell: Very wine barrel forward. Mild funk that is familiar to me as Hill Farmstead funkiness. Fruity and oaky. Slightly briney and minerally.

Taste: boarders between mild and moderate tart/tanginess. Tannic wet oak, vinous red wine, combine with subtlely sweet malt profile. Earthy and mustiness about the beer. Fruity and the minerals flavors also come through. As this beer gets warmer a musty funk becomes slightly cheezey or yogerty like some lactobacillus was involved in the brewing process.

Mouthfeel: medium boided beer with low carbonation. Just the right amount of driness in the beer to drive home the wine barrel character in this beer is a most pleasant way. Drinks pretty well.

Overall: I have only tried a handful of beers from the Beire de Garde family of beer styles. Aging this style in a wine barrel is a great idea. It compliments the beer style very nicely. This is the best that I have had out of all the Biere De Garde beers so far! Again another beer that is excuted so well by S. Hill.

 1,254 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: 2014 vintage. Bottled 01/2015. 750ml brown glass. Maroon wax-ed over pry off cap.

Expectations are relatively high; I've enjoyed the few beers I've had from this brewery, but I'm not big on biere de Mars as a style.

Served cold into a tulip and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as a biere de garde per the label.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

7% ABV.

HEAD: ~.25 inches. Recedes almost immediately, lingering as a floater ring for a scant 20 seconds. It was white, but I had no time to note any other characteristics. Leaves no lacing.

BODY: Translucent copper. Nontransparent. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible. Average vibrance.

Appears aptly carbonated. It's a nice looking biere de Mars, but isn't unique or special.

AROMA: Brettanomyces funkiness. Muted dampened oak. I'm not getting as much farmhouse character as I anticipated; there's no straw or hay. Some green apple. Other fruit too - maybe some depleted plum? Seems a biteen on the sweeter side for a biere de Mars. I do find the honey when I look for it, but it's not prominent. Mild clove. Hop presence is minimal, bringing complementary floral hop character into the mix.

Aromatic intensity is average.

I find no booze or off-notes.

Suggests a well-balanced but middling brew.

TASTE: A kiss of sourness - maybe a 2/10 in terms of intensity. Green apple makes an appearance, but it isn't an off-note. Copper malts, grassiness, Belgian pale malts. The honey is subtle and nicely integrated, but does drive the sweetness up. Still, the bitterness/sweetness balance is well handled. Has a European hop profile with complementary grassy and floral hop notes. Some dried lime. Lacks a spice profile or a guiding yeast presence. Cohesive, definitely. Musty throughout. A biteen tannic, even.

It's not gestalt, nor is particularly deep or expressive. I do like it, and the yeasty funkiness is nice, but this isn't a world-class example of the style.

Average duration and intensity of flavour.

The oak needs to be played up; it's muted and reticent. This is nicely built overall, but leaves much to be desired in terms of intricacy and layering of flavour. There's some nice subtlety and nuance to the flavours (especially the honey), but as a whole it's just not more than the sum of its parts.

TEXTURE: Oddly dry, parching the palate somewhat and restraining its ability to refresh. Medium-bodied, lightly smacky on the palate, and smooth. Adequately thick and weighty on the palate. Carbonation is about right, but not perfect. Has a pleasingly crisp finish.

Could be softer. That dryness needs to be curbed.

There's no harmony of texture to taste, but this mouthfeel does a decent job at complementing the flavour profile. Doesn't help accentuate any specific notes.

OVERALL: Drinkable, absolutely. Hides its ABV well. It's not a mind-blowing brew, and doesn't live up to its impeccable reputation, but it's nice work, sure. I wouldn't go out of my way to nab a second bottle. Glad I got to try it.

High B- (3.49)

 3,051 characters

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of lateralundertow
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of joel66
4.61/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into one of my HF tulip glasses

Deep amber color with a white fluffy pillow head. Very nice retention, little to no lacing.

Nose was oak barrel, raisin, prune and funk

Flavor was extremely complex yet well balanced between sweet and tart. Oak barrel aging really brought out the complexity of fine red wine. Reminded me of coterone only with more funk.. slight sweetness from red grapes, almost fig like. As it came to room temperature the tartness became sharper and imo, even better if that is possible.

Mouthfeel was light and refreshing.

Overall I would rank this second only to juicy in the HF lineup.

 625 characters

Photo of MaybeSoMaybeNot
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of bierdabbler
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Prospero
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of deebo
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of lawsonciv
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Batch 3 is miles ahead of batch 2.

34 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, baconsausage!

Dark orange or a glowing, light ruby in color. Nearly clear, though some faint sediment visible throughout. Pillowy near-white head. Irregular dots of stick left down the glass.

Tart fruit, musk and dust, a little bit of farmhouse funk, and oak combine quite nicely. A bit of a yogurt character, red grape, and dried cherry character as well.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, with the farmhouse funk, dried grass, red grapes, and sun-dried cherry flavors leading the way. A bit of a muted citrus character as well. Some simple grain and bread notes, but tasty and complementary.

Medium mouthfeel with high, but creamy, carbonation. Disappearing.

Excellent departure from the style. Unique, flavorful, and delicious.

 779 characters

Photo of DaSolomon
4.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened up in a nice mini tasting with thezoobrew!

A: Nice deep amber color, with a solid inch of head.

S: Sweet, fruit funk, oaky and bretts full notes that danced on the nose

T: wow this was so smooth and easy to drink, sour and tart were very balances, with figs, red wine, oakiness, vanilla notes all coming through, very well balanced

M: perfect carbonation levels, very nice mouthfeel easily can drink this all day

O: another hit by HF, the hype behind this is not a let down, would like to see how age affects this.

 526 characters

Photo of sourdog
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of cmw2987
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of doremite
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of williamjbauer
4.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jtladner
4/5  rDev -7.6%

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Biere De Norma from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.