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Civil Disobedience #4 | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Civil Disobedience #4Civil Disobedience #4

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A blended black farmstead™. A blend of 5 beers from four select oak barrels.

Added by yourefragile on 05-27-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 179
Photo of cfrances33
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead stem.

Pour: Deep, deep brown, almost black. Brown edges on the glass. Nice three finger tan head that hangs around for a while, and leaves really nice lacing.

Smell: Kinda light on the nose. I get some tart pears and musty red grape skin up front, followed by a light roast. Some funk. A light brett yeastiness on the end.

Taste: Wow. Beautiful tannic red grape skin up front, accompanied by a very nice funky tartness. A nice bretty funk next. More clean tartness, characterized by pears. Finishes with a lemon zest, and a really nice roasted malt. Amazing that this is a black saison, because while it has a deep roasted character, the saison and barrel qualities own the taste.

Mouthfeel: Beautiful carbonation, and with the tartness provides a nice prickle on the tongue. Super drinkable and light, despite the malt bill. Refreshing, astonishingly.

Overall: In my opinion, this beer redefines black saisons. Roasty yet light. The wine barrel character really takes this beer to another level.

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Photo of abuliarose
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Hill Farmstead glass revealing a finger or two of tan head over dark brown body. Caramel and smoke on the nose along with a bit of lemony funk and a stone fruit floral essence. Taste is slightly tart and evocative of grilled unripe plum with some smoke and woodiness on the finish. Earthy underneath. Lively carb on the tongue, medium-bodied. Overall very refreshing and deliciously complex.

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Photo of Luk13
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 750ml. Pours a beautiful black with reddish highlights and a huge rocky beige foam. Aroma is brettamonyces, balsamic vinegar and sesame oil with light roasted malt. Taste is dark and ripe fruits with a nice lactic and slightly acetic sourness. Vinegary notes blends nicely with the ripe fruits and bugs. Very light roastiness adds another layer of complexity. Lively carbonation and light bodied. I've had this one many times now (6-7 times) from fresh to aged and this is definitly a prime example of its style and a personal favorite. A masterpiece considering how hard it is to craft succesfully a dark sour ale. 4.5+

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Photo of Skrip
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Noda snifter

A~ dark hazy brown with a head that keeps on giving all the way down.

S~ as soon as i opened the bottle i got a strong peppery, sour aroma. tart, pepper, citrus, and lots of oak. almost like really good smoked bbq.

T~ oh it just keeps getting better! lots of tartness up front followed by smokey roasted malts and tart citrus and pepper on the finish. theres a Twilight of the Idols thing going on as well. soooo damn tasty!

M~ nicely carbonated and oh so smooth.

O~ i really didn't know what to expect from this one, having never had any CD before. this is just fantastic. the perfect amount of tartness balanced out by roasted malts, how could you go wrong!? i've always been in love with darker sours. i'm so happy i have half a bottle left! =]

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

The beer is opaque, a deep, dark shade of chestnut brown. The head is over an inch thick, receding quickly and settling in at around a half inch. Copious lacing all over the vessel.

The aroma is funky, earthy. Notes of wine are evident from the start. Tart fruit, perhaps currants.

Great flavor. Everything comes together beautifully. Delicious. What a complex and fantastic beer. Lots of tartness and wine barrel notes. Dark fruit character.

Medium bodied and smooth. Lingering sour, lactic, tart feel on the palate.

Overall, yet another fantastic brew from Shaun and the folks at Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, shared at a tasting. Huge thanks to Patrick for sending this one my way.

A: Clear russet body under an inch of creamy, pillowy tan head. Spectacular retention and lacing. Flawless.

S: Predominantly bretty, with earth, hay, and barnyard. Some vinous fruitiness and faint roast round things out. Very good indeed.

T: Tart fruit up front (grape, cherry, apple), funky brett midway through, and vinous oak on the finish. As it warms, the chocolate notes from the malt come through. Long, tart, dry finish. Terrific.

M: Soft, delicate body with lots of creamy carbonation. Terrific.

O: I've never been a big fan of dark Saisons in the past, but this one was truly excellent.


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Photo of Gosox8787
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750 mL bottle opened by myself. I got this at the release a month or so back. Served chilled and poured into my Kate the Great tulip.

Appearance: Apparently chilling this so thoroughly worked well as I got zero gush (as can be the case with some HF beers I have found). Not quite black, more like dark brown. Pours a substantial three finger head that holds very well. Extremely light and cloudy.

Aroma: Some coffee and char upfront, but really nice fruit, green apple and tart lemon in particular, breaks up the monotony nicely. There is definitely an oak component in here as well. Some earthy and funky tones really balance this out well.

Taste: The dark malt notes hot first, but the sour kick of green apple and lemon really brighten this up quickly. Plenty of oak tannins throughout. The earthy quality from the yeast really brings this together. This is definitely a Hill Farmstead saison. The balance of sour and funk really reminds me of a lot of Shaun's other beers.

Mouthfeel: Light, full carbonated and smooth. Very refreshing.

Overall, black saisons can be hit or miss with me, but this one is probably my favorite of that style. Great balance of the dark malt and saison yeast plus really nice oak notes. Incrediby balanced and really refreshing. This was a really pleasant surprise. I could drink this all day and not get sick of it.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 9.1.12.
Bottled May 2012

A - Pours a dark coffee brown with a huge light brown, foamy head that lasts forever.

S - Sweet woody, maple, brown sugar, subtle floral notes.

T - Sweetness, then some tart wood, Belgian spice finish. Multi-layered.

D - Great carbonation with a lighter body. A nice tart and spicy finish.

O - This one hits you in stages, very good and multi-dimensional.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to Joeybones3, shared this with the local crew on 8/8.

a - poured brown with a thin foamy head ans streaky lacing that slid down the glass.

s - oak, some sour cherry. smells really nice.

t - sour, saison, black malts. oak. some earthiness in the background. sour cherries with a hint of chocolate.

m - pretty smooth. even balanced tart. finishes off nicely.

o - overall, wonderful sour dark saison. some saison qualities, but mostly black malts soured.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Black in the glass, deep ruby when pouring, three finger off white head that leaves some lacing.

S-Dark fruits, cherries, plums, oak and some funk.

T-Starts with roasted malt and darker fruits. Good deal of oak and nice funk as well. All balanced together very well.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation and rather creamy.

O-Another knock out from HF. Amazing balance, a great dark saison.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to David for this bottle. Poured in to HF stemmed tulip glass.

A - Dark black; completely opaque. Two fingers of fluffy light brown head that receded to one finger. Good lacing.

S - Big oak aroma up front with some lighter sour notes present. A pretty prominent vinous fruit aroma is present as well along with some Belgian yeast, roast and hints of chocolate. A complex aroma.

T - A big burst of oak up front that immediately gives way to a big roast profile and hints of semi-sweet chocolate and some lighter coffee notes. A good tartness is present throughout along with a fairly bold vinous fruit profile with a slight sourness at times. The various components of this beer come together very well. Complex.

M - Medium body, somewhat silky. Moderate carbonation.

O - The only complaint I have is that the saison flavors weren't really evident. That said, the flavours that were present were exceptional.

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Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Shaun for this one.

Pours a light creamy head covering, slight hazy dark murky brown colored beer with decent lacing.

Nose has a nice creamy dark malt aroma, hint of lactose like with bits of chocolate and caramel. Light dark saison malts underneath with saison spices as well, lots of vanilla oak, light lactic sour and hint of wild funk.

Taste starts with light bitterness the quickly turns to malts. A hitn of a metallic twing, light vanilla oak and creamy brown malts, lots of tartness with light lacto and other funk, hint of chocolate like porter malt, light tart berry flavor too, long tart berry fruit profile that lingers a while, and some fluffy malt to round it off. Finish is a bit drier, long lingering tart berry flavor, hint of dark saison spices and dark malts, and just a bit of funk.

Mouth is fluffy, good carbonation, med to fuller bodied.

Overall awesome! Great malts, saison flavors, dark malts, tart berry, and nice funk. A well made beer with lots of good flavors and still very drinkable. Wonder how it will age.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is aka "Look at me, I'm an idiot reviewing a beer on draft and from a bottle". As long as you let me BA, as long as you let me... 750 mL bottle shared with Dyan.

Pours a clearish dark brown, muddy mahogany with a large, retentive light tan head. Thick streaks of bubbly lace cascade down my HF wine glass. Similar to Jimmy, this has a complex nose that is pulled in seemingly divergent and incompatible directions: lemon, oak, vanilla, dark fruit, Belgian yeast, citrus rind, plum and apple all mingle in each whiff. Body is medium thin with moderate carbonation, thin throughout, with a dry oaky finish. The bottle has a much more prevalent fruity presence than I recall from draft samples. Cherry, honey and red grape hit the front of the palate before the oak and barrel dry out the finish which still has a residual vanilla like sweetness. Darn, this is a complex and distinct dark saison that will be interesting to age.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Hill Farmstead tulip glass. Beer is slightly over carbonated but very good overall. Beer is black with a tight brown head of small and tiny bubbles that has great retention, rests as a cap on the beer the entire time I'm drinking it. Carbonation is steady and high, head forms quickly and leaves some stiff peaks that persist. Looks great.

Aroma is a little sour, mild roast, mild lactic / succinic acid. It smells a little like a watered down consecration with some roast, I like it.

Beer is medium to light in body, the carbonation thins out the palate considerably and tartness is present in the back half of the palate. It is a little sour, a little acetic perhaps, not quite, lactic, oakiness, tannic finish with a mild roast, the palate drops off a lot at the end but the finish is nice, leaving the mouth clean and clear. I'd definitely have this again. I wish I could get more Hill Farmstead in general.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beer pours a very dark brown/nearly black with a fluffy off-white head. The nose on this beer is incredibly interesting and unique - it's tart and vinous at first, but underneath is a bit of roastiness and even a little bit of smoke. The flavor follows the nose, but the elements don't come together quite as well as I hoped, but this is still a damn tasty and unique beer. It's tart with notes of oak red wine up front, but the finish is chocolatey with a nice amount of roast. It almost tastes like two different beers, and I wish the two distinct aspects of it blended together a little bit better. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with pretty significant carbonation. I honestly can't say I've had another beer quite like this - I've had sour stouts, but this one is different. It's not incredibly sour, nor is it super roasty, but it has elements of both and brings them together in a way I've never experienced before.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Michael. Served in Hill Farmstead stemware. Pours a fairly-dark brown with a moderate tan head. Needs a bit of time. A bit too much oak. Light acidity. Dark fruit. Some currant. Slightly tannic. Touch of roast. Will have to revisit in a few months.

EDIT: December 16,2012. Doing much better now with dark fruits, some grape, and a light acidity to backup the dark saison. Highly enjoyable.

Original scores: 4/3.5/3.5/4/4

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Photo of rudzud
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the hill farmstead release for civil disobedience 4 and Jimmy. Poured into my hill farmstead tulip.

A - poured a dark brown hue with a two finger fluffy mocha head that leaves sticky side lacing and a very nice blanket.

S - Aromas of funk and sour vinuos barrel ans possibly some light char.

T - Taste is slightly funky with alot of sour funky barrel notes. Nice and vinegary with good grapeskin

M - Mouthfeel was solid with good funk and light chocolate very tart and nice.

O - Overall this beer was pretty tasty. Nice chocolates and funk here. Delicious.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you, Michael.

A very dark brown with reddish highlights, a dense, brown head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this is a nice looking beer. The nose is great! Fruity (plums, raisins, currants), red wine, a nice roast, moderate saison funk and a nice yeast character. Moderate oak presence, lending some vanilla notes as well. Adding the yeast lends a cheesy component to the nose. Most excellent.

The palate opens roasty, mildly lactic, fruity and vinous. This is surprisingly well integrated, with a nice lemony and lactic sourness. Currants and dark fruits are present, and are livened up by the base saison. Medium-light in body and moderately carbonated, this feels quite nice on the palate. Drying on the finish with vanilla, oak and roast with just enough of the saison pepperiness, this is fantastic stuff. Highly recommended.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into some Hill Farmstead stemware. A finger’s worth of lightly-tan head rests on top of a murky dark brown body. Nice lacing on the glass. Black currants, cocoa and a hint of smoke on the nose. Earthy oak notes in the background with a touch of soured grape. The flavor is a nice continuation of the nose and brings out some soured cabernet notes and grassy earthiness. The body is smooth, almost creamy, with appropriate carbonation and a refreshing level of sourness throughout. Overall, an excellent black saison. Slightly reminiscent of Russian River’s Consecration.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle purchased in person at the release. Poured into HF tulip. Split with one other person.

A- Can see some of it start to very slowly gush from the bottle before being poured, no where near as bad as the first bottle we opened about a month ago. Pours a hazy slightly reddish brown that at the beginning of the bottle looks more black. About two fingers of mocha caramel fluffy head that slowly recedes and leaves thick layered lacing coating the glass. Plenty of carbonation, can see lots of tiny bubbles rising along the sides of the glass.

S- Light sulfuric sour funk, light dark chocolate, some very light roasted malts hidden in the background, some tart dark citrus fruits. Not too much sour/tart funk going on, but definitely a little bit more then I'm used to in black saisons.

T- Light sulfuric funk mixed with tart citrus fruits and a little bit of light chocolate + roasted malts on the finish followed by more tart citrus that lingers on the palate for a while. A little bit of oak that smooths all the flavors out. More oak and chocolate come out as it warms up. Everything is very well balanced and quite tasty.

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation, very easy to drink at a surprising 8% abv.

O- This was yet another great beer from Hill Farmstead. This is at least my 4th time having this beer (twice on draft, twice from the bottle) and each time I like it more and more. At 8% the abv is very well hidde. All of the flavors are very well balanced without too much chocolate or sourness coming out. I had the Sour Black from Weyerbacher last night, while I would say I enjoyed that one I would definitely take this one. I haven't had too many black saisons, but I'd have to say this one is my favorite so far.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split, into a tall wide flute

A: Pours a very dark amber, almost pitch black. Two fingers of dense, long lasting head.

S: Lots of citrus and funk in the aroma, I smell sweet caramel and roasted malts behind the citrus and funk. The two main aromas mix well together.

T: The first thing I get out of the flavor is smokey sweetness. I get caramel and molasses sweetness that is accompanied by citrus. I get funk, light lactic acidity, and a fruity acidity that adds a lot to the flavor. The dark fruit sweetness and acidity remind me of a plum.

M: Light mouthfeel with strong carbonation - appropriate for the style.

O: Great beer - obviously an odd beer with a sweetness and acidity that play well off each other. The smokiness also adds a complexity not typical for the style. I rarely like a dark Saison, but this is great.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, AdamJackson!

A very, very dark ruby body, but dark brown, and nearly black in the glass with a small dark brown head. Clinging dots of stick left down the glass. A very pretty beer, as are most Hill Farmsteads.

An interesting aroma with lots of elements combining fairly nicely: mild roast, some citrus, lots of oak and wine, some smoke, and some mild chocolate. Interesting, though there seems to be just a little too much going on.

The flavor is similar to the aroma: a black saison (roast, earth, mild citrus, yeast), combine nicely with oak, tannin, and wine characteristics. Interesting and certainly good, but not mind-blowing.

Medium bodied with creamy, moderate carbonation. Very well crafted.

An interesting saison experiment, but I'm glad I split the bottle with a couple friends. I couldn't drink a ton of this.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sean for sharing this offering. Served in a Bell's tulip.

A - A finger of tan foam lingers before slowly settling to a solid cap and splotchy lacing. Very dark brown body.

S - Very interesting blend of flavors here - vinous oak, mildly tart fruits, a touch of sulfuric funk, citrus hops, and a bit of smoke and roasted malt.

T - The taste is similar, but with a heavier emphasis on the smoke and roasted malt character - almost a touch a ham. Finishes with vinous acidity, lactic sourness, and dry oak. The smokey and sour combination is a pretty unusual one.

M - Medium-bodied with a juicy texture and a touch of grit. Finishes dry and tannic, with extremely well-hidden alcohol. Pleasant carbonation.

D - I enjoyed this beer a fair bit, but I imagine it will be polarizing - our tasting group was pretty evenly split. Much better than #2, but a bit worse than #1 & #3. I'd be interested to see which flavors 'win' with some additional aging. Not a beer that you'd want to drink in large quantities though.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to cmrillo for sharing this one during the One Year Anniversary of My Wreck Tasting! Served from bottle into a Crooked Stave ‘Crooked Line’ tulip. Poured dark brown with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, spice, earth, brett, and funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, spice, earth, funk, and fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I had heard good things about this brew, but never thought I would get the chance to try it. Really glad it showed up for this special tasting! This one really had quite a bit going on in it throughout each sniff and sip. A lot of it overlapped which is always welcomed, but I just wish that one or the other would have taken it to the next level as with some of the other HF brews I’ve had. This is a definite must try if you get the chance and I would definitely love to try it again in the future.

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Photo of Verecund
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012. 750ml opened on July 29, 2012.

Slow gusher. CD4 pours dark brown, with faint burgundy hues on the edge of the glass when held up to the light. It yields four to five fingers of lightly tanned head. A little overcarbonated, but settles down after a few minutes.

Features a disobedient nose of jammy cabernet grapes, tannic oak, eucalyptus, some miscellaneous plummy dark fruit, and Belgian saison yeast. Subdued sourness.

The front of the palate is a little flabby, featuring a hint of roast, currant, cabernet grape, lemon, and substantial oak. Fruity, with a pleasant sourness — you have to search a little bit to find the saison base. The mid-palate reintroduces the heavy, tannic oak found on the nose, and CD4 finishes dryly, curtly, with just a pinch of pepper.

Medium, medium-thin in body with middle-of-the-road carbonation.

This grows on me over time, but I wish I had held my one bottle a little longer. An ambitious beer that just misses the mark for me, if only because of the quality of Shaun's other saisons.

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Civil Disobedience #4 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.