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Ann - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
AnnAnn

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

156 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 156
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 12.42%
Wants: 705
Gots: 16 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: yourefragile on 05-27-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 156 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CharlieMurphy
4.53/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Golden with that signature HF glow. White spit of head.

S: Dry sweatsocks, corn nuts, sea air, honey, oak tannins.

T: Comes on dry and tart, then bulls up with some honey sweatness that is restrained by oak that seems to be spiked with bugs and/or brett and leads you to think that it's going to roll down that road next, but it stops short of the brett/bug cigar and instead displays the wine and oak character... surprising, intriguing, delightful. As my tongue dries I even get a little jab of vanilla and then, I'm probably out of line, but seaweed? Then an even fainter dash of salt? Bottom line, this beer has so many nuanced things going on; like a great work of art open to many thought perplexing interpretations.

M: Light up front and on the end, but with a decently assertive, yet very refined malt and honey fullness in the middle. The slight degree of tartness and the oak get at the palate a little, but this is completely negligible as detracting from the amazing experience that is drinking this beer.

O: Fear and Trembling, Biere de Norma, now Ann. I keep thinking I've had the best beer that could be made, then they keep outdoing themselves. I hope this gets made annually.

CharlieMurphy, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of Gosox8787
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750 mL bottle that I bought at the release a couple weeks ago. Waxed in beeswax, which smells great. Chilled and pourd into two Sierra Nevada tulip glasses. Split with a friend. Had right after we cracked a bottle of Anna.

Appearance: Light yellow and a touch cloudy. Huge white and cloudy head emerges on the first pour. Plenty of carbonation. Really good head retention.

Aroma: Lots of honey and chardonnay sweetness is apparent right off. Some light oak notes, lemon, and some grassiness as well. Touches of funk weave in and out as well. Extraoridnarily well balanced.

Taste: Big sweetness from the chardonnay and honey dominate here. This is very sweet for a saison, but the tart lemon notes really do a good job of keeping it from being close to cloying. Some earthiness and oak notes are present as well and contribute a nice depth. The flavors are not overly big here though, just subtle and well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light, spritzy and refreshing. Really enjoyable and easy to drink.

Overall, a really outstanding saison. A clear upgrade over the base beer. The barrel notes work well and are not hidden in the background. Also, extremely balanced and nuanced. The honey from the base beer stands out here much more than in Anna and the tartness really works well. Definitely one of the top saisons of had and I consider it a favorite style of mine.

Gosox8787, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by the other Matt tonight. Thanks! Beer served in a Tired Hands glass because I don't bring my Hill Farmatead glass. At the time of this review this is #1 on the "Top beers - Saison" list on beeradvocate and is #18 on the "Top Beers - Popular".

I got a later pour of this beer but saw others. The beer is yellow, straw clear but with a poorly settled yeast that fills the bottom pours with a cloudy white haze. The higher pours are clear and crisp yellow. Wispy white head of small bubbles, some retention, mild carbonation. Looks good. Also the bottle looks really nice. The beeswax really adds to the overall beer.

Aroma is the best part. Super complex. At times I can smell a vinous white wine quality, saison yeast, honey, flowers, other times pineapple and Brett c breaks through. Very wonderful smelling beer.

This beer has it all. Seriously. The honey character falls out slightly for me and it is close to perfect. The body is light and airy. Sweet with a yeasty funk mild oakiness with some grape and softer sweet fruits. The finish is thin but not overly dry. I really loved it and would of course have this beer again. This breaks into my top 50 beers of all time. A near perfect work of brewing art. Nice beer Shaun.

drabmuh, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge, huge thanks to Huhzubendah for sharing this bottle. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass. First off, the beeswax on the bottle is an excellent touch. Not only does it look nice, but it smells phenomenal, setting the tone for the beer.

The beer itself pours a nice, bright yellow. Fairly clear with a huge white head and great retention. As the head falls, heavy sheets of lacing on the sides of the glass. Collar throughout.

The nose carries a wonderful mixture of white wine, honey, hay, lemon zest, very light barnyard, and a touch of acidity. Masterfully blended so that each time I take another whiff, something else seems to come to the front. The flavor is equally as integrated, and is aided by an absolutely incredible mouthfeel. Some green grapes alongside lemon and hay. Mild earthy funk behind a good dose of white wine. Touch of oak.

Mouthfeel is crisp. Very nice carbonation. The mouthfeel is an enigma. At the same time, there's a touch of sweetness alongside a bit of white-wine tartness, mild funk, and touch of oak. Each aspect is beautifully melded together. Hard to describe. The flavor lingers and is accentuated by mild acidity. Saison and touch of pepper comes through at the very end.

Overall, this tastes like the blood of a fallen beer god. It's just a gorgeous beer, and one of my top 5-10 of all time. A wonderful experience, and something tells me, Shaun has better things yet to come.

Thorpe429, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.98/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sharing this with a few of the guys today. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

The beer is a beautiful golden color with a soft, white head. Noticeable lacing throughout the glass.

The aroma brings honey, grass, lemons, subtle funk, white wine, oak. Really complex and profound. The beeswax cap smells fantastic as well.

The flavor is a tad sweet, with a beautiful honey presence. Extremely well balanced. With every sip, a new flavor seems to emerge. Lovely white wine / white grape character. Pleasant, subtle tart character in the finish. Without doubt the most complex and gracefully balanced example of the style I have yet encountered. Like sipping a world class champagne or white wine.

Overall, this is certainly a stellar beer. I'm very glad that I was able to make it to this release and acquire this.

Huhzubendah, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of Verecund
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml beeswaxed bottle opened on August 4, 2012. Batch 1, bottle #59.

Golden yellow-orange with just over a finger of creamy, white head. Solid retention.

Ann smells pungently of citrus, tropical fruit, and floral honey. The wine barrel aging works perfectly, imparting juicy lemon; a delicate grassiness; and ripe green grape; and hinting at a tickling acidity.

A pinch earthier and more obviously saison-like than the nose, with lemon verbena; citrusy, almost limey tartness; and a sweet-grassiness. Ann remarkably balances a number of disparate elements—most obviously, the citrusy sweet elements (lemon/tropical fruit) with the citrusy tart elements.

I’m thankful I have another bottle, which means that I can enjoy it without studying it. Hill Farmstead's saisons are some of the best out there, and this happens to be one of my favorites to date.

Verecund, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of seeswo
4.83/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank you Cam! Never thought I would be able to try this. Pours a slightly hazy golden color with ample head. The nose is very good - honey, generic flowery-ness, white wine, oak, and a bit of funky citrus (lemon, grapefruit). The taste is similar and in really solid balance. The honey, white wine, oak and flowery/fruity flavors meld together so well. Much like other HF beers in barrels, the brilliance is in the balance, and this succeeds in the same way that Damon, BoT, Mimosa do. The mouthfeel is proper, somewhat spritzy with a solid body. Overall, this is not the best beer I have ever had in my life, but this is one of the best executed beers I think I can recall. Shaun Hill can brew and barrel age, if y'all didn't know that already. Yum.

seeswo, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of lalaloveyou
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sneezyachew generously shared this bottle with myself and 5 other BAs. Very thankful for that. Poured into brandy snifters.
So, first of all this beer smells amazing... Before you even open it. The beeswax seal sets the tone for the rest of the experience. Ann pours a beautiful hazy gold with a small white head. Smells of sweet flowers and honey, white wine and citrus. The taste follows nicely with honey and wine, with earthy farmhouse notes coming though. Sweet with a nice tart funk on the finish. Effervescent, but perfectly so. Really nice mouthfeel and incessantly drinkable. Overall, excellent. So glad that I have another bottle of this one!

lalaloveyou, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of Mag00n
4.95/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Popped in the cool, moist basement of a renowned beer bar that shall remain nameless. Our host is indeed a farm hillstead fan and appreciates our offering. In return for our generosity he offers us some beers that may as well not exist(I could tell you, but then Id have to kill you).

The first thing that any adult group of discerning beer advocates would do is pass the bottle around for each person to smell the beeswax. I was glad we did.

Upon opening the bottle, I couldnt help but shed a tear for the lost wales that could have been acquired via auction style trade. Alas, I march on.

The pour is yellow/gold/orange with just a little bit of head and nice lacing. A bit cloudy but no sediment.

I get floral notes, a bit of brett/funk, some lemon, barrel, and some of the base saison characteristics in the nose.

Taste is similiar. Its funky but not at all overly sour. Strong wine charactertics. Some lemon. It all just works. One word: balanced.

The mouthfeel is light and crisp with moderate but not over the top carbonation.

Overall easily the best of the style Ive ever had. It's also unlike basically anything else in its style so it even to style? I'll let you decide. Someone pass me that empty bottle I wanna smell the wax again.

Mag00n, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of Mielbeer
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got to try this rarity thanks to the best fellow BAs a BA could ask for. I find this beer to be so special that drinking it is comparable to killing a unicorn..with like a bomb. In all seriousness Ann transcends categorization as it has characteristics of numerous varieties of Belgian ales. The majestic looking bottle was complimented by aromatic beeswax that smelled of raw honey. Ann's appearance is a cloudy yellow-gold with a 1 cm head that stuck around like whoa. Beautiful lacing. When pouring we made sure to divide the last bit evenly to ensure that everyone experienced the same level of yeasty-funk-cloud. Ann's aroma is the epitome of nose candy. The first thing that hit me was beeswax, honey, and sweet malts that was immediately followed by a wine and barnyard lemony funk. Oak was also easily detectable. The first taste that hit me was the lactic lemony sourness that surpasses the common tartness in many farmhouse ales. The sourness and the wine flavor compliment each other so well. Following was honey (microflora), sweet malts, with an oakey finish. Taste buds are firing on all cylinders throughout from the acidity. I found myself running my tongue along the insides of my cheeks to keep tasting the lingering sourness of Ann once she was gone. The mouth feel was a wonderful medium body and I hate using this word when reviewing, but the carbonation level was PERFECT. Overall Ann was the most unforgettable beer in a tasting that included Cantillon, King Henry, and other heavy hitters. Luckily I have friends with more Ann which increases the chance that all get to try her again and figuratively hit beer lottery jackpot once more. I feel very privileged. Thank you Shaun Hill, you are brilliant.

Mielbeer, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of cosmicevan
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HUMONGOUS thanks to mac for sharing this...and reaching out to me to invite me to this tasting to share in the pleasure that is this beer. Enjoyed on 7/27 at Top Hops at a mini tasting with some awesome BAs. Hell of a night and kicked off a wonderful weekend of beer tasting!

a - I can't believe it...it actually is a 5 in appearance. Gorgeous murky yellow. Like a summer day. Gorgeous head. Foamy and wonderful looking.

s - OH WOW! Perfect tart. Grass. Lemon. Wine. Orange peel. Zest. Just a hint of rotten eggs.

t - WOW! Like a spring day. Soft and easy drinking. Zesty. Grassy. Lemon. Chardonnay.

m - Creamy. Wonderful. Nothing wrong with this beer.

o - Wow. I really didn't want to love this. I didn't want to buy into the hype and went into this ready to bash it and say that all the homers are hyping...but the fact is, this beer really is THAT good. Even the beeswax that seals the bottle smells awesome. As an extreme beer geek who saves labels, I took home the bottle from the tasting and my man cave has this bottle up and the room has just smelled amazing since Friday. Every time I walk in there, I remember that beer. 5's all around...the full monty...well deserved.

cosmicevan, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of AutumnBeerLove
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Where to start? Well, the cap smells like Burt's Bees, and so I even kept that.

Poured into a brandy snifter glass with five others.

A- Pours a hazy orange to pale yellow. Leaves a thin white head, which stays as you drink. The lacing is perfect.

S- The aroma smells of honey, earth, beeswax, and a touch of wine seeps through.

T- A bit sour and funky. Can also taste oak and Sauv Blanc (thanks Shaun!)

O- This beer is amazing. Luckily, I still have one and a friend has another, so more tasting to come.

AutumnBeerLove, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of SneezyAchew
4.98/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As I am reviewing the "it" beer of the moment, I'll do my best to review the beer as I drink it, and not simply write the review based on preconceived notions one (me) could have already formed about the beer given the state of the forums right now, and the nearly perfect sore the beer has already garnered. Basically, if Shaun Hill is the beer messiah we've been waiting for, let's make sure we get the story right, and not let myth get muddled with beer reality (beereality). Onwards!
Served into a brandy snifter with 5 other great BA's. Pours a golden orange-hay color with a tiny bit of yeasty haze. Not much lacing here.
Smells, like the bottle wax, like beeswax and honey. Then I'm getting a lot of herbs and green apple funk.
The taste is just wonderfully floral and earthy. The honey from Anna is not gone, but emerges perfectly with the other flavors. Evolution at its finest. The wine barrels are definitely not hidden, and thank Shaun for that. Champagne yeast balance brilliantly with sweet sweet hops. This is some saison!
Mouthfeel is bubbly, but not fizzy like lime soda. Just the right level of carb.
This is a saison right up there with world class lambiks. I have a friend with a bottle. I plan to be veryyy nice to her.

SneezyAchew, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of Franch
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really wanted to not like this beer. I really wanted to storm in here, 2.5s a-blazin'. Just not going to happen, though.

The aroma was perfect - green apple and barnyard funk and a blast of fruity goodness. Carbonated like a perfect champagne. Reading "honey saison aged in chardonnay barrels with microflora" made me think it could all clash and be unimpressive. Instead, the base beer came through for a bit and then the fruit blast comes in - citrus that is just on the right side of the overpowering/beautifully balanced line. Everything came together perfectly. It ended with a sweet and sour interplay between the honey and chardonnay aging and the lactic acidity that just capped it off perfectly.

Thanks so much to Quackus for making this possible.

Franch, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of thstevens12
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

thstevens12, Jul 27, 2012
Photo of grachdar
4.98/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle #96, purchased at Hill Farmstead during the bottle release and shared with family, poured into HF stemware. Couldn't wait any longer after reading the reviews.

Was worried about it being a gusher after the couple reviews mentioned it, but no issues at all. Beeswax was an incredible touch.

A: "Sunset" is the best description. Hazy at first and golden yellow-orange, but clearing as the beer settles. Bubbles are tiny, creating a thick head of about a finger or two in each glass. Lacing stuck around for the entire beer.

S: While cold, the nose up front is mostly dry white wine, citrus (grapefruit, lemon, orange) and flowers. The sour / farmhouse funk notes got stronger as the beer warmed.

T: Everything you want in a beer. The saison wasn't overpowered by the wine barrel-aging, nor the sour, nor the "microflora" additions, but all of them intermingled with a slight sweetness perfectly. Complex enough for a serious beer drinker, but drinkable enough for non-BAs to love.

M: Finished about as cleanly as any beer I've ever had. The champagne-like bubbles gave an effervescence to the beer, and I would never have guessed this was above 6% ABV.

O: One of my family members said, "If all beer tasted like this, I would drink a LOT more." I couldn't agree more. This was only my fourth HF beer, but it was the best of my week in Vermont, and I understand now why people are saying that Shaun is turning beer into an art form.

grachdar, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of ErrandWolfe
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

ErrandWolfe, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of trevorpost
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

trevorpost, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of Urbancaver
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am finally getting around to uploading my review after the 2nd anniversary party. I'm a HUGE fan of Art and Arthur but I don't like Anna as much so I didn't have that high of hopes.

The pour looks really stellar. Just like Art, beautiful colour, nice head. Incredible nose, the light saison character of Anna without the sweetness. Wine barrel melds well with the brett and funk. The taste is just as amazing. Smooth, light, flavourful, Ann did what Art did to me all over again. Loving where the world of saisons and Shaun have brought us

Urbancaver, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of silentjay
4.88/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottle #93 purchased at the brewery.

a slight gusher but nothing was spilled and the head surprisingly didn't overflow the two glasses I split this into. a hazy golden/hay color with a pure white frothy head that sticks to the side of the glass like paint.

green apple skin, hay, grass, flowers, peaches, tropical fruit, a bit acidic, grape skin, oak.... a bunch going on here.

tart, but not that over powers the plethora of flavors that follows. hay, tropical fruit, stone fruit, dry white wine, oak, flowers, apple juice. just a plethora of fruity, earthy, tart, oaky flavors all intermingling with nothing overpowering but everything complementing.

champagne-like small bubbles give an effervescence that adds to the tingling feeling from the tartness.

well... this is one of the best I've had in a long time. Not really my style, but this one transcends the styles and is a work of art.

silentjay, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of Auror
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Auror, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of abuliarose
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clear deep golden body under an airy tall white head. Floral lemon and sun-kissed hay on the nose. Deliciously harmonious flavors... pineapple, floral honey, white grape, slight barrel presence and hints of funk. Crisp but not overly-dry. Ridiculously easy-drinking. If I could drink one beer for the rest of my life, I might very well chose this.

abuliarose, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of sisuspeed
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle #122

Poured into some Hill Farmstead stemware. Beautiful golden honey body with a fingers worth of foamy white head. Nice lacing. Lots of earthy French oak notes in the aroma. Light mustiness with hay and floral honey. The taste continues to bring out some great oak notes from the barrel and mixes with a touch of honey and earthy grains. Light floral-citrus acidity throughout. Tastes amazing. Body is smooth with perfect carbonation. The mouthfeel has a nice creaminess to it. Overall, this beer is essentially perfect. I really can’t see how a farmhouse ale/saison could get better than this. One of the best beers I have ever had.

sisuspeed, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of jaasen64
4.93/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle #18 purchased in person during the release last weekend shared with Wowcoolman, Auror, and WkndatBernardus at our tasting (served right after Anna). Served in Hill Farmstead stemware, split 4-ways.

First off I have to say the beeswax waxing definitely gives off a nice sweet honey smell.

A- Wax was fairly easy to get through.The bottle started off a little bit of a gusher, but not bad at all. Pours with a hazy yellowish golden (very similar to Anna) with some definite sedimentation towards the end of the bottle. A couple fingers of head with decent retention, nice carbonation, decent lacing.

S- Sour lemons, citrus, honey, barnyard funk, some sauvignon, hay, etc.. Well above average aroma strength, I could smell this beer when it was being poured 5 feet away from me. Definitely a lot more sour then Anna.

T- Sour lemons, hay, citrus, sauvignon, honey, some well balanced lactic acidity that fit very well with the other flavors. The base tastes of Anna are still there however there is a completely different level of sourness + acidity that the barrel aging provides that adds a whole different component to this beer and definitely adds new level of complexity and improvement.

M- Acidity left a nice tingling feeling on the mouth. Light, perfect summer beer, very easy to drink, abv very well hidden.

O- This was a remarkable beer. Anna was good in itself and the barrel aging took this beer to a whole different level. There was definitely a lot more acidity and funk going on, almost so much that it seemed like a completely different beer. At the same time everything was perfectly balanced. The funk + sourness blended perfectly with the honey and citrus to make an insanely drinkable beer. Our favorite beer at the tasting tonight (and there were some great beers) and definitely another masterpiece from Shaun at Hill Farmstead. Keep up the great work, glad I got to share it with some awesome BAs!

jaasen64, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of jsilva
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

jsilva, Jul 17, 2012
Ann from Hill Farmstead Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.