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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Ann - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
AnnAnn

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

59 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 235
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 7.68%
Wants: 903
Gots: 35 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: yourefragile on 05-27-2012

Ann is the wine barrel-aged version of Anna, our grandfather's sister, as well as the name of our honey farmstead ale. In her honor, we fill French oak wine barrels with Anna and allow the beer to mature in the presence of our resident microflora. After extended aging for as long as it requires to reach its apex, a beautifully complex beer emerges; Anna becomes Ann. Only the finest expressions of barrel-aged Anna become Ann; our version of Grand Cru, this beer represents the finest barrel results at their peak representation. Each 750ml bottle is naturally carbonated and hand-dipped in beeswax, Ann exhibits and showcases the microflora of her landscape.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 235
Photo of jisom123
3.97/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at a hot dog store (O' Betty's), next door to Jackie O's. Across the street from Buffal'O Wild Wing's.

Appearance: Cloudy lemonade

Smell: It smelled pretty good. light fruit, not too strong.

Taste: as expected, its not very tart. right on par with what you would expect from a saison aged in a wine barrel. The wine flavor was minimal, which I appreciated.

MF: Soft and easy

Overall: The beer is pretty good. Its definitely in the top 30% of craft beers. I'd pay $8 for a pint occasionally if it were readily available. Nothing super fantastic. (556 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.85/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to JLindros for sharing this bottle.

A - Poured into a standard stone ipa tulip glass a wonderful golden summer day with a nice two finger creamy white hue that leaves sudsy white lacing and blanket.

S - Aromas of happiness, pure and childlike.

T - Taste is mind eraser of beer to the pallet. So wild and delecate with everything and beautiful harmony. This must be what happiness is. So tart and balanced and lightly funky. Perfect harmony...we are the world.

M - Mouthfeel is exquisite so well done and subtle.

O - Overall this beer is every bit as deserving of the hype. Only 300 bottles...Yah..do whatever it takes to get this. (649 characters)

Photo of KMcG
4.73/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a yellow waxed 750 that I got from the farm on the bottle release. 

I read some of the reviews ahead of time so I knew to pour very slowly.  I kept the head down until the end of the pour where I allowed a nice 2 finger head to develop. The color is a pale orange with a little haze. The head dissipates to a nice white lace that completely rims the glass. 

The aroma has lemon, honey, vanilla, and a bit of white wine and oak.  

The taste is absolutely amazing. Over the top! It totally goes beyond what you get in the nose.  It is citrusy, but with an oaky wine upfront, especially as the carbonation kicks in.  Funky saison elements are present. Some floral and pineapple tones creep in.  

Mouthfeel is effervescent, bright, and slightly sour.  (771 characters)

Photo of vonnegut21
5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Scotty-Do for the bottle share.

A: Pours a light, faded gold with a billowing white head. Huge carbonation on this one.

S: Light vinuous notes, citrus, a complex funk-like character, and some bready maltiness. A lot going on here, but nothing overpowers the others.

T: A bit of funk and lactic tartness up front. Citrus and biscuity malt follow to round out the body. There's a lot of complex tartness going on, but it's light and fleeting. Very refreshing. So damn drinkable.

M: Champagne-like carbonation, with a bubbly mouthfeel. Quenching, but instantly demands another sip. Delightful.

O: Completely worth the hype IMO. Probably the single most drinkable beer I've ever had. On a hot day, I could put away multiple bottles. Now to wait until Shaun puts this one out again so I can get my hands on more. Truly an excellent beer. (849 characters)

Photo of tarheels86
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL yellow wax thanks to JulienHuxley. Pours clear orange with higher, fine effervescence. Big lacing. 360 sheets of white lace. Nose is subtler: fresh potpourri, curaçao, vanilla, ice cream, fresh peach. Unreal- bright nectar fruits and fresh mango and elusive papaya and white chocolate mousse. Essentially perfect aroma. But not too different from Civil Disobedience #1. Taste is salty and quite lactic with high buoyancy like Fantome Saison and Sante 14. But fresh sweet rolls and subtle buttery biscuit is unmistakable Hill Farmstead. Very similar delicate malty balance found in Civil Disobedience #1. Palate is salty, restrained sour, key lime acid balanced by Hawaiian sweet rolls. Very beautiful. Refreshing and truly designed to be a summer quencher. Thankfully it will be brewed again. 8/20/2012 10/5/8/5/18=4.6 (825 characters)

Photo of claytong
4.58/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thought I'd actually review this one considering the hype behind it. Another consistant drool maker from hill farmstead. Cheers Shaun.

Appearance- poured gently into a hill farmstead taster. Great soft fluffy head that sticks to the side of the glass impressively for a 6.5 percent saison that's ba aged (who else does anything like this?)

Smell- reminds me immediately of isabelle, then I take another whiff or two, then comes the saison. Very subtle, but superbly complex, wine, yeast (saison and wild come through), light grains sugar, pollen

Taste - forefront is a pretty strong white wine (in fact a crazy amount of alcohol for a 6.5 saison),light honey, a peppery yeast, some tannin oak sort of nuance.

Mouthfeel - blows me away here, sugary and robust for a saison especially, not cloying in the least.

Overall - wow (829 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Huhzubendah via Sean for the whale of a bottle.

A - Pale, yellow, honey colored beer with some nice bubbles and a bit of white head that settled into a ring with some splotches on the sides.

S - Wine barrel makes its presence felt. You can really pick the Vermont honey out in this one as well. There is some sharp oak and grapes which strongly express the barrels that this has been in.

T - While this tastes good, I feel like this beer really doesn't know what it is. It's a combination of a wild and a saison that is not as good as the best of their respective classes. There's some yeast, a bit of hay, touch of honey sweetness, and a tartness. The tartness is almost too pungent, which makes drinking a lot of this for me somewhat hard. It's initially good, but I don't care for the finish. I believe it's a combination of wine barrel, honey and yeast that's doing it.

M - Light, great carbonation, appropriate for the style and quite refreshing.

O - A fine beer that managed to pull off something that was very unique, and still made it work. I much prefer Anna and Art (which we drank side by side) to this beer, but it is quite good. The pungent potency of what I imagine is the reaction of the wine and honey brought it down a little bit, but overall, a very good beer. Not worth nearly what it is trading for, but glad I got to try it. (1,360 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow with a nice white fizzy head, thick collar, bubbles, thin cap, spotty lace. Nose is citrus zest funk, tart acidic notes, oak. Really refreshing for a hot summer day. Flavor is citrus, grass, oak, lots of funk, some honey sweetness in there perhaps as well. Finish is a bit off-putting and a little harsh, some medicinal aftertaste mixed with some funky yeast notes. Light body, perfect carbonation, refreshing.

Overall, a really cool beer from HF that I enjoyed very much. Really refreshing, nice and tart, and easy to drink. Good stuff. (561 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Huhzubendah for sending a bottle of this to Chicago. Hopefully we can repay the favor down the line. Served in a Bell's tulip at the West Lakeview Liquors block party. Bottle #192?

A - A finger of white foam settles to a collar, partial cap, and some splotches of lace. Slightly hazed pale honey-colored body.

S - The wine barrel aging is quite present here, supplying some spicy French oak and sharp grapeskin sourness. As the beer warms more sweetness arrives by way of honey and pale malts. There's a surprisingly assertive citrus and floral hopping, and a mildly acidic vinous bite.

T - The taste is also quite nice, with many of the same flavor components in play. Oak and vinous acidity, restrained malt sweetness, and a mildly dirty farmhouse funk from Greensboro Bend's resident micro-flora. Honey and hops are further in the periphery and there's something not entirely convincing about the finish - it's a tad yeasty in the same way as Cuvee Roge was.

M - As usual, the feel on these Hill Farmstead beers is excellent. Creamy medium body, with a lightly dry and crisp finish, active but soft carbonation, and perhaps a hint of alcohol warmth. I'm not entirely convinced this only picked up .1% ABV from the base beer, but it's still somewhere in the middle of the ABV range for the style.

D - A very nice beer, but I'm not even convinced it's Shaun's best Saison - I found the bottle of Art we drank afterward to be nearly as compelling. Still, it speaks volumes that an 'A' beer from Hill Farmstead was seen as a mild disappointment at our tasting table. I'd happily drink this again and could easily put down an entire bottle on my own - I just wouldn't trade the farm(stead) for another opportunity. (1,731 characters)

Photo of afksports
3.95/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to a fellow BA for opening this bottle of Ann. Had decided I wouldn't get to try this because of its limited nature.

Ann pours a bright yellow straw hue with great lace. I got the bottom few ounces of the bottle and so it was cloudy since I went full-bore on the yeast. The beer is a little bit tart and funky in the nose, and there's no presence of spice, but some honey. It takes time to allow it warming up to smell it. At the front of the taste, it's a subtle soft saison with some barnyard and fruit. In the back, it's sticky with funk. There's a little oak present too, but it doesn't lend much roundness. The beer has a pleasing combination of subtle sourness and the saison style. It's definitely balanced. Plus, it's a nice 6.5% abv which is solid for a saison - sometimes Fantomes go overboard. I get the hype.

That all said, it's lighter bodied and doesn't have any of the creaminess or spice that's typically pleasing in these styles of beers. And while it's complex enough to legitimately compete with Belgians, if I were picking it up as a $15 shelf Belgian beer, I'd be happy to have tried it, but probably only return to it once in a while. I tried an Oak-Aged Farmhand from Brewery Vivant last weekend that rather adequately compares to this.

Tasty indeed, and many thanks for the chance to try it. (1,325 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.31/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mbrown44 for bringing this! Bottle #4.

Gorgeous pour, tons of head and stubborn lace. Beeswax smells great, as does the beer itself. Lots of farmhouse yeast and tart funk.

Taste is fantastic. Sour and citrusy base, oaky/wine-y accents, funky yeast is out in force. Great body, nice and chewy.

Complex & delicious, but not the best saison I've ever had. Peconic, Vera Mae, and the very best Fantome Saison bottles are superior, despite the significant bottle (and batch) variation in the latter. Ann is a first-rate saison nonetheless. (547 characters)

Photo of CharlieMurphy
4.51/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (1,202 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.7/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (1,377 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.77/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (1,248 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.88/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (1,427 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.97/5  rDev +6%
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. (865 characters)

Photo of Verecund
4.77/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (863 characters)

Photo of seeswo
4.8/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (751 characters)

Photo of lalaloveyou
5/5  rDev +6.6%
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! (652 characters)

Photo of Mag00n
4.95/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (1,250 characters)

Photo of Mielbeer
5/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (1,725 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
5/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (1,184 characters)

Photo of AutumnBeerLove
5/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (509 characters)

Photo of SneezyAchew
4.97/5  rDev +6%
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. (1,240 characters)

Photo of Franch
5/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (760 characters)

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Ann from Hill Farmstead Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.