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Walden - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Walden
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

47 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 47
Hads: 401
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 6.48%
Wants: 47
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rudzud on 07-21-2012

A sessionable pale/blonde ale brewed with our good friend John Kimmich from The Alchemist. <4% ABV. Hopped with Motueka, Amarillo, and Simcoe.

40 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 401
Photo of dar482
4.82/5  rDev +11.6%

The beer comes in a pale yellow color.

The flavor contains lots of grapefruit, orange peel, with a light malt body and a slightly yeasty or doughy quality. Hints of tropical come out of this beer as well.

The back end is dry and clean. Slightly lacking on the back, but that is expect of such a low ABV beer.

A wonderful medium light body and lots of hops. (359 characters)

Photo of PicoPapa
4.19/5  rDev -3%

On tap at Farmhouse Tap and Grill. Pours a vibrant yellowish amber with a half inch of head. Almost no lacing. The aroma is very fruity with lots of tropical and citrus fruits. Pineapple and mango. The taste is more of the tropical fruits but with some bitterness. Mango, pineapple, and orange. Hints of pine at the finish. Medium bodied with almost no alcohol presence. Overall, a very good hopped up Blonde with a good deal of fruity hop flavor.


App-4 a-4.25 t- 4.25 m- 3.75 o-4.25 = 4.19 (493 characters)

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at Farmhouse.
Serves up this glorious slightly hazy very light blonde with nice head.
Smells wonderful, floral, hoppy, complexity abounds.
Tastes really nice, a good light biscuit backbone showcase lots of floral hops.
Finishes remarkable clean and crisp.
This might be the best tasting 4% abv beer I've ever tasted. I enjoyed it outdoors at 82 degrees and muggy. Walden was perfect in these conditions. (417 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. Enjoyed on 7.5.2014, reviewed from tasting journal.

The beer pours a cloudy, hazy, golden color, hues of orange and straw with a thick, white, soapy head with incredible lace and head retention. The aroma is bright, loads of floral and fruity hops, lightly tropical, nice citrus tang but there is plenty of doughy, soft, biscuity malt, pale and clean. The flavors mirror well, ample hops, very floral, very fruity, almost with a berry flavor, but plenty of citrus and tropical fruit, but the malt backbone is substantial, lots of pale, crisp, chewy malt, light and lightly sweet. It's wonderfully flavorful for such a sessionable beer, plenty of hop with enough malt balance, hard to find a better example of a session ale. The mouthfeel is great, a bit prickly from the carbonation but it carries a nice texture, coats the mouth well and finishes softly and lightly dry.

Verdict: A wonderful session ale, I'm hard pressed to find a more impactful and flavorful example of the style. Refreshing, balanced and quaffable, everything one could ask for. Yet another Hill Farmstead success. (1,152 characters)

Photo of SABERG
4.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a fresh growler into an imperial pint glass on a really hot day!

A - Lemon drop haze, Great white lacing, fine tight foam cap.
S - Here is where this beer shines, Stunning floral hop display, fresh green, sharp citrus, lemon, white grape skin, summer air. Amazing nose
T - Follows the nose with a hop citrus profile, tight dry finish. Great blend of a delicate malt body and a refined hop experience. The sub 4% ABV makes for a little canvas that has painted a huge picture of flavor all over it.
M - The carbonation is spectacular, mid mouth is where the delight occurs. A fine body, leads to a delightful tongue tickle. Finish as mentioned has a dry quality, but a kiss of lemon tart is the capper.
O - The pursuit of the session blonde ale could end right here. A fine display of hops, light body, fine finish and reasonable ABV.
A real treat.

Cheers (868 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pour is a pale hazy yellow with a bubbly white head. Nose is balanced, bready and light dough with fresh grain notes. Hops are soapy and citrusy afterwards. Taste is strongly balanced leaning towards the grain and malt bill. Bread, fresh grain, balanced hop, faint soapy, balanced citrus hop, gentle bitterness. Carbonation is great, body is light and airy with a semi dry finish. Could be a bit brighter but darn this is drinkable and balanced. Wish I had a keg every Saturday to day drink for hours. (501 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden yellow color with nearly a finger of bright head, great lacing and retention. Smells of light lemony grass, grain, mild sweet malts and dry bitterness. Tastes essentially the same, dry lemony citrus hops, mildly grainy. Mediumish bodied or less, well carbonated, awesome feel. I thought this would be my least favorite in the tasting room, it was my second favorite (behind only S&S4) (405 characters)

Photo of Skrip
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

A~ beautiful, glowing greenish yellow. minimal head and a tiny bit of lacing.

S~ great earthy pine up front followed by a little citrus and tons of bitterness from the hops.

T~ i love when HF uses Motueka hops! they really stick out here and make this an amazing sessionable pale. other than the somewhat incredible, indescribable Motueka theres the obvious citrus notes, lots of lemon, lime, and a tad of mango. all followed by nice Vermont field, grass fed bitterness.

M~ refreshing as can be! smooth and well carbonated!

O~ a lot of sessionable pales have been popping up this summer. which is definitely ok with me. out of what i've had (Song of Spring, Kane Ripple, and Carton Boat) this is probably my favorite. surely the smoothest of the 4 and not overly bitter like Boat gets after a while. the only problem is its not very available haha (918 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at Lord Hobo, Cambridge, MA
Served in a cervoise

The beer poured a hazy yellow ochre. A one finger, creamy, bright white crown topped the liquid. Drippy curtains of lacing cascaded down the glass.

The nose was amazing. Super hoppy with intense fruity notes. Peach and apricot were most apparent. Tropical fruits, including mango and papaya, came through strong as well. Somewhat piney. Quite sweet. A touch of powdery yeastiness was also noticeable.

The flavor profile was solid, albeit more pithy and bitter than the nose. Quite hoppy with strong notes of resiny pine sap. Lots of lemony tartness. Slightly wheaty. A hint of mango came through as well. The beer was anchored by a subtle, pale malt backbone. The finish was resiny and quite bitter.

Compared to every other aspect of this beer, the mouthfeel was the only thing that seemed a bit disappointing. It was light and airy with an aggressive, large bubbled effervescence. Slightly creamy on the palate.

Classifying this beer an American blonde ale may be a bit ridiculous, but I am definitely not complaining. Walden truly pushes the limits of the style. I cannot remember the last time I had a 4% ABV beer with so much character. (1,207 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml growler courtesy Ruth..Thanks!

Pours hazy straw with a thin head of white. Retention is short-lived with a few wisps on the surface for the duration and some errant dots of lacing.

Aromatics lead off with tropical hops and pine dew. Pears with hints of cut grass and forest floor.

Light bodied with a crispish mouthfeel. A bit thinnish.

Piney, fruity hops start the palate with minimal bitterness and zero malt. Shades of honey-drizzled biscuits with spruce-dewed peaches and pears follow through.

Finishes dry with lingering hops and what seems to be zero alcohol.

Very tasty session ale, but I prefer the hopping in Nelson more. (642 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy yellow, nicely carbonated, one finger white head with some lacing.

S-Wheat, grass, lemon, then pleasant but mild tropical/citrus hops

T-Starts with wheat and lemon, with some grass. Very similar to a hoppy wheat. Ends with citrus and nice bitterness. Also some straw and spice.

M-Lighter, some carbonation, tad watery but nice hop resins.

O-Possibly the best session ale out there. Great balance, not too hoppy but at the same enough to satisfy hop heads. (468 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-hazy golden color with a nice fluffy white head and great lacing

S-citrus, pine, bread, hint of sweetness

T-yeasty bread, citrus, pine, hint of tropical fruit, mild to moderate bitter finis

F-light to medium body with lively carbonation, crisp and refreshing

O-easy drinking ale, nice summer beer (302 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap into a shaker pint, the beer is a cloudy, bright, opaque, lemon-yellow coloring with a filmy, white, sparse head. Nose of lemon grass, pine resin, lemon and tangerine, and a subtle bitterness. Flavors of tangy sweet citrus, lemon-centric, with a grainy undertone. Bitter tail-end. Very light and crisp. The aftertaste is citrus and hoppy, with a semisweet, crisp finish. Extremely drinkable. (405 characters)

Photo of Hendry
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml swing top growler filled one week ago today. Hazy yellow pour with a shiny pearl white two finger head. Lots of lacing inside the port glass.

Aroma is citrus & pine, prominent but not aggressive.

Taste starts out a tad piney,guava & grapefruit peel but drops off quickly with a saltine cracker finish,touch of wheat & yeast in there also.Alcohol undetectable.

Mouthfeel is the heavy side of light, almost a tad watery yet crisp. Mildly bitter finish is pleasant.

Wishing the flavors matched the nose a bit more, and with all the palate wrecking HFS varieties I've sampled recently, this one falls a bit short, yet not unexpected from the abv and "sessionability" angle. Worth trying overall, and an enjoyable blonde ale. (744 characters)

Photo of Resuin
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL growler into a tulip. This growler was filled 6 days ago as of this review.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy, light honey/goldenrod color and leaves a fluffy white head of a finger or two.

Smell: Delicious smelling pine upfront, followed with some mild citrus, pineapple and wheat. Mouth-watering aroma.

Taste: Light pine upfront, followed by mango, citrus and a little wheat. Finishes a tad thin but with some nice piney flavor. No alcohol at all.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a nice light, fluffy body. Finishes a little watery, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Overall: An extremely delicious session ale. I could drink this all day, and that would be a terrific day because this little beer has a ton of flavor and its extremely delicious. The hop combination creates a wonderful flavor profile. A delicious hop juice. (853 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

July 7th notes from a nice afternoon Hill Farmstead growler share.

A- Poured from the 750ml growler into a few different pint glasses. Light golden body with plenty of yeast haze giving it a cloudy appearance. A creamy white head to about a finger with pretty good retention. Foamy ring leaves spotty lacing.

S- Pure hop aromas but more delicate than an IPA or even a heavily hopped pale ale. Very clean hop aromatics. Juicy tropical fruits like mango, passion fruit and peach come to mind as well as citrus, orange. Light malt sweetness and yeast bread backing it.

T- Follows the nose with those tropical fruit flavors, flavorful but not fatiguing the palate in any way. It still feels like a blonde but one packed full of hop flavors. Mango, passion fruit, peach, orange peel and floral notes. Light biscuit malt and American Ale yeast feel.

MF- Very light body with medium-high carbonation. Moderately-dry with just a hint of bitterness. Creamy and foamy body.

Feels very delicate but brings a ton of hop flavor to the table without a substantial bitterness. A session beer indeed. (1,089 characters)

Photo of derekrick420
4.93/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: has a pale yellow look to it, barely any head

Smell: Has a very citrusy smell and faint piney aroma

Taste: has a very strong taste of grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: feels very light

Overall: a tremendous summer beer, that at 4.25abv is one that could be drank all day. It is palate cleansing and refreshing, and though it is different from what I would expect from these two brewers, but the quality is exactly what you'd expect. (438 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is perhaps the best session beer on mother earth. it pours a curiously greener tinted hazy dull golden color, not green exactly, but hued on that side of yellow, I have seen this before. my globe was a little overfilled at the farmhouse tap in Burlington, so there wasn't much room for head, but i am certainly not complaining about a generous pour! great nose, a hop variety that is new to my senses here, its fruity and a little tart, like some of the new Zealand strains, but this has some bitter and high alpha simcoe action too, a great blend of hops here in smell and taste. the taste is intensely hoppy, more like an ipa than anything else, but the beer is gone as soon as i taste it, like, the driest finish ever, so dry in fact, that it doesn't have a finish, its more like a dry middle. love the quick hits of hops, lots of punctuation here, staggered but dynamic, splendid really, im totally digging this. i taste just the slightest hint of bretty funk in the finish, not saison yeast, but brett, new, like this might get crazy in a few more months. maybe its me, maybe not, but whatever the yeast is here, its got plenty of character. its like something mikkeller could have come up with, but more refined than that, way more refined. carbonated like champagne, lighter than air, robustly hopped, drinkable as anything, this is basically a perfect specimen, and i envy the Vermont locals who drink this stuff regularly, what a special treat! oh, it also instantaneously stopped an allergic reaction i was having, so there is some magic in the glass as well... (1,576 characters)

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Shelton Bros. sampler at "The Festival."

This was a semi-hazy, golden yellow beer. Definite wheat malt head, small glass but very fluffy. The body of this beer was very light. I don't know if it was the yeast that was in suspension or the wheat used in the malt but the grassy quality of this beer really surprised me, not citrusy at all but definitely grassy. I was also a bit surprised at the lingering bitterness on the tongue, not sure if it was from hops or perhaps a slightly funky yeast, but it was very good. (532 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Blackback.

Pours a light, hazed yellow with a dense white head. Leaves plenty of lace and thing ring as the head fades. Crisp bready malt and lemon/citrus hop aroma; nicely balanced. Light bodied, well carbonated with a dry grassy and citrus bitter hop finish. Flavor has a strong bready malt base and tons of lemon and grass, with mild grapefruit juiciness. Amazing for a blonde. (393 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.65/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL growler poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Hazy with a white head. Yellow/orange body. Very wispy.

Smell - Grapefruit hops, just like Life without Principle #1, but more of an earthy pine hop presence. Pale malt is also more prevalent, which is strange considering this should be less malty.

Taste - Grapefruit hops and that same touch of earthy pine. More pale malts again than its other blonde cohort. Even a touch of bitterness to this one.

Mouthfeel - Light, more body and bitterness than Life without Principle #1, which I don't get. Not quite as easy to drink, though.

Overall - Good. Very nice or a blonde ale. Light in body but still has a good hop bite to it. Impressive as always. (724 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to yourefragile for sharing the growler. Served in Hill Farmstead stemware. Pours a very pale straw color with a really nice white head and plenty of lacing. Nose has nice lemon and a touch of citrus. Intense. Flavor more subdued. Light grain. Fairly bitter and quite dry. Really drinkable. (297 characters)

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

Reviewed from notes.

Appearance: Cloudy opaque blond. The head is lasting and leaves rings of lacing down the glass.

Smell: A ton of bright citrus. Orange, lemon, grapefruit, soft doughy malt. This smells fantastic. Very bright and crisp.

Palate: Light bodied without ever approaching thin. Creamy, biscuity, with huge citrus flavors. Primarily orange flesh and rind, with lemon and a touch of grapefruit. Clean floral finish with mild bitterness. This is beautifully crafted and highly quaffable. Outstanding. (514 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by largadeer. Thanks!

A: Pours a cloudy, bright yellow that reveals the unfiltered nature of this beer. Standard disclaimer applies: I like clarity but for what are turning out to be excellent IPAs despite (or because of?) the unfiltered nature, I'll give it a pass. Billowing off-white head, great retention, some lace.

S: Bright, clean citrus pith -- a combination of grapefruit, orange, peaches. It borders on grassy in some sniffs. I would imagine very little was used to keep the gravity low, so I'm not surprised to find just a general doughy note.

T: The whiffs of grass in the nose are more prominent, though not overpowering, in the flavor. This is still dominated by grapefruit and peaches; the grassy flavors lend more of a small perceived bitterness. Not much to find in the way of malt character. A drying finish.

M: Light-bodied; bitterness is very mild, allowing the hops to deliver more flavor than anything.

O: This is fantastic; it is easy to appreciate in small bursts (makes for great sipping) and can also be consumed in mass quantities. I wish there were local options like this -- it would be an ideal kegerator beer. (1,164 characters)

Photo of Verecund
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

“I am glad to have drunk water so long, for the same reason that I prefer the natural sky to an opium-eater’s heaven. I would fain keep sober always; and there are infinite degrees of drunkenness. I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man; wine is not so noble a liquor; and think of dashing the hopes of a morning with a cup of warm coffee, or of an evening with a dish of tea! Ah, how low I fall when I am tempted by them! . . . Of all ebriosity, who does not prefer to be intoxicated by the air he breathes?”
- Thoreau, Walden.

And yet. September 1, 2012.

Pours a cloudy canary yellow with one finger of white head. The bubbles accumulate in the middle of the glass, forming something like a small hill of elevated head.

Clean citrus sweetness, citrus pith, tropical fruit sweetness, faintly grassy, with some light biscuit malt character. Very aromatic, highlighting the lemony citrus.

Soft maltiness—biscuity, wheaty—with some of the same clean citrus found on the nose. Just a hint of earthy bitterness on the finish, but without any real bitter bite, thankfully. Juicy melon.

Medium, medium light in body, fantastically balanced APA. I’d trade some green beans for it. (1,204 characters)

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Walden from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.