Walden - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Walden
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

390 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 390
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 7.31%
Wants: 45
Gots: 6 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 390 | Reviews: 49
Reviews by Headyman:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

Photo of Kinsman
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 2L growler of this at the brewery 3 days ago. Pours a hazy blonde color with a beautiful fluffy white head. Exactly what you would expect a 'blonde' ale to look like.

Pungently hoppy on the nose with a powerful combination of tropical/citrus fruits showing some grapefruit, mango, and orange. Floralness of the hops gives a lightly dank undertone. Malts have little opportunity to show themselves here.

A lot going on in a small package with this one. Amarillo and Motueka give you a healthy dose of citrusy goodness with nice notes of grapefruit and even a bit of a lemon/lime character. Slight pine resin and grassy character in the background. While only 40 IBUs, the bitterness does come across nicely with such a light malt load.

Mouthfeel is light and plenty refreshing making this one incredibly drinkable. Overall, as expected, HF and the Alchemist worked their magic with an incredibly tasty session blonde. With so many hit or miss collaborations out there, this one was certainly a hit.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Vermont Brewers Festival

A - Cloudy light yellow colour. Small film of white head.

S - Citrus hops up front with some tropical fruit aromas present as well.

T - Crisp bitterness up front with citrus, floral and trop fruit hop flavours. The bitterness is very unique here and can be best described as "crisp".

M - Light body. Moderate carbonation.

Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a Hill Farmstead taster wine glass at the brewery.

Light pale yellow body, and cloudy. Creamy white and lots of speckled lacing on the glass while consuming. Pretty classic looking Hill Farmstead beer here, seems like a theme.

Nose is very subtle. Mild toasty notes of white bread, nothing much fruit or hop angle. Seems like a toasty bready pale ale.

Palate hits nicely on the toasted angle, with a good hop character and grainy finish in the mid palate. Quite crisp with peppery notes but rather simple.

Overall somewhat interesting, but not driving me that much for what is offered, but certainly plenty to enjoy.

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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.

Photo of derekrick420
4.93/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of cbutova
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of PicoPapa
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%

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

Photo of Luk13
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2L Growler. Pale hazy yellow, decent head that recedes quickly. Aroma of oranges, citrus peel, resinous hops and white flowers. Very aromatic. High lemon tartness blends wonderfully with leafy hops and citruz zest bitterness. Light bodied and dry finish makes it highly drinkable. I really like the actual summer beer trend. It reminds me of DDC Wallonade or TDD Traction ale with Hill Farmstead quality standards. This is a great preamble to the very promising low abv, high citrus series.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of jlindros
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one should be really interesting. collab between two of the best IPA/Pale ale breweries in U.S. Can't wait to crack it.

It pours a nice creamy fluffy big bubbled 1 finger head that fades at a med pace with some pot marked lacing, over super hazy blond slightly straw and banana colored beer.

Nose is almost exactly as I expected... it has a touch of heady topper with a touch of Hill Farmstead hops together it seems. Fresh tropical fruit, mango, papaya, guava, hint of pineapple, hint of musty fresh resinous aroma, just a touch of citrus tangerine. And the faintest hint of a light creamy malt underneath.

Taste comes on lighter at first, with a light creamy malt base to start, which makes the beer very drinkable. Then comes the fruity hops, tropical fruit galore, light mango and papaya start, followed by guava, tangerine citrus, hell there's even a hint of banana in there! A faint hint of resinous hop flavor with a touch of citrus rind and passion fruit. Bitterness is very light but lets you know it's there. A touch of lemongrass round off the hop flavors. A hint of sweetness but mostly dry, and smooth creamy malt profile. Finish is drier with a long lingering light bitterness, a hint more tropical fruit hops, a bit of citrus and resin, and a bit of light blond malts lingering.

Mouth is med to slightly lighter bodied, very soft feeling, with decent carb.

Overall... this is what a blond should be. Not any of that light malts and hint of hops. This is a blend of lots of tropical fruits, lighter malts with a full taste profile and soft feel, and ridiculously drinkable. I could pound the entire 750ml growler in a few minutes if I'm not careful. I don't think you can do a blond better, probably pinnacle of the style!

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of DaveHack
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 4 day old growler.

Very light and hazy yellow. White, fluffy head quickly settles to leave a soapy looking film over the beer.

Smell is awesome! Fresh hops mingle nicely with some citrus as well.

Taste follows...fresh tropical hops with a touch of citrus. It's almost sweet, like hop candy should be (I've had hop candy and it sucked). There could be just a touch more bitterness...but I'm only looking for things that aren't perfect.

It feels great in the mouth. Light body without being too light, there is still substance to it. Every sip leaves me wanting another.

This is AWESOME...all this at 4%...YES, PLEASE! I had this with Life w/o Principle 1 and while that is really good, this is just a bit better with the low ABV really hammering it home. THIS is the definition of a sessionable beer.

Photo of Damian
4.45/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of dar482
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%

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.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this at Matt's birthday tasting last night. Thanks for sharing this, Matt!

Hazy yellow with a dense, white head dissipating quickly leaving little lacing, I have seen prettier beers in my lifetime. The nose is citrusy, slightly grassy, with a honey, doughy malt character that complements the hops really well. Oranges and a little peach are present, this beer is pretty bright and excellent.

The palate opens hoppy, mildly grassy but mostly citrusy. A nice, doughy malt character is present mid-palate. Fruity - citrus, peach, fleshy grapefruit - this is an excellent showcase of hops. Not particularly bitter, this is drying on the finish with a fruity bitterness and a mild grapefruit pith-like bitterness. Very nice stuff, this is extremely sessionable.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 64 oz. growler fliptop filled yesterday at the brewery. This has been chilled since it was filled. Poured into a pint glass and enjoyed by myself over the course of a couple hours.

Appearance: Pale straw yellow in color and plenty cloudy. Pours a two to three finger white and cloudy head with really good retention. The carbonation has held up really well.

Aroma: Big citrus and tropical fruit notes are strong and definitely are the main component. The hops are definitely the star of this beer. Seems more an IPA than a blonde.

Taste: This is definitely more of a sessionable IPA than a blonde if there was any doubt before. Citrus, tropical fruit, and some bitter pine notes. What's really interesting is that all the huge flavors of a double IPA are there with none of the alcohol. The booze and malt sweetness that comes along with it is gone. Feels a bit watery at the end, but I think that's just a function of the ABV.

Mouthfeel: Light in body and plenty crisp. Very refreshing.

Overall: A really flavorful and interesting sessionable version of an IPA. I'm almost done the growler and I can barely feel any effects. It really succeeds in that regard. It is a bit watery in the finish, but I feel that is a byproduct of the powerful hop flavors upfront that just cannot be sustained throughout. Really good and interesting, but I would not say it is my favorite from HF. Perfect for a sessionable hoppy beer though.

Photo of orangesol
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Deuane at the very end of Campground Brewdown.

A - Pours hazy pale yellow with a frothy one and a half finger tall white head leaving sticky lace down the entire glass.

S - Smells of pungent grassy hops, dulled tropical fruits, pine resin, touch of sweet pils malt with a light breadiness. The hops work well with the base.

T - Starts off with some bready pils malt quickly giving way to hints of citric zest, resin and a surprisingly low amount of grassy hop bitterness. There is still plenty of hops in it but they are nicely subdued, allowing this one to be incredibly drinkable.

M - Medium-Light body with moderate carbonation. Subtle chewiness with plenty of hop bitterness, nearly balanced to perfection.

O - This one tastes like some of the other HF pale ales, even tho it is a blonde ale. The hops and base blonde work very well together, combining with the low ABV to make this one very easy to consume. This is a really awesome beer.

Photo of stakem
3.56/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler into a tulip, the brew appears a clouded color of golden yellow. A rich white froth more than 2 fingers strong sits atop and holds with fairly decent retaining powers. As the cap fades, it sticks to the glass with patches of webby lace. A light swirl revives a finger of frothy yellowish stained coloration.

The nose on this is grassy with a grainy edge about it that seems like straw. Some earthy and yeasty elements are present that add to the focus of the straw quality. The hop character is somewhat lemony mixed with sulfur. There is a very faint fruity quality that tries to make itself known as it warms up, but it never quite gets there.

The taste is exactly what you would expect based off of the aroma. Some of the straw or hay-like quality is present mixed with a bit of a dry wheat inclusion. Straw and a bit of grass with a mild bitterness towards the back. A mild yeasty inclusion is present that brings out a bit of earthy element. I am let a bit down here by the flavor of this brew. Just like the nose suggested, there is a very faint fruity quality that wants to come out but it never really distinguishes itself.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. At times, it is fairly watery but considering it is 4% I can't complain. This is quite a summertime offering that I could throw a growler full back easily by myself without regret. My only real cause for concern here is that in the past 2 months I have now tried 5 different hoppy beers by Hill Farmstead that are new to me. Each and every one of them despite being an IPA, DIPA, Pale ale or hoppy blonde all have a dominating straw character to them that stands out more than I would expect. I guess that's just HF's house character? I recently got to try 2 other brewer's takes on using the Motueka hop and despite knowing that was in this brew it just doesn't come out to me... nor does the amarillo.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of Sean9689
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Several growlers destroyed in a matter of days.

Golden yellow, white frothy head, sticky lace, and thin cap. Smell is grassy, floral, and light sweetness. This beer is basically an ultra-light Pale Ale, which is simply awesomeness in liquid form. Tastes grassy, light citrus, some malts. There's no really hop bite on the end, which makes this beer overly chuggable.

Another winner from HF, obv. One of the tastiest, lightest, and wonderful "Blonde's" I've had. I would drink this beer so often if it was around me, hard to get tired of it even though it's so light.

Photo of VTLocal420
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Great light beer from a brewery known for their chewy IPAs/PA's and amazing Sour Farmhouse Ales.

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Walden from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 390 ratings.