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Walden - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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51 Reviews
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Reviews: 51
Hads: 425
Avg: 4.3
pDev: 20.47%
Wants: 49
Gots: 8 | 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: 51 | Hads: 425
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The collaboration that forced me to drive to VT.

A-Pours like hoppy beers from both breweries. Very hazy but still displays that never ending glow. This one is incredibly opaque. Bubbly white head is rocky. Leaves lacing explosions along my new Alchemist glass. Beautiful.

S-An absolute perfect aroma. How on Earth did they pack such an aroma in a 4% brew!? Über-tropical nose. Smells like carbonated pineapple juice. Light Animal Cracker malt. Hoppiness almost defies reality for such a low gravity brew. One sniff and you know the Alchemist was involved. Another sniff and you're sure Hill Farmstead worked their magic too.

T-My god. This has a more beautifully molded hop bouquet than literally 9 out of every 10 Double IPAs I have tried. As hoppy as a 9% ABV DIPA. Pineapple, fresh cut grass, light pine, apples, grapefruit...you name it and it's present in the flavor. Amazing.

M-The body is unacceptably sessionable. Light and crisp with a perfectly dry finish. Moderate bitterness. Just shockingly light in body.

O/D-My two favorite breweries absolutely KILLED this collaboration. Has the flavor of a top-tier DIPA yet it has the feel of a Blonde Ale. This is why craft beer is my biggest hobby. I could drink this and only this every day and be completely satisfied. The perfect mixture of sessionability and hoppiness. If this can stand up to the best DIPAs and IPAs I have tried, it deserves a huge rating.

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Photo of derekrick420
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

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Photo of dar482
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%

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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is Shaun Hill's first in a line of Blonde Ales and was a collaboration with John Kimmich from The Alchemist. This beer is 40 IBUs and was hopped with Motueka, Amarillo, and Simcoe.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a beautiful hazy straw hue with an excellent two finger white creamy head that fades to leave sticky, thick side lacing. An appearance that is quickly becoming tell tale of a Hill Farmstead beer.

S - Smell is out of this world to be honest. Massive amounts of this tropical fruit punch / tuti fruiti aroma that I am guessing is coming from the Motueka. Its super fresh and super clean smelling.

T - Light grassy, very very lightly bitter hops start the flavour off. This is immediately followed by more of those tropical hawaiin punch / tuti fruiti flavours. That taste is awesome. Its a deliciously hopped session pale/blonde.

M - Mouthfeel is nice. Maybe due to the lower ABV it feels just the hairest thin and doesnt quite have the body of a typical blonde. That said, god damn is this drinkable. Slightly bitter on the end and bursting with flavour.

O - Overall this is a superb beer once again from Hill Farmstead. The aromas and flavors on this are a home run. I wish more brewers created beers like this, or atleast it wasn't a 5 hour drive to get some HF.

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Photo of Kinsman
4.6/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of Resuin
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
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!

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Photo of DaveHack
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler shared by Sean. Served in a Hopleaf tulip.

A - White foam settles a thin cap and splotchy lace. Hazy pale white peach flesh body.

S - Super hoppy aroma, with great citrus and tropical flavors, as well as some pine, and perhaps a touch of dankness. I definitely guessed the Amarillo, and got a touch of the Simcoe but the Motueka was a surprise.

T - Again, great hop flavor, with citrus zest, tropical fruits, and a clean pale malt backdrop. Pleasantly low bitterness makes this really easy to drink.

M - Pleasant carbonation, lightly grainy medium-light body. Clean, refreshing finish.

D - Absolutely crushable stuff. Could have drank all 750ml easily on my own, or perhaps even an entire 2L growler. Shaun has certainly redefined the blonde ale with this beer.

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Photo of huddyball
4.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Probably the best sessionable ale I've ever had. Flavor is not overpoweringly hoppy like you'd get in an IPA/IIPA but it's enough to know you're drinking a well crafted ale. Could drink this stuff all day and not get tired of it.

Pours a bright, hazy, golden color with a fantastic white head that leaves good lacing. Smell is great and muted. Tons of tropical fruits (lemon and orange dominate). Taste is on point with the smell. TONS of lemon up front. Feel is very good but doesn't really stand out in any way.

Overall I was VERY pleased with this brew. I opened up a 750ml growler after a hot day and killed it in about 30 minutes because it just hit the spot. Would not hesitate to get more when available.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler filled at the Festival of Farmhouse Ales on Saturday (two days ago). Poured into a HF tulip. Also had on tap at the Festival.

A- Pours a very hazy yellowish blonde, with about a quarter finger of white fluffy bubbly head with great retention. About average carbonation. Leaves very nice layered lacing.

S- Lots of citrus hops, lemon, grapefruit, pine, blonde malts, smells like a really good IPA more then anything else. Definitely above average aroma strength- could smell while pouring into the glass.

T- Citrus lemon hops, a tiny bit of grapefruit and pine, some very light blonde malts and wheat on the finish, finishes a little bit tangy with lemons and oranges, nice citrusy aftertaste. Again tastes more like a citrusy IPA then anything. Everything is perfectly balanced.

M- Light, very refreshing (great summer beer), perfect carbonation, very smooth, very sessionable.

O- This was definitely the best blonde ale I've ever had, if you can call it that. Almost more like a citrusy IPA then anything, still finishes with a blonde ale feel. Extremely sessionable and lots of flavor for such a low abv beer. I definitely recommend trying this out if you can, I would drink this every day if I could.

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. This one pours a hazy pale straw with a cap of frothy white head with some sticky lace.

Lots of sweet citrus and pineapple in the aroma with some dry crackery malts in the background. Like the aroma indicates this is simply full of citrus hops. Orange and pineapple with a nice malt background.

The body is nice and light with good carbonation. Overall this one is pretty amazing. Lots of flavor for a tiny beer.

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Photo of Hendry
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of Damian
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of danedelman
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up yesterday from the brewery and have been drinking it all week while up there.

A-straw/pale yellow with haze and nice 1 finger head. In the bars it had a bit more.

S-grassy citrus hops with a hint of mustiness.

T-very citrusy hops with a nice malt balance.

M-medium body with low carbonation, probably from getting the growler yesterday.

O-Great session beer!!

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Photo of MacQ32
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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)

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by starrdogg. Thanks Matt.

The beer is light golden yellow with a soft, white head. The aroma is great, offering some citrus and tropical fruits. The flavor brings a light, biscuit, malty character that gracefully balances the beer. Still a hop forward offering, of course. Lingering hop bitterness and tropical citrus on the palate. Delicious. I could drink a lot of this.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of Luk13
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of orangesol
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
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...

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Photo of Sean9689
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Hazy pale straw yellow gold. Head is bright-white, creamy, and loose. Drops a few wisps of cap in very short order. Bubbly and loose collar. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Deep grapefruit and orange. Solid blast of pine needle and resin. Super light malt base offers up toasted white bread. Slightly sweet malt base. Deeply floral with a soft hop spiciness in the back as well. Surprisingly balanced for something with such a big initial nose.

Taste: Super light malt base. Crackery snap coupled with some slightly bready pale malts. Hops throw a solid amount of grapefruit and pine up front. Pine needle, sap, and a touch of resin. Some ruby red grapefruit juice as well. Solidly floral, pushes perfume for a brief moment. Some lemon-lime like Sprite without the sugar. Mildly earthy and herbal as well. Incredibly light and just a touch sweet. Malts are incredibly light and offer a surprising balance to the hops. It's all much lighter than the nose would indicate.

Mouthfeel: Light body with a moderate carbonation. A touch bubbly and dry. Ever so slightly crisp.

Overall: Give me this and let me be.

This is what a "session" IPA should be. It's hoppy in abundance with a great depth of flavor. Super drinkable and just that good.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Walden from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.