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Walden - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Walden
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

49 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 49
Hads: 404
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 6.25%
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: 49 | Hads: 404
Photo of stakem
3.56/5  rDev -17.6%
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. (1,911 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 smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev -10.2%
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. (639 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
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. (364 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 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 DefenCorps
4.07/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (768 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 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 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 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 drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by yourefragile at dinner the other night. Thanks. Served in a Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip. Beer is yellow with a haze, soft white head, moderate to low carbonation, nice retention, some lacing, looks good.

Aroma is great. Hoppy, floral, citrus, nice.

Beer is light in body, hoppy on the palate but not bitter at the end. It is mildly grainy and the aroma turns out to be the best part. It has a nice feel to it and I would have it again. (456 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. The color is hazy light straw. There is a nice half inch head.

The aroma has some nice citrus and grassy hops.

The taste is light with some nice bready malt like characteristics to go with the prominent grapefruit flavor.

This is light bodied and refreshing. There is nice crisp carbonation.

This isn't the hop bomb one might expect from these breweries, but it is certainly hoppy with nice bitterness. I guess for these guys it counts as balanced. Yum! (483 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 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 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 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 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)

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried right after life without principle thanks to starrdogg, thanks Matt!

This beer also has a nice golden look though this one is notably hazier than the previous beer (life w/o principle), and has tons of lacing ith a small ring of white head. The smell is great and again reminds me of a hoppy citrus pale ale, with a light honey malt backbone to it. The taste has a big malt backbone with some grassy hop notes and a touch of citrus, lemon grass that reminds me of gumball head though not as aggressive. The feel is nice and light, ok carbonation. Another nice beer. (572 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 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 angrybabboon
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with Goblinmunkey7, growler filled about 11 hours ago

Consumed 8/29/15

A: Pours hazy, deep gold with some orange/tangerine highlights - pours with a medium size, bright white head, fades to a wispy cap, leaves some nice streaks and splotches of lacing

S: Big, potent hops, decidedly does not smell like a 4% ABV beer - bright and juicy - tangerine, orange, grapefruit flesh and juice - very, very floral - some soft tropical notes, mango and melon - some hints of pine, herbal notes - very pale malts, more or less nonexistent

T: Bright hops, without being aggressive, without any malty distractions - top-notch blend of hops, with some lovely citrus and tropical notes - Amarillo in abundance - tangerine and ruby red grapefruit juice, flesh - peach, melon, and magno - very bright - some herbal and leafy hops - light, pale malts and some light bread, crackers - exceptionally clean, even for a Hill Farmstead beer

M: On the light side of medium excellent carbonation, smooth finish

O: A beer to Thoreau back (cue rimshot)

This is the best session ale ever. Period. There is a stupid amount of flavor in this beer, more than some IPAs with twice the ABV. I kind of regret getting only a measly 750mL of this rather than pouring a 2 liter growler directly into my mouth. (1,285 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (1,445 characters)

Photo of starrdogg
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served alongside Life Without Principle for no particular reason.

Pours a hazy light yellow with a medium white head. Smell is a really nice citrusy hop with bready malt in the background. Not quite as nice of an aroma as LWP, but still rather impressive. I think it might get a 4.5 if I wasn't comparing the two. Flavor, however, is more impressive than LWP. It's a little bigger and maltier than LWP but with a similar hop profile. It almost comes off like a baby version of Heady Topper. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is another great hoppy beer from HF and one I prefer (slightly) to LWP. (633 characters)

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Walden from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.