Walden - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Walden
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

47 Reviews
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Reviews: 47
Hads: 390
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 2.31%
Wants: 46
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 390
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 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 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 jlindros
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
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! (1,746 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (774 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 orangesol
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (966 characters)

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 Huhzubendah
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (381 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 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 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 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 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 rudzud
4.78/5  rDev +10.6%
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. (1,297 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 VelvetExtract
4.96/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

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. (1,422 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 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 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 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 Sean9689
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (569 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 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 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)

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