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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: 406
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: 406
Photo of Damian
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

750ml growler courtesy Ruth..Thanks!

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

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

Light bodied with a crispish mouthfeel. A bit thinnish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

S-citrus, pine, bread, hint of sweetness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aroma is citrus & pine, prominent but not aggressive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smell: Has a very citrusy smell and faint piney aroma

Taste: has a very strong taste of grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: feels very light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On draft at Blackback.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed from notes.

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

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

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

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

Growler shared by largadeer. Thanks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And yet. September 1, 2012.

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

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

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

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

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 DaveHack
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (818 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 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)

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 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 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 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)

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