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Walden - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Walden
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

50 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 50
Hads: 412
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 6.25%
Wants: 47
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: 50 | Hads: 412
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)

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 jaasen64
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (1,222 characters)

Photo of Luk13
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (490 characters)

Photo of danedelman
4.45/5  rDev +3%
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!! (385 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 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 Kinsman
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

Mouthfeel is light and plenty refreshing making this one incredibly drinkable. Overall, as expected, HF and the Alchemist worked their magic with an incredibly tasty session blonde. With so many hit or miss collaborations out there, this one was certainly a hit. (1,014 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 Bendurgin
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (440 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 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 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 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)

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Walden from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.