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Elaborative #1 - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Elaborative #1Elaborative #1

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

197 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 197
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.28%

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Elaborative #1 was brewed in November of 2011 with our friends Brad Clark and Chad Yakobson. A brown ale brewed with freshly harvested Ohio walnuts. The beer was aged in oak barrels, each barrel with a different blend of wild yeast and bacteria representative of the participating brewers. After 18 months, the distinct threads were blended back together and refermented in the bottle.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 04-16-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 197 | Reviews: 30 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Etan


3.76/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A. Pours a murky mahogany with a large off-white head.

S. Big lactic aroma. Toasted grain, strawberry, and a nutty aroma that is quite unique.

T. Vinous, light acetic acid, walnut husk, lactic finish. Simple.

M. Between light and medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O. This was enjoyable, and the walnut flavor came through more than I expected, but it's a somewhat one-dimensional beer. For the length and variety of barrel-aging I'm not really picking up much barrel complexity.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 06:22:08 | More by Etan
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.81/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Murky brown. Small khaki head. Nice surface wisps and retention.

Smell - Wow, it actually smells like walnuts. Sharp acidity. Lactic. White pepper.

Taste - Sharp sourness. A little bit of letdown. Malty. Nuts come out in the back.

Mouthfeel - Not as dry as Prolegomena. Better body. Nutty.

Overall - A unique take. I expected something similar to Prolegomena, but this has a totally different profile.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2013 00:46:37 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of HoppyKilaMonster


3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Served out of a 375mL into a snifter
A- dark brown, with a beige/ cream colored head

S-slight walnuts, and then the funks/ sour comes through. right off the bat, this reminds me of the dutchess

T- mellow initially, then the walnuts come through a little, finishers off very sour

M- very sour/ funky. A little over carbonated for my taste

0- a good beer. I would put it in the category of try it once, but it may be more difficult to attain then what it is worth.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 05:40:28 | More by HoppyKilaMonster
Photo of MasterSki


4.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by some generous person at the Prairie event at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a Cantillon taster glass.

A - Light tan foam settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and no lacework. Hazy turbid brown body; obviously agitated before serving but not much of a looker.

S - Very lambic-esque, with lots of mineral, mustiness, and lactic acidity. There's some mild vinous oak, and perhaps some faint nuttiness from the walnut addition. Very low sweetness; not sure I would have guessed brown ale beyond the color.

T - The taste is a bit more in line with my expectations, with a bit more toasted nut and light malt sweetness from the base brown ale. Less sour here, with more of a musky sweet funk rather than the earthy, dusty one in the aroma.

M - As usual, Hill Farmstead's carbonation is soft and on the lower end of the spectrum. Medium body, slightly tannic, with no discernible alcohol.

D - Seems less complex that you'd expect from description, but not necessarily in a bad way. I enjoyed my pour, but there are a number of Hill Farmstead beers I'd prefer to drink over this one. Still, it's a quality brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 23:37:30 | More by MasterSki
Photo of jlindros


4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Shared with rudzud.

Decent fluffy slight foamy head, fades at a med pace with nice lacing, super dark cola brown color.

Nose is very interesting, there is a definite toasted walnut aroma, almost walnut shell like, with toasty brown malts hint of smoke too, then a nice sour wild ale with light funk, a wild lacto like creamy sour funk. then a nice toasty oak, hint vinous must I think.

Taste starts with creamy sourness, lacto like sour funk and wild flavours. Then brown malts, creamy toasty brown malts and plenty of nutty flavours, roasted walnut and light nutty toffee candy like, mixed with the nice sour wild funk, light malt vinegar. Also a touch of vanilla toasty oak. Finish is flemmy with more malt vinegar light funk lingering, little nutty toffee like and walnut shell.

Mouth is med bod, little flemmy, decent but lighter carb.

Overall not bad, interesting and unique, not quite wild enough imo, and a bit too malty but maybe that's the way to blend the walnuts in, but pretty enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2013 22:42:14 | More by jlindros
Photo of rudzud


4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Split with JLindros, poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A- Poured a nice ruddy mahogany hue and a thin tan head, leaves thin wisps and light lacing.

S - Aromas of deep nuttiness, definitely walnuts, light oak, typical wild sour notes.

T - Taste is nicely sour, light almost sour cherry notes, tons of walnuts, rich almost acrid nuts, light vinegar notes.

M -Mouthfeel is stood, light tart carbonation, super drinkable.

O - Overall I enjoyed this beer, however, my expectations for this beer was much higher due to the brewers involved. Still, delicious.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 21:48:55 | More by rudzud
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle into Hill Farmstead stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1.5 finger foamy cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear, dark brown-amber. Lacing is thick and layered with excellent stick. A great looking brew.

Nose is sweet off the bat with hints of vinegar and sour red fruit. Some nuttiness is apparent but if I didn't know it was supposed to be there, I'd confuse it with a sharper tartness. A woody funk too. Decent and moderately aromatic. Good balance too.

Opens tart red fruit with some nutty shell bitterness. Tart in the middle with a vinegary lean. Prunes and more red fruit at the middle. Funk and oak at the back end. Finishes dry with a light, prickly bitterness. Tart aftertaste. Very solid.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and goes down aggressive and foamy. Finishes dry with a slightly puckering, but mostly clean aftertaste. Really good.

A very impressive offering from Hill Farmstead, Elaborative 1 leans more towards the Flanders style than an AWA but for what it is, its very good. Nice balance in the nose and palate with an outstanding feel to pull everything together. Definitely worth seeking out!

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 23:50:46 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of Treebs


4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle served in a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. Thanks to Colin for the share.

A: Pours a murky brown color dark yellow head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin ring that leaves some splotchy lace.

S: Lots of great earthy funk on the nose. A little cherry with some oak and a little tartness. Sweet malts as well.

T: The walnuts come through on the finish. Definitive nuttiness combined with a lot of great funk. Earthy and musty with some oak and a cherry skins. Subtle tartness as well.

M: Light bodied with a dry mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

O: Great funk on this one. The nuttiness on the finish provides a nice sweetness that pairs well with the funk.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 14:03:51 | More by Treebs
Photo of mhksuccess


4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pour from a bottle into a stone RIS snifter
brown color very little head and little lacing
smell is nuts and fruit with slight funk
has mild sour taste very smooth
the oak barrel they used seem to give it a slight wine type of taste to it
would prefer more of a tart sour
but it is a smooth bottle worthy of trying

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 21:51:46 | More by mhksuccess
Photo of HuskyinPDX


4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 1.16.14

A - Pours a cola brown with a fizzy darker tan head that bubbles down slowly.

S - Earthy, walnuts, oak, tobacco. Smooth.

T - Tart oak, nutty, cherry and vanilla in the finish. Very layered and complex.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Lots going on here. Walnuts, oak, funk, fruits.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 05:06:08 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of TychoNDC

New York

4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes! Consumed 7/29/2013.

Poured into a stemmed HF glass.

A- Pours a rich coffee colored brown. It's not quite a porter in color but its darn close. The beer keeps a thin creamy head with some nearly translucent lacing.

S- Intoxicating! Acid and oak dominate up front. Tart and sweet follows, like a sour warhead. An amazing smell.

T. Sour and acidic up front. As it warms the tongue, the walnuts come into play, and lastly the oak really shines. It's almost 3 different beers! A very unique flavor profile, but possibly a bit too acidic to remain balanced.

M. Fleeting effervescence gives way to a bold, wine-like body. This beer has a weight which exceeds its flavor and alcohol content.

O. The sourness of this beer is completely refreshing and nicely complements the rich body of the beer. The oak unfortunately is a little less present than I might like. All in all, it's a wonderful beer and I'd love to see how it mellows over time.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2013 01:51:38 | More by TychoNDC
Photo of Kinsman


4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fills the glass with a rich mahogany color and a big and fluffy tan head. First whiff gives you a healthy dose of fruity tartness overlaying a more subtle sweet malty note. Hard to pick up on any nutty notes at this point.

Refreshingly tart on the first sip without being too sour. Lemony citrus notes come through alongside a bit of a sweet white wine note. As it warms, it opens up a bit to show the maltier side of things. FInishes nicely with just a touch of the woody barrel flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and rather crisp. Carbonations seems to be spot on. Overall, and excellent wild ale, though the walnuts seem to be hidden by all the wild yeast and barrel flavors.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2013 01:21:23 | More by Kinsman
Photo of jaasen64


4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 375ml bottle poured into HF fest glass. Two 375ml bottles cracked at once and split five ways. One bottle was purchased the week it was released and the other was purchased during a surprise Wednesday release more recently.

A- Pours a translucent slightly reddish brown with a slight off-white foamy head that leaves layered lacing. Maybe not the most appealing beer I've ever seen but what do you expect from a wild brewed with walnuts.

S- Tons of funk, very lambic-like, fairly musty with some cheese, slight pepper, and some walnuts balanced in. Reminds me a lot of a 3F gueuze with a little bit of a walnut characteristic. The beer is very aromatic with the walnuts actually coming out nicely and blending with the funk. Very unique and interesting.

T- A bit on the sour side with some nice cheesy funk, mustiness, cherry skins, light pepper, and walnuts that come out a bit more on the finish and balance nicely with the funk. Complex, interesting, unique, definitely the funkiest HF I've had (albeit haven't had CD7 yet).

M- Acidity cuts through the palate decently strong but doesn't effect the flavors too much, carbonation adds a fitting tingly sensation to match the funk, a little bit on the dry side.

O- This is easily one of the more unique american wilds I've had, but it was very nicely done. The extended aging of 18 months definitely shown through bringing out a considerable amount of mustiness and funk and a decent amount of acidity on the palate. The walnuts came through nicely in both bottles but the one that had been at HF longer had noticeably more walnut- which most likely shows that HF's cellaring is probably superior to ours and that cellar conditions definitely can play a factor on this beer. I think it would cellar fine but probably more optimal to drink now then later.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 20:43:53 | More by jaasen64
Photo of MDDMD


4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown color with mahogany highlights, decent off-hire head and some lacing

S-brown malt, sour cherries, walnuts

T-nice sour fruit up front and then the walnuts come through in a nice complementary fashion, good brown ale base

F-medium body with mild to moderate carbonation, crisp and tart

O-an interesting sour with walnuts which really worked nicely with this

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 02:08:51 | More by MDDMD
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to HF stemmed tulip.

A - Deep brown with one finger of light brown head.

S -Some vinegar sourness up front that settle down and give way to a light nutty aroma and some sweetness.

T - Acidic sourness that gives way to a nutty/bready sweetness and touches of caramel and brown sugar. Not specifically getting the walnuts but there is a big nutty note.

M - Light to medium body. Dry. Moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 00:47:23 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of Skrip

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

A~ really dark brown with a redish hue towards the bottom. light tan head with a lot of lacing.

S~ very tart up front, lemons, grapefruit, and a little lime. all followed by roasty dark malts, a little nut aroma, and a good amount of oak.

T~ YES! the walnut flavor comes out soo nicely leaving a hint all the way through the after taste. first you get a lot of lemony tartness that immediately changes into a crazy walnut explosion! lots of nutty oak on the finish that really sticks with you. absolutely amazing!

M~ definite lighter then i expected. very smooth and nicely carbonated. the carbonation really plays a close role with the walnuts, once that carbonation hits the pallet its like a walnut orgasm (no homo lol)

O~ delicious! all around delicious! once again HF can do no wrong, they some how manage to exceed my expectations every time which should be hard by now because they're threw the roof haha. if you're into wild ales and love a good overly nutty brown this brew is totally for you!

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2013 19:37:35 | More by Skrip
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul.

The beer is cola brown with a thin, fizzy head. I don't pick out walnuts, per se. Aromas of earth, musty funk, vinous notes, oak. Some cherry notes with a lovely sour quality. Piquant and delicious. Fairly light in body, though bold in flavor. Assertive without being aggressive. Quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 02:13:37 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of bahnfire


4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into HF stemware.

A: Pours a dark brown color with 1.5 finger head. In the glass it passes minimal to no light, but appears maroon around the edges of the glass.

S: Lots of good funk on the nose. Can't get enough of it. Also get some of the walnuts on the nose as well.

T: Not quite as sour as the nose may lead you to believe, but still properly sour. More of a balanced sour than a mouth puckering sour. The barrel comes through as well. The more it warms the more barrel you get.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation level typical of the style.

O: A great sour brown ale. If you like sours I would recommend seeking it out.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 03:11:03 | More by bahnfire
Photo of mobius387


4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into hill farmstead stemware

appearance: dark oaky brown, thick vanilla bubbly head, opaque, few bubbles clutching the sides and bottom of glass. is this a stout? no, no, its a wild

aroma: nutty, oaky, charred, brett, very nice and robust

palate: medium body, minimal carbonation, soft on the tongue, easy to drink

taste: i get black cherries, oak, tart, some molasses, a hint of hops, so smooth

overall: i have to say, this is one of the best sours ive had by HF. i love them for their ipas and saisons, but this is fantastic as well. a superbly balanced wild, tart enough to be a quality sour, but robust enough to offer much more than just sour power.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 22:00:38 | More by mobius387
Photo of rlee1390


4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A-Clear ruby when pouring, black in the glass, with a two finger tan head and some lacing.

S-Mild funk, lots of oak and the nuts are present.

T-Amazing balance. Starts with mild funk. Then the walnuts and oak take over. The walnut flavor is outstanding. Even some grass.

M-Medium bodied, well carbonated, semi-crisp finish.

O-An absolutely amazing beer. One of the best. The walnuts had be concerned, but they flavor they give the beer was phenomenal.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 17:10:11 | More by rlee1390
Photo of Pinknuggets


4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to HFS Sniffer

A: dark brown but almost reddish mahogany in color with hues of bright red on the outside. It has a creamy tan brown head that leaves a heavy lacing that stays in the glass. It is pretty much completely opaque.

S: Upfront there are smells of oak and funk the wild yeast and long aging really makes its presence felt. There are some notes of walnuts and dark fruit with a little tiny bit of sweetness.

T: In the beginning it is pretty tart to the point its almost overwhelming, but immediately the brown and walnuts hit you and everything is smoothed out. The tartness does not disappear but becomes a lot more sweet as the walnut and oak flavor really stand out in finish that without being repetitive is completely smooth.

M: The carbonation adds to the tartness up front to almost burn your tongue but the aging and the brown ale parts come through making this beer really smooth and incredibly drinkable. The finish is probably one of the best I've ever had.

O: This is definitely the best brown sour I have ever had and is definitely an extremely high quality beer. The flavor is tart and sweet in the start but smooth nutty with a hint of oak in the finish. The transformation this beer makes in your mouth is amazing especially when coupled with the use of wild yeast and barrel aging if you can get this beer do so.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 01:02:18 | More by Pinknuggets
Photo of SadMachine

New Jersey

4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep, opaque brown with mahogany hues on the edges. A finger head that retains well and leaves good lacing.

S- Smells incredibly unique! Opens with a waft of tart funk and barrel character, but it is swiftly ushered away by walnut and some wood. As it warms the tart and funky aromas increase. There's also a bit of smokiness.

T- The flavor is incredible, and so different from anything else I've ever tasted! It's hard to even describe many of the flavors since it's so unique. It is only mildly tart and funky, but the walnut and barrel flavors are big and pronounced. There are many subtleties that make this beer a pleasure to explore. It has a nice smokiness and mild roast to add to the mellow feel of the beer.

M- The mouthfeel is medium, smooth, and just about perfect for the style.

O- Overall I am enthralled with and intrigued by this beer! I wish I could describe it better, but this will have to suffice!

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 17:24:17 | More by SadMachine
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN

New York

4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Rusty, brownish red with a small off-white head that recedes quickly to the perimeter.

Smell: Funky sourness, damn. There's an array of fruit there: cherries, pear, apple and lemon. Some faint strawberry notes are there as well.

Taste: Front of the tongue is all funk from the wild yeast. Middle of the tongue gives you that juicy fruit thing as described in the nose. The end of the drink gives you the walnut character and then it all just fades out so cleanly, it's insane. The finish of this beer pretty much makes everything, despite the insanity of it all, drop off a cliff, and leave you with nothing more than an extremely subtle walnut taste; pretty damn complex. The way this beer unfolds is just so nice; beginning, end and middle are just so different, and distinctly unique.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation and medium bodied at most, but extremely drinkable.

Overall: This beer is like nothing I've ever had, but that alone doesn't make an outstanding beer. This brew is amazing because it unfolds like a well told story; with many distinct stages of the plot happening in waves that can't be ignored. A complex journey that I've found in few beers prior, this stands out. Thanks, Shaun and friends.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 02:46:31 | More by PsilohsaiBiN
Photo of unclejazz

New York

4.61/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Happily enjoyed a few pours from brewers Chad and Brad at HF 3rd annual weather emergency. Being a fan of Crooked Stave and having visited Athens once, I was bind to enjoy this. What best stood out toe was the great smell of walnut, great funk tartness, and a clean crisp taste. I could drink and drink and drink this some more. I might jut drive back up when they release this in bottles. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2013 20:48:21 | More by unclejazz
Photo of nrs207


4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown, not too murky. Slight head from a small pour. Looks inviting.

S - Nice slightly tart aroma. Can smell a bit of a brown ale and the walnuts as more of a generic nuttiness.

T - Taste is where the beer really elevates itself. I love walnuts and you can really taste them on the back end. Up front there's a light tartness. By no means is this an exceptionally sour beer. Very well balanced, but I love the walnuts at the end. Really enjoyable.

M - Smooth, well carbonated, no alcohol presence. Just like every other Hill Farmstead beer I've had the pleasure of trying.

O - This is a great beer that surpassed my expectations. The walnuts are really a great addition for someone who likes them, and I could drink this all day. Really great stuff right here, and another great beer from Shaun. Grab them if you can, none of us (6 people) were let down by it.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 07:21:37 | More by nrs207
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Elaborative #1 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.