Hill Farmstead / Blaugies Le Sarrasin | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Hill Farmstead / Blaugies Le SarrasinHill Farmstead / Blaugies Le Sarrasin

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Borne of our abiding friendship with Belgium’s La Brasserie de Blaugies, Pierre-Alex and Kevin Carlier brewed with us here in June of 2013. The resulting beer—brewed with hops from Mons, Belgium, and 30% raw organic buckwheat; fermented in both oak barrels and stainless steel; and aged for many months in those same barrels—is among the finest farmhouse ales we’ve ever produced. Vibrant, lively and sophisticated, its bracing tartness belies its elegant wine-like profile. We were honored to have brewed with Pierre-Alex and Kevin; we are delighted to share it with you.

Added by ThatsThatDude on 02-05-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 346
4.81/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hill Farmstead/Blaugies Le Sarrasin

A: This now legendary saison pours a beautiful, hazy, golden orange that looks quite a bit like orange juice in proper lighting. Two fingers of cream-colored head billow up and slowly descend, leaving swathes of lacing in their wake and a crust as a memory. Carbonation is ample if slightly lazy. This looks like a brilliant, textbook saison, but more head and retention would perfect it. 4.5/5

A: Immense, enigmatic complexity greets the nose. Waves of horsey barnyard funk, bright lemon, white grapes, and a distinctive graininess reminiscent of spelt (this is probably the buckwheat) all wax and wane in and out of one another. Apricot, overripe peach, and other stonefruit acidity is detectable underneath those earlier highlights. Creamy, buttery, slightly bitter oak underlines the entire package. The real mastery at hand here is how complex yet subtle everything is. It does not overwhelm in any direction; no, Le Sarrasin is more nimble and refined than that. In a word, near-perfection. 4.75/5

T: The svelte aroma hid what is actually quite an intense flavor profile. Hefty horse blanket, moldy attic funk is the first and most prominent note followed by moderate lemony acidity. Juicy stonefruits wash over the tongue in tandem with beautiful white wine. Finally, the wheaty graininess comes in and breaks up the acidic, funky assault, along with the slight bitterness of grassy hops. Buttery, mildly tannic oak rounds the whole flavor out, leaving behind only an impression of creaminess, fresh baked bread, peppercorn, and a bit of citrus rind. Perhaps it is the age, but this really has more characteristics of a lambic or gueuze than a saison at this point. That said, all the hallmarks of a saison are there (sans hefty spice notes) as well as so much more. 4.75/5

M: As per usual, HF knocks the mouthfeel completely out of the park. Eminent, impossible drinkability with just the right amount of puckering, creaminess, bitterness, and a very dry finish. Carbonation is soft, natural, and perfect. There is just the slightest hint of alcohol heat and not at all in an unpleasant way. This is a complete pleasure to drink. 5/5

O: Despite the heavy funk and moderate tartness, this is still a saison at heart. The wine barrel and long bottle conditioning (at my behest) have changed this beer into something truly remarkable. Sure, it is not the benchmark example of a saison that DuPont is, but it is certainly built on that tradition with HF's delicate yet revolutionary touch. This is a brilliant example of the tart, American saison that helped bring the style into the limelight in the craft scene. Good luck finding one, but never turn this down if given the chance. Pair with the perfect, many-layered jazz fusion musings of Thank You Scientist's "Stranger Heads Prevail". 5/5

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at HF FOFA 2015. HF Taster glass.

Light lemony tartness, some yeast, white grapefruit, and a touch of sweetness. Finishes clean. Extremely drinkable elegant and lengthy finish.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely stunning beer. The base is very nuanced with the buckwheat character to add hints of hay and spice. Chardonnay shines. Perfect dryness and carbonation.

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Photo of Rutager
4.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy honey gold with a finger of white head. Wine barrel,signature HF minerals and funk, light floral notes on the nose. Taste is much the same. Another crazy, insanely good HF saison. They're starting to blend together at this point, but hey, as long as I'm drinking this stuff I won't be prejudiced. World class sour saison. Thanks David!!!

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Photo of cultclassic89
4.57/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Perfect saison. Complex, perfect amount of tartness, great barrel qualities, lively carb and the mouthfeel is out of this world. Just so creamy.

I will say this though. It may be prefect, but it's not really that much further ahead of Oddwood b2 Saison, a local wine barrel aged saison that I can pick up off the shelf for $11.

I'll never regret trading for Sarrasin and loved the experience, but I'm now perfectly content with never trading for another saison again with Oddwood on the shelf.

Edit: Overall to a 4.75 because of having had Works of Love.

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Photo of ArkyVaughan
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On draft at the 2015 Festival of Farmhouse Ales. Wow - what a treat. This one definitely lived up to the considerable hype. Just a tick below Ann and Art, but very close. I've heard this won't be brewed again, but I hope they change their minds.

Update: opened a bottle on 1/13/16 and it bumped my rating from a 4.75 to a perfect 5. Just incredible.

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Photo of jkrug5
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, been wanting to try this one for a long time. So juicy, tart, and refreshing. Taste lemon, wheat, a little funk. Just a perfect saison, the finish lingers forever, this is on a whole other level than their base saison lineup. Hopefully they can brew this again in the near future.

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Photo of zoober911
4.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L - Pours a very clear light hue of orange with some golden sunshine in there. A nice half inch white head forms and lasts foreverrr. The majority falls into the beer but remains as a ring clinging to the glass.

S - Smells of a soft sourness. Some funk. Lemony some citrus.

T - Again with the soft sourness. The right amount of funk and tartness. Delicious in every way.

M - The carbonation was soft. Noticeably softer than other HF beers I have had. Deceiving with the amount of head and the retention it had.

O - I could drink this beer any day of the week. Twice on a beautiful day like today. Definitely a great representation of what it is and well worth the wait!

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Photo of grze
4.62/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a recent tasting, with a few other HF beers. I have to admit that after first 4-5 beers from this brewery I didn't expect anything good. I was really surprised by this one. This is a fantastic saison. One of the best american saisons I had in fact, the only one better I can think of is BA Cellarman. Very juicy, citrusy and funky. Loved every sip of it.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Shared at DLD15. Served in a snifter.

Appears hazy, light lemon-yellow colour, one and a half finger white head that retains reasonably well, dissipates fairly quickly. It's bright and the colour pops at you. Smells like grapefruit, a bit of wheat, a bit of funk. Really astounding how much citrus it has in the smell. There is a light white wine dryness as well; not as much as Flora. Flavour is moderately tart grapefruit flesh, a bit of blood orange, zesty, no lacto, very clean and grapefruit forward. A bit of wheat, oak, white wine complements the citrus. Phenomenal complexity and good "juicy" character; it's not acidic or bracingly tart but it has enough tartness that it doesn't overwhelm the other flavours, retaining its complexity. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a great deal of depth, not syrupy nor is it thin. Incredible drinkability. Finish is grapefruit rind and a bit of white wine dryness. Overall this is probably the best saison I've had from Hill Farmstead to date; it makes Flora look muddled and clumsy in comparison. I have yet to have CD10/CD11 though. In this present moment, all I can say is that Le Sarrasin is absolutely phenomenal and I will be seeking out more; I find myself wishing that there were more saisons like this.

Re-review 6/20/2015. Opened up a 750ml bottle, served in a Hill Farmstead glass. Essentially, it is confirmed that this beer is excellent across the board, with a nearly flawless mouthfeel. Grapefruit, citrus rind, mild wheat, moderate acidity, drinking perfectly right now. It won't get better moving forward, so I would drink yours now if you still have any. Cheers!

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW.... Lemon, uber-funk, and hops... Concentrated flavors, a creamy mouth-feel, and a finish that last a minute or more. Like sue- my previous favorite HF saison/AWA- on steroids! Didn't know "beer" could reach such heights!

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Photo of jjdc
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. Just wow. Don't award many perfect 5s, but this beer is among the best I've ever had. Absolutely gorgeous in the glass. It's hazy gold like the moments just before sunset. The nose is lemony and vinous with a slight hint of pennies or something else metallic. As great as the regular HF saisons are (Arthur, Florence, etc.), this moves into another realm of smoothness, complexity and sophistication. The lemon/lemon peel opening pucker is classic HF. It moves through a Sauvignon blanc note, an effervescence like champagne and then a bit of oak. Everything works in perfect coordination and is superbly balanced. Endlessly refreshing. This is a treat and blows other top rated saisons like Fermier and Bernice out of the water. What did I say? Wow.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle shared by yourefragile. Thanks man!

Pale yellow body with a soapy white head. Aromas of white wine, white grape, oak. Wheat and tart grapes. Funky yeast with a clean mineral water character. Earthy and wonderful. Similarities to gueuze. Delicious.

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Photo of dar482
4.76/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer has light hay qualities, but in general, a longing lemony and complex tart quality of a gueuze. Throughout, from start to finish, the beer has lemon zest and lemon seeds.

I offer a comparison to a gueuze, without the huge funk.

A deliciously tart brew that is one of the best bottled ales from Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of kevanb
4.64/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. Enjoyed on 12.6.14, reviewed from tasting notes, many thanks to my dad for opening his bottle and sharing.

The beer pours an orange copper color, a bit of gold in there, very hazy with a nice, white head, very soapy, about 2 fingers high that has great retention and leaves some nice spots of lace. The aroma is wonderful, very citrusy, oaky with nice white wine character, buckwheat and pale grain with a bit of stone fruit and tart wildflower, and just to finish it off, that signature mineral profile from the well water. The flavors are really delicate and quite refreshing, juicy with citrus and white stone fruits, lightly tart, plenty of smooth but rustic grain, white line that is lightly vinous and just a nice subtle mustiness that brings out the minerals from the well water, really nice depth of flavor but balance of all the influences. The mouth feel is superb, coating, lively, smooth, soft and creamy but still ample carbonation that finishes with a delicate touch.

Verdict: An outstanding wine barrel aged saison, not overly barrel heavy, but not overly tart either, nicely fruity, floral and rustic that hits a wonderful balance. A beer that is not to be missed, bright and delicate that hits my palate right in the sweet spot.

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Photo of Sarge3130
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredibly balanced beer. wonderful sweetness, oak barrel, and tartness. Creamy mouth feel. I would drink this everyday if I had the opportunity. The best Hill Farm saison I've ever had including Flora. Seek this one out.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.2/5  rDev -9.3%

Pour is faintly hazed deep golden amber with a fair bit of tight white head that lingers and leaves a decent lace. Nose is very bright and vibrant, nice grape skin, light dusty notes, hints of oakiness. Taste is bright, light oak, hints of egg, some dusty brett, bright grape skin, vinous notes in back. Nice light soft body, well carbonated, gentle and subtle.

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Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I have been saving this one since the summer and glad I finally got to open it.

Looks great, nice head, blah blah blah

Aroma is super funky. We had a couple Cantillon in the same night and this was the funkiest of the bunch. Insane amounts of barnyard characteristics. Literally smells like a horse stall. Barrel presence was there, but the funk was the main characteristic. Lacto gives the aroma a spritz of excitement.

Flavor is your classic Hill Farmstead Saison profile. Grainy, sour, funky and vinous. Absolutely delicious and very glad that there was enough for a second pour.

I really enjoyed this one. Definitely up there in terms of Saisons that I have had.

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.77/5  rDev +3%

Will write a full review tomorrow.

This reminded me a lot of Du Ble batch one but with more citrusy bright notes. More funky flavors and a crisper finish. This also is more dry than a du ble.

Really dug this bear and is behind Oude Fermier and tied with SdF as my favorite Saison.

HF and SP really know what they're doing this this style and have truly mastered it

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.4/5  rDev -5%

Thanks to Chris F. for sharing this one at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a murky golden-orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, grain, fruit, white wine, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour grain, white wine, and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with really nice barrel aged aspects all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev -15.8%

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy orange body. Nice white head. Chunky islands of foam.

Smell - White wine. Interesting grain aroma that I guess is buckwheat. Light toasty aroma. Light lemon.

Taste - White wine. Very light acidity. Grainy with very little sweetness. Light citrus, maybe from hops, maybe from yeast.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation. Medium light body.

Overall - It's good, but it's lacking in body and sweetness to carry the wine barrel flavors.

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Photo of SABERG
4.75/5  rDev +2.6%

Bottle poured into an HFB glass.
A - Beautiful dance of tiny bubbles, work their way across a light golden back drop.
The gentle frothy cap lasts for a while. 4.5
S - Fruit skins, slight sharp funk, a light malt toast buried between lemon, and white grape. 4.75
T - That slight tart snap, with a composed wine feel, the running of the flavors are going on.
A range of flavor that is hard to capture 4.75
M - Sharp edges, and a fine middle., and slightly tingling finish. Striking in its depth. 4.75
O - Impressive, this effort is world class, the buckwheat, the body, the nose, beautiful.

Cheers all

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Photo of MarcWP
4.71/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle into Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Appearance is unfiltered, pastel light gold, small one ginger white head that retains quite well. Sticky froth residue is left on the sides of the glass, not as much as their non-barrel aged offerings but plentiful nonetheless.

Aroma is a crazy balanced mix of wine barrel, funky farmhouse yeast, and fruity esters. Where Fermier is super citrus and Cellarman had a tropical, spicy kick, this retains a more balanced aroma. Not necessarily better but fabulous like the formers. Lime, lemon peel, rustic wheat, white wine, faint banana, and a little tart nectarine.

The taste reveals a thing of beauty. Plenty of lemon tang, lime, and fruity white wine intermingle with a crisp wheat character, sourdough, oak, vanilla, and plantain. It's a crisp flavor that cleans out on the finish quite nice and makes you want to drink more and more. So damn drinkable. As it warms a slight funk also starts to shine through.

Mouthfeel sports a light body, velvety delicious carbonation, and sharp, tart late palate punch. It all ends really dry and exquisitely clean.

This here is a knockout of a beer. I love that the lacto presence is kept in check allowing some of the other flavors shine through that you might otherwise miss by an elevated tartness. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of acidity for a saison but it's so well balanced that it's not one of the main focuses. With breweries left and right making tart saisons I feel like some (Side Project for example) could tone down those PH levels (or maybe I should say tone up.) I have enjoyed the Side Projects immensely but the saisons I've noticed can be aggressively tart. Let's leave that for the sour/wild category. If I were to rate this among Fermier and Cellarman, two very similar other beers, this would likely land in between the two. With Cellarman being the favorite. But this is right there with it in all honesty.

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Photo of WTKeene
4.78/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle poured into a Prairie Teku glass.

Appearance: Pale orange yellow, with a foamy white head leaving lots of thick lacing.

Smell: Loads of bretty funk, vinous tartness. A sweet, citrus character to the tartness as well, and a . This smells ridiculously amazing, one of the best saison’s I've ever smelled.

Taste: If possible, even better than the smell. Lots of sweet fruity, juicy brett character, citrus tartness mixing in with vinous complexity. Almost like a clementine. The finish is long and incredibly oaky, with a vanilla character that lasts forever. This is right up there with Fermier as far as saisons go.

Mouthfeel: Prickly yet smooth. Dry, and exactly what I want in a Saison. Fantastic.

Overall: As close to perfect a Saison as I can imagine, knowing that Fermier exists. Amazing, as always.

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Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another big thanks to threelions for sharing.

Nice creamy 1 finger head fades at a decent rate, hazy straw pilsner color. Tons of lacing.

Nose is great, effervescent, saison farmhouse aromas not quite funky though, actually funk comes out more as it warms, then quite funky with lacto, mild bready grainy like whole wheat super healthy bread, grainy and little yeasty, nice lemony aroma, mild vinous notes and faint barrel.

Taste starts with big tartness, tart lemon, big lemon, into grainy bready notes, more grainy bread. Nice lacto tart flavours, into mild farmhouse funk, little saison funk. Then little vinous note, a little white wine like, faint toasted barrel, that also increases as it warms, very faint acidic and flemmy finish, dry little grainy, nice tart lemon at first that fades quickly.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, nice carb, little sour flemmy feel.

Overall ok but not as amazing as I thought it would be, very sessionable, but not super funk or amazing, great tartness and lemon, not as great as other hill beers though. 4

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Hill Farmstead / Blaugies Le Sarrasin from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.63 out of 5 based on 346 ratings.
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