Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Barleywine - English
Ranked #3
Ranked #60
4.61 | pDev: 6.07%
Yesterday at 07:55 PM
Jun 25, 2014
Notes: Aaron A. Hill (1786-1869) was our great-great-great grandfather who operated the original tavern in North Greensboro- an industrious, inventive and indomitable figure in the community. The Hill Farmstead Brewery logo is based upin the tavern's original sign. In his honor, we crafted this barleywine at the outest of our venture. It has rested, unhurriedly and undisturbed, for over 2 years in bourbon barrels from some of our favorite distilleries, absorbing the essence of its surroundings and history. Bottle conditioned for 5 months.
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Photo of dboon
4.77/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by dboon from Florida

Bottle generously shared by Seth. Dark brown pour with a kaki head. Big booze and caramel malt aromas. Big booze, caramel malts, and dark fruit highlights. Wow, this is fantastic. Mild oak and vanilla sub tones. Complex with a great body and mouthfeel. An incredible example of this style.....

Yesterday at 07:55 PM
4.25 by Affinity from Missouri on May 01, 2022
4 by Travitten from Iowa on Apr 03, 2022
4.61 by cj8311 from Maryland on Feb 08, 2022
4.29 by not2quick from Missouri on Jan 19, 2022
4.5 by beermanben from Wisconsin on Oct 05, 2021
Photo of OompaMentor
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by OompaMentor from Georgia

DLD - 5/18/2019

Jun 25, 2021
4.5 by Rkitchen from Michigan on Jun 19, 2021
4.75 by Jmalo from Ohio on Jun 17, 2021
4.46 by ivegot3Dvision from Oregon on Jun 17, 2021
4.69 by lemmy187 from Missouri on May 29, 2021
Photo of Bhubbard34
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by Bhubbard34 from Pennsylvania

Vintage 2016, Bottled July 2018, Drank March 2021

Look - Dark, reddish brown. Minimal to no head

Smell - Sweet, with notes of Toffee, brown sugar, & raisins

Taste - Toffee, Rasin, Tobacco, a hint of chocolate and a finish of bourbon barrel. Sweet and smooth with minimal alcohol burn. Medium carbonation

Feel - Creamy and thick

Overall - Really impressed, and this was a real treat. I have not had a lot of barleywines, but certainly everything in the future will be compared to this.

Mar 19, 2021
4.27 by Original_Gravity from Washington on Feb 28, 2021
4.96 by alamode from Massachusetts on Feb 21, 2021
4.75 by mrmsmith from District of Columbia on Jan 31, 2021
3.88 by EasternIsh from California on Jan 12, 2021
4.37 by Jkolls from Ohio on Dec 14, 2020
4.96 by djcira from Pennsylvania on Nov 28, 2020
Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by brentk56 from North Carolina

Vintage: 2016

Appearance: Pours mahogany with a one finger beige head; dots and a few streaks

Smell: Dark fruit (plum, cherry, and raisin) with toffee and Bourbon tones

Taste: Toffee foward with the plum, raisin and, in particular, cherry emerging; there is an unusual herbal tone that is also in the mix; hints of Bourbon barrel, through the middle), with the sweeter fruit tones driving home the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; a touch of warmth in the gullet

Overall: I get the reputation of Hill Farmstead and I have had some very good beers from them; I just don't think this is a top notch English barleywine; I like the dark fruit element (and that is creative) but this needs some hop tones to balance the sweetness - not American over the top hops; just some English hops and toffee to be more authentic to the style

Nov 26, 2020
4.51 by hopley from Massachusetts on Nov 21, 2020
4.58 by nollie77 from Ohio on Nov 19, 2020
4.55 by Gtwreck45 from Missouri on Nov 03, 2020
Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by SierraNevallagash from Maine

It's finally about to happen... Years I've dreamed about this bottle. Years it has eluded me. Now, on my birthday evening, I'm staring face-to-face with Aaron - preparing to crack him open.

I'm ready

2015 Vintage - Bottled May, 2017 - poured into a shifter at 45°F.

Pours out with a glug, glug, glug, sitting a ruddy, rusty red-brown hue - cloudy, but does let some light in. A partial loose tan head bubbles, before quickly dissipating to a thin tan collar. 4.5

Nose: As soon as the cap came off, the aroma filled the room. English barleywine to a T. Sweet malt, raisins, toffee, brown sugar, caramel, Werther's Originals, leather, varnish, maple, cherry wood, pecan, maraschino cherries, candied dates, black grape, prune, and a kiss of molasses, all wrapped up into splintery white oak, with a beautiful bourbon presence, lending vanilla, and more caramel. A whisper of roast, some musty old rackhouse, and age. Time. Maturity. 4.5

Palate: Aaron greets the palate with a big sweet hug of toffee, caramel, date, dried fig, dried cherry, raisin, vanilla, plum, pecan, and maple. Rich, decadent, and bold, yet not cloying, as a second wave with oak, bourbon, and tons of dark fruit washes in and cuts into the sweetness. The dark fruit is very prominent, lending a subtle fruity tart kiss, which is crucial to providing balance. A round, malty nuttiness follows, with pecan, walnut, and that almost fatty element to them. The woody oak presence grows, and with it, some malted milk, vanilla creme, and just a dusting of cocoa, before the bourbon finally emerges, flowing into the finish - dry now, with splintery white oak and just a shadow of barrel char.

Mouthfeel/Body: This is near-perfection. Aaron is rich, luscious, smooth, thick, and a bit viscous, yet avoids ever being syrupy, cloying, or overbearing. The oak and dark fruit brightness cut in just enough to thin it out, and the 9% ABV ensures it isn't pure glue, but worlds away from thin. Restrained, but respectable effervescence for the age, size, and style, and finishes with an incredible oaky dryness.

Overall: Aaron is the number one rated English barleywine on BeerAdvocate, and for good reason - however, this goes beyond superficial ratings. Hill Farmstead instills magic in all of their hoppy and farmhouse ales, and Aaron is no exception. It's a beer with an identity, from a brewery with an identity. I'm not sure you could brew a better English barleywine if you tried. Yes, Aaron is hard to get, but if you can get him fairly, you'll be rewarded.

Oct 22, 2020
4.75 by Hopelessly0 from California on Aug 20, 2020
5 by motoxrdr21 from Pennsylvania on Aug 16, 2020
4.75 by Spaten454 from Texas on Aug 10, 2020
4.75 by JamLand from District of Columbia on Jun 13, 2020
5 by eawolff99 from Minnesota on May 24, 2020
Photo of Sheppard
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by Sheppard from Massachusetts

Pours a dark raisin brown. Raisins and salted nuts on the nose. It's incredibly smooth. There's alcohol there, but not in a hot way. Lots of dried fruit and nuts. Getting raisins and prunes, as well as some almonds. The high alcohol content of a barleywine prevents me from drinking more of them, but I also not all barleywines are Aaron.

May 19, 2020
4 by pepesylvia from Pennsylvania on May 01, 2020
4.65 by swanfungus from California on Apr 27, 2020
5 by leroybrown10 from Missouri on Apr 12, 2020
4.75 by fiver29 from Ohio on Mar 21, 2020
4.54 by Dharmelink from Wisconsin on Mar 20, 2020
4.75 by Dharms from Pennsylvania on Mar 10, 2020
Photo of Mar02x
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Mar02x from Netherlands

I must say I expected more because of the hype. Nevertheless it is a very decent beer to look after.

Feb 26, 2020
4.5 by eddie5721 from Illinois on Feb 04, 2020
Photo of WickedBeer
4.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by WickedBeer from Alabama

Tried both the 2015 & 2016, this rating is an average for the two.

Feb 03, 2020
4.63 by JoeyStats707 from California on Jan 03, 2020
4.39 by rstump24 from Ohio on Dec 30, 2019
Aaron from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 676 ratings