Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Barleywine - English
Ranked #1
Ranked #53
4.63 | pDev: 6.05%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
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.
Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 662 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by jjdc:
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jjdc from District of Columbia

4.75/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Jan 27, 2017
More User Reviews:
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kscaldef from Oregon

4/5  rDev -13.6%

A little curious. Very sweet, but not heavy. Lot of apple, hard to believe this is just bourbon barrels. Could use more carbonation.

Nov 02, 2014
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KevSal from California

4.65/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cant help it, was going to save this for ba bwine tasting but can't help it. This is going down now. thank you keith you made my week!

500ml Poured into my favorite tulip

A- dark dark brown with a 2 finger khaki head. Damm near completely dark

S- dark juicy fruits up front. Smell is slightly mute but what comes out is fantastic!! huge raisin, vanilla and smooth bourbon, which its hard to explain.

T- Huge juicy dark fruits with vanilla and oak. reminds me of Great. gushing with flavors, all types of nuances. Was expecting something less after so much barrel aging. Huge flavor really sticks and lingers

M- this really makes it shine, huge thick body, well carbonated and spot on. Feels huge with no alch burn. Really impressive.

O- I was really expecting less but this brew is exactly what I was hoping for. Really came through with this and i need more dammit!

keith really appreciate it!

Sep 20, 2014
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Fletch1967 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Picked up four bottles at the Brewery in early September. Plan is to crack one per year to see how this baby ages out.

A- darker then most barleywines with a nice thick head.

S- aroma is huge. Wow. What's the abv on this one? Not on the bottle. Smells like the abv is 15% or more. Nice hints of vanilla, maybe raisins and some bourbon.

T- Holy cow. Dark, fruity and boozy. This here is a sippin beer and will be the only beer for tonight.

M- perfectly balanced beer with so much going on. Carb is spot on.

O- huge complex beer with tons of flavor and booze. Maybe a bit too boozy but I'm not complaining. Going to ask the wife to hide the three bottles in the basement so I'm not tempted to pop another one open before next year.

Sep 21, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.46/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep reddish brown. Small off-white head. Medium collar.

Smell - Wow. Really complex fruity, oak, and bourbon aroma. Fruity malts. Sweet caramel. The bourbon isn't that strong, but adds a nice component.

Taste - And it's even better here. Start off pretty sweet. Lots of sweet fruity malts. Bourbon and vanilla kick in and dull out the sugars a bit. Becomes richer and more brown sugary. The finish is oaky rich with some chocolate in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Very sweet and heavy. Medium carbonation.

Overall - This is a really fantastic beer.

Oct 07, 2014
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BoldRulerVT from Vermont

4.85/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My 50th different Hill Farmstead beer.
Poured from the bottle into a snifter.
Pours a very very dark brown that allows no light to pass through with very minimal dark khaki head.
Aromas are so wonderful, caramel, vanilla, bourbon abound.
Flavors are flat out perfect. Booze perfectly balanced with caramel, vanilla, sticky bourbon.
Mouthfeel is excellent. Just chewy enough.
Overall, this beer is flat out amazing.

Mar 16, 2017
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drmcleod10 from Missouri

4.85/5  rDev +4.8%

One of the better barleywines that I have had.
This was dead on or even with King Henry and around the same level as A Deal With the Devil for me.

Notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla and oak. Perfect balance.
The unknown ABV on this makes it fun, really cannot tell what % this would fall under. Drinks like 7 or 8% but very well could be 15.

Would love to have this one again.

Oct 27, 2014
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doremite from Vermont

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

I am not typically a barley wine drinker but the sweetness of this beer is so well offset by the vanilla oak presence I am left longing for the next sip. This beer just transcends style and showcases the HF BA program. Yet again impressed.

Sep 22, 2014
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dar482 from New York

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

The beer comes in a lighter mahogany.

The beer hits up front of a medium plus sweetness of brown sugar, light caramel, bourbon sweetness. The beer slows down on the mid palate with a subtle bourbon quality, vanilla, a toasty malt quality.

The beer is clean, subtle, and refined, just as expected. It could explode with more richness, but still one of the better bourbon barrel barleywines out there.

Feb 09, 2015
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.54/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to Ineedabeerhere (thanks Joe) for the chance to try this amazing beer. Pours slightly darker than mahogany with no head,just a soapy slick. Nose is booze and sugary with some toffee notes. Taste is amazing! Everything an English Barleywine should be - sugary figs and maple syrup. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an almost still carbonation. This is just an amazing barleywine, one of the best, if not the best I've had to date.

Sep 21, 2014
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madtowndmb1 from Wisconsin

3.63/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

While this beer has the hype it doesn't live up. Overall, just too sweet with no barrel. This beer fell short mostly on the taste and feel, it was almost long the lines of Fun Dip or Pixie Sticks. A fun try and I love their beer normally, just not this one apparently.

Mar 20, 2015
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BarrytheBear from Wisconsin

3.42/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Big thanks to Kyle for the opportunity....cheers buddy

A massive let down....red fruits, cloyingly sweet, brown sugar, huge residual sugars and next to no barrel presence. As a barleywine it's disappointing..as a Hill Farmstead barrel aged barleywine it's a huge disappointment. Understanding taste is subjective I can't help but feel that too many people are tasting the rare here. There is nothing special about this beer.

Mar 20, 2015
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flipper2gv from Canada (QC)

4.75/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep murky brown color with a beige colored head. Head is somewhat creamy, has very decent volume considering the aging done on this beer but dissipates quite quickly to a ring.

S: This beer really needs to not be ice cold for the nose to open. Still, it's pretty faint. There are notes of leather, peacans, vanilla, pepper, oak, caramel and light smoke. Quite a bit of raisins, dates and figs and maybe even dried apricot? Very nice and coherent but pretty low on intensity.

T: What it lacks in smell intensity, it fucking gives back in taste. Jesus this beer is insane. It's insanely tasty with a ton of raisins, figs, dates and yes dried apricots. You have a ton of caramel, toffee, vanilla, smoke, very smooth oak, light pepper, super strong vanilla, leather and peacans. It's insanely complex and incredibly coherent. If I could give this beer a 6 I would. Taste wise, it has NO faults (enough for me to give a 5 on its own) and is absolutely spectacular in the mouth with its intensity of flavors while still being very drinkable.
EDIT: Saw someone somewhere say this beer had creme brulee notes and I agree 100%. There is a definite lactose like creaminess in the flavors that are very much there.

M: This is quite heavy but not too much surprisingly. Very smooth, creamy and not sticky at all. Absolutely perfect for the genre.

O: Man I can't say enough about this beer. I haven't been this impressed by a beer in at least 7 years (it was Cantillon Saint-Lamvinus). It's very intense in flavors, it's extremely complex and still very coherent (high complexity beers sometimes have flavors that don't complement each others this well). It's easily my favorite beer of all time as it is one of my favorite genres and by far the best executed beer of the genre I have the pleasure to taste.

It was a very expensive beer at something like 35 USD, but it was well worth it to me. If I can find it again, I WILL buy at least 4 bottles. This beer commands your time and full attention. IMO, this is white whale worthy status.

Dec 11, 2018
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.83/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle purchased at Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro Bend, VT and shared by myself last night.

Pours a brilliant caramel mahogany brown, very hazy, basically opaque, with a small filmy head on top, and no lacing. Looks oily and sticky, like a good BA barleywine should.

Smells decadent and delicious, tons of caramel, bourbon, sticky caramelized sugar and toffee. The aroma just leaps out of the glass.

The taste is just as inviting and delicious. Unbelievably caramelly, with sweet, slightly nutty bourbon flavors, caramelized sugar, sticky pudding flavors, vanilla, a bit of oak. Decadent as hell.

The mouthfeel is very syrupy, but in a good way. It's medium bodied, with very little carbonation, just enough to keep things lively. It's really, really drinkable.

Just about one of the best barleywines I've ever had. Real nice for a brewery's first barleywine.

Sep 27, 2014
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barczar from Kentucky

4.56/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big caramel, toasted malt, and melanoidin character, with toffee, dates, prunes, and figs.

Flavor is huge raisin, plum, fig, toffee. Very complex. Finish is moderately dry.

Aug 23, 2015
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mdfb79 from New York

4.39/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From 03/14/15 notes. Big thanks to BeerWorld for sharing a bottle of this; thanks Alex! 375ml bottle into a taster.

Pours a very dark brown color with one inch of dark tan head and low carbonation evident. This one is very fruity...tons of dark fruits, oak, caramel malts, figs, raisins, bourbon, leather, bread and toffee. Medium body and low carbonation, sweet but not hot.

Overall this was very good. It has a lot of dark fruits to it, so if you like that characteristic in your barleywines, you'll love this one. Well worth checking out.

Mar 16, 2015
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SpasmWaiter from Vermont

4.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Sep 09, 2014
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aasher from Indiana

4.24/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 11, 2017
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WTKeene from New Mexico

4.8/5  rDev +3.7%

Dec 12, 2014
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duceswild from Heard & McDonald Islands

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

Apr 24, 2015
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505beergeek from New Mexico

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

Jul 19, 2018
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Duff27 from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oct 10, 2015
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mythaeus from Pennsylvania

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

Feb 08, 2015
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zekeman17 from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Feb 13, 2016
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mlhyatt from Georgia

3.52/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oh man, another miss from hill farmstead.

Jul 21, 2015
Aaron from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 662 ratings