Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Old Ale
Ranked #30
Ranked #6,382
4.06 | pDev: 10.59%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: Our interpretation of an oak-aged old ale.

Peleg Hill Jr. (1757-1831) was our great, great, great, great grandfather and one of Greensboro’s original inhabitants. In his honor, we crafted this old ale and reserved it with our resident microflora in third-fill bourbon barrels from some of our favorite distilleries. For over 18 months, it was allowed to leisurely develop its complex, unique flavors and express both the character of its environs and its history.

This inaugural batch of Peleg was brewed with our Danish friends Rune and Per Olaf from Bryggeriet Djævlebryg and Anders Kissmeyer of Kissmeyer Brewing.
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 176 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy/brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of sour notes with some oak and faint bourbon notes. Taste is also a mix of sour notes with some ok and faint bourbon notes with some acidic notes also perceptible. Body is lighter than I was expecting with some medium carbonation. Sour notes are too strong and cover up some of the bourbon and malt notes.

Dec 28, 2020
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kevanb from Illinois

3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle, January 12, 2018 bottle, poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

The beer pours a dark amber and caramel color, nice opacity with a khaki head that is loose and bubbly that has minimal retention and offers no lacing. The aroma is interesting, very tart and funky, strong amber malts, caramel, toffee, plum, red grape, light oak. The flavors are curious as well, tart stone fruits, caramel and toffee, funky oak, rich grain, lemon zest and a bit of vanilla at the finish. The mouthfeel is lighter, very bubbly and lively that coats well and finishes with a tart bite.

Verdict: Not totally sure what to make of this beer. As an Olde Ale it’s very unusual, hardly any barrel character, no richness, it’s tart, just odd. As a Flanders Oud Bruin, I can see the vision, but this is just an odd beer style wise. That being said, it’s really drinkable and expressive flavor wise.

Mar 31, 2019
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a dark-ish brown color, kind of murky, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

On the nose, I get funky red berries, caramel, toffee, breadiness, oak, vanilla, red wine, leather, honey, and a bit of mustiness.

This leans more towards old ale than wild ale currently, which works for me. It's got a nice deep and old maltiness to it - dark fruit, caramel, toffee, burnt bread, with a wisp of nice smokiness on the back end. I don't specifically get bourbon, but I do get dry oakiness, and a touch of vanilla. There's a very light citrus aspect, as well as some red wine vinegar, old leather, sour raisins, and old musty funk. It's incredibly complex, and really delicious.

This is medium bodied, slightly creamy, and strangely drinkable, with a lower level of carbonation.

This is possibly one of the most unique beers that Hill Farmstead has released yet. It's weird and funky and really well done.

Mar 14, 2019
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gcamparone from Rhode Island

4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into a Hill Farmstead bulb.

Pours a muddy, cloudy brown body with very little head or carbonation.

Aromas of tart lactic, leather, sweet molasses, vanilla, vinegar, dark fruits and cherries.

Oh the tongue, Peleg is moderately sweet and sour, sweet malt, lactic acid, dark fruits, grainy, cherries, sour apple, finishing lightly tannic with a lingering tartness. Mouthfeel is medium body with low carbonation.

Tasty and unique, more like a Flanders red than an old ale IMO.

Feb 03, 2019
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a wild old ale with some very cool funk and maturity on it, as well as a remarkable barrel character, a lot of fun to drink with a new friend who so generously shared it with me! not sure i ever would have found my way to this one on my own. deep crimson to brick red, clear at first and a little sedimented towards the bottom of the bottle, old at this point, with a very active soda sort of head, uncommon in the style but it is wild after all, i have not seen many wild fermented old ales before, and this has me intrigued right away. i get the subtle bourbon up front, but a lot more of the wood than the whiskey itself in the nose, with vanilla and earth, wet and sturdy, lumer-like, milled and refined for being kind of heavy, and with what sweetness is left from the malt, its gorgeously complex. i want to say i taste bready english yeast and malt in here too, like they did some serious justice to the base beer before the barrel or the wild yeasts were part of the mix, and i think the quality of the base beer really comes through, almost defining this for me. a little our bruin or flanders red vinegar type bacterial tartness to it in the flavor, some rum character, lemons, piquant cherries and soaked raisins, and lots of booze too, especially when it sits in my glass for a moment. its autumnal to me, almost specifically thanksgiving, i even get a fresh cranberry note to the finish here before the whiskey and booze wash it out. overall a really complex wild beer thats held its own over time, still malty and rigid, but now so nuanced and funky, really a special brew. an honor to drink on this for sure, any older it might be too sour to appreciate the subtle layers, if you have one, now might be the time...

Mar 10, 2018
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floridadrift from Florida

4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Brown with golden hues, white head, solid lacing
S: Funky sweet aroma, honey
T: Funk, molasses, butterscotch, honey, english malt, roasted malt
F: Creamy, incredibly smooth
O: Solid offering, very new to my pallet. Sweet and sour all the way.

Feb 08, 2016
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SportsandJorts from Virginia

3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a deep earthy brown, tending towards mahogany. a huge 3 finger, maybe more, tannish head forms and the bottle continues to gush a bit. good retention and leaves behind a strong lacing. Completely opaque and hazy.

Smell: vinegar, tart cherries, earthy and leathery notes. hints of caramel and sweet malts.

Taste: opens with a strong earthy to leathery oxidized character. vinegar and a light lemon juice filter in and slowly transform into a strong and tart cherry flavor. some caramel and sweet malts filter through. more earthiness, this time more in the realm of oak along with light notes of spirits. ends with some acidity

Mouthfeel: acidic and vinegary. not quite sour but definitely some tartness to it. earthy bitterness and warming spirit qualities.

Overall: a very Hill Farmstead approach to the style. its age allows some of the stylistic qualities filter into this beer. the house yeast takes over quite a bit while still being identifiable as an old ale. it be interesting to see where this goes so I hope they brew it again. definitely a worth while old ale to try.

Jun 16, 2015
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a medium reddish-brown body, half finger white head that has a short retention time, not much lacing. About what I expected. Smells mildly acidic, sweet plum and cherry aromas, oak, a bit of whiskey. Quite different than I expected from an old ale; it certainly has picked up some of the VT microflora. Flavour is similarly acidic throughout, has a tartness to it but no off flavours. I don't get as much of the rich caramel and vanilla that an old ale would have. More than anything, it is an mild-moderate acidity with a plethora of dark fruits- cherry and plum stand out- and oak. It ended up being a strange wild ale, but I'm OK with it. Mouthfeel is on the thinner side, thinner than expected, good carbonation, drying and crisp, actually not difficult to drink. Overall, a strange experience based on my expectations, but given that the brewer was likely going after the old school interpretation of the style, it's quite the tasty beer. I would have liked more of the bourbon barrels, given that it was aged in these for quite a while.

Jun 14, 2015
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dar482 from New York

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A perplexing beer with the caramel, vanilla, and sweetness of an old ale, but then a medium tart quality hits in the middle, along with cherries and dark fruit.

Feb 25, 2015
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SaisonRichBiere from Michigan

4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JSmick for this one. Poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep garnet color with small hazy bubbles on the edges. Only minimal bubbles remain

Smells like big brown sugar, dark malts, dark fruit, followed by oaky, tannic, caramel and vanilla. Finishes with a whiff of leather and tart funkiness.

Taste is big robust caramel, nutty praline notes, followed by some vanilla, faint bourbon oakiness, and cherry essence that rounds out a puckery tartness on the finish. The barreling has no doubt smoothed and mellowed this one out.

Feel is dense and smooth, coats the mouth short of being overly chewy. The tartness cleans up a bit.

Overall, very tasty and complex beer. A sipper for sure. I would drink this any time it presented itself.

Feb 16, 2015
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a snifter. The brew appears a clear mahogany color with reddish hints around the edges and an off-white cap thats quick to fade.

The smell is tangy with cherry earth and minersls. A little bit of maltiness but for the most part any residual sweetness has been lost to a bit of a bacterial tang to the aroma.

The flavor is a bit of a flip compared to the nose. Right upfront are flavors of caramel, toffee and vanilla before the tartness of fruit and minerals comes into play. The aftertaste transitions back to caramel/vanilla which is nice.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is unique and im glad to have the opportunity to try it. However, im at a lost as to how to score this appropriately since this apprently falls into the grey area of old ales and whether they are accurately portrayed as boozy malt bombs or wild ales... regardless i enjoyed it.

Oct 09, 2014
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rlee1390 from Indiana

4.18/5  rDev +3%

A-Black in the glass but a clear ruby when pouring, one finger head that doesn't last long.

S-Cherries, oak, bourbon, caramel, dark fruits.

T-Starts off a tad too sweet with cherries and dark fruits. Caramel is there and the finish is the barrel character. The brett sneaks into the finish but does not add much tartness

M-Medium bodied, a tad watery though.

O-An interesting take on the style, not one of HF's better beers but yummy none the less.

Oct 09, 2014
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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -8.9%

Pour is dark copper brown, virtually opaque, with a tight small bubbled tan head. Nose is assertive brett, strong dry leather, toasted malts, caramel, and a touch of malty berry sweetness. Taste is stronger malt and a bit sweeter. Brett is there, leathery for the most part, toasted malts and caramel mid palate, a fair bit of cherry sweetness. It has a fairly high bitterness through the finish, incredibly soft body, and clean light carbonation.

Oct 08, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown body. Huge khaki head. Thick collar. The bottle gushed when I opened it.

Smell - Smells of bourbon and lots of brett. Aggressively bretted. Caramel.

Taste - Barrel isn't as strong. Brett is stronger. Earthy and red winey. Some tartness and dark fruit flavors. Oak and bourbon come out in the back. Dry and not very sweet at all.

Mouthfeel - HIghly carbonated. Boozy. Medium body.

Overall - It doesn't smack of an unintended infection, but it's much more controlled. The tartness works pretty well and keeps it a very interesting beer.

Oct 07, 2014
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KevSal from California

3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for the chance adam, and steve for the delivery

was really looking forward to this after Aaron last night, rather than a typical juicy old like adam ftw (which i think they would nail considering how Aaron came out) this is a sour ale, which is fine but its a mediocre sour at that.
honestly it taste like an infected beer, maybe it spent too much time im the barrel and caught some bugs and changed the character of the beer (im an rs member im used to it). this taste like what aaron would be if infected.

even still its a decent sour and had no problem finishing it. cant really recomend for old ale lovers, go for aaron instead.

im glad i got to try it, thanks again Adam!

Sep 21, 2014
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peensteen from Canada (ON)

4.37/5  rDev +7.6%

Bottle shared by Liam

Chestnut brown colour, ring of off white head, not much in the way of lace. Smell is woody with dark fruit soaked in bourbon followed immediately by a brett-funk, butterscotch and a light roast. Taste is tart upfront, oak with dark fruit, bourbon and caramel flavours, quite delicious. Medium carbonation, fairly full drying body. Really nice, good mix of tart and malt with a nice barrel character.

Sep 17, 2014
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Rutager from Canada (BC)

4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

05 - 2014

Had this once before at a share ...thinking Damon brought it(?). Well now I can write a few notes since Liam was kind enough to hook me up with a whole bottle.

Ruddy brown with a finger of khaki head. Big nose of cherries, funky oak, and a bit of caramel and wine. Something like a huge ba flanders red might smell? Anyways, sour dark fruits, mostly cherry and plums, oak and light caramel, a bit of tannic leather and a touch of bourbon in the remarkably clean finish (for such a big beer). A very big sour beer that actually came out very nicely.

Sep 14, 2014
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4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.37/5  rDev +7.6%

poured into HF Wine Stem.

Appearance: This beer pours out beautifully and looks like its extremely thick, syrupy, and oily. Black bodied beer with thick dark brown head that has some staying power. Pours out 2 full fingers of head from a moderate pour.

Smell: Fruity malts, bourbon, and tart cherry.

Taste: Dark fruit malts think dates and figs maybe some green raisins too. Lots of oak and a moderately tart cherry notes like an Oude Bruin. In the middle of the beer showcases oak and a hint of bourbon. Slightly smokiness with a leathery note. Lingering tartness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation. Thick and oily beer with creamy carbonation. Absolutely outstanding mouthfeel.

Overall: Very interesting take on an Old Ale and I like it. Its like an Old Ale and an Oude Bruin combined. I see this beer getting better with time in the bottle.

Aug 15, 2014
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a mahogany hue with no head. Nose is oaky, malty and expresses tart notes (cherries) and a suggestion of bourbon, wood and maple. All I can say is that the taste is consistent with a very well-made flanders oud bruin. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with a light carbonation and some acidity. Overall - I can't really describe this as an old ale; however, I found it quite enjoyable.

Jul 24, 2014
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Skrip from New Jersey

4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead taster tulip.

A~ murky redish brown with a light tan head and foam coating the glass.

S~ total tartness right up front! dark fruit, tart cherries, brown sugar and a hint of vanilla. hmmm....!

T~ definitely not what i was expecting! first things first, its sour... which by description it should be but kinda strange for the style. you can totally tell its an HF brew haha. still not a bad thing though! the dark fruits come in hard after the initial tartness, tart cherries, dates, and a little fig. all followed by some sour caramel/molasses on the back end which i assume is from the bourbon barrels. extremely interesting!

M~ a little too carbonated for the style. could just be the bottle but it gushed hard! haha very smooth though and leaves a sticky caramel feel in your mouth.

O~ old ale? i'd call it a flanders brown haha. its only any old ale because well... its old lol going senile in those bourbon barrels for far too long haha. aside from Ann this is one of the most interesting brews they have put out for sure. probably just because it wasn't what i was expecting but hell i don't think anyone is expecting what this has to offer. a very solid brew! lets just say HF's resident microflora really took over!

Jul 22, 2014
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doremite from Vermont

4.3/5  rDev +5.9%

Not really sure what an old ale is, but this comes across to me more like a flanders/old bruin sorta thing with a great oak presence from the barrel. Not my style of beer typically but very much appreciate this one. I think folks who dig flanders/old bruin type styles will really dig this.

Jul 21, 2014
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Mikeypnh from New Hampshire

4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown on the pour. Light brown head that's around or about a minute then leaves a nice film on top. Little bubbles popping in the film, visible carbonation, but just a little bit.

Smell is sour right off the bat, dark fruit, cherry skin, barrel. Not really what I expected to smell. Should be interesting.

Taste is sour and a little sweet, with a bourbon/cherry skin burn at the end. Oak is very present, as well. There is something at the end that lingers, it's a little off putting for me, but not terrible. Once again, not was I was expecting. The flavors are very strong. Definitely a sipper. There's a strong cherry presence, but it's very bitter. Just strange!

Carbonation is medium, nice burst of it at the end, which meshes well with the alcohol burn. Medium bodied but more towards the thicker side. Creamy and really coats the mouth.

Well, I wasn't sure what to expect on this one. Still having trouble describing it in the review. Definitely different. I was expecting the bourbon barrels to show up more, instead they mix in with all the funk. Lots of sour funk and dark fruit.

Jul 18, 2014
Peleg from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 176 ratings