Nordic Saison | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Nordic SaisonNordic Saison
BA SCORE
4.25/5
Outstanding
Nordic SaisonNordic Saison
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
In May of 2014, our friend and mentor Anders Kissmeyer of Kissmeyer Beer & Brewing visited Hill Farmstead Brewery, along with our dear friend Will Meyers of Cambridge Brewing Co., to brew a special collaborative beer. Inspired by our guests and their journeys, this beer was brewed with the resourcefulness and inventiveness of the Nordic tradition, as well as the creative spirit of its three architects. Farmstead ale brewed with honey, heather, rose hips, rhubarb and wheat.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,671
Reviews:
73
Ratings:
614
pDev:
7.06%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
116
Trade:
13
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 614
Photo of npolachek
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just an overall great beer. Great balance of sour and dankness, or farmhouse as they would say. Some good pear and rhubarb flavors. I’d sum this up as rustic.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Uniformly hazy yellow with a thick head of white rolling hills leaving identically shaped painted walls of lace.

Smell is floral citrus--orange and lemon with wildflowers--as faint phenolic spice and even fainter sharp funk lie in the background.

Taste is lightly tart rhubarb and crisp pear with accents of passion fruit. Light brett is transformed into this floral character due to the added ingredients, but it's nothing offensive like a certain other rose hip saison I've had before.

Feel is tingly and moderately light with a semi-wet finish.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.81/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottled 2018 07 20

Pours a hazy straw golden yellow with a creamy white foam head with good retention. Smells like apples, fresh rhubarb, wildflowers, sweet honey, pale bready malt, some peppercorn spice, mild banana, lemony orange citrus, funky hay, straw, heather, rose hips, some tree branches, flowers, stems, leaves, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like fresh tart rhubarb, tart apples, wildflowers, honey, pale bready malt, some white peppercorn spice, funky hay, straw, mild banana, lemony orange citrus, heather, rose hips, foraged flowers, stems, leaves, tree branches, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels light medium-full bodied, crisp, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a really great and interesting saison.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bready, floral, grassy, hay, some citric notes of grapefruit and lemon, green apple, getting a subtle but clean rhubarb flavor as it warms, some sweetness, spice, bright acidity, funky and yogurt character as well.

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Photo of Tony210
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light straw color, big white billowy head. Aroma is honey layered into your typical funky saison. Very fruity, lemon, honey, floral. Bright acidity adds to a tart and crisp beer. Towards the end of the bottle I gave it a swirl and it poured nice and cloudy.
Overall a very enjoyable beer.

6/6/18
Bomber from brewery dated 6/22/17
4.5 rating

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this was a special treat! a cool collaboration and a neat list of added ingredients, all sort of ssubtle in this delicate rustic saison. the more i drink these styles from hill farmstead, the more i notice commonality across all of them, and its in the yeast profile. much like a jester king or a jolly pumpkin that have such distinctive signature yeast profiles, i am starting to notice it more and more with these guys, less yeast variance between some of them, but thats not a negative, its a positive, their blend they use is awesome, and like some others ive enjoyed this summer from them, this is both funky and tart, never acidic, but really earthy, wild, and complex, super yeast driven despite all of the other added ingredients in it, as a saison should be. i wanted more rhubarb in this white washed looking cloudy soft heady beer, it sort of marries into the yeast tartness a little too much, and its hard to detect for me. did others experience this lust for more of it? what i do appreciate more than other elements is the rose hips, fresh and botanical, earthy and floral, and a little perfumey, but amazing with whats left of the honey in here, and gorgeous with this yeast! subtle lemongrass, green tea thats fresh, sorrel or some other lightly astringent green, and the yeast, which is funky and rustic and zippy and patient at the same time. effervescent and dry, but rich feeling from the wheat and the honey too, i had no problem solo drinking a bottle of this. the samey yeast has me kind of knowing what these beers will taste like before i actually do taste them, but it also has me anticipating my next hill farmstead saisons with a lot of excitement. love what these guys are up to these days, and this is a gorgeous beer! inspired and distinct!

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into tulip glass.

A: Huge tiny bubbled fluffy white head, bottle was a gusher it never stopped foaming over. Body is a murky bright tan orange color.

S: lemon hay funk light flower a little honey.

T: Light tartness, lemon, a little hay, some flowery taste. A little honey very delicate beer.

M: Lots of carbonation medium bodied light cling.

O: I thought there might be something wrong with this beer because it gushed, but it tastes fine and is quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blackback. They poured this into a tulip. The appearance was a hazy burnt orange almost yellow color with a thin layer of white foamy head that dissipated at a nice pace. Delicate slim lacing. The aroma starts off tart through the lemon. Slides into sweet floral qualities of heather and rosehips. Honey is extremely far underneath. Rhubarb barely there. The flavor is sour with a rising sweet floral-ness. Honey still sits far underneath but rhubarb trying to come up. Delicate sweetness wants to balance with sour in aftertaste. Wet sweet finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a nice sessionability about it. Moderate sour harshness seems tame enough for good balance. Overall, really nice sour ale, in my opinion. Saison qualities seem a bit faint, still, very good.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a HF oversized wine glass

A- pours a slightly hazy golden color with a two-finger foamy white head that has decent retention before settling into a ring around the edge of the glass

S- spicy yeast and dried hay up front, barn yard, some floral notes, light apricot and sweet malt

T- slightly tart up front with a hit of barnyard; dried hay, earth. Mid-palate gives some spicy phenolic yeast, lemon and herbs. The finish is floral and soft with a linger of more spicy yeast, white wine and stone fruit

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into a semi-dry, crisp finish

O- just enough tartness to go with the spicy yeast elements, outstanding

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours clear golden color with a nice thick white dense head . Sticky lacing all around the glass.

Aroma - Hints of barnyard funk, hay, hints of peach.

Taste - Excellent tart citrus orange and lemon, little funky with a touch of hay and a hint of spice. Just amazing.

Feel - Very light and super crisp nice tart bite. Slightly dry finish.

Overall - This is an amazing beer wonderful flavors, super light and crisp.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of Schlimenhaumer.

Hazy yellow colour.

Got some sour twang to it.

B / GOOD

***
Review from notes taken at Gramercy Tavern, New York, NY, in February 2015:

On-draught into stemware.

HEAD: 1-1.5 fingers in height. White in colour. Foamy and frothy. Has a nice even consistency. Soft as could be. Great complexion. Leaves uneven light lacing on the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is excellent - about ~8+ minutes.

BODY: Clear translucent orange-copper colour of good vibrance. Clean, lacking any visible yeast/lees. Has a light haze, but it still looks surprisingly filtered for a(n ostensible) saison.

Well-carbonated judging by the appearance. Not unique with its style, but absolutely an appealing beer.

AROMA: White pepper, clove, rustic Belgian saison yeast with pleasant accompanying funkiness (probably from brettanomyces yeast{s}), barnyard characteristics, yeasty phenols, hay/straw, and neutral Belgian pale malt/2-row barley. Slight hints of creaminess as well. Faint suggestions of fruit and some accompanying light tartness.

Not sour at all judging by the aroma, but adequately funky for the style. The spice profile could be better.

Aromatic intensity is above average. I detect no alcohol, off-notes, overt hoppy notes.

TASTE: Has lovely subtle tartness which pairs wonderfully with the diverse funkiness of the brettanomyces yeast(s). Barnyard/farmhouse flavours are evident, with obvious notes of hay. Has a robust Belgian pale malt base. White pepper. Clove. Faint fruit. The spice profile is a bit underwhelming, but the funkiness this beer showcases is fantastic.

More the Dupont camp of saisons than the Fantome, emphasizing tartness and funkiness over intricacy and spice.

Very well balanced, with nice complexity and notable subtlety for the style (though the very best expressions thereof are, admittedly, more intricate).

Above average flavour duration. Average flavour intensity.

Very cohesive in build, but it doesn't quite amount to a gestalt harmonious whole of a beer; the constituent notes aren't seamlessly layered together.

TEXTURE: Aptly dry, with a medium body, slight overcarbonation, and a refreshing presence on the palate helped by its appropriate smoothness. Apt thickness on the palate. It doesn't elevate the beer, but it does complement it well.

OVERALL: Certainly a drinkable saison, and it stands out as one of the better American stabs at the style I've encountered in recent memory. Worthy of Hill Farmstead's high reputation, but not mind-blowing. I'd definitely order it again and it's absolutely worth trying, but don't go out of your way to seek this out.

B+ / VERY GOOD

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap, clear golden color. Aroma has sweet citrus fruits, lime and farmhouse notes like hay and field flowers. Taste is tart and fruity with the same farmhouse notes like hay and grass. Really nice, rustic saison with lots of farmhouse character but not really funky. Clean and easy to drink.

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Photo of hopley
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - 4.5 - yellow with white head that settles but leave some head at the top with lacing

Smell - 4.25 - Smells like a good saison

Taste - 4.5 - Tasty, tart

Feel - 4.75 - Soft pillowy mouthfeel

Overall - 4.5 - Really nice sipper

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Photo of Sheppard
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

It pours a glowing golden hue with bright white head. There is honey and a little lemon zest and herbs in the aroma. It is not opulent, but also, there is nothing unpleasant about it. It is very smooth like most saisons featuring the Hill yeast are. The heather is certainly more pronounced on the finish than past tastings. It cuts nicely through lemony smooth citrus and vinous grains. Overall, a tremendous ale.

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Photo of Gus_13
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Honey golden with great clarity. White head that sticks around for a while. Honey, floral, slight tartness and a bit earthy on the nose. Flavor is right in line with the nose. Lemony tartness with floral notes that finish with a honey sweetness. Just good stuff.

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Photo of KEEPonPOURING
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an ever so slight hazy gold with a big bubbly head. It smells of tart honey flower with a subtle funk, but not much. The taste is tart citrus up front that plateaus into what I got on the nose, tart, honey, some flowery goodness with plenty of carbonation. This is a refreshing beer.

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Photo of KillerJigger
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great honey golden yellow. Crisp sparkling carbonation . Head is white that dissipates quickly. Great balance that is very easy to drink. Great job brewers.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.82/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Vintage from July 2015. Pours a tawny golden orange with a loose, bright white head. Nose expresses earthy hops notes and rhubarb. Taste follows nose with the addition of lemon zest. Mouthfeel is light in body with a bright carbonation and a pleasant acidity. Overall, a solid saison - clean and lemony.

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Photo of FFreak
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased in December 14, and consumed December 15. Poured into teku glass. A slightly hazy, bright-yellow, with a copious thin head that leaves minimal lace. Smell is yeasty and citrusy, with a hint of brett funk. Taste is similar, with some malty sweetness combined with slight tartness and funk. Mouth is good, medium-thin, creamy, super easy to drink. Overall, another great HF saison.

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really nice saison. It had a lot of tartness so it almost drank more like a wild ale for me. The pour was nice and clean with a white head that remained throughout a lot of the drink. Very little farmhouse funk and bitterness, which is a major plus for me.

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A:Fragrant herbs, coupled with sweet malt and a moderate sourness.

A: Bright orange, quite opaque with a thin ring of head.

T: Deep rhubarb and general sour flavor, coupled with some wheat grain presence.

M: Light bodied with light carbonation. Light acidity on the palette.

O: The heather and rose hips give the aroma a strong herbal character. However, the flavor has a nice rhubarb sour quality and a pleasant mouthfeel (that isn't herbally).

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Photo of lic217
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Year old bottle
Crystal clear, yellow, with a hint of orange
Smell: Sour, tart, citrus
Taste: starts sweet and ends tart and sour, a little spice
Feel; very drinkable, highly carbonated
Overall: A great beer, but not very

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Photo of dfillius
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 10/6/14
A: Gentle pour yields 3 fingers of white head with good retention. I haven't seen a head like this in ages - it forms stiff peaks like whipped egg whites or cream. Liquid is golden apricot and hazy.
S: Dusty, peach, slightly alcoholic
T: Tart, fruity, lactic
M: Dry, at times creamy, expectorant
O: Very tasty, tart, one of the more sour saisons I've had.

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Photo of Mikefriedman90
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Valhalla in nyc. Pours a gorgeous blood red. Noticeable carbonation. Very tart saison but extremely refreshing and drinkable. Might just get a second.

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Photo of peensteen
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy golden colour, ring of white head with some lace. Smell is spicy and fruity, lightly funky, earthy with wet hay and some berry. Taste start off lightly spicy, wheat, fruity with a light lemony tartness, just mildly sweet. Medium body, medium-high dry carbonation. A very good saison that is really easy drinking and something I would drink gladly whenever possible, however falls short to other HF offerings.

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Nordic Saison from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 614 ratings