Nordic Saison
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Nordic SaisonNordic Saison
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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #68
Ranked #1,254
4.26 | pDev: 7.04%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Nordic SaisonNordic Saison
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 627 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SaisonMaker
SaisonMaker from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The fruit is a sour, tartness in the background. The super soft water profile in HF isn't super obvious in this one somehow. Not really a "saison" per se but it's an excellent New England farmhouse type of beer done in the HF way.

Aug 30, 2020
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VABA from Virginia

4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a beautiful golden color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has floral, honey and rose hip hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a very well balanced floral, honey and rose hip flavors
M-A light bodied well carbonated beer
O-A great very well balanced Belgian Saison

Oct 13, 2019
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge foamy head, great retention and lacing, clear straw colour

Nose light barnyard funk, blond malt, tart fruity notes, grainy gristy,

Taste little tart citrus lemony like, sour funk and little barnyard, weird juniper spice like thing, little plastic note, phenolic, herbal, flemmy finish

Mouth is med bod, good carb, little flemmy

Jun 15, 2019
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a crystal clear honey with thin head.

S - Aromas of nice funky saison yeast.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with loads of sweeter funk. Finish is almost plastic or bandaid though.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, little creamy and crisp.

Jun 15, 2019
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npolachek from New York

4.43/5  rDev +4%
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.

May 20, 2019
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Jan 09, 2019
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.81/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Oct 26, 2018
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Sep 30, 2018
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Tony210 from New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Bomber from brewery dated 6/22/17
4.5 rating

Jun 06, 2018
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
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!

Sep 12, 2017
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SomethingClever from Ohio

4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Sep 11, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Jun 06, 2017
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
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

May 04, 2017
Photo of Dragginballs76
Dragginballs76 from South Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Mar 08, 2017
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Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
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.


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.


Sep 15, 2016
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

May 17, 2016
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hopley from Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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

Mar 26, 2016
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Sheppard from Virginia

4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Mar 17, 2016
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Gus_13 from Mississippi

4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Mar 13, 2016
KEEPonPOURING from Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Jan 20, 2016
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KillerJigger from Iowa

4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Jan 17, 2016
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Dec 21, 2015
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FFreak from Vermont

4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Dec 07, 2015
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BeerSamurai34 from Texas

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Oct 28, 2015
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Phil-Fresh from California

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
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).

Oct 13, 2015
Nordic Saison from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 627 ratings