Flora Blue/Black
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Flora Blue/BlackFlora Blue/Black
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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
not listed
4.36 | pDev: 9.63%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Flora Blue/BlackFlora Blue/Black
Notes: Flora is the wine barrel aged version of Florence (1915-1967), our grandfather's sister as well as the name of our wheat farmstead ale. Only a few barrels were selected, and that beer was aged further on a blend of fresh, hand-picked berries from Greensboro and East Hardwick. The result is a complex, elegant, fruit-forward blend that both marries and highlights each of its constituent elements.
Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 253 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by huddyball:
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huddyball from New Hampshire

3.69/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew looked amazing when I poured it. Beautiful, almost cranberry juice like color, with a nice head. The smell was barnyard funk with, sadly, almost no fruit in the nose. The flavor was tart with just the slightest fruit notes. I really expected the fruit to pop. Mouthfeel was nothing exceptional. There was a slight dryness. Overall I was pretty disappointed.

May 10, 2015
More User Reviews:
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Sarge3130 from Pennsylvania

3.07/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful color but outside of that, a major disappointment. No fruit flavor, slight medicinal band aid flavor.

Mar 30, 2015
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mportnoy from Pennsylvania

2.8/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very disappointing. Color is gorgeous but there is no fruit flavor. Very overrated / over-hyped.

Mar 30, 2015
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rowingbrewer from Massachusetts

2.96/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Had high expectations, and I love to love HF beers, but this one was just subpar. Florence and flora are better IMO.

The beer pours a nice red color with little head and it quickly fades.

the aroma is hints of sourness and fruit but nothing prominent

Taste is slightly tart with very little fruit flavor at all.

feel is watery and dry

overall this tasted more like a berliner than a saison.

Apr 17, 2015
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zoober911 from New York

4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L - Looks awesomely delicious when poured, pouring the color expected of blueberry juice. A small head forms and lingers eventually that fades away.

S - Blue berries with a lot of barnyard funk.

T - Blueberry sweetness with a slight funk in there. Black currants follow and finishing with sour warhead pucker power. Back of your jaw puckering and makes your mouth water.

F - Real nice mouthfeel. Right where you would expect it to be carbonated.

O - Overall it is very good and just another great HF offering.

edit: I drank a bottle on 6/12/15 and it has improved tremendously. Both smell and taste are improved yielding something even more unbelievable.

Apr 06, 2015
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared one of my bottles with rudzud as he usually does the same in other circumstances.

Pours very light fizzy head, fades quickly, hazy bright reddish cranberry like color.

Nose is awesome, great wild sour funk, great lambic like sour funk, generic fruity sour funk, nice bright, generic blackberry thing, little tart green like unripe blueberry. Tannic seed stem and nice funk.

Taste starts sour and funky, nice tart funk, lacto like sourness, etc. Lots of fruits, generic berry, nice black currants, tart currants and skin, nice blueberry skin, tart and juicy with nice sourness. Nice funk level, very enjoyable. Finish wants to be flemmy but isn't, long lingering sour lemony funk, nice berry, etc.

Mouth is med bod, lighter but decent carb.

Overall awesome, super delicious, great fruits, blueberry, some black currants and light blackberry like, skin tannins, nice sourness and funk level, very good.

Mar 28, 2015
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hypohophead from Massachusetts

3.07/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Was expecting a bit more.. I expected a little more berry character. Nicely tart but I think I prefer the base.

Apr 09, 2015
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halo3one from Georgia

3.67/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mildl sour, was expecting more tartness but it's just not there. Fruit is a bit watered down for my tastes as well.

Mar 28, 2015
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Desp59 from Pennsylvania

3.09/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a medicine like flavor. Didn't live up to the other HF bottles that I have had.

Apr 22, 2015
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to JLindros for sharing this bottle so I don't have to crack one of mine.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice lightly hazy ruby hue with a thin wispy head that fades to leave light wisps and halo.

S - Aromas of blueberry skin and under ripe berry,great saison yeasts, nice funk, great wine barrel, acidic, lightly tannic.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, great tart barrels, awesome black currant notes, tasty berry, nice blueberry skin and green under ripe flesh. Wonderful vinuos wine notes. Very very great berry notes, just delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is clean, not really flemmy. Really well done.

O - Overall this beer was really delicious, great berry notes. Really good funk levels to, simply very well crafted.

Serving type: bottle

Mar 27, 2015
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LambicPentameter from Nebraska

4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to BA Jordandid for sending this over as part of a great trade. Enjoyed out dark glass 375 mL bottle with a standard cap, but one that has some kind of plastic seal mechanism on the inside of the cap--something I don't think I've seen with beer before. Anyway... onto the beer: poured into a Duvel chalice.

Appearance (4.75) - Pours a striking color--a fabulous shade of bright magenta or fuschia that just seems to radiate out of the glass. It's mostly clear with a slight bit of haze, I imagine from the fruit particulate that was added to the base beer. Atop the body sits a rocky rose-colored head about two fingers thick, with a mix of bubbles large and small. Retention is moderate, dissipating to a film and ringlet with some strings of lace remaining on the side of the glass. Off to a good start, as this is an enchanting, unique-looking beer.

Smell (4.25) - A nice blend of tart fruit aromas, wild bacteria and light grain on the nose, and in typical HF fashion, it all blends together very seamlessly. Both the blackberry-like tartness of the black currant and the distinctive aroma of blueberry are present, but dry and muted, rather than in your face and juicy. I was also hoping to get a nice blast of oaky tannins to round this out, but they are hard to pick out. Some vinous undertones and musty funk seem to represent the oak in the smell. There is a lot to appreciate regarding the subtlety and nuance of the aroma.

Taste (4.5) - I'd heard/read a lot about this rendition of Flora lacking the juicy punch of fruit that many look for in great fruited sours and saisons. I'm not sure if it's my palate or if my bottle has developed and matured over the past eight months, but I get a ton of jammy fruit out of the taste. Blueberries and currants aren't the "juiciest" of fruits, and here that dry tartness works very well with the barrel-aging and wild microflora. Sour lacto, some of the tannins that I had a harder time picking out of the aroma and nice underlying woody funk are all present to balance out the jamminess. I love the fact that on the taste, the blueberry and black currant have sort of melded into a single fruit characteristic rather than coming through as distinct flavors.

Mouthfeel (4.75) - Very drinkable, but not boring. High carbonation and light-to-medium bodied. A nicely pleasant acidic pucker that doesn't overwhelm the tastebuds, but provides ongoing textural interest to the tongue.

Overall (4.75), a beer for which the whole exceeds the sum of its parts. I'm really wishing I had another bottle to see how it continues to develop over time. I continue to search for a Hill Farmstead beer that disappoints.

Aug 03, 2015
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PHBoiler from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful deep red color. Smell is mostly microflora and hay. The tartness begins to hit your nose before it hits your lips. Bright acidity. The dry finish helps round the flavors. The fruit really just adds a bold acidity to the base beer.

Aug 24, 2015
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Davelucas88 from Delaware

5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was phenomenal. Starts off with a crisp, tart blast followed by a rich, intense blueberry pucker that fades quick and finishes with a tart currant flavor that you feel in the back of your jaw. Has a soft, slight oak character with a very mild wine presence as well. Very complex and gorgeous color. Once again, another amazing saison from Shaun Hill.

Apr 04, 2015
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blockdude from California

3.89/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was very excited to try this, especially after seeing the gorgeous color. What was disappointing was the flavor though, and I felt like this was more or less identical to supplication. Worst of all, the supposed blueberry flavor was nonexistent and the beer had too much of an herbally essence to it with an acidic/syrupy finish. This was my first hill farmstead beer and may very well be my last.

May 04, 2015
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dheldman from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jan 25, 2016
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baybum from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

May 22, 2015
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stephenjmoore from Maryland

4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oct 21, 2018
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kylehay2004 from Illinois

4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 20, 2017
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Texasfan549 from Texas

4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Apr 01, 2015
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SadMachine from New Jersey

4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Updated my rating after having this with over 2 years of age on it. It has improved tremendously, with beautiful blueberry/blackberry pie notes, a wonderful, soft mouthfeel, and still gorgeous to look at!

Aug 05, 2015
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DaveHack from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jul 05, 2015
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brianmandell from California

4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apr 20, 2015
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kevanb from Illinois

3.71/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle, 2014 vintage, poured into a Hill Farmstead white tasting glass. Enjoyed on 7.4.15, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a beautiful ruby red color, lightly hazy with a finger of pinkish head, low retention and little in the way of lace. The aroma is of tart dark berry fruits, red wine acidity, grapey, barrel char, strong smokiness, leathery with some tobacco as well. Surprisingly dark and smokey aroma. The flavors don't deviate from the nose, tart berries, nice estery saison base, tart wheat, oaky red wine, a bit jammy, it's certainly bright than the aromas at first, but then falls prey to a strong tobacco and leather flavor that produces a significant amount of smoke and charred barrel. The mouthfeel is nice, medium body, coating, crisp with higher carbonation, dry, tart with an easy finish.

Verdict: A decent fruited saison, not sure if the barrel got in the way here, but something is producing some very unpleasant smoke and tobacco flavors that just don't fit in with the berries or Flora base. I know that sometimes Blueberries can produce a flat rubbery and plasticy flavor, but this doesn't fall into that trap, but sadly, falls into another unpleasant trap. Perhaps I waited too long to try this, but I get the feeling that this wasn't a time issue.

Aug 01, 2015
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Mesa512 from Connecticut

4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apr 07, 2015
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HumanParaquat from Indiana

4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Mar 29, 2016
Flora Blue/Black from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 253 ratings