Flora Blue/Black | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Flora Blue/BlackFlora Blue/Black
252 Ratings
Flora Blue/BlackFlora Blue/Black

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by ThatsThatDude on 03-13-2015

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 252 |  Reviews: 30
Reviews by jaasen64:
Photo of jaasen64
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very nice bright purplish red color, about a fingers worth of head with a red hue to it, and ample carbonation.

S- Aroma of light barnyard funk and some underlying tart fruit presence.

T- Tastes a bit funky with an underlying tart currant/berry presence that isn't overly jammy but lends a nice complexity that balances with the wine barrel and comes out more as the beer opens up.

M- Definitely on the tart side (probably slightly more so then regular Flora), crisp with sharp flavors, maybe a tiny bit on the dry side which adds to the wine presence, nice carbonation.

O- While I wouldn't say I definitely prefer this over the base, the fruit (like the other fruited Floras) doesn't really have a ton of jamminess but adds a nice unique complexity that fits with the base. I'd definitely recommend letting this open up for 10-15 minutes as I found the fruit came out a bit more and had an overall better balance then right out of the bottle.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mportnoy
2.8/5  rDev -35.2%
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.

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Photo of Sarge3130
3.07/5  rDev -28.9%
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.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
2.96/5  rDev -31.5%
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.

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Photo of zoober911
4.79/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of Desp59
3.09/5  rDev -28.5%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
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

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Photo of hypohophead
3.07/5  rDev -28.9%
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.

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Photo of halo3one
3.67/5  rDev -15%
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.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of blockdude
3.89/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of Davelucas88
5/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of gibgink
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lawsonciv
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of doremite
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Shawner
4.73/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mdaschaf
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Since I don't trade any more, I didn't think I'd ever see this one. A big thanks to Josh for this. 375ml capped bottle into a Teku. Reviewed at a tasting 3/26/15.

Pours a .5 finger light pink head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear, bright, stunning red. Lacing is stringy with moderate stick. The color is really amazing on this beer.

Nose is mint and blueberry. Light tart sweetness that's spritzy and aggressive. Delicious!

Opens blueberry juice. Puckering with a big fruit tartness in the middle and a light plastic. Seedy and blueberry skin with some blackberry juice at the end. Very seedy with a light bitterness at the finish. Sour, fruity and juicy at the aftertaste. Nice complexity. Very good.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Aggressive in prickly in the mouth and goes down dry. Puckering finish with a soft, light, clingy aftertaste. Awesome!

Sometimes additions don't always mean upgrades and in my opinion, that is the case here. Flora is one of the very best beers I've ever had and the addition of blueberry and blackberry somehow diluted the complexity of the base beer. This is still a fantastic beer, it's just that I prefer the original.

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Photo of Ace1117
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SonnyHenry
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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Flora Blue/Black from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.32 out of 5 with 252 ratings