Biére de Norma: Elderberry
Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Style:
French Bière de Garde
Ranked #24
ABV:
not listed
Score:
88
Ranked #11,608
Avg:
4.24 | pDev: 7.31%
Reviews:
2
Ratings:
14
From:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
 
Vermont, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  3
Gots
  0
SCORE
88
Very Good
Notes: Norma (1939 - 2011) was my maternal Grandmother, my Guardian Angel, and the woman that nourished the laughter and innocence of my youth. In her honor, we chose a single barrel of "Norma" and conditioned it on elderberries from our next door neighbors at Thornhill Farm. We realize the influence of those closest to us only after having left their presence. At Hill Farmstead, our spirit is forever defined by Norma and the memory of our loved ones.
Reviews: 2 | Ratings: 14 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at the brewery. Deep ruby red with an off white head. Smells of oak, red wine, and elderberry herbal notes. Taste has a deep tartness, like black currant and red wine acidity. Herbal elderberry and a bit of the green pepper flavor it always seems to have. Red wine and oaky finish. Medium body, but dry and full flavored. Delicious and robust beer.

 355 characters

Photo of kevanb
3.62/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle, 2018 release, poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. Enjoyed on 04.15.18, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a bright garnet color, ruby and blood hues that is hazy with a bit of clarity and an off white head that hardly rises with minimal retention and no lace. The aroma is nice, strong elderberry, tart and ripe, a bit of astringent bitterness with some earthy leather and tobacco, strong dark grain, light funk, oak and pitted stone fruits. The flavors are good, very tart elderberry fruit, ripe but also bitter with a bit of smoke, tobacco, leather, oak, dark grains, light funk, stone fruits linger underneath. The mouthfeel is good, medium body, lower carbonation that is slick and wet with a tart and dry finish.

Verdict: A good Biere de Mars from Hill Farmstead. The elderberry is an interesting addition, the berry adds some tartness and fleshiness that brings out some unusual characteristics, like a more amplified smokiness. I've encountered this similarly with blueberry beers, and it's not the most pleasant flavor, but it works a bit in this beer as it's darker and heartier to begin with. Not my favorite but still a nice beer.

 1,183 characters

kevanb from Illinois, Jun 28, 2018
Biére de Norma: Elderberry from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 14 ratings