Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Lager - European Dark
Ranked #4
Ranked #5,586
4.3 | pDev: 5.81%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Very Good
Notes: In November of 2017, Shaun and I made a trip to the Czech Republic—a momentous one, in hindsight. Our inspiration from the experiences had there have been expressed most recently through Poetica and Memoria. One of my fondest memories was the discovery of true Czech dark lager (tmavé pivo). A perfect synthesis of slight roast, creamy carbonation, hinted-at hops—and immense satisfaction.

So, in October of 2018, Shaun brewed our first single-decocted dark lager and conditioned it at 3º Celsius—as we have with Poetica and Memoria—in one of our French oak puncheons for more than 3 months. The beer was then moved to stainless steel and krausened with fresh-fermenting lager to provide slow, gentle, natural carbonation.

This Wednesday, 20 February, we proudly pour for you Rhetorica.

Like Poetica and Memoria, Rhetorica furthers our exploration of wood-conditioned lagers, typifying our commitment to respectful yet forward-thinking refinement of classical brewing styles—a quiet veneration of the past that guides a progressive aspiration towards the future.

Rhetorica instantly transports me back to a warm spring day spent overlooking the Vltava and the spires of Praha from Letná Park while savoring a classic tmavé pivo—a gift, indeed.

Soft. Sincere. Simple.
Reviews: 4 | Ratings: 27 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

nice looking beer, the head is super dense and frothy, beautiful lacing left on the glass. on palate it is very smooth, creamy even, pleasant roasted and nutty character, caramel, well done toast, a mellow hit of hops to keep it super crisp and refreshing. Each gulp begs for another.

Dec 20, 2019
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Hill Farmstead Brewery. Served in a dimpled mug.

Darker brown body, opaque with a one finger offwhite head, effervescent and creamy, good retention, plenty of lacing. Smell has a bit of pumpernickel, light cocoa, grainy malt and biscuit. Cereal. Flavour is a nice creamy cocoa powder, fair bit of grainy malt. Slight spice, like pumpernickel, bread and grains. Medium bodied, creamy to the extreme. Wonderful smooth chocolate experience. Great carbonation, as expected. Smooth, lovely from beginning to end.

May 24, 2019
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed on tap at Armsby Abbey today.

A - Poured into a proper mug a nice crystal clear chestnut hue with a big, creamy three finger off white head that doesn't really want to go anywhere but when it does it paints the glass.

S - Big aromas of sweeter malts, fainter roast and toasted grains, good light bitterness as well. Smells like the beer I drank in central Europe.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with loads of fainter gentle roast notes. Almost coffee like roast, real good grain note, subtle sweetness with little flashes of hop bitterness on the end. Spectacular flavour going on here.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, very gentle with just a flash of sharpness on the finish.

O - Overall this was a phenomenal European Dark Lager. Truly true to style, pure, well crafted. Make more of these Shaun, New England needs this.

Serving Type: on tap

Mar 28, 2019
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark pour, super dense creamy head, smells like coffee, taste has molasses, raisin and slight caramel notes, some brown bread aftertaste, smooth, creamy and crisp

Mar 24, 2019
Rhetorica from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 27 ratings