Difference & Repetition - Simcoe, Comet
Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Beer Geek Stats
IPA - American
Needs more ratings
4.2 | pDev: 6.43%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: An American IPA series brewed with a rotating selection of hop varieties and blends. This one features Simcoe and Comet.
Reviews: 1 | Ratings: 7 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A massive thanks to Alan for this, and the most generous "extras" I've ever seen.

12oz can - dated 02/03/20 - poured into an ale tulip at 45°F.

Pours a fully hazed, but not milky deep burnished orange bordering on amber. A finger of loose, almost sissy off-white head quickly recedes, leaving some fair lacing behind. No visible effervescence.

Nose: A lot of melon and green, rindy, unripe fruit opens the aroma, with an absolute ton of horned melon and gooseberry. A touch of white grape, some pomello rind, and a hint of piquant black pepper. Very green, unripe, pithy, and rindy - not too dissimilar to some Nelson notes.

Palate: The beer greets the palate with an immediate acidity that takes me by surprise. It's not quite tart, but it has that unique, gentle minerality of a Farmstead ale. Must be the water. The malt is pale, grainy - as if a large portion of wheat plays a role, and wonderfully dry. No sticky sweetness here. Much of unripe melon from the aroma translates to the palate, immediately followed by all the green pithy rind notes. Once again, a ton of gooseberry, some horned melon, white grape, a touch of kiwi, kumquat, and firmly bitter citrus rind that seems to suggest grapefruit, lime, lemon, and orange all at once. That touch of acidity progresses to full-on hop burn of a degree I've never witnessed. Quite the acidic scratch going down. Maybe I have a sore throat? It isn't bothersome until swallowing, where there is legitimately some minor discomfort. Tue finish itself it pithy, unripe, and firmly bitter with growing intensity - a very nice compliment to the dry grainy backbone which is now on full display as the hops settles down and come to a long slow close.

Mouthfeel/Body: At 6% ABV, this beer plays the part - a crisp, fluid, snappy, yet soft and elegant grainy body provides just enough weight to support a big bouquet of hops. The malt isn't trying to say anything, but manages to do so with its quiet simplicity. Medium-light bodied. Effervescence is surprisingly lively with an almost seltzer-like delivery. The only major flaw here is the serious hop burn that causes some discomfort on the swallow, particularly after the swallow. Finishes clean, ultra crisp, snappy, and almost zero lingering trace of malt.

Overall: This is a unique one. I generally despise Simcoe when dry/late hopped. None of the dank, musty, earthy, stanky notes that I attribute to Simcoe are here. Just a ton of unripe fruit, rind, and lots of pith. I'm not too familiar with Comet, but I have to think it plays a leading role? It's very unique, that's for sure. Not a whole lot like this is sitting out there. If it weren't for that aggressive hop burn, this would be excellent. The body is remarkably balanced, and I feel it conveys precisely what Shaun Hill aims to achieve in a hoppy beer. Maybe it needs to sit awhile and cool off? Maybe it sat too long? Maybe it's just insanely acidic? A hot batch of hops? Who knows? It's still very good, very unique, and I would be interested in revisiting a later batch. It's certainly interesting, and I call that a compliment.

Apr 02, 2020
Difference & Repetition - Simcoe, Comet from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 7 ratings