Self Reliance: Czech Saaz
Hill Farmstead Brewery

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IPA - American
Ranked #592
Ranked #7,489
4.27 | pDev: 4.92%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance,” as does all of his writing, continues to inspire and compel us to engage in the perennial introspection, which is to reflect, examine, and refine. This release, the only 375ml packaging in the series, was brewed in April of 2018; generously hopped with Saaz sourced from the Czech Republic; aged in oak puncheons for four months prior to bottling; and has been intentionally bottle conditioned until reaching its peak expression. Please consume within six months for best experience.
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 22 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i love everything about this, from the label aesthetic which is different looking for these guys, to the process, to the end result, its heaven in a glass, huge thanks to my buddy back east for shipping this out to me, it was perfect for a virtual holiday celebration. to me its crazy this was conditioned in the bottle so long, uncommon for something this hoppy, but the level of refinement achieved is splendid, the texture is gold, and this is ultra impressive overall, even for hill, who constantly slays. gorgeous bright yellow radiance just beaming in the glass, a high and airy white head rises above the rim, and it lingers long, lots of frantic carbonation racing up, a little more hazy as i pour the bottle down, but never full of sediment or anything, active the entire time. it smells just fabulous, and the taste lines up perfectly with the aroma, the fermentation profile is classic hill, maybe a touch more tart than some of these, but such a familiar and complex rustic funkiness on it, truly unique to this brewery, bretty in a cool way, very dry and mature, moderate citric acidity to me, but a ton of oak too. huge white wine characteristics from the ferment and the hops, which here almost seem more hallertau blanc than saaz, less limey and grassy and spicy, more blooming floral and sweet citrus and green grape, melon, and kiwi. it really pops in the taste, right on the center of the tongue, a far juicier expression of saaz here than i even knew was possible, and really a dynamic brew, earthy still with a pils and wheat type base i suspect, delicate but i like that i can taste it. tart but clean to finish, less bitter than i expected from the saaz, and more modern tasting on the hops side overall than i expected, its a really different side of a familiar hop, which makes this even more special to me. this is so expertly done its just a joy to drink, and i was a little deflated when it was gone, each sip was a wonderful experience. i hope to be able to drink other beers from this series in the future, i will not soon forget this one, what a pleasure!

Dec 28, 2020
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle. Cloudy yellow. Smells of light lime acidity, grassy spicy hops. Tastes more of the earthy Saaz hops here. Spicy, earthy. A little tart. Doughy malt and some cobweb yeasty. Medium light. Very pleasant.

Dec 14, 2020
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pale gold with a short head dying to a bubbly collar.

Lightly tart and herbal, it's developed an almost minty yet citrusy characteristic. This is accented by a little dusty oak and funky straw, but also some corny pils-like bitterness with a hint of green apple. The tingly medium-light body finishes semi-dry.

Very hard to explain, the herbal hop character that is imparted here relative to other Czech saaz hops is very unique.

Oct 13, 2020
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q33jeff from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5


Share with DC.

LOOK: light yellow, hint if haze, small white head, Excellent retention ( back to a small head).
AROMA: champagne, apple,grape,white wine, some esters.
TASTE: white grape, barnyard, pineapple, citrus.
FEEL: super fizzy, light bodied.

Wow! Best Saison I'be ever had (even though this is an IPA).



Sep 25, 2020
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Newbeergeek1 from Maine

4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I happen to like the tart taste a lot and, for my tastes this was quite nice. Not to tart to overwhelm the rest of the beer. Color was almost like the color of urine, SORRY, but it does and luckily it probably doesn’t taste like it but I wouldn’t know as urine has not been something I serve over ice... ha ha. No head, no lacing and I don’t smell, at 73, like I wish I could. Overall I really liked it and am glad I have tried it. I did buy two when I was at HF in August and look forward to sharing the next one who might get past the urine look! Ha ha.

Sep 21, 2020
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SABERG from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the 375 ml bottle into the test glass.
A - Bumble bee yellow color, early pour has excellent clarity, final pour adds a thin cloud to the glass. Gently carbonated, the spheres are tiny and keep an archipelago on the surface.
S - Dusty earthy, white pepper, a kiss of cut hay, lemongrass, and a thin orange thread. The spicy aspect is a revelation. The thinnest of thread from oak, but not to be missed.
T - Sweet malt base, more citrus but rustic, a bit of lemon verbana, again the lovely white pepper spicy aspect. Ripe Bosc pear comes in as well.
M - Medium in body, soft on the palate, carbonation acts as carpet ushering waves of flavors to thier seats. Finish is delightfully dry. Linger has the lovely tension of citrus vs spice.
O - A delight in all catagories. The hops expression, the bottle conditioning softens the palate experience. There is no doubt the Hill Farmstead thumb print all over this. That said "gently" is the word that comes to mind as how the feel, flavors and aromatics are all expressed.

Sep 06, 2020
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a lightly hazy golden yellow color, with a big fluffy head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like citrusy funk, grassy and spicy hop character, pear, stone fruit, and honey.

This is absolutely one of the best entries in this series. It's got a tremendous dry citrusy character, with a nice hop spice to it, along with pear skin and peach, and a touch of oak.

This is light bodied, citrusy, and super clean, with a great drinkability.

It's really hard to not like this series, both for how good they taste and how much of a bargain they are.

Sep 04, 2020
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brewandbbq from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle. Hops from 2017.

Pours clear yellow with a chill haze and a one inch head of white. Retention of average duration with minor lacing.
Cut grass, wet hay, apple, and mineral-rubbed lemon in the nose. Light bodied with a soft but crisp mouthfeel. Lemon and grapefruit on the palate with stone fruit following through. Finishes fairly dry with a lingering tartness and citrus.

Sep 03, 2020
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this one is grainy, rustic, grassy, mellow tartness, a bit restrained and sort of boring compared to the others in the series. a very enjoyable beer none the less!

Aug 29, 2020
Self Reliance: Czech Saaz from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 22 ratings