Clara Puncheon
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats
Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Needs more ratings
4.41 | pDev: 3.17%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: 8-5-2020 batch.

Clara (1906-1969) was Edward's sister, and, in her honor, this grisette is crafted from American malted barley, organic wheat, flaked oats, American and European hops, our distinctive farmhouse yeast, and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated, this year’s batch was aged for four months in our oak puncheons.
Reviews: 4 | Ratings: 9 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SierraNevallagash
SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A massive thank you to WoolEnthusiast for this bottle. Thank you so much.

750ml bottle - dated 8/5/2020 - poured into a classic tulip at around 45°F.

Pours a beautiful deep amber yellow - brilliantly clear, and topped with a thick dense cap of whote foam with excellent retention. There's a central stream of bubbles that continuously feeds the head, as some lacing begins to form. Very pretty.

Nose: Despite the low ABV, there is a remarkably bold, deep character to this one. A sweetness is immediately apparent, with some dusty grains, hay, grass, and musty old oak. A bright fruity contrast lends notes of pear, apple, and some soft lemon, with some delicate floral notes peeking through, and a whisper of herbal character. A pleasing spice character emerges, with some coriander seed, white pepper, allspice, and clove, and eventually, the deep, complex, mature oaky and wild notes emerge, with petrichor, dead leaves, wet soil, farmhouse must, and delightful Hill magic. Truly stunning.

Palate: Clara Puncheon greets the palate with this beautiful, harmonious accord of apple, pear, lemon, white grape skin, and gooseberry, backed by a semi-sweet grainy backdrop, like table crackers. That subtle spice element from the aroma quickly appears, with lovely coriander seed, and just a hint of allspice and clove, lending a very Belgian-like phenol profile. Dusty, rustic old hay, dry grass, damp musty oak, fern, mineralic well water, and earthy, damp, musty complexity that just reminds me if Vermont itself. Terroir, perhaps. The acidity here is remarkably gentle. Very much leaving into the old world Belgian saison level of subtle tartness, which just allows everything to shine. The finish brings a touch of pithy grapefruit, opening into a slight herbal hop note with just a kiss of leafy resin and spice, while the fruity notes and juicy tartness fade away, revealing a bit more oak and musty earthen tones, concluding with a friendly bitter snap.

Mouthfeel/Body: In typical Hill saison fashion, the body here is impeccable. Soft, fluffy, and airy - ultra crisp and light, but enough plushness and presence behind it. Unbelievably quenching, but there's enough there to really savour. Effervescence is brilliant - soft and lively, accented by that well water minerality that gently scrubs the palate. Just enough pith and tannins to clean it all up and beg you for the next sip. Masterful.

I've yet to have a dud from Hill Farmstead. Shaun is on another level, and these raisins truly posses a magical quality. This, however, is in that upper echelon of truly remarkable saisons, really approaching that level of perfection. It's flawless. Without flaw. This is the definition of Hill Farmstead, and few ales can match this level of enjoyment. A masterpiece.

May 21, 2021
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a golden yellow-ish color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like lemony funk, light breadiness, a definite minerality, pear, and apple.

This doesn't taste wildly different than regular Clara, and I'm not really convinced it's all that different. As it doesn't taste all that different than Clara itself, it's still a tremendous beer with so many little flavor nuances packed into a very low ABV body.

This is light bodied, clean, and super crisp, with a fantastic drinkability. Taking down a whole 750 is more than easy.

Pretty much obviously, this is great stuff.

May 07, 2021
Photo of JLK7299
JLK7299 from North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up last fall and I have been waiting for the perfect day to pop it. Seems as good a day as any, not a cloud in the sky....75 degrees . Worth the wait!

Apr 04, 2021
Photo of Siriusfisherman
Siriusfisherman from Vermont

4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden with a tall head that dissipates quickly and leaves good lacing. The aroma is heavy on tart fruit like honeycrisp apple and lemon, while there is some grape and mild spicy hops and phenolics as well as a crackery bread note. The taste follows suit with tart apple, lemon, grape skin, and some tannic woodiness. Sourdough bread, herbal hops, and some slightly spicy yeast round things out. The body is light and crisp without being watery, very refreshing. Overall, this is a stellar, light farmhouse ale that I enjoyed immensely and definitely see myself coming back to. This, on a hot summer day with a good sandwich would be hard to top.

Mar 26, 2021
Clara Puncheon from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.41 out of 5 with 9 ratings