Florence Wheat Saison | Hill Farmstead Brewery

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
133 Reviews
Florence Wheat SaisonFlorence Wheat Saison
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Florence (1915-1967) was our grandfather’s sister, and Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to her and her 13 siblings. In her honor, this Belgian inspired Wheat ale is crafted from American malted barley, Organic Vermont wheat, European and American hops, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. It is unfiltered and naturally carbonated. Soft, cloudy, and fresh, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Florence.

Pale Malt; Vermont Organic Wheat; American and European Hops; Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.

Added by skivtjerry on 08-18-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
133
Ratings:
944
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
7.89%
 
 
Wants:
102
Gots:
177
For Trade:
27
User Reviews
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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 944
Photo of BarrytheBear
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome balance of lemon/lime, funk, yeast, and wheat. Great beer! As far as their standard saisons are concerned, this just may be my favorite...just hit me in all the right ways.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%

- 2014 vintage
- Off tap @ Beachwood (LBC) on 7-Nov-14
- 10 oz. pour into a wheat beer glass

Tasted against Arthur, Anna, and Brother Soigne. Of the four, I ranked this one 4th.

Quite tart and more funky than the rest. Get a strong lemon presence. Just not as complex and interesting as the others. Still a fantastic saison.

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Photo of Jonada
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottled July 2014. Served in a Tired Hands 2nd anniversary glass.

Appearance: Pours a pale yellow color with 3 fingers of a white fluffy head with good retention. Body is lightly hazy but transparent with moderate visible carbonation.

Smell: Wheat, lemon, light peppery yeast, white grape, apple and a faint clean lactic character.

Taste: Tart mild sourness throughout. Wheat base is clearly noticeable along with lemon, white grape, light bready malt, and just a touch of funk with a hint of bitterness. Almost a a bit of a pilsner like quality in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light/medium bodied and crisp with a soft mouthfeel. Carbonation is on the higher side of medium. Finishes dry.

Overall: Another excellent beer from Hill Farmstead. Tasty, balanced, refreshing, drinkable, awesome.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle received as an extra from a killer trader. Thanks buddy! Pours very light yellow, almost perfectly clear, with a huge fluffy white head on top. Aroma of lemons, grass, barnyard funk, yeast esters, strong hop presence, spice, some definite tartness. Flavor is tart fruits, lemons, grapefruit, grass, some hop bitterness, somewhat acidic, major funk, dry, with a crisp finish. Light bodied, prickly carbonation, and tart dry finish. Interesting brew--only my 2nd from HF--and not what I expected. The tartness note here is pretty unique and very nice. Worth a try, though I was hoping for a little more sweetness and spice from this one. But that’s just my personal taste, and there’s nothing I can find that’s wrong with this. Crisp and super clean brew. Nicely done.

Trying for the second time now, and really digging this one. Like it better than any of the other HF saisons I have had. Good stuff with a bit more sweetness than the likes of Anna/Arthur/Dorothy.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light, crisp, lemony and dry. Good mineral quality. A little bit of that classic saison yeast taste on the finish....................................

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle obtained on trade(thanks as always, GMRFx!), bottled "07 2014;" poured into my 8 oz. Tired Hands glass and drank over 30 minutes

A: 3/3 - pale yellow-to-golden coloration; murky/hazy (cannot read or see through); received with an initial frothy white head that settled into a subtle glass lacing; small visible bubbles pouring off the bottom of the glass

S: 10/12 - predominately lemon and lime zest; some peppery/spicy Belgian yeast, pils and wheat with some alcohol

T: 18/20 - bright, refreshing lemon flavors immediately hit on first sip and continue to develop on the palate; as the flavor profile expands; there is a tartness without funkiness that becomes the predominate flavor; some mild alcohol on the back of the palate, but finishes dry and inviting

M: 4/5 - medium-to-high carbonation; light body

O: 9/10 - excellent Grisette-style wheat saison; just love the tart/sour qualities of their saisons that are perfectly in balance - present, flavorful but don't overpower the base beer; I've had Arthur before and this is right up there with it - world class and highly recommended

TOTAL - 44/50

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Photo of SABERG
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle dated 20150504 into the modified tulip glass.
A - Wonderfully clear, steady stream of carbonation feeds into a monstrous pillow of froth, lacing of the finest style.
S - Ash, lemon, a very lite grian quality feeds a fine Chablis styled nose.
T - Delicate and delightful, a wonderful start feeds a fine dry finish,flavors are in a tight band and represent
true craft. White wine like, with enough carbonation to differentiate. Te flavors are centered araound a fine rime wash cheese, lemon drop, and slightly salty minerals.
O - Simply stunning in the simple complexity. Ya I know. The lemon, bright and dry finish are the finest points .
Cheers all

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Big thanks to DHack22 for hooking me up with this beauty. It has a great clean orange to yellow hue with great lacing and a great crisp aroma with a touch of funk from the Brett. The taste was more tart than I even expected, with a nice amount of lemon, pepper, wheat, honey, and maybe a touch of some other spice like oregano. Feel is very bubbly, almost champagne like which makes a lot of sense with the flavors present. Dry feel in the aftertaste. Yet another well made beer from HF!

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Photo of BakaGaijin
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%

A - pours out a nice slightly hazy straw yellow. Foamy white head that dissapates rather quickly.

S - A little bit funky, wheat, a little saline, and lemon water.

T - A touch of lemon and slightly tart. Clean and smooth. A little more bitter on the finish then I would like. Very easy drinking beer.

M - Great mouth feel. Light, with lively carbonation.

O - Great saison. One of the best that I have had.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%

Poured into a Hill Farmstead tulip glass. Thanks, Darren!

A: lemon yellow, opaque with a white 1.5 finger head that lingers. Lacing for days.

S: lemon zest, wheat. Fresh, clean.

T: Brett funkiness, lemons, tart, tingly. A bit of pepper. Crisp, smooth. Wheat rounds up the finish.

M: light to medium with tons of carbonation.

O: One of the better saisons I've tried. Just terrific. Wish I could drink more HF on a regular basis.

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Photo of MarcWP
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%

Bottle into HF stem .


Pours super light straw yellow in color. Hazy like it should be. Smaller, less aggressive head than most other Hill Farmstead Saisons. 4.25


Aroma is light wheat malts, lemon zest, mandarin, subtle white grape, and sweet key lime pie. Luscious for low abv ringer. 4.5


Taste is also less aggressive than most other Hill Farmstead Saisons. Has light malt and wheat flavors, lemon , some flower notes, and towards the end of the palate a lime pulp like astringency. Certainly a more sessionable saison. 4.5


Mouthfeel, also a bit lighter. But still has that world class carbonation level of the rest of the HF line up. Tart but not as much as say Arthur or Brother Soigné. So damn drinkable. 4.75


Overall this is damn near perfect for what it's supposed to be, a lower abv saison. Not the most complex but it's not supposed to be. Could drink this all day long .

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%

Appearance: Light straw yellow color. Small white head that leaves a slight lacing. Slightly hazy but some brightness and clarity. 3.75/5

Smell: fairly light and delicate whiffs of lemon and other citrus, a wheat malt base along with some belgian yeast character. a fairly strong vinegar along with some green apple skin. 3.5/5

Taste: Opens up with a slight wheaty tartness. rustic belgian yeast that plays in with the wheat to make notes of hay and some spices. lots of lemon and hints of lemon bread sweetness. backend is full of acid and vinegar. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: extremely light and whispy. Tart and acid. 3.5/5

Overall: I really like the use of some tartness in saisons, but the lightness of the body and the overly vinegary notes take away a bit too much for me on this one.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

First Hill Farmstead, courtesy of Jared. Thanks!

A: Pours a clear and pale golden color with a fluffy two finger white head. Good retention and just a trace of lacing with each sip.

S: Smells absolutely incredible. Rustic, a touch of wheat, barnyard, hay, a bit of spice, freshly cut wood and a refreshing tartness. Hints of lemon and citrus peel.

T: More tart than I was expecting and incredibly crisp. Lemon, hay, crisp grain and wheat, a little bit of citrus peel, lime and some lactic tartness on a long, lingering finish. Leaves you with a tart and crisp green apple and lemon bite. A really, really great beer. So glad I finally got to try this.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a trade a while back with chippo33. December 2013 bottling, served in an Alchemist pint glass.

A - Creeping gusher. Big voluminous white foam eventually settles to a soapy cap and class-coating lace. Lightly hazed golden straw body.

S - Lots of wheat, lightly toasted grains, with a light lemony twang and tame phenols. Really excellent, but perhaps hard to distinguish form other Hill Farmstead offerings without virtue of a side-by-side comparison.

T - Surprisingly tart, refreshing almost. A lot more lemon and lactic acidity than I've ever gotten from growler or draft iterations of this beer; seems to be souring up in the bottle. A pleasant surprise, as it's evocative of the best Fantôme offerings. Clean grain and mildly peppery yeast.

M - Soft, creamy, medium body, with pleasant natural carbonation. Spot on, like virtually ever other Hill Farmstead beer I've had.

D - A pleasure to drink. I remember being indifferent to this beer in the past, but this bottle was excellent. Would happily drink again. Had no problem with the 750ml bottle.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to Outcast for this bottle!

750ml bottle sealed with pressure cap.

bottle dated 12/2013.

poured into black logo Hill Farmstead Wine Stem.

Appearance: glowing pale yellow bodied beer with is slightly opaque not quite see through. Towering 3 fingers of bone white head resulting from a gentile pour. The head leaves lots of lacing on the side of the glass. Great staying power seen by the head of this beer that eventually drops down to a uneven, thick and chunky cap.

Smell: mild lemon tartness. Wheat malts. Slightly fruity yeast and a hint of earthy funk. Smells like spring time. Bright and fresh aroma.

Taste: almost reaching moderate level of tartness; mostly lemons with a hint of granny smith green apple. Citrusy orange zest/peel that adds just a touch of bitterness. White grapes that are subtle. A hint of sweetness from wheat malts. Dry saltine cracker character from the malts as well. Fruity yeast. Slightly spicy. Slightly grassy with a hint of earthy / musty / dusty funkiness. Completely suprised by how tart this beer is, its way more tart than the nose leads on. It is actually way more complex than I could have ever expected this beer to be.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Starts out bright, then finishes crisp and clean. Out of this world drinkability; I could honestly drink this beer in quantity and never get bored with it.

Overall: I have tried the likes of Anna and Aurthur on several occasions and like all HF saisons... I want to try them all and always look forward to a HF saison that I havent tried yet! As far as Florence goes, it reminds me of an authentic table beer and I got nothing but great things to say about it. I really think that it is a seriously under rated Hill Farmstead saison; its almost as good as Anna which I also hold in very high reguards. Now that I have had Anna, Aurthur, and Florence I think that I can say with confidence that Hill Farmstead makes some of the finest Saisons in the USA. Anna is my favorite, Florence is second, and Aurther is a respectable third. That is where I would put these 3 HF saisons in terms of my personal favorites.

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Photo of dar482
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a straw yellow color.

The beer hits of lemony tart qualities up front, a good amount of wheat in the middle, as the beer lingers on with some spicy yeast, and the tart slowly tames down with a dry finish.

A good amount of flavor for its ABV, but less complex compared do its siblings like Arthur and Anna.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, bottled 12/2013. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 4/24/2014.

A- hazy straw yellow body, two finger effervescent and thick white head. Lots of lacing, great retention. Typical of Shaun's saisons.

S- strong wheat character, not unlike a hefeweizen with an even stronger tartness, like green apples. Smells so crisp. And as it warms, more funk comes out. This smells just great.

F- Apple tartness, Vermont funk, wheat character, slight vinous character, lemon zest. This is wonderfully refreshing and easy to drink.

M- medium bodied, well carbonated and easy to drink. So refreshing and crisp.

O- I like this better than Arthur, but this is unique among all the different saisons here. I'm a big fan of this. Only Anna would go ahead of this for me.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 12/2013

Pours a hazy pale yellow with a thick head reducing to nice, fine lacing.

Smells bright and fruity, mostly apple and grape with some faint orange citrus. It is both bready and grassy with an earthy undertone. Slightest touch of pungent cat pee (an intense note but not unpleasant).

The taste is clean and crisp yet complex. Just a touch spicy. The acidity is unexpected and delightful. The fruit flavors are bright and with a hint of sweetness. Orange peel, apple and grape. There is a light bready malt accompanied by a slight touch of diacetyl. There is some wonderful earthy funk. The finish is dry and vinous.

The carbonation is active and creamy. It perfectly carries the bright acidity and fruit flavors.

This beer blurs the lines between a number of different styles I love. It has similarities to some other sour farmhouse beers like Crooked Stave Surette (although Florence is better) and SARA Saison Bernice. This is really well crafted and is the kind of beer that keeps me excited about beer. The only slight mark against it is a touch of breadiness and diacetyl. Love it.

Update: the 7/2014 bottling was not quite as developed as the 12/2013. Still delicious but a littleore watery and could use a little more funk. The yeast is still wonderful and the carbonation still shines - but the rating would be lower than my original rating.

The 11/14 bottling is similar to the 7/14. It is relabeled as "Vermont Wheat Ale". The carbonation and mouthfeel is classic HF but this is a simpler beer than the one I originally loved so much. This is a great beer but now not as good as the other HF saisons.

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Photo of Kendo
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the 750 ml into a Duvel tulip. The body is straw-yellow on the pour, but more golden in the glass, with a 1.5-inch foamy white head. Leaves a good amount of foam on the sides of the glass.

S: Nice nose. Cereal grains and wheat along with white grapes and white wine (think Pinot Grigio or maybe Sauvignon Blanc). Touch of lemony citrus and a wee bit of yeasty funkiness off in the distance.

T: First impression: Surprised by the tartness, as I didn't get that in the nose at all. Not overwhelmingly tart; it's noted mainly because I wasn't expecting it. . . . Apples come to mind immediately, along with white grape skins and a nice, vibrant lemony bitterness. Modestly spicy yeast is noted over a foundation of wheat and crackery grain. Herbal and grassy and somewhat earthy as well. Slight lingering fruity sweetness on the lips. This is a complex beer that in many ways drinks more like a good white wine.

M: Light in heft; carbonation appears benign in the glass but is pretty active on the palate, creating a nice clean feel at the finish of each sip.

O: Outstanding beer; truly world class. Not sure how this should be characterized, style-wise (I guess Saison works), but it's probably the best wheat beer I've ever had.

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Photo of cbutova
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Always a pleasure to try another brew from Hill Farmstead. The craftsmanship that goes into each beer has provided me with the best overall portfolio of any brewery I can think of.

A- Poured into two tulip glasses from the 750ml bottle dated December 2013. Immediately upon hitting the glass, the beer opens up with a huge creamy white cap. The foaminess reminds me of Duvel in a way and the head retention is very nice. The cap eventually falls down to a creamy, foamy ring leaving spots, patches and some huge blankets of lace.

S- Wheat certainly comes to mind right off the bat, like the crust on a nice dark wheat loaf. This is followed by a strong, tart citrus and wine grape fruity presence. A farmhouse yeast provides a spicy base but not enough to take over the other aspects of the aroma.

T- White wine grapes, apples and a lemony, lactic tartness really open up on the palate for me; significantly more than in the nose at least. Biting into that perfect "sour" apple comes to mind. These strong fruit flavors meld into a base of spicy Saison yeast and heavy cracked wheat grains. Earthy, herbal and grassy hints beyond this.

MF- LIght and pretty much dried out. This teamed up with the tartness really makes your cheeks pucker in a bit. Carbonation at a fizzy high level but a silky, crisp texture falls up on the taste buds.

One of the most fascinating things about Hill Farmstead to me is how much almost every one of their beers makes me think. "Vermont Wheat Ale" sounds straightforward and could even be viewed as such but deep down there are just layers of deep, great flavors here. The emphasis on unique, well crafted Farmhouse brews by HF is perhaps my favorite thing about the brewery. I know what beer I will be looking forward to next winter.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

In the memory of the Hill Farmstead roots, Florence is remembered in the form of a classy farmhouse ale. One that is true to tradition with premiere dryness, a spice-forward balance and with peps of wine and cork. With just enough of a wheatness to prevent total dryness, the ale remains soft from beginning 'til end.

The ale erupts in the glass, looking as much like champagne as it does ale. Only its glowing haze and its perpetual head retention speaks otherwise. Its creamy foam-stance is of honeycomb as intricate lace trickles down the glass. All this transpires on a canvas of goldenrod hues that's straw-like at its edge.

Bright and tangy aromas leap right out with the scent of fermented fruit. This sheds light on its wine-like undertow with peps of apple, spiced pear, white grape, under-ripened orange and a certain lemony twang. With its short wafer-thin malt support, balance is achieved instead with a pang of fresh cracked peppercorn with earthy cumin, cork, hay and fennel lurking behind.

Its malt taste is delicately bready, and perhaps more cracker-like. But that's all short-lived as the tart and tangy fruit flavors are slightly citrusy but more of the orchard varieties and nearly evoking teeth churning behavior. Playfully acidic and earthen, its chardonnay-like taste stems from the fruit and trends corkish with spicy hop bitterness and an herbal flavor of damp hay and lemongrass.

Its light and bubbly body keeps the ale floating above the tongue and ushers in a fast fleeting finish. The bulk of the beer's finesse flavors are almost more appreciated in aftertaste than on the early or middle palates. Its finish of spice, warmth and acidity is followed only by an echo of whole wheat.

Hill Farmstead does it again- the creation of traditional Saison in all its classic glory, with the perfect balance, the perfect body and just enough dry fruit and pepper- its a taste straight out of the Belgian Low Countries.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer

Consumed 2/19/14

Appearance: Hazy pale yellow, with gold and straw - pours with an above average-sized head - leaves some quite nice

Smell: Straight-up saison - nice funk, perhaps cleaner than average - some nice spice, with some earth - light fruits, including apples, pears, and some citrus, including oranges and lemon - nice level of wheat and some lightly bready malts

Taste: Remarkably clean with some nice saison flavors - some great saison yeast, with some nice farmhouse flavor, earth, and light spice - wheat component is very nice, with some typical wheat twang, and some nice, bready, pale malts - some nice fruit esters, with apples, pears, and some citrus - nicely balanced overall, finishes dry and clean

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, smooth, great finish

Overall: Dear Hill Farmstead, please stop making good beer

This is a remarkably straightforward saison. No additional flavors, no fruits, nothing other than some big saison yeast and some exceptionally clean water. As annoying as it is to actually acquire Hill Farmstead beers, this is worth the effort.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Ataraxia for the bottle.

Appearance: Hazed bright yellow with a big fluffy bright-white head. Spotty lacing. Moderate head retention leaves a small collar and cap.

Smell: Light wheat. Pale malts add a nice bready/biscuity sweetness. Lemon flesh and some bright lemon zest. Typical Hill Farmstead saison yeast aromas. Very soft spice and a bunch of fruity esters. Banana, pear, and apple. Vague sort of tartness buried in the back. Incredibly clean and light. Slightly floral hop presence.

Taste: A bit of tart lemon flesh and zest. Soft slightly powdery yeast presence. Some fruity esters. Apple, pear, and just a touch of banana. Nice balance of wheat and sweet pale malts. Lightly undercooked dough. Incredibly light and clean. Mildy lactic. Bright pop of citrus. A touch damp and earthy.

Mouthfeel: Light body and a touch crisp on the finish. Juicy up front. Just delightful.

Overall: Outkast approved.

So fresh and so clean clean.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pale yellow with a medium white head. Nose is full wheat, mild citrus notes, crackers and very subtle coriander. Flavor is full on wheat dominated, with signature Hill Farmstead Belgian yeast, very subtle tart citrusy quality, and more wheat. Finishes on notes of wheat and lightly tart citrus notes. Very light-bodied, medium carbonation, and very wheaty.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy bright yellow, nice carbonation, two finger fluffy white head.

S-Wheat, lots of it. Grass and lemon. Citrus as well, very slight tart notes.

T-Starts with wheat and lemon. Slight grass, not much in the way of spices, very mild tartness.

M-Lighter, well carbonated and crisp.

O-Some more tart notes would greatly improve the beer, one of the "worst" HF I've had but still a rather yummy one.

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Florence Wheat Saison from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.18 out of 5 based on 944 ratings.
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