Arthur | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Arthur (1922-2005) was our grandfather’s youngest brother; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his 13 siblings. In his honor, this Saison is crafted from American malted barley, American and European hops, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Arthur.

Added by kingcrowing on 10-03-2010

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Reviews: 238 | Ratings: 1,841
Photo of Sammy
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Terrific saison. Aroma is tantalizing with a fruit invitation. Cloudy yellow. Understated carbonation allowing for the palate to appreciate the tanginess. Some lace. Slightly pickled lemon taste and that's a good thing. Very good drinkability. Lots of farmhouse in the end of the bottle.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wowcoolman for sharing this one at jmgrub’s tasting.

Pours a murky yellow with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, yeast, spice, pepper, and some citrusy aromas. Taste is the same with a nice spice bitterness on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good saison but it smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

the difference between a very good saison and a world class one turns out to be not all that much. its just that one extra degree of refinement and attention to detail, maybe knowledge of process or even quality of ingredients. its tough to pinpoint, especially here, in a beer that in so many ways is not that different from a million other saisons on the market. it has a soft fluffy mostly pale malt base, with a slightly higher dosage of hops than tradition probably calls for, but with classic varietals and a yeast strain that makes it special. the recipe is the same across the board, but arthur has that it factor, that distinguishing element(s) that puts it up into a category nearly all of its own. for me, one element is the yeast. its super super funky, but it isnt tart or sour at all, and while it definitely has wild ale appeal, it doesnt get as involved on that front, a level of reserved craftsmanship rarely seen. if there is a little brett in here, its mild and sweet. the other element is the hops, and we all know these guys do hops pretty amazingly, but its grassy and bigger in this beer, without even lending oils to the beer to make it sticky and heavy, and without much bitterness. its a special understanding of the ingredients and the processes that produces such dynamic balance. mouthfeel is special as well, its carbonated quite brightly, but its not the racing soda bubbles of most, its a more gentle upbeat tune this one sings, and i am really happy having it hum along on my palate. finishes nice and dry and clean, feels rustic and timeless, traditional but evolved, and like something to be revered and shared, which is exactly what we did with it. a common beer style, probably with common ingredients and processes, but of outrageously uncommon quality. this is the new benchmark in my mind.

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Photo of brentk56
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Looks like the best of the Belgians, with the liquid being a cloudy honey color and the head billows with marshmallow meringue; incredible stickage and copious lacing qualities

Smell: Grainy malt aromatics merge with some barnyard yeasty funk and a hint of lemony/grassy hops

Taste: The grainy malt flavor establishes itself first and then underpins the other flavors through the finish; lemon, cantaloupe and pear flavors emerge next with grassy hops and peppery yeast arriving in the middle; everything merges, after the swallow, with some lemony/grassiness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body, somewhat creamy, with moderate carbonation

Overall: A really clean, well crafted Saison

Thanks, GJ40, for the chance to revisit

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Photo of largadeer
3.3/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks, Arne. 32 oz growler into a tulip.

The brilliantly clear golden body is topped by two fingers of white suds. Head retention isn't great for the style, but I'll cut it some slack for coming from a growler.

Grainy and fruity on the nose, the yeast contributes a lot of bubblegum, green apple and white pepper. A whiff of citrusy, grassy hops are noticeable beneath the strong yeast profile.

The palate opens with a rough grainy character, along with bubblegum, unripe pear and citrus. The body is thin, and the beer feels too refined for a saison. Hop flavors show up mid-palate, lemony and herbal, leading into a grainy and dry finish that ends with notes of banana and fresh herbs.

There's plenty of complexity here, but the flavors don't seem entirely harmonious to me. I'm also not crazy about the yeast, which brings too much cloying bubblegum flavor.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy bright golden color ale with a nice large pure white foamy head with good retention and some excellent lacing. Aroma of rustic ester and floral malt is very nice and enticing. Taste is also a nice mix between some floral malt with good attenuation and limited sweetness with some rustic notes and a lightly spicy yeast strain. Body is full with excellent carbonation. Hops are present though not overly so and provide nice zesty flavour. Another great combination between some complex flavour while retaining some great complexity.

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Photo of emerge077
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to John for this one!
Pale hazy straw gold, rising streams of carb trails, fairly well charged with carbonation, producing loose soapy foam.

Bretty nose, light dry eucalyptus, dried botanicals.
Tart lemon rind and lightly Bretty, very dry aftertaste with a light bitterness that lingers. Effervescent, light bodied. Refreshing stuff, well balanced. Overall it's a great saison with plenty of rustic nuances.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is list listed as a Farmhouse/Saison but to me it borders on being a sour.
I traveled to Hill Farmstead in search of the brewery with the most highly rated beers, and upon my visit there I was quite disappointed in their beers compared to the beers ratings.
Having stated THAT, I am quite pleased with this beer, although I do not think that it fits within the Farmhouse/Saison category as one would think of it. I think, as I drink from a bomber savoring every ounce of this 6.0% beer, that this tends to lean more towards a sour than a farmhouse, to which i was quite happy with that conclusion. After visiting Russian River Brewing last fall I have gained a great respect for sours and this beer is close to bridging that gap.
I wish I had a great supply of this and a bunch of different Russian River's sours to keep me happy throughout the year.
All though I have not tasted all the beers Hill-Farmstead produces, this without a doubt is the one beer of theirs that I would recommend, if you like sours, or beers with the non traditional taste I'm pretty sure you will really enjoy this offering from the guys out there in the middle of nowhere.

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Photo of oline73
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the bottle share during Jackie O's bottle release this weekend. Poured into a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden color with a layer of fluffy white head. This one had some good retention.

Smell: A bit sweet with an herbal quality to it. Mild citrus notes with some hop bitterness showing up as well.

Taste: Quite crisp with some sweet malt and an herbal note from the yeast. Mild citrus tartness combines with the sweetness and is quite refreshing. Really nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a very well crafted beer. Great balance. Lots of flavor but still light and easy to drink. I'd love to have it again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Hill Farmstead on November 4, 2010. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass. Thanks to Shaun for his incredible generosity for spending a good deal of time with us.

Pours a nice orangish amber color with a nice white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings some nice stone fruit, apricot, peach, a bit of Belgian-yeast spice, and a bit of light earth and grass.

The taste is nice and fruity with a bit of yeast character. Really nice feel with a light body and excellent carbonation. Really nice and sessionable. I had heard about all of HF's excellent hoppy beers and read about Fear & Trembling, but I had no idea on this and it was a really pleasant surprise.

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Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice creamy 1 finger head fades at a med pace with lots of lacing, very hazy golden creamy yellow color.

Nose a bit yeasty, light lemony zest, light citrusy, dry rustic malts and wheat, farmhouse earthy aroma, touch of spices

Taste is very saison, dry rustic earthy farmhouse, light creamy malts, little yeasty, light lemony citrus fruit and zest, dry bready malts, light wheat like, lots of carbonation, little creamy and light spices, bit of bitterness and hint of tannins. Finishes even more bitter, light floral grassy hops, pretty dry, more farmhouse rustic malt flavors.

Mouth is med bodied, good carb.

Overall nice, great flavors, right on for saison, nice hops that come late, dry finish, good carb, nice farmhouse flavors, very light spices, and a nice lemony citrus flavor.

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Photo of mendvicdog
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bright clean appearance with an offwhite head.

Smells slightly funky, slight lemon flavor with some hay.

Taste is bright and slightly funky, earthy.

Mouthfeel is great. Carbonation is excellent.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First had: bottle from Hill Farmstead

Poured into a HF stem glass, a hazy white peach color with a fizzy white head that my wife described as "decadent," for it truly was, nice retention and luscious lacing. I expected more of a straight up saison and prepared my olfactory glands for the typical hit of funk, but surprisingly, they were instead greeted with an unexpected hit of citrus and fruit, with a bit of tartness. This translated into the taste, zesty citrus, grass, apple skins, a twinge of tart/sour, spicy yeast, and a dash of pepper. I'm kicking myself for not getting a couple extra bottles of this! Light-medium body, prickly, and tremendously drinkable. And now it's gone. :( Loved it while it lasted though.

Being a more under-the-radar "sour," and a fairly "common" offering from HF, this may be one of my favorites from them.

*Old review aside, this has easily morphed into one of my favorite beers over the years.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle share in Hoboken, NJ.

A: Pours a slightly hazy straw yellow in color with some light visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall fizzy white head that has good retention properties with a thick cloudy layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: The beer has the aromas of hay/straw with some light citrus and some coriander spices. There is a light amount of funkiness present as well.

T: The flavor follows the smell with both coriander and pepper spices along with the hay/straw flavor and the light citrus/lemon.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly dry in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable and easy to drink, definitely a session beer for me. Wold love to track down some more of this one as I found it very tasty. Just enough but not too much barnyard funk.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy golden/straw color with a nice white head on top. Great retention and lacing.

S: Very nice aroma, some light wheat with lemon and a bit of spice. Slightly tart.

T: More lemony flavor mixed with a surprising amount of tartness. There was a little bit of barnyard funk and some spice on the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied, very easy drinking.

O: Fantastic beer, loved the level of tartness mixed with the lemon/zest flavors going on in this beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this at a recent tasting I hosted poured chilled from the 750ml into a tulip shared with tenderbranson and abru17.

The color is clear golden with thick white frothy head with fine bead. This saison smells the way I expect a good saison to-mostly yeast however there is a nice malt aroma that underscores with an earthy spice from the hops. This has a great feel -smooth body yet not overly sweet -very dry actually with moderate carbonation and softness from the water perhaps?

This is a very subtle yet sophistocated saison mostly malt yet there is a nice spice element that nods toward noble hop flavor with yeast adding a core structure that flavors as well as enhances the overall quality of the beer from initial taste with some light citrus coming through until the malt accentuated toasty finish. Overall I could not be happier after having this at the Hill farmstead anniversary this was a delight to share with friends in bottle format.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing, Joe.

Pours a hazed golden color with a tall white head. Excellent nose to this. Straw, yeast, and citrus peel aromas. A light sweetness, some floral notes, and mild spice. The flavor is crisp and refreshing. Biscuit malts, floral hops, yeast, and lightly spicy. A bit of citrus peel, and a light tartness throughout. A very mild funk in the background, too.

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Photo of orangesol
3.53/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Capone's into a sampler glass.

A - Pours pale yellow with a strong one finger head, dissipating to a light film of head, leaving thin sheets of lacing down the glass

S - Tons of breadyness up front with a bit of funk. A bit dry with some hints of citric hops and fruits. The bready mix of malt and yeast really dominated the other flavors a bit too much.

T - Starts off with plenty of bready yeast up front giving way quickly to a mix of muted grassy hops and citric fruits. Finish is quite chewy, thanks to all that bready yeast and malt, and it lingers on the pallet for quite a bit of time. I wanted to like this one more but I just do not like how chewy it was.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Fairly heavy, chewy, feel with plenty of it lingering long after consumption.

D - Good not great. I liked it but I prefer my saison's to be a little cleaner and funkier. I just don't seem to like these bready saison's very much I guess.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 10/13/12 notes. Was very excited to see this at the Top Hops NYC tasting, big thanks to whoever brought it. 750ml bottle.

a - Pours a hazy medium yellow color, with lots of white fluffy head and high carbonation evident. Head lasts for several minutes.

s - Smells of brett, oranges, citrus hops, floral hops, hay, spice, pepper, earthy notes, and some light fruit. Loads of citrus, especially oranges in the nose. Very nice nose.

t - Tastes of oranges, citrus hops, sour fruit, funk, earthy notes, hay, wheat, yeast, pepper, spice, and some brett. Taste has a little sourness and a decent amount of funk that the nose did not have. Really awesome; love the taste.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Very easy to drink, and a little less carbonation would make it amazing in my opinion.

o - Overall I thought this was a great saison; another HF winner. I wasn't expecting any sourness or funk, but the taste had it and it was great; reminded a bit of Fantome. Would love to get this one again sometime.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy straw color. Aroma has sweet citrus fruits like pomelo and some nice farmhouse funk. Taste starts tart with citrus fruits and also has floral yeast esters. Body is light and effervescent. A really nice farmhouse ale but not as special as I expected.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by starrdogg. Thanks Matt.

Served along side Hill Farmstead Art, Flora, Civil Disobedience, and McKenzie Irma Extra.

The beer is hazy and yellow hued with a thick, white head that leaves ample lacing on the snifter. The aroma brings floral, citrus, malt, yeast. The flavor is decent. Overly yeasty, with some fruit notes, perhaps apricots. The feel is very dry, with lingering yeast. Overall, a decent saison that could stand a few improvements.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Farmhouse Tap. Served in a wine glass.

Appearance - Bright orange yellow. Nice white head. Nice lacing. Good rention.

Smell - Lemony. Slightly yeasty. Wine notes. Pale malt.

Taste - Very crisp. White wine all over. Pale malt. Acidic. Oaky in the finish. Mostly white wine and the saison is lost.

Mouthfeel - Light and crisp. Nice tang. A little bit yeasty.

Overall - The saison isn't the most complex, but wine flavors really round it out very nicely.

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Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers and thanks are owed to BA baconsausage for gifting me with a bottle of this as a generous extra in our last trade. Big thanks man! Poured from a 750 into an oversized wine glass. The brew appears a hazed golden yellow color with bit patchy white head that fades leaving some sticky froth coating on the glass. The cap maintains throughout the duration with an uneven cratered surface atop. A light swirl effortlessly revives a finger of off-white meringue back to the surface.

The aroma is very pleasant with a fresh citrus and zesty component of fruity hop character. Orange, lemon and lime couple with almost a lactic inclusion with yogurt and faint wheat-like grain inclusion. There is an overall mild spicy yeast aspects with an earthen and grassy feel that emerges as the brew warms.

The taste has a bit of wheat inclusion that imparts flavors mildly like straw. Some hop character comes forward with a biter rindy feel that is zesty and bright. Grapefruit comes to mind mixing with a hint of sulfur and carbonic qualities. On the backend there is a touch of yogurt sort of aspect that reminds me of lacto but the hop inclusion sort of drowns all of that out before it draws too much focus in the flavor.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is light and easy drinking with a sort of hybrid saison/ipa feel about it. The nose far and away is the best aspect of this brew with the flavor profile falling a bit short. Overall though, it is without fault and is a beer I would revisit if given the opportunity. Prior to drinking this, I commented on Vera mae being one of the better saisons by Hill Farmstead that I have had. I stand corrected, Arthur is even better. Nicely done.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by AdamJackson, thanks for the opportunity!
Cloudy deep straw color with a decent sized white head that dissipates slowly. Aromas of tart funky lemony light sugary malt. Flavor is tart citrus with hints of funkiness and bits of earthy earthiness to round it all out. Really nice funkified farmhouse ale.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

EDIT: ratings altered 1/27/2016. Review from years earlier.

Pours a bright golden yellow with a moderate white head. A lot of these HF saisons seem to look much alike but they're very pretty.

Smells like a pretty standard saison--dry farmhouse yeast, some mild honey sweetness, some floral character.

Taste is almost completely different. Tart where I didn't get any sourness at all in the nose; lemon zest and maybe some other citrus.

This is probably the least impressive of the Hill Farmstead saisons but it's still very tasty.


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Arthur from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,841 ratings.
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