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: 233 | Ratings: 1,812
Photo of snowmageddon
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A:pours a clean, bright light golden yellow. the lacing is excellent
S: funk is prevalent, white wine, noble hops, some faint malt notes.
T: tart barnyard funk with lemony. pepper. mineral water. the finish is dry and short.
M: pillow-soft body, highly carbonated
O: fantastic saison. one of my new favorites.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Hill Farmstead glass. Bottled 22 July 2015.
A: Clear, pale yellow with a churning, foamy head.
S: Smells lightly tart, of lemon peels and distant funk. Pleasing, mild, and moreish.
T/M: Oh, wow, that's delicious. It's like malted lemonade. Spritzy, citrusy, and lightly sweet -- grainy in a clean, pleasant way. The taste is long and fun, but the aftertaste has the faintest smack of something metallic-bitter.
O: A fantastically enjoyable beer that doesn't really taste like much of a saison. The funk that was semi-present on the nose is absent from the taste. Tart lemon, mild malty sweetness, and a crisp bitterness. Very well-balanced and well-made.

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Photo of lochraneg
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: pale, cloudy, creme head
S: yeast, light, full aromas
T: sour, wild, medium body
F: HFS always lingers, medium body
O: one of my personal faves from HFS, one of my first ones I tried too. Find it...

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Photo of K4550
3.79/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Admittedly biased against this general style, too much "saison-y" yeasty farmhouse-y ness, not enough tartness for my palate. Not quite my favorite HF offering, but I can at least objectively see that it's a solid beer.

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Photo of dar482
4.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a slightly hazy dark yellow color.

The aroma offers citrus bouquet of lime and lemon zest, hay, white bready malt, clean bathroom tilefunk.

The flavor follows with restrained grapefruit and lemon tart, white grape. A light bready malt, as the funk takes over funk eggs, bathroom cleaner, yet still being restrained. Hints of spicy hops to clean up the beer as the beer has wonderful carbonation and some minerality in the aftertaste.

One of the more funky of the shelf beers, but so balanced and refined, as expected.

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Photo of ccnorthwest
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color of this Saison is beautiful. Cloudy/unfiltered golden color. The smell is misleading compared to the taste. The body and finish are smooth, with a touch of sourness.

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

Poured from a 750 into a stemmed vase, the beer is a bright, hazy, straw-gold coloring with a steady, rapid flow of carbonation in the body, and a foamy, low profile, bright white head. Aromas of citrus sweet and tart, candi sugar, cut grass, bready notes, berries, subtle farmhouse funk, yeasty esters, and herbal highlights. Flavors are extremely sweet and tart citrus forward, heavy on orange rind and lemon zest, with a subtle candied backbone, grassy and herbal highlights, floral notes, berry fruits, all spice, and hints of bitter hops resin. Amazingly balanced, on a full body kept light by the carbonation. The aftertaste is a tart and sweet blend of all of the fruity notes, with a balanced of grassy and bitter hops. The finish is effervesced, crisp, and dry. This is a great beer!

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

A hazy straw golden color most likely due to the unfiltered nature of the beer. Translucent but not at all transparent. The Hill house farmhouse yeast dominates the aroma. Lightly tart, but very drinkable. Not terribly complex but it doesn't have to be. This is a terrific, crushable farmhouse ale. Easy to savor as well.

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Photo of barczar
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Big lactic aroma, sour lemon, with saline notes, citrus, and a hit of funk.

Flavor is less sour than expected, with big malt and wheat character. Touch of funk.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.73/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Color is golden and yellow, Very hazy with a thick frothy head.

Aroma is funky with a slight sourness.

Definitely a tart lemon taste with a grassy component.

Wonderful beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.68/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a Hill Farmstead goblet.

Pretty much as good as a saison gets in looks. A real nice mild opacity, and brass lemon shiny yellow body. Fine middle column of carbonation, a speckle of small cola bubbles on the bottom add a nice contrast. The head is just rocky retention and filled with bubble bath thick foam. Three fingers on a nice controlled pour, mild island mountain top retention and pill lacing, with even pinhead bubbles in the makeup, that get populated again at the edges when the fine carbonation hits the top. In the glass just looks like perfection.

Wonderful aromas of candy floral hops, some dry sensing farmhouse character just slightly. Pungent and perfume like. Some mild sensing chewy malt character as well give a little bit of doughy bakery sweetness. Not a big funk monster, but just very nicely good sense of soft yeast esters to go with it.

Palate comes with incredible fruit character. This is like eating a bowl of lemons and it's zest but obviously a far more enjoyable experience. Big zesty lemon like oils in the mid palate, and juicy bodied citrus. An almost puckering but soft malt feel in the mid palate. Aftertaste manages to some herbal like qualities of hop, and more of that zesty lemon like oil just comes in spades. Slight mineral and almost pepper like aroma but far more herbal but in a granular like way. Mild sensing tropical notes but very subtle as well.

Another fantastic saison in the Hill Farmstead catalog. Real nice balance and accents of saison and hop character to access a bright lemon and citrus quality. Immaculate well made brew.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Hill Farmstead wine glass. A hazy yellow, orange body with a nice white head that stays and leaves good lacing. Smells great, mostly tart, with a light malt aroma. The taste is fantastic, a tart sour taste and fresh fruit, peach, nectarine, and some wildflower honey.
Mouthfeel is nice, as it leaves your mouth with that tart mouth watering sensation.
Delicious beer, glad I have a 2nd one.

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Photo of popery
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer is a light golden yellow with a big white head. It’s fairly cloudy with a good sized white head. Excellent retention. The aroma is wonderfully fresh with bright grain sweetness. Earthy yeast complexity. It’s just wonderfully pleasant. Lemony note in the taste. Mushrooms, earth, a little bit of dust. Soft feel, quite light.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to angrybabboon for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Slightly hazy yellow-gold. Head is bright-white and fluffy. Leaves big chunks of lacing. Head retention is decent. Drops to a small cap with a slightly chunky collar.

Smell: Soft Hilll Farmstead yeast. Hints of hay, grass, and a mild lactic tart edge. Pushes small hints of lemon juice with a small touch of zest. Super clean yeast profile. Mildly damp with a small hint of barrel. Malt base is incredibly light with pale malt and a touch of wheat. Some floral elements as well. Slight yeast spiciness layered in as well. A touch of hard water adds some minerality to the whole mix.

Taste: A touch of lactic sourness right up front. Some lemon juice and lemon zest layered over the top of a mildly spicy hop character. Hops add a deeply grassy note with some solid herbal and earthy elements. A small touch of citrus on the top. Yeast adds some damp earthiness with a decent amount of hay and grass. Solidly floral. Some minerality and a touch of rocks. Malts are lightly sweet. Pale malt with a decidedly European twist. Clean and mildly tart. Well balanced even by Hill Farmstead standards.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate to almost light carbonation. Standard fair for the style.

Overall: This is a chill dude.

It's a Hill Farmstead saison with a touch more lactic tartness than expected. The European malt base adds something unique and really helps the yeast and water shine.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 8/1/15

Split with Goblinmunkey7

A: Hazy, cloudy, medium orange with some hints of gold some straw around the edges - pours with a medium to large sized, bright white head - fades to a wispy cap, leaves some nice streaks of lacing

S: Bright, with some saison spice, while simultaneously clean - Hill Farmstead saison yeast in abundance, with some nice yeasty, peppery, and and spicy notes - very clean and crisp, as every Hill Farmstead beer is - pale malts with some pale grains

T: Saison yeast, clean water, and some tart notes - very yeasty, with some light spices, including clove and pepper, and some tart notes - light citrus, with some light fruits, like pear, apple, and banana - pale malts and pale, soft grains underneath - very refreshing, very interesting

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, spicy finish

O: Arthur is art (except I do realize that Art is a different Hill Farmstead beer)

I consider this a baseline for Hill Farmstead saisons. it's yeasty, spicy, and full of character, yet very clean, and very refreshing. I don't need to write anything else. Just buy it.

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

Another great saison from the crew at Hill Farmstead. Poured from a 750 bottle into HF stemware. Pours a light straw like color and good lacing. Vintage saison nose and tastes.

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

For some reason I had a lot of saisons the night I tried Arthur, but this one was clearly in a class above. As usual, Hill Farmstead kills it. And while I do enjoy their IPAs a lot more, they can certainly brew a saison I would drink frequently if reached as far south as Florida.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 750 into Hill Farmstead stemware.
Pours a bright and beautiful honey straw color with little head, but great lacing.
Aromas are of chardonnay, oak, some honey and of course saison yeast.
Taste is very much in line with aromas. Approachable, quenching, delicious. A classic text book saison.
Mouthfeel is spot on. Finishes clean with a bit of bitterness on the back end.
Overall this beer is a beautiful saison and is so approachable it could be a nice introduction to the style for a newb.

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Photo of Hesscabob
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW WOW WOW! Very light, white frothy head leading into a sensational aroma of Saison yeast, sour/acidic tones, earthy but very refreshing. First Hill Farmstead and will search for more! Game changer of a Saison.

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Photo of Sparty1224
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving: 750mL bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter. Bottled on 4/2/15, making this almost 3 months old.

A: Pours a crystal clear, golden yellow color. Bubbly white head that circles the edge and effervesces with agitation.

S: Fresh flowers, rising yeast. Soft notes of banana and clove. Lots of fresh, earthy, grassy notes as well. Not super pungent though.

T: Very clean and delicate. The farmhouse yeast is there, but it isn't overpowering. A slight tartness to it as well. There's a lot of "space" in the flavor, letting different notes come through on their own. Some fresh-squeezed lemon, banana, biscuit.

M: Fully carbonated. Noticeably tart, but not sour. Very, very dry finish.

O: It's been some time since I've had a HF beer, and boy did I miss it. The best way I can describe their beers is that they're not all perfect beers, but they're all flawless. That sounds contradictory, but what I really mean is that while a majority of their beers may not be the best in the world, they do tend to have minimal imperfections within the style. A beer like this, a tart saison, doesn't completely blow me away and I'm sure there's better out there. But I'm having a hard time picking out something wrong with it. It's so meticulous and well thought out. Very clean and crisp and stoic. There's not a trace of off flavor. Using the farmstead well water to make it is just the perfect example. It's built from the ground up and every aspect is poured over until it's just right.

Recommendation: You need to try anything from Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of JMUbrewz
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delightfully tart and funky saison from HF. It straddles the style boundaries of saison and wild ale. Acidic lemon and orange peel up front, with a crisp, dry, and refreshing finish. I love tart saisons and this one really hit the mark for me.

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

This beer is a truly sublime experience. It's hard to write anything beyond that; this beer is truly remarkable. Dry, complex, tart. This is the perfect saison.

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Photo of scotorum
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 25.4 oz. bomber into a Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip.

a; Hazy gold with an inch plus thick white head which receded to thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s; Belgian yeasty light ripe fruit combo with sour notes.

t: Difficult to begin to sip because inhaling the aroma of it makes me cough every time. Holding my breath, getting the same as the nose, with the dominant note being sour.

m: Light to medium, ok body, plenty of carbonation tingle.

o: A very good example of a sour saison. Easy drinking for those who favor that style. In this case my taste and overall ratings are based on perception of quality relative to the style rather than my personal reaction of enjoyment.

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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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Arthur from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,812 ratings.
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