Hill Farmstead Brewery

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Belgian Saison
Ranked #11
Ranked #215
4.49 | pDev: 8.24%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: Wine barrel aged Wheat Saison fermented with resident microflora.
firstprev| 51-75 | 76-100 | 101-125  | next → last
Reviews: 116 | Ratings: 776
Photo of rtepiak
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

another well crafted unique take on by hill farmstead. with a wonderful late spring refreshment of sour hints and wheat. pour is yellow golden with nice consistent head. nose of champagne and adjunct grain qualities. when agitated a hint of mineral. palate is very mind sour and a broadness that is developed by the tannins and minerals that don't have a harsh overtone on the beer but a balance. dry like toothpaste with a creamy finish. my drinking buddy called it a distant public pool quality. there is subtitles beyond measure in this one especially because its so low in abv. a bit of fantome pritemp and a bit of brute. but in hints. and not as expansive due to delicacy.

 678 characters

Photo of glid02
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Sally – thanks! Judging by the reviews this is Batch 1, it’s unlabeled except for an “F” on the cage.

Pours a hazy golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with hints of wheat and large amounts of funk. Also present are earthy and floral hops, light citrus, and mild white grape aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though it manages to be even more complex. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by crisp light citrus and moderate amounts of funk. Midway through the sip a slight wheat twang works its way into things along with leafy hops that dry it out a bit. Near the end of the sip white grape flavors with hints of oak make an appearance, carrying through to a very crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass very quickly and could have a lot more of these.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer. Everything was done just to the right point and no one component was overdone. Very complex and well worth a shot.

 1,156 characters

Photo of dragonWhale
3.59/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloud of gold fills the glass.
It stares back at me, judging.
We all fall short of the glory,
Under stars and a lemon tree,
The slight funk of the night
Wafting through, just right.
The fields of wheat blazed through
Cut down by an angry beast -
A foul-tempered yeast - The barrel
Gives a bit of itself, not too much.
Keeps some for itself, no doubt.
Through the clean tart finish
I lick my lips clean, desirous
Maybe just a pinch more.

 438 characters

Photo of Verecund
3.65/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml. 2011, batch 2 (not corked); I think this spent an extra couple of months (2-2.5) in the barrels. Opened on April 10, 2011.

Pours a faded goldenrod with a one inch frothy white head. Decent lacing and nice clarity on the first pour.

Pleasant, clean nose featuring a light citrus tartness, barely-present oak, unadulterated, fresh wheat and just a hint of earthy funk. Somewhat floral. Quite nice.

Similar to the nose, though softer. On the front of the palate there's a nice blend of lemon, white wine/white grape, and wet hay, giving way to a light grassy and floral bitterness. Mid palate there's a strange, almost sulfuric [mineral acidic] note I'm not fond of that persists through the finish.

Medium-light bodied, though characteristically creamy and pleasantly dry. Just a little watery on the finish.

All the notes are here, they just don't come together for me at this point in the beer's life. A nice balance of citrus, wheat, and grass/earthiness, especially on the nose, but there's a distracting flavor or two that will hopefully fade in the coming months.

Original Review for Batch #2: 3.63
Updated Review for Batch #5: 4.40

 1,152 characters

Photo of SFLpunk
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL brown glass capped and corked bottle. Batch #1. Been in my cellar upright for about a month or more, opened at 55 degrees. Poured into a Triple Karm stem.

High crackle is noticeable right off the bat. Clarity is impeccable. The air fills with the aroma of french cider or calvados. Nose is flowery and perfumed with the faint scent of wheat. Palate is crisp and really really clean. The flavors are all about a really light wheat ale and calvados barrels.

The palate lacks the creaminess that I noted in the draft version back in Oct. I think I prefer this one. I have a batch #2 in the cellar and will post an update when I try that one.

Update: Batch #2 opened next day. Capped, no cork this time. Flavors and aromas are consistent with Batch #1, but it's a little more muted all around. Not as flowery perhaps. The other main difference is in the carbonation level. Batch #1 has more of a champagne crackle to it, while batch #2 is a softer, more creamy carbonation and has better head retention and lacing. I prefer batch #1!

 1,038 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 03/27/11 notes. Thanks to whoever shared this one.

a - Pours a bright yellow color with a tiny bit of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of floral hops, citrus hops, earthy notes, barnyard funk.

t - Tastes of floral hops, citrus hops, fruity malts, light funk, light sweet tropical fruits.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

o - A nice beer from Hill Farmstead. Lots of floral notes, mixing with some sweet fruit and light funk. A nice saison I would certainly have again.

EDIT: From 12/29/14 notes. Had this again and thought it was amazing. I'm thinking from their first batch to now 3-4 years later they tweaked the recipe, but this is great now. Would love to have it again.

 757 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed at a recent DC area tasting. Served in a SAVOR snifter. Unmarked bottle.

Poured a nice bright yellow color with a good white head and a bit of retention. The nose was really nice and complex with some good barnyard funk as well as hay, light fruits, stone fruits, and a bit of light sweetness. Flavor is quite complex as well with a good dose of light fruits, hay, grain, and a mild funkiness. Body was light and crisp. Really nice and another solid hit from Hill Farmstead.

 485 characters

Photo of sisuspeed
3.92/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1 (Corked)

Pours a pale, clear, yellow with a frothy white head on top. Leaves some nice lacing behind on a Hill Farmstead tasting glass.

Light earthy sourness on the nose. A mixture of brett funk and some Cantillon acidity. Lots of wet hay with just a touch of lemon citrus.

Dry wheat and faded hop, mix with light grainy sourness on the tongue. Touch of wood barrel and grassy citrus.

Mouthfeel is dry and crisp with light sourness throughout. Crisp and refreshing. Feels more like a saison than your typical wild.

Drinkability is good. I love the nose on this beer. Reminds me of a true Belgian sour more so than any American wilds I've had. At 5.5% ABV this makes for a great table beer and it's currently pairing very well with some local cheese and grapefruit. Worth picking up a bottle or two to share with firends over a good meal.

 851 characters

Photo of abuliarose
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1, corked, poured into a Hill Farmstead glass. Enjoying this bottle next to some sliced grapefruit, assorted cheeses, tamari almonds, sliced toast and dried mission figs so I'm all set up. Pours a clear light golden color with two fingers of thick white head and some lively large bubbles. Some lacing. Very, very beautiful and clear for a wheat saison. Smells beautiful: funky and floral with some honey, some lemon and some intriguing spicy effervescence. Smells like it's from Belgium.

Tastes dry, funky and lemony up front but gives way quickly to a light earthiness and slight savoriness before ending with a clean, slightly bitter and slightly citrus-y finish. Some wood in the flavor but I can't make out the type of barrel from the taste. Full-flavored but not overpowering. Mouthfeel is nice with tinglingly small-nucleating carbonation over a light and silky body. Drinkable, very refreshing.

It would be fun to see where this one goes with time. As is, it's well done.

 987 characters

Photo of cbutova
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared at a tasting last night, thanks to Kat for sharing a bottle I actually payed for, lol. Marked with just a marker 'F' on the cap. Purchased February 12th during the 2nd winter gathering.

A- Clear golden straw with a foamy, fluffy white head that builds up nicely with decent retention. Nice and creamy lace suds stick to my glass. Second pour is hazy once the dregs unsettle.

S- Straw barnyard but not hugely funky overall. More of a slightly sour fruit barn feel. Lemon with lots of nice ripe fruit notes like apple, cider and general citrus. Cider-like.

T- Dry barn straw with some spice and esters. Wild yeast giving off some nice citrus, lemon, apple and white grape. More 'funk' noticed in flavor. Oak is nice.

MF- Creamy light body with moderate carbonation.

DB- Has a gueuze-saision-cider character with an overall light feel. Drinks pretty smoothly because of a nice laid-back sour and funk.

 910 characters

Photo of Chico1985
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unlabeled 750ml with a mysterious 'F' written on the cap shared by Kat/Cam. Thanks Kat/Cam!

Color is cloudy pee yellow, 1-finger white head retains well and leaves some lacing.

Super bretty scent. Lots of lemon/lime/funk/hay. Quite nice.

Taste was somewhat of a letdown after the smell but still good, it seems to focus mostly on a funk/hay/grassy/barnyard aspect. Still getting a lemon/lime feel which seems unique. Light sour fruits like apple, orange, etc.

Light crisp mouthfeel.

A nice funky saison, pretty much solid all around. Easy drinking even with it's brett-forwardness.

 586 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.32/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to Chris for opening this one up at our Strikeforce: The Fall of Fedor tasting.

A - Murky dark yellow color, looks a bit like juice. Nice white head with great retention and lace.

S - Thought this was a saison when it was given to me, but execptionally fruity and tart, almost like a wild. Great smelling tartness combined with some funk and belgian yeast. Not sure I've ever smelled anything quite like this, smells awesome and different.

T - Complete letdown on the taste, after all this unique and cool buildup this beer is quite boring. There just isn't much going on here, seems like-watered down earth notes with a lot of oak and some grass. Finishes quite watery. It started out with such potential on the nose too...

M - This beer is too thin and feels watered down.

D - This beer was particularly polarizing at our tasting. A few liked it, but I was one of the ones didn't care for it in the end. It may have suffered from following Anna in the tasting order, which was an amazing saison, but I kind of think I'd feel the same about this one regardless of what I drank before or after it.

 1,109 characters

Photo of Sean9689
3.87/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into Bruery tulip, thanks Chris!

A - Pours a clear golden yellow, white head, thin filmy cap and some spotty lacing. Some bubbles float about here and there.

S - Nice sour funk, Belgian yeast notes, barnyard, slight oak.

T - Slightly funky, some floral notes, yeast funk, some barrel. Not quite as "eventful" as Anna...not as much going on. That said, still pretty darn good.

M - Light, crisp and refreshing, dry finish. Perhaps a little watery.

D - A good beer, although, not great. I enjoyed the funk and barrel notes but I was wishing that there would be a bit more complexity.

 602 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.29/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Corked bottle thanks to Chris poured into my Hill Farmstead glass... A cloudy murky dark straw, doesn't look very good. Lots of bright white head at first with good carbonation, but its watery. Good retention and lacing... The aroma is pretty nice, sweet candy wheat, honey, floral finish... The taste really is disappointing, borderline bad. Almost totally dead, what I do get is bad peppery floral hops. Finish really kills me as bad oaks comes off... Mouthfeel is the true downfall of this beer, watery light with no depth... Easy to drink but not good enough that I would.

Pretty disappointing for me after such a great aroma. I can't recommend this.

 655 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flora pours a beautiful mild blonde color with a one-finger head.

The aroma is sour with hints of cherry and apple that entice the taste buds.

Taste is slightly sour upfront with a good amount of apple, cherry and oak (or is it bourbon) upfront. Very subtle.

The mouthfeel is full of faint, lingering sourness with hints of grape and apple.

An excellent example of the style. I would love to try some more.

 410 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a wine glass at the fall harvest event.

Pours a nice hazy orange color with a small light white head - turns into some fine lacing. Nose is similar to Florence but there's a noticeable funk presence here that I really like.

Taste is again very similar to Florence but pumped up in every way, it's got a more earthy tone to it, with some of the funk and oakiness to it. Really a nice step up from the normal version. Mouthfeel is pretty creamy and mellow, nice smooth carbonation lends it to being a damn easy drinking beer.

 545 characters

firstprev| 51-75 | 76-100 | 101-125  | next → last
Flora from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 776 ratings