Hill Farmstead Brewery

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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.
Reviews: 116 | Ratings: 776
Photo of More_betterness
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Straw golden body topped with a fluffy two finger head. Brilliant looking beer. Absolutely glowing when held up to the light.

S: White grape, pear, and French oak. A hint of acidity and funk as it warms. Epic.

T: Follows the nose, but even more wine focused. Oaky and dry white wine, with a juicy tartness and a bright fruity finish. Could drink a hell of a lot of this

M: Fantastically soft mouthfeel while still supporting the flavors with an appropriately dry finish.

O: Incredible. Everything I hoped for. Shaun Hill is a master of balance and subtle cohesion of flavors. Wish I had more!

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Photo of Shogun250
4.39/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well done beer. A little overwhelming flavor, but that is me being nit picky on what I enjoy.. It's the standard in my eyes for a crisp, awesome saison.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful clear, clean pale golden body with a big foamy head. This beer drinks like a white wine with green grape peel and light acidity. The funk is mild overall on this younger bottle. It complements any food. The carb and cleanness of the body make the beer very quenching and easy to drink. Super light body. Just a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of DVMin98
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was able to get this at a bottle share. You can definitely taste the wine barrels. Tart, but not overly. This was the best saison I've ever had, and I am not a big saison guy. Fantastic.

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Photo of dar482
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma has bright hay funk and lemons. A touch of white wine.

The aroma is better than the flavor. It hits of light lemon tart, a decent tart throughout with a wheaty body and a touch of floral honey. Lots of lemony white wine.

Surprisingly, this was less tart than Florence. Unfortunately, one of the most disappointing of HF's saisons.

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Photo of mobius387
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%

incredible nose, big wine and french oak characteristics. a little light on base beer flavors but as it warmed up it got a lot more robust. overall another fantastic offering from HF and right up there with the other BA saisons/farmhouse ales

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.9/5  rDev -13.1%

Re rated 11/29/14. Pour is a completely transparent golden color with a tight white that lingers for a bit. Nose is juicy, bright clean grape flavors, light oak, hints of pepper, faint dustiness. Taste is similar, very strong bright grape flavors, a bit sweet, moderate oak and vanilla, a decent pepper note. Well carbonated, light sourness, soft feel and consistent body.

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Photo of hillvt4me
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

A: light-golden hue, with snow-white head.

S: Citrus, vinous and a oak. Some funky/musty and wheat notes.

T: Tart Lemon, oak, vinous and funk. Delicious.

M: effervescent and balanced. Moderate carbonation.

O: The quality and depth of flavor of expect from HF; BA are always a treat.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.69/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a hazy golden yellow color with a thick white head on top. The smell of the beer is very bright with citrusy wine-like aromas. The taste is much like the nose, tart citrusy and wine-like. The feel is clean and dry, solid carbonation to it as well. Overall it's a fantastic saison.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle of batch 5. Bottled 7/2013. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 4/24/2014.

A- hazy straw yellow body with a slight orange hue. Thick, effervescent three finger white head that recedes to one finger quickly and retains for a long time after. Tons of thick, sticky lacing.

A- white wine, oak, wheat character, funk, yogurt tartness, slight vinegar, pale malt. Explosive nose that is very complex indeed.

F- even better than it smells. Tons of white wine, wheat, funk and apple cider tartness. Some vinegar as well, with a nice wet oak presence. This is incredibly complex and interesting.

M- medium bodied, well carbonated but a bit lower than that of Florence. So drinkable, lots of white wine character perfectly complements the tart wheat aspects.

O- I see what the big deal is. Showcases a perfect saison blended with white wine character. This rates as one of the best I've had from Shaun, and I still cannot think of a better wine barrel-aged saison out there.

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Photo of Crookdrain
4.84/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing 2 different vintages - B4 (2012) and B5 (2013). Both 750ml bottles. B4 opened at a tasting with some awesome BA friends. B5 opened side-by-side with Flora Satsuma a week earlier.

A: Having had Florence, I wasn't surprised by how light this one was. I think someone else said "pale straw" in an old review and that's exactly the way to describe this. Pillowy head. B4 was a slight gusher. B5 was a big time gusher. The look belays the power of the beer within.

S: As close to perfect as a beer can get. Vinous-y wheat, a bouquet of oaky orange, some grape funk, and maybe grapefruit? Or is it lemon? Or both? This really hits your nose hard and fast - you almost don't want to taste it because you can't stop smelling it. B4 was slightly more pungent and aromatic than B5 - 18 months in the bottle will do that to it.

T: My first 5 rating on BA. I cannot overstate how amazing this beer is. It is liquid perfection. Citrus tartness smattered with funky wine must layered with the haunting subtle hint of oak and sweet orange juice. The underlying beer (Florence) acts as a ghost in the aftertaste. This is a complex mother f-er. B4 tasted like the fruits had soaked in a wine vat for a while. B5 was close but not there yet. I still think B5 will surpass B4 though after some time in the bottle, especially talking to people who have tried both fresh. Apparently B5 is one of the best fresh yet.

M: Perfect for the style. Just carbonated enough that it doesn't take away from the complex melange of flavors dancing around your mouth. Swirl it around a bit and enjoy what few will ever get to enjoy.

O: There's something about Florence - which is not a bad beer by any means but certainly not Shaun Hill's finest - that allows it to transform in the barrel into perhaps the best barrel-aged beer in the world. Sort of like how Cook County Stout becomes BCS. Batch 4 was without a doubt the best beer I've ever had in my life. Thanks to Sobeleg for bringing. Everyone at the tasting was blown away by it - it even upstaged Juicy!
Batch 5 is near perfection, but can't wait to try mine after a year or so in the bottle and see if it reaches the level that B4 did after 18 months.

Seriously, seek this one out. It was worth the 7 hour drive, the 4.5 hour wait in line, and the 9 hour drive back to NYC. There are 2 beers in my cellar I would never trade, not even for a white whale - and this is one of them. You would need to pry this thing from my cold dead hands to get it from me.

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Photo of vonnegut21
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pale golden straw, with a finger or so of white head.

S: Citrus and a hint of oak. A touch musty. Light white wine character. Wheat malt with a hint of funk on the back end.

T: Lots of citrus. Lemon and grapefruit. Very nicely tart. Small amount of funk and a light spiciness from the yeast. As it warms, the wine barrel becomes apparent. Grape skin, a gentle oak character and this depth of flavor emerge. Lightly floral on the back end. Delightful. Very Gueuze-like.

M: Effervescent with an excellent body for such a low abv beer. Perfectly suited to the style and the flavors.

O: This is better than I could have expected. Easily one of my top 5 beers from Hill Farmstead. There's this depth and complexity that perfectly complements the tartness. A must try.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.61/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage!

A - pours a very light almost watery glowing yellow color with a finger of light white head, decent retention and very nice lacing, especially considering the lighter appearance of this brew.

S - really great light sour and and wine tanin aromas, light bubblegum/yeastyness.

T - almost a dry carbonated sourness up front, Eventually mild sweetness and yeast come through. Aftertaste is a bit tart with wine tannin. Awesome awesome initial flavor

M - Lighter bodied, strongly carbonated. Fantastically drinkable. Great

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

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a medium sized fluffy white head that recedes to a half-finger and maintains well with good carbonation and leaves decent spotty lacing.

S- Wow! The aroma is incredible, with bright, tart citrus, white wine grapes, and oak tannins. A good bit of funky saison yeast pushes through along with wheat and some lemon. Absolutely glorious!

T- The flavor is similar to the aroma, with sweet and tart citrus flavors dominating (not the hoppy kind of citrus, totally different). Nice funky hay in the middle, followed by mellow oak and a wonderful dry, tart finish. The saison yeast and wine barrel yield so much complexity, with hints of lemon, clementine, and grass also coming through.

M- The mouthfeel is medium, smooth/mellow, and moderately carbonated.

O- Overall this is just a fantastic wine-barrel aged saison! Unbelievably enjoyable, and I wish I had more of this (other than the Satsuma variant I'm eagerly awaiting the occasion to drink)!!

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 10.10.31
Bottled 07 2013

A - Pours a hazy, very light orange with a soapy off-white head that slowly moves to the edges.

S - Tart lemon citrus, oak, subtle sweet funk.

T - Lemon, citrus, subtle funk, woody-oak, sweet hint from the wheat.

D - Light body with good carbonation.

O - Citrus, tart, delicious! A perfect BA Saison.

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Photo of JasonLovesBeer
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Golden orange, like a gueuze with the saturation turned up. The head dissipated to only traces of lacing.

S: Very gueuze-like - okay, so the gueuze reference in appearance only happened because the rest of the beer reminded me of such. It was very floral and with lemon-citrus and earthy notes as well. Like white IPA meets gueuze.

T: Lemon, soft floral, and a whole gentleness that was honestly quite shocking. Part of its lasting memory for me is that it seemed to cross so many boundaries. It had the floral qualities of a well crafted IPA, the earthy and gentle oak funk of a gueuze, and further saison and wheat beer qualities as well. Really complex.

M: Really soft water. Pillowy.

O: My mind was kind of blown, to be honest.

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Photo of Rutager
4.76/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Huge thank you to Montrealbcr89 for not only coming to my tasting, but bringing this gem. If there's one thing I've learned in my beer tasting career, a HF saison is something to be excited about.

Appearance. Pours a hazy straw gold with a thin white head.

Smell. Wildflowers, slight whiffs oranges and lemons, light barrel and white wine. My description can't do it justice and I spent a lot of time with my nose in the glass. Fucking amazing.

Taste. Some lemon sourness, light wildflowers and minerals. Again, I don't have the words to describe this one in a way that does it justice but it's subtly complex and somehting I could drink every day.

Mouthfeel. Light+ body, medium+ fine carbonation.

Overall. As always with these HF saisons, one of the best beers I've put in my face. Thanks again Tyler!! Best one of the night imo, and against some pretty heavy hitters.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: light amber liquid with slight white head and nice lacing.

S: floral tones with marigolds and elderflowers

T: I suspect the saison dupont yeast was used, but this is much more soft in its floral flavor profile.

M: medium viscosity and carbonation.

O: very soft and drinkable. Extremely approachable.

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Photo of HoppyKilaMonster
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Served out of a bottle into a HF glass.

A. Straw, golden in color.

S. White wine, citrus, lemon, slight straw odors.

T. White wine is the first thing that hits the palate, followed by sourness, slight orange zest, and grapes.

M. A zing of carbonation at the first sip. Maybe a little too much?

O. A fine saison, it goes down too easy

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Photo of lovindahops
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

October 4th 2013 marked an incredible day for me at work so I felt my first Flora would be well deserved!

A- Flora pours a golden light orange with a glow all around the body. Crackling colors are seen throughout the glass. Weblike, thin lacing is caked to the edges if the glass, while a thin layer of white foam floats around. Flora glows as a fluorescent saison in a glass

S- massive Brett, vinious, white grape funk reaches out of my HF stemware and reaches my nostrils. Some peppercorn and wheat flavors are enrobed in some light wine characteristics. The time in the barrels did Flora well! You can go back and forth between a barn yard and vineyard companionship that delivers with a bready twist. Best scent EVER for a saison

T- light and elegant, yet so complete with the full bodied saison flavor profile Shaun seeks to deliver with. The bready yeast flavor layers the tongue with fresh cut grass and musty grape themes. Then the properties of white wine linger so softly leaving a mouth watering desire for more. So bold and spicy, yet so sweet. This beer is perfect due to the complex opposite themes occurring all over. Even better, they clash than match perfectly

M- perfect flavor drapes the palate with excellent carbonation

O- Hill Farmstead has made the best saison I will probably ever have. Flora dominates the physical features that one would want in a saison. Absolutely amazing with the combination of farm house funk meeting a detailed, delicate vinious brew. Great day to celebrate with the best saison I've ever had'

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Photo of N17shelfside
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch 1 on tap at Farmhouse in Burlington. Drank alongside a fresh cantillon gueuze, which has much more farmhouse variety complexity, so some of my feelings might be tainted by that. Very dry, might actually have been a little past its prime. Had some nice funk to it, probably that natural Greensboro yeast. A little lemony, some grass, but overall just light and crisp. Overall a very good summer saison.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.95/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes. Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a tulip.

Flora pours a dark golden color with a nice white cap.

The aroma is lemony, a little bit like a gueuze. Dry crackery malt and some funk add depth.

The flavor is dry, with crackery malt up front, some wild sour flavors next, with a lingering lemon tartness. There are some pear, green apple, and grassy notes in here as well. The finish is fairly clean.

The body is dry, with medium carbonation and a lighter body.

Overall I felt this was a nice beer, pleasantly tart in a style that I do not normally enjoy as much.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into an HF wine glass. Batch 3.

Appearance - Golden orange. A little hazy. Big white head that leaves a bit of lacing and large surface wisps.

Smell - Earthy notes, akin to brett, without ever being bretty. Lemon zest. Wheat grain. Wine and a hint of acidity.

Taste - Strong white wine flavor. Much more acidic, but not sour. Grainy. Bright lemon tang. White wine lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Light, but the flavors linger well on the palate. Well carbonated.

Overall - Lacking the complexity of the other barrel aged saisons, but still the barrel adds a great deal. The base beer is just lacking a little bit.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.66/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Golden body, slightest bit of haze to it. Bubbly, soapy bone-white head. Aroma is tree-fruits, white wine, a hint of oak. Flavor matches the aroma, with lots of funkiness coming through. Feel is slightly prickly, medium bodied. An awesome beer, really good flavor.

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Photo of Skrip
4.46/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. batch 4

A~ crazy multiple hues of glowing orange. nice fluffy white head and a tad bit of lacing.

S~ lots of lemony tartness up front followed by some nice peppercorns. then of course the bready saison yeast on the finish.

T~ pretty much follows the nose with way more wine funk. heavy citrus and lots of pepper. just an all around great saison! mmmm....! the tartness!

M~ i love how wine barrels seem to give a thicker, slight oily feel. other than that, nice carbonation all around and a slightly dry finish.

O~ oh how i love HF saisons! i would drink any of them every day if i could! this one is aged in wine barrels so of course its a little superior =] overall i'd say... DELICIOUS!

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Flora from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 776 ratings