Phenomenology Of Spirit (2010) | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Phenomenology Of Spirit (2010)Phenomenology Of Spirit (2010)

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Dark Saison.

Added by SFLpunk on 10-03-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 113
Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle at the Night of the Funk 2011 forum. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very dark brown -- bordering on black -- with a good, thick tan head that lasts a bit before leaving some spotty lacing and falling to a collar. The nose is really complex and the wine-aging really comes through. Some red wine and moderate saison funk. A bit of roast there as well. The flavor melds wine, oak, and roast really well, taking it up a notch with the saison yeast. The finish is where the yeast really shines, combining with the roast for a spectacular finish. Really well done. A highlight for me.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark amber with minimal head and side lacing leads to a ruddy, lightly hazed look.

deep notes of oak and fig, light sourness, but not over the top in any way, really just nice and mellow. warming brings more balance to the profile with caramel malts and lots of dark fruit notes. very nice. clean with light aftertaste and nice touches of oak that seem to pop up at just the right time. a very well done beer here.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is dark brown in color with a tall off-white/khaki colored head.

S: The oak really dominates the aroma. There's a mild roastiness as well some hints of pepper. Fruit notes of apple and pear, maybe some lemon peel, too. A touch of tartness along with bready malts.

T: Pretty oaky flavor, too. Pepper, banana, and citrus peel make for an interesting flavor. There's a decent level of roast and some of the same fruit flavors that were present on the aroma. Just a touch of tart lemon.

M: Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.

O: This was good, but it was pretty much just as good as the regular version and that was easier to get.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by yourefragile. Thanks a lot Michael!

The beer is chestnut brown and fairly hazy. Small beige head. The aroma offers oak, malt, fruit, wild yeast. Funky with Flanders characteristics. Smooth with low carbonation. Currants and brown bread. Really tasty.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A – Beautiful, especially in direct sunlight. Bright black/brown body with cola highlights. Bone-white, creamy head sticks with nice lace and solid retention.

S - This is everything I’m looking for in dark saison – darker notes of toffee and burnt caramel are held in balance by bright orange zest and bridged by a field of chamomile, honey and hay. A little more intensity and this is a 5.

T – Stellar. Bright acidity and tart white peach clear your palate for a gentle, sweet, burnt caramel. A memory of roast laces in and out of the profile, and a kiss of floral chamomile and lavender soften the on the backend. Stunningly balanced.

M – Super smooth with a nice carbonation.

O – Simply fantastic. One of the best saisons I’ve ever had.

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Photo of stakem
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes taken on my phone back in March. This brew appears a clouded dark brown color. A fingers worth of thick head forms across the top and leaves a webby pattern of lace across the glassware.

The aroma has hints lemon zest and some spicy Belgian yeast notes before turning a bit funky. Across the back there are notes of sulfur mixed with a lightly fruity sweet character. Not bad.

The taste unfortunately falls apart, initial flavors of plastic are a bit off-putting. More sips reveal a musty character, lightly earthy with lactic indications of sourness coming across with lemon zest. The plastic flavoring is constant exaggerated with a big fusel alcohol flavor and warmth through the back of the throat. The aftertaste is lightly smoked and roasty which starts to make things interesting,

This brew is a bit puzzling and disjointed. It didnt really meld well. It is a light bodied brew with a high amount of carbonation that gives it a fizzy and bubbly feel yet at times seemed watery as well. It was not an issue finishing my glass but I don't think I'd care to pay the cost of admission on this offering again.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is jet black, with a thin, clingy, filmy, off-white ring resting on the surface. Aromas of tangy, tart, and sour all at once. Roasty notes on further inspection, with some very richly sweet old world fruit flavors of date, fig, cherry, and grape. Very dynamic nose. Flavors are roast forward, with a blasting undertone of fruit sour and tart. Amazing juxtaposition of flavors, and well balanced at that. Chocolate and coffee notes provide a bittersweet backbone to support the grape and cherry tart and sour, with more rich date and raisin flavors present in the follow, and some earthy notes, also. Very layered flavors. The body is robust, but with a crisp, clean, tart finish. You get a sour build that provides some activity in the jaw muscles. The aftertaste is a hint of roast with an abundance of tart and sour. What a great beer.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Capped and corked 750 mL bottle shared recently with who cares. Collaborative dark saison with McKenzie and Tired Hands.

Pours a cola dark brown with a few fingers of khaki, creamy head that leaves behind webs of lacing. Excellent, rich dark saison aroma, blending roast malt and burnt sugar with ripe, dark fruit and an oak presence which is starting to blend over time with the other flavors. Strong roast and burnt flavors throughout the palate with ripe fruit at the start and a dry, oaky finish. Spicy yeast lingers throughout adding a nice balance to the dry roast and oak. Medium light body with active carbonation. Becoming a little more balanced and less harsh as it ages, looking forward to whatever form this is revisited in (CD 5?)

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Photo of Brad007
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This dark saison is a collaboration brew between the Hill Farmstead, Grassroots Iron Hill and McKenzies breweries.

It pours a darkish-brown/black color with a decent head.

The aroma is chock full of raisin and clove in the nose. Simple and yet, appealing.

Clove and raisin greet the tongue followed by a slight tang in the middle.

The mouthfeel is a bit dry with lingering hints of clove in the mouth.

Very nice collaboration brew. I always enjoy a drinkable, high-quality saison.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml corked bottle poured into my Hill Farmstead glass... The body is a dark brown, that can look much darker in certain light. Nice contrasting head that is a bright tope that is very carbonated. The cap is awesome, just doesn't go away, thick and nice lacing as well... The aroma is a touch light for me, but shows off some nice caramel to start. A little floral on the back, not enough, a little boring... The taste is equally as boring. A dead front with a peppery floral oak finish.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pour is dark brown with red edges and a tan tight head. Nose has a touch of roasted malt, fair bit of Saison note, touches of lemon. Taste is heavier roasted malt, very different, Saison and sweet in back. Some citrus and lemon. The malt is very strong, assertive carbonation, maybe a hint of dryness but not really.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to cmrillo who shared this one with the group at the "Evening Wood" tasting graciously hosted by cmrillo as well! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a deep red brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, tart, and funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, wood, and funk. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I never would have guessed that this was a saison without looking it up or knowing it. I would have guessed more along the lines of a Wild Ale due to the funkiness I got in this one. If there were any saison spices present, the funk aspect of this one definitely covered them up. With that said, this was still a good tasting brew despite its lack of complexity. Really glad I got the chance to try this one at an awesome tasting with some good friends.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jason for the hookup.

A - A surpringly almost black beer that poured with a frothy white head that had great retention. Nice lacing throughout the drink, really a superb looking beer.

S - Caramel, good funk, some nice floral and grass notes. It smells like a nice saison with a pretty present malt backbone (for the style).

T - Tastes better than average, a solid saison with good grass and floral notes surrounding a stronger than normal malt backbone. There is a bit of belgian funk to it. Not bad.

M - Approriate dry finish on a light and moderately carbonated beer.

D - Very solid drinker and pretty easy for the ABV. Not mindblowing, but this is a good beer I could drink again.

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Photo of Florida9
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: clear dark reddish brown. Forms a thin light tan head. Leaves moderate lacing.

S: A very nice aroma with a blend of bubblegum, dark malt, dark fruit, and just a touch of smoke. Slightly sour.

T: unfortunately the taste is thin and falls flat. Taste is of dark malts, raisin, light toffee, but then turns watery and slightly bitter.

M: on the heavier side of light with moderate carbonation. Moderate astringent bitterness.

O: a decent beer though taste really falls flat.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle courtesy of Jason, thank you sir.

A - Pours black, white frothy head, lots of lacing, big bubbles on top, and a thin cap. Really cool looking, black and white.

S - Nice Belgian funk, malty, slight burnt sugars.

T - Tastes pretty much like a Saison but has an added malt character, some burnt sugars, and hints of dark fruits. Slight oak barrel finish.

M - Light, smooth, refreshing, dry finish.

D - I like this beer and would recommend this to anyone who likes Saisons and wants a little twist. Would have this again, for sure.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml capped bottle from June 2013.

Pours opaque dark brown with a quarter inch head of creamy tan. A few whisps on the surface with errant dots of lacing for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with a blast of roast and bakers chocolate. Shades of coffee beans, balsamic, and apples follow though.

Medium bodied with an oily, slickish mouthfeel. Creamy with a crisp edge.

Soured fruit dusted with burnt malt starts the palate. Tart apples, coffee grounds, singed chocolate, and a hint of rhubarb runs underneath.

Finishes with lingering roast and soured fruit.

The roasted, chocolaty character overshadows the funk and essence of a wild ale, and the beer could use a higher carbonation level to reveal it's true potential. Otherwise this beer comes off as a soured porter.

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Photo of DonFrap
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a Lawson's snifter.

A: dark, a little darker than a brown ale. Moderate carbonation, very nice lacing.

S: smells like tart cherries. Maybe a little vinegar smell but not offputing.

T: Tart cherries also. Not as sour as I expected, which is nice. No vinegar here.

M: Smooth, left a wierd numbness on my tongue, kinda wierd. This beer is carbed perfectly for the style though.

O: a great barrel aged saison from HF. This is not my favorite style, and I'm a little worried how this would age, but I enjoyed it. Get it soon, and enjoy.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Fall harvest festival poured into a wine glass.

Pours a very dark stout-like color with a really nice huge fluffy light brown head that sticks around for a while, it looks awesome. Nose is a bit funky and malty, but the yeast is the main thing you're getting here and it's nice.

Very cool combination of both the brett/funk from a saison with the darker flavors from a Belgian Dark ale, it's the first "dark saison" I've ever had and I've got to say I was thoroughly impressed. There was a nice hop presence that kicked it up a notch. I'm hoping we see more of this beer in the future.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Michael for sharing this one.

Pours a light brown with a pretty solid white head. Smells somewhat oak-y and vinous with a bit of maltiness in there. Taste is pretty heavily malty (brown ale malty) with some wine and oak notes in there. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with pretty significant carbonation. This is a pretty nice dark saison, oddly it kinda tastes like a vinous brown ale, which actually works as a nice experiment, but isn't my favorite beer.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Autumn Saison" collaboration with Iron Hill/Grassroots/McKenzie's. Dark Saison.

Tried at the brewery's "Autumn Festival" today in the HF wine glass.

Notes from my phone:
Deep dark brown, almost opaque with some thin cream-colored head. Nose is subtle with some faint forest floor aromas and faint red wine berry notes.

Palate is crisp with brett acidity. Some nice dark bitter chocolate and dark wheat fluffiness. Brett dominates the finish.

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Photo of JAXSON
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with deep red edges and a billowing off white head. Nose is a fairly robust collage of grass, yeast, baker's chocolate, and some kind of fruits. Very fresh and interesting, well-melded. Mouth is grassy, lightly oaky, some faint wild yeast, bitter chocolate, hops. Seems immature in the mouth, as the flavors are not quite there yet. Reminds me of some recent Jolly Pumpkin bottlings. Still, pretty interesting, soft stuff, balanced despite being too young.

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Photo of Luk13
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Hill Farmstead Gathering. Wonderful mix of bretts, oak, vanilla and dark fruits. The wine barrel seems totally appropriate here. Rustic flavors from the bretts blends nicely with the oak sweetness and the wine barrel sourness. This is definitly my favourite black saison.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, khaki head

Great mixture of brett strains in the nose. It's a pleasant, earthy, and smooth brett aroma. All-around wonderful farmhouse aroma with maybe a slightly lower than normal pH level.

Dried hay and wheat flavor on the front of the palate. Slight burnt sugar or roasted malt on the back. Dry and minor acidity on the finish. There's also a vinous oak character throughout the taste. It's not strong. Brett seems to drive this beer the most.

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Photo of justforrazors
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 8-13-13, whole bottle minus yeast poured into a HF glass. Reviewed from notes.

A- Pours black with a lingering 1 inch head. Noticeable carbonation bubbles rising to the top. The head falls over a minute leaving a thin layer of mocha head with decent retention. Looks like it has good clarity, but the color makes it difficult to tell.

S- Brett, lactic acid. There is a sourness off the bat that reminds me of a flanders red. It presents with cherries, lemon and oranges intertwined, although cherries are the standout. A touch of vinegar as well. There is a phenolic note on the end, although it works well with the rest of the flavors. A touch of chocolate as well, but very subtle.

T- Cherry, raspberry, some coffee and chocolate too. Lemon-zest acidity. A touch of bitterness on the end.

M- Wow, this thing is dry. I feel like I just chewed on a chunk of chalk. Medium to high carbonation. Very drinkable on the get-go, but the insanely dry finish leaves you walking around shouting for water.

O- This stuff is awesome as is, no aging needed. Tons of fruit flavor, and very little phenolics. Definitely another hit from Hill Farmstead. Their wilds and saisons continue to blow me away one after the other.

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Photo of abuliarose
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich red-brown with thick and lightly tanned head. Smells sweet and slightly roasty with earthy undertones. Hints of molasses.

Tastes as it smells: barely sweet with a pleasant and refreshing roastiness and light molasses qualities. Carbonation is quick and small-nucleating on the light body. Some savory edges to the flavor, dry and tannic. Totally quaffable. An awesome table beer.

Overall I really like this offering. Would love to serve it up with just about anything, even a rich smoke.

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Phenomenology Of Spirit (2010) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 113 ratings.
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