Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Belgian Saison
Ranked #26
Ranked #492
4.36 | pDev: 7.57%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: Anna is Bière de Miel, brewed with 20% raw wildflower Vermont honey and our house saison yeast.
Reviews: 268 | Ratings: 1,764 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of hops_for_thought
4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle (05Sep2020) into a Belgian glass

L: slightly hazy golden yellow, maybe some orange in there (need to work on my colors). Small, thick white head that dissipated after a couple minutes. Nice white lacing, looks quite effervescent

S: rather light nose, nothing screaming at me. Some lemon, possibly green apple, maybe a bit of lactic acid tartness. Delicate, clean aroma

T: lightly tart, clean farmhouse flavor. Grass, hay, floral/herbal. Good amount of lemon zest, slight honey sweetness. Very nice medium/long finish, maybe some white bread dough. Very drinkable but not the thirst quenching saison effect

F: medium body, well carbonated, slightly drying

O: delicious, well balanced farmhouse ale. Very flavorful, think my tastes skew towards more drying beers in this style but it still incredibly drinkable

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Photo of SawDog505
3.2/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a 16 oz Snulip glass, don’t have a clue when it was bottled. Pours a crystal clear bright yellow with a 2 finger head that settles really fast leaving maybe a thin streak of lace or 3. 4

Smell musty, champagne, peach, and coriander. 3.25

Taste follows must, champagne, and coriander. 3.25

Mouthfeel is thin, a ton of carbonation, dry as hell, and at 6.2% loaded with flavor but difficult to drink because the flavors are so not my thing hard to drink. 3

Overall my score is based on others in the style I have had and this one is not great for me. 3.25

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Photo of EMV
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Crystal clear light golden pour to start with big foamy white head. Outstanding lacing. Some sediment clouds the end of the pour.

S: Tart and citrusy. Fruit and funk.

T.F: Tart at first... but followed by some honey sweetness. Lemon citrus, spice, and pear. White wine with modest acidity and a bit of funk. Light bodied and delicate.. complex flavors all playing very nicely with each other.

O: Absolutely outstanding... Hill Farmstead creates some of the best beer out there and this was exquisite.

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Photo of GarrettB
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

January 1st, 2016 - It's been awhile since I've had the luxurious pleasure of enjoying a Hill Farmstead beer, but it meets expectations with the Anna. The nose features a rich, French style pear note, with some white grape juice for spine and acidity. The flavor is tangy, too, and comes across as very sour for a saison. The pear note in the taste is rich and sensual, too, and while the list of notes I can directly name is short, it is absolutely superb.

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Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2018 bottle - poured into a classic tulip at 55°F.

Upon popping the cap, the bottle violently gushed, losing about 1/8 of a cup of ale, though the fishing did eventually stop. Anna pours a cloudy translucent honey golden hue that absolutely shimmers and glows. Three fingers of rocky snow-white head sit atop the elixir - excellent retention, and significant lacing left behind. Constant streams of fine effervescence are visible.

Nose: Immediately, this catches my attention. Very few saisons I've had have captured such beautiful farmhouse notes with such flawless balance and colour. I could tell you that there are aromas of hay, cedar, dusty wine rackhouse, crabapple, lemon blossom, honeycomb, white pepper, spring meadows after a heavy rain, fresh cut grass, leather, white pepper, freah pineapple, vinous minerality, a babbling brook in the middle of a dewy forest, and just a gentle zip of acidity, but none of that would do this aroma justice. This is something to inhale and admire. Something in an aromatic category all its own.

Palate: Anna's kiss greets your lips with a gentle acidity and beautiful minerality. She isn't sour, but she's bright, tart, and vibrant. The vinous quality washes over, bringing glimpses of lemon zest, tart green apple, unripe pear, fresh grass, hay, orchard blossoms, Chablis, watermelon rind, pineapple, all of the character of wildflower honey without the honey sweetness, white pepper, wine tannins, wet moss, wild fermented cider, and just a whisper of delicate funk. She finishes with a gentle touch of herbal, grassy bitterness, and a suggestion of fruity hop character, although there is no sign of resinous pine or sticky hop oils. The yeast lends a touch of piquant peppercorn and some mild spice, while the subtle acidity comes to a close. Some light yeast funk, dry honey florals, and farmy hay conclude the euphoric experience until the next sip.

Mouthfeel/Body: It is only fitting that once Anna shows her true inner beauty, that she reveals her absolutely stunning body. Light, snappy, and whimsical, the grains are perfectly balanced to provide a gentle softness and just enough body to be supportive and adequate, but allow all the other beautiful delicate features to shine. Effervescence is fine, and surprisingly not as lively as one night think. There's plenty of it, but with the lighter body, I actually think the slightly dialed-back effervescence works here, and it stays in theme with the gentle, delicate traits of the rest of Anna. A wonderful, mildly drying tannic finish concludes a mostly dry experience.

Overall: There are a lot of saisons out there, and many of them are truly excellent, but there is something about Anna that stands in a league of her own. The intoxicating complex aroma, the near perfect balance of grain, acidity, minerality, and unreliable yeast complexity, the delicate balanced body - this is a truly special saison. One that is truly deserving of a world-class title, and given the price and availability of this one, Hill Farmstead has truly gifted us with something special.

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Photo of darktronica
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bright, tart, and fruity, with a very well balanced straw and funk. Lemon, lemongrass, pineapple, with an accent of apple cider vinegar. Distinctive and crisp.

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Photo of NiceTaps
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle in a stemmed tulip glass. Bottled 2/25/16. Purchased at the brewery, summer 2016. Drinking today, 11/2/19.
Aged, like me.

Golden grain color, slight chill haze, tiny bubble carbonation. 1-plus finger white cap, no endurance, lots of lacing.

Smells of white grape juice, farmhouse ale funk, floral. Some honey sweets soften the funk.

White grape, farmhouse yeast, touches of tropical fruit and citrus like lemon zest. Bitter herbs.

Mouthfeel is light and tart. Strong bite, the honey smooths it some. Spritzy carbonation. Hops and honey sweets duel to the finish.

Beer-wine cocktail mix that leans toward the white wine grape.

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Photo of jrc1093
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 8/15/18

Pours a crystal clear golden straw body capped with a sizable, dense, fluffy head of white foam; very good retention yields a lasting collar of froth, spotty cap, and thick chunks of webby, soapy lacing spread densely around the glass.

Aroma opens with a fresh minerality easing into notes of funky cellar, musty pepper and white grape; a citrus burst in between leads into bright but still vinous, herbal accents on the back end.

Taste brings out pineapple touched with honey and a vague citrus upfront; mossy earth and grass progress into a floral spritz that peaks at the back end of the mid-palate; a more pronounced minerality and subtle, honeyed straw returns with some quieted yeasty fruits showing in the finish.

Mouthfeel has a light-medium body supported by moderate-high carbonation; slick, earthy grit holds the body just shy of oily, while a flowing acidity into the finish culminates an unmatched brightness and flow on the palate; as close as you can get to perfection.

There's a balance of exceptional lightness and purity to this brew, an ease that shows equal parts restraint and expression in every aspect of the profile and body; ultimately, a stunningly sessionable, easy-sipping bit of brewing approaching the peak of the farmhouse ale style.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy glowing dark yellow; beeswax, melon rind, slight funk, citrus rind, florals, and carambola; light malts, tart vinegar hit, yellow apple + melon sweetness, Chardonnay notes, bright cidery comeback, lemon rind, honey hit, some round spice, slight pepper; light, spritzy, round.

4 4.5 4.25 4 4.5

OK, honey beer, but that’s not the most interesting thing about it. Instead, it’s the dance of saison, yellow fruit, pepper, florals, and lemon zest, all laid over a light funk. House yeast doing a lot of good work here. Delicate, complex, sophisticated, fun.

Give this to a white wine drinker.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque orange with two fingers of white foam. Head retention is good. Aroma is orange rind, clove and bready, earthy, caramely, nutty malts. Citrus soothes and crescendos into the malts beautifully. Flavor profile follows the nose, bringing in notes of citrus, bready, earthy, and nutty malts with clove and honey behind. It's balanced, with a light dryness at the back. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a light grainiess. Overall, lightly dry with a pinch of honey generate a funky, refreshing farmhouse.

Served in a 15.5oz Spiegalau tulip from a 750mL bottle.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful brew, pale gold, white head, super lacy. The nose is full of traditional Saison funk. Earth and plastic aspects. The flavor opens with stone and acid, a middle that adds a subtle sweetness, then a lemony tart close. Feel is near perfect lightness. Deliciousness.

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Photo of Dope
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled 2018 C8 15...whatever that means

A: Pours a slightly hazy gold. Enormous frothy white head. Great rocky head and thick, solid lacing everywhere.

S: Light citrus and a little...hay? A bit wheaty too. Tiniest hint of honey...and I mean tiny.

T: Mildly tart citrus up front. Lemony. Wheaty in the middle with a sort of funky and floral finish and aftertaste. I honestly don't get a lot of honey, maybe the mildest taste on the back end before the funkiness kicks in.

M: Medium bodied, fairly smooth. Finish is a touch sharp and bitter.

O: Nice mild and balanced saison. Can't really find anything particularly wrong with it, but at the same time nothing really jumps out at me. Full disclosure, I am not a huge saison fan.

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Photo of TheBrewsky
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap.
L: light yellow in color. Unfiltered appearance. Nice 1 finger of head with heaps of lacing.
S: fresh floral aspects with notes of tart lemon, lime and grapefruit. Minimal yeast presence.
T: follows the nose. Light and fresh squeezed citrus with florally finish. Finish is dry with lingering apricot and floral flavor.
F: light in body, more full in weight. Perfect moderate carbonation
O: incredibly easy to drink. Darn tasty. I would drink again and I’m very glad to have tried. Cheers!

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Photo of Rub_This_BBQ
4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Saw an old check in for 3.77 man i did not know what I was tasting then. Bright straw yellow a nice touch of haze fluffy white head the light Brett tang so tasty

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Photo of csmrx7
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer is incredible. So complex but so subtle at the same time. Nothing is in your face but there is a wonderful tart start with sweet honey and a gritty light grain followed with a complex mix of farmyard Brett flavors that are layered but not at all offensive or overwhelming.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at the Toronado. Lucked out!

Pours amazing. Lacing and a gold white color. Delicate and sublime. Rolling tartness. Some peach notes. Wet hay. Delicious.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

(On tap at Zwanze Day event at Monk's... served in a shaker pint)

Poured with a fat cap of foam; cloudy, yellow hue to the juice... Funky-tart; sour-melon essence. Sugar-cookie malty, but light and crisp. Grassy bitterness; lightly-spicy background note... Fragrant and fantastically flavorful - glad I happened to be in the right place at the right time to try this. Now I want more.

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Photo of sreichgott
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on draft at Tria in Philadelphia. Pour was into a 10oz. tulip. Not much head, and doesn’t last long. Only a bit of lacing. A lovely cloudy golden color. Nose is slightly sweet, with a touch of funk and citrus. Taste is lovely and refreshing, with a wildflower and citrus mix and a mild tartness. Pretty sharply carbonated, which adds to the overall refreshing nature of this beer. Overall a great brew. Glad I found it here in Philly!

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Photo of npolachek
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer brewed with wildflower honey. Solid balanced taste with hints of carbonation. This beer is unfiltered so pours with a cloudy hue which is totally fine for drinking.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

25 oz. bottle dated June13, purchased July 27 and poured into Belgian ale glass.

L: 1F+ foamy white head with good retention, lots of lacing, and a thin cap and ring. Beer is a clear honey gold with visible carbonation bubbles.

S: Grassy, yeasty, flowery, crackery.

T: Grassy and flowery, with serious citrus notes. Yeasty and slightly sour, though not puckering or astringent. Honey conveyed more through flowery notes than sweetness.

F: Light but not watery, pretty aggressive carbonation. Construction and balance are the usual Hill Farmstead superior.

O: Another crisp and refreshing Hill Farmstead ale. It's gotta be the water.

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Photo of gcasher
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a bomber at the brewery last week. My wife and I drank out of coffee tin cups while camping, so didn't get a great look at it. It was fresh though and had a wonderful funky smell and taste typical of HF farmhouse ales. The local wildflower honey was a nice touch that was both noticeable and enjoyable. Both my wife and I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden yellow with nice frothy white head. Smells of mineral water, elderberry flowers, honey, rose hips, and floral bouquet. Wheat malt with slightly doughy notes. Tastes sweet with a light to medium tartness. Some red wine, acetic notes, in the flavor and aftertaste. Some light funk and light barrel notes (I.e. oak) make this beer quite complex yet delicate. Like a fine wine. Awesomely done. Drinks medium bodies due to the funkiness. Wow. Really good. Glad to have picked this up to my voyage up to HF back in January 2018. Worth the trip!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to james for bringing this beer around like every year. I've become a big fan. Bright yellow with 4/5" white head and good dense retention thereof. Aroma was all the hay, flowers, honey and barnyard a guy could want.

Taste was a lemon bread mixture, wheat(?), light honey, tartness, lots of carbonation that kept it lively and light. Refreshing gets thrown around a lot for light beers, but it really is fitting here. Brett contributes to the breadiness, you feel it stick to your teeth. Where it gets amazing is how the aftertaste and back end of the mouth feel is so crisp and clean, you wouldn't think this is a beer with brett.

I still have a bottle sitting in the fridge. I dunno, I guess it will just take the perfect day around the pool or camping to open it this summer. Legit awesome stuff in terms of how good a saison can be without amping it up into wild ale sour territory.

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Photo of DaveMaciolek21
3.6/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright golden color with a foamy head. The farmhouse sourness is softened by a subtle underpinning of sweet Vermont honey. Very nice balance. Nothing is overdone here--very pleasant.

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Photo of keith40
2.17/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

750bottle dated 11/8/17 purchased at the brewery on 4/18/18 and consumed on 4/24/18. Very similar to Florence and Arthur with the difference of added honey. Slightly more palatable for our tastes but not enough to be enjoyable. No more Saisons from Hill Farmstead for us.

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Anna from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 1764 ratings