Anna | Hill Farmstead Brewery

216 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Anna is Bière de Miel, brewed with 20% raw wildflower Vermont honey and our house saison yeast.

Added by kingcrowing on 12-31-2010

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Reviews: 216 | Ratings: 1,532
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at FosterJM's birthday celebration.

Pours a clear light yellow with a bone colored head that settles to some small bubbles on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is of grain, spices, citrus aromas, and a sour/tart presence. Taste is much the same with an emphasis on the spices along with a yeast flavor. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I think this one smells better than it tastes.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

kind of a funky beer, jazzy and different from the legions of mediocre saisons out there. the fact that this was in colorado, even by trade, had me very excited. arguably the best thing new england does at all is hill farmstead, in my humble opinion. the pour is a really hazy muted yellowy color, creamy white head several inches high continues to rise. the nose is obviously sweet, a honey focused brew no doubt, but the low key spice and cirtus qualities of the yeast are evident as an equalizer, and this is promising to be delicious. its an assault of flavor, coating the entire palate, polleny springtime honey is prominent, but there isnt that much residual sugar. the yeast is also just behind center stage, more peppery funk than i thought from the nose, but it does cut right through some of that sugar. there is lemon juice too, mostly in the finish. there is a very mild hop bitterness (also on the citrusy side), before everything gives way to a sort of off yeasty aftertaste, which is the weakness of this beer for me. its not quite metallic, but it is minerally and bitter and not quite congruent with the rest of the beer. creamy texture though and a nice full round body for a beer this light in color, i really appreciate its expansive properties, and the carbonation is fine, although it may contribute a granular character when combined with the unfiltered yeast. overall a nice take on the saison, im now even more curious to try their others.

edit: having had this again after being more familiar with more of their stuff has me even more excited about the beer, as i am at least now aware of this yeast profile in other contexts and really have developed a love for it. i also suspect some batch variance from brew to brew, on top of the wild yeast, the honey has to change at least a little bit, so i am wondering if i liked it more the second time because it tastes different or because i like these types of beers better and understand them more than i did when i first had this one. going to bump up a couple of scores here to reflect the overall quality of this beer in my most recent experience...

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's rare to find authentic farmhouse flavors outside of the rolling hills of southern Belgium. But every now and then a brewery gets it right. This is one of those times.

Pouring like sparkling white wine, the highly effervescent ale quickly separates the airy and rocky head from the hazy golden beer beneath. Streams of carbonation can be seen beyond the cloud and watch how it builds the egg shell white head in sticky and stubborn retention.

Tremendous aromas first of fruit, next of funk begin with the estery scent of spiced pears, green apples, white grapes- all that's wrapped by the musty aromas of cork-like woods, aged leather, and sandalwood. White pepper, a dash or cumin, and dried orange bitters round out the complex and characterful scent.

Flavors focus on the dry fruit and spice interplay and seem to forego the earthen must character of the aromas. Pears, apples, grapes, apricots, lemons, and oranges carry a dry flavor and low lying wheat sweetness that seems to be carried away by the carbonation. Peppery and herbal, the balance to fruit and malt likes in a well-melded bite of white pepper, cumin, coriander, curacao, tea leaves, juniper, and mint. All this with a mildly minerally brine of yeast and water begs a pairing with mussels or mackerel.

The light bodied texture begins as the beer erupts off the front of the tongue and continues to drive the beer off of the tongue in highly bubbly and prickly fashion. This ushers in a finish of dry malt, dry fruit, spicy pang, and minty alcohol cooling/warming dynamics. A return of fruit, spice, and must are the after flavors that beckon the next sip.

Take the label off of the beer and any aficionado of Belgian ales will undoubtedly declare this as one of the country's finest farmhouse ales.

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Photo of brentk56
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The pour generates a magnificent head displaying great retention and sheets of lace; the honey-colored liquid verging on golden; I docked half a point because it was a gusher and continued to spume after the eruption

Smell: Yeasty and spicy, up front, with a real farmhouse aroma; grassy and floral, with some honeyed sweetness underneath

Taste: The honey adds an underlying sweetness to the taste profile, with yeasty spice dominating; after the swallow, grassy and lemony hops add another dimension and the finish is tart and brings a touch of the barnyard

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: There is a lot going on in this beer and while the honey is a part of the dynamic, I am not a huge fan of the Bière de Miel style

Thanks, wildcats10, for the opportunity

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Photo of kojevergas
3.65/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Generally appealing label art. Unbranded silver pry-off cap.

Served cold into a goblet at low altitude in Austin. TX. Reviewed live as a saison. Expectations are high given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1.5 fingers wide. White colour. Fairly creamy. Nice thickness. Retention is average - about 2 minutes. Leaves a light even coating of lacing on the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Clear yellow colour of nice vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. Not unique or special looking. Has surprising clarity for a saison; not the hazy body you'd expect. I'm optimistic.

AROMA: Surprisingly hop-forward, with elaborate floral hop character, dried lime peel, sea salt, clean barley, neutral Belgian pale malts, and biscuity Belgian yeast. No alcohol, off-notes, or booze is detectable. Not real funky per se, but there's a hint of brettanomyces, sure. I'm not finding much barnyard or farmhouse character.

Aromatic intensity is moderate. Acidic, but not real sour or bacterial.

TASTE: Intricate notes of intriguing lime and lime peel steal the show here. The Belgian pale malt backbone is quite neutral, to its benefit, letting the subtle biscuity Belgian yeast steal the show alongside a kiss of funkiness. Not real heavy on barnyard or farmhouse character; I don't find hay or straw. Surprisingly hop-forward for a purported saison, with ample floral hop character and some hints of fruit.

It's not as intricate or deep as the best Belgian examples of the style, and to be fair it's anything but traditional with its filtered presentation on the palate and hop-forward flavour profile. Still, the build is quite cohesive and the balance is fantastic. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

TEXTURE: Smooth and wet. Light-bodied. Refreshing. Well-carbonated. Clean and filtered. Complements the taste quite well. This soft mouthfeel elevates the beer. Great presence on the palate.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Incredibly drinkable - which is its stand-out attribute. Traditionalists will decry its lack of sufficient yeasty funkiness and spice, but it has enough white pepper to satisfy me, and the lime peel alone will impress the discerning drinker. Absolutely worth trying, but not necessarily world-class. I've had better from Hill Farmstead, and I've only had 3 or 4 of their beers thus far.


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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured hazy bright straw color ale with a super large foamy head with excellent retention and super good lacing. Aroma of light rustic malt notes with nice floral notes with lightly sweet honey notes. Taste is a good mix between some rustic malt with light hay notes and sweet floral honey notes with light hoppy notes. Body is above average with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol.

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Photo of oline73
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

The beer pours a cloudy golden color with a finger of fluffy white carbonation that leaves some beautiful lacing. The smell has a slight tartness to it that reminds me of lemons. There are some herbal notes along with a touch of white wine. The flavor is very light, herbal, and has a floral quality that I assume comes from the honey. The slight lemon tartness from the nose shows up in the taste as well. The finish is very dry and yeasty. This beer has a ton of carbonation and the finish is bone dry.

Overall, this is a nice, light, easy to drink beer and I'd love to have more in the future.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to imagineiii for sending this bottle out my way. Served in a Hill Farmstead long-stem tulip.

Pours a moderate honey golden color with a large, creamy white head. Great retention and loads of spotty lacing on the way down. Thin cap throughout. The nose carries some light earth and spice. Mild white pepper in the background as well as a touch of sweet honey. Light wheat and bread notes as well. The flavor is very mildly sweet with a nice malt touch and a bit of light honey flavor. Saison yeast is there as well as slight pepper. Light to medium body and slightly chewy. Very tasty.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid saison. Nice light tartness. Lemon. Pineapples. Light herbal and floral notes.

Yellow hazy color.

Light to medium bodied. A bit of medicinal noted.

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Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here's a beer I've been waiting for the right moment to crack. nothing can beat what Hill Farmstead has done so far, and here's another beer I know is great from samples on tap at the brewery. On a hot summer day, after lots of yard work and work around the house, sweating a lot, and up coming great beer weekends, this is a good way to end the current weekend.

Pours a large fluffy 2+ finger head that fades fairly quickly at first, then slows a bit, with bits of lacing on the sides, a semi clear semi hazy golden honey colored beer.

Nose starts right out with some rustic farmhouse aromas, the yeast really gives a nice punch, with some floral spices, farmhouse aromas that border on almost Brett like but not quite there, I almost would think there was a hint of Brett in this if I didn't read the label. Then some honey in the background, not sweet but a nice floral honey aroma, with some light malts with a hint of a graininess. Then just a touch of a floral hop aroma wafting through.

Taste starts fluffy with plenty of carbonation popping forth in my mouth as it hits. Again yeast takes the front with a rustic farmhouse flavor again, definite saison, with light Belgian floral spices, and a little hint of fruity esters. The farmhouse flavors again hint at a wild component but don't get the funk that a wild would, just the nice farmhouse flavor. Light floral hops kick in, with hints of grassiness but not much, and a touch of a bitterness, all on the light side. A light grainy almost bready but not quite malt flavor in the background, touches on a wheat like flavor as well, and toasty, but doesn't really add sweetness only real dry flavors. There is a light wild flower like honey taste, just a hint of a floral wildflower that flitters up and disappears before you even really know it's there, with a light honey taste that also hides fairly quickly behind the saison flavors and dry finish. The finish continues the dryness and adds to it, with a nice crispness as well, light lingering floral hops but mostly lots of saison yeast flavors lingering for a while.

Mouth is med bodied, fluffy, tons of carb, nice dry crisp finish on the beer too.

Overall great, nice saison flavors, just a hint of floral hops that add and don't subtract from the beer like a lot of hops would, honey adds an interesting component that is light but dries the finish nicely, decent malts, and great yeast flavors that bring good farmhouse flavors and border on funk but don't quite get there. Wish I could get lots of this for the summer.

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Photo of mendvicdog
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Looks clean with a great offwhite head.

Smells like fresh pure honey.

Taste follows the smell. So clear and bright.

Mouthfeel as always is amazing.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

First had: on tap at Hill Farmstead, Greensboro, VT

Hazy golden-yellow pour, with a cap of delicate white bubbles for a head, decent retention, nice lacing. Floral aroma, light, crisp hops, citrus. Taste of floral hops, citrus zest, mild fruit esters, distant pear notes, grass, light yeasty spice, biscuity hops in the background. Light mouthfeel, soft yet prickly, clean and drying, very nice overall.

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Photo of billab914
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a tasting glass. It poured golden yellow in color with a thick white head filling a good portion of the glass. Nice lacing as I drank it as well.

The aroma is juicy and citrusy at first with some herbal spice, citrus rind and tart fruit flavors coming out the more I got into it. Very nicely balanced and smooth for everything going on in it.

The taste is very juicy and citrusy up front with notes of both orange and lemon. I get more of a tart and crisp fruit flavor towards the finish with a little honey coming out as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall I thought it was a very good beer. It had a lot of great flavors to it but managed to stay pretty well balanced at the same time. Very drinkable and tasty beer overall.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, Bobby.

A: The beer pours a slightly hazed golden color with a finger or two of white foam.

S: A very estery aroma. Lots of lemon, lemon zest, and pears to this. Hints of spices, particularly white pepper, followed by a fair amount of banana and pale, bready malt notes.

T: The flavor features a bit more of the pepper and banana than expected from the nose. Lots of sweet apple with a hint of lemon zest, spices, and yeast. Pale malts give the beer a nice light base.

M: Light to medium in body with a high carbonation and dry finish.

O: A really nice saison. Lots of different flavors going on, all of which are enjoyable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared pokal.

Big thanks to the Central PA group from the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

This guy gushed a little bit, but not too much... After settling, it pours a hazy pale-ish straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises wheat, lemon zest, orange zest, and mandarin orange syrup. The taste holds notes of tart lemon, wheat, light coriander, and orange rind. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a pretty dry finish. Overall, a pretty good saison, but one that doesn't really express itself all that much: It's solid, but bordering on boring. I hope that makes sense to somebody else out there...

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Photo of mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 02/09/13 notes. Huge thanks to nimbleprop for sharing a bottle of this one; was a Want of mine. 750ml bottle poured into a wine glass.

a - Pours a hazy bright yellow color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Light lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of honey, spices, floral hops, yeast, fruity malts, lemon, citrus hops, earthy notes, Belgian yeast, and a hint of funk and sour. Awesome nose; a little sweet and a little sour with some nice floral notes to it.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, floral hops, honey, sweet fruits, lemon zest, earthy notes, light funk, bready malts, Belgian yeast, spice, and pepper. A little hoppier and sweeter than the nose, and just as nice. Love this one.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Crisp and easy to drink for sure.

o - Overall I loved this one. Interesting to see the older reviews of this aren't as great as the newer ones; maybe like some of their other beers they're refined and improved it. Some nice floral hops, citrus hops, and sweet honey throughout and easy to drink, certainly worth getting. Would love to have it again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful beer. This one is golden colored with a tornado funnel of effervescence rushing to the surface. The head is pure white and just over an inch thick. Excellent retention with ample lacing left behind.

The aroma offers yeast, grass, grand floral notes, lemon, light spice, subtle farm funk.

A touch of honey. Mildly sweet with a healthy floral presence throughout. Every aspect of the beer is so delicate and balanced. Just beautiful. Bready malts with hints of spice. Pronounced floral bitterness. Finishes dry.

It's always a treat to enjoy anything by Hill Farmstead. I thought this was outstanding.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a taster. No bottle date.

Appearance - Light golden body with an enormous head. The bottle was a bit of a gusher, so I'm not so surprised. Excellent lacing.

Smell - Yeasty as hell. You could smell it across the table. Pale malts and some spice. Bready.

Taste - Bready malts. Pale malts less prominent in comparison to the bread flavors. A touch of honey. Less intense spice aspect, but still really yeasty.

Mouthfeel - Medium-heavy body with medium carbonation, despite the gushing. Good and easy drinking.

Overall - Yeasty as hell with some nice flavors, but nothing outstanding. It's actually a little dull. As always, it's perfectly crafted.

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Photo of stakem
3.39/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml split into a couple of tulips. The brew appears a clear straw yellow color with a billowing white head more than 3 fingers strong. As the cap slowly fades, it leaves thick patchy lacing effect on the glass. Overall the brew looks very appealing.

The smell is earthy with an unfortunate amount of sulfur that dominates most of the aromatics and gets worse when it is switled. Under the sulfur, it displays some solid straw grain inclusion. Faint fruit like pear and lemon and trace amounts of earthy honey are evident as it warms up. It also gets cheesy with a pilsner quality that become more pronounced as the experience continues.

The taste has a very mild honey to floral quality mixing with hints of pear, lemon and earth. A mild tartness is present coupled with a slight solvent alcohol note. It gets quite rindy with some bitterness as it warms up. Fortunately, the flavor if this brew does not carry nearly the same amount of sulfur as the aroma would lead you to believe.

This is a medium bodied brew with an effervescent lively level of carbonation. It opens up awkward and slightly off-putting but grows on me as the experience continues. For 6.5% the alcohol is present and warming but not distracting. Having this once was enough to satisfy my curiosity, I dont have much interest in trying this again.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sep 2014 bottle, opened Sep 2015

A - A near perfect saison. Bright mildly opaque wheat gold body. Fantastic chunky head pours a full fist high with a mixed bubble structure. Excellent lace and retention.

S - I'm literally drooling. Honeysuckle, dandelion, lemon zest, hay, old tractors, and kiwi rinds.

T - Fantastic. Lemon, tart honeydew melon, honey, soft toasted wheat, dandelion, lavender, and kiwi.

M - Creamy medium light body with excellent carbonation.

O - Stellar. One of, if not the best saison I've ever had.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy lemon yellow with a huge bubbly white head that persists forever being constantly fed by a steady stream of carb bubbles and leaving much lace on the sides of the glass. The aroma is citrus, spicy and a bit funky. Light pepper with lemon and grapefruit aromas mixed with a spicy wheat bready character and a solid shot of earthy yeast funk. The flavor is a little sweet with light sugar and honey before we segue into some really nice juicy citrus and tropical fruits. A hint of pepper and spice and a little bit of yeasty funk and a light tart fruitiness provide a really nice contrast. Medium body with a spirited level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly mouthfeel. This is a great saison! I normally won't go for the style, but if this were more available I could see this being my go to warm weather beer.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden honey yellow with a moderate white head.

Smells of farmhouse yeast, flowers, some lightly tart grapes or pears maybe, some wheaty malt, and not surprisingly a lot of sweet honey.

Taste has most of the same characteristics but is much more tart and zesty. The tartness balances really well with the sweet honey, this is delicious.

This was my favorite of the ten Hill Farmstead beers we opened at this tasting, I liked it better than Juicy or Flora, etc. Really great beer, next time it's released I'm going to have to trade for several bottles.


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Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris (spycow) for sharing this one. Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - Huge white foam settles to a thin cap, leaving glass-coating lace. The body is a transparent straw gold color.

S - Stone fruits, peppery farmhouse yeast, light grains, hint of lemon and some other estery/banana type notes. Some faint floral hopping, and not much of the advertised honey at all.

T - Taste lacks the sharp definition of flavors found in the aroma, but it's still quite enjoyable. Stone fruits, light peppery yeast, freshly milled grains, and a hint of lemon.

M - Medium-light body, pleasant medium carbonation, and a slightly sticky finish. No obvious alcohol, and extremely refreshing.

D - I'd prefer Art over this one, but this is a rock-solid take on the style that I'd be happy to drink any time. Goes down quickly and easily, and has a nice balance of malt sweetness and spicy yeast. The honey is very subtle, but I think I prefer that.

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Photo of Duff27
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Over an inch tall beautiful white fluffy head. Wonderful lacing. Body is a cloudy orange.

Musty funk aromas.

Soured oranges. Funk yeastiness dominates. "grassy". Would guess at about a 6%abv.

Dry finish. Medium carbonation and mouthfeel.

Finish makes this easy drankin. A half step below top tier I'd say. Thanks for the share egrace84.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.94/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #2700 in case anyone is paying attention. Bottle shared by yourefragile I'm assuming, perhaps starrdog, who knows at a recent tasting, I love siasons and I love Hill Farmstead. Serve in a cervoise.

Beer is yellow, hazy, soft white head, some lacing, moderate to high carbonation, nice retention, looks good.

Aroma is muted, small, mild floral notes, some sweetness.

Beer is super duper flower honey flavored, hurts my teeth, not really, relatively light in body, very floral, flower forward beer here. Decent but not my favorite saison from him.

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Anna from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.27 out of 5 based on 1,532 ratings.
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