Biere De Norma
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Biere De NormaBiere De Norma
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
French Bière de Garde
Ranked #1
ABV:
7%
Score:
97
Ranked #386
Avg:
4.41 | pDev: 7.48%
Reviews:
73
Ratings:
634
From:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
 
Vermont, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  351
Gots
  98
SCORE
97
World-Class
Biere De NormaBiere De Norma
Notes: Brewed on the day of my grandmother’s passing (Norma), this is an inspired Biere de Mars fermented entirely in oak and soured with our house spontaneous culture.

Norma (1939 - 2011) was my maternal grandmother, my Guardian Angel, and the woman that nourished the laughter and innocence of my youth. In her honor, we craft this Bière de Mars each February and condition it in oak barrels with our resident microflora, allowing it to develop indefinitely until it is ready for release. We realize the influence of those closest to us only after having left their presence. At Hill Farmstead, our spirit is forever defined by Norma and the memory of our loved ones.
Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 634 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MisfitIK-9:
Photo of MisfitIK-9
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with thick red wax. Vintage 2013

Split 3 ways with my local beer crew into 3 HF Wine Stems.

Appearance: Orangish and murky crimson colored body maybe a copper hue as well. Thick cap of white head that drops to a thin cap.

Smell: Very wine barrel forward. Mild funk that is familiar to me as Hill Farmstead funkiness. Fruity and oaky. Slightly briney and minerally.

Taste: boarders between mild and moderate tart/tanginess. Tannic wet oak, vinous red wine, combine with subtlely sweet malt profile. Earthy and mustiness about the beer. Fruity and the minerals flavors also come through. As this beer gets warmer a musty funk becomes slightly cheezey or yogerty like some lactobacillus was involved in the brewing process.

Mouthfeel: medium boided beer with low carbonation. Just the right amount of driness in the beer to drive home the wine barrel character in this beer is a most pleasant way. Drinks pretty well.

Overall: I have only tried a handful of beers from the Beire de Garde family of beer styles. Aging this style in a wine barrel is a great idea. It compliments the beer style very nicely. This is the best that I have had out of all the Biere De Garde beers so far! Again another beer that is excuted so well by S. Hill.

 1,254 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: 2014 vintage. Bottled 01/2015. 750ml brown glass. Maroon wax-ed over pry off cap.

Expectations are relatively high; I've enjoyed the few beers I've had from this brewery, but I'm not big on biere de Mars as a style.

Served cold into a tulip and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as a biere de garde per the label.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

7% ABV.

HEAD: ~.25 inches. Recedes almost immediately, lingering as a floater ring for a scant 20 seconds. It was white, but I had no time to note any other characteristics. Leaves no lacing.

BODY: Translucent copper. Nontransparent. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible. Average vibrance.

Appears aptly carbonated. It's a nice looking biere de Mars, but isn't unique or special.

AROMA: Brettanomyces funkiness. Muted dampened oak. I'm not getting as much farmhouse character as I anticipated; there's no straw or hay. Some green apple. Other fruit too - maybe some depleted plum? Seems a biteen on the sweeter side for a biere de Mars. I do find the honey when I look for it, but it's not prominent. Mild clove. Hop presence is minimal, bringing complementary floral hop character into the mix.

Aromatic intensity is average.

I find no booze or off-notes.

Suggests a well-balanced but middling brew.

TASTE: A kiss of sourness - maybe a 2/10 in terms of intensity. Green apple makes an appearance, but it isn't an off-note. Copper malts, grassiness, Belgian pale malts. The honey is subtle and nicely integrated, but does drive the sweetness up. Still, the bitterness/sweetness balance is well handled. Has a European hop profile with complementary grassy and floral hop notes. Some dried lime. Lacks a spice profile or a guiding yeast presence. Cohesive, definitely. Musty throughout. A biteen tannic, even.

It's not gestalt, nor is particularly deep or expressive. I do like it, and the yeasty funkiness is nice, but this isn't a world-class example of the style.

Average duration and intensity of flavour.

The oak needs to be played up; it's muted and reticent. This is nicely built overall, but leaves much to be desired in terms of intricacy and layering of flavour. There's some nice subtlety and nuance to the flavours (especially the honey), but as a whole it's just not more than the sum of its parts.

TEXTURE: Oddly dry, parching the palate somewhat and restraining its ability to refresh. Medium-bodied, lightly smacky on the palate, and smooth. Adequately thick and weighty on the palate. Carbonation is about right, but not perfect. Has a pleasingly crisp finish.

Could be softer. That dryness needs to be curbed.

There's no harmony of texture to taste, but this mouthfeel does a decent job at complementing the flavour profile. Doesn't help accentuate any specific notes.

OVERALL: Drinkable, absolutely. Hides its ABV well. It's not a mind-blowing brew, and doesn't live up to its impeccable reputation, but it's nice work, sure. I wouldn't go out of my way to nab a second bottle. Glad I got to try it.

High B- (3.49)

 3,051 characters

Photo of rhong187
2.82/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

murky, reminds me of creek water, smells a bit sweet, probably its best attribute... Sweetness and oak up front, but not much of anything else. I'd like to call it one dimensional, but not sure what dimension that might be. Love HF, but this one was quite disappointing.

 272 characters

Photo of mltobin
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of thebigredone
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Run4theRoses
4.66/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hooliganlife
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Billquirk
4.86/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of rocksteady726
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Artmcd88
3.79/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of theantihero
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of nathanjohnson
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Shilt
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of kamikazeokami
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Jwale73
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours the color and clarity of cider. Nose expresses cider vinegar and vanilla notes. Taste consistent with nose - I feel like I get a distinct wine barrel presence. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an even carbonation and a kiss of astringency. All and all, the first time I had this beer I found it a little watery; however, this time around I have to say that I was pretty blown away.

 397 characters

Photo of Bluecane
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of ArtZan
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of SABERG
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served into an HFP snifter.

A - Color copper, rust, tinges of burnt umber. Fine formation and retention, lacing throughout.

S - Wine, grass, ruby fruit, apricot and fresh leather. As it warms even more complex with fig and light tannins.

T - Smart, sharp tones of fruit wine, young fig, autunm flowers, mild tart mid and dry finish.

M - Initially oily then dry tight closure, tart singularity, fine blend of carbonation and body. Interesting that it could be served as an appartif, or cordial.

O - Barrel touch adds to the Biere de Mars style, complex offering from a talented craftsmen ( team). The offering is a challenge, and a pleasure. What a treasure this is.

 670 characters

Photo of tcblack4d
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CSO
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of pisano
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of jacewg
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of SveNss0N
4.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Biere De Norma from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 634 ratings