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Biere De Norma | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Biere De NormaBiere De Norma
BA SCORE
4.4/5
Outstanding
605 Ratings
Biere De NormaBiere De Norma
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by MasterSki on 01-12-2012

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#308
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
605
pDev:
7.27%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
352
Gots:
95
Trade:
17
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 605 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of jegross2
2/5  rDev -54.5%

Photo of rhong187
2.82/5  rDev -35.9%
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 Sarge3130
3.19/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

really don't understand the hype here. Appearance is similar to a Barley wine. Ton of wet oak on the aroma followed by a slightly apple sour taste. Struggled through a 5oz pour.

 180 characters

Photo of Pete27lax
3.25/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of Desp59
3.4/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Disappointing. Not a good representation of the style and really wasn't pleasant to drink.

90 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -20.7%
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 DrunkAl
3.5/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of leaversuch
3.5/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.5/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of chadwicktorres
3.5/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of afksports
3.5/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of kscaldef
3.5/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of incubuscience
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of montrealbcr89
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of AnchorsAndAxes
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of BARFLYB
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of cannabispinoy
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of vissai
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Brew33
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of pwoody11
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of BeboThoughts
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Raziel313
3.76/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of drewone
3.79/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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Biere De Norma from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.4 out of 5 with 605 ratings
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