Biere De Norma | Hill Farmstead Brewery

BA SCORE
95
world-class
597 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
597
Reviews:
66
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
7.62%
 
 
Wants:
352
Gots:
97
For Trade:
18
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 597 |  Reviews: 66
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of GRG1313
3.99/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Callmecoon for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

2012 vintage. 1200 bottles.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with fruit, acidic, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with fruit and grain flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some great aromas and flavors that make this beer super easy to drink.

 637 characters

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a deep amber color, the head was white and foamy. The retention was good and the lacing was decent. The smell of the beer was huge with fresh oak, very wooden and kind of funky. The aroma was quite impressive. The taste of the beer is malty, but has a softer oak flavor that I expected it to have judging by how strong the aroma is. There is a bit of light caramel in the aftertaste also. The mouthfeel medium bodied with a big amount of carbonation. The beer finishes on he dry side with a tart sting in the back of the tongue. Overall this beer is very nice, really impressive stuff.

 604 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SocalKicks
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -19.4%
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 oline73
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of emerge077
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip at Decofest, thanks to Mark for sharing!
Quick review from written notes.

Dark and saturated reddish orange color, wispy seafoam spray of lace around the edges with a thin veil across the surface.

Dried citrus aroma with what seems like a saison yeast.

Tart citrus upfront, finishes dry with some light woody spice and lightly bitter tannins. Medium body, crisp feel with ample creamy carbonation. Light sweetness in the middle. Overall pretty straightforward and not far off from HF's other wild and sour beers.

 534 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a brown/reddish color ale with a small foamy head. Aroma of tart notes with light fruity undertones is pleasant. Taste is also a mix of tart notes with light fruity undertones and some light caramel notes with some oak notes also clearly identifiable. Body is about average with good carbonation. Not bad but I would say that the vinous and tart level is quite high for the style.

 395 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber body with some haziness, topped by a thin clinging head.

Vinous funk on the nose. Tamarind, leather, barnyard. Slight oxidation, touch of caramel malt sweetness. Smells quite good.

Heavy on the wine barrel, which brings an interesting tamarind and currant quality. Plenty of barnyard funkiness, too. Feels pretty big - good flavors but a bit heavy on the palate. Acidity is moderate. Finishes with lingering tamarind and red wine flavors. Pretty damn good, one of the better farmhouse ales from Hill Farmstead.

 519 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge, huge thanks to yourefragile for sharing this beer. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass. Pours a light reddish-brown color with a short tan head. Good retention and a good bit of lacing throughout. The nose carries some typical biere de garde character, with some semi-sweet malt and a touch of bread, followed up with a nice oak component. Also there is a bit of cherry alongside some faint acidity. The acid component grows through the flavor, leading the way to an exquisite mouthfeel -- dry, tart, and a nice bit of oak. Even after just having Ann, this was a beautiful beer and one of the better ones I’ve had in a long time. A great take on the biere de garde style, without being in name only.

 709 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks a ton to shaun for this one, REALLY thanks Shaun. 2011 vintage, bottle number 43 of 300

Gorgeous fluffy head fluffy and rises up to over 1 finger, nice sticky lacing drops down the sides slowly. The beer is a mostly clear golden tan slight honey orange colored.

Nose, yup thats funky alright, a light horsehair wet blanket funk but not overpowering, then nice tart fruit, plenty of sourness with a definite lacto, hints of reddish berry like sour fruit.Under that is a nice saison, light saison malts, wheat like and hint of yeast spices. Touches of barrel aroma.

Taste starts rick and smooth, creamy and malty actually, with light saison malts, light toasty reddish malts as well, with a nice light buttery today oak. So much creamy milk like lactose sugar... So much creamier than I expected. Then funk, just a bit of horse blanket funk, but plenty of sourness. Tart berries almost wild berry like but not quite that much berry just fruit, a juicy tartness but dry bready malt juxtaposition. Tons of carbonation helps to keep the palate from getting too bogged down in tartness and creaminess. Finish is dry but slightly sticky, just a touch phlemy, light bready malts, more creamy lactose, some lingering funk, and tart fruit, and a light bitterness comes through with earthy fruit stem like and a bit of floral hops.

Mouth is ridiculously creamy but plenty of carbonation to offset the sour and creamy.

Overall awesome, I would call this an American wild over biere de garde, or saison, but delicious. Great wild funk, sour fruit, saison like malts, hunts of barrel, light biter hops late in the finish, and delicious delicious lacto.

 1,651 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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Biere De Norma from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.33 out of 5 based on 597 ratings.
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