Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #1
Ranked #39
4.68 | pDev: 8.97%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: Ann is the wine barrel-aged version of Anna, our grandfather's sister, as well as the name of our honey farmstead ale. In her honor, we fill French oak wine barrels with Anna and allow the beer to mature in the presence of our resident microflora. After extended aging for as long as it requires to reach its apex, a beautifully complex beer emerges; Anna becomes Ann. Only the finest expressions of barrel-aged Anna become Ann; our version of Grand Cru, this beer represents the finest barrel results at their peak representation. Each 750ml bottle is naturally carbonated and hand-dipped in beeswax, Ann exhibits and showcases the microflora of her landscape.
Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 431 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dboon
dboon from Florida

4.02/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle generously shared by Seth. Cloudy yellow pour with a white head. The nose is somewhat bland with barrel highlights. Real smooth with good carbonation. Light citrus and orange notes with floral/herbal and woody undercurrents. To be honest, after all the hype, I was expecting a whole lot more.....

Apr 30, 2021
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.52/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My long time white whale, we meet at last...

As we slowly worked through a collection of Hill bottles this evening, we started with shelf bottles and transitioned into sacrificing a few wine barrel aged versions. The progression is beautifully subtle, while the difference in appearance between them is pretty stark. Ann has much less visible carbonation than Anna, with only a short bubbly collar on top of a shimmering clear burnt amber body. This has closer to a honey appearance, whereas Anna is a hazier, paler yellow, with a larger, fluffier white head.

The aging process has cleaned her up quite a bit more than I was expecting, delivering a delicate experience that is less funky, yet more woody. White grape, riesling wine, and even notes of buttery chardonney develop as it finishes just barely dry, falling off the palate quickly. There's a hint of green olive, and it's only mildly sour, with essentially no funkiness at all. This is possibly the most wine-like experience I've gotten out of a beer. So much so we were contemplating opening a bottle of white wine to compare. It even sweetens up over time.

Ann is absurdly refined and complex, yet exceedingly simple. It does not have the body of the other wonderful Farmstead beers, and while I love it, I think in the long run that slaying a whale such as this puts into perspective just how fantastic the base beer is, as well as all the other HF shelfies, which are just so supple, easy to enjoy, and complex in their own right.

Bottled 2015, released 2019. Thanks Stanley!

Oct 07, 2019
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Zach_Attack from Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Awesome to finally try this; great wine, light funk, touch of honey up front; Anna’s funk and honey comes through nicely, with nice sweetness, grains of paradise, mild mild tartness in back; the honey pops as it warms, super flavorful, floral finish. Wow.

Sep 26, 2018
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yasky from Canada (ON)

4.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Glad to cross this one off the bucket list. Shared at HF. Golden pour, baby finger sized white head, no lacing. Aroma of green grape, white wine, oak, apricot, white peach. Taste is something else, oaked white wine, apricot, peach, light cellar notes, white grape, hay, picking up a light honey-sweetness and very light funkiness. Lighter body, carbonation holding up pretty well.

Jun 23, 2018
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gcamparone from Rhode Island

4.75/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch 4, 375mL bottle served into a bulb glass onsite 4/18/18.

First half of pour was crystal clear golden body, second half was slightly hazy and a bit more orange. Good two finger white head that sticks around for a while.

Aroma – I didn’t smell these all at once, I don’t even think that would be humanly possible, but noted them as it warmed and developed in the glass over a half hour or so. Honey. Lemongrass. Nectar. A delicate woodiness. Floral. Vanilla. Cedar. That musty, herbal smell when you walk into an old country store. Grassy. Hay. Pine cones. White wine. Potpourri. Fresh spring day frolicking through a meadow of hay.

On the tongue it’s big but soft, delicate citrus and lemongrass, tart lactic and white wine, lightly funky with oak and a bit of mustiness. Honey comes through on the finish. Not overly dry but not sweet either. Lightly carbed with a very drinkable body.

I’m glad I finally got to try this beer, it was quite the treat and worth the wait.

Apr 20, 2018
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Phineasco from Massachusetts

4.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a Clear bright yellow with a thin white head. It has medium carbonation. The beer smells of citrus, lemon, oak, honey, vanilla, and a little brett.
It tastes of citrus, lemon, honey, oak, vanilla, tangerine, wine, and lightly tart on the back end. It is very light, clean, and simple. This is the perfect beer, doesn’t have a ton of wine or funk, but doesn’t need it. So easy to drink and goes down fast.

Apr 19, 2018
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M-Fox24 from New Jersey

4.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pour is slightly cloudy, with a golden yellow hue. Head is about a half inch, with great retention and generous lacing

S: Vinous grapes and apples, herbal, floral and fruity. The notes are extremely gentle and involved: oak, wood, lemon, citrus, honey, with a slight funk component

T: Hints at a subtle tartness and sweetness, while being earthy floral, and fruity. More funk, brett and barrel character, as one reads into it and lets it sit. Notes correspond to the aroma, and bring forth honey, oak, grain/hay, lemon, and citrus

M: Crisp yet soft, and smooth with timely dryness: medium carbonation, and body

O: The duly maturation, amongst the French oak wine barrels, is quite beautiful. The convolutions linger, and grow as it rests

May 30, 2017
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edthehead from New York

4.67/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally, after a few years, and some adventuresome and muddy miles, she landed. Soft golden hue, fluffy juicy head, gently wine, oak barrel, and microflora tones both on the nose and taste, and silky smooth. Definately matches up with the hype. It was her, it was she, it was fabulous!

May 27, 2017
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rabbott2 from Illinois

4.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 batch drank on my wedding day 1/20/2017

L-slight haze, bright lemon gold with a white head

Smell and taste follow each other which is best stated as "complex". The honey and lemon come through nicely just like Anna and there's a nice tartness added as well. The wine barrel is prevalent and adds a nice level of bitterness and oak. I would have guessed a subtle red wine barrel, but it seems more like chardonnay is the likely barrel used. Makes perfect sense. Earthiness and floral tones were present as well and the overall lingering unique note was something either cinnamon or comparable to it. It was really incredible within everything else in this beer.

Feel-soft, drinkable, delicate

Overall-exceptional. Due to the "whale"-ness of this beer, I highly doubt I will be able to drink this again, but man it was great. Very enjoyable. Perfect wedding day celebration.

Jan 30, 2017
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fireazzi from Massachusetts

4.85/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Was fortunate to try this a few weeks back onsite. What an amazing delicious beer. Smells great, feels great. Great complexity with it. Very happy to say I tried it and it lived up to what I thought it would be.

Aug 22, 2016
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SadMachine from New Jersey

4.9/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a gorgeous honey gold with a beautiful white head that retains well and leaves ample lacing.

The aroma is delicate and enticing. Light tartness, lemon grass and rind, honeysuckle, wheat, funky brett, honey, and much more! Super complex!

The flavor follows the nose, with a nice light lemony tartness to open, followed by wheat, honeysuckle, and honey. It finishes with delightful brett funk. There are many layers of complexity, and it is super delicate!

The mouthfeel is just straight up perfect! Divinely soft, with pillow like carbonation, and a delicate dry finish!

Essentially perfection of the wine barrel aged saison style! It's hard to imagine it being better done!

Aug 20, 2016
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Shogun250 from Vermont

4.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage from the taproom. Finally got to have the beer I have most coveted since I started visiting the enchanted beer mecca in 2013 and have proceeded to make the trek once a month since. All the trips finally paid off as it was there for on-site consumption. Had side by side with Le Sarrasin and Being and Time which might have thrown off the overall ranking. This was smooth as silk, fluffy clouds, extremely pleasant with where the base honey beer accentuated the wine barrel. The smell wasn't over powering, or super aromatic to me. A little bit of funk, don't know if that had to do with it being a 14. Once again the feel was the crazy thing to me and defintley stood out. It was super drinkable and if this was a beer I could have on a regular basis to have with dinner it would be amazing. I have to say that there was something tin the way Le Sarrasin finished that I like it better. This was a joy to try and hopefully will run into again. $33 for a 375 to the dome is worth it all day.

Aug 08, 2016
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rodmanfor3 from Vermont

4.65/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The 2014 vintage, poured on-site at the Hill Farmstead taproom.

L: Golden copal pour with medium head and lacing.

S: Virtually everything on the top half of the bottle pour is wine and barrel. The bottom half of the bottle opens up with floral notes, some honey, a little citrus, and subtle funk.

T: Wine barrels up front, followed by tart citrus flavors and some earthy/floral notes, finishing with honey and a touch of lingering bitterness

F: Soft, juicy, and dry on the end.

O: I had waited over two years to try this beer, with unrealistically high expectations, so I was slightly disappointed when I finally had a pour of Ann and did not have the "life-altering, 5-out-of-5, this is the best beer in the world" experience.

I have had this beer three times now. Ann is a fantastic beer but not worthy of its hype. To me, it fails to break the Hill Farmstead Top Five.

Aug 06, 2016
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Lochnessmonster from Florida

4.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice subtle honey without being overly sweet, and very smooth to drink. Of course its delicious but it wasn't quite the world breaker I was expecting. Definitely don't pass on it, but there are IMO much better beers to trade half your cellar away for.

Jul 20, 2016
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jhavs from New York

4.84/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On-site pour decanted into their branded wine glass. Dregs into a taster glass on the side.

Golden straw color, fairly hazy, but not near opaque. Light flows through and brightens the brew. Barely off white head, foamy, settles to ring around the glass.

Honey, white wine grapes, floral, slight yeast and funk. Lots of layers in the aroma. Citrus zest in the background.

Delicious, the honey is subtle and floral, delicate funk, some earthy and grassy notes. Tartness is present but doesn't overpower or block anything else.

Soft carbonation, smooth, moderate mouth-feel.

All around excellent brew. What farmhouse/saison brewers should aspire to acheive.

Jul 11, 2016
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Fireman_RK from North Carolina

4.96/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Batch 1 bottle
L: Dark orange yellow honeycomb hues with a translucent body and greeted by an amply carbonated white head
S: Clover honey upfront that is swiftly met by the oak wine barrel and rich malts
T: A huge range of flavors - this might be the most complex saison I've ever tasted: honeycomb, marmalade, tangerines, clovers, slightly tart funk, rose petals, and sweet malt that is underpinned by a healthy, well-integrated oaky chardonnay
F: Softly carbonated, medium bodied, and infinitely smooth
O: What a rare treat to enjoy this bottle! This was simply a gorgeous beer that encapsulates all of the myriad strengths of Shaun Hill and his talented team at HF. From the deeply rich look, first impressions of the nose, to the flavor profile throughout, Ann delivered on all levels for me. Of the great American saisons produced (e.g., SdF, Saison Bernice), Ann squarely sits a top on her throne as queen - this beer is untouchable, complex, and continuously rewarding throughout the session. I'm incredibly lucky to have snagged a Batch 1 bottle and it has held up incredibly well nearly half a decade later. Just an excellent beer - no other way to say it.

Jul 09, 2016
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sordyl from Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had it onsite at the brewery yesterday. Tons of honey in the smell but not much on the tongue, lots of white wine type flavors. Great beer but probably not one of my top favorites.

Jul 07, 2016
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professorchow from Massachusetts

4.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a bomber. Pours golden. Smells tart, citrusy, only hinting at funk. Taste is exceptional: tart opening, laced with hints of honey, moves into perfectly balanced funkiness. The most nuanced wild saison, and just one of the top 5 or so beers, I've ever had. I live far enough from the brewery that a visit would require an overnight stay in the area, but this one made me start thinking of how to take that trip.

Jun 21, 2016
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YodersBeerEmporium from Iowa

5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hill Farmsteads finest! Amazing BA Saison that is smooth with a nice barrel finish. Purchased this bottle along with many others of its caliber for a small group tasting and it was definitely one of the stars!

May 02, 2016
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CTFalcon from Connecticut

4.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 3 served onsite, 375ml.

Look: Crystal clear golden hue with a typical pillowy white head for Hill Farmstead saisons.
Smell: Subtle musty funk, slight barrel presence and faint malty sweetness.
Taste: Not many more ways to say it than flat out ridiculous. The most balanced and restrained barrel aged saison I've tasted. Sweet malts lead to a mildly oaky/funky middle and finishes with a very subtle sweet white grape skin. Just a touch tart but not sour. Balanced and supremely drinkable.
Mouthfeel: Somewhat softer carb than the base beer, very smooth but full bodied. If possible it's an improvement over the shelf saisons.
Overall: Stunning beer and I am supremely grateful to have gotten a chance to try it. The 375ml dissapeared far too quickly, it took willpower to not demolish the beer in minutes. Unreal, one of the best beers I've had the pleasure of drinking.

Apr 01, 2016
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Jslay013 from Massachusetts

4.71/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle at the brewery on 3/10. Delicate fermentation, honey from base beer is all but gone. Nice, mellow tartness, lots of barrel characteristic. Funky finish. Very good, but I don't think it quite deserves the hype, nor value it gets.

Mar 12, 2016
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SABERG from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a large tulip glass.
A - Wonderful clarity, steady carbonation feeds well disciplined white cap.
S - A bit of wine, mixed with hints of limestone and ash, a refined aromatic boardering on
Loire valley white.
T - Slightly tart, vinous, lemon grass, honey notes.
M - A wonderful lightly carbonated delight, the sides of the tongue react to the tartness, a wonderful coating
of slight sweet finishes the experience.
O - A superbly crafted offering, world class in every aspect.

Feb 13, 2016
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Davelucas88 from Delaware

5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bach 2
What a masterful creation. Right away with a blast of crisp acidity that starts it off and stays woven throughout only mellowing just a tad for the onslaught of continious flavors I found dissipating into that signature HF soft mouthfeel. Impressive noticeable touch of wine barrel/oak, slight sweet honey, all wrapped perfectly together only to finish with some lingering tartness. Even the clarity of Ann was beautiful to look at as I savored each sip.

Feb 09, 2016
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jjdc from District of Columbia

4.75/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my all-time wants. Glad to finally try -- thanks James. Had back to back with Anna and you could really see the refinement. This is the sophisticated big sister with all the sharp edges smoothed off. Lovely, vinous and soft. This is definitely worthy of its top tier status. I would likely go with Sarrasin as the best HF saison, but this is right there. Phenomenal beer.

Jan 16, 2016
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.64/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap. Very bubble clear yellow body with plenty of white bubbles, just like Anna. Smell takes the citrus, honey, botanical, and funk and gives it a seamless yet expressive backbone of oak, wine, and must. Peach, white grape, apricot, and hay are now all found in the smell and taste. Taste has more grass and botanicals in it, but impeccably balanced. Want a touch more from the barrel to match the honey more, but I am being picky. Feel is bright, delicate, elevated, wild, and slightly vinous.

Jan 10, 2016
Ann from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 431 ratings