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Ann | Hill Farmstead Brewery

75 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by yourefragile on 05-27-2012

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 313
Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.49/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of jhavs
4.84/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of Fireman_RK
4.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | 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 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.

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Photo of sordyl
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of professorchow
4.79/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
5/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

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Photo of CTFalcon
4.94/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of Jslay013
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of SABERG
4.24/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of Davelucas88
5/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of jjdc
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.46/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy medium orange color, thick creamy white ring.

S - Tart wildness, mild acidic funkiness, and citrus.

T - Lightly tart, acidic, funky, light citrus, oak.

M - Very dry finish, leaves a tart coating of citrus in the mouth.

O - Not overly funky or tart but a nice balance between the two. Nice.

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Photo of mythaeus
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Humongous letdown. Really good beer, but was not blown away or memorable. Just a really delicate barrel aged saison, lacked the more interesting bite of Anna 9/2014 that was consumed just a glass prior. Even if this was on shelf at the price vs. Anna, I'd pass on it and go for Anna at 1/4 the cost.

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Photo of Fux
4.76/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Batch 2. Side by side with Anna.
A: Looks a lot like the base beer. Yellow/hay, cloudy. Small but sticky white head.
S: Lots of the base beer upfront, citrus, funk, some sweetness at first with vinous aromas. Becomes more and more complex as it warms with some fruits and hay, funk and tart. It dramatically improves over time in the glass and get intoxicating.
T: Vinous aromas, sharp sourness. Very complex and fruity with grapes and stone fruits. Also flowers flavors and tons of citruses. Amazingly complex yet balanced. Te vinous flavors become more and more prominent as it warms.
M: Good carbonation. Light mouthfeel. Highly drinkable.
O: Superb beer. Complex and evolving, still highly and enjoyable on a simple way.

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Photo of Clownoisseur
4.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle picked up at Hill Farmstead last February and shared at my wedding on 9/12/15. Pour was a slightly hazy blonde, lively eggshell head that breaks into gorgeous lace and remains throughout. Aromas are very inviting! Notes of oak, vanilla, light honey sweetness, light barnyard funk, medium floral and light earth. Taste is phenomenal! Such a balance of flavors throughout. Less honey and less Brett than the base beer, Anna.....but was a wonderful transformation through the barrel inflection. Nice rounded tartness gives off light hints of underripe apples and grapes...vinous and earthy in the mid-palate. Very much to my liking!! Light funk pushes through the back-end where the honey emerges in harmony with oak/vanilla to counter nicely. Finishes semi-dry, semi-sweet and lightly tart. Wonderful, wonderful beer....for a wonderful, wonderful night!

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Photo of Crookdrain
4.97/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured at a recent HF bottle share, between Le Sarrasin and CD11. Color is mostly unremarkable. Nose is white wine, soft peaches and funk, and honey sweetness. Taste is crazy soft and subtle. Unbelievable white wine tinged-Anna flavor and delicate mouthfeel. Finish is dry white wine barrel wrapped with a bit of sharp tartness and lemon. This is a great beer, the hype is real, although the price is so high I don't think I'd trade for it.

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Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.89/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color: Straw yellow. Thin, lacy, white head, that dissipates quickly.
Smell: Tart, citrus, spicy, floral, which a hint of funk. Melon, honeydew, and some lemon citrus notes. Outstanding!
Taste: Delicate, dry, and a refreshing tartness. Melon, some stone fruits, citrus, and honey-like character, all layered together.
Feel: Very dry and clean, yet a very good balance of flavors. This beer doesn't leave the mouth feeling fatigued or dry, nor does it overwhelm the palate. Fantastic beer, in every respect.

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Photo of jstunna24
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably my top beer ever. Highly hyped but totally met my expectation. The aroma and taste is unlike any saison I've ever tried. The mouthfeel is so delicate but it doesn't compromise on the flavor. Truly a masterpiece. Probably Shaun Hill's best beer to date.

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Photo of Stum-pub
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

THIS IS #1 ON THE TOP 250. Best beer I have ever had. Will change this rating when I find another! Until then, this is the real beer you want to chase.

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Photo of WTKeene
4.98/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Beer #600:

In the parking lot of a strip mall BYOB Italian joint in suburban Dallas, it happened. We cracked her. Months of anticipation and it all culminates in this. People came from around the state and country to join us in this momentous event. Poured from a 2015 bottle into a Cantillon Iris glass.

Appearance: A pale, hazy honey white/gold, it almost glows. Tiny white head sticking around a while and leaving spotted lacing around the glass.

Smell: Phenomenal. That signature Hill Farmstead yeast profile really shines here. I get melon, like honeydew melon, and a really gorgeous, perfect citrus character. The beeswax on the bottle smells sweet and floral too. Beautiful.

Taste: Holy shit, fantastic. Delicate, gorgeous citrus perfume. Light tang in an orange juice kind of way. Imagine honeydew melon, soaked in orange, maybe tangerine juice with a splash of wildflower honey. Juicy juicy. Classic Hill Farmstead funk adds a tad of bitterness to balance out the light sweetness of the honey. A crackery malt to finish things up. Just fantastic. It lives up to the hype, this is just everything I hoped it would be.

Mouthfeel: Light, tiny bubbled carbonation just makes everything else about this beer perfect.

Overall: Everything I could ever hope for. Perfect beer. Not quite the best beer I've ever had, but certainly close and easily among the best, most balanced Saisons I've had. Perfection. The hype is real.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.14/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured a slightly cloudy yellow hue. Well-grown head of white fluff. Strands and strings of lacing. Aroma displays much of what is so sought after in this style of beer. Funk and barnyard aromas along with barrel influence as well as a grain and pale fruit duo. Reminiscent of a high-end champagne. Tart lemons abound, as well. The flavor was nuanced and tart. Lemony sourness and a fresh cider element. Some pastry/brioche malt flavor. Light spice. Barnyard and fruity funkiness. Finishes with a tannic, dry, oaky, wine flavor and feel. Like champagne or a barrel aged cider. Body is light and there is a lasting tartness that sticks to the lips. This is probably the most highly sought after beer I have tried. It was plenty tasty but I think the hype is almost impossible to live up to. Taking out the rarity, it was still another well-made Hill Farmstead brew.

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Photo of kevanb
4.89/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, 2015 release, poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. Enjoyed on 3.7.15, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a pale, golden color, hazy and cloudy with a soft white head, moderate retention but super lacing around the glass. The aroma is fantastic, white wine oak, pale grain, berry yeast, light citrus, white grape, big wildflower, raw honey, mild funk. This is about as bright and delicate as I can imagine a saison being, lovely wine influence, nice honey character reminds you of Anna. The flavors are impeccable, again, so bright and delicate, white wine grapes, wildflower, tangerine and lemon, mellow pale grain that is such a soft base yet firmly anchors the beer together, musty oak, fruity yeast that has just a touch of funkiness to it, not overly barnyard, exceptional balance. The mouthfeel is yet another triumph, creamy, smooth, lively, medium body, intense coating, as good as it can get for a saison and just a hint of a dry sensation at the finish.

Verdict: A stunner of a beer from Hill Farmstead, elegant, refined and delicate. It takes everything great from Anna and adds a really special wine character, not too acidic, not too oaky, just right in the sweet spot. It's easy to understand how much care and how selective they are with this beer. Effortlessly complex yet refreshing and quaffable, one of the finest beers to ever be made.

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Photo of TampaRainman
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Batch poured into HF Tulip and enjoyed side by side with Anna. Big thanks to @hillVT4me for sharing both.

A: Hazy dark gold pour yields a bit of snowy froth. Decent-sized bubbles ring the glass. Markedly darker and cloudier than Anna.

S: Bright juicy aromas of peach and preserved lemon. Anna's strong barnyard grassy aroma has transformed into a mellow subtle counterpoint to Ann's fruitiness.

T: Buttery juicy lemons, tart peach/apricot and oak. Strongly resembles a really nice MLF Chardonnay (something like Rombauer). Back end hay and grassy funk notes. Is that a hint of Nietzche's ballsack I'm picking up? Finishes dry. Very pleasant tartness; definitely not extremely sour. The crisp fruity funk lingers.

F: Really perfect light carbonation results in a silky, buttery feel that tickles and coats.

O: A really delicious saison.

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Photo of ArkyVaughan
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one more than lived up the hype. When you are working off of a base beer like Anna, it is hard to go wrong with a wine-barrel aged variant, but this was even better than I expected. Although I actually enjoyed Art more, they are both 5s.

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Photo of bahnfire
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to HF glass

Landed this in trade back in January and have been saving to open on my birthday (7/14), which just so happens to be 2 years to the day it was released (7/14/12).

A: Beautiful straw golden color with 1/4in head that recedes to a light ring around the surface.

S: Light wine barrel funk with some grapes and lemon

T: Everything that went into Ann comes through still: The white wine barrel character and the honey are readily apparent. This is very wine like, but in a very good way.

M: Excellent carbonation level. Very drinkable.

O: There are lots of reports of Ann having fallen off and being a shell of her former self. I never had it fresh so I don't really have a frame of reference, but IMO this is remarkable. I am now eagerly anticipating the new batch and the opportunity to try it again.

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Ann from Hill Farmstead Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.
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