Walden | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
A sessionable pale/blonde ale brewed with our good friend John Kimmich from The Alchemist. <4% ABV. Hopped with Motueka, Amarillo, and Simcoe.

40 IBU

Added by rudzud on 07-21-2012

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 478
Photo of BranfordBound
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had at Blackback Pub a few times in Waterbury VT. Served in a snifter this golden brew has a fluffy head that fades pretty fast.

Great hoppy aroma, bright citrus, lime, pungent earthy hops. Taste is fantastic, cracker malts first, good sweetness, big juicy and pineapple hops. Some dank leafiness as well as some other oily flavors.

Really light and refreshing. Strong hops for the light malts. Motueka and Amarillo really shine here. John Kimmich and HF made an awesome collab here!

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pour at bluestone pizza 8/3, these are my notes I emailed myself

light copper, mostly clear, 2f head good retention, lacing, cap 4.25

light yeastiness Belgian malts, grassy, herbal 4 smell, 4.25 taste

light to medium body, medium carbonation good drying good balance 4.25

overall 4.25 good blonde ale, as always I credit the HF well water

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Photo of Jwale73
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at HF on 4/29/16. Pours a hazy straw gold with a tight, 1.5 inch bright white head. Nose expresses citrus zest, grain and wort. Taste consistent with nose; however, I also get a hint of rolled out. Mouthfeel is light in body with an easy, even carbonation. Overall, decent for the abv and most likely spectacular on-cask; however, it came off as a bit unfinished to me.

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Photo of cfalls
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L - lemonade yellow, nice haze, small head made of tiny bubbles

S - hoppy notes of pine and citrus over a lager-like malt base

T - dank, grapefruit, tropical, some malt sweetness, but finishes dry, lingering lychee

F - light yet creamy, perfect carbonation

O - probably the best beer I've had under 4%

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler filled at the brewery.

Pours an opaque golden straw color with a 2-finger bubbly white head. Nice retention with some decent cobweb lacing.

The aroma is rather faint, but very pleasant. I get some lime, orange rind, and white bread, as well as a touch of pine.

The flavor brings lots of biscuity malt, as well as some sweet orange citrus. There's a good amount of bitter pine resin on the back end.

The feel is medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and refreshing. Some lingering bitterness.

Overall, a damn good blonde ale. I enjoy the hop profile as well as the sweet, bready malt. Drinks heavier than the ABV.

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Photo of huddyball
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Probably the best sessionable ale I've ever had. Flavor is not overpoweringly hoppy like you'd get in an IPA/IIPA but it's enough to know you're drinking a well crafted ale. Could drink this stuff all day and not get tired of it.

Pours a bright, hazy, golden color with a fantastic white head that leaves good lacing. Smell is great and muted. Tons of tropical fruits (lemon and orange dominate). Taste is on point with the smell. TONS of lemon up front. Feel is very good but doesn't really stand out in any way.

Overall I was VERY pleased with this brew. I opened up a 750ml growler after a hot day and killed it in about 30 minutes because it just hit the spot. Would not hesitate to get more when available.

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Photo of jhavs
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap into a snifter at the Blackback pub in Waterbury, VT.

A= Pale straw color, fairly hazy and glowing golden when held up to the light. Thick pure white head that settles. Lacing coats the side of the glass.

S= Big and bright citrus hops, orange zest and juice with a bit of grapefruit rind.

T= The flavor is similar to the aroma. Lots of orange and citrus tones with a bit of earthy pine and resin. A light toasted malt flavor in the background.

M= Lighter side of medium body with moderate carbonation.

O= Tasty, balanced and smooth. Nothing negative, very sessionable. Lots of flavor and body for a 4% ABV beer. Would order repeatedly.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Hazy pale straw yellow gold. Head is bright-white, creamy, and loose. Drops a few wisps of cap in very short order. Bubbly and loose collar. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Deep grapefruit and orange. Solid blast of pine needle and resin. Super light malt base offers up toasted white bread. Slightly sweet malt base. Deeply floral with a soft hop spiciness in the back as well. Surprisingly balanced for something with such a big initial nose.

Taste: Super light malt base. Crackery snap coupled with some slightly bready pale malts. Hops throw a solid amount of grapefruit and pine up front. Pine needle, sap, and a touch of resin. Some ruby red grapefruit juice as well. Solidly floral, pushes perfume for a brief moment. Some lemon-lime like Sprite without the sugar. Mildly earthy and herbal as well. Incredibly light and just a touch sweet. Malts are incredibly light and offer a surprising balance to the hops. It's all much lighter than the nose would indicate.

Mouthfeel: Light body with a moderate carbonation. A touch bubbly and dry. Ever so slightly crisp.

Overall: Give me this and let me be.

This is what a "session" IPA should be. It's hoppy in abundance with a great depth of flavor. Super drinkable and just that good.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with Goblinmunkey7, growler filled about 11 hours ago

Consumed 8/29/15

A: Pours hazy, deep gold with some orange/tangerine highlights - pours with a medium size, bright white head, fades to a wispy cap, leaves some nice streaks and splotches of lacing

S: Big, potent hops, decidedly does not smell like a 4% ABV beer - bright and juicy - tangerine, orange, grapefruit flesh and juice - very, very floral - some soft tropical notes, mango and melon - some hints of pine, herbal notes - very pale malts, more or less nonexistent

T: Bright hops, without being aggressive, without any malty distractions - top-notch blend of hops, with some lovely citrus and tropical notes - Amarillo in abundance - tangerine and ruby red grapefruit juice, flesh - peach, melon, and magno - very bright - some herbal and leafy hops - light, pale malts and some light bread, crackers - exceptionally clean, even for a Hill Farmstead beer

M: On the light side of medium excellent carbonation, smooth finish

O: A beer to Thoreau back (cue rimshot)

This is the best session ale ever. Period. There is a stupid amount of flavor in this beer, more than some IPAs with twice the ABV. I kind of regret getting only a measly 750mL of this rather than pouring a 2 liter growler directly into my mouth.

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Photo of dar482
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%

The beer comes in a pale yellow color.

The flavor contains lots of grapefruit, orange peel, with a light malt body and a slightly yeasty or doughy quality. Hints of tropical come out of this beer as well.

The back end is dry and clean. Slightly lacking on the back, but that is expect of such a low ABV beer.

A wonderful medium light body and lots of hops.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%

On tap at Farmhouse Tap and Grill. Pours a vibrant yellowish amber with a half inch of head. Almost no lacing. The aroma is very fruity with lots of tropical and citrus fruits. Pineapple and mango. The taste is more of the tropical fruits but with some bitterness. Mango, pineapple, and orange. Hints of pine at the finish. Medium bodied with almost no alcohol presence. Overall, a very good hopped up Blonde with a good deal of fruity hop flavor.

App-4 a-4.25 t- 4.25 m- 3.75 o-4.25 = 4.19

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at Farmhouse.
Serves up this glorious slightly hazy very light blonde with nice head.
Smells wonderful, floral, hoppy, complexity abounds.
Tastes really nice, a good light biscuit backbone showcase lots of floral hops.
Finishes remarkable clean and crisp.
This might be the best tasting 4% abv beer I've ever tasted. I enjoyed it outdoors at 82 degrees and muggy. Walden was perfect in these conditions.

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Photo of kevanb
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. Enjoyed on 7.5.2014, reviewed from tasting journal.

The beer pours a cloudy, hazy, golden color, hues of orange and straw with a thick, white, soapy head with incredible lace and head retention. The aroma is bright, loads of floral and fruity hops, lightly tropical, nice citrus tang but there is plenty of doughy, soft, biscuity malt, pale and clean. The flavors mirror well, ample hops, very floral, very fruity, almost with a berry flavor, but plenty of citrus and tropical fruit, but the malt backbone is substantial, lots of pale, crisp, chewy malt, light and lightly sweet. It's wonderfully flavorful for such a sessionable beer, plenty of hop with enough malt balance, hard to find a better example of a session ale. The mouthfeel is great, a bit prickly from the carbonation but it carries a nice texture, coats the mouth well and finishes softly and lightly dry.

Verdict: A wonderful session ale, I'm hard pressed to find a more impactful and flavorful example of the style. Refreshing, balanced and quaffable, everything one could ask for. Yet another Hill Farmstead success.

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Photo of SABERG
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a fresh growler into an imperial pint glass on a really hot day!

A - Lemon drop haze, Great white lacing, fine tight foam cap.
S - Here is where this beer shines, Stunning floral hop display, fresh green, sharp citrus, lemon, white grape skin, summer air. Amazing nose
T - Follows the nose with a hop citrus profile, tight dry finish. Great blend of a delicate malt body and a refined hop experience. The sub 4% ABV makes for a little canvas that has painted a huge picture of flavor all over it.
M - The carbonation is spectacular, mid mouth is where the delight occurs. A fine body, leads to a delightful tongue tickle. Finish as mentioned has a dry quality, but a kiss of lemon tart is the capper.
O - The pursuit of the session blonde ale could end right here. A fine display of hops, light body, fine finish and reasonable ABV.
A real treat.


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Photo of cpetrone84
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pour is a pale hazy yellow with a bubbly white head. Nose is balanced, bready and light dough with fresh grain notes. Hops are soapy and citrusy afterwards. Taste is strongly balanced leaning towards the grain and malt bill. Bread, fresh grain, balanced hop, faint soapy, balanced citrus hop, gentle bitterness. Carbonation is great, body is light and airy with a semi dry finish. Could be a bit brighter but darn this is drinkable and balanced. Wish I had a keg every Saturday to day drink for hours.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden yellow color with nearly a finger of bright head, great lacing and retention. Smells of light lemony grass, grain, mild sweet malts and dry bitterness. Tastes essentially the same, dry lemony citrus hops, mildly grainy. Mediumish bodied or less, well carbonated, awesome feel. I thought this would be my least favorite in the tasting room, it was my second favorite (behind only S&S4)

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Photo of Skrip
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

A~ beautiful, glowing greenish yellow. minimal head and a tiny bit of lacing.

S~ great earthy pine up front followed by a little citrus and tons of bitterness from the hops.

T~ i love when HF uses Motueka hops! they really stick out here and make this an amazing sessionable pale. other than the somewhat incredible, indescribable Motueka theres the obvious citrus notes, lots of lemon, lime, and a tad of mango. all followed by nice Vermont field, grass fed bitterness.

M~ refreshing as can be! smooth and well carbonated!

O~ a lot of sessionable pales have been popping up this summer. which is definitely ok with me. out of what i've had (Song of Spring, Kane Ripple, and Carton Boat) this is probably my favorite. surely the smoothest of the 4 and not overly bitter like Boat gets after a while. the only problem is its not very available haha

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Photo of Damian
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at Lord Hobo, Cambridge, MA
Served in a cervoise

The beer poured a hazy yellow ochre. A one finger, creamy, bright white crown topped the liquid. Drippy curtains of lacing cascaded down the glass.

The nose was amazing. Super hoppy with intense fruity notes. Peach and apricot were most apparent. Tropical fruits, including mango and papaya, came through strong as well. Somewhat piney. Quite sweet. A touch of powdery yeastiness was also noticeable.

The flavor profile was solid, albeit more pithy and bitter than the nose. Quite hoppy with strong notes of resiny pine sap. Lots of lemony tartness. Slightly wheaty. A hint of mango came through as well. The beer was anchored by a subtle, pale malt backbone. The finish was resiny and quite bitter.

Compared to every other aspect of this beer, the mouthfeel was the only thing that seemed a bit disappointing. It was light and airy with an aggressive, large bubbled effervescence. Slightly creamy on the palate.

Classifying this beer an American blonde ale may be a bit ridiculous, but I am definitely not complaining. Walden truly pushes the limits of the style. I cannot remember the last time I had a 4% ABV beer with so much character.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml growler courtesy Ruth..Thanks!

Pours hazy straw with a thin head of white. Retention is short-lived with a few wisps on the surface for the duration and some errant dots of lacing.

Aromatics lead off with tropical hops and pine dew. Pears with hints of cut grass and forest floor.

Light bodied with a crispish mouthfeel. A bit thinnish.

Piney, fruity hops start the palate with minimal bitterness and zero malt. Shades of honey-drizzled biscuits with spruce-dewed peaches and pears follow through.

Finishes dry with lingering hops and what seems to be zero alcohol.

Very tasty session ale, but I prefer the hopping in Nelson more.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy yellow, nicely carbonated, one finger white head with some lacing.

S-Wheat, grass, lemon, then pleasant but mild tropical/citrus hops

T-Starts with wheat and lemon, with some grass. Very similar to a hoppy wheat. Ends with citrus and nice bitterness. Also some straw and spice.

M-Lighter, some carbonation, tad watery but nice hop resins.

O-Possibly the best session ale out there. Great balance, not too hoppy but at the same enough to satisfy hop heads.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-hazy golden color with a nice fluffy white head and great lacing

S-citrus, pine, bread, hint of sweetness

T-yeasty bread, citrus, pine, hint of tropical fruit, mild to moderate bitter finis

F-light to medium body with lively carbonation, crisp and refreshing

O-easy drinking ale, nice summer beer

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap into a shaker pint, the beer is a cloudy, bright, opaque, lemon-yellow coloring with a filmy, white, sparse head. Nose of lemon grass, pine resin, lemon and tangerine, and a subtle bitterness. Flavors of tangy sweet citrus, lemon-centric, with a grainy undertone. Bitter tail-end. Very light and crisp. The aftertaste is citrus and hoppy, with a semisweet, crisp finish. Extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Hendry
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml swing top growler filled one week ago today. Hazy yellow pour with a shiny pearl white two finger head. Lots of lacing inside the port glass.

Aroma is citrus & pine, prominent but not aggressive.

Taste starts out a tad piney,guava & grapefruit peel but drops off quickly with a saltine cracker finish,touch of wheat & yeast in there also.Alcohol undetectable.

Mouthfeel is the heavy side of light, almost a tad watery yet crisp. Mildly bitter finish is pleasant.

Wishing the flavors matched the nose a bit more, and with all the palate wrecking HFS varieties I've sampled recently, this one falls a bit short, yet not unexpected from the abv and "sessionability" angle. Worth trying overall, and an enjoyable blonde ale.

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Photo of Resuin
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL growler into a tulip. This growler was filled 6 days ago as of this review.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy, light honey/goldenrod color and leaves a fluffy white head of a finger or two.

Smell: Delicious smelling pine upfront, followed with some mild citrus, pineapple and wheat. Mouth-watering aroma.

Taste: Light pine upfront, followed by mango, citrus and a little wheat. Finishes a tad thin but with some nice piney flavor. No alcohol at all.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a nice light, fluffy body. Finishes a little watery, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Overall: An extremely delicious session ale. I could drink this all day, and that would be a terrific day because this little beer has a ton of flavor and its extremely delicious. The hop combination creates a wonderful flavor profile. A delicious hop juice.

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Photo of cbutova
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

July 7th notes from a nice afternoon Hill Farmstead growler share.

A- Poured from the 750ml growler into a few different pint glasses. Light golden body with plenty of yeast haze giving it a cloudy appearance. A creamy white head to about a finger with pretty good retention. Foamy ring leaves spotty lacing.

S- Pure hop aromas but more delicate than an IPA or even a heavily hopped pale ale. Very clean hop aromatics. Juicy tropical fruits like mango, passion fruit and peach come to mind as well as citrus, orange. Light malt sweetness and yeast bread backing it.

T- Follows the nose with those tropical fruit flavors, flavorful but not fatiguing the palate in any way. It still feels like a blonde but one packed full of hop flavors. Mango, passion fruit, peach, orange peel and floral notes. Light biscuit malt and American Ale yeast feel.

MF- Very light body with medium-high carbonation. Moderately-dry with just a hint of bitterness. Creamy and foamy body.

Feels very delicate but brings a ton of hop flavor to the table without a substantial bitterness. A session beer indeed.

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Walden from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.28 out of 5 based on 478 ratings.
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