Life Without Principle #1 | Hill Farmstead Brewery

21 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Life Without Principle #1 (we are big fans of Thoreau!) is the first in a series of Citrus inspired American Style Blonde Ales. #1 is brewed with 200 ICUS of Valencia Orange and complemented by several American hop varieties. The inaugural release was brewed with the help of our good friend Luc "Bim" Lafontaine, formerly of Dieu Du Ciel! in Montreal and now en route to Japan to open his new brewery.

Added by MasterSki on 08-06-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 67
Photo of yourefragile
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Harvest Festival.

Pours a clear, pale golden straw color with a fluffy thin white head. Nose of fruity orange zest, slightly bitter and grassy, but not much malt or anything else of note. Flavor is slightly grainy, grassy and filled with sweet malt and a strong citrus zest presence. Bitter and grassy finish. An impressive blonde ale, though I think Walden had a little more depth and the citrus added to this was almost too much for me.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.57/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL growler poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Nearly transparent yellow with a very brief head. Some wisps, but dull.

Smell - Light grapefruit hop and other citrus aromas. Almost nothing else. If I struggle I can almost imagine a touch of pale malt.

Taste - Grapefruit hop and bright citrus flavors. Pale malt more of a player here, but still light. Crisp and not at all bitter.

Mouthfeel - Very light, well carbonated. Very dry.

Overall - Yeah, it's a blonde ale. Not a lot to it, but as usual from Hill Farmstead it's beautifully crafted and technically perfect. This one's just a little less exciting than their other beers.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at HF Harvest Festival 2012 and poured into HF wine glass.

LWP#1 pours a mirky golden yellow color, white frothy head, spotty lace. Nose is citrus zest, grass, crisp bitter hops, and a touch of malty notes. Very much a hop-forward blonde, which I am really into. Flavor is straight forward grass, hops, citrus mixed with a touch of malts. Light body, good carbonation, clean hoppy finish.

A really nice sessionable hop-forward blonde we have here. I remember Shaun saying he wanted to redefine the Blonde Ale, and I think this beer certainly does this. Overall, just super-easy to drink and very enjoyable...great stuff.

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Photo of rmalinowski4
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml growler poured into a Bruery tulip. Thanks Urbancaver for the bottle.

Life Without Principle pours a pale golden straw color with a one finger fluffy white head. The head dissipates quickly leaving a small amount of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is light bready malt with a nice slice of orange. The orange comes through as the beer warms.

The taste is exactly as the smell. Light, crisp, clean malts with a big bite of orange. The finish is slightly bitter and lingers on the palate.

The mouthfeel is light with ample carbonation.

Overall, this beer is very nice. An easy drinking, low abv beer that is very refreshing and easy to drink. Another very solid beer from Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 2L swingtop growler filled at the brewery/ Poured into a pint glass. This has been kept chilled since it was filled.

Appearance: Really clear light blond in color. Pours a nice thick and creamy white head with nice retention. The lacing coats the glass very well.

Aroma: Some citrus and hop tones upfront. Really unique and interesting. The citrus tones amplify the citrus in the hop aromas. The malt tones are far in the background.

Taste: Light orange zest and citrus tones from the hops. There are some backing notes of vanilla and sweet malt. There is some bitter pine near the end that leaves a lingering bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and nicely carbonated. Very refreshing.

Overall, an interesting take on a blond ale, but it really feels more like a lightly malted IPA. The citrus and hops work pretty well together. A good beer but not near the best Hill Farmstead offers.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to GrumpyOldTroll for the share! Notes from 8/29.

a - clear straw yellow with a thin fizzy head that was gone quick. not much lacing to speak of.

s - there's that citra. smells fantastic. a blonde ale...really?

t - not really a better way to say it than...a hopped up blonde. big bitter finish.

m - soft and easy drinker but bitter finish. watery, but it is a blonde. very light.

o - wow, a hopped up blonde. what will they think of next? blone is a style i don't love, but the extreme hoppiness on this one helps make the style more digestible and enjoyable. blondes are usually boring to me, but this one had something unique about it.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this at Matt's birthday tasting last night. Thanks for sharing this, Matt!

Light yellow with a dense, white head that falls off to a ring quickly, leaving some lacing, this looks nice. The nose is excellent. Brilliantly fruity, citrusy and clean with a light stone fruit character with citrus zest. Light, there is no malt character present.

The palate opens bitter, zesty, fruity and a little green and grassy, mildly herbal too. Lemon, citrus fruitiness, citrus zest resin and bitterness/astringency are present. Drying and bitter on the finish with a zesty astringency, this beer is light in body, moderately carbonated, refreshing and sessionable. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of DaveHack
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler (3 days old) into a tulip.

Appearance is a very transparent golden color. Huge white, fluffy head.

Very bitter hop aroma dominates the scent.

First taste is sweet and slightly bready. It's followed up by a nice hop bitterness that follows through the rest of the taste.

It's light and refreshing. After each sip I wanted MOAR...

Overall up against other big hoppy beers, this would be merely average...BUT it isn't even in that class and it can still hang! This is why I feel this is a 5...Definately one to try...if you're expecting Epraim or Abner you will be disappointed, but if you go in expecting a low ABV, hopped up beer....WINNER!

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Photo of starrdogg
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris for sharing this one (even though I brought it back for him from VT).

Beer pours a non-descript light yellow with a medium white head. Smell is an awesome citrus with some light bready maltiness in there. Taste follows the smell but has a bit of graininess in the finish that throws me off a bit. Has a hint of orange peel as well. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with nice carbonation. This is a super tasty hoppy blonde ale and another winner from Hill Farmstead. It's not my favorite from them, but everything from these guys is awesome.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris for sharing this.

The beer is transparent and light, golden yellow hued with a small white head. The aroma is fantastic. Super hoppy and fresh. The flavor is perhaps a step down, but delicious nonetheless. Tropical fruits and citrus. Minimal malt presence. Light in body and poundable. Hill Farmstead strikes again.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler bottle shared thanks to raveskdr, thanks Chris.

The beer has a very nice look, some nice clingy lacing and a great gold look, one can almost see through it. Very clean look.

The smell is amazing, the valencia orange is amazing in this. Other citrus hop notes abound and some straw malt to balance it all out, very nice.

Very tasty, this isn't as hoppy or citrusy as the smell had projected, but has more of the almost lagerlike clean notes and grainy-ness, though the citrus of the orange is still very nice and elegant.

The feel is nice and has a great carbonation level, and medium feel.

Overall this is really nice, a really easy drinker that is really tasty! Would love this on a hot summer day, reminds me of drinking the awesome APAs like zombie dust.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a Hill Farmstead taster glass at the brewery.

Very clear looking beer, looks more like wine with that classic creamy white cap on a Farmstead beer. A real nice golden butter brass color body.

Nose is cough drop like lemon and herbal. Fruity citrus zest with a sense of candy store lemon drops and spice. Wonderful smelling.

Palate hits with lots of crisp sharpness and playful character. Lemon mixing in the mid palate, spritzy wine finish, fruity and citrus wine vinous character with lots of citrus like oil. Coating on the aftertaste.

Overall real impressive for a style I usually don't care for, never had a blonde ale that tasted anything close to this ever. Exceptionally well done.

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Photo of orangesol
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to j12601 on RB for bringing this growler to Campground Brewdown.

A - Pours clear straw yellow with a nice one finger tall white head leaving small trails of lace down parts of the glass.

S - Smells of citric fruit zest, pungent grassy hops and some bready pils malt. There is a lot of aroma packed into this small beer.

T - Starts off with a nice mix of grassy hops and fresh citric zest - mostly oranges - quickly giving way to some chewy pils malt. Finish is pretty bitter, lingering for a little while after the finish. Not overly balanced but still a very nice beer none the less.

M - Medium-Light body with moderate carbonation. Chewy, bitter feel that leaves the palate dried.

O - Not as good as Walden but I still really enjoyed this one. It packed plenty of flavor into a relatively small package. I hope this one is still one when I get up to the area, I would love to give it another go.

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Photo of Auror
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Consumed 8/16/12

Appearance- Light golden color. Pours with a large finger head.

Aroma- Tropical fruits, hops, orange, clementines, pine

Taste- Citra hops on the front of the tongue. Zest really kicks in, then a bit of a sweet orange flavor. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel- High carbonation, nice coating while still feeling light in the mouth.

Overall- I'm a big citrus guy, so I had high hopes heading into this one. Unfortunately I'm not a big bitter guy, and in the end I think there was a little too much zest. Hill Farmstead makes very good beers, and I think the construction of the beer is spot on, just the flavor profile off a bit off.

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Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Hill Farmstead stem, with a pasty white fluffy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace, with just a bit of lacing, a clear pilsner blond colored beer.

Nose brings a wallop of tropical fruit, mango, papaya, and a light musty passion fruit jump out at first, with some grapefruit, a light fluffy airy peach and tangerine, a hint of floral hops as well, a slight orange rind comes out as it warms. Just a touch of malt under.

Taste starts with lighter hops, fresh tasting hops, with a light floral flavor, and again citrus and tropical fruits, with tangerine being the strongest, with touches of grapefruit, peach, mango, and just a touch of musty passion fruit and resin. A light clean malt base washes it through quickly, with a bit more grapefruit coming out the more I swish it around my mouth. There is a light grassy noble hop flavor in the background as well that follows the fluffy malt base. Finish is drier and quite clean, just a touch of grapefruit and tropical fruit hops, and a bit more of the grassy noble hop lingering. Bitterness ramps slightly on the finish as it dries quite a bit.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall pretty good. More blond like than Walden, but less on the overall hops, and slightly lower on the totem pole, but still very tasty and amazing nose. A nice long bitter finsh as well.

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Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Black Back Pub. Light yellow and lacey. A new blonde,hoppy blond, yes with valencia orange.Medium mouthfeel, suitably carbonated.Well executed for what it is. Good though not exceptional creation.Refreshing, drinkable, but not something I want daily.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml growler filled in person at the Festival of Farmhouse Ales last Saturday. Shared with Brian (Auror) and DonFrap. Poured into HF tulip.

A- Pours a very light translucent yellowish gold, about a half finger of white head that quickly recedes to leave almost no head, slightly below average carbonation.

S- Lemon zest, orange peel, clementines, blonde malts, citrus hops. Definitely above average aroma strength, definitely very citrusy and more hops then your average blonde ale.

T- Lemon zest, orange peels, some clementines, slightly hoppy, finishes with some light malts. Definitely a lot of nice flavors going on here, but not exactly balanced as well as I would have liked. A little bit too much zest and too much of a citrus peel taste.

M- Light to medium bodied, nice carbonation, refreshing, finishes a little bit bitter and dry.

O- This was a pretty nice blonde ale, definitely better then most that I've had from the style however in terms of a Hill Farmstead beer (like most people I hold them to very high standards) it was a little bit of a disappointment, but a very good attempt at their first solo blonde ale. There were a lot of good things going on here (nice aromas, nice citrus tastes) however it was a little bit too zesty for me. I could drink this again, but I definitely prefer Walden over this. Looking forward to trying the other Life w/o Principles.

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Photo of Gushue3
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 Growler filled this weekend at the Farmhouse Fest.

A. Large White head forms and doesn't hang around too long. Beer is absolutely clear and looks like ginger ale and lots of carbonation jetting toward the top

S. big time sweet citrus, orange really dominates along with clementine.

T. Really light and easy to drink. Not as much citrus as the nose and quite a lot of pale malt. Slight bitterness toward the end and the finish is very clean and crisp. extremely easy to drink.

M. Very light and dry. Lots of carbonation on the tongue and a clean finish.

O. Tasty stuff bit not my first choice for a beer. This stuff would be great at a cookout or a hot setting.

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Photo of rudzud
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 2L growler of this at the Hill Farmstead Festival of Ales party. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear super light straw hue with a half a finger white head that doesnt really slump down, just kind of hangs around. Not nearly as nice of a head as their other blonde ale, Walden.

S - TONS of valencia orange jest and citra hops. Again, not quite as good as their other blonde, but man alive does this smell nice.

T - Mmmm...oranges. Getting alot of zest notes here along with great citra notes. Wonderful bitter finish. Quit tasty really. Almost doesnt drink like a beer.

M - Mouthfeel is more than exceptional here. Wonderful carbonation, bright, crisp, just jumps off the tongue.

O - Overall this was a tasty beer from Shaun. Love the orange, wish the appearance was better though as it was almost lack luster compared to most of their other beers.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale hazy gold, looks almost like a wit.

Exciting citrus aroma, though not sure I can really pick out the orange that I'm looking for.

Really fresh up front with crisp citrus. Clean grain through the middle and a quenching finish. Bitterness is restrained.

Huh. I was really looking out for a big hit of orange, but am not sure whether I picked up anything other than the citra. A really nice summer beer, not sure if a heavier orange punch would help or hinder.

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Photo of Kinsman
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 growler picked up at the brewery this afternoon. Pours a perfectly clear golden straw color with just a touch of thin white head. Overheard conversation at the brewery that this was not filtered but finings were used to clear the beer for it's blonde appearance.

Aroma is like a freshly peeled orange and at this point thats about it. Little room is left for a hint of the malts underneath to come through.

The orange flavor isn't quite as overpowering on the palate as it was one the aroma. Orange is certainly most notable flavor but touch of hops adds a little depth to it with a nice bitterness to round it out.

Mouthfeel is light and bubbly. Overall, L w/o P packs more orange/citrus punch then just about anything else out there. Serve this alongside you're breakfast stout with some eggs and bacon and you're in heaven.

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Life Without Principle #1 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.14 out of 5 based on 67 ratings.
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