Edith | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Edith (1897-1992) was our grandfather’s sister, and Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to her and her 13 siblings. In her honor, this black saison is crafted from American malted barley, German roasted malts, European hops, our farmhouse yeast, and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Edith.

Added by SFLpunk on 09-03-2010

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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 443
Photo of SomethingClever
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle poured into snifter.

A: Darkish brown caramel body with decent clarity. Head is a slightly off white Soapy big bubbled affair.

S: Light funk, lemons, light maltiness

T: More gradual sour funkiness nothing too sour and a light roasted malt character and slight bit of lemon.

M: Lighter with fairly high catbonation.

O: This is a great saison, but itsot mind blowingly good either. A little bit of a disappointment for how hard it is to get.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle served in my HF tulip. Bottled 09/27/2016. Pours one shade shy of black with a rocky, half inch, khaki-colored head embedded with tiny ringlets. Nose is complex, yet subtle - brett, vinous notes and a light grassiness. Nothing particularly dominates. Taste follows nose with the addition of some roast and chocolate malt. Mouthfeel is light in body with a pleasant, even carbonation. There's also a light oiliness and a slight astringency. Overall - I'm not a huge fan of dark sours. Those I do enjoy tend to be a little less subdued. All and all, not bad but not really what I'm looking for.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A visual contradiction. Pours out of the bottle looking like a porter - black body with a frothy head that stays for the full session. The aroma is all saison - brett funk, green apple, hay and lemon zest. The taste is a reconciliation of the two - funk, hay, tart apple, sour cherry, pepper and rich roasted malt. It works and it's delicious. Finishes crisp and dry.

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Photo of Marius
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Warpigs, pre-CBC. Very dark ruby. Tart smell, balsamic vinegar and fruits. Tastes sour and bitter-sweet, with notes of grapes, gooseberries, brewed coffee.

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Photo of imonhiatus
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

December 2015 bottle

a style I am not wild for but nicely executed w a soft tartness. opens up rat her nicely and is a crisp enjoyable winter saison.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A tart beeer with a lively balance of flavors. It's got the dryness and fruity flavors in a Saison with a moderate funk that I love. There dark malt imparts a sublte nuance of roast to the nose a flavor.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Umberto the day, thanks man.

This one pours a fairly dark brown-ish black, with a one inch head, and a bit of lacing.

This one smells like black cherry, chocolate, Brett, lemon, and citrus.

A black saison is pretty tough to pull off, but they nail this one, unsurprisingly. This has flavors of cherry and chocolate, lemony and funky Brett, a bit of citrus, and some slight grassiness from the hops. Not my favorite Hill Farmstead saison, but still quite good.

This is medium bodied, slightly creamy, with a normal level of carbonation.

Excellent stuff, as usual.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Bottled 11/2014. Served in a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

This bottle gushed. Hard. It was difficult to get the cap off, and as soon as there was a hole, brown head started gushing out, and kept doing so while I was trying to pry off the bottle cap. Whoops.

Pours a black body, three finger (whilst gushing) brown head, very nice retention, lots of lacing. Points taken off essentially for gushing. Smells of tart cherry, oak, roast, some dark chocolate, caramel, lemon zest, mild funk. Not too complicated, but pretty good. Pretty good. Flavour is a bit better and a more complex blend of tart cherry, dark chocolate, sweet caramel, lemon. It's a nice blend of tart fruit, roast and chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, substantial, creamy yet evanescent on the palate, leaving you with a nice lasting tart cherry finish. You could say it's the cherry on top. Overall, I did enjoy this beer quite a bit despite it being a major gusher, mostly because it's got a nice balance of tart/sour, sweet caramel and roast, with a mouthfeel to match.

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Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black saison is one of my least favorite beer styles and I generally avoid them. Yet, it comes as no surprise to me that Hill would be able to pull of this style. Other than the color, this smells and tastes like a classic Hill saison.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 03/28/13.

A: Pours a dark cola brown with a super frothy head that faded into a lasting fuzzy film leaving wispy lace down the glass. Very frothy carbonation really foamed up in the glass.
S: Smell is greasy, tart dark fruits, mildly sweet dark fruits, caramel, and dry tannins.
T: Very tart and acidic dark fruits and caramel mixed with mild chocolate. Like a tart Porter. Very tart and acidic. Dark fruits and cherries up front, mild sweetness and chocolate in the finish. Roasted aftertaste.
M: Frothy carbonation, drying mouthfeel with a balancing bit of greasy chew to it, medium body.
O: One of my least favorite HF beers overall, but as a standalone beer, it's a solid sour dark saision, albeit a bit over-carbonated.

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Photo of barczar
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly tart and sour aroma, with light funk and roast. Floral character adds complexity.

Flavor is lactic, with underlying roast and chocolate notes.

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Photo of Rutager
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

First of all, the biggest of thank you's to the man David for sending me the craziest box of HF I've ever seen. So awesome to drink this stuff on the west coast of Canada (though it seems to be a regular thing with all the beer bros in this town ;-) ).

Pours dark brown but thin looking for the colour (colour, go Canada and fuck you, spellcheck!). Near black in the (HF balloon ...montrealbcr89) glass. Two fingers of light khaki head.

Smell is dark toasty malts with dat hf signature mineral note ...which is a bit strange tbh. A light vinous note as well, again a bit strange with the other stuff.

Taste is much better. Like a nice hf saison, lemony tart but with a light roasty dark malt. Maybe not a combination that was born of starlight and rainbows, but not terrible by any means.

A bit below medium in body with soft and smooth, medium-strong carbonation.

Interesting and different but not the best beer ever made by these guys for me. The relativity must be considered here, of course. ;-)

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Photo of brentk56
3.72/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A slow gusher, but I didn't lose any beer; pours coffee brown with a buoyant beige head; rings of lacing

Smell: Tart and vinous; funky, with burnt toast and a hint of chocolate

Taste: Berry, burnt toast and chocolate tones, up front, with growing tart flavors building, charred, vinous flavors build underneath and, ultimately, dominate the finish; herbaceous elements in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I see a lot of reviewers saying this is a Brett beer but Brett alone would not account for the sourness here; I think there are other wild yeast things going on and, ultimately side with those who say that the combination of flavors that result does not produce a cohesive whole; glad to try it but would not likely seek it out again

Thanks, bittermestupid, for the opportunity

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Photo of cbutova
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second time around this block. Chico1985 shared a bottle generously a few months back.

A- Black bodied ale to many glasses at a meet up with a pale mocha head. Frothy and creamy cap dies over time to a hazy belt. One large web with plenty of drizzle.

S- Roasty grains rather prominent with some months on it with dark cocoa, coffee, slight char and heavily caramelized toasty sugars. Juxtaposition provided by semi tart farmhouse yeast with lemon and spicy tones.

T- Tartness becomes an integral part of the balance here and it acts to bring the roast influence down a bit. Hints now of cocoa, caramel, toasted nuts and roast barley. Hard to pick out obvious notes from the yeast but pepper, cooking herbs, lemon and vinous grapes come to mind.

MF- Dried out for the most part with a medium tartness and a silky, frothy consistency to the medium body. Carbonation lands on the high side.

Darker than the last time I had it seems but the blend of tart yeast and roastiness stands tall. Dark Saisons are always an interesting take on the style and throwing some tartness in actually works well for me.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 mL into a snifter.

A- mean lacing here. All over the glass. Khaki-colored head. Chewy. Beautiful dark brown body. 5

S- Tart, brett-y tartness, and some funk. Not much diversity on this nose. 4

T- Maaan, tasty. Roast-y, lemony, tart, with a lingering touch of coffee. Very rich in taste while still light. 4.25

M- Light and refreshing and so easy to drink. Tart but in a pleasant way. 4.5

Excellent. Really like the dark roast flavor contrasted with tartness.

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours like a cross between a saison and a brown ale. The body is deep brown and close to black. The carb is on point and quite pillowy. The smell is very funky with some aged cheddar notes as well as hay. The taste is on the high end of tartness for a saison. The mouthfeel is very smooth and carbed well. The mid palate is murky almost soil-like. It's a challenging beer in terms of style and flavor. I'd suggest sharing the bottle if you haven't had the style previously.

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Photo of cvm4
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle date Nov. 2014

L - Pours a dark, watery, brown color with a tan one finger head. Good lacing and retention.

S - Lots of brett going on here with a smattering of lemon juice and dark malts.

T - Nice tart sour fruits of lemons, strawberries and apricots. Light dark malts to give it some base. The end has a light hop bitterness. Such a simple, straightforward taste.

F - Light bodied and medium carbonation. Has a dry finish. The body really lets the flavors dance around.

O - Such an odd specimen this dark saison is. It is a confusing style as your mind thinks one thing and the taste is completely different. I'd gladly take a few more of these.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Medium brown pour that settles into the glass with a dark brown body and a light tan head. Lots of sticky head residue all over the glass. Aroma includes roasted malt, sour funk, some earthy cocoa, and hints of white grape. Very complex nose. I was expecting dark roastiness to dominate with some peppery flavors mixed in, but this one has a prominent sour component to it. More like a dark sour with lots of earthiness, hints of cocoa, earthiness and pepper. Medium-high carbonation with a medium body. I'm not huge on dark saisons, but this one is a whole other animal. Huge flavor and tartness, which makes this more than just a standard dark saison.

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Photo of dbrese
3.04/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Just to clarify for anyone reading about infections in this beer, it isn't. Hill Farmstead Saisons are typically tart to sour and always funky. That being said, I found that the dark malts did not work for my palette along with the citrus, fruit, and herbal aromas from the yeast. It just never came together as a cohesive beer for me. It was an interesting challenge to finish the glass because I wanted to study and experience the beer due to all the praise it has received, but I think this would be better without some of the conflicting flavors such as the dark chocolate bitterness I tasted in the finish with the acid. It does get better at room temp, but it is not my cup of tea, er, beer.

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Photo of Hab11
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed with Three Lions from a 750 ml. 6.5 ABV.
Look: Very dark indeed, rich dark brown with a almost Kahlua like head, no sorry more like Bailey's. Actually looks a lot like a completely settled Guinness. Nice lacing!
Smell: Brett!...That is all!! Maybe just maybe a hint of lemon. Three Lions is getting Chocolate. I'm not and its the same bottle. Either the color is tricking his brain or my nose is missing something. I'll bet on the latter! After burying my nose in the glass I found it. Really hidden by the Brett. Another fruit going on maybe a combo because I just can't place it.
taste: not sure what I think about this. It's super funky and finishes with a smoked slightly burnt wet expensive coffee ground taste. It's the inbetween that has me confused. You know what there is no middle. Fruits up front Lemon, apricot, peach, some plumb, pluot? Malted bitterness at the end. I can't pan it. It's not terrible at all but I just don't get it.
Feel: It's exceptional! I think it nails it. Good zest, good finish. I think this beer proves Shaun is a Jedi! This beer makes no sense but I would take two more for the feel alone. Even after sometime away my mouth feels like I was eating candy at campfire. I think he enjoys fucking with us! To that I say Cheers because you can!
Overall: my overall # is less than the sum of the parts. Why? Well I just don't get it. I'll by it again just to see it's either mad scientist or a fluke! I'm betting the former. The beer is really not for me hence the lower overall but it hit what I think he was going for.

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Photo of ThreeLions
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with Hab11.
Appearance: Well...as it was pouring out of the bottle this beer looked rather thin and light. Now that it is In the glass it appears quote dark and not thin at all. Very nice one and a half finger head that quickly dissipates to a lingering quarter finger head. Excellent carbonation. Had been warned about these bottles being gushes but I had no problem thankfully. Really nice lacing left behind by all that carbonation.
Smell: well there's brett. There's brett and then some more brett. Then there's chocolate. Lemons, funk, chocolate. Okay then. Interesting style. Haven't had a dark saison before. Some dark fruits like plums or cherries mixed in with stone fruit like apricots. Quite complex.
Taste: Umm what? My first reaction was 'I don't like it.' This is just plain weird. For what it is, a dark saison, I think it is very well done but I definitely don't care for the style. Sour fruity chocolate? Is that a thing? Stone fruit sweet/tart with a bitter chocolate finish. What is going on? My taste buds and brain are confused. If there were no chocolate malts or barley this would be an incredible saison. I don't care for this. How do I rate it though? It's very well done but I don't want to drink the rest of my glass.
Feel: hmm. I puckered which is a good result for a brett beer. Great carbonation. Not thin but not chewy. The mouth on this beer is the only part of this beer that makes sense to me.
Overall: it's going to be hard to rate this beer and not the style. Overall I simply don't get it. I really like stouts and I would drink brett saisons all day buy I don't see the need to mix them. It's like a black ipa...why? I don't get it. Would I guy this again? Nope. If you happen to like the style though I think it was extremely well crafted. No off flavors or anything like that. Shaun produced most likely what he set out to make but it's not for me. Damn I just looked at my glass and realize that I have well over half left. Time to man up and get ready for the next one.

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Photo of Skeeter1330
2/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.75

Honestly, if Hill Farmstead didn't make it, say Sierra Nevada did, would people think it's that great? It's an odd combo that doesn't taste or finish well IMO

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Photo of Chico1985
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at the Hill itself a couple weeks ago. Label lists bottling date as 11-2014 and the ABV at 6.5%. Split at a tasting and reviewed from notes.

A - Slight gusher when opened. Dark brown/pretty much black pour. Beige head puffs up to a couple fingers, eventually reducing to a thick ring and spotty cap.

S - Tart dark+light fruits, brett, farmy must. Kinda simple but expected/good as usual HF saison, really not getting much 'dark'ness here though.

T - Some slight roast and chocolate now noticeable but really not much going on for dark qualities. Farmy lactic tartness, still brings an interesting mix of bretty light fruits (lemon, peach, apple) and dark fruits that are reminiscent of red wine grapes. Good oak barrel, farmy yeasts and brett.

M - Kinda big-feeling body, good carbonation, decent tart brett presence without overpowering.

O - The 'dark' roast/chocolate flavors are kept subtle which is probably for the best, other than that this is pretty standard HF saison fare - not a bad thing but this doesn't really come off as standout, other than the fact that it is a solid (the only solid?) example of a dark bretty farmhouse ale.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle sealed with pressure cap.

bottle date of 11/2014.

poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: black bodied beer with light beige / khaki colored head. Fantastic retention is displayed with a lingering head on top of the black bodied beer. Creamy and silky looking head on the beer. Eventually, the beer drops down to a thin cap and some spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: chocolatey and smokey malts that have a pretty big presence in the nose; contributing a moderate sweetness. Fruity and slightly spicy yeast that brings loads of dark fruits like that of a malty belgian dark strong ale. This has alot of mineral character and earthiness. Hint of leather and oak. This beer has a nose that is very complex and layered; very aeromatic and pleasing. I have never smelt anything like this it is very interesting. I could smell beer this all day long.

Taste: What hell just happened? Every sip I anticipate tasting some sweet malts, but the sweetness is no where to be found, it is almost like trickery of my senses. I expect a moderatly sweet saison judging by the nose, but the sweetness just isnt there in the flavor profile. The sweetness that should be there is dominated by the tartness found in the beer. This beer has a mild almost moderate tartness that tastes like red grapes, berries, cherries, with a decent dose of lemon and citrusy character. Lots of tannins, oak, and signature Hill Farmstead funk. The funk is slightly leathery, earthy, it also has a hint of fruity esters. Hint of smoke and slight roast in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation levels. Nice creamy carbonation. Very drinkable which is a surprise considering how robust the aroma and flavor profiles are of this beer. As this beer warms up the body thins slightly and the carbonation goes from creamy to silky.

Overall: This black saison is so different and unique than any saison that I have had. I have only tried a handful of black saisons, but this is a very memorable beer for sure. It is just like a saison, an oude bruin, and a malty dark belgian ale got rolled into a single beer. Then the brett in the beer makes the mouthfeel absolutely outstanding. Edith is probably my favorite black saison that I have drank; Saint Somewhere Surge being in close in second place compared to Edith. Such an original and creative beer; Shawn Hill is a master of brewing beers like this!

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Photo of dar482
4.64/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a dark brown to black color.

The aroma is complex of berry forward red wine, tart black cherry, a touch of balsamic, roasted malt sweetness.

The flavor follows with that tart cranberry juice and cherry note up front. However, it's restrained and towards medium tartness. The middle has a handful of blackberry, raspberry, all kinds of slightly tart and sweet berries. Then onto a surprisingly robust roasted character with cocoa, milk chocolate, and even towards the richness of heavy roasted coffee or charcoal.

I really enjoy this "sour porter/stout" style. This is one of the best I've had. It tastes maybe in between an oud bruin and a porter. This is exceptionally interesting and delicious as a full palate experience.

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Edith from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.05 out of 5 based on 443 ratings.
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