Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Sour - Flanders Red Ale
4.34 | pDev: 8.06%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Prolegomena is our interpretation of the Flanders Red Ale - the Burgundy of Flanders, Belgium. In April 2011, we brewed out version of this classic style with the help of our friend Will Meyers. The beer has aged gracefully in oak barrels for more than two years, all the while slowly developing acidity and various layers of complexity and from the introduction of wild yeast and bacteria.
Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 219 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Unbranded pry-off pressure cap. Appealing simple label art.

Acquired: Via a trade orchestrated by a friend in my tasting group; thanks, Collins!

Reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Vintage: ?
ABV: 8.5%
Style: Flanders red ale (per the label).
Serving temp: Cold. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption.
Serving vessel: Tulip.
Expectations: Sky-high given the style and brewery. I believe this is my first Hill Farmstead sour, and this style might be my favourite type of sour.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~1 finger wide. Adequate creaminess. Great thickness. Leaves no lacing as it recedes. Soft-looking.

Retention: Average. ~2 minutes.

BODY: Oddly, it looks like more of a caramel-brown than a deep red to me. No yeasty muck is visible.

It's a nice-looking beer in general, but doesn't nail the flanders red appearance at all.

AROMA: Has a nice tartness, with notes of tart cherry and cherry pie filling. I dig the pie crust. It's not as acetic as say, Rodenbach's best offerings, but it's adequate. Faint cream.

The barrel character is understated, subtly teasing out the mild sourness with hints of oak, and to a lesser extent, red wine.

I think I'm finding some fresh orchard red apple as well. Granny smith apple? It's crisp and inviting. Maybe a kiss of brown sugar in there too?

Aromatic intensity: mild.

The cherry pie crust is seductive, and the tartness right on the money for the style. Seems only modestly sour - maybe 3-4/10 in terms of intensity. In any case, this is mouthwatering and near perfect for the style. Brilliant.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: The red apple is a nice touch, blending well with the cherry pie filling I love so much about this beer. The pie crust notes are set off beautifully by the hint of brown sugar - another note you don't find in many traditional offerings in the style. Not quite as acetic as I'd like, but it's there.

Contrary to the best traditional offerings in the style, it has a younger more crisp taste instead of an obviously aged expression of flavour - which probably contributes to the understateness of its acetic character as well as the absence of much in terms of vinegary flavour.

Depth of flavour: Very good.
Flavour duration: Good.
Flavour intensity: Apt but modest.
Flavour amplitude: Great.

Sourness is a style-appropriate 3-4/10, but I'd like to see it dialed up a bit along with the tartness.

This build nails the fundamentals, hitting the cherry pie and acetic one-two punch of a great Flanders red beautifully. Its balance is stellar, and there's ample subtlety and here. What's impressive is its unique nuances, particularly in terms of the expressive brown sugar and apple.

Very cohesive. Certainly a gestalt beer, with plenty to offer the discerning drinker.

Constructively, the oak barrel is rather reticent. Still, the red wine lends this a nice subtle undertone of dry blackberry and a kiss of tannins.

TEXTURE: It's a bit thin on the palate, with inadequate body and presence. Needs a fuller body, a softer feel, and more of a refreshing smoothness and wetness. But it's near perfectly carbonated. Perfect acidity, coaxing out those crisp red apple notes and evoking apple skin.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

There's not a harmony of texture to taste, but it complements it nicely.

OVERALL: One of the best American-brewed Flanders Red Ales I've had. Its uniqueness will impress the discerning drinker, and it's absolutely worth trying. This is more great work from Hill Farmstead, but it still fails to surpass the traditional paragons of the style (e.g. Rodenbach Caractere Rouge). I could drink this by the growler, and already want more.

High B+ (4.0)

Apr 17, 2015
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nickfl from Florida

4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Acidic aroma of tart cherry preserves and red wine with a touch of caramel in the background. The flavor is milder, with a rounder acidity than the aroma would imply with the same dark sugar and fruit notes as in the nose. Like that acidity, the sweetness is a bit less pronounced than in some examples of the style and it balances nicely. Complex, balanced, and subtle this is perhaps the first HF beer that I have had that fully lives up to their substantial reputation, and it is one of the best beers I have had in quite a while.

Feb 11, 2015
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IrishColonial from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

What the hell, let's do a review.

A: dark, rich plum and cherry, nice two finger head dissipates nicely into a creamy ring, some yeast settles at the bottom but that is my faulty pour
S: like an oaky sangria; citrus, tart apple, red wine; a layer of sweet cherry rides atop the rest
T: very vinous and tannic, the barrel really shines in this one. The taste is rich with tart apple and cherry, hints of bitter orange zest and oaky red wine barrels. The finish is a bit medicinal and vinegary.
M: very full bodied, again like a red wine; the carb is nice and keeps it from becoming cloying and syrupy.
O: this is one of the best Flemish Reds I have ever had. After wandering in the wilderness for many years hating sours, it has become one of my favorite categories and Flemish Reds/Browns my favorite style of the sour family. That hint of Robitussin on the finish makes me shudder but the rest is excellent. Well done.

Aug 23, 2014
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M-Fox24 from New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: A dark elegant burgundy, reddish appearance with a tan/brownish off-white head and some decent retention

S: A stimulating complexity with notes of oak, lemon, cherry, vanilla, dates, leather, grapes & raspberries

T: Enjoyable to say the least: the wine essence; the malty oak; the subtle tartness in the fruit. A particularly well balanced Flanders ale

M: Has a light to medium body with little ABV presence and decent carbonation; not too dry & not too sweet

O: Great representation of the style. Would recommend and would most certainly drink again

Jul 15, 2014
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4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle sealed with silver pressure cap.

poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: deep red almost mahogany bodied beer. 2 fingers of tan head that eventually drops down to a thin cap. Spotty lacing left behind on the glass.

Smell: Fairly malty, sweet cherries. Lots and lots of oak and vanilla. Hint of red wine.

Taste: Mild tartness. Mild sweetness in the form of cherry notes. Lots of tannins and lots of oak. Hint of vanilla and port wine in the finish.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer which is a suprise to me. Normally a flanders red and a light bodied sour are not found together like it is in this beer. Creamy mouthfeel. Not boozy at all.

Overall: A surprisingly mellow sourness to this flander red. This is one of the best Flanders Red that I have had. Not much Port wine influence, but just enough so that you know that its there. Another great brew by Hill Farmstead. An excellant mouthfeel with this beer.

Jun 25, 2014
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Resuin from Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a stemmed glass. This was brewed in April 2011 and released in June 2013 after over 2 years of barrel aging.

Appearance: Pours a medium to dark brown with a reddish hue and leaves a finger of tan head that fades slowly to a layer atop the beer.

Smell: Big raspberries, strawberries, mild funk, oak, black cherry, hint of leather and vinegar. Well balanced, nice aroma.

Taste: Leather, raspberry & strawberry, tart cherries, oak. Really big wine influence. Quite well balanced with all the flavors mixing nicely together. The sour is light but present.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a nice, medium to heavy body. Fits the style really well. Finishes a tad dry, but is more sweet than dry.

Overall: A very good representation of a Flanders Red. Nice leathery, fruity notes along with just a bit of sour and funk. A tasty brew.

Jun 10, 2014
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TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a deep reddish brown colour with a thin layer of dirty cream coloured head.

S - Lots of oak and cherry notes in the nose. Some caramel and grape aromas are also present.

T - A massive oak presence with tart cherries, grape, caramel and even a bit of a toasted wood presence. Tart, but not sour. The ABV provides the perfect compliment to the natural sweetness.

M - Medium body. Dry. Moderate carbonation.

Feb 23, 2014
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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is dark copper brown with a thin tight tan head. Nose has a hint of dark malt base with some sawdust and sour cherry. Taste is similar, a little watery and less bright than the nose. There is a stronger dark malt component than a normal Flanders red, fairly sour with notes of tart sour cherry but a bit thin in flavor through the finish. Very strong carbonation on a lighter body. No glaring flaws, not acetic at all but not bright and a bit watery.

Feb 10, 2014
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rlee1390 from Indiana

4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, clear deep amber, one finger slightly off white head that tries to leave some lacing.

S-Oak, funk, cherries, other sweet fruit, grapes.

T-More tart than sour, rather sweet with cherries, grapes and other fruit flavors, some caramel as well.

M-Medium to lighter in body, slight carbontation.

O-An amazing sour. What a good beer. Sean Hill can do no wrong!

Jan 31, 2014
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jaasen64 from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into HF over-sized stemmed wine glass. Flander's style beer aged in port and wine barrels for over two years, brewed in collaboration with Will Myers from Cambridge Brewing Company.

A- Pours a dark opaque purplish/brownish black, a little over a finger's worth of frothy bubbly slightly off-white slightly brownish beige head forms that has excellent retention slowly receding to a thin layer coating the glass with lacing, decent amount of carbonation with a very nice consistency.

S- Dark fruits, big grape notes, plums, lightly tart cherries, vinous qualities, raisins, dates, a bit of earthiness, hints of leather, oak, and a nice port balance. Overall nice slightly sweet fruity presence balanced with a faint tartness and well integrated port, decent aroma strength with nice complexity.

T- Tartness comes out a little bit more with lightly tart cherries, vinous grapes, earthiness, plums, dates, balanced malts, nice balanced port presence that brings out the fruit flavors from the flanders nicely. Lightly sweet, complex, subtle tartness, nice barrel presence.

M- Medium bodied, slightly acidic that tingles the mouth, a bit over-carbonated at first but after letting sit it's just right, very drinkable.

O- This was a very nice unique take on a Flander's. There aren't many breweries that make use of port barrels and I like how the port brought out a little bit more of the vinous dark fruit qualities of the beer while adding a nice barrel presence. I wish I had another bottle to experiment with cellaring for another year or two.

Jan 26, 2014
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375ml bottle from the recent 2013 release. Poured into a GLBC snifter today, 1/12/2014.

Pours a dark ruby-burgundy-mahogany (pick one) body, small amount of white head that dissipates quickly into a thin collar. Not much lacing to speak of. Looks like a typical Flanders Red.

Smells interesting. It does smell like a Flanders Red, but there is something particularly different about it- it's tarter and dry in the nose, like a red wine almost. Some oak, vinegar and cherries are there as well.

Flavour profile is mostly oak, cherries and a good bit of lactate and vinegar. Sourness is about 4/10. The finish reminds me of a red wine- tart and dry. Very strong flavours, depth and complexity in comparison to others.

Good mouthfeel- medium bodied, good carbonation. A sipper still. Aftertaste is a oakey cherry flavour that sticks for quite a while.

Decent Flanders Red. There was something odd about this one that is different from the others I've had. It might be the strong dryness on the backend that threw me off. Still, this is a well-put together beer that may interest you if you enjoy the Flanders Red style.

Jan 13, 2014
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vonnegut21 from New York

4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml poured into a HF wine glass.

A: Deep ruby-mahogany. A finger or so of creamy white head that dissipates quickly. Lots of glass lacing.

S: Oak, vinegar, grapeskin and overripe cherry. Lots of oak and acidity.

T: Mild and delicate at first. Light oak, cherry and musty notes. Huge acid and malt vinegar on the back end. Very deep and complex, but almost overpowering vinegar on the finish. No alcohol detectable.

M: Effervescent and clean. Crisp.

O: A very solid flanders red. Quite possibly the best American attempt at the style I've had. Much more depth and complexity than something like Oude Tart, but lacking in that refreshing cherry acidity that beers like Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge possess. A nice beer. Glad to have another to sample in time.

Nov 13, 2013
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SpeedwayJim from New York

4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to Kyle for this one. 375ml bottle into Hill Farmstead stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a rich, 2 finger cream colored head with great retention. Beer is a clear, dark red, mahogany. Lacing is thick and layered with excellent stick. A great looking brew.

Nose is tart cherry puree, oak and peat. Deep and aromatic. Subtly sweet. Decent.

Opens tart cherry, vinous and oaky. Vinegar, rotting wood, leather, tart red fruit in the middle. Acidic as hell towards the end. Cherry pit and skin mixed with oak, moss, and peat. Finishes vinegar and more red fruit puree. Tart aftertaste. Awesome.

Light to medium bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and goes down acidic and abrasive. Finish dry and puckering with a lingering, sticky dry aftertaste. Very nice.

The first iteration of a Flanders Red Ale I've had from Hill Farmstead and its predictably awesome. Great flavor, excellent feel, and a nose and appearance that ties everything together. Very good.

Nov 02, 2013
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SadMachine from New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a reddish brown with ruby hues around the edges and a finger of off-white head that retains well and leaves good lacing.

S- Wow! Wonderful aroma of tart cherries, red wine vinegar, oak, merlot and port. Some granny smith apple, molasses, caramel, and some earthiness as well. A very complex nose on this one!

T- The taste is similar to the aroma, though some flavors are not as pronounced as expected. There is a noticeable boozy presence that isn't in the nose at all. A ton of barrel character and tart apple on the front end. Only a touch of the cherries can be found, with a bit of acidity and earthy funk. Some red wine characteristics come through as well. This is extremely complex, though I wish some of the flavors were a bit less subtle.

M- The mouthfeel is excellent, smooth, somewhat creamy, with a bit of carbonation and booze at the finish.

O- Overall a very complex flanders red that I can't wait to try again with a year or more on it!

p.s. After dumping the yeast from the bottom of the bottle in the flavor improved noticeably.

Sep 01, 2013
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared with rudzud.

Nice creamy thick but small head, lacing galore, super murky slime brown color. The ugly color makes it hard to give a good rating, but the head is so nice for an 8.6% beer... tough choice.

Nice Flanders aroma, nice sour malt aroma, almost tart berry like, sweet syrupy brown malts with molasses like, fermented candy sugar toasty brown malt, all soured, light yeasty aroma, but if an earthy woody like aroma, light acidity on the nose even.

Taste starts creamy and sour, big soured malt, tart berry like and bit tannic berry seed, touch sour cherry. Also brown malts, little toasty, caramel, molasses like but syrupy sweet with mild warming booze, again all soured. some malt vinegar and acidity, little yeasty too. Finish is sticky semi sweet but drier, little flemmy, bit of a sweet brown sugar and bitter tannic sour earthy root flavor, and light make vinegar lingering.

Mouth is med bod, nice carb, light warming booze light tingly acidity, little flemmy and little syrupy.

Overall quite nice to start, nice nose, nice initial flavor, but the finish gets a little icky.

Aug 10, 2013
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split with JLindros, poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Poured a murky, deep brown with a nice one finger tan head that fades to give nice side lacing and a thick blanket, very good.

S - Aromas of nice malts, sweet and sour notes, really nice flander notes, faint sweet fruits, sour cherry.

T - Taste is nicely sour and tart, light vanilla, faint chocolate, light almost metallic finish, slightly bitter dark sugars. Strong tannic/barrel notes really lend to an almost unpleasant finish. It's not bad, fairly straight forward.

M - Mouthfeel is really nice, light carbonation, very drinkable.

O - Overall not a bad beer, fairly straight forward. Not a fan of the finish.

Aug 09, 2013
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AdamF625 from Massachusetts

4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- pours a brown/ruby color, tall fizzy tan head
S- grapes, red wine, plums, cherries
T- dark fruits, oak, tart cherries, slight acidity.
M- thin to medium body with generous carbonation, warm alcohol, crisp and clean finish. A bit dry but pleasant.
O- honestly I have not had many Flanders red's so I don't have much to compare to, but it was surprisingly drinkable and tart. No harshness at all with a subtle oak dryness.

Aug 07, 2013
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul.

The beer is mahogany to crimson colored with a thin collar. Aromas of oak, cherries, vinegar, plums, wine. Very nice. The flavor follows suit, with sour cherries and an overall acetic character. Vinous and lightly sweet. Grapes and cherries. Some musty oak. An outstanding representation of the style. Delicious.

Jul 30, 2013
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facesnorth from Pennsylvania

4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was a great beer. I missed the bottle release and a buddy of mine brought home 2 bottles and I had to trade him some pretty good stuff to get one. And I was not disappointed. Funny thing was when I went up for the M&C#1-2 & CD#6 release, a dude on the line said everybody was disappointed with this one. Well not sure what happened there but this is one great beer! Man did I enjoy it. Anyway enough story telling.

I wouldn't say I'm an expert on the style but I loved Cuvee des Jacobins. I'm not quite sure the difference between Flanders, Flemish, Red, Brown. But I didn't like their Bellegems Bruin. I also didn't like Ichtegem's Grand Cru. Other than this I'm a huge fan of sours in general. And this one definitely delivered.

What can I say, the taste of tart cherries sat on my palette for a half hour after I finished the beer. i couldn't stop thinking about it. The only thing I could possibly follow it up with was an Elaborative #1. there was nothing else in my cellar that would do it justice after this.

Jul 19, 2013
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TotallyHosed from Illinois

4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 375ml bottle. Released June 5, 2013. Thanks to zach60614 for a reasonable trade.

Pours with a thick foam head. The head is tan in color and rests easy at a finger. Lots of lacing is left on the glass. The brew is a dark brown-red and hazy. Very little to no light passes through the glass. It's not possible to make this look any better.

The nose is dominated by sweet and tart cherries. There are hints of vanilla and plum. The nose is complex, but the aromas all meld very well together.

The flavor is tart and slightly sweet. It is like a combination of sweet raspberries and tart cherries. The tartness is not overwhelming. Supporting the tart fruits is a mellow barrel character. The barrel provides just a bit of tannin and very subtle vanilla flavor. The alcohol is present, but well integrated and mellowed with age.

The feel is prickly with carbonation at the start. Medium bodied and somewhat slick. Coats the mouth nicely.

Overall, this is an excellent example of the style. I'm very impressed by how well the nose and flavor is balanced. I assume there was some blending involved, if so, it was done masterfully. The appearance is gorgeous due to the dark color and head that won't recede. How the alcohol has mellowed and integrated with the flavors is especially impressive. In my opinion, I would not age this brew. It's already spent two years in barrels and is ready to enjoy now.

Jul 19, 2013
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TychoNDC from Colorado

4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

My first Hill Farmstead bottle release and my first full review! Gonna keep things short and sweet, as this beer was an all around delight.

375 ml bottle poured into HF stemware.

A- Dark caramel with a rich burgundy hue. Much darker than I had expected, but the color comes through in the right lighting. Delicate lacing and a thin light head provocative of that classic Hill Farmstead carbonation.

S- Tart cherries, spice, and oak in that order. Earthy and acidic, but not overpowering; the balance is that of a wonderful medium roast coffee.

T- Sour cherries with a touch of acid and some funk. The cherry profile lingers even as the oak takes charge. A touch of sweetness to balance out the carbonation. Is there really alcohol in this? You could have fooled me...the tartness and acid completely covers any hint of booze. No soy sauce in this one.

M- Medium body with a carbonated backbone that really lightens the profile of the beer, making it almost delicate across your tongue. As a result, its incredibly smooth to drink despite the tartness.

O- Full disclosure, I've only had a handful of Flanders Red Ales in my time. This one is by far the most balanced and easiest to drink of the style, despite being the strongest. The oak really shines. Prolegomena is another fantastic beer from Hill Farmstead.

Jul 12, 2013
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MDDMD from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-tan burgundy color with a nice light tan head and good lacing

S-sour cherries, oak, musty, earthy, spices

T-sour cherries, oak, hints of brown sugar and dark fruit, slight funky character

F-medium body with nice lively carbonation, crisp and tart

O-the flavors in this beer were unique and complex, really like this style

Jul 06, 2013
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justforrazors from Missouri

4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed while drinking, 7/5/13, poured full bottle minus 1 oz and yeast into a HF wine glass.

A- Pours a brilliant crimson red with a long lasting 1 inch beige head. Appears to have excellent retention and lacing. Carbonation appears to be high off the bat, also evidenced by the mini-gush, although all the beer stayed in the bottle until I chose to pour it. Surprisingly good clarity for a beer of this color. While the foam recedes slightly throughout the glass, a decent layer covers the beer until the very end.

S- Tart cherries, lemon, and some barnyard funk are apparent right up front. There is some pleasant lactic acidity hidden behind the oak aroma. This beer smells inviting, I've been sitting here simply smelling it for the last 5 minutes, I guess it is time to taste!

T- From the nose, I was expecting an almost overwhelming level of acidity, although this seems to be extremely well balanced between the two. There is a small amount of acidity before you swallow, but afterward your palate is taken over by a musty funk mixed with cherry and a strong oak flavor. A characteristic Hill Farmstead yeast character joins the rest to tie it all together. As the beer begins to warm, a lemon note is also present, although very subtle. The alcohol level is virtually unpredictable, I would guess around 5% if I didn't know better.

M- Low to medium mouthfeel with high carbonation. I think it may be slightly overcarbed, although it works. As soon as you swallow, the acid and oak mesh to leave a tannic and sour dryness that lingers for several minutes, although it isn't so dry that you are left feeling parched.

O- I am trying to be critical of this, but it is difficult to do so. Prolegomena is a well-made beer that is ready to drink right this second. There is a perfect balance between the acid and funk that makes this beer dangerously drinkable. I've found with some beers from this style, a 4 ounce pour is more than enough. I could easily drink a bomber of this by myself, and would only be detoured from continuing by the alcohol content. Another home run from Shaun and crew!

Jul 06, 2013
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.65/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Murky reddish brown. Nice khaki head. Great surface retention.

Smell - Hint of acetic acid. Dark malts. Some cherry.

Taste - More sour. Much more cherry. Oaky. Kinda chalky. Sourness lingers. Very dry.

Mouthfeel - Almost too dry. Moderate sourness. Well carbonated.

Overall - Decent flanders. A little too dry for me.

Jul 02, 2013
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Skrip from New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

A~ very dark red that shimmers in the light. nice head and no lacing at all.

S~ a lot of sweetness going on here. tart cherrys, cherry pie, some plums, molases, and brown sugar. all followed by a wonderful abundance of oak.

T~ pretty much follows the noise, extremely close to biting into a piece of cherry pie, with unripe tart cherries. also very close to Griffon Brux but obviously not as sour (that is seriously the most sour brew i have ever had) definitely more spices on the palet as well, brown sugar once again, cinnamon, and tad of nutmeg. yup... its a pie! lol all followed by amazing wine barrel oak funk, that is just all around amazing! oh and not even a hint of booze.

M~ extremely smooth, and nicely carbonated which is to be expected from HF. also some honey like thickness.

O~ all around perfect 4. not the best Flanders Red i've ever had but i love the spices that come out even if they may not really be there. not overly tart which is nice as well in this type of brew and a lot of barrel characteristics that HF seems to be really good at with their wild ales. now that its getting warmer i'm boosting the "taste" up a bit, so yeah... let it warm up quite a bit.

Jun 20, 2013
Prolegomena from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 219 ratings