Prolegomena | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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94
outstanding
218 Ratings
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ProlegomenaProlegomena
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by MasterSki on 04-25-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
218
Reviews:
28
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
8.33%
 
 
Wants:
166
Gots:
48
For Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 218 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of rjp217
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 7Sport
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dfhhead25
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BMart
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of yasky
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Segnem5
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Guzzle_McBrew
3.66/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of reebtaerG
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of amano_h
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mre0683
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Dicers
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of canadianghetto
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CAcker
4.68/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Jpepe08
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Rihup
4.71/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Respirologist
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of clay23
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kojevergas
4/5  rDev -7.4%
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)

 3,863 characters

Photo of Liquidswordz
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ArtZan
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.02/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tectactoe
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jfstilling
4.88/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of NateF90
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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Prolegomena from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.32 out of 5 based on 218 ratings.
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