Prolegomena | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

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.

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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 217
Photo of NuclearRich
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

poured into a HF stemmed snifter (oversized wineglass)

A. Pours a murky brown with deep red and purple tints. Very dark and opaque. Light colored head forms but fades rapidly, with just the faintest of a collar of bubbles. No lacing. As it gets to the end of the glass and the light penetrates better, it takes a brighter berry hue, less brown.

S. Tart, cherries, plum, wine barrel oak.

T. Tart cherries, with a nice light sweet plum to balance. Hearty wine-like oak flavor. Closely matches the smell.

M. Tart and light overall, but there is a thickness as it goes down that keeps it on the taste buds. Light carbonation, but certainly not inadequate.

O. A little lacking in the appearance, but the rest really shines: a beauty, otherwise. Great oak character.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pour: Pours a dark, reddish brown with a finger of tannish, rusty head. Head recedes to a rim rather quickly, yet leaves some lacing. While no light can be seen through the glass, if held up to a light, it is surprisingly crystal clear.

Smell: Big tannic fortified wine presence, with some plums and a touch of caramel/brown sugar. Typical Hill Farmstead funk. Some tart cherries come out on the nose, especially as it warms. Warm, it develops an cherry pie like quality, with some oak, a touch of cinnamon, and more tart cherries.

Taste: Similar to the opening on the nose, with a distinct port quality and sour cherries. More sour than the nose implies. Oaky and funky. Some caramel sweetness and brown sugar gives this a nice body. As it warms, more of the tart cherry pie flavor comes through. Finishes dry and sour.

Mouthfeel: Sour. One of the more sour Hill Farmstead beers I've had yet. Medium heavy body. Very dry on the finish.

Overall: A very impressive Flanders Red from Shaun and company. I'm not typically a fan of this style, but this was executed very, very well. Age not needed on this one... it's amazing now.

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

Won this from a raffle at the Hill Farmstead 3rd Anniversary Celebration. So happy I won this, along with a bottle of their Elaborative #1, which I gave to a good friend!

Poured from bottle but shared with five friends, so not a full pour. This is my first official review for a beer, so please bear with me.

Pours a murky, reddish-brown. Head disappears quickly to a thin, white head, giving a fine lacing as you tip your glass.

Dark fruit aroma. I definitely get plum with something slightly sweeter, maybe raisin. You can also smell the classic Flanders Red sourness, which makes anticipation of that first taste all the more exciting!

More of a mellow sourness than I expected from the smell, but very well balanced with the subtle, grape sweetness. This definitely makes you think of a wine gone sour, but in a good way. I expected a little more oakiness since this was aged for over two years in port wine barrels, but it's just as subtle as the grape.

Light carbonation and mouthfeel, but leaves a crisp feeling on the tongue. Tart, but not too tart - right in line with that mellow, sour taste. Makes you want to take the next sip quickly.

Very enjoyable brew. I expected nothing less from Hill Farmstead with this one. I love sours, but this beer opened my eyes up to the fact that a well-rounded sour and not a "pucker-your-lips-with-alum" sour is the bar to measure this style against. Very glad I got to share the first released bottle of this beer with some good friends.

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Prolegomena from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.32 out of 5 based on 217 ratings.
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