Some people might be crying and creaming their farmhouse jeans at the same time, piping up all like “buh buh buh Hill Farmstead already GOT TWO REVIEWS IN SAISON MARATHON” yeah and if you go look at the top rankings they hold a shitload of the spots, so here we are. If Clown Shoes made a dope ass saison, I would review that too, but mi cocina mis reglas. Anyway, I already sipped on CD1, 2, 3 and to the 4, so might as well sample this old gem, just to complete the set and kindle the ire of beer nerds all over the place. Here is a review of good old CD2 if you feel like you need to learn the characters and plot twists I simply can’t really dress this saison up any further, this is a blend of Ann, and two of the other highest ranked saisons that I had this year, Flora and Art. Take a wild guess how this saison stacks up in today’s review.
EDIT: I never had CD4.5 because I am a weak penis. Carry on.
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 6.50% ABV
A: Despite my best efforts I couldnt ellicit a ton of carbonation out of this, but we are dealing with three double double barrel aged saisons, so that is kinda like going to the Rwandan orphanage and complaining that the refugees were less than excited. This was the first chin scratching moment to me because it had a huge golden hue to it, but it lacked the turbid elements present in both Ann and Art. In fact, the hue of it was almost translucent and didn’t have the milky opaqueness. The lacing was non-existent and it looked…almost like gueuze. Wait a second.
S: This is incredibly lactic and makes some of the other offerings seem outright biscuity by contrast. The nose has a deep waft of squeezed lemon rind, grapefruit, fuji apples, muscat grapes, and fresh strawberries. On the backend is arguably the most musk and funk that I have seen out of HF to date. There is a crushed yard trimmings, wet leaves, a bicycle seat that has been rained upon, and damp Jansport backpack, with the baller ass leather bottom. The chin scratching began anew when I started wondering “where are the spice and clove notes? Why does this smell like a Farmer’s Market on the nose? The saison mystery thickened.
T: Upon taking this up to my hateful gullet the tinge of acidity hit first like able pikemen. Like finding a dry cleaning receipt in a Matlock episode, this mystery started unraveling: I AM NOT SURE THIS IS EVEN A SAISON AT ALL. The taste is second only to Norma for Hill Farmstead’s lactic profile and presents white grapes, ripe pineapple, hard mango, and the acidity of a Raspberry. There was no straw or chewiness to speak of. In fact, if we are speaking as friends here, which I will readily assume without your assent: THIS IS A WILD ALE. Not a lactic saison, not a tart farmhouse, this is straight up Wild Ale, and it is delicious. If you open up your mind and approach it in that manner is leans more heavily to fresh Beatification and 2010 Cable Car than the saison fold. Styles are indicative of broad brush strokes, but I feel that this transcends the sum of its parts and turns into a tart lil Voltron of Belgian influence.
M: This further nails home my point about it being a AWA, the body of it is thinner than any of the component beers and has a clarity and crispness that I have seen only in something like Brassiere Blaugies. It leaves a resonating tartness along the gumline with this musky Cantillon Brabantiae funk to ruminate upon while you work your Domino’s Pizza App and think about lovers past. If Brute is a Wild Ale, then this certainly must run in that realm as well. The swallow dries my mouth like I ate a shitload of movie candy, in a good Sour Patch binge sort of way.
D: This is exceptionally drinkable and the 375ml format made me need to exercise restrain, hence using the tasting glass. The musk balances out the tart aspects and makes this a completely unique entry into their catalog. I would not recommend sharing this as many of the nuances are enjoyed both cold and at room temp, but most of you are probably like “I couldn’t even land that in the first place, fuck off.” Uncle Ben once taught Spoderman that with great ISO comes great responsibility. Then a bad trader killed him. As true today as when it was written.
Narrative: Cosimo de Medici looked out the ornate windows, framed in gothic angles upon the teeming masses below and ran his fingers through the frills of his neckwear. The Republic of Florence had grown scornfully bitter, and Petrarch had hardly helped cool the flames by noting the sheer inequalities of the ruling class and the gross indulgences of the clergy. He bit into a tart lychee, fresh from the papal states and contemplated the burning acidity. If the pleasure of the ruling class is predicated upon the burning acidity of the masses, then when does the fruit signal its own decay. Was it the function of the ruling class to determine from whence and how the fertile seeds or productivity were to be cast? Under his regime he had blended several masters of various mediums, with startling new results. Donatello ate sour fruits and worked tirelessly on the intricate carved Feast of Herod, but from whence was his genius wrought? Cosimo nodded at the solemn gathering and felt the pangs of pride, for order creates the stability for innovation. No man is a hero to his debtor, and the artists who resented the ruling classes were the novel pits of the tart fruit, that same fruit that was consumed by the ruling classes anon.