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Oh great. @Hillfarmstead Art, A Beer I Have Not Been Looking Forward to Reviewing At All.

First and foremost huge thanks to the Vicster for donating the bottLOL yeah right, can you imagine that dude doing something selfless not designed to maximize some self-aggrandizing desire, LOL YARITE.

So after many trials and tribulations trapezing around the current state of farmhouse affairs, we have returned to the touchstone of American Saisons: Hill Farmstead.

I want to state at the outset: I don’t generally enjoy reviewing Hill Farmstead beers. Allow me to clarify before your urethra starts spewing out liquid Velveeta. I love DRINKING these Vermont gems. I LIKE making fun of the attendant shitty, capitalistic HF traders. But in practice REVIEWING Hill Farmstead beers isn’t especially fun from the DDB pulpit.

Drank this in a hot tub on a 102 degree day in Portland. What am I even doing with my life.

Drank this in a hot tub on a 102 degree day in Portland. What am I even doing with my life.

The function of reviewing is to leverage and evaluate the shortcomings and merits of a given work. If the verve of DDB is to present these impressions with any modicum of levity, then it’s gonna be a fair amount of hyperbole and understatement to suck the marrow out of the bone.  Hill Farmstead derails all possible jokes. Generally people love the excoriating rhetoric or seeing a car fire of a beer getting eviscerated, Malty Romans ripped to shreds by yeasty lions.

Yeasty lions is the name of my new protopunk group.

The problem with most Hill Farmstead beers is that they generally are either setting the bar to some degree or competing against their own product, so how in the fuck is DDB expected to make a 900 word  handjob entertaining for the nondeviants to witness? It is just a parade of praise with some jRPG and hip hop references, then we call it a day.

This would be the greatest issue that I have with Art: it is too fucking good to extract a legitimate degree of humor. I would much rather just rip on one of the “shittier” Hill Farmstead beers like a sour pumpkin ale or the Jim line, but alas, I guess I finally have to review this masterpiece.  Lamentably.

Here is the wind up to the pitch:

“Art is the wine barrel fermented and aged version of Arthur (1922-2005), our grandfather’s youngest brother as well as the name of our rustic farmstead ale. In honor of Arthur, we mindfully blend his namesake beer from French oak wine barrels that have been aged and conditioned for between 1 and 3 years. This is the standard that reflects, redefines and guides the progressive vision for Hill Farmstead.”

Every word I type further distances myself from trying this beer again.  I am an active antagonist against my own desires, self-preclusion becoming idealized.

Every word I type further distances myself from trying this beer again. I am an active antagonist against my own desires, self-preclusion becoming self-fulfilling.

Just look at this shit. How am I supposed to do my job and maintain the tart ph salinity of my vagina, when it looks flawless. I guess I could bitch that a more diverse grist bill with spelt would combat the acidity and improve the sheeting and lacing. But does anyone think that’s a legitimate complaint? Fuck no, it’s just some domineering korean housewife nagging.

The smell? I don’t have a whole lot to deconstruct on this front either. It makes for a shitty boring review, inverse to the quality of the beer itself. In fact, the smell is the only thing that Ann does better than Art. The average shitwaffle strokes it to pinups of that lottery masterpiece, fully ignoring the fact that Art is better in several aspects if not as a whole.  The nose has waves of cut clementines, nectarines, honeydew, ritz cracker, and ricotta cheese.  It is unendingly refreshing like having cyber sex with a water sprite.

I first opened this beer at Beer Revolution in Oakland in 2012, when American Saisons were still enjoying this nascent blissful anonymity before covetous assholes ruined everything. The comments were like “oh so it’s a sour then? No? Is it like a Russian River then? Hmm. Weird.”  People couldn’t wrap their heads around this because there weren’t many barrel aged saisons, let alone executed in this fashion.  Now everything is in ruins.

The smell has a much imitated balance of tropical fruity zest with acidity that strays far from the edge of tolerability.  It is incredible and a beer that uproots itself due to how good it is.  The consumption is an event and in itself is destruction.  The experience is a discrete event that actually makes your net life experience worse having had something this well done.  For that reason it is hard to recommend seeking this out with a clear conscience.  You can’t go back to watching Tyler Perry movies after you have seen Michael Haneke’s best films.

I guess the most we can hope for is either increased HF production on this level or some janky readily available shasta version in the future.

I guess the most we can hope for is either increased HF production on this level or some janky readily available shasta version in the future.

The taste is dry, not nearly as dry as E. but not nearly as honey sweet as Ann.  The Aristotelian mean that is better than both of those beers simply due to this swiss army knife profile that delives depth, cleanliness, complexity, and refreshment.  Usually the acidity would work against drinkability, or the dryness of the barrel treatment would be oppositional to any malty sweetness.  Somehow all divergent horses and reigned in by Helios on this golden farmhouse chariot. There’s lemon zest and wheatgrass, gruyere and croissant, with a lighly herbal fernet branca grassiness to the closer.  What am I seriously supposed to say about this shit?

As a caveat to undermine all of the foregoing: regular ass Arthur is like 85% as good and about 2000% easier to obtain.  Unless you are a completionist asshole who needs 100% trophies in the beer game, or some Minnesota Dentist who wants to buy a palace on top of HUGE PRICK MOUNTAIN, there’s no reason for you to seek out this beer.  Arthur is already so damn good and the improvements on this are akin to those absurd R TYPE models of already fast enough cars where they gut the AC and roll cage it and supercharge it to absurd heights.

Drink Arthur, or seek this out after you finally patent that dual sided Hitachi/Fleshlight marriage saving apparatus you have been working on.

Narrative:

Scanning the channels of a HAM radio was a tedious task usually relegated to the loneliest of shut-ins.  RF frequencies rarely led to any juicy pearls of wisdom and further served to alienate the participants frittering away their lives in leaky garages around the nation.  Nathan Spaulding sipped on a cup of assiduously prepared Earl Grey and listened to the white noise cascading through time and space.  Each clipped frequency was an extension for contact, a passing analog glance from a stranger. In a world replete with bodies, Nathan sipped his herbal embrace and never felt more alone. “PPSSHSHS- can anyone, please, PLEASE!” the radio hissed, echoing against the wall of the garage door. Nathan frantically gripped the receiver “Yes, this is Phantom Tangelo!” the UHF/VHF transmitter shaking in his palm. “I don’t have time to explain PSSHSHHH I am Warren Dupont, I am a produce shipping magnate who was overseeing a tangerine GMO operation to increase- JESUS JUST LISTEN, the strain is…its…are you there?” “”YES!” Nathan stammered sipping his tea, “PHANTOM TANGELO here, please continue!”

That evening Warren gave the coordinates of the most potent strain of farm grown tangerines ever designed, dizzying in yields and fruit latency. It would take weeks of scouring, but Nathan would ultimately find the ultimate treasure, the pinnacle of farm-based desires.  Months later, hunched over the Platonic ideal of citrus, gripping the flawless rind delicately, he would contemplate whether science had gone too far.

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Kern River Citra versus Hill Farmstead Double Galaxy Double IPA, LET’S SETTLE THIS SHIT ONCE AND FOR ALL

Vermont traders get their tampon applicators all sideways when people compare Kern River offerings to Hill Farmstead stuff. Sure both are in the middle of nowhere, Kern has a river and people who still wear Metal Mullisha, Vermont has maple syrup drenched liberals and people hella into Iron and Wine. Which is worse? Tough call I guess. Anyway, today we are gonna take two top 100 DIPAs head to head and settle this shit once and for all, until Ephraim is brewed at the same time as Citra, we will settle for this middleweight fight. A NEW CHALLENGER APPEARS

TOE TO TOE, two DIPAs enter, ONE DIPA LEAVES ALIVE. .....FIGHT.

TOE TO TOE, two DIPAs enter, ONE DIPA LEAVES ALIVE. …..FIGHT.

Reigning champion:

Kern River Brewing Company
California, United States
American Double / Imperial IPA | 8.00% ABV

see the full review here: IF YOU ARE SLIPPING ON YOUR SHIT READ THE CITRA REVIEW

A NEW CHALLENGER APPEARS:

Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
American Double / Imperial IPA | 8.00% ABV

stop being a hater, read the review here: READ THIS SHIT ALREADY

A: Look at those two, you get a crazy radiant glow from the DG but Citra stands poised with a deep grapefruit gold radiance, tough to call it on appearance alone. I love that deep yellow and radiation aspect of DG, but Citra seems more controlled in execution in its unbalanced balance, if that makes sense. If Bell’s Oracle is the moustache twirling asshole of the DIPA world, these are both heros. On appearance alone, I will have to give it to Double Galaxy because the saison lover in me is poking through my boxers, JUST THE TIP.

WINRAR: DOUBLE TO THE GALAXEEEZE

It's tough to make this GIF relevant to these beers but, solid execution.

It’s tough to make this GIF relevant to these beers but, solid execution.

S: The bouquet of DG is more acidic and lends itself to mask the abv flawlessly, albeit in a more one dimensional aspect. If you like Megan Fox tits, one dimension in Transformers is all you need. Citra has a bit more sweetness and honey aspect with a resinous profile to round out the experience, so let’s call it Brando in On the Waterfront, a paradigm of complexity but ultimately the same lack of balance. They both smell amazing and I will again liken DG to a Corvette, Citra is the Carrera, not excessive, but with a degree of hopthrottle control in the straight aways.

WINRAR: CITRA

T: Both of these present a crazy aspect of citrus executed via alpha acids, Double Galaxy just takes a strongarm bouncer approach reaching almost tangerine and Orangina, or if you are poor as fuck, Orange juice. Again, Citra imparts this aspect of TOOL fan/8th grader backpack that lets loose a resinous petruli oil finish to it that is strange if you dont fuck women on a spread of Tarot cards. I am not here to judge though. Burn incense with Citra, rub coke on your gums with Double Galaxy, in the end, you are still boning vegan chicks either way.

DIPA walez, dont stop getitgetit

DIPA walez, dont stop getitgetit

WINRAR: CITRA

M: The thin body of the Double Galaxy is fucking amazing given the Barret .50 cal this is holding underneath. I would hazard a guess that Shaun Hill has by proxy made so many size 9 Lane Bryant Vermont women pregnant with his beers than anyone else in the game. At first I felt like I was having a tame ass saison in a way, then it transitions into almost a nod to Ithaca Brute with the acidity and it finishes with a panache and aplomb of juice that is staggering. Citra has more of a solid dockworker finish to it, you know it is bad ass, you dont try and step to it, but it is predictable and within the realm of the DIPA world and came into the game feet first like a breached birth. If you are cock throbbing on that BJCP level, then maybe Citra is your Boo, kiss her resinous neck, but to the weird fetishists, DG is your baby, down to crazy hopsex.

WINRAR: Double Galaxy

D: So DG is thinner so it automatically wins this right? FUCKING WRONG. While it is thin and easy to drink, Citra presents a complexity like a Mars Volta album that stands up over many many many pints, as my EBT account will attest. I love DG, but the execution is more of a 750ml than the marathon boning that you get from Citra. There is a reason at this moment there are 14 ISO: Citra posts and not a single FT. People buy it and drink the fuck out of it, no questions asked. While DG is imbalanced and incredible, it doesn’t have that take home to mom appeal, its a madman that can take you to dangerous new territory, but you don’t fall in love with it, you just rub your hop cones to it later on.

WINRAR: CITRA

Get your cones blasting, shit is so alpha

Get your cones blasting, shit is so alpha

OVERALL WINRAR: CITRA.

Don’t come to me with your paltry ass Expo and Hopslam questions, these beers exist in a completely different realm. Not hating, but we are talking the God Tier of DIPAs.

Hill Farmstead needs to brew Ephraim in concert with a Citra release so we can finally settle this #1 DIPA of all time dispute.

One more for posterity

THAT IS WHAT WE CALL CLOSURE IN THE BEER WORLD

THAT IS WHAT WE CALL CLOSURE IN THE BEER WORLD