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Hill Farmstead Biere de Norma

Serve in Stem glass, Tulip


on tap

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RATINGS: 144   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.05   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
Brewed (with help from our great friend Jean of Tired Hands!) on the day of my grandmother’s passing (Norma), this is an inspired Biere de Mars fermented entirely in oak and inoculated with our house spontaneous culture.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
ClarkVV (4353) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 31, 2015
2015 bottle drunk 7/24/15.
A brilliant, rich amber hued beer showing good clarity and topped by an off-white head that shows strong retention.
Wow. Not to take anything away from the flavors, but I’ll be damned if HF dosent have some of the most aromatically pleasing beers out there. After the disappointing incredibly over-barreled SP Saison du Ble, the wonderfully balanced and integrated barrel character in the nose here, was supremely refreshing. Soft, aged red wine character, minerals, light chalk and very low tannin character all build complexity, as dry toffee and brown bread-like malts creep in from the edges, adding just a touch of sweetness and allowing the wild character to present itself cleanly and clearly. Limes, hickory, cobwebby cellar, mild lactic influences and peppery phenols all dance about on the nose, with the wood both softening and deepening as it warms. I smelled this thing for about 5 minutes before even trying a sip. No alcohol, no flaws.
Flavor does not disappoint in the least. Soft, dry barrel character and soft, sweet malt character balance each other, while tight, ample carbonation further amplifies the softness/creaminess of the palate. Lightly acidic red wine notes, bits of oakiness and some dry mineral/chalk character build up slowly on the palate, as tart, lemon-lime-like brett notes add brightness and a bit of sharp acidity, as well. Lactic acids soften things, adding a pinch of mild yogurt/cheese-like character and it ends with soft malt and wood character trailing off, with pleasant, not-overdone acidity lingering lightly, as well.
Whew. What a beer! Over the course of this amazing weekend, trying all kinds of delicious, highly rated beers, I think this one would only be matched by Ann itself. And to think this beer had only 4 months in the bottle at this point. All signs point to this beer with 1-2 years of age on it being absolutely divine; the light touches of sharp acidity from the yeast/bacteria should soften, as well as allowing for the wine/barrel character to integrate just a little more. As it is, though, I’d be happy to drink this fresh any day of the week. Rating is for this bottle I had, but also the potential I think this beer has for being even better aged. Could very easily trying an older bottle and giving it a 5. Hope that happens!
Huge thanks to Adam C for opening this!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tectactoe (3125) - Michigan, USA - JUL 24, 2015
Bottle: Thanks, Adam! Soft red/orange body. Cloudy with a small, gray-white head. Aroma is tart with notes of light white vinegar, vanilla, wood, red grape skins, a hint of cheese rind, mild cherry. Tart cherry skin flavor, mild vanilla yogurt, oaky tannin sharpness, grapes, light cobweb funk, small bit of leather, dry woody finish. Lovely.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GlasgowTAD (658) - Glasgow/Aberdeen, SCOTLAND - JUL 22, 2015
Pours an opaque orange with a slight orange head. Aroma is grapefruit, hay, barnyard and slight funk. Taste is grapefruit, lemon, hay and barnyard funk.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Vestergaard (958) - Aarhus C, DENMARK - JUL 14, 2015
Bottle thanks to Bursprak. Pours a lovely reddish amber with a off white head. Aroma has cherry, funk, oak, slight syrup, lots of fruit and is very dry. Taste is tart, citrus peely, very funky and dry. Slight caramel and honey sweetness to balance.Slightly boozy. Very delicate and elegant barrel character. Fairly full body and average to high carbonation. Very nice!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
kermis (7201) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - JUL 4, 2015
Bottle shared. Pours cloudy amber brown with a small tan head. Aroma of big vinous notes, strong oak, tart light fruits, grapes, also tart overripe dark fruits and a touch of caramel giving it Flemish brown qualities. The honey also comes out with lightly floral notes as well as a nice light bretty funk. Flavour is moderate sweet and light moderate sour. Over medium bodied with light carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
deanso (6736) - the Hague, NETHERLANDS - JUL 4, 2015
Bomber courtesy of and shared with Kermis. Big thanks. Funky aroma. Thin creamy off white head. a mixture of sweet and sour in the aftertaste. Nicely balanced

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
RasmusOtt (1599) - Aarhus, DENMARK - JUN 24, 2015
Bottle thanks to Bursprak. Pours cloudy amber with a white head. Aroma has a nice farmhouse-styled dryness along with some citrus notes, some oak, green grapes, weak elderflower and classic HF yeast strain funk. The taste is tart and fresh with notes of green apples, grapes, oak, white wine, barnyard and with a dry end. Balanced and nice beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bursprak (1409) - Aarhus, DENMARK - JUN 21, 2015
Bottle shared at Dangerous Bottle Share 12.0. From a trade on BA. Hazy amber pour with a decent white head. Nose is tart, red berries, vinous and light vinegar. Taste is oaky, vanilla, tannins, leather, light tartness and some honey notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jackl (5821) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUN 17, 2015
Bottle @ Travlr’s Satellite 10k Shindig. Slightly hazy amber pour with a small off-white head. A pretty musty beast. Plenty of rich malts, caramel, Attic. Floral hoppiness and grape stones. Taste is brighter. Accents of tropical fruits, mango. A touch of honeyed melon. Reasonably lean. A touch of tartness on the finish. Easy drinking. Nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Klimaet (755) - Aarhus N, DENMARK - JUN 15, 2015
Big thanks to Bursprak for bringing the HF-goods :) Pours dark hazy orange with a thin white head. Aromas of vinegar, champagne-like notes, tart red berries, gooseberries, sweet esters, lots of funk, oak, leather. Taste is bretty, funky, tart red berries, dark malts, vinegar, earth, woody musty notes, leather. Not a style that can get me all fired up but pretty darn good anyway!

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