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Hill Farmstead Flora - Satsuma Mandarin

Formerly brewed at Hill Farmstead Brewery
Style: Saison
Greensboro, Vermont USA
Serve in Tulip


on tap


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Farmstead wheat ale aged in oak barrels with satsuma mandarins. Flora is the wine barrel aged version of Florence (1915-1967), our grandfatherís sister as well as the name of our wheat farmhouse ale. In her honor, amidst the fleeting days of summer, we chose to fill French oak wine barrels with Florence and store it away. After many months, a Biere de Table emerged. At the end of a summer day, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Florence.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Stine (1678) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 17, 2014
The still, hazed gold is left without the slightest framing of foam. Mandarin, must, and limestone, cave-like aroma. Very gueuze like ultimately, swimming in a funk of calcified cheeses, salty brine and pickled melon rinds. Curious, fascinating moments of vanilla bean, cardamom, and allspice can be separated from the sourness, fleetingly. Lemon pepper and more animal tones are apparent with a little warmth.

The flavor, possibly more fruit forward, is calmer and less funk-driven than the nose. Pear, lemon rind, saltwater, and yogurt cultures are the main flavors here. If this were fresh it would of course be a very different experience than this rustic, shoreline lambic flavor. As is, itís pulsing with acidity and wild character, and the gravelly, mineral framing to rein it in.

The palate retains juiciness and a bit of spry carbonation, but it is ultimately a bit washed out. A crazy, zinging pineapple and orange fruitiness feeds back in the nose before the finish. Lots of secrets to unlock in this unusual beer; fun for the fact that itís probably the most lambic-oriented, the most connected to recognizably traditional character that Iíve experienced from HF. Granted, of course, that I might be drinking this later than the brewer intended.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tectactoe (3125) - Michigan, USA - SEP 7, 2014
Bottle: Clear, golden-straw color. Bright, with a mild chill haze. Not much head on top of this one, just a slightly bubbled-up, foamy white collar. Lovely aroma; vibrant, fresh orange flesh (mandarins, I assume) with huge contributing notes of lemon, green apple, & pear as well. Quite tart on the nostrils, notable lacto with a strong, funky oak presence. Wet, sopping woody funk with a yeasty & barnyard blanket twinge rounding things out. Nice mouthful of crisp tartness, fresh graininess, & vivacious farmhouse yeast. Lots of funky hay, damp barnyard floor. Great flavor from the mandarins, big-time tart tangerines all over the palate. Hint of oaky tannins, edging on vinous, almost like a white wine but much more mild & intricate. Finish of sour stone fruit skins, manageable acidity, lacto yeast, fresh pale malt, & a crisp, damp hay funk thatís oh so reminiscent of that Hill Farmstead resident bacteria. Dry finish, lingering oakiness. A simply fantastic saison... Wow. Itís not even fair anymore.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
vtafro (5087) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - JUL 26, 2014
Bottle. Golden pour with some bubbles. Light citrus, mandarin other fruit aromas. Brett, light saison tones, mandarin, fruit and other flavors. Very juicy.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
djd07 (6485) - Houston, Texas, USA - JUL 26, 2014
Bottle thanks to Frank. Pours a cloudy yellow with small frothy white head. The aroma is strong mandarin orange, oak, wood, funk. Thin mouthfeel with nice wine, mandarin orange, funk, with light dry finish. Very impressive.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
BoBoChamp (5758) - Gent, BELGIUM - JUL 16, 2014
38cl, new exclusive American brew Anno 2013, with mandarins, thx alot to Koen for sharing!, complex sour fruit brew, sour/fruity and slightly woody/floral, easy to drink, balanced, hazy, small head, very good brew

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
umich03jm (2901) - Flat Rock, Michigan, USA - JUL 14, 2014
July 2013 bottle thanks to the local group for sharing. Pours a hazy pale yellow color with a small fizzy head that fades to nothing. Aromas are lemon candy, citrus juice, musty barnyard, and wet hay. Taste has a big intense barnyard funkiness that mixes very well with the big juicy citrus. Long finish leaves a lemon candy taste. Perfect moderate sourness. Great mouthfeel, smooth carbonation. Doesnít seem like a saison at all but whatever it is, itís delicious.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Pailhead (5808) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - JUL 12, 2014
Bottle: The aroma consists of heavy citrus/orange, light sweet tarts, faint lemon, and a hint of cotton candy. It pours a hazy dull yellow with the small white head that quickly fades to a very fine ring. The flavor starts with a quick dose of citrus/orange. The finish has moderate sour lemon and light sweet tarts. Itís light bodied with light carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
madmitch76 (18998) - , Essex, ENGLAND - MAY 14, 2014
9th May 2014
Leighton 10K tasting at Bruceís pad. Thanks to our ever dependable LKS for this one. Hazy pale gold beer, residual white head. Palate is very light and crisp. Light lemony sourness, touch of floralness. Very light mandarin. Light sherbet before the light finish. Nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Theydon_Bois (13509) - Tourist Town (West), Berkshire, ENGLAND - MAY 11, 2014
Bottle at the Black (IPA) Friday tasting, big thanks as always to Leighton, 09/05/14. Hazed orange with little in the way of a head. Nose is bitter orange, straw, mandarin, tangerine, light spice. Taste comprises tarte orange, tangerine, spice, grass, light herbal notes, orange pithdom, light yeast. Medium bodied, fine carbonation, semi drying grass laced close. Super solid saison, lots of flavour for 5% ABV, crisp and clean, super drinkable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jackl (5916) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAY 9, 2014
Bottle @ Chez Bruce. Hazy gold, tight white head. Very musty. Plenty of mandarin orange and lemon peel. Cotton candy. Countryside summery yeast. Woody. Taste is very tart. American saison sourness. Bugs, lactic funk. Citrus, peach skin. Light body, soft carbonation. Yeasty, ok.

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