ClarkVV (5787) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 12, 2015
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 11, 2016 750mL growler filled 7/24/15 and drunk 8/3/15.
Was worried that, despite having kept this in a very cold fridge for 9 days, since it wasn’t counter-pressure filled, it might not be in prime condition. Wrong. The appearance and mouthfeel/texture were still the same exquisite experience you know and love from Hill Farmstead. Huge, rocky white head tops a lightly hazy blonde beer with ample, fine carbonation. Tight carbonation engages the mouth and proves crisp while at the same time making for a supple, nearly creamy texture.
And the aroma. Dear God. If this isn’t the epitome of what nelson sauvin should be, I don’t know what is. Meyer lemon, dry pineapple, juicy nectarine and even somewhat reminiscent of a rich, mineral laden chardonnay champagne. Beyond clean and flawlessly executed. Let’s see, there’s no: Resin, aspirin, pine, heavy acidity, dirt, dishwater, astringency, blandness, cat piss, cheese, onion. Just a beautifully made APA with a gentle honey-like maltiness backing the hops. Snappy, bright and infinitely aromatic with no alcohol whatsoever.
Unsurprisingly, the flavor is just wonderfully hoppy, clean and perfectly balanced. Bright, clean, apricot-lemon flavors abound, with light tangerine, bits of dry hay and tart nectarine notes on the finish. Malt is soft, supple and provides just enough sweetness/texture to balance the hop bitterness without adding anything more. Honey, light grains and more fruity hop notes with warming. Unbelievably drinkable. Could nearly chug a liter of this without feeling fatigued/full.
This is about as good as it gets and we are definitely in the "If I’m not giving this a 5.0, what are my reasons??" territory. Because this is just so elegantly presented and clean and a statement of balance. I suppose the aroma could be a bit more full and juicy, though it’s easily a 9.5 here. And I guess, objectively, as has been shown, hops build off each other, so I could imagine adding another hop for just a bit more complexity. But these are nitpicks; this is pretty close to perfection. Much like Treehouse Tornado, my previously highest rated APA, I could easily understand a perfect 5.0 score without batting an eyelash. As is, I’m not giving it a 5.0 but certainly will reserve the right to do so as soon as I can get more of this to try again.
Marsiblursi (3076) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 5, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(Bottle) Pours cloudy yellow with a white head. The aroma holds typical Nelson with grape and gooseberries but no diesel. Light citrus and crisp cracker and white bread-like malt profile. Light hints of rubber. The flavour is dry, medium bitter and tiny acidic with notes of tight malt and typical Nelson notes. Really clean. The mouthfeel is slim and soft with a medium carbonation. Lingering bitterness. Light bodied.
rlgk (18187) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 5, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draught at Sommarprovning 2015-08-05. Slightly hazy pale golden beer with a decent offwhite head. Hoppy fruity pine aroma, mango, pine apples, grapefruit, some lemon. Hoppy citrus flavor, passion fruit, grapes, mango, peachjuice, diesel notes, herbal, orange zest, hay. Hugely refreshing with a great hop profile.
_angst_ (4500) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 5, 2015
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Growlers received in trade. Pours hazy yellow with a frothy white head that leaves some spotty trace on the glass while dissipating. Smell is fruity and grassy with crackers, grapefruit juice, mango, pineapple, star fruit, freshly cut grass, pine needles, minerals, grape skins and lemon zest. Taste is bitter, heavy grassy and slightly fruit. Mouthfeel is dry, astringent and light to medium bodied. Finish is bitter with crackers, grapefruit juice, star fruit, freshly cut grass, pine needles, chives, sun dried hay, minerals, grape skins and lemon zest. Excellent fresh primarily grassy APA. No diesel notes at all. Elegant with grass and fresh tropical fruits.
tkrjukoff (4304) - SWEDEN - AUG 5, 2015
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Growler. Pours cloudy pale amber/golden with a small fizzy head. Aroma is pleasant floral fruity a bit grassy. Flavor is citric hoppy fresh a bit pungeant grapefruit finishing with a nice bitter malty aftertaste.
ctipping (1346) - Florida, USA - AUG 3, 2015
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Originally reviewed 8/1/2013. 750 mL growler poured into a snifter. Hazy bright yellow orange. Nice white head. Laces nicely. Uneven chunky foam on the surface. Tons of nelson hops in the nose. Grapefruit, herbal notes, pine, and some lemon. Very distinctive. Touch of grain but it’s a hop bomb.
Taste is all hops again. Great hop flavor. Herbal notes and lemon are stronger. The grapefruit comes second. Drops off to a clean pale malt and grainy finish. Dry.
Light, medium carbonation. Extremely drinkable.
It seems like it doesn’t matter what hop Hill Farmstead uses, their pale ale is always perfect. I’d take this over so many beers and drink it all day.
beechner224 (1024) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - AUG 1, 2015
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Growler to glass. Pours golden yellow with white head. Aroma is super citrusy, a tad of dank, really good. Taste is light, dry, bitterness lingers in the finish. Super easy drinking pale ale.
nealblind (1679) - Seattle, Alabama, USA - JUL 30, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hazy gold gold. Aroma slight grassy hops. Tastes funky deep hops. Dusty and dry. Hill farmstead at their best - doing a pale ale.
mathieuc (3318) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 30, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Growler. Pours a hazy light golden with a small white head that leaves really nice lacing. Nose is of weed, citrus, tropical fruits and pine. Taste is lightly bitter and not quite sweet, offers some white grapes , tropical fruits and dankness. Body is light to medium, carbonation moderate and mouthfeel a tiny bit oily. Incredibly drinkable. Overall a really nice pale ale by HFS again! I could drink that again, and again and again...
kermis (11000) - Where the wild whales are, NETHERLANDS - JUL 29, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Growler shared. Pours cloudy yellow with an off white head. Aroma of grapefruit, dank hops, pineapple, light peach and light floral notes. Flavor is light sweet and moderate to heavy bitter. Light medium bodied with soft carbonation.