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Hill Farmstead Phenomenology of Spirit (2013)

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


on tap


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RATINGS: 88   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.91/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
This bottling of our Dark Farmhouse Ale, Phenomenology of Spirit, was cooled overnight, exposed to winter air and 100% spontaneously fermented in oak barrels through the introduction of airborne yeast residing in and around our brewery. The beer has rested, quietly, in a diverse selection of oak barrels for nearly 18 months. Naturally carbonated and unfiltered, we feel that this is an authentic expression of our environment and of our brewery.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Johnsense (1283) - - JUN 5, 2016
Dark brown pour, good sized head. Barnyard funk aroma, dried dark fruit, blueberry, red grape. funk and raisin up front, berries, dark caramel in the taste. Medium body. More tart than when I first had in 2014.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
50belair (3315) - Florida, USA - DEC 26, 2015
Bottle. Clear brown pour with an off white head. Mild sour berry aromas. Mild sour berry, oak, and caramel malt notes. A bit discombobulated but still refreshing. Average body and mouthfeel.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 19, 2015
Pours a dark chestnut/chocolate brown color with mahogany edges and a one finger off-white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Decent retention with streaks of spotty lacing left behind. Musty aroma wih funky bugs and a prominent charred oak/barrel character. Some dark roast along with musty bugs, dry oak and subtle malt sweetness. The funky yeast and strong oak notes dominate the nose. Not too complex but pretty inviting. Tart and puckering with sour acidity, dry oak/toothpick and sweet vinous fruit. Kind of one dimensional but has a decent amount of sourness, funky yeast and a decent enough malt presence that prevents it’s from becoming boring. Saison notes are overpowered by the yeast and barrel flavors.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ctipping (1126) - Florida, USA - NOV 16, 2015
375 mL bottle. Batch 2, bottled 6/2013. Originally reviewed 10/10/2013. Deep brown. Khaki head. Settled to a few wisps. Dark malt aroma. Chocolate and some coffee. Lactic and lemony acidity. Slightly fruity, wine character. Taste is really lactic. Tart more than sour. Lemony and grainy. Dark malt is masked here. White wine-like bright fruity flavor. Roastiness comes back in the finish a little bit. Bright tartness. Medium carbonation. Medium light body. Surprising lack of complexity from the yeast. There’s a bit of the malt complexity left, but the sourness is a bit one dimensional.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bu11zeye (12604) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - JUL 27, 2015
(375ml, bottled 06/2013) Pours a dark brown body with a small off-white head. Aroma of raisins, cherry, cranberry, and roasted malt Flavor of cherry, cranberry, oak, raisins, vinous, and brett with a dry finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Errl (2442) - Plano, Texas, USA - JUN 10, 2015
Bottle..Pour is dark with a off white head..Nose is dark spice, caramel, chocolate, toffee, musty, tartness, wet oak...Taste is nutty, cinnamon, spice, funk, dark toffee, chocolate?..

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
kermis (9985) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - MAY 25, 2015
Bottle shared. Pours very dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma starts with a nice light funk, along with vinous aspects, big oak barrel, red fruits, dark fruits, a little caramel and raisin. Flavour is moderate sweet and light to moderate sour. Medium bodied with soft carbonation.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MrHangover (3859) - Den Haag, NETHERLANDS - MAY 25, 2015
Bottle thnx to kermis. Pours a very dark brown beer with a medium sized, beige head on top. Aroma is very funky, yeasty, barnyard, vinous, oak. Flavour is again very funky, quite bitter, loads of sweet oak, grapes and white fruit. Aftertaste is very tasty and tarty with a nice level of carbonation. Good stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bytemesis (6448) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JAN 28, 2015
Bottle, minor gusher on opening. Thanks to jcvanderbilt. Pours clear mahogany black, medium beige head that dissipates fairly quickly with good lacing. Aroma is pretty light overall, mostly oak tannins, some roasty malts, dust, a touch of funk. Flavor is similar, dry and light plus tart, just a tiny note of funkiness. Lots of oaky and vinous notes, light musty, lemon. Medium body, fine champagne like carbonation. A bit hot on the finish, which is odd for the ABV. Good beer, easy to drink, not hugely complex.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rastacouere (6174) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 15, 2014
A deep beige head clings to the side of the veiled dark brown pour. Moderate bubbliness. Not powerfully scented, but layered and growing on you in the nose. Interestingly floral, wild, but elegant, with layers of ripe fruits, wood toastiness and subtle vanilla. The mildness takes a one-way ticket as in mouth, it is very tasty indeed, albeit expectations in regards to intensity should not be at Cantillon level. The background is definitely one of lactic acid, without vinegar and piling up with each sip. It is a good fit to the wild floweriness and the long oak barrel sojourn left plenty of agreeable tannins, providing plenty of texture in spite of residual sugars being virtually inexistent. Vigorous effervescence, but not over the top, probably less than your average bottle-conditioned spontaneously fermented beer. In the background, earthy notes remain discreet whilst cobwebby attic dust enhance complexity and dryness sensation. Puckering after a few sips and developing spicy notes whose origins I’m not clear on - oak or wild yeast’s phenols? Idem for the subtle smoke. It has depth that one, and it invites you for contemplation as it warms and opens up furthermore. Not something I would drink very regularly even if I had an unlimited supply, but this was worth the effort to visit the brewery at the right time and it sure is fun to see more regional spontaneous efforts.

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