bmsulliv (219) - - JAN 19, 2014
Booming brett aroma with oak. Copper gold brilliantly clear. Amazing brett flavor really dominates the body which is nice and full bodied. A wow beer
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone AdamChandler (4977) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - AUG 12, 2012
Bottle #269. Enjoyed in a Hill Farmstead Glass.
Ernesto987 (6050) - Arizona, USA - MAR 2, 2013
A - Dark golden orange. No lacing. Minimal head.
S - Wow. Smells nice. Lots of citrus, some funky yeast and some vanilla.
T - Up front with honey taste. Almost a mead up front taste. Mild bitterness but not too much. Floral notes, roses and hibiscus. Some sweetened candi sugars. Finish is this dry champagne like belgian yeast.
M - 20% carbonation. Light body. Grape-skin finish.
O - This was a very special beer. It has an exceptional taste. Truly a phenomenal world-class beer.
UPDATED: MAR 5, 2013 Completely flat, no head. Too bad, would be amazing but with a flat body it’s just flavored water. Will definitely rerate when I try again, asking around this was an islocated incident
After opening another bottle, oh my god....... I’m speechless MetalNHopHead (1886) - Lincoln, Nebraska, USA - MAY 23, 2015
Biere de Norma is my first Biere de Garde and a strange creature in terms of flavor. Norma is redolent of rotting fruit, sour yeast, vinous grape, and tart apple. Its fizzy body and reddish hue will make you think of sparkling wine rather than beer. Taste leaves nothing to question, though. Lots of funk and earthiness here. The oak adds a somewhat musty, bittersweet character to this brew. The sour aroma and funky flavor get some getting used to, but this is a one-of-a-kind brew with class to spare. daknole (11044) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - AUG 7, 2012
Burned orange pour, a light fluffy head. Wonderful yeasty qualities jump out of the glass, some rich fresh oaky notes, a bit of unripe stone fruit, bready malts. Flavor is so light on the tongue, I get the oak, some great lively yeast. So flavorful. So wonderful. Wow.
davey101 (751) - Connecticut, USA - MAR 10, 2013
750ml red waxxed bottle into a tulip glass. 2012 vintage, 1200 bottles. Shared moments after returning to CT from the Norma release on an outside patio in the cold. Can’t beat it! Quick notes I jotted down.
A - Pours a cloudy dark red body. Messy off-white foam.
S - My first thought was of a Flemmish bruin. Has a lactic twang with some cherries, vinegar, apricot and plenty of oak. Some musky saison notes with a touch of caramel.
T - Tart cherries and vinegar, caramel malts, funky earthy notes, fresh apricot, and some light oak and vanilla. Really complex and tasty. The finish was unreal though. The beer was incredibly tart and then it just vanishes away. Medium bodied with nice carb.
O - The first half of the glass left me a bit underwhelmed. The more I thought about the beer the more I liked it though. Its incredibly complex and unique. Super tart with a perfectly clean finish. It drinks way too easily. Certainly worth the effort to get a bottle in person. PhillyCraft (7078) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 15, 2013
UPDATED: AUG 3, 2013 Bottle at tasting in VT and with Joe, acquired at the release. Pours hazy ruby with whiteish head, medium in size. Aroma of red berries, black currants, jam, citrus, potpourri, red grapes, and oak. Flavor is tropical hibiscus, wood, rind zest, grape skins, cherry and yeasty funk. Medium carbonation with a perfect palate from the oak. Really complex and layered brew from HF. Unbelievable. Sweet caramel and oak. curepute (141) - New York, USA - APR 25, 2014
Bottle from a year ago. Deep hazy orange with a sightly off white head. Nose of oak with different levels of beautiful funk. Taste: amazing. Malty funky sourness with a hint tartness near the end. Finishes with a mild boozy buttery oak taste. ClarkVV (6641) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 31, 2015
2015 bottle drunk 7/24/15.craftycarl21 (2338) - Seattle, Washington, USA - APR 10, 2012
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!
Bottle #196, red wax top. Murky gumwood colored pour with a large, vivacious head. Nose holds absolutely gorgeous cheesecloth, oaky tannins, brie with big washed rind, plum, apricot, orange zest, and white pepper. The flavor is even more vibrant and stunning, with beautiful mango, pineapple, tart yeasty funk, lactic sourness, a bit of kiwi and starfruit; just an outrageous fruit profile that blends so amazingly well with the lactic sour presence. Neither is overwhelming. The palate is really outrageous, completely quenching and limitlessly quaffable. Wow. Once again from Shaun Hill.