Society and Solitude #6 (Hill Farm-stead Brewery)

Style: Double/Imperial India Pale Ale

8% ABV

From: Greensboro, VT

Brewer’s Note: “Imperial Pale Ale brewed almost exclusively with Mosaic hops from the Pacific Northwest.”

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Thus begins my reviews of Hill Farmstead.  I have a couple bottles that I will hopefully review in the next few days, but I felt like I should start this with a little-something about the brewery.  Hill Farmstead is being lauded as the best brewery in the world by many people in the beer world.  They make some damn good beer.  Their hops are succulent and their yeast is wonderfully complex.  Are they the best?  Obviously that is a personal question, but no one can argue that against the quality of beer they produce.  I’ve only been fortunate enough to sample their beers a couple of times, but each time I have been taken with the complexity, the refreshing snap they have on the palate, and by how damn good the beer is.  Without further ado, here is my first review of Hill Farmstead.

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Personally, I am a huge fan of the Hill Farmstead logo.  It’s simple, minimalist, beautiful, and interesting, plus it has become a mark of prestige in the beer world.  Though this beer is poured from one of their standard swing top bottles it is still stunningly beautiful and worthy of shelf space.  Spacing is nicely done, and the writing on the back of the bottle is nicely sized to be readable but not obtrusive.  The Hill Farmstead labels are beautiful.

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The beer pours a hazy yellow with touches of gold and a nice fluffy white, two-fingers- width head that stick around and leaves a sticky fat lacing on the glass.  The beer’s body is an opaque haze and appears to be free of carbonation bubbles.  On the nose, the beer smells pungently of sweet and juicy tropical fruit.  Mango, pineapple, touches of grapefruit, tangerine, and even touches of nectarine run across the nose and are backed up with a strong shivering pine resin and a slight caramelly bread malt.  On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet and then nicely bitter with a wonderful round feeling that doesn’t wrack the mouth, but does give it a proper tingle.  There is also a slight pucker from acidity in this beer.  The flavors begin as light and then grow, sweet tropical fruit juice flavors work from pineapple juice into orange and grapefruit flavors and then explode with bitter sticky pine in the mouth.  Juicy fruit flavors also run across the palate during the sip.  The finish is bitter and a touch medicinal, but thirst quenching and tasty, and the aftertaste shows the light bready malt background of the beer.  In the mouth the beer feels medium light in body, and fluffy soft from the carbonation with only a touch of a prickle on the sides of the tongue.  This beer also gives a proper thirst quenching snap to the mouth, which is lovely.  The mouth is left dry on top and wet on the sides from the slight acidity.  Overall, this is a lovely tropical fruit DIPA and a nice introduction to the mosaic hop for me.  That this is a single hop beer really shows both the skill of the brewer and the wonder of this new hop variety.  This beer is excellent, and you should try it.

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4.39/5

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