On Monday I wrote a post recounting my first trip to Hill Farmstead Brewery in Vermont, a visit I made with a group of my college buddies a couple weeks ago. In addition to enjoying a couple pints at the brewery and a sampling of growler pours later in our hotel I bought a range of beers to take home. Hill Farmstead had three can options on the day I visited, a pilsner named Mary along with two hoppy beers, Legitimacy IPA and Double Citra DIPA. They also had a variety of farmhouse ales in bottles, and I now have a range of tasty saisons in my cellar and beer fridge. The special release that weekend was a version of Brother Soigne, a farmhouse ale brewed with lime and blood orange, that was aged in gin barrels. I have sampled a number of the beers now and thought I would share reviews of two of my favorites, the special release famhouse ale and Legitimacy IPA.
Hill Farmstead Legitimacy pours hazy deep yellow with a solid white head. The aroma is a big burst of fruity hops. The flavor is also hop forward, notes of red grapefruit, pineapple and mango along with minimal bitterness. This is balanced by some light malts, hints of bread crust and cereal. Legitimacy is medium bodied and very smooth, not overly boozy at 6.0% ABV. The finish is crisp with plenty of lingering hop flavor. This is an awesome IPA, probably my favorite of the Hill Farmstead IPAs I’ve sampled so far. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.
Hill Farmstead Gin Barrel Aged Brother Soigne pours crystal clear light orange with a solid white head. The aroma features a mixture of floral, botanical and fruity notes, you can tell right away that the beer will have a lot of flavor. The first taste brims with complexity, a ton of different elements here without any one overwhelming the others. The fermentation adds some green apple, peppercorn and barnyard flavors along with a subtle sourness. The lime and blood orange adjuncts are present but in the background. The barrel aging adds hints of juniper, herbs and a little oak. A mild malt backbone contributes touches of white bread and crackers. Gin Barrel Aged Brother Soigne is light and refreshing, the ABV isn’t listed but the base beer is 5.0%, so it is probably similar. The finish is dry and slightly tart. This beer is exceptional, tons of flavor but still nuanced and well balanced. It’s beers like this that make the drive to Hill Farmstead worth it. Hoppy Boston score: 5.0/5.