Beer Review: Hill Farmstead Brewery Nordic Saison

Nordic1

Brewery: Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer: Nordic Saison
Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale
ABV: 6%
Character: Brewed with honey, heather, rose tips, rhubarb, and wheat. Brewed in collaboration with Kissmeyer Beer and Brewing, and Cambridge Brewing Co.
Ratings at the time of Review: BA: 93 | RB: 99
Metal Connection: LUCA TURILLI – Kings of the Nordic Twilight

BeerMetalDude Rating: 4.75/5

NordicIn August, 2014, I had gotten married, and with the type of friends that I have, some gave us some great craft beer as presents. This is one of the great presents we received from our good friends Andrew and Denae Schwab, Nordic Saison by Hill Farmstead Brewery from Vermont. Andrew is a great Craft Beer knowledgeable person, and I love sitting with him and chatting beer. He helps with the site, Craft Beer Austin. Check it out when you have the chance.  As we all should know, Hill Farmstead is a very popular and sought after brewery,so we were eternally grateful for this awesome present. Now, in typical BeerMetalDude fashion, it took me forever to finally getting around to drinking this bottle, as I finally cracked it open this past April. Here are my thoughts of this amazing beer.

 The label of this amazing beer is similar to that of the Danish flag, the first of the Nordic flags to adopt the cross design, which is now on all Nordic flags. As the Danish flag is more of a white cross on a red background, this label is more of a silver cross on a maroon background, but similar in style. Normally Hill Farmstread’s labels feature different color schemes around their logo design. The logos for the three collaborating breweries are present on the label. Very simple design here, letting the beer do all the artistic talking.

I poured this beer into a tulip style glass, as it is the recommended glass type for Saisons. Nordic Saison’s appearance was a hazy golden honey color and topped with a rather large 1.5 inch white foamy head. Great head retention, and spotty sticky lacing left down the glass.

The nose had notes of lemon, lime, grass, farmhouse funk, hay, wheat, mixed with a little peppercorn, flowers, grapes, and a hint of honey and a slight tart sour fruit aroma, I assume, from the added rhubarb.

The taste of this beer has a sour tartness up front, followed closely by acidic lemons, limes, some grape flavor, mixed with some grass, farmhouse funk, hay, wheat, peppercorns, flowers,  a little heather, and honey. The special ingredients in this beer really do stand out. The flavors of flowers, honey, heather, wheat and rhubarb all play a vital role in the overall taste of this amazing beer. There is a lingering aftertaste of sweet honey, and tart rhubarb, but nothing really overpowering.

The body is slightly lighter than medium. The mouthfeel had a crisp tartness with a somewhat smooth feeling. There is low carbonation. This beer had a nice, dry finish that went perfectly with the tartness of the aftertaste.

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed by this beer. The choice of the special ingredients in this beer was simply amazing. I am a huge fan of rhubarb, but I only wished it was more present in the overall taste. It was there and actually I actually tasted a hint of it in the aftertaste, but I do really wish it was more dominant. I am very happy that the heather wasn’t very powerful, as this is usually not my favorite special ingredient in beer. Overall, this was a very balanced beer with a complex aroma and flavor. I expected nothing less from Hill Farmstead.

LucaTurilliMetal Connection: As epic as this beer was, I knew I had to find an epic song to pair with it. The search wasn’t too hard once I dove into the Power Metal vault. In 1999, former Rhapsody of Fire guitarist, Luca Turilli formed his side solo band under his name, Luca Turilli. This guy writes some seriously epic tunes. After forming his solo band, they released a full length album that same year called King of the Nordic Twilight through Limb Music GmbH. I have paired this amazing beer with the title track fro this very album. “King of the Nordic Twilight” is 11:30 in length, and features some serious fantasy lyrics of warriors, battle, ice and snow, the whole nine yards. Gt out your loin cloths, swords, and your pet white tiger, and get ready for battle in the snowy mountain tops. Hail!

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