Friday, September 20, 2013
The Hill Farmstead Harlan
Alcohol Content: 7%
Hops: Columbus + ?
Price: $3.50/ Half; $6.50/ Full
Medium: Small Wine Glass
Aroma: Pungent hop aroma but not overly citrus. Also some earthy undertones to the hop profile. The hops really dominate the nose making it difficult to determine the malt character. Some residing sweetness emerges as pale malt. Somewhat grapefruity and resiny with an overall smooth or pleasant nose - not the harshness or vegetal matter you may find in highly dry-hopped ales. No sign of alcohol. No diacetyl.
Appearance: Mirky haze with a deep tangerine gold color. No visible carbonation in the body of the glass although a strong lacing develops from its white head. Sporadic bubbles linger on the surface. Head retention is low. All of Hill Farmstead's dry-hopped ales seem to have a distinct thick cloudiness with almost a milkiness (they have a large selection of dry-hopped ales and IPA's).
Flavor: Cold, mouthwatering malty sweetness and alcohols move across the palate together and are met with an assertive hop bitterness. Hop flavors come into the picture even more so with subsequent sips and can be described as grapefruit, pineapple, and resin. Bitterness aids in rounding out the malt sweetness before swallowing the beer. Alcohol lingers on in the aftertaste as semi-sweet and spicy.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is moderate, supported by chalkiness. Dry but not unpleasant or harsh. Hop resins coat the mouth and are hardly washed away with water - cleansing the palate becomes more difficult. Alcohol warmth is noticeably sweet and spicy. Served a bit cold at first and changes slightly as it warms. The body is not too heavy but a perceived fullness comes from hop flavors.
Overall Impression: Their selection of beers and qualities are starting to get a little repetitive. Although they have completely different profiles, I have found similar mouthfeel and certain characteristics to their dry-hopped series. This is probably due to the water and control over the brewing processes. I would love to see a clear, hoppy beer from the brewery instead of the mirky ones consistently on tap (aside from their darker or maltier styles). This one was so similar to the Columbus I sampled at Three Penny Taproom with Kristine, no doubt due to the columbus hops but its overall character was too similar.