Hill Farmstead has become a household name in the world of farmhouse ales and sours. It has garnered a reputation of clean, funky and subtle beers that incorporate different barrels and fruits to add character to their base beers. Civil Disobedience is a series of blended barrel beers that started in 2011. There are currently 24 different in the series, the most recent one being released last month.

According to Hill Farmstead, Civil Disobedience 17 took “Nearly 3 years of development, this is a blend of four threads aged in wine barrels between 16 and 24 months including, notably, a fragment of spontaneously fermented citrus beer. Bottle conditioned for 11 months.”

Upon pouring 17 has an orange murky liquid sits in the glass underneath a fluffy cloud like head that hangs around the whole time it is being consumed. The nose is very clean, like fresh cut grass with a hint of lemon zest. It sort of smells like a spring day, if that makes any sense at all? I pick up some really nice, oak and wine notes as well, that give the nose some gusto. There is also a good amount of acidity; overall it’s a great smelling beer with a lot of different things working in harmony.

It is extremely clean tasting, not as tart as I would have thought from the nose. I pick up hints of orange juice, wheat, watered down lemonade, white wine, some stone fruit and light oak. Everything is very subtle and muted, nothing really dominates and it’s very easy drinking. There is light acidity, but a really fresh sparkling mineral water type thing going on with each sip.

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Hill Farmstead Civil Disobedience 17
BREWERY: Hill Farmstead
LOCATION: Greensboro Bend, Vt.
STYLE: Sour Ale
ABV: n/a
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $30
RELEASE DATE: March 2016
AVAILABLE IN: 750ml Bottles
BEERS POURED: One
Overall, this is a good beer, but Hill Farmstead has really yet to blow me away with anything. Perhaps it’s the subtlety in its beers. Hill Farmstead is akin to Jester King with letting the base do the heavy lifting on most of its beers, and everything else playing a harmonizing role. Would I crush this beer? Absolutely. It’s just not something I would give up too much for or go too far out of my way to acquire. It is good, it’s done very well, but nothing begs you to come back for another pour. Please don’t hear that I “don’t like this beer,” it’s just the hype and expectation from a brewery with the clout of Hill Farmstead that leaves your palate in anticipation. I would drink again if given the chance, but with more tempered expectations.
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