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Riwaka Pale Ale - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Riwaka Pale Ale
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27 Reviews
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Reviews: 27
Hads: 112
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 11.34%
Wants: 54
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Brad007 on 12-31-2010

An American Pale Ale bittered, flavored, and dry hopped exclusively with one of our favorite hop varieties: New Zealand's rare and difficult to obtain Riwaka!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 27 | Hads: 112
Reviews by portia99:
Photo of portia99
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml growler courtesy of jlindros...thanks for picking this one up for me! Poured into a Harpoon 100 Barrel series stemmed glass. Haven't had anything with the Riwaka hops...so anxious to give this one a try.

A - Pours a rather pale and quite hazy golden yellow. A two finger pillow of dense and rocky head lingers for several minutes giving a nice white cap. Tons of webby and sticky lacing nearly completely cover any beerless surface in the glass. Great looking beer.

S - Really interesting hop bouquet on this one. Starts off with the requisite citrusy blast on first sniff. Still grapefruity, but I get much more of an orange presence and a mix of lemon as well. Behind that is a strong piney-ness that hides itself initially, but comes on with great intensity and gives an almost concentrated pine extract aroma. There is also some spiciness that is a bit peppery too. Quite good. Not much malt showing thru, if any - struggling to find some...but honestly - who cares? The hops smell so good, I'm afraid any malt might diminish their effect.

T - More intense pine can be found in the flavor. Tastes almost as I'd imagine pure pine sap to taste. Very intense flavor here. Bitterness level is rather high...very crisp...ends a bit medicinal and/or solventy on the finish and still intensely piney. Again, really not much malt here...only the slightest bit present. A bit different and rather good. I'm liking it.

M - Resiny and bitter, herbal and piney, very fresh. Body is lightish medium with a prickly, fine bubbled medium-high carbonation level. Pine tends to overwhelm and leaves a long lasting impression after the swallow, giving a cool piney feel on each breath.

O - Rather different pale ale which I think can be attributed directly to the Riwaka hop variety. Very intense pine...more than I've ever encountered before. Interesting and really quite good. Not sure this would be a go to hop though for me...mix this in with some intense citrus - Citra maybe? and I think this could really be outstanding. Bump up the malt a bit and this could make a top notch DIPA.

 2,084 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of bierdabbler
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Mike for hooking me up with this one!

A: Pours a rather light golden color with a foamy two finger white head on top, very nice retention. Sticky lacing forms all around the glass.

S: Very earthy, with a lot of zest/rind going on. Some lemon and grapefruit and grassy aromas. Just a bit of pale malt.

T: Light lemon and lemon rind mixed with a little grapefruit juice and some pale malt. Just a little bit of pine, but overall very clean.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Extremely easy drinking.

O: A great pale ale, tons of flavor, very clean and incredibly drinkable. I had no problem polishing off the entire 750ml growler. I have had more flavor forward pale ales, but few are as drinkable as this one, which I feel is important in a pale ale.

 792 characters

Photo of twowheelssoar
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of Solomon420
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, I am being constantly surprised with Vermont's IPAs. And this one doesnt dissappoint. This one pours a yellow/orangish hue, normal white two finger head. Aroma is of nice citrus and hops, clean smell. I like it a lot. The taste is awesome and follows the nose to a T. Mouthfeel is balanced and silky, dances off of the tongue. Its a lower ABV, which makes this thing so damn drinkable and enjoyable. Its a true champion of an IPA.

 435 characters

Photo of wesley14
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Amalak
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of largadeer
3.85/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arbitrator shared this one several weeks back. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance: Hazy, milky blond body with a tall white head that retains well.

Smell: Quite grassy up front, which eventually dissipates and reveals pineapple, lime and green tea. Yeast and malt are pretty neutral and allow the unusual hop aromas to shine. The hop character is unique, interesting and fairly enjoyable, but I'm not blown away by it.

Palate: Grainy, a bit gritty in texture, presumably from hop particles that didn't fully settle out. Lime and green tea flavors are prominent, with a touch of grapefruit bitterness toward the finish. Light and dry on the tongue, and firmly bitter in the finish. This is good and easy-drinking, but HF has made more impressive pale ales.

 755 characters

Photo of jmilo64
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of WeisGuy
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of jamvt
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of plaid75
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a hazy bright orange hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light piney hop with a slight essence of tropical fruit.

The taste was upfront piney with secondary waves of grapefruit and pepper. Soft malt provided an adequate platform.

The mouthfeel was clean and toward the thinner side of the style.

Overall a tasty hop forward ale. Easy to drink.

 457 characters

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into provided stemware at the 2012 Harvest Fest. Pours a hazy light orangey hay with a good amount of foam. Huge huge hop aromas...realy nice pine and citrus. Taste is fantastic pine, citrus, grass hop flavor but almost bitter/sweet at the same time. Very well balanced with the malts as the usual hop bomb bitterness is so well masked that just the hop flavor is noticeable. Superb huge hop APA!

 412 characters

Photo of Binger72
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of SourinQns
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of heffnate77
3.75/5  rDev -15%

Photo of straightlambic
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Massbmx
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of bostonryan
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of phingdong
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap from a friend's kegerator. Picked up at HF last week (thanks Shaun and Phil!). Multiple glasses. Looks similar to all HF pale ales, which is a nice, vibrant orange with a fluffy white head. The aroma is fantastic. Combines the grassy, dank, earthy hops traits with the citrus and tropical. The taste follows the nose. Piney, earthy, tropical and just delicious. The flavor profile is one of the best I've had (and a single hop at that!). At 5.2%, this packs a mountain of flavor. I could drink this forever.

Too bad these hops are so scarce. I hope the next crop of Riwaka is more abundant and this is made again in the future. Perhaps even an imperial Riwaka...

 670 characters

Photo of rpstevens
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of pisano
5/5  rDev +13.4%

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Riwaka Pale Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.