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Riwaka Pale Ale - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Riwaka Pale Ale
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

108 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 52
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:
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 added by: Brad007 on 12-31-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%

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.

largadeer, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of andrewinski1
3.98/5  rDev -8.1%

Thanks to Bendurgin for making the Trek and picking up this growler. Poured into a goblet. The color is hazy melon-orange. There is a nice fluffy head.

The aroma has a lot of dank citrus.

The taste has a lot of earthiness in the flavor from the hops. There is a great grassy hop flavor here as well. The finish is nice a crisp.

This is light bodied and refreshing. This is delicious as always.

andrewinski1, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of jamvt
4/5  rDev -7.6%

jamvt, Mar 15, 2014
Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -7.6%

HopsHopenstein, Sep 24, 2012
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4/5  rDev -7.6%

DarthKostrizer, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of jderosia603
4/5  rDev -7.6%

jderosia603, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of Franch
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Franch, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev -7.6%

GClarkage, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of SupremePie
4/5  rDev -7.6%

SupremePie, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of dunix
4/5  rDev -7.6%

dunix, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of Holland
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Holland, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Kelp, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of jbuddle
4/5  rDev -7.6%

jbuddle, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of Seakyden
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Seakyden, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of s1ckboy
4/5  rDev -7.6%

s1ckboy, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of Bendurgin
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured into a pint glass. This pours a hazy pale straw color with a small cap of white head.

The aroma has a nice grassy aroma with hints of citrus and lemon in the background. A bit earthy in the background. The pallet has a dank hop flavor with some grassy pine and citrus. Earthy root vegetables seem to have a bit of a presence in the background.

The body is nice and light with good carbonation. Overall this one is enjoyable. Nice showcase of this hop.

Bendurgin, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of portia99
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

portia99, Sep 22, 2012
Photo of koopa
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%

Growler filled at the brewery.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden to pale orange juice color with a 1 finger white crown comprised of fine/dense carbonation bubbles that show moderate retention and good lace.

Smell: Grapefruit, loads of pith, lightly grassy notes, bready malt, a touch of brewing salts, and the tiniest burnt rubber quality.

Taste: Same as the nose but that burnt rubber quality is more apparent. The burnt rubber quality was much more prevalent in a draft sample I had the same weekend at the Blackback Pub. It's also a quality I've tasted in other hoppy beers that didn't use Riwaka before. It's probably just the way my palate presents some particular types of hops or perhaps a particular amount of hop bitterness or something. As the beer warmed I seemed to notice it less.

Mouthfeel: Thick side of thin bodied with medium carbonation. A touch too thin for my liking.

Overall: A fairly stock HF hoppy beer which means it's really good! The riwaka hops are nice but they didn't wow me like I wanted them to.

koopa, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of Sean9689
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%

On-tap at HF Harvest Fest 2012 and poured into HF wine glass.

Pours a golden yellow color, hazy, white frothy head, spotty lace. Aroma is citrus zest, grass, and light pine...very little malts in this beer. Flavor is citrus and grass, less pine then the nose. Light body good carbonation, oily hoppy finish.

An excellent APA that was just super-easy to drink and contained a massive amount of hoppy goodness. How can you go wrong with that combo? Answer, you can't. Another winner from HF.

Sean9689, Sep 24, 2012
Photo of NoLiberty
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%

Thanks to Shaun for the fresh growler. Beer poured a 4 days after filling so changes are expected...

Pours into glass a medium amber-orange color, slightly hazy appearance which is no surprise considering the lack of filtration. A clean low white head quickly builds and relaxes into a spotty cap with nice dripping lace.

The smell is decidedly tropical fruit, not overwhelming so, but definite pineapple, grapefruit, and mango. This hop seems like a slightly lighter version of Citra or Nelson Sauvin, but great aroma and the beer holds this character well.

Taste is surprisingly less fruity than anticipated, but still retains the juicy drinkability that the nose suggests. Definite grapefruit, wet pine cones and light resinous qualities are matched by a fine but staunch bitterness. The beer is exceptionally well balanced and finishes quite clean.

Again, the day old growler is suspect but I did try the beer at the brewery. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with soft but assertive carbonation. Great round, smooth, and soft overall feel with clean tastebuds after.

Drinkability is very high on this beer.

NoLiberty, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of DaveHack
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%

Pours a hazy orange with a big white, fluffy head

Smells of fresh cut grass and a little bit of grapefruit. Very organic aroma to it.

Taste is similar, grass and a bit of a grapfruit flavor. I did expect this to be very bitter on the finish, but it was not. There was some bitterness, but given the aroma, I thought it would be REALLY bitter.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Heavier body than I expected, given the ABV, but still on the lighter side. The beer leaves a nice coating all throughout the mouth and leaves you wanting more!!

Overall, this is definately a beer to try. The hop flavors are unique and definately make a special aroma and flavor. It isn't my preferred hop, but I enjoyed it.

DaveHack, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

HaveUSeenMyCellar, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of Amalak
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Amalak, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of jmilo64
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

jmilo64, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of straightlambic
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

straightlambic, Mar 29, 2013
Riwaka Pale Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.