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Riwaka Pale Ale - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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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 mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: growler

09-21-2012 01:34:20 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -7.6%

04-16-2013 10:03:35 | More by Kelp
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Note: IPA brewed with Riwaka hops from New Zealand.

Pours a mild amber color, bordering on orange/ruby red with a thin head into my glass.

A heavy citrus presence greets the nose, mainly grapefruit and mango. Unique.

Grapefruit and mango notes greet the tongue. Certainly not as strong as sorachi ace with more of a balance. Buttery malt shows up near the edge of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is dominated by the buttery malt. Very chewy with a texture that amazes.

Shaun has done it again. Riwaka is an amazing IPA that will challenge your palate. I just have to give this a perfect 5. I'm constantly amazed by what he can do and this IPA is a must-try!

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2010 21:55:18 | More by Brad007
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

04-16-2013 14:15:38 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

11-30-2012 03:29:05 | More by chippo33
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JLindros for picking this growler up for me when he went up to VT to get beers for our epic 13 course beer dinner. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a wonderful lightly hazy/cloudy golden light orange hue pour . Big, fluffy almost 2 finger white head slumped down to leave thick, sticky side lacing and wonderful retention. Excellent.

S - So this is Riwaka hops eh? Nice New Zealandy hop characteristics, earthy, almost wet hops, nice lemony grapefruit citrus ring hop thing going on. Definitely not a typical hop aroma.

T - Taste is spot on too. More of those tasty new zealand hops here. Lots more citrus and grapefruit peel on the taste with that subtle grassy/earthy making up the background. There some slight lemon, almost like a combo of a farmhouse and a pale ale. Very interesting.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, slightly dry. Incredibly drinkable.

O - Overall this was a delicious beer featuring a rather hard to come by hop variety. Glad I got to try another Shaun Hill offering, Really like this lighter styled pale ale.

Serving type: growler

09-17-2012 03:18:55 | More by rudzud
Photo of Holland
Holland

Illinois

4/5  rDev -7.6%

10-25-2012 17:26:03 | More by Holland
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2012 19:45:26 | More by Sean9689
Photo of tom10101
tom10101

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

04-29-2013 22:25:41 | More by tom10101
Photo of jenray
jenray

Texas

3/5  rDev -30.7%

11-12-2012 22:53:30 | More by jenray
Photo of koopa
koopa

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: growler

10-09-2012 22:01:32 | More by koopa
Photo of oldp0rt
oldp0rt

Quebec (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

09-23-2012 15:28:44 | More by oldp0rt
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

4/5  rDev -7.6%

10-27-2012 04:43:46 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2012 23:51:40 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of millerbuffoon
millerbuffoon

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

10-03-2012 23:36:18 | More by millerbuffoon
Photo of seeswo
seeswo

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Typical stellar looking HF single hop pale ale. Light enough to be potentially mistaken for a saison with a nice whitish head. I don't know if that is supposed to look good or if I am been trained that when I see that, it is a HF hoppy beer and will be good. Either way, looks great.

Now let me explain. Had this one time in the middle of a substantial tasting and really didn't like it. Earthy, grassy...just a bit odd. This new go is on a growler where this is all I'm doing. Reinterpretation of the smell and flavor of this beer - gueuze. The nose is really funky and smells like a very hoppy gueuze. I am now appreciating it and it smells unbelievable. Grassy, minerally. I can even say that it reminds me specifically of Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze. The taste is quite hoppy with a very mild gueuzey/minerally/grassy funk. Doesn't taste quite as good as it smells, but it is really nice.

As with all of these HF beers, the body is medium/light with good carbonation and everything seeming to be dead-on. I mean, the man knows what he is doing.

Overall, this beer is pretty great. I could stick my nose in it for hours. Doesn't deliver as much on the taste as it does the smell, but I now have the best context to understand it - it's a gueuze IPA and now I think it is a revelation.

Serving type: growler

10-21-2012 01:18:11 | More by seeswo
Photo of Amalak
Amalak

New York

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

11-23-2011 02:37:25 | More by Amalak
Photo of HopStoopid120
HopStoopid120

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +15.5%

11-15-2011 18:13:21 | More by HopStoopid120
Photo of Satchboogie
Satchboogie

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

09-16-2012 01:01:25 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Serving type: growler

09-22-2012 23:45:22 | More by portia99
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler filled at the brewery yesterday. Split two ways. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glassware.

A- Pours a yellowish golden with about a finger's worth of thick frothy white head that leaves nice thick layered lacing. Decent carbonation. Very similar in appearance to the Simcoe Pale ale that I drank earlier today.

S- Pale malts and some wheat mixed with light citrus hops that have light aromas of lemon.

T- Perfectly balanced between light lemon hops and pale malts. Finishes with a light lemon taste. Not as flavorful as some beers, but very pleasant flavors coming through that make for a very enjoyable beer that I could drink over and over again.

M- Super refreshing, super drinkable- goes down almost like water, nice carbonation, fairly light bodied, probably one of the best if not the best mouthfeel I've experienced on a pale ale.

O- This was a fantastic APA, without a doubt one of my favorites. I can't say Riwaka is my favorite hop varietal, but this beer was fantastically made. Don't expect a ton of citrus, but nice light lemon qualities that balance with the pale malts very well. The drinkability on this beer was amazing, I could easily drink a 2L growler of it. If you like light beers without overpowering citrus and a very high drinkability this beer is definitely the beer for you.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2012 22:26:26 | More by jaasen64
Photo of WeisGuy
WeisGuy

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

09-23-2012 23:53:14 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of nh2032
nh2032

New York

5/5  rDev +15.5%

09-14-2012 20:49:02 | More by nh2032
Photo of DaveHack
DaveHack

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: growler

09-12-2012 22:19:00 | More by DaveHack
Photo of Urbancaver
Urbancaver

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

10-17-2012 00:01:26 | More by Urbancaver
Riwaka Pale Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.