What Is Enlightenment? - Hill Farmstead Brewery
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Ratings: 632 | Reviews: 85 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
4.9/5 rDev +11.4%
1 liter growler into Duvel tulip (note: love that Hill Farmstead fills any growler as long as it's brown glass). Bought 2 days ago from the brewery.
Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch frothy white head that dissipates steadily. Pours a very hazy yellow (I love these unfiltered, glowing IPAs like Heady Topper), and leaves sparse spots and bars of lacing.
Smell: Grapefruit and tangerine, light tropical fruit highlights and an undercurrent of pale malt. Growing, heavy melon flavor that sort of overlaps with tangerine. The melon and malt are kind of a "light" aroma (like white wine is light) while there are these bold citrus, red fruit (almost cherry like), tropical fruit aromas that sort of blast in from the side and come across as bold and "dark" (like red wine).
That last sentence may sound ridiculous, but there's a lot going on here, and it's really good.
Taste: Melon, tangerine, some trademark Simcoe pungency up front, then a crisp hit of bitterness and perfect carbonation, moving to a ton of really good pale malt and a long, succulent citrusy/fruity hop finish. Bright cereal malt flavor goes so well with the tangerine/melon hop flavor; it's a perfect match.
This is one of those beers where the hop flavor has *all* the elements that I smell in Simcoe and Amarillo hops in the homebrew shop before I boil them into a beer, plus *more*. It's a struggle to keep all the beauty of an ingredient from fleeing when you make a beer--it's genius when you capture all that beauty and somehow add to it.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Moderate but perfect carbonation. Nice crisp bitterness, with a semidry finish.
Overall: This beer goes down like water, but is packed with more hop and malt flavor than a top tier DIPA. It reminds me of NEBCO's Fuzzy Baby Ducks--a perfected IPA--but just with Amarillo and Simcoe instead of Citra, lower alcohol, a superior malt backbone (big achievement), and slightly inferior mouthfeel (tiny criticism). Also like FBD, the particular flavors that this beer perfects are exactly what I want to find in a beer, so if it's not objectively a masterpiece (I think it is), at the very least it's a perfect fit for me.
You just can't really overstate how good Hill Farmstead is at crafting hoppy pale ales. This is the kind of things fanatics dream "actually exists somewhere" and search for. Beer lovers who live near Greensboro, Vermont are lucky people.
07-31-2012 01:24:22 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
4.46/5 rDev +1.4%
Super huge thanks to TheLostGringo for a growler of this stuff... and it was only an extra. Shared with some good people. This one pours a golden-yellow; bright, vibrant, and translucent, but still plenty of unfiltered haze. The soapy, foamy white head settles quickly to a collar after building up to only about a half-inch in height. Good looking pale ale, no complaints so far.
What Is Enlightenment is hopped with one of my personal favorites - Amarillo - and Simcoe, which is often hit or miss for me (and is usually only miss when it's the only hop used). Piney, citrusy, bursting full of oranges and some grapefruit with oily resins and a mildly dank character hiding in the background. Success! The pine comes through from the Simcoe and mixes well with the heavy fruit aromas from Amarillo. Malt? Nah, this is a hoppy pale ale, baby!
A crisp little bitterness bites the tongue up front but it's pretty tame and never reaches a level where I'd say "this is more bitter than a pale ale should be". Lots of pines and leaves, followed up quickly with grapefruit peels, juicy orange centers, and a hint of lemon zest. Whatever the proportion of Simcoe to Amarillo is here, I don't know, but it's almost perfect.
Such a crisp pale ale, relatively light bodied, yet robust enough to maintain its presence on your palate. Carbonated well, even for a growler (I guess that's why swing-tops are so good), so it keeps nipping softly at your tongue with each sip and finishes dry to keep you thirsty. A touch of yeast and malt coats the palate and only become noticeable once the hop assault has finally faded.
I wasn't particularly impressed with the first two Hill Farmstead beers I ever had, but What is Enlightenment has essentially blown me away. Such a good pale ale, it's really a crime that this stuff is only available in Vermont. Though it was split six ways, I could easily smash through an entire growler of this on my own. So drinkable, so tasty, such an awesome pale ale.
07-15-2013 11:37:17 | More by tectactoe
4.38/5 rDev -0.5%
A: good yellow, amazing like all hf stuff.
S: somewhat bland but lemon and zest.
T: another amazing pale ale from hf. balanced, not too much of any flavor but all around good lemon and citrus tastes.
M:same as taste.
O: had at good beer while beer shopping and still have yet to have a hf beer that isnt amazing.
06-21-2012 03:55:53 | More by codysjb
4.41/5 rDev +0.2%
This beer has a yellow smokey look to it.. It doesn't have strong smell but the taste sticks out.. Light hoppy taste.. It's a very casual beer to drink.. Has a light taste... again just right on the hops.. I believe it's a good summer beer.. "What-ever" that means...?
08-06-2014 20:11:11 | More by Guess2814
4.45/5 rDev +1.1%
Review from notes. Thanks to Greg for this one!
A: Pours a hazy yellow with a large white head on top, very foamy with great retention and lacing. Great looking beer.
S: Lots of citrus on the aroma, lemon, lime, orange, and a little bit of tangerine. Slight sugary sweetness and pale malt, but overall lots of juicy citrus.
T: More juicy citrus, lemon, lime, a bit of grapefruit and orange zest. Nice malt backbone, but certainly hop forward for a pale, just as I want it. Very flavorful.
M: Medium bodied with perfect carbonation. Extremely smooth and easy drinking. Could drink this one all day long.
O: Another great hop forward beer from HF. Hard to put them in any sort of order, because all of them are great.
05-26-2013 21:33:02 | More by mdaschaf
What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 632 ratings.