1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

What Is Enlightenment? - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
What Is Enlightenment?What Is Enlightenment?

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

650 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 650
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 7.05%
Wants: 201
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
American Pale Ale brewed in honor of our Second Anniversary. Simcoe and Amarillo hops.

(Beer added by: CliffBrake on 04-26-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 650 | Reviews: 85 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tjmackie
5/5  rDev +13.6%

tjmackie, Yesterday at 08:55 PM
Photo of Lehighace06
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Lehighace06, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of wizmasta
5/5  rDev +13.6%

wizmasta, May 14, 2013
Photo of Jones153
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Jones153, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of iwantsomerocks
4.98/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Gramercy Tavern in NYC.

Looks sexy as hell. Slightly cloudy bright amber hue, with a lingering single finger head.

Nose has intense citrus accents. I get orange and peach dominating, with a nice piney background. Little bit of grapefruit too.

Taste is very complex. The hops come at you at first, but then recede quickly with the citrus notes dominating the rest of the way. Great orange and peach notes follow the nose perfectly.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Carbonation is muted for easier drinkability.

This is one of my favorite beers right now. If I could, I would drink this non-stop, forever. What a beer.

iwantsomerocks, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of Pahn
4.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Pahn, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of Rcaisse
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%

Rcaisse, Oct 18, 2014
Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the 2 liter growler into a large tulip.
Pours a light honey color, hazy with not a ton of head, tiny tiny bubbles.
Smells wonderful glorious amounts of citrusy hops with some sweet tropical fruit hints.
Taste is fucking ridiculous. Perfection. This literally could not taste any better for an APA.
Grapefruit explosion without the bitter bomb, hints of mango and pineapple.
Mouthfeel is soft and inviting.
Overall, a world class APA. Shaun Hill is a Jedi.

BoldRulerVT, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of DaveR514
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed a 2 liter growler with some friends the same day it was filled.

Very hazy golden orange with a finger of creamy head...

Beautiful and complex aromas (think citrus, stone and tropical fruit mixed with with barnyard herbs).

On first sip, it feels like the bitterness is about to hit very hard, but it quickly wisps away leaving behind a mouth full of expertly choreographed and juicy hops flavours layered on top of a foundation of sweaty malt.

An outstanding APA that goes on and on for what seems like forever...

DaveR514, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL growler. Thanks to Michael for the acquisition. Shared with Adam and Mike.

The beer is mildly hazy and appears a golden yellow color. The white head is about a half inch thick and leaves ample lacing on the tulip.

The nose is excellent. Dank hops and a variety of tropical fruits and citrus. Oh yeah...

The flavor is earthy with notes of well water (in a most positive way). Lots of citrus and hop notes. Simply fantastic. Chuggable. Another winner from Hill Farmstead. I think this is the best pale ale I have ever had. I am dumbfounded. I could drink this indefinitely.

What is Enlightenment? Well, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, and apparently, Shaun Hill.

Huhzubendah, May 30, 2012
Photo of SkiBum22
4.75/5  rDev +8%

SkiBum22, May 29, 2013
Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.75/5  rDev +8%

GreenMountainBoy, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.75/5  rDev +8%

MicroBeerMan1980, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of doremite
4.75/5  rDev +8%

doremite, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of Tuckersmth
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Tuckersmth, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of prdstmnky
4.75/5  rDev +8%

prdstmnky, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of KMcG
4.75/5  rDev +8%

KMcG, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of stanowsf
4.75/5  rDev +8%

stanowsf, May 16, 2013
Photo of JoeD77
4.75/5  rDev +8%

JoeD77, May 26, 2014
Photo of wesley14
4.75/5  rDev +8%

wesley14, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of ArtZan
4.75/5  rDev +8%

ArtZan, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of OnryAndMean
4.75/5  rDev +8%

OnryAndMean, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of Chugs13
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Chugs13, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of Blanco
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Blanco, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of jjf3792
4.75/5  rDev +8%

jjf3792, Jul 19, 2013
What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 650 ratings.