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What Is Enlightenment? - Hill Farmstead Brewery

What Is Enlightenment?
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BA SCORE
97
world-class

410 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 410
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 7.06%


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
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Ratings: 410 | Reviews: 73 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler poured into HF stemmed glass. Filled two days ago, keg just tapped that same day. Thanks Don (DonFrap) for picking this up for me.

A- Pours a yellowish golden that appears slightly hazy and mostly opaque in the glass, about a finger of foamy head forms leaving nice layered lacing around the sides of the glass as it dissipates at an average pace.

S- Tropical aromas of grapefruit, lemons, hint of papaya, balanced with a light malt profile. Simcoe and Amarillo really come out nicely and give the beer a very pleasant refreshing aroma and is without a doubt one of the best pale ales I've ever smelled, even better then Zombie Dust. It's one of those beers that I just don't want to consume because I want to keep on smelling it.

T- Juicy notes of grapefruit and bitter lemons, finishes with papaya and a little bit of passionfruit balanced with a nice malt background. Not quite as good as the aroma but extremely balanced with a ton of flavor coming through.

M- Smooth, refreshing, extremely easy drinking, medium bodied to a little bit on the light side, decent carbonation.

O- This was easily one of the best APAs I've had and is another home run by Hill Farmstead. This beer had a ton of flavor but still remained nicely balanced with the malt profile. Insanely drinkable and easily one of my favorite HF growlered beers, I wish I could have a glass of this every day. I highly recommend checking this out, just make sure you drink it fresh.

Serving type: growler

04-29-2013 21:46:57 | More by jaasen64
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to a great trader for the 750mL growler. Served in a Hill Farmstead long stem tulip. Pours a slightly cloudy pale apricot with a really nice white head and quite a bit of lacing. The nose has some light pineapple along with great citrus character and a bit of rind. Extraordinarily flavorful. Hoppy and great bitterness through the finish. Mouthfeel is unmatched. Classic Hill Farmstead. Love it.

Serving type: growler

05-14-2012 12:44:44 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Sean for sharing this one. Served in a Kuhnhenn goblet.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to some wispy patches, a thin collar, and splotches of lace. Murky peach flesh body.

S - The hop intensity is crazy - I was shocked to discover this only contained Amarillo and Simcoe. The Amarillo is nostril-shredding, with lemon zest, herbs, and a hint of dankness, while the Simcoe provides a tropical undercurrent. I initially thought there might be Nelson in in here, but apparently I'm imagining things. Pleasant vanilla malt sweetness way in the background.

T - Delicious mix of citrus, herbs, stone and tropical fruits, hint of sweet malts, and moderate finishing bitterness. No loss of intensity from the aroma.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium-light body, lightly chewy, dry finish, and minimal alcohol presence.

D - Crushable stuff. I think I like Hoppy Birthday a bit more but this is similarly excellent. I could easily polish off 2L on my own. Hope Shaun Hill makes this a regular offering instead of just an anniversary beer, as it's too goo to only be made once.

Serving type: growler

05-14-2012 19:00:34 | More by MasterSki
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I want to get more of this to write a more thoughtful review but this was at a tasting recently and it stole the show for me.

Beer is amber / orange and clear with a white head, nice retention, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is citrus and tropical fruits.

Beer is medium to light in body and sweet with a nice hop palate and a good lightly bitter hoppy finish. I'd have this again, a lot of this again. I want more, seriously where can I get some more?

Serving type: growler

06-19-2012 01:45:31 | More by drabmuh
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Blue Bird in Burlington.

Pours a hazy, glowing yellowish orange with a frothy off white head. Fairly sweet, juicy aroma of grapefruit and orange, some grass and lemon, and faint doughy malt. Like nose, flavor starts initially sweet, orange and other tropical notes before giving way to a grassy bitter finish. I prefer Edward to this, but that might just be more out of conditioning than anything else.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2013 01:37:48 | More by yourefragile
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wish I could get up to the brewery more. Such amazing beers, and pretty cheap overall too. Love the fresh APAs, IPAs, and saisons.

Pours a nice fizzy fluffy 1 finger head fades fairly slowly with light foamy lacing, fairly hazy golden orange yellow wheat colored beer.

Nose explodes with awesome hops, tropical fruit, citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, light musty resin and passion fruit, juicy fruit, light malts to base it.

Taste starts with more hops, a light creamy pale malt base. Hops again bring tropical fruit, quite juicy, light passion fruit, little musty resin, tangerine, clementine, grapefruit, but not super bitter. Washes down easy and clean, dry, with a nice finish of musty resinous hop that isn't strong, more citrus fruits, crisp and long hop lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, crisp, good carb for growler.

Overall awesome, great hops, tropical fruit, passion fruit, nice clean finish and perfect bitterness with a touch of a fluffy malt base.

Serving type: growler

05-08-2012 13:43:12 | More by jlindros
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Teresa's Next Door. Served in a tulip.

Really nice look here in the beer boasting a olympic metal gold with a light orange look as well. As all hill beers on tap, Enlightenment boasts a bright white firm head leaving some stick on the glass. This one looks inviting as all hell. Smell i all tropical scent with simcoe coming through and a light bready malt profile with warming. This smells like beer I want to drink a lot of. Taste is light while being bold. Everything is light and melded nice like with mango, papaya, grapefruit and slight pine. It's the well water used which brings this over the top though. I don't know if this is true or not, but it has to be the water, this just tastes too clean. Feel is light with a nice crisp carb. This is a all day beer and I only wish it shows up again. I feel blessed.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2012 04:58:03 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of Gatch
Gatch

Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful hazy golden yellow with a super frothy, soapy, and sticky bright white head. Massive lace and great retention. Bright, vibrant, inviting.

S/T: Huge citrus. Seriously. Sweet, slightly tart, some pine, fresh dough and a bit of yeast. So perfectly balanced yet nicely hopped.

M: Super smooth as all HF beers are but a tad cloying which is surprising. Sort of chalky and yeasty in a weird way.

O: Pretty amazing beer. Low alcohol so its easy to put down a 750ml growler.

Serving type: growler

05-23-2013 00:49:50 | More by Gatch
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler shared by....wait for it...cbutova.

Pale hazy orange pour, white head, good retention. That Hill Farmstead look.

For smell I wrote "Uh, tangerine." More or less, true. Just fresh orange/citrus hops all up in there with danky pine, herbal and tropical notes for good measure.

Taste delivers what I can only describe as super fruity dankness. Just great orange, mango, grapefruit, dank earthy hops. Baked bread malts at just the right level. Hard to believe this a pale ale, just huge flavor and huge hops, but balanced.

Medium-high carbonation and a well-bodied beer. Feels a bit bigger than the ABV would hint towards.

Very good, hard not to enjoy this one. I think this is the new generation of American pale ales. Enlightening.

Serving type: growler

07-11-2013 02:34:03 | More by Chico1985
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: growler

07-15-2013 11:37:17 | More by tectactoe
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: growler

05-26-2013 21:33:02 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of nootch23
nootch23

Massachusetts

4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 750ml growler into a tulip glass

A - a nice hazy, golden orange color. About a half a fingers worth of white head.

S - very light smell. not much aroma to this one. Mostly citrus with a little bit of pine.

T - right up at the front of the tongue was the taste of citrus, lemon with orange peel. Picked up small traces of melon and a little bit of malt flavor underneath. Very light hop bitterness.

M - very juicy finish leaving the mouth with the lemon flavor.

O - This was a very nice pale ale and at 5% a very sessionable beer to have. Very smooth and easy to drink on a hot day. Nice balance to the flavors. Hill Farmstead has done it again and come out with a great beer for its style. Would definitely purchase this one again when available.

Serving type: growler

06-10-2013 02:44:10 | More by nootch23
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jon for bringing this one back from Vermont! Poured into a pint glass. This pours a cloudy pale straw with a thick cap of rocky white head. Lots of sticky lace.

The aroma hits right off with citrus hops with some hints of pineapple with a nice bitter edge. A little bit of vanilla seems to linger in the background. The pallet has a nice tropical fruit presence with candied orange and pineapple. A little bit of vanilla on the finish with doughy yeast.

The body is somewhat light and sticky with soft carbonation. Overall another home run for me. Love these sticky hop pale ales.

Serving type: growler

05-30-2012 02:28:50 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of xenjoiii
xenjoiii

New York

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml HFS Growler of What is Enlightenment filled at the 7/14 Ann release.

A: Poured a cloudy pale straw color with about a finger of white head.

S: An abundance of tropical fruit/citrus in the nose

T: Nice fruity citrus notes upfront (lots of lemon) and finishes with a mild bitterness that lingers.

M: Soft carbonation with a medium body.

O: A very well balanced APA from HFS. Quite delicious.

Serving type: growler

07-15-2012 19:05:01 | More by xenjoiii
Photo of Tschnab
Tschnab

New York

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- a yellow cloudy color with a two inch head, some lace as well but not a lot.

S- lemon and tons of grass and flowers, tropical fruits.

T- Tons of fresh summery grass cuttings, floral notes and tons of mango and pineapple.

O- this is without a doubt the most ridiculously good tasting pale ale I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2012 22:11:41 | More by Tschnab
Photo of dcloeren
dcloeren

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to jlindros for this growler!

Pours a hazy pale straw color with 2 fingers of bright white head. Excellent lacing all the way down.

The aroma is citrus hop dominated. A little dankwoth some nice breadiness adding a little depth.

The taste is citrus hop dominated, clean and crisp. The breadiness I got in the nose adds a little depth and balance tothe taste as well.

The mouthfeel is amazing! Light to medium in body with the perfect amount of carbonation. Makes for one hell of a refreshing brew! This beer goes down extremely easy and has an amazing dry hop finish. Makes you want another sip as soon as you finish your last. One of the best pale ales I've had to date!

Serving type: growler

08-04-2012 03:29:08 | More by dcloeren
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a thin, one-finger white head that settles down to leave a seafoam sheen over the surface.. Aroma of freshly mowed grass, lemon zest, bitter orange peel, soft grapefruit and tangerine notes, and a tremendous dose of pineapple on the tail. Classic Hill Farmstead style in the nose and taste which was slightly tangy orange, pinapple, and resiny juicy hop nectar. Mouthfeel was creamy, smooth, and well-carbonated throughout. Overall, a nice and sessional beer especially for warm weather drinking.

Serving type: growler

07-22-2013 17:47:41 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Multiple growlers consumed...thanks to Bob!

A - Pours a hazy yellow/orange color, white frothy head, sticky lace, and nice collar with wisps on top.

S - Pine, dry malts, citrus, light tropical sweetness, grass. The hop notes just burst though with this beer in every way possible. There's a subtle sweetness that helps add a bit more complexity to the beer.

T - Basically, this is a hop-bomb without all the alcohol. The blend is just outstanding here. Citrus, grass, pine, light tropical notes, and a nice dry malty presence in there too. Finish is a burst of hops and keeps going and going.

M - Light body, good carbonation, oily finish.

O - So drinkable, so enjoyable, so wonderful. Why are all my HF reviews the same? Oh yeah, because he's making the best stuff in the country (and possibly world). Everything about this APA is done to perfection and this beer is another reason why HF continues to kill it.

Serving type: growler

06-07-2012 15:47:05 | More by Sean9689
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Tired Hands as well as Teresa's Next Door during Philly Beer Week.

A - Pours hazy peach orange a decent one finger tall white head leaving spotty trails of lace down most of the glass. Very nice color, went a tiny bit dull at the end of the glass.

S - Smells of pungent citric hops, tropical fruits - mostly oranges, grapefruit and mango - some caramel sweetness, pine needles and a bit of lightly toasted pale malt. This one has a really nice nose.

T - Starts off with a huge citric hop bite quickly giving way to hints of fresh tropical fruit, fresh pine, caramel and a bit of pale malt. Finish is very hoppy, leaving the palate very dry long after consumption.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Real nice light feel with a ton of hop resins throughout. This one just really works.

O - Definitely another winner right here. I could drink this all day and night, it is so damn easy to drink. Hope I get to have this again someday.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2012 01:24:38 | More by orangesol
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazed golden orange, moderate cap of bubbly white head, good sticky lacing. Big nose with grapefruit rind, under ripened tropical fruit, floral and spice, some pine resin, light biscuity malt presence under big hop notes. First sip bitter with citrus zest and under ripened tropical fruit, zesty spice pairs with bitterness well, malts a touch more present, light and biscuty. Decent firm body for the style, some heft from the oils and haze. Really nice pale ale. Lots of pales are rather one dimensional with hops, this is essentially IPA flavor without the ABVs.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2012 01:00:54 | More by rfgetz
Photo of codysjb
codysjb

Florida

4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2012 03:55:53 | More by codysjb
Photo of NuclearRich
NuclearRich

Connecticut

4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750mL growler filled at the brewery 6/5/13, poured into a HF stemmed snifter (oversized wine glass) just now, 6/9.

A. Golden orange. Dense haze. The brightness of the orange hue belies the thick haze, it really looks quite radiant. White bubbly head, fades quickly to a light cap. Lacing is minimal, but these head retention issues are my fault for saving this for last. I'm very sad I don't have more beer from this brewery. Well... there is prolegomena! I digress.

S. Piney bright citrus. Orange, grapefruit, resin, and something much softer, like a white wine grape aroma.

T. Ah the taste. What a nice taste. Light tangerine and grapefruit quality citrus up front, with a hearty citrusy bitterness in the middle to end, finalized with the lightness of a gooseberry paired with a hint of grapefruit.

M. Very light. Borders watery but doesn't cross the line, making it quite sessionable. The slightly lower crispness I am finding is likely due to the length of time in the growler, but it is still a fresh and bright feeling.

O. A beer to make a night out of. Very tasty, very light, but with just enough substance. Another fantastic offering from Hill Farmstead.

Serving type: growler

06-09-2013 18:03:14 | More by NuclearRich
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Growler shared by Liam

Hazy orange colour, one finger of white head with some lace here as well. Smell is quite hoppy, lots of orange and tangerine, grapefruit and a bit of cracker like malt sweetness as well. Taste is dry and hoppy up front with lots of orange and grapefruit flavour, lightly sweet malts mid palate and finishes dry with a medium bitterness throughout. Light-medium carbonation, medium full body with a drying feel throughout. Just awesome, this is probably the best example of the style around.

Serving type: growler

07-17-2013 15:15:37 | More by peensteen
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill. My first Hillfarmstead brew!!! So excited. Taken from notes.

A real nice orb glowing buttery yellow gold, almost getting into green hues. Fairly opaque with a super creamy top of head that laces off white and crazy. Super aggressive looking beer.

Nose is a nice soft hop chewyness. Soft grass and hidden malt, not particularly noticeably distinct to me but smells real nice.

Palate hits with a good citrus angle, and perhaps some tropical mush. Herbal action hits on the finish with a great chewy texture, complimenting a nice mouthfeel.

Overall this is just a real solid and tasty brew, I hope the rest of Hill Farmstead's line up is just this good.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2012 14:15:48 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Served in a tulip glass, a hazy peach colored liquid with a small cap of white head, and intense bubbly carbonation visible along the sides of the glass. Hop-forward aroma, citrus and tropical fruits, sugar sweet malts. Taste of fresh, juicy hops, grapefruit, peach, orange are most noticeable, with light bready caramel in the background; leafy finish with mild bitterness. Crisp mouthfeel, light-medium body, excellent overall. One of my favs from Hill.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2012 08:05:49 | More by Rifugium
What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 410 ratings.