What Is Enlightenment? - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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What Is Enlightenment?
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BA SCORE
97
world-class

90 Reviews
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Reviews: 90
Hads: 736
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 5.66%
Wants: 248
Gots: 25 | 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:
Beer added by: CliffBrake on 04-26-2012

American Pale Ale brewed in honor of our Second Anniversary. Simcoe and Amarillo hops.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 90 | Hads: 736
Photo of jaasen64
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (1,467 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Made the pilgrimage to Greensboro Bend yesterday and this was one of my treats for having made the trip. Enjoying my 750ml growler on a lovely Sunday afternoon.

A finger of foamy white head tops a pale straw color with a touch of amber. Hazy. Lovely thick lace as is standard with many Hill Farmstead products.

Fresh light aroma. I get some herbal notes and a mix of fresh grapefruit and some tropical notes. No single fruit stands above the others, but the meld works wonderfully.

At some level it becomes boring reviewing the Hill Farmstead line-up and by boring I mean that I have to keep reporting that they are incredible beers. The mix of fruit and bread notes are just so fantastic here. Citrus first, then herbal notes, then tropical fruit. The bread notes come in the back half and are blended with a wonderful bitterness to close.

Soft, velvet like and so fresh. The carbonation provides a slight sparkle and doesn’t get in the way.

What a fantastic brew. So easy drinking and soft. Yet at the same time the flavors pop and are so fresh. (1,054 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (407 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (1,086 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
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? (472 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (413 characters)

Photo of Crookdrain
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

64oz growler courtesy of Matt Six.

A: Translucent golden straw. Healthy foam-white head dissipates as it warms closer to room temperature

S: All Simcoe - pine, some Wheatgrass, fresh mown lawn, honey malt

T: Classic HF pale ale - piney West Coast hop bitterness delicately balanced by a solid malt foundation. This is all pine and grass, with a bit of fruitiness lingering around in the aftermath - I get some lemon and maybe strawberry.

O: Great representation of a hoppy American Pale Ale with eyes toward the West Coast. I still prefer Edward, but this is better than 99% of anything else out there. (609 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (963 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (828 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (482 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (1,986 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (751 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (724 characters)

Photo of nootch23
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (765 characters)

Photo of jbaker67
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours unclear golden with an orange hue, thicker for the style which is nice. Aroma is the only thing that is not balanced here because it is so light. What you do get in the nose is so juicy and delicious, some citrus sweet hops. The body and flavor are perfectly balanced, as usual for HF. It brings juicy hops with just the right tang, and citrus, soft without any hop bite at all. Each sip gets better, refreshing the palate on a warm spring day just like an APA should do. Lingers on the tongue just long enough until you are going back for more. (551 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
4.42/5  rDev 0%
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. (592 characters)

Photo of Tschnab
4.42/5  rDev 0%
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. (307 characters)

Photo of xenjoiii
4.42/5  rDev 0%
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. (403 characters)

Photo of Guess2814
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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...? (268 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.4/5  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. (528 characters)

Photo of dcloeren
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
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! (687 characters)

Photo of Hop_God
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

You can't go wrong with a Hill Farmstead Ale. This has everything you could hope for in a pale ale. Easy to drink, crisp and just the right amount of citrus and pine to go together. (188 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (973 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (916 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (565 characters)

What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.