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What Is Enlightenment? - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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What Is Enlightenment?
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98 Reviews
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Reviews: 98
Hads: 788
Avg: 4.4
pDev: 19.55%
Wants: 256
Gots: 30 | 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: 98 | Hads: 788
Photo of BranfordBound
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had at the Hill Farmstead brewery on Saturday, 9/26, poured into a wine glass. Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a smallish head. Nice floral aroma of hops of sweet malts. Overall this is a very well done Pale Ale by HF here, there is a nice malt backbone and the hops aren't crazy. Nice citrus and tropical fruit notes, definitely some grass, too. Not overly bitter. I would say this offers a little different hop profile than Edward, but I would still put Edward just a touch above this. Still great, though!

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Photo of scotorum
4.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Acquired a 750 ml growlerful at the brewery last Saturday.

Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip. Translucent orange with a finger and a half of white head which receded to thin surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Moderate citrus.

t: Follows the nose, leaning to a combination of orange and grapefruit. Biscuit malt is nicely balanced by a fairly strong hop bite which lingers somewhat. Dry finish. Later slight dankness along with light fruit notes bordering on Belgian yeast esters emerge.

m: Medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o: A fine refresher, good for thirst quenching or sipping. Goes down easy, highly sessionable. Sorry I only got one bottle.

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Deep golden with orange highlights and coating levels of lacing. Notes of orange rind, grapefruit pith, light pine, light confection sugar, underripe melon and mango. Crisp, lighter side of medium body and dry on the finish. All around an amazing pale ale, right up there with the best I've ever had.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed this on tap from Guild Tavern in Burlington VT. Looks pretty in the glass with a foamy head and good lacing. Scent is pleasant but not too strong - floral with hints of pine and citrus. The taste/ mouthfeel is what really sealed the deal for me. I was originally hoping to order a glass of Edward - so when I found out Edward had been replaced by 'what is enlightenment', my expectations were high. This beer is unbelievably refreshing and easy drinking, while still delivering a really interesting aroma and taste. Everything I have had the pleasure of trying from HF has been really good, but this beer is quite exceptional. As good as Edward in my book. I would highly recommend this beer - if you have the opportunity to try it, definitely do so!!

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Photo of jjdc
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A really superior pale ale. Hoppy, balanced and nuanced as expected from HF. This may fall a bit short of Edward, but still one to seek out. Definitely one to seek out.

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Photo of Hootie159
4.51/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a bold hazy orange with 2 finger head. Very foamy then leaves a dollop once dissipated. Very good lacing. Smell is just a bit subdued. I wish it were more vibrant. Orange and grapefruit. Taste is very bold citrus. Some grapefruit and orange peel bitter towards the back. Although some pine, didn't strike me as piney as the other reviews. Does pick up on the back end though. Very smooth and juicy. Another great beer from HF.

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Photo of dar482
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer jumps out of the glass of huge citrus, hints of tropical, along with a signature soft and creamy mouthfeel. The beer offers dank aromas and hints of it on the flavor. A really well done hoppy pale.

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Photo of jhavs
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap into a snifter at Worthy Kitchen in Woodstock, VT.

A= Hazy a bit, yellow to golden, thick white head, foamy, settles to thin layer, lots of clingy lacing.

S= Clean citrus hits first followed by a herbal or spicy mix.

T= Balanced pine and citrus rind/zest flavors, malt flavor is noticeable, clean, and matches perfectly with the hop level.

M= Lighter side of medium body with moderate carbonation.

O= Great pale ale, leaves nothing to be desired, great balance of hop and malt. Clean and easy to drink, desirable on a summer day.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Prohibition Pig.

A 'light' refreshing, easy drinking APA. Lots of citrus, pine and some tropical fruits in the nose and on the palate. One of those well balanced beers you could drink all night.

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Photo of JC333
4.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This was my 5th HF beer from a recent trip and the only one I will review since they were all stellar and I couldn't add anything that hasn't been said.

But I felt compelled to write about "What is..." Because it uses my two least favorite hops, Amarillo and Simcoe. I usually have to power through a beer with those hops as the center piece.

Not here, the mouth feel on HF beers is a thing of beauty and even the bitterest and piniest of hops finish smooth.

This is a pale ale way ahead of anything else out there using these hops.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had an 8 oz. pour of this on tap at Pony Bar on the UES in NYC today for $7.

Pours a hazy, medium yellow color with two inches of off white head and low to moderate carbonation evident. Lots of pine hops, tropical fruits, citrus good, oranges, fruity malts, resin, oats, and bready malts. Very light bitterness is taste. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall very good. One of the better Amarillo hopped beers I've had as I'm usually not a huge fan of that strain. Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of Evmo31
4.74/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is a amazing pale ale. I am suprised by some of the lower ratings (for HF) on this beer. I tried to keep in mind that this is a pale ale, and to me shouldn't be compared to hills big IIPAs. Silky smooth mouthfeel, the hops are nicely showcased and not overpowering. This is sessionable and beautiful, one of the best pale ales i have tried.

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Photo of Tbub18
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tough to be objective when comparing to other great HF beers. This one just didn't do it as well as others. Bit too piney--didn't get the juicy bite that others mentioned.

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Photo of Hop_God
4.4/5  rDev 0%
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.

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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...

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From growler purchased 8/8/14 into Belgian ale glass.

A) Hazy pale gold. Moderate head with significant retention and white cap.

S) Pine and citrus. Tropical fruit. Malts in background.

T) Pine and grapefruit up front. Some lemon, orange rinds.

M) Light to medium bodied, medium to high carbonation, dry finish. Very well-balanced.

O) Another very good Hill Farmstead offering, this one more of a West Coast than East Coast pale ale.

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Photo of Guess2814
4.4/5  rDev 0%
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...?

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Photo of Crookdrain
4.48/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of zoober911
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a light golden yellow. About a finger width of head that dissipates after a minute or so. When held to the light it is hazy as expected. It's calls your name.

S - Sweet delicious Simcoe and Amarillo. Pine, some malt.

T - A bit of malt up front with hop bitterness on the tail end. Slight citrus.

M - Great mouthfeel. Carbonation is spot on where it should be.

O - Overall a great representation of the style. Definitely another excellent offering from HF. Worth the drive and wait in line.

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Photo of FFreak
4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a growler into a HF willy glass. Color is hazy lemonade with a one finger quickly-dissipating white and tight head, minimal lacing. Grapefruit absolutely dominates both the aroma and taste. Very much like drinking the very best slightly sweetened grapefruit juice you've ever had. This is a nice, refreshing summertime quencher. Well done.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.78/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass 6/19/2014.

A- Beautiful hazy, darker straw yellow body with a lovely, effervescent and thick foamy white head, great retention, tons of lacing all over the place. Even as far as the other Hill Farmstead pale ales go, this is exceptionally good looking.

S- Oranges, tangerines, peppercorn, crackers, grains, a bit of pine. Nice hop-forwardness that is cut just enough by the pale malt contribution. Enjoying the slight pepperiness that reminds me a little bit of other saisons from Hill Farmstead.

F- Oranges, oranges. Plenty of freshly squeezed oranges from start to finish, ending with a tangy, piney bitterness that is just enough to contribute to the palate before it gets fatiguing. Crackers, graininess and caramel add a nice malt backbone to the experience. Drinks quite well, though not particularly complex.

M- As per the Vermont water, this is a medium bodied beer with a soft feel and creamy bubbly carbonation. It's very drinkable on a warm, rainy summer night. Bitter orange and pine finish that isn't all that bitter. Disappears easily.

O- Very nice APA that showcases a good bit of citrus hops in the nose and on the palate, with the classic Vermont pale ale appearance and mouthfeel. A pleasure to try this one.

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Photo of dougfur
4.71/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a light straw color, hazy and a nice creamy head on top. It looks exactly how a beer should, in my opinion. The smell is modest, but awesome. Straight up grapefruit hoppiness. The taste takes it up a notch, with pretty powerful citrus hop flavors. Very little bitterness, but enough. Typical HF body, even in this pretty light beer. As usual, Hill Farmstead has made a beer that is hard to find fault with. It is masterfully brewed and probably the best APA I've ever had.

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Photo of Ian_B
4.34/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy, unfiltered yellow-gold with a decent, fluffy head.

Smells heavily of citrus hop notes, particularly sweet tangerine. Very slightly woody/earthy with hardly any resinous characters; this smells like fruit juice.

Tastes very similar. Pale malted wheat with a lot of sweet, orange-y hop flavours. A little more piney and bitter than the smell, but very smooth overall; you might enjoy this even if you aren't a fan of hops.

A little light on the body and carbonation, but this is an extremely nice, crisp, and refreshing American Pale.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.