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 xnicknj
3.4/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

small growler poured into tulip - thanks alex

Pours a hazed pale yellow, with a thin head, leaving behind little lacing on the glass.

The nose is dry and biscuity with a nice dash of hops. There's plenty of dryness with a soft, light sweetness.

Light, oily hop presence with herbal tones. Bitter and dry with a nice leafy touch. Lemon peel, biscuit malts with grain. Touch of cracker with a pleasant, bitter dry finish.

Medium body, dry and lingering on the tongue. Solid pale ale, there's better from HF though - after reading some of these other reviews I'm wondering if this might have sat a couple days too long. (623 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.79/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hazy golden amber, tight white head. Nose has fairly balanced grain notes, fresh, a lot like Edward. Hops have are herbal and grassy. light grapefruit, a touch light in the nose. Definitely the lightest on flavor, clean fresh grain, light cereal and dough, dry finish with more bitterness than some of the others. Grapefruit and orange citrus are light, hint of peach and grassy hops on a light body with strong carbonation. (424 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What is Enlightenment? pours a cloudy, straw yellow with a thing white head on top. The foam fades quickly leaving behind a few spots and lines of lace on the glass.

The aroma is loaded with orange citrus and tropical fruit notes of mango and tangerine.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft and light on the palate with mild carbonation. The flavor is sweet and nicely balanced. Caramel and toasted malt are followed by orange citrus and tropical fruit (tangerine). It finishes dry with lingering tangerine flavors.

This is a very tasty, easy drinking beer that is light in body and well balanced. (607 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL growler poured into a Hill Farmstead glass.

Appearance - Very hazy golden orange. Small white head that lingers. Thin layer of foam rests atop the beer.

Smell - Bright citrus hop. Grainy malt. Mostly hops.

Taste - Strong citrus hop. Grapefruit and slightly tropical flavor. Grains behind it with almost no sweetness. The slightest hop bitterness. Oily hop flavor lingers on the palate

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and quite drinkable. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Another great pale. Very tasty, clean, and drinkable as hell. (535 characters)

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler courtesy of Camden. Thank you again!

Pours a cloudy yellow-orange with a substantial full finger's worth of white froth. Lace curtains adorn ye ole tulip.

Unmistakable whiff of Amarillo hops here, playing lemon-lime. A doughy sweetness from the malts hover over the proceedings as well.

Lemon pledge and lemon drop candy strong out of the gate. There's a caramel covered apple sweetness along with apple skin throughout the middle. The end is hop oils and catty with a light leafy bitterness and very dry finish. A saliva sucker.

I have been quite fortunate to try Edward, Abner, and this beer in the same week and while a nice beer, this is the weakest offering of the three. The term weak, however, is relative here. Appreciative for the chance. (761 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another pleasant treat from the 7/27 Top Hops mini tasting! Filled a week and a half ago.

a - murky straw yellow with a foamy head. beautifully cloudy. doesn't look like an IPA at all, but still gorgeous. great lacing.

s - great hop smell. citric burst. little rubber in the background (from the rice?).

t - tastes like a rice ipa. doesn't compare to the kuhnhenn DRIPA. nice, but the rice definitely takes over on the flavor and drains some of the ipa goodness from the smell...still very solid.

m - easy drinker, very soft. a bit watery even.

o - overall very good. not something i'd trade my cellar for but very crisp. nice and different for an IPA. the lower abv gives it good sessionability. the finish shows the bittery hops which i wish were more prominent in the taste. enjoyable. (793 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you, Mike.

Mildly hazy light orange with a dense, white head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is a big, bright Citra and Simcoe nose, beautiful blend of citrust fruitiness with a touch of tropical fruit. This is mirrored on the palate, with no real malt character to speak or, and an ecxcellent fruity hop flavor. I know this is an APA, but even viewed on its own (the first hoppy beer of the evening), this was a little light, watery even, on the palate, without the kind of resin and bitterness I like in my hoppy beers. Still, this is fantastic. (568 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.16/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought back a few growlers over the weekend. July 7th notes, 2nd or 3rd time having the beer over the holiday weekend.

A- Light golden body in a pint glass with a creamy white head. The cap has nice retention. Lots of lacing webs.

S- A good orange citrus forward hop aroma with some tropical fruit from a bunch of Amarillo and Simcoe hops. Peach and zest in a hop forward smell.

T- More yeast bread and light grain/biscuit/caramel coming into play as a Pale Ale should have but the hop flavors are the main show here. Peach, orange zest, lemon, citrus and some floral hop characters. Reminds me of Sculpin in a way.

MF- Lighter end body with a nice creamy texture. Moderately carbonated with a light clean bitterness rounding it all out on the palate.

Compared to Walden this has more malt/yeast character but still packs a great citrus/fruity hop character, as it should for a Pale Ale. Hops just feel so clean and fresh in HF's beers. (943 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1-liter growler care of baconsausage, big thanks for the trade man. Poured into a tulip, the brew appears a clouded golden color with more than 2 fingers worth of pillowy white head. As the cap fades, it leaves a wall of lace sticking to the glass. A light swirl revives a finger of froth back to the surface fairly effortlessly.

The initial aroma includes hints of tropical fruit quality that is something along the lines of nectarines and as more sniffs are taken, more of a not-so-specific tropical fruited quality emerges. Having sampled this almost immediately after Harlan reveals a lot of similarities here to the aromatics. There is a mild cheesiness to the backend of this that takes this brew off in a different direction.

The taste has some zesty bitterness like orange pulp that blends into bitter herbal aspects mixed with a bit of grassy and then yeasty quality and faint straw-like grain inclusion. Like I noted about the aroma, there are a lot of similarities here with Harlan but maybe a bit more grain inclusion here with this brew. As it warms up, a bit of sulfur is noted and a classic "catty" quality typically found from simcoe that lasts into the aftertaste.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is light, refreshing and easy drinking. Having a 1-liter growler is perfect, I have no hesitation reaching for another glass and could easily take down several glasses of this in a session. To be picky, I found this to be just too similar to Harlan. If I wasn't paying specific attention to what was going on in my glass, I think these 2 brews could almost be passed off for one another. (1,641 characters)

Photo of Hophead717
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, light straw-orange. Fluffy one finger head caps the beer. Nice.

S: Fresh, semi-sweet sweet citrus. Some grapefruit, but also sweeter mango notes. Lightly resinous. Delightful.

T: Tropical fruits and light citrus upfront, quickly yielding to a mild malt backbone, with a some grassy notes. The finish is lightly bitter. Definitely a less-intense experience than the nose, but it largely follows the scent.

M: Light-bodied, with medium levels of carbonation. I'd like this a little less carbed, but we're splitting hairs on this.

O: Well-done pale ale--definitely one of the better ones that I've had. I'll definitely have a second glass. (649 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

What is Enlightenment? 12-ounce snifter at Bluebird Tavern in Burlington, Vermont.

Appearance: Classic Farmstead look, hazy-unpasteurized, one finger of bubbly snow-white head that lasts. Foamy lacing.

Smell: Reefer, quality skunk, naked hops, grass. Sniff deeper and get barnyard funk, stinky cheese. Citrus, pickled pineapple.

Taste: Super refreshing, light citrus, but not as good as smell. Smooth honey, clover, tad of spice at the end. Pollinated fields, fresh hops. For a 5.40% APA, this drinks more like a DIPA!

Mouthfeel: Nice spicy hoppy finish, well balanced all around. A little thin but fine.

Overall: Super drinkable, and as farm-fresh as always (more so here in Vermont!). A beautiful display of craftmanship and delicious hops. (751 characters)

Photo of silentjay
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

as with all Hill Farmstead hoppy pale beers, its hazy beyond hazy, with a huge pure white head that laces very well.

definite simcoe hop aroma of citrus and pine with a bit of the cat urine. lots of bitter citrus and grapefruit. all hops, very soft malt presence.

the pine and citrus notes are huge in the flavor with grapefruit being strong. definitely like Alpine Duet, some floral and spiciness in the middle with some tropical fruitiness behind that.

medium bodied with a fluffy carbonation and a juicy finish that's quite refreshing.

drinks very easy. for 5.4%ABV, they sure packed in a lot of flavor. another good, hoppy beer from Hill Farmstead (the best brewery going right now in my eyes). (703 characters)

Photo of Sammy
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml. growler from the brewery. Very floral hoppy, complex and fresh and welcoming. CLoudy grapefruit with fluffy head. Tremendous drinkability. Orange citrus, Simcoe? Seems to be a blend of American and British hops.Smooth drinker. An excellent pale, with perhaps the IBU of what used to be called an IPA.Thanks John. (320 characters)

Photo of Kinsman
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750 of this at the brewery this afternoon. Poured into Lawsons tulip.

Pale and cloudy orange body with a nice white head. Pungent aroma brings out the hops. Lemon and orange cover the citrus notes while the floridness of the hops covers the rest.

Hops dominate the palate as expected with loads of grapefruit and orange notes. Bitterness really comes through with little malt body to balance things out. It has the ABV of a pale ale but all other signs point you towards an all out hop-bomb. Nothing wrong with that, just catches you a bit off guard.

Mouthfeel has a medium-light body with a well-rounded and drying finish which only helps accentuate the bitterness of the hops. Overall, it's not small secret... Hill Farmstead knows how to use it's hops. Boatloads of flavor in a relatively light package but still seems to be lacking a certain something (can't quite put a finger on it) that would put this in the upper echelon of hop-centric beers with a few other HF beers and their peers across the country. (1,030 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2L swing-top growler filled at the brewery.

First HFB glass pours with a 1/2" eggshell head, over the cloudy golden amber brew. Head recedes gradually down to an uneven layer, with lasting lace. Aroma is oranges and tangerines.

Taste begins with a peek of sweetness, quickly giving way to the dominant citrus hops character which holds on through the close, which is lightly chalky. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, and drinkability is good. Nice thirst-quenching brew for a hot day. Reminiscent of Harlan, but with much less bitterness. (538 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dirty straw with a finger of creamy white head and good lacing.

Aroma is dank citrus with a lot of grapefruit. A little more mild than the usual style.

Bright citrus and grapefruit up front. Big juicy tropical fruit flavors come in on the back end and it finishes with a pleasant mild bitterness.

Creamy with medium carbonation levels.

Good beer although I prefer several of HF's other offerings to this. (414 characters)

Photo of mtomlins
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (207 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 2L swingtop growler chilled and split with a friend. Poured into pint glass. I had this filled straight from the brewery about five days ago, so it is still really fresh.

Appearance: Definitely on the lighter side for pale ales, a lot like Edward. Golden yellow to light orange in color with a nice creamy white head and good retention.

Aroma: Tropical fruit and pine notes right off the bat. A really nice pineapple sweetness with a resiny pine note in the back. Really nicely balanced.

Taste: Again, really hop forward. Tons of tropical fruit sweetness throughout. The amarillo and simcoe are both really noticable and play off each other well. Some bitter pine is there, but the pale malt and tropical fruit notes really balance it out well. Really drinkable and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Manages to be both creamy and smooth. The carbonation is spot on and keeps this refreshing.

Overall, another awesome beer from Hill Farmstead where they really make a common style unique and great. One of the better pale ales I've ever tasted and the only one I can recall being better is probably Edward. I would definitely get this again. (1,149 characters)

Photo of JC333
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (535 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Jason.

Cloudy, almost milky straw-colored body capped by two fingers of frothy head. The nose is simcoe-heavy, very citrusy with grapefruit the dominant scent. A bit spicy and resinous. There are light yeast esters. Tropical fruit comes out as the beer opens up. Tastes great, very light bodied and mildly bitter, with a really pleasant and mellow hop profile. Tropical fruits and grapefruit up front, with some spiciness beneath. A dry, bready malt backbone supports the hops without lending much sweetness. Body is a tad thin and there's a lot of sediment, but this is otherwise excellent. (600 characters)

Photo of Tbub18
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (173 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml growler, poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Pours a soft orange, hay-like yellow color, a bit of off white head rests atop the glass. Some lacing appears and the head retention is good. The aroma is simple, citrusy hops, grassiness plays well, lemongrass comes to mind, some cereal malt, and something sweet like honey also comes out. The flavors are pretty similar, very nice, a bit soapy, but nice citrus presence with a good floral bouquet, some earthiness from the malt along with a touch of pine comes forward as well. Nice body, light and easy while still packing in all that flavor, great carbonation and sticky texture. Hard to believe this is just a 5.4% pale ale.

Verdict: Another exceptional beer from Hill Farmstead. Consider me another convert and bandwagon rider, this guy knows how to brew a wonderful beer. (839 characters)

Photo of Ian_B
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | 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. (550 characters)

Photo of PicoPapa
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Taken from notes on a recent trip to Montreal and Vermont.

On tap at the Prohibition Pig. Pours a hazy golden color with an inch of head. Some lacing. This thing smells amazing. Big, hoppy aroma. Citrus and tropical fruits. Predominately grapefruit. The taste is a big swig of sweet grapefruit and citrus peel. Floral hints at the end. Bitter and hoppy throughout. Lots of carbonation. This one is a bit on the dry side. Overall, an outstanding bitter Pale Ale with a great deal of grapefruit flavor. (501 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (1,288 characters)

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