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: 735
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: 735
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours incredibly opaque. The body glows. Minimal head. Light bubbles and some froth. Light lacing splotches.

S-An orgasmic mixture of tropical fruits and Summer grass clippings. Malt is sprinkled with spice and is akin to a doughy sweet bun. Has that trademark Hill Farmstead hop profile. Simply elegant.

T-The flavor is exquisite. The has introduce themselves in a jacket of tropical fruits and citrus juice. There is a clear transition into a clean grassy hop finish. Tastes ripe, juicy and fresh. The malt adds an underrated balancing factor. Caramel-glazed sweet dough. It meshes perfectly with the hops.

M-Sessionability is remarkable. Light, almost cask-esque feel. Finishes with a respectable level of bitterness. Semi-creamy.

O/D-Excellent, excellent beer. This is one of those beers that just misses the cut of being lumped into my top-most tier of beers. I actually have no complaints or criticisms of this beer. Sublime. (937 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 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 brystmar
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden body, frothy white head. Good retention; leaves sticky bubbles on the side of my glass. Huge aroma of fresh hops and citrus brings a smile to my face. Pungent and pleasant.

Hop-forward with minimal malts which is usually off-setting to me, but this works nicely. Intensity is scaled back; good balance of flavors. Refreshing and tasty, easy to session.

Yet another stellar brew from HF! (400 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 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 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 codysjb
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (312 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 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 Rifugium
4.33/5  rDev -2%
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. (497 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 Tucquan
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2012-06-09 in Wayne, PA at Teresa's Next Door during Philly Beer Week.

A - Hazy light gold with a 1.5-finger white head and moderate lacing.

S - Fresh, citrus, some tropical and hop floral.

T - Citrus flesh, light bready malt, grass and the lightest touch of sour. Plenty of citrus flesh and zest in the aftertaste.

M - Light body and medium carbonation. Light and refreshing.

O - Reminds me of a Zombie Dust. This is very similar to the HF Citra beer, which I also had today. (494 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 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)

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 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 raveskdr
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml growler courtesy of Mr. Saisonsinthesun himself, yourefragile. Michael is the man. Acquired at 2nd anniversary party, poured into my FFF Teku.

A - Very murky, unfiltered off orangeish brown color. The growler kept the carbonation well. Those flip top HF growlers really do.

S - Smells slightly citrusy. Very Centennial-Amarillo type of smell. Not really sure what to expect from there.

T - Boom. Wow. Slightly resinous fresh cut pineyness along with slight melon and a tad of mango. Just a beautiful melange of hop flavors. Solid malt backbone that takes its rightful back seat, but holds up well to the hops.

M - Slightly effervescent on the tongue, solid finish without having too bitter of an ending. Yes, I much prefer a nice, hoppy, happy ending.

O - Winner, winner. Another 3 run homerun from Shaun. The consistency of his hoppy beers is astounding. West coast who? (883 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 Huhzubendah
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (672 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jon for picking these up and not liking hoppy beers! Poured into a pint glass with. The color is hazy light straw. There os a light white fluffy one inch head.

The aroma has a lot of melony hop aroma with a touch of danky dirty hop.

The taste starts out crisp and quickly becomes an explosion of hop flavor. Sweet citrus and melon with a touch of honey grahams are noted. The finish is perfectly bitter.

This is light and refreshing. As amazing as all the Hill Farmstead hoppy beers. (496 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 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 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 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)

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