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: 249
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 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 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 mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (498 characters)

Photo of Evmo31
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (345 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 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 DaveR514
4.79/5  rDev +8.4%
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... (526 characters)

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (438 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 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 zoober911
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (503 characters)

Photo of FFreak
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (351 characters)

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (467 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)

Photo of dougfur
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (478 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 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 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 alaimoa
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill from @tauroe and brought to CT
Smells of pine, floral and an overall earthiness
Big head that remains with a stickiness and lacing down the glass
Taste has a barn rusticness that almost reminds me of gardens, dirt, and more bitter than edward (255 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 peensteen
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (515 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 ToasterChef
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 750 ml HF swing-top growler has been in my fridge for a few days. The beer is poured into a white wine glass.

The liquid is golden colored and appears hazy through the condensation on my glass. A small pure white head does last too long but leaves good lacing. Clinging and rising bubbles can be seen within. For a growler that is a few days old and made the long car ride from Vermont to Maine, the carbonation levels appear to have held up nicely.

The beer has an amazing aroma. Lots of citrus and floral hops. It leads me to believe this will be an exception American pale ale.

The beer has a strong hop flavor.Citrus is the most noticeable flavor, although at the finish, it is more of an oily hoppiness. For the first few sips the hops were so dominant that the malts were noticeable absent. It was as if there was a large hole in the flavor profile. After a few sips, the beer tastes more balanced, but the hops are still strong.

Medium body with strong carbonation. There is a tangible coating on my lips and the roof of my mouth that is a touch sticky and fairly bitter.

This is a fairly impressive APA. I wouldn't say it is worth the long pilgrimage to HF if this is the only beer you seek, but if you make the trip and it is still available for growler fills, you should think about buying some. If you find it on tap, then by all means order a glass. (1,368 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 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)

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