What Is Enlightenment? - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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What Is Enlightenment?
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BA SCORE
97
world-class

733 Ratings
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Ratings: 733
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 6.83%
Wants: 247
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 733 | Reviews: 93
Photo of Sammy
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +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.

Photo of largadeer
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of jlindros
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of Rifugium
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
4.52/5  rDev +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.

Photo of mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
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?

Photo of orangesol
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of stakem
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of yourefragile
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill. My first Hillfarmstead brew!!! So excited. Taken from notes.

A real nice orb glowing buttery yellow gold, almost getting into green hues. Fairly opaque with a super creamy top of head that laces off white and crazy. Super aggressive looking beer.

Nose is a nice soft hop chewyness. Soft grass and hidden malt, not particularly noticeably distinct to me but smells real nice.

Palate hits with a good citrus angle, and perhaps some tropical mush. Herbal action hits on the finish with a great chewy texture, complimenting a nice mouthfeel.

Overall this is just a real solid and tasty brew, I hope the rest of Hill Farmstead's line up is just this good.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of ppoitras
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml Growler to HF stemmed tulip glass. Bottled 5 days prior.

A - Poured a hazy yellow/peach colour. One finger of bubbly white head formed and quickly receded to a few bubbles scattered across the top of the beer. Very light lacing.

S - A massive fresh tropical fruit, citrus and pine aroma up front with a moderate bitterness evident. Peach, mango, tangerine, apricot and grapefruit. By far the most appealing APA nose I've experienced.

T - A nice pale ale profile - well hopped but not so much that you wonder if you are drinking an IPA. Tangerine, grapefruit, mango and peach flavours take centre stage with a touch of pine present as well. The malt bill is barely noticeable but adds a very light touch of sweetness. The bitterness is quite dry.

M - Medium body with nice hop oils. Light to moderate carbonation. As noted above, very dry throughout.

O - This is a spectacular APA. My first ever 5/5 rating and unquestionably deserving of it.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.36/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml flip top opened on 6.15.13

A - Pours a cloudy light orange with a small light off-white foamy head with great retention.

S - Strong citrus fruits, lots of oranges, lemons, pineapple.

T - More grassy, then the citrus follows, no bitterness.

D - Good carbonaiton with a light body.

O - Heavy citrus nose with more grass in the drink. Light, crisp and refreshing.

Photo of rudzud
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes (May!) after hooking JLindros up with a growler. Finally getting around to adding all my beers. Poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Yessss, a glorious hazy golden Apollo the God of the Sun hue with with a wonderful one finger fluffy white head that fades slowly to leave a wonderful thick and creamy blanket with nice sticky side lacing.

S - Aromas EXPLODE. Actually, more than explode. They assault the nose with huge tropical citrus powers. Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, passion fruit, juicy glorious hops. Its a nonstop glorious assault on the senses all backed up by that faint malty sweetness.

T - The taste is superb, but not quite as ZOMG as the nose. Pleasantly delicious citrus (grapefruit, tangerine, clementine) with a super faint musty hop and creamy malt sweetness. Man oh man...

M - Mouthfeel is exceptional. Creamy bust crisply carbonated. Just top notch.

O - Overall another phenomenally well done beer. I love, absolutely love, tropical notes in a beer and this one delivers in aces. Well worth the 8 hour round trip.

Photo of xnicknj
3.4/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of tectactoe
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of rfgetz
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 733 ratings.