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Susan - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Susan
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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,074 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,074
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 7.3%
Wants: 552
Gots: 59 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 10-25-2012

American IPA brewed with our favorite hops. Hopped with Citra, Simcoe, and Riwaka.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,074 | Reviews: 119
Reviews by WanderingFool:
Photo of WanderingFool
4.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler friends had filled for me 24 hours before this review. Susan pours a hazy honey yellow with a touch of amber mixed in. A moderate creamy head on top slowly fades away leaving behind a nice netted pattern of lace on the glass. I scored appearance a little high because just looking at this beer makes me anticipate the first sip.

The aroma is lemon citrus, a little grapefruit, tropical fruit and a touch of pine. It's a pleasant aroma, but not especially strong.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft and creamy with a mild carbonated fizz. The flavor begins with tropical fruit and orange/grapefruit citrus and some lemon peel. Sweet malt is found in the background and helps balance out the hoppy bitterness. In the middle there's a spicy hint of pepper. It finishes grassy, dry and moderately bitter. Once gone the orange citrus and bitterness lingers on the palate.

Another winning IPA from Hill Farmstead. It's not a hop monster, but has plenty of hop flavor. Not super 'green' as other hoppy beers.

More User Reviews:
Photo of standardcherry
4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into my Lawson's snifter.

A: Hazy, orange/golden color with a nice white head. Looks creamy.
S: Wonderful citrus/tropical smells with a hint of grassiness at the end.
T: Taste is not as intense as the smell. Amazing citrus(grapefruit) and mango taste. A little floral too.
M: Medium bodied with little carbonation. Creamy/oily mouthfeel.
O: Another home run from Hill Farmstead! Delicious hop profile.

Photo of ehammond1
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler

Thanks so much for sending this to me, baconsausage!

Cloudy, hazy, murky dark orange, but nearly a light brown because of all the residual sediment. This leaves the glass very messy with sheets of sticky irregular lacing all the way down. Gorgeous IPA, and unique in it's incredible lack of clarity. Is that due to a wheat addition?

Stinging citrus notes abound in this IPA--lots of grapefruit flesh and zest, juicy orange and mango, and a bit of pine sap. There's a touch of a sweet malt character underlying the fruit, but this is simply, yet outrageously citrus-forward.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, with huge amounts of grapefruit and pineapple making up the abundance of the flavors' notes, along with an assertive, yet complementary earthy bitterness that lingers on the back end. Extraordinary.

Medium bodied with moderate to high, yet slightly creamy, carbonation. Marvelously drinkable.

An exceptional IPA. In the upper echelon of IPAs and my favorite from Hill Farmstead.

Photo of 05Harley
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a keg of this with my man Rochefort10nh of course...
(186 calories)

Once again, I'm in complete "ahhg" from my favorite New England brewer. Shaun is definitely the man, whether it's low octane APA's or high octane IPA's, Stouts or what ever. He's got the formula. This time around we're digging on an IPA that is just fantastic from start to finish. And maintains a good shelf life to boot.

The look of this liquid gem is nothing short of amazing. It fits the bill for all the qualities one looks for in appearance in the style. Pours a cloudy looking orange with a big huge soapy head that won't quit. Damn..
The lacing on my glass could be mistaken for soap suds it's that thick. Absolutely no sediment too speak of in suspension or on the bottom. No noticeable carbonation but massive head never the less. This beer looks hot and may be giving me wood...

Aroma is big time grape fruit, orange peel, apricot (which I needed to actually smell before I could include it in the review), peach and pineapple. Simply put this is citrus utopia.

Taste is in your face white grapefruit, clementine, lemon peel, and a huge play on pine hops. The big sweetness of the peach is a nice addition and in my mind gets the credit for the balancing act. The big malt backbone adds a nice creamy feel that's rare for the style (brewers take notice). Is this really only 6.2 %?!!

The body is medium and the beer goes down extremely smooth for so much flavor and hops. The aftertaste is perfectly bitter and dry and not over done. I really like this and could drink it on a regular basis. Maybe a desert island beer...

What can I say. Shaun is dead on with so many beers and this one's no exception. Riwaka hops equall grapefruit, hell ya! This beer is soo drinkable on all levels. Man I love living in New England.

Cheers!!!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Tyler for this one. 22oz. growler into a Lawson's pint glass.

Pours a .5 finger white, creamy head with good retention. Beer is a cloudy, murky papaya and pale orange. Lacing is patchy and thick with great cling. Real pretty beer considering its unfiltered.

Nose is clean and simple. Grapefruit, hop resin, citrus sweetness, and a mellow grassiness. Moderately aromatic. Nice.

Opens citrus, pine, and cane sugar. Some papaya and other tropical fruits provide a nice malt backbone against a mellow hop bitterness. Finishes citrus and resin with a light sappy hop aftertaste. Really refreshing.

Light bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Slick, smooth and slightly lively in the mouth. Goes down quenching. Slightly messy finish with a moderately dry, sticky aftertaste. Awesome!

This is pretty in line with the rest of the HF pale ale offerings... namely incredibly balanced and drinkable. Really just a well crafted ipa in every sense that showcases each of the hop varities infused into it.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL growler poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Hazy golden yellow. Small white head. Wispy surface.

Smell - Tons of simcoe. Deeper whiff reveals mango and tropical fruits. I don't love simcoe, but this smells great.

Taste - All hops. Simcoey grapefruit at first. Grainy cracker malt. Switches dramatically to citra-like hop flavors in the finish. Tastes like mangoes in the end.

Mouthfeel - Light. Well carbonated and a touch of bitterness.

Overall - It takes a lot for a simcoe IPA to win me over, but this did.

Photo of ChrisL24481
4.49/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy golden yellow with a beautiful off-white, frothy head. Plenty of lacing on the glass. Great aromas on the nose. Citrus fruits, grapefruit, piney, earthy, and resinous. All of the flavors from the nose swirl around the mouth wonderfully. Light to medium body, a perfect balance. Smooth and not overly bitter. Another gem from one of the best breweries out there!

Photo of tpmurray
4.67/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow...after reading all the Vermont hype I journeyed up from CT last week to see what all the fuss was about. This was my 200th "tour" of a brewery and may have been my favorite. You must go just to have the privilege of driving up the dirt roads in the middle of nowwherseville and waiting in line while they bring you 4 generous samples off the taps for $5...I thought heaven would require more effort to get to.

One of my four was Susan which blew my mind so became one of my growler picks. The scene is very cool there...a group in front of me from Jersey on their second trip through line...a couple behind me from Georgia and NY...a guy in the parking lot from Rhode Island. This is not an easy ride - these folks all travelled several hours just to fill some growlers that the bottle tag says should be consumed within a week and all had been there before. Once you taste it, you will know why - Susan is the best beer I have ever tasted. My rating here is based on the 750ml growler and I'm now trying to figure out how I get back up there without being late for Thanksgiving dinner.

The citrus from the NZ hops is so delicious and unlike a lot of bigger IPA's, the alcohol is absent. Phenomenal...I need to learn how they brew something this good

Photo of Kinsman
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

750ml growler poured into HF glass. Fills the glass with a bright hazy orange body and a creamy white head. Pretty much standard appearance for an HF IPA. Bursting with citrus on the nose, especially grapefruit and a bit of lemon. Some floral and pine notes mixed in as well.

Nice juicy citrus flavors on the palate with notes of grapefruit and orange. A bit tropical as well. Finishes with some piney character and a pleasant bitterness. Thinner in the body than expected but that is likely because I'm more familiar with some of HF stronger DIPAs.

Overall, a real winner of an IPA as expected. It's nice to be able to get this much citrusy and piney hop flavor without committing to a heavy hitting Double IPA.

Photo of TWStandley
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the growler into my Urthel glass. Split with my brother.

Appeared a hazy, orange/goldish color with a robust white head.

Smelled of grapefruit and citrus, as well as some honey.

Taste is delicious - very refrehsing. Some lemon and earthy tones detected. Alcohol non existent.

Mouthfeel was spot on, just the right amount of carb, nice tartness and malts to back the hops.

Overall a delicious IPA. Not the greatest ever but definitely nice.

Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Fitz for sharing this one. Poured into a standard solo cup, it had a golden orange color, with a thin layer of white foam on the surface, some clusters of larger bubbles clung to the sides of the glass.

Citrusy grapefruit aroma, slightly grassy and pungent with resinous hops.
Taste is also citrus forward, mainly grapefruit that is slightly sweet, a light pale malt presence towards the middle, generally very light and smooth in feel. Light to medium bitterness, it finishes clean and mellow. Very drinkable, but somewhat one dimensional taste-wise. Enjoyed the light body and easy drinkability most of all.

Any better than some of the best local IPA's? Not really, but it's well made and worth trying.

Photo of ivyman
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy golden orange with a slow fading white head. Leaves the lighest
lacing in the glass. This is a wonderful juice bomb that you can smell long before
you rause it to your nose. All the tropical juices are there and just a hint of hops.
A great IPA with all the qualities I enjoy most.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.79/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Growler purchased 6/28 and consumed 7/5.

A - Cloudy golden orange with one finger of cream coloured head.

S - Juicy citrus and tropical fruit aromas - grapefruit, orange rind, peach and pine. A touch of honey sweetness.

T - Good bitterness with a fresh and juicy hop profile. Peach, grapefruit, passion fruit, mango and lighter grapefruit notes with a slight honey malt sweetness in the background. Incredibly smooth and dangerously drinkable.

M - Medium body. Sticky and oily. Dry. Light carbonation.

Photo of BTVflatlander
4.99/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes from two growler fills from 8/8 and 8/9. Made the drive to Hill from Burlington, Vt. two days in a row and waited 2 hours and 3 hours respectively for Susan. Served in a Citizen Cider snifter.

A: Very hazy orange, very pleasant.

S: Hoppy citrus beaming out of the glass. Extremely inviting, this is the kind of aroma that makes you excited to taste.

T: Susan's taste is, to me, absolutely spot on. The citrus hops, specifically mango and tangerine for me, hit you immediately and last throughout the tasting. The alcohol is present, yet not overbearing. It's not JUST hoppy either, it's a hell of a robust beer.

M: Thick, carbonated, and perfect.

O: As a quasi-local, I've had my share of Hill's beers over the past few years. And, while I would never discount Shaun Hill's ability to make absolutely world-class beers, I had never quite fell in love with any of the things I had tried. Edward is fantastic, sure, but I could never bring myself to drive all the way to the Northeast Kingdom for a growler of Ed. Susan changed that. To me, Susan is THE perfect IPA. The balance is there, the tropical citrus is there, and the drinkability and refreshment is there. Susan is the epitome of Hill's skill, in my opinion. I fell in love with Susan so madly that I had to return the very next day and wait for over 3 hours for another 2 Liters of this, in my opinion, perfect Vermont single IPA. If you find yourself fortunate enough to find Susan anywhere, you'd be a fool not to give her a try. This my personal pick for the "best beer I've ever had."

Photo of EgadBananas
4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to DonFrap!

Pours a very hazy opaque dark almost muddy orange. Two fingers of off white head. Lost of web by lace.

Bright citrus aroma, with some floral hops and touches of pine and sweet bread malts.

Taste is high citrus, ,old grapefruit, some sweet orange, spice, somewhat resinous.

Has a great feel, somewhat light bodies, good mild crisp carbonation, some slickness.

Another great HF IPA, but I think Abner is better still. Yeah, I'm splitting hairs ;)

Photo of jegross2
3.78/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing Susan from the Hill Farmstead Brewery out of Vermont.

Score: 87

Two week old 2L growler. Served in a stemmed Hill Farmstead snifter and enjoyed on 09/19/12.

Appearance: Pours a translucent sunset yellow color with three fingers of white foamy head. Really good lacing and excellent retention. Leaks a lot of streaky head along the side of the glass. 4.5/5

Smell: Orange, pine, sweet malt, citra pellets, grapefruit and a faint wood aroma. 4/5

Taste: There's lots of sweet tropical fruit and malt, but none of the necessary bitterness for an IPA. Oranges, grapefruit and mango. The citra hopping is clear. There's a faint bitter pine in the finish that needs to be more prominent. Tastes a lot like hoppy, unfermented wort -- somewhat underattenuated quite frankly. Not bad, but not that good either. Gets sweeter/maltier as it approached room temperature. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Full-medium bodied with decent carbonation. Super dry, almost cotton-mouthing. Bitter on the finish, sweet on the pull. 3.5/5

Overall: Missing the necessary bitter kick. This is a rare miss for Shawn Hill in my worthless opinion.

Recommendation: If you have to skip any Hill Farmstead IPA, make it this one.

Pairings: Thai food.

Cost: $25 for a 2L growler (including the cost of the growler).

Photo of jmarsh123
4.46/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark orange with a big creamy white head that recedes down to about a finger. Excellent spotty lacing down the glass.

Big tropical fruit presence. I get mostly mango, but a little pineapple as well. Slight peppery spiciness in the background and not a lot of malt.

Lots of tropical fruit including massive mango up front. Just a little bit grainy towards the middle, but almost all hops. Finishes with a grapefruit pith explosion with a little floral character along with other citrus. I love the transition from tropical fruits to grapefruit at the end. Great hop combo.

Medium bodied and very oily. A shade over medium carbonation. As always HF nails mouthfeel.

Haven't looked up exactly what riwaka is, but I will now. There are some great flavors and it complements the known deliciousness of the citra/simcoe combo. Once again Hill Farmstead nails an IPA.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.74/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Hill Farmstead in Greensboro Bend, Vermont, filled two growlers of it.

Pours a murky hazy bright golden yellow/orange, with a 1.5 inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like orange zest, pine, grapefruit, orange juice, pineapple. Juicy as all hell.

This one tastes amazing. The bitterness level is understated, and perfect, just there right at the back, lingering the whole time, reminding you it's an IPA, but on top of that, there's a whole of citrus and tropical fruity goodness, pineapple, orange, and grapefruit. There's really nothing malt-wise in this one.

Susan is light and sprightly, with a very crisp mouthfeel, and a moderate amount of carbonation.

A most excellent IPA, it's crazy how drinkable and easy this one is.

Photo of mtomlins
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fresh growler.

Pours a cloudy hay color with a nice big foamy white head with good retention and lacing. Big hop nose and flavor profile with lots of citrus and citrus rind, grapefruit and tropical notes. Nice toasted malts in the background. Smooth, light and lively on the palate. Fantastic.

Photo of blackie
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

drank so much of this - in and around Waterbury as well as a liter growler to go, and lord it was a lovely time

Susan is a deep, golden apricot in color with a rich cream white head that leaves good lacing. A carefully crafted hop blend is the highlight here - those lovely NZ hops bring their tropical medley including kiwi, mango, and passionfruit with the others bringing citrus highlights of tangerine and grapefruit. Juicy and fresh, riding a light, subtly sweet pale malt base with a touch of honey. Pleasant on the palate - moderate in body with a soft light-moderate carbonation. A balanced bitterness with a touch of citrus oil accents the finish and provides a dry, drinkable close. A top-tier IPA that pulls in all the best characteristics of a great hop blend and sets them against a thoughtful malt base..

Photo of Patrickbrusil
4.42/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2 day old 750ml growler.

This stuff is aromatic as all hell: piney, citrus juice, slight tropical fruit, and a whiff of awesome hit me all at once. The pour is a deep golden yellow with a smaller than expected white laced head.

The taste is divine: crisp and tight. Fruity, juicy, and oh so beautifully smooth. It just dances in the mouth and down the throat.

I'm in love. Never had a regular IPA be such a blast. This is real love guys.

Photo of Gfunk720
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler pour out of my HFS glass. Just a few days old now.

A- A bright orangey mango color with a healthy white head. It's pretty murky and hazy, but still has a nice glow to it. It almost looks like some fruit juice of sorts.

S- Sweet hops and pineapple. Scents of mango and tangerine are also present. The smell is not terribly piney, but still has incredible depth. Not terribly strong, but what I'd expect from an IPA.

T- Extremely smooth at first, with a very nice blend of goodness that follows. A nice balance of citrus and sweet fruitiness. I get lots of tangerine and pineapple, with hints of hop pine. Finishes with a crisp dry hoppy finish, and a lemon hoppy aftertaste.

M- As always, spot on. Higher carbonation, but suits the style.

O- Overall, another solid IPA from Hill Farmstead. I definitely can see that this utilizes some of their different hop varieties, as it is a very interesting blend of sweet hoppiness with some bold dry flavor. It's a little dry to rank too high up on my list, but I would never complain about drinking this.

Photo of rlee1390
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-Cloudy orange, one finger head, great lacing.

S-Lots of citrus, very hoppy, some grass and lemon, great balance.

T-Great balance, citrus, lemon and pine all mesh together perfectly. Mild bitterness in the finish.

M-Medium bodied with nice carbonation and hop bite

O-What a beer, a great IPA, could use a tad bit mor bitterness for my liking but a great beer.

Photo of 05842_Liquids
5/5  rDev +10.6%

One of my favorites from Hill Farmstead. Always fill my fridge with growlers when they brew it!

Photo of oline73
4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the growler into a goblet.

Pours a slightly cloudy golden amber color. The nose is full of citrus peel bitterness and grassy hops. The flavor is even nicer than the nose. I'm getting citrus peel hop bitterness along with a grassy note here as well. There is just enough light malt behind the hops, gives the beer a pleasant bread like characteristic.. The finish is bitter with a slightly fruity note. The carbonation is smooth with a dry finish.

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Susan from Hill Farmstead Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 1,074 ratings.