Susan - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Susan
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

124 Reviews
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Reviews: 124
Hads: 1,214
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 6%
Wants: 599
Gots: 88 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 124 | Hads: 1,214
Photo of ivyman
5/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (298 characters)

Photo of dar482
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer comes in a cloudy golden orange color.

The aroma is just rolls of tangerine, bright grapefruit, tropical fruits and mango. It's hugely vibrant and citrusy. There's a bit of malt in there.

The flavor is just an explosion of grapefruit baseline. Spicy and grassy in the front. The middle offers a sweet passionfruit, apricot, peach, mango, onto a bit of bubble gum. The back end dries out with light bitterness. A bit of floral and spicy herbal bitterness.

This beer really blows my mind about how well crafted an IPA can be. The hops just do not stop on this one. (574 characters)

Photo of Gatch
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Armsby Abbey for Zwanze Day.

Finishing the day with this after several sours. Another huuuugely fragrant and flavorful IPA from the talented brewers at HF. Beautiful, cloudy, golden color with a massive frothy, sticky, white head with tons of lace and pillows of foam lingering on top. Explosion of floral and fruity hops. NZ hops are unique so the Riwaka stand out but all three are easily discernible. Glad I got to try a beer with the elusive Riwaka. Sticky resin, pine, cedar, earth, wood, a few varieties of citrus...very complex but all hops at the same time. Like all of their beers it's way too smooth and easy to drink. Seriously. Such a creamy, full body. Every mouthful brings a smile. The flavors are so big and the hops are so intense. This beer is transcendent. I can't believe it's this good. I'm sorry, but I'm giving it a 5! (842 characters)

Photo of BTVflatlander
4.99/5  rDev +10.9%
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." (1,573 characters)

Photo of omniscientcause
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 750 ML swing top into an oversized wine glass...maybe a brandy glass?

A- Great goldish and orangeish color. Pretty solid fluffy white head

S- Smell is amazing, citrus, floral hops, one of the best smells for a single IPA. Definitely top tier IPA without a doubt. Smell is similar to that of sculpin, maine beer co lunch or RR Blind Pig.

T- Taste is perfect, very herbal and citrusy, but great IPA notes, great balance of hops and malt, perfectly balanced and very refreshing.

M- Smooth mouthfeel, very full and not lacking anything.

O- The best single IPA I think I have had to date. Very fresh and I the drinkability is amazing. (649 characters)

Photo of LarryK
4.96/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Was fortunate enough to have Susan back when it debuted in NYC at at the Blind Tiger last November, along with a handful of other HF rarities. The scene was absolute chaos, with the entire place packed floor-to-ceiling and people ordering as many as four 12-ounce pours at a time for themselves; I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I was fortunate enough to score a seat at the bar about 10 minutes before keg-tapping, and got my hands on one of the first pours of Susan ever in Manhattan. Glad I got it when I did, because the sixtel kicked in 30 minutes.

Bursting with all of the wonderful citrus flavor and aroma of many of my favorite IPAs, I quickly realized what Susan reminded me of more than anything else — Zombie Dust. Citra is the star of the Susan show, but it’s also a showcase for Riwaka and Simcoe. To date, Susan is one of the few beers I’ve had that has given Zombie Dust a true run for its money. Absolutely one of the finest IPAs I've ever drank. (979 characters)

Photo of tylerk88
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn, this a fine beer.

L: Hay, orange, cloudy
S: Pine, Mango, citrus
T: Incredible. Some citrus, lightly sweet, well balanced.
F: Light, refreshing, perfect carbonation
O: A total home run. (193 characters)

Photo of AnnArborJoe
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL growler courtesy of baconsausage!

A: Hazy straw yellow, decent head, spotty lacing.

S: Grapefruit and citrus - lots of it. One of the best smelling IPAs I've had. Citra hops jump out of the glass.

T: Tropical fruit, orange, grapefruit, lingers on the palate in a very good way. Each drink kept me coming back for more.

M: Slightly less carbonation than I would have liked. Medium bodied, dry, crisp, beautiful.

O: Wonderful beer. I wish I would have had side-by-side with S&S5 for comparison sake. I could drink this forever and be happy. (550 characters)

Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I've had a lot of Susan in my life, not as much as I've had of Abner though. They were both on tap when I went to the brewery and, perhaps due to me being from the West Coast and it's bit more a stark contrast to what I can get there, Abner is what filled most of my growlers with.

I got more than a couple of Susan though, and that's the beer that has really stuck with me. I can still almost taste the Abner (it's been almost half a year), but Susan is the beer that will have me making the trek back to Vermont.

It's exceptional. (534 characters)

Photo of Luk13
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750 growler thanks to Tommy, two and a half week old. Huge pop at the opening, this one was nicely sealed. Intencing danky aroma of onion and weed, some citrus and leaf. This feels like the small cousin of Abner, less powerful but more drinkable. My favourite IPA. (264 characters)

Photo of lovindahops
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HF Susan, my first growler from our trip to the brewery yesterday. I am excited to try the application of New Zealond hops in this

A- Susan pours a gorgeous mango orange fill with highly anticipate hazy color. A creamy white head of foam rises only to slowly subside leaving lacing everywhere. It's a sticky as possible it can be towards the edges

S- A plethora of citrus and tropical fruit tones burst out of the glass. Some sweet malt is present along with a pepper like presence. Susan is very lively and floral and that is exactly how I like ipas. Even a slight pine scent at the end just to round it off

T- an onslaught of tropical fruit, pineapple, and lemon zest wax my taste buds in the form of a green mountain avalanche. While the hoppiness is out of this world, a sweet malt undertone coates the palate with some of the aforementioned pepper tone. This is the real deal for an India pale ales taste profile. Hoppy as can be with emphasis on citrus and bitter characteristics as well

M- carbonation, smoothness, coating flavor that has the perfect feel. Sticky on the palate and delicious aftertaste

O- so it is now a fact for me. For ipas only, Susan passes Flower power as the best ipa I have ever had. The riwaka hops combined with simcoe and citra (and topped off with shaun's brewing style) created a citric hop bomb of mouth watering flavor. I really enjoyed this and wish I had easier access to it (1,419 characters)

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed this from a 2L Hill Farmstead growler poured into a Hill Farmstead large wine glass.
Appearence is a medium amber, hazy liquid with very nice head, very nice lacing, good lacing retention.
Aromas are deep and strong. Sweetness, tropical fruit, only a hint of floral, mild bready malts in the far background.
Taste is perfect. Absolutely delicious, mouth begging for more sips. Coats your mouth with tropical fruit, tiny bubbles, some stickiness but not too sweet.
Finishes very nice with mild bitterness in the aftertaste.
Overall, another disturbingly terrific beer from Shaun. Susan rivals Double Sunshine IMO. (620 characters)

Photo of stacey393
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From Growler filled @ brewery. 6/10/15. Pours vibrant Tang like Orange, hazy, lacing glass. peach, orange, grapefruit in nose very clean, soft mouthfeel. hoppy in middle. very clean finish. Excellent beer. Would not expect anything less from Hill Farmstead (263 characters)

Photo of FFreak
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap at the Reservoir in Waterbury, VT. Brought out in tulip glass.

This is a wonderfully soft and drinkable pale ale. It's a hazy golden pale yellow with a tight, pure white head. Nice hoppy aroma, mostly tropical in nature, with some citrus. The taste is just perfect...no harshness or bitterness to speak of. Excellent moutfeel. Good to the last drop. I could drink this all day. (394 characters)

Photo of unclejazz
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Queens Kickshaw in Astoria. 12oz pour into tulip.

A-this is a magnificent beer to behold. Glad I am enjoying it in the day so I can see its vibrant copper color beautiful fluffy 1/2" head and beautiful lacing and consistent visible micro-carbonation. This a like a Van Gogh or Matisse, gorgeous.

S-Hints of orange and grapefruit with a backbone of piney resin. Kind of like an Ephraim-lite.

T-wonderful citrus burst, best example of grapefruit I have had in a perfect way. There is a pine based with mango and pineapple all over the place.

M-my mouth was watering thru the entire experience. Beautiful bit of tingle on the tongue, great level of carbonation, and reminiscent of OJ with a bit of pulp. Quite pleasing.

O-I love White Raja and really enjoy Fat Head and Flower Power, Blind Pig, and Zombie Dust. With that all said, this brew killed it in a way that none of those beers was able to. The best part is that the flavor lingers in the back of your throat. I would love to have regular access to this beauty. (1,035 characters)

Photo of BrewedEgo
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sublimely wonderful IPA

Poured from growler into pint glass. 1/4" head dissipates within a minute. Color is a unfiltered pale straw-amber. Thank you to breweries who have stopped filtering out the deliciousness.

Swirling the glass and shoving nose in glass reveals grapefruits and apricots and tremendous sweetness, straw and something papaya-like. Doh. Just splashed myself in the face.

Rolling around a big swig over the tongue and bringing in air over the tongue for about fifteen seconds: Flavor is tremendously well-balanced, some initial sweetness, passionfruit, and papaya, but not sugary, ever-so-slight bitterness, after-taste is floral and complex. Fruit flavors are quite bright, definite beyond the basic grapefruit tastes in the standard IPA.

Just can't get over how delicious, balanced, and sublime this is. Hits all the pleasure centers in my brain. And my descriptions just aren't doing this beer justice. Sorry, fellas. Wish this was available everywhere.

I'd move to Greensborough just to be able to drink this on a regular basis. (1,053 characters)

Photo of cfrances33
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler thanks to Gosox8787, poured into a Hill Farmstead stem.

Pour: Complete hazy deep orange body. Perhaps the haziest Hill Farmstead IPA/DIPA I've had yet. Really nice white, fluffy, thick head. Head hangs around for quite a while, and provides really nice sticky lacing. Another beautiful beer.

Smell: Comes right out of the gate with juicy mango, grapefruit, and pineapple. A really nice citrus zest as well. Some pepper. A light bready malt comes in, but finishes with obvious pineapple.

Taste: Follows the nose on point. A ton of grapefruit and mangos. A really nice white pepper comes in from the citra. Sweetness is nice, but not too big, a little heavier than biscuity. A light resin comes in and it finishes with clean citrus juiciness.

Mouthfeel: Astonishingly juicy. More so than Abner in my opinion. Not quite S&S#5 level, but a more medium body than it. Bitterness is more of a supplement than really there. Fantastic.

Overall: Another absolute winner from Shaun Hill. Love the combo of these hops. Maybe could've done without Simcoe, but that's really nitpicking as much as I can. (1,102 characters)

Photo of jacewg
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From notes: Fresh growler consumed 10/17

Appearance: Well we're off to a good start. Nice light yellow/orange color. Looks like mostly pale malt in this guy. Good lacing. A nice ring of head hangs around.

Aroma: Huge citrus; Very much a bitter orange juice type quality. Some tropical fruit as well with hints of pine and resin. The citrus jumps out of the glass more than any beer I've ever had. Not one thing I would change in terms of aroma.

Taste: Follows the nose. Medium bitterness for the style with huge citrus and some stonefruit I did not pick up in the nose plus the previously mentioned pine/resin. Slight hints of biscuity malt pop through at times but malt definitely takes a backseat in this one. Finishes dry and citrusy; Light to medium bodied for the style. Exceptional, exceptional stuff.

Mouthfeel: While certainly not a session beer in terms of alcohol %, this beer has all the qualities of a beer I could drink for hours. Moderate bitterness, light to medium bodied, well-carbed, finishes dry and resets the palette easily. Three glasses went down in what was seemingly a blink of an eye.

Overall: In the right mood, there's no doubt in my mind this would get a 5/5. Likely the best single IPA (under 7.2 or so) I've ever had with only Alpine Nelson putting up a real serious fight. While I tend to dislike all the hype and hysteria that surrounds Hill Farmstead, there's no denying the beer is phenomenal. (1,433 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (508 characters)

Photo of MA_hops
4.76/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fluffy mouthfeel, dry, hoppy bitterness. Grapefruit citrus combined with some mango and orange. Cloudy, yellow with a thin white head. Very good!! One of the best IPA's i've ever had! (183 characters)

Photo of Ready4aHeady
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Growler filled at brewery, 11 days old.
Golden peach cloudy hue color
Citrus, pine, hops on the nose
Flavors of blood orange, mint, pine, and hoppy goodness
Overall-- smooth, creamy, and delicious !! Another HF winner...damn it's a fine brew!! (243 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (751 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-Pours like fruit juice. Murky, dull orange in color. Nice little head grows and stays put after exhausting some of its stature. Light speckles of lace.

S-Unbelievably potent hop character. Huge tropical Citra notes and I bet the Riwaka isn't dragging ass either. The Simcoe also brings forth more of the abrasive hop aromatics of biting grapefruit and pine. There's some oniony character here and I'm all aboard with it.

T-Pure, unadutered hop extract. The trio of hops gives me a lot to describe. Melon, guava and mango along with some green onion and moss. Peach and pine. Tropical and bright but also dank and bitter. Just a trickle of sweetness before the bitterness burns it away.

M-Long, lingering bitterness.mmedium bodied. Resiny. Chewy hop feel. Moderate carbonation.

O-Easily one of the better beers I have ever had. Need more! The variance of the hop flavors is exquisite. Yeah, another Hill Farmstead beer that easily lives up to its godly status; I should stop being surprised...I've had enough of them to know by now. (1,038 characters)

Photo of stephens101
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2L fill 11/27.

Hop notes big and slow from the pour, brightening a cool winter's day.

Color is a burnished orange. A large, fluffy, tan head sits for a bit and never fully dies.

Big citrus hops to the nose as mentioned. Some orange and rind and herb. Not much else but brilliance.

Smooth and fruity sweet up front with a quick juicy hop bite followed by some chalk, malt and notes of spice. A bit of candy sweetness dallies on the tongue.

Medium bodied and easy on the palate, but with plenty of flavor. Glad I got the 2L of this sweet nectar. (553 characters)

Photo of BeRanger
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the 750ml Growler to my HF Tulip, #properglassware bitches. The growler is approximately one week old.

A: Typical color you'd expect here, the lighting blows in my office where I'm writing this however its a nice burnt orange w/ a tinges of yellow. A fair amount of lacing but not as much as some of the other HF beers I've had.

S: Very nice smell, perfectly balanced - lots of citrus, hops, mango, pineapple.

T: Pretty much knew what was coming - love the taste of this, kind of disappointed I didn't get a 2L of this vs. the SS#7 as it definitely beats it out as my favorite. Lots of tropical fruit on the tongue here with almost a perfect finish, no harshness or even hoppiness - the fruit just fades gradually. Hell, even my burps taste good.

M: Susan feels great in my mouth.

O: This is a fantastic little concoction from Hill Farmstead, I certainly agree with the previous review that this has become one of my favorites and I definitely prefer it over some of the all time favorites of most like Edward. (1,028 characters)

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Susan from Hill Farmstead Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.