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: 598
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 BradMatton13
3.24/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Another over rated beer, i like these guys but the way some treat them you think they were gods, they also have better beer then some of the ones that are higher rated (167 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.65/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill.

A totally cloudy orange body with good lacing. Smell hints at hops but the flavor is more malt forward than hoppy which is a little disappointing. Flavor of orange and mineral aftertaste round things out. Clean finish with minimal lingering. While good, with the pedigree that HF has built up, this one falls short unfortunately. (375 characters)

Photo of jegross2
3.78/5  rDev -16%
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). (1,286 characters)

Photo of WesMantooth
3.99/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A cloudy pale orange pour into my newly gifted Hill Farmstead glass. It resembles orange juice with a fluffy white head on top dissipates quickly.

Aromas are pretty muted for me, but there is some citrus hops in the form of tropical fruit, mango maybe?, and pale malts.

Excellent tasting, even if a little bit on the flat side. Orange, peach, and slight pineapple flavors. Kind of ripe and a little bit funky with a hint of spice (rye like). Balanced nicely with the malts. Average to below average bitterness.

The body is silky smooth. A little crisp in the carbonation unless I am mistaking it for a farmhouse type yeast pitch.

An excellent IPA. Not world class for me other than the feel though. I think I may score it a little higher as a pale, but a very good beer either way. I think it reminds me of Pseudo Sue. (827 characters)

Photo of jhartley
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a HF growler to a long stemmed wine glass.

Cloudy and hazy body with about a finger width head. Almost looks like a combination of orange and mango juice.

Tastes of citrus: orange and lemon and hops. A nice sweetness on the end from the malts. Nicely balanced.

Not a lot of carbonation, and by the end their wasn't much left coming out of the growler. Really lets the hops and malts shine.

Overall a really great IPA! Very well done! (449 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev -10%
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. (715 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
4.08/5  rDev -9.3%
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. (1,035 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.14/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Blind Tiger for VSK.

Slightly cloudy, golden body below the creamy head. Good lace, though not as sticky as other HF IPAs. Aroma like WHOA! Smells like I hollowed out a grapefruit and stuck my head inside. Fresh hops and citrus galore.

Unfortunately, the taste reminds me why I generally dislike Single IPAs: too much hop bite for my palate. Lacks the fruity magic from the nose, and the (very few) Single IPAs I enjoy possess this in spades. Can still tell this is a well-crafted brew; it's just not for me. (520 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.14/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another shout out to Ineedabeerhere. Pours a dull orange hue with a hazy clarity and a frothy, textured, bright white head. Nose expresses tangerines, simcoe hops and a hint of grain. Taste follows nose - a little less bright than suggested by the nose with the addition of a light, slightly lingering medicinal bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a slight acidity and a carbonation that falls just short of crisp. Overall, very good, but closer to an APA than an IPA in my opinion. (503 characters)

Photo of gory4d
4.16/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden with a dense, tall white head. The smell is lots of big citrus (tangelo, maybe), with some grassy notes and something sweet like cake batter. The taste is again very heavy on the citrus, but with a strong malt backbone; lots of herbal notes, too. It's a little thick, but well carbonated. Reminds me a lot of Edward, but more amped up. A good beer. (368 characters)

Photo of Treebs
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Zwanze Day, 2012. Served in a my Zwanze taster.

A: Pours a cloudy apricot color with a frothy off white head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly to a thick ring and leaves some soapy lace down the glass.

S: Very fruit forward nose. Very intoxicating mix of peach, pineapple, apricot and stone fruit. slightly grassy with a sweet biscuit malt backbone.

T: The malt base is a little heavier in the taste. Biscuit and toffee with sweet bursts of pineapple and peach.

M: Medium to light bodied with a nice medium-high carbonation level. Fruity and sweet flavors left on the palate.

O: High drinkable with a great fruit forward nose and taste. Definitely enjoyed this one! (694 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
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 ;) (468 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750 mL growler filled fresh from the brewery yesterday and kept chilled since then. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a really agressive, creamy three finger head with great retention. Cloudy yellow/orange in color (a lot like Edward and some of their other single hop offerings).

Aroma: Tons of tropical fruit and ctirus notes upfront. Pineapple and mango notes really stand out. I am getting a touch of the Simcoe hop note in there as well that really tempers the tropical fruit notes.

Taste: The Citra and Riwaka hops offer some really great tropical notes. Lots of pineapple and mango with some orange zest and grapefruit. Not as sweet as the aroma suggests. Some pretty agressive grapefruit and bitter hop notes. As it warms more, the aggressive grapefruit bitterness builds nicely. Easy drinking and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a nice creaminess. Really nice, bright carbonation.

Overall, a really nice, fresh IPA with a nice tropical background. Really nicely balanced with a more bitter finish than I expected. Not only refreshing but this grew on me as I drank it. I think I still prefer Edward to this but it is definitely a really nice beer. (1,195 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at the brewery last weekend 5/16. Poured from the 750ml growler into a Hill Farmstead stemmed snifter.

a: Cloudy gold with an uneven bubbly surface foam wnich receded to a small patch of surface foam and extensive spotty lacing.

s: Moderate citrus. Notes strangely similar to RAID bug killer emerge a bit later.

t: A flavor initially closer to pear than citrus, medium hop bite, slight lingering bitterness on a very dry finish. Later citrus and pine come to dominate the flavor.

m: Light to medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o: An eminently drinkable IPA, except for the weird aroma that develops.

UPDATE 7/12/15: Opened a 68 oz. growler tonight and had a couple of glasses. No odd aromas or flavors, just a great balance of citrus/piney hops and bready malt, highly drinkable and refreshing on a hot summer's day. Appearance also improved, with an inch thick white head which took some time to dissipate. Also very good body, almost like a different beer from the one I had from the 750 ml. Raising my ratings accordingly to a: 4.5, s: 4.0, m: 4.25. (1,083 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.22/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml bomber into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Appearance is light golden and hazy in body with a thick white frothy head that reduces slowly to leave thick lacing.
Very floral on the nose, lots of pine , citrus and caramel too.
On the tongue is sweet malt, citrus, floral, earthy notes. Some onion-ish notes, slight bitterness on the finish.
Medium body, low carbonation.

Very nice. Not my favorite HF IPA but delicious nonetheless. (455 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.23/5  rDev -6%
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. (1,014 characters)

Photo of tarheels86
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

750mL flip-top growler thanks to yourefragile. Moll is the man! Pours a cloudy orange with a medium, buttermilk head. Good lacing. Complete rings. Nose is jackfruit, dragonfruit, serrano hot pepper, pineapple/peach. Taste is chalky, minerally, a tad powdery. Flavor has some funky rind, cantaloupe, peach/pear juicy sweetness. Finish brings nice mellow bitterness. Palate is ultra soft, fluffy, easy to drink. Quenching, cloud like mouthfeel. (442 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Drank on-tap at Lord Hobo, Cambridge, MA
Served in a cervoise

Cloudy, dark mustard yellow in appearance. The liquid was topped by a small, eggshell colored crop of froth that fell to a clingy film. Lacy looking patches of foam trickled down the glass.

The aroma was amazingly skunky and dank. Super weed-like. Piney and resiny. Tropical fruit notes were apparent. Definitely some mango and pineapple. Slightly citrusy.

Citrus notes dominated the flavor profile. Lots of tangerine and orange peel. Touch of lemon. Some pine and resin as well. Semi-bitter notes of white grapefruit came through on the finish.

The mouthfeel was creamy and frothy yet thinner bodied for the style. The liquid contained a lively, spritzy effervescence.

Susan is a very solid IPA but definitely not one of Hill Farmstead's better offerings. Even though this beer is all about hops, I cannot help but think that a touch more malts could help improve the mouthfeel and round out the flavor profile. (979 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

The beer pours a really lovely copper honey color, hues of gold and light amber, very cloudy complexion. A nice finger and a half of white soapy heady appears and has good retention, lots of film atop the beer after the head has completely receded and wonderful soapy lacing survives the entire session. The aroma is spectacular, bright and vibrant notes of grapefruit and pineapple, floral notes of a fresh bouquet of wildflowers are very dominant as well, light earthy pine is there as well with a healthy amount of pale cereal malt. I could stick my nose in this beer forever, the balance is wonderful and the brightness is really special. The flavors are nice but fall a bit flat compared to the nose, grapefruit, pineapple and tangerine are all present with the same kick of fresh wildflower and lemongrass, the earthiness take over at the finish with bitter dirty pine and grassy weeds and some stronger sweeter malt than the nose suggested. Susan is full bodied, lower on the spectrum of carbonation but still lively and appropriate for the style and has a nice dry bitter finish that leaves a bit of a cottonmouth sensation behind.

Verdict: A really wonderful IPA from Hill Farmstead and another triumph in their hoppy arsenal. The aroma is really something to behold, a truly delightful beer to savor and enjoy. (1,380 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Sean. Served in a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A - White foam settles to some wisps, a collar, and spotty lacework. Murky peach flesh-colored body. Fairly pale, as seems to be usual for these Hill Farmstead IPAs.

S - Lots of tropical fruits and citrus zest, with perhaps a touch of dank and onion. The Riwaka is fairly apparent. Fairly neutral malt backdrop; this one is all about the hops.

T - Zesty citrus, a bit of lemon peel, some mild herbal and dank notes, and juicy tropical fruits. Again, malt doesn't impart much else beyond some faint and nebulous sugary notes. High bitterness that is somewhat surprising for Hill Farmstead.

M - Smooth, medium body, medium-low carbonation, dry and crisp finish. No perceivable alcohol.

D - Another fine IPA from Shaun E. Hill. It's very easy to drink and has a really broad hop bouquet that covers all the bases. I could use perhaps a touch more malt sweetness to offset the high bitterness, but otherwise this is quite good. (986 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thank you, Eric.

A uniformly cloudy orange (Shaun needs to filter his IPAs some, methinks) with a dense, fluffy, white cap that leaves a gorgeous amount of lacing, this is a great looking IPA. The nose is rather excellent. Bright and fruity, this has a blend of citrus ( blend of orange and grapefruit, close to a white grapefruit, in fact) and the classic Simcoe floral and fruity aromas standing out (mango is noticeable). Moderately juicy, this beer also has a touch of honey to it. Not particularly dank or resiny, this is rather delicate.

The palate opens with a blend of mango, grapefruit, a little lemon and a rather floral pine nose. This really is a potpourri of hop goodness. Bitterness is moderate and is gentle, lacking in the pungency and resiny character that my favorites have, but instead, having an almost-as-enjoyable gently fruity bitterness that is the HFS signature (to me, at least). Malt? What malt? Maybe some pale malt, along with a touch of honey, but really, there isn't much here. The mouthfeel is soft and gentle, with a prodding bitterness and a suffuse fruity hop flavor that fully coats the palate. Initially, it does seems a little watery, but the creamy carbonation does pair rather well with the rest of the flavors here. Lingering flavors on the finish are mango, citrus and some floral character. Excellent stuff. (1,352 characters)

Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at the brewery on 8-8-13, from a 750ml growler poured into a The Alchemist pint glass.

AP: Nice inviting colour on this one, reminds me of orange or peach marmalade. Fluffy 1.5" head that dwindles down to 1/4". Almost no lacing on the sides when you tilt the glass, so excellent head retention.
AR: A pine and citrus explosion of aromas on the first whiff. Green fresh pine more like the needles than the bark/sap. Citrus is grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine. Light toasty crackery grains in the background.
T: I swear the malt base to this has a buttery roll taste to it, like the croissants I bought recently at my local supermarket. I like that as it gives it more depth than just being light grains and crackers playing solely second fiddle to the hops. All the citrus aromas are in the taste as well, very well balanced both among themselves and with the malts. On the taste I get a little more tropical fruit like pineapple and papaya. A nice soft bitter citrus rind finish that lingers for a while. The fruity hops flavours don't come across as what I'd call 'juicy' though.
M: Fairly carbonated, slightly creamy on the palate, finish isn't too dry or puckering, pretty much a clean finish.
OV: A very good beer for certain, just not quite World Class to me. It's very good, but it didn't blow me away. Now, that's not a bad thing and I'm not disappointed in any way. If I could get my hands on a beer like this whenever I wanted then it would be in my regular rotation to drink. I'm glad I got this and tried it. (1,537 characters)

Photo of Etan
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Roscoe Village Pub, in conjunction with WLV for Zwanze 2012.

A: Bright yellow body, nice white head.

S: Fresh grapefruit juice and mango in the nose. Some mild herbal notes and light pale malt behind.

T. Drier than the nose, but still with a good balance of juicy vs. dry/bitter. Pithy orange, dry grass, sweet bready finish. Plenty of citrus and tropical notes to keep things interesting.

M. Light-bodied with bright carbonation.

O. Very good IPA, but that's not too surprising considering who we're dealing with. (529 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled November 15 and consumed on the 17th. From notes.

A - Poured a cloudy orange colour with good carbonation. Two fingers of soapy white head. Really good lace rings and a film of retention.

S - Zippy hops. Orange, grass, passionfruit. Lotsa citrus.

T - Nice tropical character, floral, citrus, orange, mango, peach, honey. Quite juicy and fruity, mild malt character. Complexity of hop flavours is really nice.

M - Good carbonation, medium body, nice bitterness.

O/D - This was a good IPA. The Riwaka worked really well with Citra and Simcoe. I really enjoyed this one. The depth of hop flavours was really pleasant. Well done. (646 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.31/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler courtesy of msquared2 and split with my Aunt Susan for her birthday. Thanks Morgan!

Susan pours a medium bodied very cloudy tangerine orange I'm color with a great one finger, bright white and soapy head. The nose is bright and citrusy with a slightly earthy and grassy, mellow hop character. The flavors are very well rounded. There is a lot of citrus up front followed by a spicy bready malt aspect. It finishes with a soapy grassy note that interesting and a little yeasty. It drinks light and soapy and an off dry. I really like it. For an IPA it is very unique. The three hop varietals work very well together. Hats off to Sean Hill. This one worked. (664 characters)

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