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Susan - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Susan
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BA SCORE
99
world-class

132 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 132
Hads: 1,273
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 6%
Wants: 634
Gots: 103 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 132 | Hads: 1,273
Photo of anteatr23
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy cloudy orange. Medium-sized head. Smells like pine and loads of tropical citrus. Taste is smooth and delicious, plenty of bitterness and citra. Goes down way too easy. Creamy and smooth with a dry pleasant finish. This beer was everything I was hoping for. (275 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

75cl growler generously shared by Doug today, 9/6/2013. Poured into a Bell's snifter. Review #195.

Pours a nice clear copper body, with that impressive Hill Farmstead white head that rises to 2cm, and has great retention. Lacing is decent, but that head is really something.

Nose is really, really pungent. So much tropical fruit here. Citrus, grapefruit, mango, pineapple. This is incredibly strong and delicious.

The flavour on this beer is awesome. At the beginning, there's a lot of tangerine, grapefruit, citrus that transitions into a nice piney bitterness. The malt is there just enough to adequately balance out all the hops in this beer- caramel, toffee, but especially toffee. But this is probably the hoppiest tasting IPAs I've ever had. Then it transitions into this awesome bitterness, even more bitter than Abner or Ephraim which are DIPAs. Crazy.

Mouthfeel is that incredible creamy carbonated Hill Farmstead trademark. I really cannot say enough about these. Incredible. It's gotta be that Hill Farmstead well water.

This is the best single IPA I've ever had. Jai Alai is great, but it just doesn't have that Hill Farmstead creamy full bodied IPA mouthfeel. This is incredible and I have to thank Doug for being so generous in sharing growlers of Hill Farmstead with me. (1,291 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hill Farmstead Susan

Poured into a small 8oz tasting glass at the brewery.

Pours a hazy golden orange color with a nice white head. There are some nice bright orange hues to the brew as well. The head is nice and sticky and soapy like most of the higher quality IPAs.

Aroma starts off with citrus fruits, amazing tropical fruit notes. Bright and fresh citrus fruit juice with a nice herbal and grassy backbone is present. There are notes of orange and tangerines and some mild grapefruit and nice dry overall hoppy bitterness. These HF brews although seem balanced are all about the hops. The bready malt is there but it isn’t.

Flavor is the same story. Grassy and herbal with nice pine notes. I forget this is a single IPA ‘cuz it is a hop-heads dream. Clean yet dank and piney with tons of citrus notes that are very present but not overwhelming. They just keep making you come back for more. There are some mild tropical fruit notes of mango and papaya but the citrus notes take the lead. Yummy, drinkable and deceiving because it seems like a DIPA. Mouthfeel is great crisp, clean, dry and bitter.

HF IPAs are taking the craft beer scene by storm. I think this one deserves the hype as a strong single IPA that is drinkable and well crafted. (1,254 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-hazy golden color with a nice white head and good lacing

S-wonderful aromas of tropical fruit, grapefruit, pine, herbal hints

T-grapefruit, pine, pineapple, mango, grassy, nice bitter hop finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and clean

O-a top notch IPA bursting with flavor and aroma, would love to see this available in bottles (351 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This brew was poured from a refillable 750mL Hill Farmstead bottle, filled at the brewery growler-style, into our Founders snifters. It glows the color of butternut squash, offering up a two and a half finger tall head of soapy, chunky, white bubbles, showing excellent retention. Cratered honeycomb lacing is left all around the glass. A murky haze cuts clarity and remains throughout, but no sediment is noted. Carbonation appears to be light. The aroma is wonderfully bright and fresh, giving notes of raw honeys, grapefruit and nectary sweet hops, mineral-laden water and clay, granular white sugar, apricot and nectarine fruitiness, thyme and oregano leafiness, sunscreen soapiness, envelope adhesive, and chalky pale malts. Our first impression is that the flavoring is just as juicy and sweetly hoppy as you would expect, helping to bolster and balance residual bitterness through the finish. As we sip, sour Starburst candy fruitiness, pale and lightly wheaty malts, white chalk and blackboard slate, mineral clay, white grape skins, biting citric rind, and a blend of grassy, nectary, grapefruity, and soapy hops start things off. Moving through the peak is continued freshness of grassy and soapy hops, fresh squeezed grapefruit juiciness, peach and tangerine flesh, booze and orange peel bitterness, green twigs, moderate metallic bite, and light rubbers. The end washes with bitterness of lemon and grapefruit rind, soapy citric and lavender oils, cotton, graphite, manila, white sugar and honey sweetness, residual bitterness of raw barley and lightly toasted pale malts, vegetal metallics, and honeysuckle. The aftertaste breathes of crusted wax, walnut oils, herbal hop bite, well water, resinous tree sap, green olive oiliness, lemon and grapefruity juiciness, sesame seed, dried pale malts, baker’s yeast, fresh grassy hoppiness, creamy milkiness, robust metallics, and denim. The body is medium, and the carbonation is medium. Each sip gives soft slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop. Following an initial foamy coating, the mouth dries with lightly puckering astringency and chalkiness. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, the best thing about this beer is its flavoring. This was actually a hard decision for us, as at first pop of the bottle we were initially thinking that the aroma couldn’t possibly be trumped. We were proved wrong. This is mainly due to the evolution with each, as they were exposed to heat. The flavoring calmed and became more even, while the aroma simply lost vigor. Keep in mind we are being exquisitely critical here, and both are actually sensational. This beer is wildly juicy from the hops, and happily “down-home”, with the typical Hill Farmstead well-water inclusions, which truly make each beer unique and continually incredible. (2,815 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy orange body, short white head, and extensive lacing.

S - Huge orange and grapefruit nose, citrus hop esters galore, along with big pine complements. If juicy IPAs are your thing, this is exactly how you want your IPA to smell. As it warms, some of the Citra and Simcoe dankness comes forward, but it is never off-putting.

T - The nose, but more restrained, with a more subtle juice element pairing with definite resin and pine elements. The middle introduces the malt backbone. Most IPAs that deliver huge hop fronts close superbly bitter, but while there is a definite bitter turn, here it is more balanced, keeping the fruitiness and bright notes throughout. Which is one neat trick.

M - Very bright and carbonated. The close has some subtle drying, but nothing out of character for an IPA.

O - This straight ahead IPA is big and fun, delicious and bright. Susan is a top notch IPA, and it is a testament to the careful craft of this beer that it manages it all without falling for any of the major traps that trip up even the better brewers working with these hops and profiles. (1,101 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (364 characters)

Photo of jhavs
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from growler into tasting glass.
A= Hazy and yellow, large bubble foam. Foam receded and laced the outside of the glass with a small island in the middle.
S= Citrus and pine aroma are notable.
T= Get mostly the citrus flavor at first taste, the pine and earthy notes come through in the end. Some malt and perceivable sweetness. Crisp and balanced.
M= Nice level of carbonation, refreshing and easy to drink.
O= Seems to be on par with most of Hill Farmstead IPA's. Not their best, but much better than a typical IPA. (528 characters)

Photo of SteveCarrozza
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great color and nose. Poured into a tulip glass with a thick foamy head. Consistent lacing coating the glass. Just another world class beer from the geniuses at HF (163 characters)

Photo of Kinsman
4.59/5  rDev +2%
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. (716 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (1,002 characters)

Photo of Resuin
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL growler into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. This was filled at the brewery 5 days ago.

Appearance: Pours a light, hazy amber and leaves a finger or two of white medium-density head, which lingers around a bit.

Smell: Lemon peel, juicy citrus, mild peppercorn, some light spices. Smells very refreshing and has a nice, mild aroma.

Taste: Matches the aroma right on. Lemon peel, peppercorn, citrus. Quite juicy. Finishes with some mild, earthy pine. Very light and well balanced.

Mouth-feel: Well carbonated with a light to medium body. Very, very smooth, alcohol is completely hidden.

Overall: A very well balanced, light, delicious IPA. I could definitely drink a lot of this. Citrus is the dominant hop flavor but there are some nice other flavors weaved in. (786 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL growler, served in a HF wine glass.

Pours a hazed golden copper with a dense fluffy white head. Nose has heavy with resiny tropical fruits and earthy pine. Flavor is a little sweeter, with grapefruit rind, pineapple, mango and peach and a dry earthy pine and grassy finish. Medium thick body, soft carbonation and a sticky, bitter finish. Great balance of hops as the Simcoe pine plays nicely with the leafy NZ hop tropical fruitiness. The Riwaka single hop was a little more "exceptional" and a better showcase for that hop, but Susan's subtlety and balance make this much easier to drink.

The smell and overall scores are more of a 4.75 but I refuse to use the new quarter intervals in scores since I never had access to them the previous 6 years of reviewing. Just...whatever. (788 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2L growler shared with peepz this time around, have had this a few times in the past as well.

Very hazy pale orange with an off-white head with great retention and lace. Doesn't really get under a finger.

Definitely a noticeable scent upon pouring, tropical citrus earthiness and light toasty malts. Strength does seem to fade after some time.

Taste is great, tangerine, lemon, mango, pine dank hops with a toasted biscuit finish. Tropical earthy goodness to start, bready goodness on the finish, can't ask for much more out of an IPA. Good amount of bitterness to it but very drinkable, probably perfect amount of malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is very smooth yet well-carbonated. Feels a bit bigger than the listed ABV via heftiness and bitterness but that's really not a flaw here.

Very good, and maybe my fav. IPA from Hill Farmstead so far. Though I liked the 'softer' flavors of Society & Solitude #5 alot, I enjoyed the amped up bitterness on this one more, it still remains pretty balanced and drinkable. (1,012 characters)

Photo of DanforthPewter
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from Christmas gifted growler from brother in law. I think he's a keeper. Excellently balanced beer. Ridiculously good beer while watching ridiculously bad NY football (174 characters)

Photo of jraras
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Susan: several tastings compiled to one review. On draft sample (1st sample I tried at 12:30pm w/ clean palate) into HF sampling glass, 750 < 8hrs old into wide mouth wine glass, 750 24hrs old kept chilled into HF stemware.

A: Pours a cloudy light orange with frothy white head measuring perhaps 2 fingers (maybe 1.5). Lots of lacing and a remaining layer of head throughout the experience. Typically awesome HF look on this one. Looks like Edward and maybe the Riwaka and Simcoe single hop APAs they've done recently. Approaching but not quite as dark as S&S4.

S: A blast of tropical fruits, sweet orange/tangerine, lemon zest(?), slight whiff of pale malt, more candy-like tropical fruit. I don't know what passionfruit smells like, but this might be it. Pineapple, definitely getting pineapple now. Slight flowery scent over the tropihop fruit back. Unreal nose! 5+

T: Taste doesn't have quite as much of the tropical punch that the aroma does, but still more than 99% of hoppy beers out there. Orange, citrus, lemon zest again and some grapefruit the finish has Riwaka written all over it. Awesomely subtle and lingering bitterness, but not palate wrecking by any stretch.

M: Soft, FLUFFY (Fluffhead?), gorgeous mouth feel with great drinkability. Just enough sweetness from the malts weaving with the creeping bitterness. Not cloying at all. Not "dry" per se. I want another sip.

O: I could drink this beer everyday. The aroma is the best part, but the others elements are just behind. I love this beer. Get some. (1,526 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill from @tauroe and brought to connecticut
Susan gets the perfect 5 down the list
Pours a cloudy golden with big lacing
Smells of intense hop florals, glass clippings/pine/woods/grapefruit/lemon
Taste has a medium bitterness and carbonation with a crisp dry finish
Overall easily in the top list. Great balance of fruitiness hops, dryness in the finish. Lacing extremely impressive (391 characters)

Photo of 05Harley
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
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!!! (1,823 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
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.. (819 characters)

Photo of SebD
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%

From notes

Appearance: It has a beautiful deep golden/orange color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrus, mango, peaches, floral undertones, some pine resins and sweet bready/buiscuity malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has citrus, mango, peaches (more prevalent here), bitter pine resins, some floral hops and bready/buiscuity malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/med carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas. Fantastic IPA!

Serving type: gowler (658 characters)

Photo of DaveHack
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into HF tulip.

Pours a cloudy orange, kind of looks like muted orange juice

Smell is like pungent grapefruit and fresh, dank hops.

Nice bitter hop flavor, with grapefruitish flavors. This is a very bold and aggressive IPA...especially for being a single IPA.

This beer feels almost chewy, the flavor is so intense. Its like taking a 'bite' of an IPA. Coats the mout in all its wonderous hop glory.

Seriously, can Shaun do no wrong? This is yet another on out of the park....Absolutlely a must try. (524 characters)

Photo of ElmCityBeer
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Prohibition Pig, Waterbury, VT.

Poured a typically hazy orange/tangerine with a 1/2 inch of white head with minimal lacing.

Tons of grapefruit and ripe sweet mango on the nose, with a little welcome bit of biscuity sweetness.

The sip is velvety smooth and soft, tiny champagne bubbles delivering a citrus juice bomb of a brew. A slightly sweet malt base hides any residual bitterness. The finish is appropriately dry. Hill Farmstead is in a different class when it comes to IPAs. (493 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to DaveHack for the hookup o this one. The beer poured out as a nice hazy yellow color with a massive fluffy white head. The smell of citrus fills the air after popping the growler and pouring out into the glass. There is a beautiful soft grapefruit aroma on this. There is a very nice citrusy flavor too with subtle waves of wheat ad grains in there as well. The mouthfeel is soft, light bodied and refreshing. Overall this is a great IPA. Very good stuff. (468 characters)

Photo of Zaximus
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've had a fair number of HF IPAs at this point and this is my favorite so far. Though to be honest I like I well balanced IPA.

Citrus hop flavor with a nice sweet malt background and insanely drinkable. Yet another reason I wished Vermont would deliver. (255 characters)

Photo of tpmurray
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
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 (1,258 characters)

Susan from Hill Farmstead Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.