Susan - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Susan
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

126 Reviews
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Reviews: 126
Hads: 1,226
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 2%
Wants: 602
Gots: 87 | 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: 126 | Hads: 1,226
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 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 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 jmarsh123
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (870 characters)

Photo of ChrisL24481
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
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! (377 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 Devman171
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Growler, pours is cloudy pale orange, aroma is citrus, melon, and grassy pine. Taste is perfectly balanced and a dry bitter finish, probably my favorite HF IPA so far. (167 characters)

Photo of lunarbrew
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into my brand new Hill Farmstead stemware. Thanks for the amazing box, Dave!

Pours light and carbonated. Contains the signature HF glow, which I surmise is caused by highly addictive drugs. Very beautiful brew.

Smells huge! Wow. Packs a punch for a single IPA. Smells bigger than most IIPAs I've had in the past, including Abner. Its citrusy (grapefruit) and piney.

Taste is not as big as the smell, but it is fantastic. The beer is pretty damn bitter with resin lingering on the tongue. I actually think the 'single' aspect to this IPA is what accentuates the hops. There is no where for them to hide, so you get a little bit of a smack in the face. Again, a lot of grapefruit with a piney bitterness on the back end.

Mouthfeel... Well, it's HF, so pretty much perfect. Super creamy and full bodied. Also very carbonated, but in a unique way. It's almost like the carbonation is more evenly distributed than most beers. Carbonation is never harsh with HF. The head is always big but extra fluffy. Water? Yeast? Maybe it's magic.

Overall, on the single ipa curve, this one takes the cake so far. I honestly can't think of anything better. Furious is ok, two hearted is good, blind pig is great, but this is fantastic. Cheers to Susan! (1,248 characters)

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Growler gives a great pop and fills the glass with a golden body and a long lasting lacy white head.

Bright fruity citrus and pine battle it out above a soft bready malt presence. Orange, grapefruit, mango.

Simcoe flavors seem dominating to me. Pine, earth, grapefruit, then some tropical mango edge to it.

Medium bodied, carbonated and bittered. One of the better mouth feels on a IPA I've had. Ends dry.

Imminently drinkable. One of the best single IPAs out right now. (477 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy yellow hold. Looks like almost every other Hill Farmstead pale ale. Head is white, fluffy, and dense. Drops to a few clumps of a cap with a small creamy collar. Sheets and splotches of lacing.

Smell: Pine and some tropical notes. Touches of tangerine. Hill Farmstead yeast and water add a very soft earthiness. Malt backbone is ever so slightly bready with some pale malt sweetness as well. Lots of pine sap and grapefruit. Bitter. Floral. Woody. Slightly sweet. Warming adds a little bit of mango and peach. Some hop spiciness as well.

Taste: Bitter pine. Loaded with tropical fruit. Mango, peach, tangerine, it's all there. Malt backbone is slightly sweet with some bread dough. Pale malts add a little bit of sweetness. Bitter. Tons of pine needle. Grapefruit pith and oil. Juicy. Super floral. Bitter and sweet. A hint of lime in the back. Some leafy hops as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate to almost light carbonation. A touch of astringency. Juicy initial sip.

Overall: A classy lady.

It's obviously good. This hop profile is better than most. (1,087 characters)

Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at 3 penny

A- hazy golden orange color with a light, wispy froth of white head

S- everything pops, grapefruit initially, with waves of tangerine, pummelo,

T- some light breast malt takes a back seat to a citrus explosion, a little grapefruit bitter then goes into tangerine citrus sweet, delicious

M- crisp mouthfeel, light body

O- dangerously drinkable, fantastic choppy IPA (389 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 6/6/15, growler filled at the brewery about 4 hours ago

A: Hazy, medium orange with golden honey - pours with a dense, bright white head, fades to a nearly solid cap, leaves some streaks of lacing

S: Bright, fresh citrus, with gigantic floral notes - orange, grapefruit, and ruby red grapefruit flesh - nice tropical aromas, big mango and pineapple - straight-up hops, hop cones, hop pellets - very, very floral

T: It's a Hill Farmstead IPA; very hoppy with an immaculately clean malt base - juicy, fleshy, ripe orange, tangerine, grapefruit - very, very floral - some hints of pine, straight-up hop resin - very nice tropical notes, with mango and pineapple - some stone fruit, peach - tropical fruit juice - medium level of bitterness - clean pale malt base, fresh and refreshing

M: Medium body, very smooth, finishes lightly dry

O: Possibly the quintessential Hill Farmstead IPA

Hill Farmstead makes awesome pale ales. Their APAs, IPAs, and DIPAs have many similarities. It's like a spectrum. And Susan is right in the middle. Very hoppy, but not aggressively so, super clean, and stupidly easy to drink. Awesome stuff. (1,137 characters)

Photo of starrdogg
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jfmamj for hooking me up with this one.

Beer pours a hazy golden-orange with a moderate white head - looks like most other HF IPAs. Smell is a very nice citrus-forward aroma with a bit of grassiness, impressive, but I'm not sure it's quite up to the level of some of the best hoppy HF beers, it's not overpowering like I usually expect from these guys. Flavor takes it up a notch - this blend of hops, likely due to the Riwaka, gives it a pretty unique flavor profile, it's very citrusy up front and has a flavor I can't quite put my finger on (likely the Riwaka hop, which I haven't had much of). Finish is orange peel-y bitter. The beer isn't as big and hoppy as most of the HF IPAs are, particularly in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is another great beer from Hill Farmstead, but I think the fact that it's a single IPA instead of a DIPA keeps it from being a smash hit, as the flavor doesn't get as big as I'd hoped. That said, another well done, hoppy beer from HF. (1,027 characters)

Photo of Keananmichael5
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

So far this is my favorite Hill Farmstead beer. Had it shipped to me in a growler and drank it pretty fresh. Great smell, flavor, and balance. Susan was bomb. (158 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 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 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 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 TWStandley
4.32/5  rDev -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. (456 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 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 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 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 SawDog505
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Need to thank Dr. H for this treat. Poured from 750 growler into my 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a very cloudy orange yellow, with a two inch sticky off white head, leaves loads of lacing behind. Smell is heavenly mango, passion fruit, tangerine, and pineapple. Taste is all of that, with a grapefruit finish. Body is thinner than I expected, not overly carbonated, not dry, and very drinkable. This another treasure from one of the great users of citra hops. Vermont can brew IPAs. (478 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)

Susan from Hill Farmstead Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.