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Susan - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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139 Reviews
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Reviews: 139
Hads: 1,308
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 21.33%
Wants: 634
Gots: 107 | FT: 1
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: 139 | Hads: 1,308
Photo of cosmicevan
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Another one I have had on many occasion but have yet to add a review, well that changes now thanks to a surprise 64oz growler that my buddy maddogg21 dropped off earlier today on his way out of town for a trip to Belgium (apparently did not have time to drink it between the pick up about a week ago and now - who does that? But I digress...) enjoyed from a bulbous hill farmstead wine glass.

a -'brew pours a cloudy crisp orange yellow with a darker core. Really nice lush foamy head hangs out and the n coats the glass with lace as the head dissolves and the beer is consumed.

s - nose is soft citric. Fresh fruit. Crisp.

t - taste is also fairly spot on. Fresh fruit with a wonderful fruity hop. Bright citric notes but all extremely we'll balanced.

m - has that wonderful hf mouth feel. Easy drinking and perfectly medium bodied.

o - overall what can you say about Susan that you cannot say about hill farmstead on general. It is a quality product. Hill farmstead sets a new bar in beer creation. Everything in the right place. Recipes are carefully crafted and it shows. This is a phenomenal IPA. Psyched to have 64oz of is for myself.

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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.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a hazed golden amber with a bubbly white head. Nose is powerful citrus and grapefruit hops. Subtle grain notes and a hint of a malt backbone. Taste is so gentle and focused, tropical fruits everywhere, mango, grapefruit, peach skin. Light grain notes. Bitterness is present through the finish with a fairly inviting palate, extremely soft body, crisp clean finish, tropical fruits gently linger. This stuff is darn good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Duane_Opfer
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Blackback Pub in Waterbury, VT. Served in a 12 oz tulip glass. Consumed on 11/1.

A - Light orange in color. Cloudy with a bright white head. No lacing. Moderate carbonation.

S - Extremely fragrant. Orange, pine, pineapple, and fresh hops.

T - Somewhat tart, mandarin/orange, lemon and apricot flavor. More noticeable malt backbone.

M - Creamy with a medium body. Nice tingle throughout mouth. Standard HF quality.

O - Very very good, but preferred Harlan (consumed same evening), although Susan is higher rating. Like all HF products, it is a must try.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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..

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Photo of SadMachine
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy orange/gold with a large white head that slowly recedes and leaves plenty of lacing. Beautiful!

S- Smells intensely citrusy and fruity with notes of tangerine, lemon, and dark grapefruit. Floral/grassy notes, and a good malt backbone of butterscotch and caramel.

T- The flavor opens mostly with citrus, specifically tangerine and grapefruit. The middle is buttery smooth with the caramel/butterscotch malt body. It finishes with a floral/grassy, mildly bitter hop bite.

M- The mouthfeel is pretty much perfect. Frighteningly smooth and buttery, reminiscent of Abner. Just the right amount of carbonation and a dry finish.

O- Overall this is an outstanding IPA that has DIPA-like flavor and aroma!

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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.

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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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml Flip-Top Growler opened on 9.5.13

A - Pours a hazy, lighter orange with a very large fluffy off-white head with great retention.

S - Very fruity and citrusy, oranges, grapefruit, lemon.

T - Same as the nosze, a touch bitter, the sweet in the finish.

D - Good carbonatio with a medium body.

O - Another citrus forward lovely one from Shaun. Delighted to have had this one.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of jrenihan
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy golden, good-sized white head. Great retention, good lace.

Nose contains lots of citrus and tropical fruit. Very bright, lots of pineapple, orange, mango, tangerine. Great.

Flavour is similar. Sticky tropical and citrus fruit; pineapple, tangerine, orange, mango. A touch of grapefruit. Moderately bitter. No significant malt presence to speak of. Very flavourful.

Medium bodied, low carbonation level. Oily.

Overall, an excellent IPA. Very citra heavy. Super juicy.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a murky light orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and slight tropical aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some great citrus and tropical aromas and flavors that make it super easy to drink.

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Susan from Hill Farmstead Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.