Illumination (Farmhouse IPA) - Enlightenment Ales
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
3.3/5 rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
6.8% ABV confirmed. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with intriguing label art and standard brass pressure cap acquired in a trade with the gracious ICCULIS and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high; I've not had a beer from this brewery yet but I find the label and description appealing. Batch number 7. Reviewed as a saison-come-IPA.
Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
As soon as I opened it, liquid began slowly surging upwards. Carbonation seems zealous.
A: Pours a healthy six finger head of beige colour. Soft frothy complexion. Good thickness. Light cream. Spotty uneven lacing as the head slowly recedes. Retention is quite good - around six minutes. Body colour is an unexpectedly murky hazy yellow-orange; I can see the "farmhouse" elements starting to emerge here. This is not your typical IPA in that sense. Appears unfiltered. No yeast particles are visible. Translucent but nontransparent.
Sm: Rustic lemongrass and estery lemon zest immediately betray its saison origins. Pale malts and light wheat lend it a light refreshing feel. Biscuity yeast notes are pungent. Lightly grassy. Little spice if any. No milky character. Hop character is floral but seemingly no more pronounced than most saisons I've had; I'm not detecting the alleged IPA hopping in this self-described saison-meets-IPA. Straw, fleeting graininess, light funk. A hint of pear fruit. Lemon is dominant. More a rustic aroma than a clean one. Mild in strength. Soft, approachable, and inviting. Alive and fleeting. I'm excited to try it. If you handed it to me blind and asked me to guess the style, I'd go with either saison or biere de garde - but I'd never guess IPA.
T: Lemon twang is nice here; lightly juicy without going overboard. The foundation is a rustic blend of pale malts, wheat, and more grainy malts. Some light residual sugars lend a bit more body without becoming overbearing or too sweet. Hop character is indeed a bit more pronounced than in most saisons - but still doesn't come off like the description suggests; this doesn't feel like half saison half IPA - more like 85/15. Some biscuity yeasty notes. No real spicy or milky character, nor any peppery character. It's quite tame in terms of conventional good saisons. I get lightly spicy rye when I look for it, but it seems quite limited. Balanced and enjoyable, but simple for a saison - and not really at all what you'd want out of a good IPA (Belgian style or not). It's nicely subtle. I quite like it, but I could go for more complexity and depth of flavour. Well built as an American attempt at a saison.
Mf: Soft and easy on the palate, presenting lightly yet subtly. Smooth and wet with some fizzy character from the crystal malt. Overcarbonated. Good thickness. Suits the flavour profile well. Clean and refreshing, if rustic.
Dr: A highly drinkable American saison from Enlightenment Ales. Make no mistake - this is no IPA. It's at best a somewhat highly hopped saison. I doubt any beer judge would dare call this an IPA of any sort. This is one case where the brewer's description seems more for marketing than for accurately describing the beer itself. I'd happily age this, for example - if I though it would develop with age (and I don't). But the hop character won't drop off noticeably; there's not much to start with. Hides its ABV well. I'd get it again. An interesting beer, and one that makes me more interested in the brewery. I look forward to trying more of their beers. I wouldn't recommend this to friends, but it's pretty tasty for what it is. Worth trying.
Serving type: bottle
05-21-2013 04:57:25 | More by kojevergas
3.65/5 rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
25.4 fl oz brown bottle served in a chalice.
Batch #1; note alcohol by volume is listed at 6.8%.
Dirty straw in color beneath a carbonation-heavy, foamy, white head that holds for a few moments before thinning to an intact sheet. Condensed lacing with pretty good strength.
A variety of aromas going on here that match the Saison-American IPA hybrid description. Sweet Belgian candy sugar that just slightly outweighs the earthen must and spicy clove character. Wet, oily citrus hops; mild to moderate pine aromas as well.
The initial sweetness is assertive, yet short-lived. Almost immediately, the Saison-like flavors take over: earthen must with somewhat non-descriptive floral hops; mild pepper and coriander. The 'west coast' hop profile is present in its sweet-citrus flavors; however, it feels almost thin compared to the candied sweetness and muddy-earthen 'Saison'-driven flavors.
Medium bodied. Pretty delicate flavors propped up by a smooth, rounded body.
Overall, a pretty creative offering that just doesn't fire on all cylinders. Worth a try from such a small start up, but not a must buy.
Serving type: bottle
10-15-2012 23:55:13 | More by NEhophead
3.76/5 rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
A-Hazy yellow in color. Big head fills up the remainder of my sample glass.
S-Tropical fruit hoppiness. Grassy hops as well. Funky, barny yeast complements the hops.
T-Hops are citrusy, herbal and grassy. I get some peach as well. The rustic Saison yeast is quite zesty and funky.
M-Medium bodied. Reasonably bitter. Alcohol hidden. Lots of carbonation.
O-A good blend between two styles of beer.
Serving type: bottle
06-01-2014 17:32:17 | More by VelvetExtract
Illumination (Farmhouse IPA) from Enlightenment Ales
90 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.