Barrel Aged What Is Enlightenment?
Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
American Pale Ale
Ranked #12
Not listed
Ranked #627
4.44 | pDev: 5.86%
Mar 13, 2023
Oct 14, 2017
Notes: Originally brewed to celebrate our second anniversary, What is Enlightenment? is an American pale ale crafted with Simcoe and Amarillo hops. We aged a small portion of freshly brewed beer in a variety of French oak barrels for over 8 months, dry-hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo and then bottle conditioned. The result: a bright, enlivening and aromatic beer that dares one to be wise and seek reason.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.25 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts

Mar 13, 2023
Rated: 4.53 by Eman17 from Illinois

Nov 06, 2022
Rated: 3.53 by vfgccp from New York

Nov 04, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by paulish from New York

Nov 04, 2022
Rated: 4.68 by Bhubbard34 from Pennsylvania

Jul 12, 2022
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Reviewed by npolachek from New York

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
This is an American pale Ale with simcoe and Amarillo hops. It is each in a variety of French oak barrels for eight months and then dry hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo. Very good beer!
Jun 27, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by Dizzy242 from Massachusetts

May 21, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by Yungcoolship from Wisconsin

Feb 05, 2021
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Reviewed by BillRoth from Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
750 ml bottle from HFB picked up Spring 2019.
Classic HF styling of pale ale that is enhanced by lagering in French oak, dry hopping and further conditioning. Marvelously refreshing while subtle and complex.
Beautiful honey yellow with plumy whipped cream head. Soft dank and funk highlighted by oak. Nice touches of lemon, biscuit, hay, pepper. While still characteristic HF soft carbonation this brew is a bit more bright carbonation forward that enhanced refreshing quality.
Overall a stellar saison from a PA base.
Aug 25, 2020
Rated: 4 by pepesylvia from Pennsylvania

May 14, 2020
Rated: 4.75 by aasher from Indiana

May 11, 2020
Rated: 5 by pavpav12 from Pennsylvania

May 01, 2020
Rated: 4.81 by csmrx7 from Canada (AB)

Feb 09, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by SkiBum22 from New York

Feb 02, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by Montanabeerz from Montana

Jan 31, 2020
Rated: 3.92 by Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts

Dec 28, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by von_kaiser from Connecticut

Dec 25, 2019
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Reviewed by kevanb from Illinois

4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
750ml bottle, Batch 2, poured into an oversized Hill Farmstead wine glass. Enjoyed on 06.09.19, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a bright golden color, slightly hazy and cloudy with a foamy white head that rises nicely with strong retention and lots of lacing clinging to the glass. The aroma is nice, very oaky and earthy with green and dank hops, quite piney and grassy with soft dough, mineral water and a lingering citrus peel profile along with modest funkiness. The flavors are good, dry, dank and bitter, reminiscent of the base pale ale, very oaky as it warms with a nice backbone of pale grains and soft dough, a more vinous wine character builds out of the oakiness with some fruit and funk and a more bitter citrus rind flavor washes the palate at the finish. The mouthfeel is good, coating and crisp with a medium body that offers lively carbonation and a lightly tart and dry bitter finish.

Verdict: A very nice take on What is Enlightenment?. The barrel aging brings some new dimensions to the beer without losing the spirit of the base beer and it becomes transformed into something new and unique.
Oct 23, 2019
Rated: 4.58 by StoutSnob40 from California

Oct 05, 2019
Rated: 5 by jkrug5 from Maryland

Sep 17, 2019
Rated: 4.75 by smartassboiler from Illinois

Aug 19, 2019
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Reviewed by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

4.79/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
Poured from a 750 ML into snifters. We had this after quite a few stouts at a share, so maybe the change of pace had something to do with it, but I loved this beer!

L: Golden color with a white head.
S: Lemon and orange with some wood in the background.
T: Again, lemon, orange and oak with maybe a little bit of pepper that made me think "Hill Farm pale meats Hill Farm saison" - all with some barrel character. Not overly acidic.
F: Medium to high carbonation, so a bit bubbly.
O: An amazing, complex beer.
Aug 19, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by rodmanfor3 from Vermont

Aug 12, 2019
Rated: 4.49 by xtonytx from Connecticut

Aug 06, 2019
Rated: 4.58 by schinebd from Massachusetts

Jul 20, 2019
Rated: 4.4 by DaMacAndCheese from Massachusetts

Jun 23, 2019
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Reviewed by StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Hoppy notes of lemony orange citrus, tropical mango, pineapple, peach, mild tartness, oak barrel, dill, slight vanilla, pale honey malts, floral, earthy, resinous, peppery
Jun 19, 2019
Rated: 4.35 by PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

Jun 13, 2019
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Reviewed by Stevedore from Oregon

4.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
750ml capped bottle. Bottled 28 February 2019. Served in a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Bright lemon yellow body, one and half finger white head, good retention, plenty of lacing.

Aroma is crisp leafy mint-like floral notes, grapefruit and a touch of pine. Mild lemon tartness, slightest touch of leather, damp oak, more grapefruit zest, a touch of herbal resin as well.

Flavour is a nice combination of floral, grapefruit, light crackery pilsner malt, leafy greens, a bit less of the mint-like floral notes found on the nose but which still shows up a bit on the finish. Wet oak, a bit of leather as well. Fairly mild tartness evoking citrus and a touch of lemon. 

Medium lighter bodied, good carbonation. Refreshing, crisp with a nice floral and leafy finish.

Bottom line- if you’ve enjoyed dry hopped saisons (e.g. Casey dry hopped saison is the first comparison that comes to mind), this is one worth going after.
Jun 09, 2019
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Reviewed by jheimbigner from Washington

4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
This is such a sleeper - go find one.

Pours a beautiful golden hue with a robust white head. Lacing across the whole top of the beer. Nose is of Hill farmstead yeast, fruitiness from the hops - primarily orange, lemon peel, slight pepper, and oak character. Taste follows the nose, great lemon, orange, pepper, oak, and a nice hop bitterness. Feel is soft and pillowy. Nice acidity and thirst quenching. Slightly over carbonated. Overall, this is fantastic! Way better than E. It is very complex.
Jun 08, 2019
Rated: 4.16 by 22Blue from Kansas

Jun 03, 2019
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Reviewed by Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a hazy yellow with a bright white head. Nose is light and lemony; spicy and floral. This beer tastes amazing! Consistent with nose; however, the oak aging really comes out and creates a complex, flavorful beer. Mouthfeel is light in body with a pleasant carbonation and a light acidity. Overall, a spectacular beer. I can't believe what the barrels have done for this beer.
Jun 01, 2019
Rated: 4.29 by Uconnelmo from Connecticut

May 25, 2019
Rated: 4.35 by Argento from Rhode Island

May 25, 2019
Rated: 4.51 by GregSemenza from Connecticut

May 25, 2019
Rated: 4.44 by edthehead from Maryland

Mar 10, 2019
Rated: 4.33 by AMCimpi from New York

Dec 24, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by Philcassella from North Carolina

Oct 05, 2018
Rated: 4.6 by CTJman from Connecticut

Aug 21, 2018
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Reviewed by Alieniloquium from Florida

3.8/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
750 mL bottle. Hazy golden body. Smells of citrus, lemon acidity, oak, and light grain. Tastes of herbal hops, lemon and lime tartness, oak. Slight bitterness. Light body. Very nice.
Jul 12, 2018
Barrel Aged What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 71 ratings