Barrel Aged What Is Enlightenment?
Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Pale Ale - American
Ranked #12
Not listed
Ranked #619
4.45 | pDev: 5.62%
Jun 27, 2021
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.
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Photo of npolachek
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by npolachek from New York

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
4.25 by Dizzy242 from Massachusetts on May 21, 2021
4.5 by Yungcoolship from Wisconsin on Feb 05, 2021
Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by BillRoth from Maryland

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
4 by pepesylvia from Pennsylvania on May 14, 2020
4.75 by aasher from Indiana on May 11, 2020
5 by pavpav12 from Pennsylvania on May 01, 2020
4.81 by csmrx7 from Canada (AB) on Feb 09, 2020
4.5 by SkiBum22 from New York on Feb 02, 2020
4.5 by Montanabeerz from Montana on Jan 31, 2020
3.92 by Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts on Dec 28, 2019
4.5 by von_kaiser from Connecticut on Dec 25, 2019
Photo of kevanb
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by kevanb from Illinois

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
4.58 by StoutSnob40 from California on Oct 05, 2019
5 by jkrug5 from Maryland on Sep 17, 2019
4.75 by smartassboiler from Illinois on Aug 19, 2019
Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.79/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

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
4.25 by rodmanfor3 from Vermont on Aug 12, 2019
4.49 by xtonytx from Connecticut on Aug 06, 2019
4.58 by schinebd from Massachusetts on Jul 20, 2019
4.4 by DaMacAndCheese from Massachusetts on Jun 23, 2019
Photo of StoutElk_92
4.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

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
4.35 by PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts on Jun 13, 2019
Photo of Stevedore
4.31/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Stevedore from Oregon

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
Photo of jheimbigner
4.71/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by jheimbigner from Washington

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
4.16 by 22Blue from Kansas on Jun 03, 2019
Photo of Jwale73
4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Jwale73 from Rhode Island

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
4.29 by Uconnelmo from Connecticut on May 25, 2019
4.35 by Argento from Rhode Island on May 25, 2019
4.51 by GregSemenza from Connecticut on May 25, 2019
4.44 by edthehead from New York on Mar 10, 2019
4.33 by AMCimpi from New York on Dec 24, 2018
4.5 by Philcassella from Massachusetts on Oct 05, 2018
4.6 by CTJman from Connecticut on Aug 21, 2018
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.8/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
by Alieniloquium from Florida

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
4.34 by Trio2shine from California on Jul 10, 2018
4.44 by MakeBeerGreatAgain from North Carolina on Jul 08, 2018
4.37 by pisano from Massachusetts on Jun 06, 2018
4.6 by CharlesK from Pennsylvania on May 31, 2018
4.75 by Run4theRoses from South Carolina on May 13, 2018
Barrel Aged What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 66 ratings