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Riwaka Pale Ale | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
34 Reviews
THE BROS
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American Pale Ale bittered, flavored, and dry hopped exclusively with one of our favorite hop varieties: New Zealand's rare and difficult to obtain Riwaka!

Added by Brad007 on 12-31-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
34
Ratings:
166
Avg:
4.39
pDev:
22.55%
 
 
Wants:
51
Gots:
2
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 166
Photo of plaid75
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a hazy bright orange hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light piney hop with a slight essence of tropical fruit.

The taste was upfront piney with secondary waves of grapefruit and pepper. Soft malt provided an adequate platform.

The mouthfeel was clean and toward the thinner side of the style.

Overall a tasty hop forward ale. Easy to drink.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into provided stemware at the 2012 Harvest Fest. Pours a hazy light orangey hay with a good amount of foam. Huge huge hop aromas...realy nice pine and citrus. Taste is fantastic pine, citrus, grass hop flavor but almost bitter/sweet at the same time. Very well balanced with the malts as the usual hop bomb bitterness is so well masked that just the hop flavor is noticeable. Superb huge hop APA!

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 2L growler chilled and poured into a pint glass. Filled from the brewery on Saturday.

Appearance: Pours a really nice, two finger white and creamy head with really good retention. Sticks incredibly well to the glass. Color is the typical light yellow to orange in color.

Aroma: Really interesting and unique tropical profile. Mango, pineapple and lots of orange zest. Very citrusy. Some bittering hops and a light biscuit tones.

Taste: Big, bright citrus and hop notes with lots of bittering notes. Very tropical and drinkable. A really nice balance of hop sweetness and hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and crisp. Very refreshing and easy to drink as evidenced by me drinking the entire 2L myself.

Overall, a really single hop beer that does a great job of showcasing this hop variety. I am not to famaliar with this hop, but the tropical and citrus notes are really tasty. Very nice balance throughout. Definitely a good single hop beer and another great HF beer. Not sure if it is my favorite IPA from them but it definitely is good.

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Photo of lic217
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Very hazy, small head that disappears fast
Smell: Pear and another smell that I cannot identify, but it's very interesting
Taste: Tropical fruit and that smell in the taste that I cannot identify, some citrus. A little tea and herbal as it warms too. Starts slightly sweet and ends with a very light lingering bitterness
Feel: Very light and drinkable, extremely refreshing, soft bitterness at the end
Overall A very enjoyable beer, without a lot of complexity

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Photo of DaveHack
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange with a big white, fluffy head

Smells of fresh cut grass and a little bit of grapefruit. Very organic aroma to it.

Taste is similar, grass and a bit of a grapfruit flavor. I did expect this to be very bitter on the finish, but it was not. There was some bitterness, but given the aroma, I thought it would be REALLY bitter.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Heavier body than I expected, given the ABV, but still on the lighter side. The beer leaves a nice coating all throughout the mouth and leaves you wanting more!!

Overall, this is definately a beer to try. The hop flavors are unique and definately make a special aroma and flavor. It isn't my preferred hop, but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of NoLiberty
4.17/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Shaun for the fresh growler. Beer poured a 4 days after filling so changes are expected...

Pours into glass a medium amber-orange color, slightly hazy appearance which is no surprise considering the lack of filtration. A clean low white head quickly builds and relaxes into a spotty cap with nice dripping lace.

The smell is decidedly tropical fruit, not overwhelming so, but definite pineapple, grapefruit, and mango. This hop seems like a slightly lighter version of Citra or Nelson Sauvin, but great aroma and the beer holds this character well.

Taste is surprisingly less fruity than anticipated, but still retains the juicy drinkability that the nose suggests. Definite grapefruit, wet pine cones and light resinous qualities are matched by a fine but staunch bitterness. The beer is exceptionally well balanced and finishes quite clean.

Again, the day old growler is suspect but I did try the beer at the brewery. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with soft but assertive carbonation. Great round, smooth, and soft overall feel with clean tastebuds after.

Drinkability is very high on this beer.

 1,119 characters

Photo of portia99
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml growler courtesy of jlindros...thanks for picking this one up for me! Poured into a Harpoon 100 Barrel series stemmed glass. Haven't had anything with the Riwaka hops...so anxious to give this one a try.

A - Pours a rather pale and quite hazy golden yellow. A two finger pillow of dense and rocky head lingers for several minutes giving a nice white cap. Tons of webby and sticky lacing nearly completely cover any beerless surface in the glass. Great looking beer.

S - Really interesting hop bouquet on this one. Starts off with the requisite citrusy blast on first sniff. Still grapefruity, but I get much more of an orange presence and a mix of lemon as well. Behind that is a strong piney-ness that hides itself initially, but comes on with great intensity and gives an almost concentrated pine extract aroma. There is also some spiciness that is a bit peppery too. Quite good. Not much malt showing thru, if any - struggling to find some...but honestly - who cares? The hops smell so good, I'm afraid any malt might diminish their effect.

T - More intense pine can be found in the flavor. Tastes almost as I'd imagine pure pine sap to taste. Very intense flavor here. Bitterness level is rather high...very crisp...ends a bit medicinal and/or solventy on the finish and still intensely piney. Again, really not much malt here...only the slightest bit present. A bit different and rather good. I'm liking it.

M - Resiny and bitter, herbal and piney, very fresh. Body is lightish medium with a prickly, fine bubbled medium-high carbonation level. Pine tends to overwhelm and leaves a long lasting impression after the swallow, giving a cool piney feel on each breath.

O - Rather different pale ale which I think can be attributed directly to the Riwaka hop variety. Very intense pine...more than I've ever encountered before. Interesting and really quite good. Not sure this would be a go to hop though for me...mix this in with some intense citrus - Citra maybe? and I think this could really be outstanding. Bump up the malt a bit and this could make a top notch DIPA.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at HF Harvest Fest 2012 and poured into HF wine glass.

Pours a golden yellow color, hazy, white frothy head, spotty lace. Aroma is citrus zest, grass, and light pine...very little malts in this beer. Flavor is citrus and grass, less pine then the nose. Light body good carbonation, oily hoppy finish.

An excellent APA that was just super-easy to drink and contained a massive amount of hoppy goodness. How can you go wrong with that combo? Answer, you can't. Another winner from HF.

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Photo of koopa
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled at the brewery.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden to pale orange juice color with a 1 finger white crown comprised of fine/dense carbonation bubbles that show moderate retention and good lace.

Smell: Grapefruit, loads of pith, lightly grassy notes, bready malt, a touch of brewing salts, and the tiniest burnt rubber quality.

Taste: Same as the nose but that burnt rubber quality is more apparent. The burnt rubber quality was much more prevalent in a draft sample I had the same weekend at the Blackback Pub. It's also a quality I've tasted in other hoppy beers that didn't use Riwaka before. It's probably just the way my palate presents some particular types of hops or perhaps a particular amount of hop bitterness or something. As the beer warmed I seemed to notice it less.

Mouthfeel: Thick side of thin bodied with medium carbonation. A touch too thin for my liking.

Overall: A fairly stock HF hoppy beer which means it's really good! The riwaka hops are nice but they didn't wow me like I wanted them to.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. This pours a hazy pale straw color with a small cap of white head.

The aroma has a nice grassy aroma with hints of citrus and lemon in the background. A bit earthy in the background. The pallet has a dank hop flavor with some grassy pine and citrus. Earthy root vegetables seem to have a bit of a presence in the background.

The body is nice and light with good carbonation. Overall this one is enjoyable. Nice showcase of this hop.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL growler. Hazy orange. Smell is fascinating. It has an aroma I cannot pinpoint for the life of me. Best I can describe it is peppercorns, light tropical fruits, orange, and grapefruit. Tastes much softer up front. Light citrus. A little grapefruit. Light grainy malt and doughy sweetness. Has just a bit of the peppercorn bite, but no real bitterness. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Could use just a little more bitterness, but it's a fascinating hop.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.97/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bendurgin for making the Trek and picking up this growler. Poured into a goblet. The color is hazy melon-orange. There is a nice fluffy head.

The aroma has a lot of dank citrus.

The taste has a lot of earthiness in the flavor from the hops. There is a great grassy hop flavor here as well. The finish is nice a crisp.

This is light bodied and refreshing. This is delicious as always.

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Photo of kevanb
3.91/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

750ml growler, freshly filled, poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. Enjoyed on 8.19.16, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a bright orange and copper color, hazy and cloudy with a foamy white head, about a finger and a half high that has great retention and yields beautiful lace. The aroma is of white wine grapes, citrus peel, tropical fruits that starts off very sweet but explodes with a rye like spiciness and doughy malt, really offsets the sweetness, but it's still hard to say it's balanced. The flavors are good, the rye spice is no surprise this time as it leaps out of the glass, earthy and malty with some tropical passionfruit, citrus rind, mineral water, doughiness that lingers with hardly any bitterness. The mouthfeel is nice, smooth, coating, lively carbonation that is soft and gentle with, medium body and a smooth finish, lightly dry.

Verdict: A nice pale ale from Hill Farmstead and a very interesting hop. It reminds me a lot of Nelson but heavier on the spice while still being tropical and fruity. I don't know if I would race to have a beer that is a single hop Riwaka again, but I'd certainly not turn one down. Definitely a great expression of the hop, but perhaps not my favorite hop.

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Photo of largadeer
3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arbitrator shared this one several weeks back. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance: Hazy, milky blond body with a tall white head that retains well.

Smell: Quite grassy up front, which eventually dissipates and reveals pineapple, lime and green tea. Yeast and malt are pretty neutral and allow the unusual hop aromas to shine. The hop character is unique, interesting and fairly enjoyable, but I'm not blown away by it.

Palate: Grainy, a bit gritty in texture, presumably from hop particles that didn't fully settle out. Lime and green tea flavors are prominent, with a touch of grapefruit bitterness toward the finish. Light and dry on the tongue, and firmly bitter in the finish. This is good and easy-drinking, but HF has made more impressive pale ales.

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Riwaka Pale Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.39 out of 5 based on 166 ratings.
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