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What Is Enlightenment? | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
104 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
American Pale Ale brewed in honor of our Second Anniversary. Simcoe and Amarillo hops.

Added by CliffBrake on 04-26-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
104
Ratings:
865
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
7.05%
 
 
Wants:
278
Gots:
44
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 104 | Ratings: 865
Photo of Evmo31
4.74/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is a amazing pale ale. I am suprised by some of the lower ratings (for HF) on this beer. I tried to keep in mind that this is a pale ale, and to me shouldn't be compared to hills big IIPAs. Silky smooth mouthfeel, the hops are nicely showcased and not overpowering. This is sessionable and beautiful, one of the best pale ales i have tried.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2L growler thanks to ILOVESTOUTS poured into a Hill Farmstead stem.

Pour: A lightly hazy pale mango, with a billowing, three fingers, soapy, thick white head. Incredible lacing - literal chunks of head are left on the glass. Head retains for a good portion of the pour

Smell: Bright tangerine and oranges up front, with a touch of mango. Some raw dough and a touch of uncooked oats balance the citrus juiciness. Some light pine is in there, too.

Taste: Tangerines and oranges mix with a light pine. Some floral hops. A nice doughy backbone provides a touch of delicate sweetness and prevents the hops from dominating too much. Finishes with a mix of doughy bread and tangerine juice.

Mouthfeel: Incredible. Perhaps the most drinkable beer I've ever had. Lightly bitter, but more juicy than anything. The malt profile provides some body, but only just. Sessionable and refreshing.

Overall: A pale ale that lives up to its hype. Absolutely delicious. Thanks Evan!

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Photo of dougfur
4.71/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a light straw color, hazy and a nice creamy head on top. It looks exactly how a beer should, in my opinion. The smell is modest, but awesome. Straight up grapefruit hoppiness. The taste takes it up a notch, with pretty powerful citrus hop flavors. Very little bitterness, but enough. Typical HF body, even in this pretty light beer. As usual, Hill Farmstead has made a beer that is hard to find fault with. It is masterfully brewed and probably the best APA I've ever had.

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Photo of Luk13
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

64 oz growler. Pale gold pour, white head. Super citrusy aroma, thick lemon and orange peel, a bit of white pepper. Taste of fruity hops, nice lemony finish. Super dry and just perfect. Bitterness is balanced, palate is light and refreshing everything is just wonderful. Now have to get Shaun to bury a tapline all the way to my house.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.69/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jon for picking these up and not liking hoppy beers! Poured into a pint glass with. The color is hazy light straw. There os a light white fluffy one inch head.

The aroma has a lot of melony hop aroma with a touch of danky dirty hop.

The taste starts out crisp and quickly becomes an explosion of hop flavor. Sweet citrus and melon with a touch of honey grahams are noted. The finish is perfectly bitter.

This is light and refreshing. As amazing as all the Hill Farmstead hoppy beers.

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Photo of FFreak
4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a growler into a HF willy glass. Color is hazy lemonade with a one finger quickly-dissipating white and tight head, minimal lacing. Grapefruit absolutely dominates both the aroma and taste. Very much like drinking the very best slightly sweetened grapefruit juice you've ever had. This is a nice, refreshing summertime quencher. Well done.

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Photo of Hendry
4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I assume that HFS WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT? was intended as a session ale given the abv.
Just picked up a couple growlers of this offering last week, and decided to give one a try.
I wanted to try this HFS American Pale Ale on the heels of just having sampled another ale made with Amarillo and simcoe hops, Alpine Duet.

The cloudy yellowish hue is becoming a trademark for several Vermont craft beers, the head was tall and soapy,lacing well above average.

The subtle fragrance of oranges,clementines, and tangerines are giving your nose a treat amongst some subtle malt backing: the bright and bouncy hops are the ones on display here.

Initial flavors are tropical fruit juicy with a touch of pine and herbal undertones: this has a very crisp and snappy character with a dry finish, medium carbonation, and no trace of booze.

Mouthfeel is quite extraordinary, a touch of piney goodness and slightly oily, but the aftertaste gives way to a crackery, yeasty dryness with less bitterness than I would have expected, but this is likely due to the modest abv and the "sessionability" factor.

All in all , a fine APA that has a lot of great characteristics to offer. The appearance, nose and initial taste are all outstanding, but the aftertaste that starts out promising falls off the cliff too quick for me.

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Photo of CliffBrake
4.67/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy pale orange-yellow color with a large frothy head. Great retention, leaving gobs of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is prominent, complex, and HOPPY! It is hard to pick out which notes are dominant....apple, pine, (pineapple?), grapefruit, mint, a bit of bitter orange rind. It is easy to let the imagination go and just explore the complexity of the aroma and the flavor that follows suit with a suite of fruity and spicy hop characteristics.

The malt base is a very neutral presence that is felt more in the mouthfeel than in the flavor. There is a touch of sweet bread that provides the perfect stage for the hops and unlike a lot of the super hoppy APA's on the market, the mouthfeel is round and does not feel thin or out of balance with the big hop presence. The finish is crisp and dry.

What is enlightenment? Well in this case it is when a hop lovers dream is fully realized in a truly balanced and sessionable ale. After a few more glasses, maybe a other aspects of enlightenment will reveal themselves. Cheers!

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Photo of jjdc
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A really superior pale ale. Hoppy, balanced and nuanced as expected from HF. This may fall a bit short of Edward, but still one to seek out. Definitely one to seek out.

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Photo of metalgdog
4.62/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to baconsausage for this gem. Pours an inch or so head that dissipates to a long lasting white lacing. The appearance is cloudy with a light golden hue reminding you that this is an APA.

Wow, the aroma is absolutely incredible! A huge blast of citrus infuses the nose. I could smell this beer all day.

The flavor is a wonderful marriage of citrus and hops. Some juicy notes that are a trademark of the best pale ales. Finishes with a dry piney and bready bite.

The carbonation on this one is ideal allowing the characteristics of this beer to shine. Refreshingly light yet complex at the same time. It all makes for a wonderful drinking experience.

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Photo of vonnegut21
4.62/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Hill Farmstead release 5/5/12.

Appearance: Hazy burnt-golden color, with a small head that fades rather quickly.

Smell: Citrus, hops and pineapple. Amazing pineapple in the nose. The malts break through toward the end. But wow, that pineapple stays with you.

Taste: Mild hop presence and creamy malts up front. The citrus and tropical fruits really shine on the back end. Goes down smoothly and on a warmer day I could put down several of these very quickly.

Feel: Perfect carbonation. Fairly strong bodied for the style. Crisp and smooth.

Overall: An excellent reprentation of the style. One of the best APA's I've ever had (the only ones better were also by Hill Farmstead).

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours incredibly opaque. The body glows. Minimal head. Light bubbles and some froth. Light lacing splotches.

S-An orgasmic mixture of tropical fruits and Summer grass clippings. Malt is sprinkled with spice and is akin to a doughy sweet bun. Has that trademark Hill Farmstead hop profile. Simply elegant.

T-The flavor is exquisite. The has introduce themselves in a jacket of tropical fruits and citrus juice. There is a clear transition into a clean grassy hop finish. Tastes ripe, juicy and fresh. The malt adds an underrated balancing factor. Caramel-glazed sweet dough. It meshes perfectly with the hops.

M-Sessionability is remarkable. Light, almost cask-esque feel. Finishes with a respectable level of bitterness. Semi-creamy.

O/D-Excellent, excellent beer. This is one of those beers that just misses the cut of being lumped into my top-most tier of beers. I actually have no complaints or criticisms of this beer. Sublime.

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Photo of CADMixes
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 750 ml growler into a hill farmstead stemmed glass.

A - hazy pale gold with fluffly white head that bubbles off quickly but leaves good lacing on the glass.

S - somewhat faint and unmistakably citrusy. the hop aroma seems to develop over time in the glass, and i got more fresh pine towards the end. befitting its origins, it smells extremely fresh.

T - big citrus, transitioning into a bright, hoppy bitterness. serious citrus zing with each swallow. particularly lemony, in my opinion. finishes off with a pleasant yeast note before you're left with the hops as a lingering aftertaste. maintains some of the ultra-dry, hoppy qualities of west coast ipas but this is a more mellow pour.

M - light, crisp body and perfectly carbonated.

O - like some other hf beers, enlightenment is elegant to the point of confounding. rather than going after big flavors, this is a beer about balance and creating a completely unified sip, from smell to swallow. it took me most of a growler to realize that it's a stunner.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is good. It looks good, it smells good, it tastes good. Growler from the source. Pours hay yellow, like pee, with a fluffy merange white head. Laces as I drink. Smell is the best part of this beer. HUGE combo of resin-Y pine and grapefruit pith. I mean it is just gigantic and so fresh. Don't know how they do this. The flavor is packed with grapefruit citrus flavor, a little dankness. Some grainy cracker like malt. But this is a hop fest. The mouthfeel is a little thin but it is forgivable. Overall I have had few pale ales of this caliber.

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Photo of Treebs
4.59/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

32 oz. growler served in a Portsmouth tulip. Huge thanks to Sean (Sean9689) for sharing another HF brew!

A: Pours a hazy gold color with light peach hues. A thick and foamy white head forms on the pours and recedes to a nice ring and film that leave some splotchy lace behind.

S: The nose just explodes with intense hops. Robust pineapple, sweet golden delicious apples and mango are the wonderful fruits up front. There is some nice grassy hops in the middle and the finish is of sweet bread malts.

T: The malts show themselves a bit more in the taste, but it is still wonderfully balanced. Great citrus and tropical fruit flesh with tastes of pineapple and mango with a mix of grassy hops and sweet bread malts.

M: Light bodied with perfect carbonation. Nice and refreshing with a sweet malt and fruit combination that lingers long after the finish.

O: As with the rest of the group I was blown away to find it was only Amarillo and Simcoe hops in this brew. Superbly crafted and wonderfully balanced. The nose was unreal and I could really drink this stuff all day. Please, please, please make this part of the regular rotation. I haven't been this blown away by an APA since my first encounter with Zombie Dust.

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Photo of zoober911
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a light golden yellow. About a finger width of head that dissipates after a minute or so. When held to the light it is hazy as expected. It's calls your name.

S - Sweet delicious Simcoe and Amarillo. Pine, some malt.

T - A bit of malt up front with hop bitterness on the tail end. Slight citrus.

M - Great mouthfeel. Carbonation is spot on where it should be.

O - Overall a great representation of the style. Definitely another excellent offering from HF. Worth the drive and wait in line.

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Photo of raveskdr
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml growler courtesy of Mr. Saisonsinthesun himself, yourefragile. Michael is the man. Acquired at 2nd anniversary party, poured into my FFF Teku.

A - Very murky, unfiltered off orangeish brown color. The growler kept the carbonation well. Those flip top HF growlers really do.

S - Smells slightly citrusy. Very Centennial-Amarillo type of smell. Not really sure what to expect from there.

T - Boom. Wow. Slightly resinous fresh cut pineyness along with slight melon and a tad of mango. Just a beautiful melange of hop flavors. Solid malt backbone that takes its rightful back seat, but holds up well to the hops.

M - Slightly effervescent on the tongue, solid finish without having too bitter of an ending. Yes, I much prefer a nice, hoppy, happy ending.

O - Winner, winner. Another 3 run homerun from Shaun. The consistency of his hoppy beers is astounding. West coast who?

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Photo of jaasen64
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler poured into HF stemmed glass. Filled two days ago, keg just tapped that same day. Thanks Don (DonFrap) for picking this up for me.

A- Pours a yellowish golden that appears slightly hazy and mostly opaque in the glass, about a finger of foamy head forms leaving nice layered lacing around the sides of the glass as it dissipates at an average pace.

S- Tropical aromas of grapefruit, lemons, hint of papaya, balanced with a light malt profile. Simcoe and Amarillo really come out nicely and give the beer a very pleasant refreshing aroma and is without a doubt one of the best pale ales I've ever smelled, even better then Zombie Dust. It's one of those beers that I just don't want to consume because I want to keep on smelling it.

T- Juicy notes of grapefruit and bitter lemons, finishes with papaya and a little bit of passionfruit balanced with a nice malt background. Not quite as good as the aroma but extremely balanced with a ton of flavor coming through.

M- Smooth, refreshing, extremely easy drinking, medium bodied to a little bit on the light side, decent carbonation.

O- This was easily one of the best APAs I've had and is another home run by Hill Farmstead. This beer had a ton of flavor but still remained nicely balanced with the malt profile. Insanely drinkable and easily one of my favorite HF growlered beers, I wish I could have a glass of this every day. I highly recommend checking this out, just make sure you drink it fresh.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Made the pilgrimage to Greensboro Bend yesterday and this was one of my treats for having made the trip. Enjoying my 750ml growler on a lovely Sunday afternoon.

A finger of foamy white head tops a pale straw color with a touch of amber. Hazy. Lovely thick lace as is standard with many Hill Farmstead products.

Fresh light aroma. I get some herbal notes and a mix of fresh grapefruit and some tropical notes. No single fruit stands above the others, but the meld works wonderfully.

At some level it becomes boring reviewing the Hill Farmstead line-up and by boring I mean that I have to keep reporting that they are incredible beers. The mix of fruit and bread notes are just so fantastic here. Citrus first, then herbal notes, then tropical fruit. The bread notes come in the back half and are blended with a wonderful bitterness to close.

Soft, velvet like and so fresh. The carbonation provides a slight sparkle and doesn’t get in the way.

What a fantastic brew. So easy drinking and soft. Yet at the same time the flavors pop and are so fresh.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.53/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Soft orange and tangerine. The mouthfeel is pillowy with a slightly dry finish. Some bitterness on the end the balance the juicy citrus front end. Soapy white head on a light orange body.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to a great trader for the 750mL growler. Served in a Hill Farmstead long stem tulip. Pours a slightly cloudy pale apricot with a really nice white head and quite a bit of lacing. The nose has some light pineapple along with great citrus character and a bit of rind. Extraordinarily flavorful. Hoppy and great bitterness through the finish. Mouthfeel is unmatched. Classic Hill Farmstead. Love it.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.52/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Sean for sharing this one. Served in a Kuhnhenn goblet.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to some wispy patches, a thin collar, and splotches of lace. Murky peach flesh body.

S - The hop intensity is crazy - I was shocked to discover this only contained Amarillo and Simcoe. The Amarillo is nostril-shredding, with lemon zest, herbs, and a hint of dankness, while the Simcoe provides a tropical undercurrent. I initially thought there might be Nelson in in here, but apparently I'm imagining things. Pleasant vanilla malt sweetness way in the background.

T - Delicious mix of citrus, herbs, stone and tropical fruits, hint of sweet malts, and moderate finishing bitterness. No loss of intensity from the aroma.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium-light body, lightly chewy, dry finish, and minimal alcohol presence.

D - Crushable stuff. I think I like Hoppy Birthday a bit more but this is similarly excellent. I could easily polish off 2L on my own. Hope Shaun Hill makes this a regular offering instead of just an anniversary beer, as it's too goo to only be made once.

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Photo of brewmeister1984
4.52/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another masterpiece by this powerhouse of a brewery. Never disappointmented with any of hill farmsteads IPAs. Fruity, hoppy and fantastic beers every time.

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Photo of Hootie159
4.51/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a bold hazy orange with 2 finger head. Very foamy then leaves a dollop once dissipated. Very good lacing. Smell is just a bit subdued. I wish it were more vibrant. Orange and grapefruit. Taste is very bold citrus. Some grapefruit and orange peel bitter towards the back. Although some pine, didn't strike me as piney as the other reviews. Does pick up on the back end though. Very smooth and juicy. Another great beer from HF.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I want to get more of this to write a more thoughtful review but this was at a tasting recently and it stole the show for me.

Beer is amber / orange and clear with a white head, nice retention, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is citrus and tropical fruits.

Beer is medium to light in body and sweet with a nice hop palate and a good lightly bitter hoppy finish. I'd have this again, a lot of this again. I want more, seriously where can I get some more?

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What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.
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