What Is Enlightenment? | Hill Farmstead Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
96
world-class
104 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
867
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
7.05%
 
 
Wants:
280
Gots:
45
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 104 | Ratings: 867
Photo of JC333
4.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This was my 5th HF beer from a recent trip and the only one I will review since they were all stellar and I couldn't add anything that hasn't been said.

But I felt compelled to write about "What is..." Because it uses my two least favorite hops, Amarillo and Simcoe. I usually have to power through a beer with those hops as the center piece.

Not here, the mouth feel on HF beers is a thing of beauty and even the bitterest and piniest of hops finish smooth.

This is a pale ale way ahead of anything else out there using these hops.

 535 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Jason.

Cloudy, almost milky straw-colored body capped by two fingers of frothy head. The nose is simcoe-heavy, very citrusy with grapefruit the dominant scent. A bit spicy and resinous. There are light yeast esters. Tropical fruit comes out as the beer opens up. Tastes great, very light bodied and mildly bitter, with a really pleasant and mellow hop profile. Tropical fruits and grapefruit up front, with some spiciness beneath. A dry, bready malt backbone supports the hops without lending much sweetness. Body is a tad thin and there's a lot of sediment, but this is otherwise excellent.

 600 characters

Photo of Tbub18
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tough to be objective when comparing to other great HF beers. This one just didn't do it as well as others. Bit too piney--didn't get the juicy bite that others mentioned.

 173 characters

Photo of kevanb
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml growler, poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Pours a soft orange, hay-like yellow color, a bit of off white head rests atop the glass. Some lacing appears and the head retention is good. The aroma is simple, citrusy hops, grassiness plays well, lemongrass comes to mind, some cereal malt, and something sweet like honey also comes out. The flavors are pretty similar, very nice, a bit soapy, but nice citrus presence with a good floral bouquet, some earthiness from the malt along with a touch of pine comes forward as well. Nice body, light and easy while still packing in all that flavor, great carbonation and sticky texture. Hard to believe this is just a 5.4% pale ale.

Verdict: Another exceptional beer from Hill Farmstead. Consider me another convert and bandwagon rider, this guy knows how to brew a wonderful beer.

 839 characters

Photo of Sintech
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Muddled yellow.

Smell - Pine and citrus.

Taste - Muted pine.

Mouthfeel - Medium attenuation. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Good beer, worth a try.

Grade (B+)

 208 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Taken from notes on a recent trip to Montreal and Vermont.

On tap at the Prohibition Pig. Pours a hazy golden color with an inch of head. Some lacing. This thing smells amazing. Big, hoppy aroma. Citrus and tropical fruits. Predominately grapefruit. The taste is a big swig of sweet grapefruit and citrus peel. Floral hints at the end. Bitter and hoppy throughout. Lots of carbonation. This one is a bit on the dry side. Overall, an outstanding bitter Pale Ale with a great deal of grapefruit flavor.

 501 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass 6/19/2014.

A- Beautiful hazy, darker straw yellow body with a lovely, effervescent and thick foamy white head, great retention, tons of lacing all over the place. Even as far as the other Hill Farmstead pale ales go, this is exceptionally good looking.

S- Oranges, tangerines, peppercorn, crackers, grains, a bit of pine. Nice hop-forwardness that is cut just enough by the pale malt contribution. Enjoying the slight pepperiness that reminds me a little bit of other saisons from Hill Farmstead.

F- Oranges, oranges. Plenty of freshly squeezed oranges from start to finish, ending with a tangy, piney bitterness that is just enough to contribute to the palate before it gets fatiguing. Crackers, graininess and caramel add a nice malt backbone to the experience. Drinks quite well, though not particularly complex.

M- As per the Vermont water, this is a medium bodied beer with a soft feel and creamy bubbly carbonation. It's very drinkable on a warm, rainy summer night. Bitter orange and pine finish that isn't all that bitter. Disappears easily.

O- Very nice APA that showcases a good bit of citrus hops in the nose and on the palate, with the classic Vermont pale ale appearance and mouthfeel. A pleasure to try this one.

 1,288 characters

Photo of Tucquan
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2012-06-09 in Wayne, PA at Teresa's Next Door during Philly Beer Week.

A - Hazy light gold with a 1.5-finger white head and moderate lacing.

S - Fresh, citrus, some tropical and hop floral.

T - Citrus flesh, light bready malt, grass and the lightest touch of sour. Plenty of citrus flesh and zest in the aftertaste.

M - Light body and medium carbonation. Light and refreshing.

O - Reminds me of a Zombie Dust. This is very similar to the HF Citra beer, which I also had today.

 494 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.31/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Positive Pie. Reviewed from notes. Served in a Hill Farmstead pint.

Served with a 1 finger foamy white head with moderate retention. Beer is a cloudy pastel lemon. Lacing is thick and layered with very good stick. Real pretty. I wouldn't expect any less.

Nose is mango, citrus, and papaya with a splash of cane sugar and the slightest hop bitterness. Moderately aromatic. Solid.

Opens manga, papaya, and cane sugar sweetness. Pulpy and juicy in the middle with some citrus hop bitterness creeping in towards the end. A robust citrus malt backbone with a sprinkling of hop bite at the finish. Clean, tropical fruit aftertaste.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and quenching in the mouth and goes down light and dry. Very drinkable. Clean finish with the slightest lingering aftertaste.

This pale ale really delivers and I wouldn't have expected any less from Hill Farmstead. Almost like an Ephraim light that I could drink all day long. An exception example of the style.

 1,003 characters

Photo of TheBrewo
4.31/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brew was poured from a growler into Hill Farmstead stemware, showing a dusky sunset yellow coloring. It put forth a one and a half finger head of creamy, mashed potato colored bubbles, showing great retention. Cloudy outlines of lacing were left around the glass as the foam bubbled and slowly dissipated. A haze was certain throughout, with no sediment noted. Carbonation appeared to be moderate. The nose gave musk and muddied straw, clean pales, heavily earthen and bitterly citric hops, strawberry fruitiness, black pepper and salt, ale yeastiness, distant wheaty bite, lemon rind bitterness, chalked white flour, and granite. With warmth came a deepening of the hops, with more earthy, mineral, and soapy tones. Our first impression was that the flavoring was deeply earthy and biting, but refreshing, as in the nose. As we sipped, the taste opened up with a brightly pale and toasty malt base, blackboard chalkiness, juicy yeastiness to match, dripping wet citric, herbal, soapy, and bitterly herbal hops, hard mineral water, and distant wheat bread chewiness. The middle came to a peak with more of a refreshed, sweeter sip, offering pales and soft ambers, white sugar flashes, nectarine and passion fruit juiciness, white flour, and freshly churned earthen dirtiness. The ending wash came with more of the same, with plastic phenols, green grassiness and herbal bite of hops, mineral, gravel, yeast, musk and dust, freshly citric lemony hops, barnyard grassy funk, molded straw and raw barley, and final metallic twang. The aftertaste breathed of earthen, nectary, and herbal hoppiness, citric flesh fruitiness, apricot, strawberry, aluminum metallics, damp denim, grassy bite, lactic creaminess, pale malty base, chalked yeast, and gravel. The body was lightly medium, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip gave nice slurp, froth, cream, sip, and smack, with soft finishing pop and light sticky coolness to the corners of the lips. The mouth was left coated and cooled, with satiation and quick puckered astringency from the hops and chalks. The abv was appropriate, and the beer swigged easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its taste. Here we found a unique down-to-earthiness and freshness that many pales avoid. The push in this style lately is to the big, juicy, Three Floyds type of sweet and drinkable beverage, but with this beer, you get a more “real” ale. The hops are gritty, bittered, earthy, and in your face to stay, while the malts skirt the border of Funktown. You get the same sense through the nose, and the body helps to keep things happy and flowing all day long. This guy marks our introduction to Hill Farmstead, and seems to promise a relationship that will be long-lasting and bountiful.

 2,753 characters

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From growler purchased 8/8/14 into Belgian ale glass.

A) Hazy pale gold. Moderate head with significant retention and white cap.

S) Pine and citrus. Tropical fruit. Malts in background.

T) Pine and grapefruit up front. Some lemon, orange rinds.

M) Light to medium bodied, medium to high carbonation, dry finish. Very well-balanced.

O) Another very good Hill Farmstead offering, this one more of a West Coast than East Coast pale ale.

 438 characters

Photo of brystmar
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden body, frothy white head. Good retention; leaves sticky bubbles on the side of my glass. Huge aroma of fresh hops and citrus brings a smile to my face. Pungent and pleasant.

Hop-forward with minimal malts which is usually off-setting to me, but this works nicely. Intensity is scaled back; good balance of flavors. Refreshing and tasty, easy to session.

Yet another stellar brew from HF!

 400 characters

Photo of ToasterChef
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 750 ml HF swing-top growler has been in my fridge for a few days. The beer is poured into a white wine glass.

The liquid is golden colored and appears hazy through the condensation on my glass. A small pure white head does last too long but leaves good lacing. Clinging and rising bubbles can be seen within. For a growler that is a few days old and made the long car ride from Vermont to Maine, the carbonation levels appear to have held up nicely.

The beer has an amazing aroma. Lots of citrus and floral hops. It leads me to believe this will be an exception American pale ale.

The beer has a strong hop flavor.Citrus is the most noticeable flavor, although at the finish, it is more of an oily hoppiness. For the first few sips the hops were so dominant that the malts were noticeable absent. It was as if there was a large hole in the flavor profile. After a few sips, the beer tastes more balanced, but the hops are still strong.

Medium body with strong carbonation. There is a tangible coating on my lips and the roof of my mouth that is a touch sticky and fairly bitter.

This is a fairly impressive APA. I wouldn't say it is worth the long pilgrimage to HF if this is the only beer you seek, but if you make the trip and it is still available for growler fills, you should think about buying some. If you find it on tap, then by all means order a glass.

 1,368 characters

Photo of Skrip
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml growler poured in a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

A~ glowing light orange, with a darker hue hidden in there. nice fluffy white head with a good amount of lacing. soo vibrant!

S~ lots of citrus of course, tangerines, lemon, orange, and a little apricot. some piney notes, and a little funk on the finish as well.

T~ pretty much follows the nose, which is to be expected here. more earthy flavor comes out after all the citrus floods your palet with deliciousness. all followed by some bitterness and barnyard funk on the finish.

M~ very smooth, kind of light, and less carbonation then most HF's but still completely fine. which could be from the growler.

O~ this reminds me of a non-double version of Abner in the best possible way. the funk and saison like characteristics are there just not imperial-ly haha definitely a great pale and of course worth a glass or 10 =]

 889 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had an 8 oz. pour of this on tap at Pony Bar on the UES in NYC today for $7.

Pours a hazy, medium yellow color with two inches of off white head and low to moderate carbonation evident. Lots of pine hops, tropical fruits, citrus good, oranges, fruity malts, resin, oats, and bready malts. Very light bitterness is taste. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall very good. One of the better Amarillo hopped beers I've had as I'm usually not a huge fan of that strain. Well worth seeking out.

 498 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill. My first Hillfarmstead brew!!! So excited. Taken from notes.

A real nice orb glowing buttery yellow gold, almost getting into green hues. Fairly opaque with a super creamy top of head that laces off white and crazy. Super aggressive looking beer.

Nose is a nice soft hop chewyness. Soft grass and hidden malt, not particularly noticeably distinct to me but smells real nice.

Palate hits with a good citrus angle, and perhaps some tropical mush. Herbal action hits on the finish with a great chewy texture, complimenting a nice mouthfeel.

Overall this is just a real solid and tasty brew, I hope the rest of Hill Farmstead's line up is just this good.

 698 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Served in a tulip glass, a hazy peach colored liquid with a small cap of white head, and intense bubbly carbonation visible along the sides of the glass. Hop-forward aroma, citrus and tropical fruits, sugar sweet malts. Taste of fresh, juicy hops, grapefruit, peach, orange are most noticeable, with light bready caramel in the background; leafy finish with mild bitterness. Crisp mouthfeel, light-medium body, excellent overall. One of my favs from Hill.

 497 characters

Photo of Ian_B
4.34/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy, unfiltered yellow-gold with a decent, fluffy head.

Smells heavily of citrus hop notes, particularly sweet tangerine. Very slightly woody/earthy with hardly any resinous characters; this smells like fruit juice.

Tastes very similar. Pale malted wheat with a lot of sweet, orange-y hop flavours. A little more piney and bitter than the smell, but very smooth overall; you might enjoy this even if you aren't a fan of hops.

A little light on the body and carbonation, but this is an extremely nice, crisp, and refreshing American Pale.

 550 characters

Photo of NuclearRich
4.34/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750mL growler filled at the brewery 6/5/13, poured into a HF stemmed snifter (oversized wine glass) just now, 6/9.

A. Golden orange. Dense haze. The brightness of the orange hue belies the thick haze, it really looks quite radiant. White bubbly head, fades quickly to a light cap. Lacing is minimal, but these head retention issues are my fault for saving this for last. I'm very sad I don't have more beer from this brewery. Well... there is prolegomena! I digress.

S. Piney bright citrus. Orange, grapefruit, resin, and something much softer, like a white wine grape aroma.

T. Ah the taste. What a nice taste. Light tangerine and grapefruit quality citrus up front, with a hearty citrusy bitterness in the middle to end, finalized with the lightness of a gooseberry paired with a hint of grapefruit.

M. Very light. Borders watery but doesn't cross the line, making it quite sessionable. The slightly lower crispness I am finding is likely due to the length of time in the growler, but it is still a fresh and bright feeling.

O. A beer to make a night out of. Very tasty, very light, but with just enough substance. Another fantastic offering from Hill Farmstead.

 1,170 characters

Photo of alaimoa
4.34/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill from @tauroe and brought to CT
Smells of pine, floral and an overall earthiness
Big head that remains with a stickiness and lacing down the glass
Taste has a barn rusticness that almost reminds me of gardens, dirt, and more bitter than edward

 255 characters

Photo of codysjb
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: good yellow, amazing like all hf stuff.
S: somewhat bland but lemon and zest.
T: another amazing pale ale from hf. balanced, not too much of any flavor but all around good lemon and citrus tastes.
M:same as taste.
O: had at good beer while beer shopping and still have yet to have a hf beer that isnt amazing.

 312 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml Growler to HF stemmed tulip glass. Bottled 5 days prior.

A - Poured a hazy yellow/peach colour. One finger of bubbly white head formed and quickly receded to a few bubbles scattered across the top of the beer. Very light lacing.

S - A massive fresh tropical fruit, citrus and pine aroma up front with a moderate bitterness evident. Peach, mango, tangerine, apricot and grapefruit. By far the most appealing APA nose I've experienced.

T - A nice pale ale profile - well hopped but not so much that you wonder if you are drinking an IPA. Tangerine, grapefruit, mango and peach flavours take centre stage with a touch of pine present as well. The malt bill is barely noticeable but adds a very light touch of sweetness. The bitterness is quite dry.

M - Medium body with nice hop oils. Light to moderate carbonation. As noted above, very dry throughout.

O - This is a solid APA.

 890 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml flip top opened on 6.15.13

A - Pours a cloudy light orange with a small light off-white foamy head with great retention.

S - Strong citrus fruits, lots of oranges, lemons, pineapple.

T - More grassy, then the citrus follows, no bitterness.

D - Good carbonaiton with a light body.

O - Heavy citrus nose with more grass in the drink. Light, crisp and refreshing.

 371 characters

Photo of scotorum
4.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HILL FARMSTEAD WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT? 9/24/15

Acquired a 750 ml growlerful at the brewery last Saturday.

Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip. Translucent orange with a finger and a half of white head which receded to thin surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Moderate citrus.

t: Follows the nose, leaning to a combination of orange and grapefruit. Biscuit malt is nicely balanced by a fairly strong hop bite which lingers somewhat. Dry finish. Later slight dankness along with light fruit notes bordering on Belgian yeast esters emerge.

m: Medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o: A fine refresher, good for thirst quenching or sipping. Goes down easy, highly sessionable. Sorry I only got one bottle.

 726 characters

Photo of peensteen
4.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Growler shared by Liam

Hazy orange colour, one finger of white head with some lace here as well. Smell is quite hoppy, lots of orange and tangerine, grapefruit and a bit of cracker like malt sweetness as well. Taste is dry and hoppy up front with lots of orange and grapefruit flavour, lightly sweet malts mid palate and finishes dry with a medium bitterness throughout. Light-medium carbonation, medium full body with a drying feel throughout. Just awesome, this is probably the best example of the style around.

 515 characters

What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.4 out of 5 based on 867 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!