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What Is Enlightenment? | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
108 Reviews
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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): 5.40%

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:
108
Ratings:
872
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
19.77%
 
 
Wants:
280
Gots:
45
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 108 | Ratings: 872
Photo of Guess2814
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a yellow smokey look to it.. It doesn't have strong smell but the taste sticks out.. Light hoppy taste.. It's a very casual beer to drink.. Has a light taste... again just right on the hops.. I believe it's a good summer beer.. "What-ever" that means...?

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 12/3/2015 at Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light cloudy gold color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with some fruity citrus sweetness that is quickly followed by a strong floral hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a very good balance. The after-taste taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a thin, one-finger white head that settles down to leave a seafoam sheen over the surface.. Aroma of freshly mowed grass, lemon zest, bitter orange peel, soft grapefruit and tangerine notes, and a tremendous dose of pineapple on the tail. Classic Hill Farmstead style in the nose and taste which was slightly tangy orange, pinapple, and resiny juicy hop nectar. Mouthfeel was creamy, smooth, and well-carbonated throughout. Overall, a nice and sessional beer especially for warm weather drinking.

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Photo of dcloeren
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to jlindros for this growler!

Pours a hazy pale straw color with 2 fingers of bright white head. Excellent lacing all the way down.

The aroma is citrus hop dominated. A little dankwoth some nice breadiness adding a little depth.

The taste is citrus hop dominated, clean and crisp. The breadiness I got in the nose adds a little depth and balance tothe taste as well.

The mouthfeel is amazing! Light to medium in body with the perfect amount of carbonation. Makes for one hell of a refreshing brew! This beer goes down extremely easy and has an amazing dry hop finish. Makes you want another sip as soon as you finish your last. One of the best pale ales I've had to date!

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Photo of dar482
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer jumps out of the glass of huge citrus, hints of tropical, along with a signature soft and creamy mouthfeel. The beer offers dank aromas and hints of it on the flavor. A really well done hoppy pale.

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Photo of Hop_God
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

You can't go wrong with a Hill Farmstead Ale. This has everything you could hope for in a pale ale. Easy to drink, crisp and just the right amount of citrus and pine to go together.

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Photo of jhavs
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap into a snifter at Worthy Kitchen in Woodstock, VT.

A= Hazy a bit, yellow to golden, thick white head, foamy, settles to thin layer, lots of clingy lacing.

S= Clean citrus hits first followed by a herbal or spicy mix.

T= Balanced pine and citrus rind/zest flavors, malt flavor is noticeable, clean, and matches perfectly with the hop level.

M= Lighter side of medium body with moderate carbonation.

O= Great pale ale, leaves nothing to be desired, great balance of hop and malt. Clean and easy to drink, desirable on a summer day.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jon for bringing this one back from Vermont! Poured into a pint glass. This pours a cloudy pale straw with a thick cap of rocky white head. Lots of sticky lace.

The aroma hits right off with citrus hops with some hints of pineapple with a nice bitter edge. A little bit of vanilla seems to linger in the background. The pallet has a nice tropical fruit presence with candied orange and pineapple. A little bit of vanilla on the finish with doughy yeast.

The body is somewhat light and sticky with soft carbonation. Overall another home run for me. Love these sticky hop pale ales.

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Photo of Tschnab
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- a yellow cloudy color with a two inch head, some lace as well but not a lot.

S- lemon and tons of grass and flowers, tropical fruits.

T- Tons of fresh summery grass cuttings, floral notes and tons of mango and pineapple.

O- this is without a doubt the most ridiculously good tasting pale ale I've had.

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Photo of xenjoiii
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml HFS Growler of What is Enlightenment filled at the 7/14 Ann release.

A: Poured a cloudy pale straw color with about a finger of white head.

S: An abundance of tropical fruit/citrus in the nose

T: Nice fruity citrus notes upfront (lots of lemon) and finishes with a mild bitterness that lingers.

M: Soft carbonation with a medium body.

O: A very well balanced APA from HFS. Quite delicious.

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Photo of reds2harleys
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it on tap at a local brew house. Nice golden color. Very light, easy drinking brew but flavorful as well. Another fine brew from HF. Very happy to see some HF brews making it down this way. Cheers

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Thanks to Greg for this one!

A: Pours a hazy yellow with a large white head on top, very foamy with great retention and lacing. Great looking beer.

S: Lots of citrus on the aroma, lemon, lime, orange, and a little bit of tangerine. Slight sugary sweetness and pale malt, but overall lots of juicy citrus.

T: More juicy citrus, lemon, lime, a bit of grapefruit and orange zest. Nice malt backbone, but certainly hop forward for a pale, just as I want it. Very flavorful.

M: Medium bodied with perfect carbonation. Extremely smooth and easy drinking. Could drink this one all day long.

O: Another great hop forward beer from HF. Hard to put them in any sort of order, because all of them are great.

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Photo of nootch23
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 750ml growler into a tulip glass

A - a nice hazy, golden orange color. About a half a fingers worth of white head.

S - very light smell. not much aroma to this one. Mostly citrus with a little bit of pine.

T - right up at the front of the tongue was the taste of citrus, lemon with orange peel. Picked up small traces of melon and a little bit of malt flavor underneath. Very light hop bitterness.

M - very juicy finish leaving the mouth with the lemon flavor.

O - This was a very nice pale ale and at 5% a very sessionable beer to have. Very smooth and easy to drink on a hot day. Nice balance to the flavors. Hill Farmstead has done it again and come out with a great beer for its style. Would definitely purchase this one again when available.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours unclear golden with an orange hue, thicker for the style which is nice. Aroma is the only thing that is not balanced here because it is so light. What you do get in the nose is so juicy and delicious, some citrus sweet hops. The body and flavor are perfectly balanced, as usual for HF. It brings juicy hops with just the right tang, and citrus, soft without any hop bite at all. Each sip gets better, refreshing the palate on a warm spring day just like an APA should do. Lingers on the tongue just long enough until you are going back for more.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Super huge thanks to TheLostGringo for a growler of this stuff... and it was only an extra. Shared with some good people. This one pours a golden-yellow; bright, vibrant, and translucent, but still plenty of unfiltered haze. The soapy, foamy white head settles quickly to a collar after building up to only about a half-inch in height. Good looking pale ale, no complaints so far.

What Is Enlightenment is hopped with one of my personal favorites - Amarillo - and Simcoe, which is often hit or miss for me (and is usually only miss when it's the only hop used). Piney, citrusy, bursting full of oranges and some grapefruit with oily resins and a mildly dank character hiding in the background. Success! The pine comes through from the Simcoe and mixes well with the heavy fruit aromas from Amarillo. Malt? Nah, this is a hoppy pale ale, baby!

A crisp little bitterness bites the tongue up front but it's pretty tame and never reaches a level where I'd say "this is more bitter than a pale ale should be". Lots of pines and leaves, followed up quickly with grapefruit peels, juicy orange centers, and a hint of lemon zest. Whatever the proportion of Simcoe to Amarillo is here, I don't know, but it's almost perfect.

Such a crisp pale ale, relatively light bodied, yet robust enough to maintain its presence on your palate. Carbonated well, even for a growler (I guess that's why swing-tops are so good), so it keeps nipping softly at your tongue with each sip and finishes dry to keep you thirsty. A touch of yeast and malt coats the palate and only become noticeable once the hop assault has finally faded.

I wasn't particularly impressed with the first two Hill Farmstead beers I ever had, but What is Enlightenment has essentially blown me away. Such a good pale ale, it's really a crime that this stuff is only available in Vermont. Though it was split six ways, I could easily smash through an entire growler of this on my own. So drinkable, so tasty, such an awesome pale ale.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler shared by....wait for it...cbutova.

Pale hazy orange pour, white head, good retention. That Hill Farmstead look.

For smell I wrote "Uh, tangerine." More or less, true. Just fresh orange/citrus hops all up in there with danky pine, herbal and tropical notes for good measure.

Taste delivers what I can only describe as super fruity dankness. Just great orange, mango, grapefruit, dank earthy hops. Baked bread malts at just the right level. Hard to believe this a pale ale, just huge flavor and huge hops, but balanced.

Medium-high carbonation and a well-bodied beer. Feels a bit bigger than the ABV would hint towards.

Very good, hard not to enjoy this one. I think this is the new generation of American pale ales. Enlightening.

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Photo of jlindros
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wish I could get up to the brewery more. Such amazing beers, and pretty cheap overall too. Love the fresh APAs, IPAs, and saisons.

Pours a nice fizzy fluffy 1 finger head fades fairly slowly with light foamy lacing, fairly hazy golden orange yellow wheat colored beer.

Nose explodes with awesome hops, tropical fruit, citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, light musty resin and passion fruit, juicy fruit, light malts to base it.

Taste starts with more hops, a light creamy pale malt base. Hops again bring tropical fruit, quite juicy, light passion fruit, little musty resin, tangerine, clementine, grapefruit, but not super bitter. Washes down easy and clean, dry, with a nice finish of musty resinous hop that isn't strong, more citrus fruits, crisp and long hop lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, crisp, good carb for growler.

Overall awesome, great hops, tropical fruit, passion fruit, nice clean finish and perfect bitterness with a touch of a fluffy malt base.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Teresa's Next Door. Served in a tulip.

Really nice look here in the beer boasting a olympic metal gold with a light orange look as well. As all hill beers on tap, Enlightenment boasts a bright white firm head leaving some stick on the glass. This one looks inviting as all hell. Smell i all tropical scent with simcoe coming through and a light bready malt profile with warming. This smells like beer I want to drink a lot of. Taste is light while being bold. Everything is light and melded nice like with mango, papaya, grapefruit and slight pine. It's the well water used which brings this over the top though. I don't know if this is true or not, but it has to be the water, this just tastes too clean. Feel is light with a nice crisp carb. This is a all day beer and I only wish it shows up again. I feel blessed.

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Photo of Gatch
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful hazy golden yellow with a super frothy, soapy, and sticky bright white head. Massive lace and great retention. Bright, vibrant, inviting.

S/T: Huge citrus. Seriously. Sweet, slightly tart, some pine, fresh dough and a bit of yeast. So perfectly balanced yet nicely hopped.

M: Super smooth as all HF beers are but a tad cloying which is surprising. Sort of chalky and yeasty in a weird way.

O: Pretty amazing beer. Low alcohol so its easy to put down a 750ml growler.

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Photo of Crookdrain
4.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

64oz growler courtesy of Matt Six.

A: Translucent golden straw. Healthy foam-white head dissipates as it warms closer to room temperature

S: All Simcoe - pine, some Wheatgrass, fresh mown lawn, honey malt

T: Classic HF pale ale - piney West Coast hop bitterness delicately balanced by a solid malt foundation. This is all pine and grass, with a bit of fruitiness lingering around in the aftermath - I get some lemon and maybe strawberry.

O: Great representation of a hoppy American Pale Ale with eyes toward the West Coast. I still prefer Edward, but this is better than 99% of anything else out there.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.49/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Blue Bird in Burlington.

Pours a hazy, glowing yellowish orange with a frothy off white head. Fairly sweet, juicy aroma of grapefruit and orange, some grass and lemon, and faint doughy malt. Like nose, flavor starts initially sweet, orange and other tropical notes before giving way to a grassy bitter finish. I prefer Edward to this, but that might just be more out of conditioning than anything else.

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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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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 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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What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.4 out of 5 based on 872 ratings.
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