Illumination (Farmhouse IPA) | Enlightenment Ales

very good
16 Reviews
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Illumination (Farmhouse IPA)Illumination (Farmhouse IPA)

Brewed by:
Enlightenment Ales
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 04-21-2012

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 137
Reviews by jlindros:
Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first from them since the brut was so expensive.

A huge fluffy head that takes up almost half the snifter glass, almost 3 fingers, fades semi quickly at first with lots of spotted lacing, hazy honey orange colored.

Nose is nice, plenty of farmhouse saison like funk, little barnyard like, earthy hay, straw, lemongrass, light lemon zest like, some light floral grassy hops, hint of pine, earthy grassy hops mostly with light bitterness it would seem, a light golden malt, chewy bready malts I think, plenty of Belgian yeast with light floral spices and citrus like, as well as the aforementioned funk.

Taste starts with more farmhouse funk, earthy straw and wet hay, plenty of grain flavors, a bit bready and chewy almost, with light sweet golden malts and a hint of wheat. There is plenty of citrus, lemon zest, lemongrass, light clementine from the hops I think. The hops bring a grassy floral hop flavor, some citrus hence the clementine and a light grapefruit bitterness, light lemony hops as well, little earthy and herbal but not much, with a touch of pine and fresh hop resin. There is a juicy fruity flavor as well, besides the citrus, a light pear like fruit flavor. Yeast brings light esters, plenty of that funk, and a bit of the saison like spices, fluffy and airy as well as there's plenty of carbonation and effervescence, and light bitterness with the esters. It's a little bitter but not much, although that picks up a bit on the finish. A long dry finish, with lots of saison funk, lemon rind grassy hops, lemongrass and straw, farmhouse funk and spices, all linger for a while.

Mouth is med bodied, plenty of carbonation. Very dry finish.

Overall quite nice, great farmhouse flavors as they presented that as the main ingredient instead of the hops, and the hops accentuate the farmhouse flavors well, nice lemony citrus, spices, funk, hay, straw, earthy flavors, etc, light but decent bitterness, drinkable and tasty. I don't mind finishing the entire 750ml by myself, and help myself to a bit of stinky cheese while I'm at it for a nice Sunday afternoon of work on the house.

 2,103 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BradMacMullin
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lord Hobo gave me the wrong beer. Mike had mine - it looked good and I had 1 drink. This review in essence is terrible ....

125 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of juicebox
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of doremite
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of hagbergl
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is my first try of up and coming Massachusetts brewery, Enlightenment Ales (now a joint project with Idle Hands of Everett, MA, I hear). I'm excited to try it, as it comes well recommended from the Craft Beer Cellar Newton beer geeks. Let's pour Illumination into a glass and check it out!

Appearance (4.75/5): Golden and hazy, the head is massive (three fingers-plus), tightly bubbled, and snow white. It looks wonderful and it seems the carbonation is on point–I've found that hoppy Belgian pale ales really suffer when they don't have some vigorous carbonation to make their flavors "pop".

Smell (4/5): Grassy, earthy, lighter citric hops and a very noticeable saison yeast aroma. Fresh, clean, herbal, with a bit of interesting yeastiness that plays off the hop aromas nicely.

Taste (4/5): Illumination's taste is definitely hoppier than the aroma, but still on the milder side. It packs plenty of grassy and citric/grapefruit hop flavor, though lacks (appropriately in my opinion) the piney astringence of many straight-up IPAs. Its solid malt base is clean and lightly sweet–it serves to compliment the citric-grassy hop profile and yeastiness. This beer is highly drinkable. The bitterness is really in the mild to moderate sweet-spot, which seems just right for a beer that is supposed to be a Saison/American IPA hybrid.

Mouthfeel (4.25/5): Medium-light body and a nicely spritely feel from the carbonation. It has the dry finish you'd expect from either a Saison or American IPA. The bottle conditioning does wonders for the feel, helping the flavors really pop.

Overall (4.25/5): Enlightenment Ales really has something good in Illumination. The smell, taste, mouthfeel, and appearance are all very good. I especially like how the beer artfully bridges the gap between IPA and Saison, bringing in citrusy American hops in the dry-hopping stage to compliment the restrained maltiness and characterful yeastiness of a traditional saison. What you get is a bold beer that is still refined and complex. This is a hell of a hybrid.

 2,056 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of penguindude
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of Dan114
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of hreb
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle (cap top only) served in oversize blue tinted plastic pint glass (stay classy, beer friends). Botched pour results in a massive glass full of sticky white foam, which appears to be quite durable. I'm going to say the color is pale yellow and hazy, but who the hell really knows. Aroma is mostly on the farmhouse ale side of the genre, but there's a little C-hop kick in the head too. The beer combines belgian blonde and hop flavors in a really delicious way, though I don't think I could quite call it IPA. The mouthfeel is on the watery side, which is a little disconcerting. Reading the brewers' notes I am reminded that this beer has wheat and rye in it, which makes complete sense. In reflection the dry, bitter grainy note is a dead giveaway for rye, and the thin mouthfeel suggests to me unmalted grain. I'm a big fan all of the constituent parts of this beer: rye IPA, Belgian ales, Saisons, as well as any beer brewed with a diversity of grains. It's not that this beer is less than the sum of its parts; it's just that these components combine in an unexpected (to me) way, which is challenging to my palate. And I'm impressed that my palate can still be challenged by a beer without the use of insane numbers of IBUs or crazy spicing. No, I'm really enjoying this.

Overall this is an excellent product, if transgressive, even within the very liberally defined Belgian IPA standard.

Enlightenment Ales No2, Batch #16.

 1,454 characters

Photo of RAlmeida77
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Dmuney15
4.95/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving type: 1 pint champaign style bottle poured into tulip style glass
Appearance: hazy golden color with a thick and lasting white head.
Smell: wonderful grapefruit and citrus aromas all intermingling with the smells of a beautiful saison
Taste: like biting into a fresh juicy grapefruit however unlike most ipa's with similar quality the bitterness is subdued to the beginning if the sip and it finishes with a wonderfully fresh and crisp aftertaste reminiscent of some of the most decadent saisons I have ever had
Mouthfeel: the perfect amount of carbonation balance with a crisp mouthfeel that makes you long for more
Overall: up there with some of the most beautifully crafted ales I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. With the price being under $10 I would happily add this to my weekly rotation. I just hope it remains available!

 844 characters

Photo of beerman999999
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Denzo
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of Kmlund
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Shaymus
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of trevorpost
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of wesley14
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Peter1977
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of dental
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of ODBRIP
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of dtomes
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of cjs61679
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

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Illumination (Farmhouse IPA) from Enlightenment Ales
4.03 out of 5 based on 137 ratings.
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