Ephraim - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Ephraim
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BA SCORE
99
world-class

207 Reviews
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Reviews: 207
Hads: 869
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 7.56%
Wants: 1,452
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Kegatron on 09-28-2010

Ephraim (1823-1913) was our great-great grandfather; Hill Farmstead Brewery resides several hundred feet downhill from the land that he and his father settled. In his honor, this Imperial India Pale Ale is dutifully crafted from American malted barley, buckets of American hops, our ale yeast and water from our well. It is unfiltered, naturally carbonated, and double dry hopped. Intensely aromatic and saturated with resinous hop flavor, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Ephraim.

280 Theoretical IBU

Pale Malt; Dextrose; Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, and Warrior hops, Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 207 | Hads: 869
Reviews by Stevedore:
Photo of Stevedore
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Doug generously bought this growler to share with me and Shaun #1 yesterday, 6/3/2013. Poured into a snifter.

Aroma: Fantastic. Smells like straight up citrus. Very explosive nose that's even more so than Pliny. There's tropical fruit and a hint of pine. Yet its all put together extremely well and explosive to boot.

Colour: Hazy gold body that pours with a nice 1cm white head that dissipates quickly into a thin film and collar. Some lacing, but not a ton. It looks very appetizing and refreshing.

Flavour: Follows the nose- its a well-done, complex combination of hops and malt. Lots of citrus, some tropical fruit, a bit of grassiness and a good bite of pine on the back end. Its also got a nice sweet malt backbone- a bit of candied sugar and honey. Incredibly pleasing to drink, and I had no idea it was 10.5% ABV at any point.

Mouthfeel: A nice surprisingly full bodied beer that definitely has substance more so than a lot of other DIPAs. Its well-carbonated and comes with a fizzly dry finish. Aftertaste is not too bitter which I really appreciated, but it does have a good bit of pine and grassiness to it.

Overall: Excellent DIPA, one of the best I've ever had. I would have been able to drink the whole bottle myself in a flash if I wanted to. And let me tell you, I wanted to. To me, it's much more on the Pliny end of the spectrum vs the Abrasive end, but it's just as flavourful if not more so than Pliny is with the same bit of quaffability it has. I'm very impressed and thanks to Doug for sharing this gem.

Re-review: Thanks to a very generous VT trader, I was able to repay Doug the favour of bringing a growler of Ephraim to a tasting, almost a year later. Thanks! Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 4/13/2014. Basically, this is what I remember this beer as. It's a classic DIPA, compared to Abner, which I really realize is appropriately labeled as more of a double pale ale. Smells so complex, with a lot of citrus, pine and floral notes, and the palate is appropriately more so. It's such a complex, bitter DIPA with a great creamy mouthfeel that really satisfies any aspect of a DIPA that you could look for. Having had this on a fresh palate, this is up there with Double Sunshine for the most complex, drinkable and enjoyable DIPA that I've ever had. That includes Heady, Pliny, Kern Citra, King Sue, etc. that I've been able to try over the past year, and trust me, that's a lot of fantastic DIPAs. Ephraim and Double Sunshine is 1a and 1b at this point for me, and while I prefer Double Sunshine to this, you can't go wrong with this as far as double IPAs go. (2,611 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of lateralundertow
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Sam_Gladieux
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of DWolf
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply said, this is as close to perfect an imperial IPA you can ask for. From the aromatic piney esters, to the cirtrusy flavors, to the soft round mouth feel, to the dry finish. This is simply outstanding. The only negative is the exclusivity that makes this hard to get. I'm sad that I may not have it again. (311 characters)

Photo of muntana83
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of renegadeburger
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

got to visit hill farmstead and even try lots of their rare brews had to take a while to take it all in there were a lot of memorable experiences and some really awesome things going on...

beer poured really deep orange color had some little bit of sediment in there some floaties i believe or stray yeast either way not that big of a deal small head pops like rice krispies

smell absolutely fantastic i think my favorite aroma of any double ipa i had to date pure fruit punch right in your face real strong and potent

taste outstanding too real nice hop overtone not bombarded by booze here

big mouthfeel with nice tart citrus in the end

overall this has to be one of my favorite double ipas out there wow super awesome (727 characters)

Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of cincysig
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of bierdabbler
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of codysjb
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growlers into a cup.
A: Large head that takes a while to dissipate, lot of foam and a cloudy golden color.
S: Grapefruit, lemon zest, hops.... this is without a doubt the best smelling IPA I have ever smelled. I want a candle made out of this smell, I want to make my house smell like this forever.
T: Wow grapefruit and minor hop notes coat the mouth with nice overall hops.
M: Balanced. very hoppy and balanced.
O: Great, its like heady but better. The hops dont rush forward but rather linger to stay in your mouth for minutes. (544 characters)

Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2l pop-top growler poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours a nice slightly hazy orange with very little head (growler is 48 hours old and has been in a fridge the whole time), looks like some light bubbles and carbonation up the side. Nose is amazing! fresh grapefruit and citrus, mango and orange, very fresh and effervescent.

This is criminally good. So fruity and fresh, it's one of the all time greats of the IPA/IIPA world. It's got that east coast sweetness (think 90 min IPA) but it's got such a fresh floral, piney and bitter hop profile that's it's very west-coast oriented as well. Even 2 days old the carbonation has held up very well, although I'll say it's gone down a bit (as to be expected) from the draft version I had the other day. That being said it's still got a nice light carbonation level (which I know many of my fellow BAs appreciate) which makes it damn easy drinking.

There is a slight alcohol bite here, but at over 10% that's no surprise. Event still, I hardly notice it in the mouth - I get more of a warming sensation down my throat into the stomach.

I thought this was damn good fresh at the brewery, but I'll be honest I was a bit overwhelmed at the time with the excitement of getting up to Hill Farmstead for the first time, getting to meet Shaun, see some buddies, and get to try all this new & crazy beer that although I really enjoyed it there, I didn't appreciate it as much as I do now at home slowly sipping it. I saw another reviewer who said PtY and Heady Topper have nothing on this, I can't speak for PtY (yet) but this is in my opinion of the same caliber of Heady Topper & Hopzilla (two of my all time favorite beers).

Keep up the great work Shaun! (1,709 characters)

Photo of ccurrid
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of doremite
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a vibrant orange glow, slightly over one inch of head on it. Nose just erupts with the juiciest aromas of tropical and citrus fruits this side of Pliny, maybe even moreso. Its magnificent and owes nothing to nobody. Sliding in with the varied fruits are plenty of pine and soft lemon. Pineapple, pine, apricot, mango, you name it, its there. Yum.

Everything that shows up in the aroma takes on a respectful assault on the palate, again, waves of tropical fruit, citrus fruit and pine envelope the tongue. There's tons of bitterness, but it comes off so smooth, and for being ten and a half percent abv, there sure is no sign on of it, this beer really tastes phenomenal and drinks effortlessly, you don't have to feel like you're getting your big boy drinking jeans on, this one just rocks so easily. The malt is so much a distant memory, but somehow manages to carry the gigantic double dry hopped triple ipa. Really one of the natural wonders of the world I says. Finishes very dry, while keeping the fruitiness and green vegetal hop mouthfeel persistently dominating the mouth. The hops are just so herbal, so tasty per bitterness unit. The best hops in massive quantity, making some great teamwork and love.

What more could a guy want? An ipa that is just bursting with hop flavors reeking of tangerine, orange, pine, lemon, melon, mint, apricot, pineapple, green apple, mango, papaya, you could go on forever.

This is what triple ipas are all about. There's really only one other in its class. (1,510 characters)

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4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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4.5/5  rDev 0%

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4.5/5  rDev 0%

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4.5/5  rDev 0%

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5/5  rDev +11.1%

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Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.