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Ephraim - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
EphraimEphraim

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

822 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 822
Reviews: 207
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 8.04%
Wants: 1,243
Gots: 13 | 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:
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 added by: Kegatron on 09-28-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 822 | Reviews: 207 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hosiejosie
1/5  rDev -78.3%

Hosiejosie, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3/5  rDev -34.8%

Mikeluzzjr, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of jeffthecheff
3/5  rDev -34.8%

Poured from a swing-top 750 that was bottled for VIP attendees at the harvest festival.

Pours a clear pale orange with a great white head. Aroma is fruity with pear and melon notes along with some peach. Minimal pine/green hop notes.

Flavor is strong and boozy with a nice candy-like sweetnes in the middle. Finish is overly harsh with high alcohol notes and in the end isn't all that complex.

Mouthfeel is smooth throughout with carbonation on the low side. Nice maltiness creates a substantial body mid palate while still having a dry finish. Definitely the high point of this beer. Overall, I feel the same way about this beer as I did when I had it on tap; booziness overshadows the hop profile. This beer reminds me a lot of hopslam, which I also think is on the wrong side of booze/hop balance. I prefer the less harsh/more aromatic character of HF's other hoppy beers.

jeffthecheff, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of ErikVT
3/5  rDev -34.8%

ErikVT, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of Dajtai007
3.25/5  rDev -29.3%

Dajtai007, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of noclevername
3.25/5  rDev -29.3%

noclevername, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of corby112
3.3/5  rDev -28.3%

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color with a one finger frothy white head that has good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring. Sporadic chunks of lacing left behind.

The nose on this beer is absolutely fantastic. Just bursting through with a ton of tropical and citrus fruit along with some slight earthy pine, pale malt and sweet booze. Lots of mango and pineapple as well as some grapefruit and lemon peel. One of the best smelling IPAs I've encountered.

This beer looks great and smells incredible but unfortunately the flavor falls way off. The citrus and tropical fruit notes are there but anywhere near as prominent as the aroma suggests. More bitter and earthy than expected with piny/soily flavor but not overly dry. Also, it is very hot and the strong booze component kills the best of the hop flavor. Hints of grapefruit and lemon peel with a very faint tropical presence. The malt backbone is also stronger than expected with hints of biscuit and an overly grainy graham cracker presence. Toward the end of the palate the beer is almost all booze. Kind of all over the place an very disappointing.

I have heard very good things about this beer and was really looking forward to it but it was an enormous let down. I'm gong to be trying it again on draft in a few days and will update my review if my opinion changes.

corby112, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of AleWatcher
3.35/5  rDev -27.2%

Shared by Gonzoillini at a tasting. This was the first beer if the night. I was very excited to try it!
Growler opened with a large -pop- and was served in my Ithaca tulip.

The beer looks great. Nice closing yellowy gold... Slightly hazy, which I am a fan of... Big 3 fingers of white head... Very sticky lacing and strong retention. Off to a very strong start.

Smells good. Big citrus and pine hop notes. No real malt. Crisp and clean. The taste has some citrus and pine for sure... But everything is almost lost to a hurricane of pure bitterness. This is painfully bitter, but at the cost of a lot of flavor. This reminds me of Ruination a bit...

The body is oily and light-- almost thin for my tastes. Almost watery?! Wow. There is no bright prickliness that really helps propel the flavor across each tastebud... The beer feels dull and boring. Lots of oily residue left after each sip. It coats my teeth with pine tar.

Overall... This is a good beer. Is it fantastic? Meh. Is it world class? Nope.
It is a sign of a good young brewery though, and I'd love to see what these guys can do after tweaking things a bit.

AleWatcher, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of Ynot2
3.4/5  rDev -26.1%

Served from a 750ml swing top growler into a tulip glass (thanks Satchboogie). This is probably a 2 week old beer at this point shipped from East to West coast.

Pours a golden color with decent fluffy white head. Plenty of lacing left as I drink it down. About what I would expect.

The smell is sweet and fruity with a little pine and even some sugary malts. Lots going with the smell, one of the better parts of the beer.

The tastes are kind of earthy, especially for a DIPA. The nice citrusy hops fade quickly and is replaced with sweet tropical fruits. The end is a little more bitter than I expected, not a good or bad thing, just not expected. The sweet flavors are big and all of a sudden you are left with a bitter bite.

Mouthfeel is good for DIPA, nothing spectacular, but good. The alcohol is well hidden, again not good or bad, just there.

I was disappointed in this. I had a Pliny that was a month old just before this and the Pliny had more of a hop profile, a better balance and just an overall better beer (for me). A good beer, but not in the same league as Pliny, Citra, Ruination, Hopslam or Dreadnaught.

Ynot2, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of KaslD
3.5/5  rDev -23.9%

KaslD, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.5/5  rDev -23.9%

Ineedabeerhere, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of chadwicktorres
3.5/5  rDev -23.9%

chadwicktorres, Friday at 08:03 PM
Photo of LoveStout
3.5/5  rDev -23.9%

LoveStout, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.5/5  rDev -23.9%

coreyfmcdonald, May 31, 2012
Photo of ChadQuest
3.5/5  rDev -23.9%

From a Growler. Giddie Up.
Color is a sunburst golden amber color, like a light resin nugget. Picture the piece of resin from jurrasic park that they extract the mosquito dna from, that color right there hits it.
The aroma is predominantly citrus and grapefruit, and just a hint of mango and tropical pulls through, but citrus is by far the winner in this aromatic battle of domination.
The flavors match the aroma, with the exception that the faint tropics are replaced with a faint pine grove, but this pine grove still has 10x the grapefruit trees in comparison. This one is very bitter, it doesn't only have hop flavors but a lot of bitterness also, balanced slightly but a bit of residual sugars.

ChadQuest, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.55/5  rDev -22.8%

First had: on tap at Blackback Pub, Waterbury, VT

I've had my fair share of HF beers, but for some reason this one has eluded me for years. Now I've had it, and despite it's reputation, I must say, I'm not a huge fan. I actually think the bartender may have poured me the wrong beer, because it just didn't match the bill.

Appearance-wise, the beer was tremendous. Served in a HF stem glass, slightly hazy, bright amber color with a large, foamy, white head that retained amazingly and left blankets of lacing on the glass. Aroma of somewhat muted tropical and stone fruits, musty grass, somewhat bready; none of the intensity I'd expect from a fresh IPA though. More in line with a Belgian IPA or even moderately hoppy saison (further leading me to believe it could have been a mis-pour). Unexpected hit of funkiness up front in the taste, soft peach, citrus zest, mango, pear, bready malts, slightly bitter in the aftertaste. Hmm. Yep. This was either a fresh saison or an old Ephraim. Medium body, somewhat sticky and chewy. Overall fairly drinkable, but not quite what I expected.

Rifugium, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of Rampage1
3.63/5  rDev -21.1%

Drank on Mar. 25th.
Was really looking forward to trying this after hearing so much about it and having had Farmstead Citra which I thought was pretty damn good.

Appearance: Has a dark golden color to it with not a ton of carbonation. White head that disappeared pretty quick.

Smell: Has some nice tropical smells to it. Mostly Citrus with mango and a little pineapple. I am also getting some apricot smells and a little hot alcohol in the smell.

Taste: Has a ton of citrus in the first part of the taste that quickly goes to a decent amount of bitterness. I was a little disappointed there was not much malt to balance this out much. No real biscuit flavors like I get with Kern Citra. I also get a little hotness from the alcohol which i was surprised about but could be due to the lower side of the carbonation.

Mouthfeel: This one is really thin and I thinks that's why it taste's hot to me. Poured with some carbonation initially but the head faded quick and the taste became a little more one dimensional.

Overall: I liked this IPA but would say I am not seeking this one out again. In the end it does not come close to my favorite double IPA--Kern Citra which is my measuring stick. Maybe if it had better carbonation and a little stronger smell I would think different. I liked Hill Farmstead Citra much better for sure. Citra had a better nose and way better overall taste to it. Glad I got to try it.

Rampage1, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of Cascade77
3.68/5  rDev -20%

The second of two growlers I picked up last weekend.

Poured into a Duvel Tulip and leaves a small off-white head that goes quickly. Lots of bubbles coming up through a light yellow beer. Pretty clear.

Smells really nice with pine flavored resiny hops up front. Really not much else. A bit of booziness to the smell.

Taste is lighter than expected. A bit fruity, hops come on strong with mango, papaya and other island tastes. Really no malt to speak of. Booze comes through stong after the third sip but that's to be expected.

Mouth feel is thin and dry. A bit champagne like. Kind of tingly mouth feel as with most of the HF beers I have tried so far. Not something I love.

Overall I liked it but not a lot of depth. Hoppy and thin with that signature bite and tingly, numbing feeling. Where is the flavor? Dangerously close to proving that if you dump enough hops into it the geeks will flock to it.

Cascade77, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of koutkid41
3.69/5  rDev -19.8%

A: Murky and hazy, gold/orange color, nice two finger thick and creamy head.

S: Sweet tropical fruit, some honey dew, some sweet powdered sugar.

T: Sweet upfront with some breadiness. Honey dew and sugar character upfront then becomes slightly tropical.

M: My only things is I wish it wasn't so sweet and sugary for a DIPA. Body wise it was nice.

O: Not a bad beer but had high hopes for this one, Abner is definitely is a notch above this one.

koutkid41, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

DarthKostrizer, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of utopiajane
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

utopiajane, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of CityofBals
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

CityofBals, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of Cedromar
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

Cedromar, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of Jpepe08
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

Jpepe08, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.83/5  rDev -16.7%

From 750mL swingtop growler to snifter on 11/13/11 at a small tasting with friends
*From notes

-- Yet again, many thanks for sharing, Bill --

A: A really healthy presentation. Rich, golden amber and when properly poured, a bubbly 1.25 finger head and decent lacing appear. Really nice retention, as the head lingers for some time.

S: It's floral, yet rather subdued. It's earthy, malty and signifigantly herbal. Lovely, it's really a pleasure to let this drift in and out of the nostrils.

T: This is intense stuff. For as laid back as the bouquet is, the flavor profile is quite the opposite. There's less fruit here, and more of an intensly toasted, almost burnt onion quality to it. It's most certainly rich, and the finish showcases hints of ripe strawberries.

M: The texture is suitable, yet I wish there was more to it. A bit undercarbed, which I'll forgive as it is coming from a growler. But to pack that big of a punch into an almost flabby body is not what I'd call desirable.

O: Hill Farmstead's Ephraim is a very, very good beer that, in my opinion, never reaches the heights of greatness. It certainly knows where it wants to go, yet it wasn't where I felt it needed to be. More of a sipping DIPA, it's one to be shared, as I don't know how one would get down massive quantities of this.

Of the two hoppier HF offerings we imbibed that afternoon, I would have no reservations reaching for their Abner each and every time, as I feel it to be the better and substantially more balanced offering.

Rhettroactive, Dec 11, 2011
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Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 822 ratings.