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Ephraim - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Ephraim
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BA SCORE
99
world-class

207 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 207
Hads: 870
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 3.78%
Wants: 1,467
Gots: 24 | 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: 870
Photo of Beerisheaven
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at another great event/gathering at Capones. Matt continues to roll out the heavy guns this month, with this event following Russian River and Firestone. Matt, you spoil us so.

A - Crisp and colorful, dominated by a yellow/orange profile with a nice white head that pulls back and leaves a moderate level of stickiness on the glass.

S - For my money, this is the shining part of the beer. Grapefruit, citrus, and pine all come forward in an intoxicating manner.

T - Now I will temper this somewhat by saying that hop-bombs are not my favorite style. This one assaults you with bitterness, strong pine, and citrus flavors. An edge of malt lies in the background, but the real punch is in the hoppy frutiness and pine flavors. Personally, a little too much for me but again not my preferred style. I leave it to the experts to debate this v. Younger and the other leaders of the DIPA pack.

M - Tart with the bitterness again dominating the experience.

O - OK, so I am glad that I tried it but I would not offer up my cellar to obtain this beer simply because it is not my cup of tea (or hops). Still, glad to have had the opportunity to try this beer since so many talk about it. Thanks again Matt for another great event. (1,234 characters)

Photo of Yagman3000
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 32 ounce growler into a snifter. The source was a generous sharing by fellow BA CosmicEvan who had it smiled kindly after a recent brewery release.

Appears a beautiful golden apricot with a touch of rouge at its center. Small foamy head is subsiding at a normal rate with a steady effervescent bubbling occurring toward the top half inch.

Smells very sweet and rich... Like apricot jello. There's a lot if tropical fruit that comes through and I'm really excited to taste what I hope is a heavy hitter.

Tastes really fruity and bitter in a pleasing way. Grapefruit and pineapple are prominent. It finishes, though, with a bit if a medicinal flavor that reminds me of dark red Robitussin.

Mouthfeel is pleasing and filled with fresh effervescence. It was pretty creamy and quite fresh from the growler.

Overall a good beer with a great start but its finish leaves a little bit to be desired. (914 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

750ml growler. Teku glass.

A: Pours a straw/pale color with two fingers of cloud-like, wispy white head. Very good retention but chaotic, thin lacing.

S: Liquid caramel, candied citrus (tangerine), white grape, grass, bready character. Nice complexity on the nose.

T: Bread and biscuit are the most prominent, with undertones of grapefruit peel, tangerine, a little white grape, finishing with a mild to moderate bitterness which is offset slightly by lingering sugar and citrus.

M: Medium body, soft texture, with medium, somewhat sharp carbonation. No alcohol is evident; in fact, this drinks like a pale ale.

O: A solid and well constructed--though unexceptional--pale ale. (Wait, wut. This is a DIPA?) Drinkability is average: it kind of grates on me after half a pint partly due to the bitterness. Sigh, there are so many better options that are much more readily available. (885 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler. Pours a golden yellow amber color with a very white head that forms a nice 1 finger head of foam that false rather quickly. I can smell the hop aroma as I pour this out into the glass. Very aromatic with nice tropical type hop notes like pineapple and mango, also some citrus rind. Medium mouthfeel. Fruity malty sweetness gives way to a nice bitter hop bite. Wow, bitter bite, might be a tad much. Very slight alcohol notes but otherwise the alcohol is fairly well hidden. (482 characters)

Photo of Lunch
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by the king of growlers himself, drabmuh at a tasting in the woods. If drabmuh does not bring a growler to a tasting...something must be wrong with the world.

Really looking forward to this as I love a good DIPA and this one was pretty goddamn nice. Pours a nice gold color with great carbonation and nice sizable head leaving some nice lacing.

Lost of citrus comes through in the nose with no real malt to speak of which is ideal. Some alcohol is detected, but not much.

Taste is rather bright with a lot of citrus and some sweetness. Some peach notes with hints of grapefruit shine through.

Mouthfeel is spot on for the style and I don't think that I would have a problem finishing the entire goddamn growler myself.

Thanks again Matt! (760 characters)

Photo of hooliganlife
4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into a HF tulip

pours a dull golden yellow, light frothy white head. faint retention.

heavy on the citrus and earthy pine. dominating tangerine and orange.

bitter and strong pine resin. very earthy and citrus hop forward. red grapefruit through the finish. malt body is faint and light, no detection of alcohol.

light body with a very moderate carbonation, lots of bite. enhances bitterness.

overall, good. very hop dominate. (437 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden orange body with nice clarity and a decent sized foamy cap. Good retention and solid lacing.

S: Fruity citrus--grapefruit, orange, and pineapple--plus a bit of pine. Very nice, but not the same depth of fruity goodness of something like fresh sculpin.

T: A nice fruit forward amped up IPA. The flavors are muted, and although there is a bit going on here, it doesn't have the same layered complexity of PtY where you can get lost for days in the flavor interactions.

M: Medium bodied, effervescent on the tongue. Nice level of bitterness leaves a refreshing finish.

O: Overall this is a VERY NICE imperial ipa. That said, I can name quite a few that I'd easily take over this. I am sure this was better the day it was first tapped at the Farmstead though. (769 characters)

Photo of s1ckboy
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Amber in color with a 2-3 finger white head

S - Very sweet and fruity.

T - A ton of grapefruit, some honey, a lot of malty-ness. A slight touch of pine.

M - Medium. Right amount of carbonation, very refreshing.

O - Great beer. Worth seeking out. (253 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

3/6/2011 Re-review thanks to Chris. This is batch 2, drank from a counter-pressurized growler. This batch is more hot, way too much alcohol on the finish. Still pretty good, just not the epic level of the first batch, still recommend trying.

Growler provided by sleepydave, drank into my Narke tulip...The top pops without an whiff and I'm a bit concerned, then I see theres only about a half centimeter of air, so I'm good. Pours a dark peach, nice color. At first it pours without any head, then as it settles about a full finger of light tope head. Pretty good retention, but really nice lacing; thin drops around the glass but super sticky...The aroma is not at as strong as expected, but in a good way; doesn't overpower. Very light grapefruit on the front, light sugar, and sweet pine hops. The backbone is light pine and alcohol but exactly what you are looking, makes me really want to drink it...The taste is a super nice perfect combination of sweet and bitter. The sweetness doesn't really show as fruits, but sugar and alcohol. The finish is hoppy, gives you want you want but not at all harsh or so much hops it distracts you from drinking. The finish is pine resin, sugar, alcohol and a little metal....The feel is outstanding. Sticks to your palate start to finish, its full, coating, makes you lick your lips, a smooth and lasting finish...Incredibly drinkable.

Another beer that was crazily hyped but actually lived up to expectations. Would LOVE to try this fresh. (1,485 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
4.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750mL courtesy of Jim. Huge thanks.

A: Beautiful golden-orange with a foamy white head. Sediment mars the overall beauty, but it still looks quite nice.

N: Wonderfully balanced. Pine, earth, mango, pineapple. Deep and rounded. Some grass and a little bit of caramel around the edges.

T: Quite sweet at the front with a moderate bitterness. Showcases the hops very well. Both stinging and balanced. Big kudos here, though it’s just a tad sweet for me.

M: Very good mouthfeel. Carbonated nicely with a slight dryness and a round, heavy mouthfeel.

O: A top tier beer that might get a few more points from me with a touch more dryness and a little less malt. Still, well done. Would have time and time again. (716 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml growler straight from the source provided by who else but cbutova. Enjoyed whilst running around changing a car battery.

Pours a super hazy orange, full-a floaties. Small white head retains decently.

Super citrus/orange juice up-front in the scent, lots of earthy fruitiness, a touch of alcohol. Big scent that fades a bit with time.

Taste is where it's at, huge beer. Lots of danky oranges, pine, bright juicy tropical fruit, grapefruit, with big caramel malts and breadiness there too. It is definitely on the sweeter side for an IPA but hops are huge as well.

Good full mouthfeel. High bitterness is balanced nicely by the malts, drinks pretty easy for the ABV - it feels big but there's not much alcohol heat.

I think the sweetness+alcohol could get to be a little much after time, I think as far as DIPA's go I prefer something more like Abner or Heady Topper. But this is without a doubt a crazy good beer. (937 characters)

Photo of tyamhydrogen
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a growler into a pint glass. Last growler of the batch, consumed day of.

A: Golden, clear body with a one-finger head.

S: Grapefruit and pineapple hop aromas. Smells superb.

T: Grapefruit, pineapple and other fruity notes are initially present and dominant, giving way to a residual fruitiness and a tiny amount of warming booze. Delicious.

M: Mouthfeel is definitely thick. Not syrupy, but certainly noticeably on the thicker side. Thick for a DIPA.

O: Overall an extremely solid DIPA, and perfect for autumn in Vermont. I prefer the Double Citra and the Abner, but it seems as though this beer is exactly what it’s aiming to be, a bigger, boozier DIPA than Shaun’s other offerings. Still extremely drinkable for being 10.5%. Another great Hill Farmstead creation. (788 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler, thanks Jason.

A - Pours a clear orangish/yellow, white head that dissipates to a thin film, very sticky lacing all along the sides of the glass, and a thin ring around the glass.

S - Sweet burnt sugars, lots of malts, bitter citrus notes, dankness. Pretty damn solid combo of stuff going on here.

T - Sweet malts and sugars up front followed by an onslaught of bitter hoppy dankness. It's a transition from one to another, but holy shit, the hops are beating my palate into submission.

M - Medium bodied, syrupy feel, smooth, light carbonation.

D - Now on my second glass, I'm feeling pretty good. Really enjoyed this one and hopefully, I'll get to try some other offerings from this brewery. (711 characters)

Photo of rhinos00
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to the most generous BA I know. Thanks man, I owe you big time! Growler shared amongst friends and consumed exactly 6 days after the growler was filled.

A- Pours a clear, vibrant amber color. Produced two fingers width of white head. Some lacing as beer was consumed. Very pretty to look at.

S- An abundance of tropical fruits and hops. Very juicy, with mango, papaya, and pineapple at the forefront. Just a great hop profile in the nose. I could smell this all day.

T- I was expecting a hop bomb, but this was more on the balanced side. The tropical aromas are well represented here. Not too much hop bitterness. Very juicy with a bit of a caramel presence in the finish. Restrained, but clean prominent flavors.

M- Light to medium bodied with good carbonation. Really being picky here, but could of coated the palate a little better.

D- At 10.5% this beer is very dangerous. Alcohol is nearly undetectable and the tropical fruit flavors beg you to come back for more and more.

Overall, an excellent DIPA and one that I am extremely grateful to have tried, much thanks to a very generous BA. This is a very tropical fruit forward DIPA that is nicely balanced. I think it could have used a little more hop bitterness though. Recommended. (1,257 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. 750ml growler shared with some friends over the weekend. It poured orange in color with a thin, bubbly white head sticking to the edges of the glass.

The aroma had a bright, citrusy and juicy hop profile to it. I get notes of peach and pineapple to it mixing with a little grapefruit hoppiness. Some sweeter, almost sugary malty flavors come out in it as well.

The taste also has a juicy, citrus fruit presence to it throughout the flavor. I get a lot of peach and pineapple notes to it, with a touch of grapefruit. It finishes with some sweeter, malty, slightly candy like notes mixing with the juicy hops. It was relatively low on bitterness in the finish for the style as well.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall it was great beer of the style. It was very big on the juicy, citrusy hoppiness which I liked a lot. Out of the two I tried though this weekend I think I liked Abner slightly better. Abner seemed to balance the juicy citrus with some grapefruit and citrus rind bitterness while Ephraim was all about the juicy, fruity, sweetness. Both were pretty awesome though. (1,137 characters)

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

Thanks to jrallen34 for hooking us up with this.

A - An opaque orangish amber with a late rising head that had decent retention. Nice stick on the sides with some very fine lace.

S - Smells very light, an interesting citrusy flavor, smells something like a tropical fruit that I just can't place. Burnt sugar, and a nice malt backbone.

T - A nicely light drinking triple IPA. Citrusy hops, you can definately pick up on the added sugar in this one. The bittering hops in this is quite suble but picks up steam on the end and gives you a nice bite that really gets you. An interesting fruity taste that is also like the smell that I can't place. Alcohol is quite well hidden, only burn comes with the sugar at the end.

M - Lighter side of medium body with moderate carbonation. Good feel for this beer.

D - Very drinkable triple ipa, alchohol quite well hidden, a little sweet that keeps it at a 4. (907 characters)

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

Appearance: Hazy straw-amber-apricot-peach pour, good head and lacing

Smell: This beer is huge. Enormous, over-the-top load of hops. Pine resin, grapefruit, tropical fruits, papaya. Slightly sweet

Taste: Just enormous in the hop department. It is like they backed a dump truck full of hops and forced it into this growler. Just huge. Tropical fruits, citrus, grapefruit, orange. A bit sweet. Bitterness is perfect, strong and present without being overbearing. That said, I think they dialed it up to 11 and should have stopped at 10.

Mouthfeel: Again, this is a big beer. You don't gulp it. You don't drink it. You sip it, otherwise it will overpower you.

Drinkability/Overall: This is so huge it is hard to consume in quantity, but it does run with the big boy DIPAs. Well done. This thing is a hop grenade, although I prefer the boy king / pliny the younger type ones. (883 characters)

Photo of 05Harley
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh from the keg @ Hill Farmstead Brewery, Greensboro VT (Harvest Festival).

Price - $22/Growler

I've had this several times over the last few years and should have reviewed it by now but haven't so here it is.

This beer looks awesome! A huge two inch soapy white head with a long lasting retention covers this golden gem. Lines of bubbles stream from the bottom of my tulip glass and sticky lacing clings to the sides like glue. A quick swirl of the glass and a creamy layer reappears. This beer is screaming for attention.

Aah, the smell of citrus hops is refreshing and appropriate for a DIPA of this size. And with the various types of hops added one can certainly pick up an aroma of something familiar from their hop past. For me it's all about the fruit with caramel malt which adds some sweetness followed by piney resin which is not with out notice.

Grapefruit, orange, mango, and lemon hit the taste buds first followed by honey for a quick flash of raw sweetness. In the end though a big blast of pine with some noticeable alcohol finishes things off.

The mouthfeel pretty much follows in line with a big hop bomb which usually results in a bitter dry finish, as does this. To be expected yes and appropriate. Body is medium and slightly syrupy which I dig.

Overall this beer is just short of fantastic. It's not exactly what I prefer in flavor and mouthfeel, but is so close to the style one has to give it the credit it deserves. Hell it can't be to far off from perfection, I'm nearing the end of my two liters, yikes.. (1,542 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear gold with a finger white creamy head.

Smells of citrus, tropical fruits with a little bit of earthiness.

Up front lots of citrus flavors with a little bit of sweet maltiness. Rounds out into a sweet pineapple flavor near the end with a crisp finish.

Mouthfeel is fairly light. Carbonation level is low, but I'm assuming that has to do with the growler.

Very solid beer. I love the distinct pineapple flavor, but having had this right after Heady Topper it falls short of that standard. (508 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is hazy bright golden amber with tons of egg white head leaving a thick lacing. The nose is pungent, light clean grain, dusty, strong tropical fruits, mango and grapefruit behind. Taste also has nice balance with huge hop punch. The grain is up front, clean and lightly dusty. Hops surround with a creamy dough and more tropical fruit. Plenty of mango and fuzzy peach with a grapefruit hit in back and crisp bitterness with little lingering effect. Body is light, a touch creamy mid palate, softer carbonation in the finish. (529 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet another overt thanks to a top-notch trader, baconsausage, who tossed this growler my way with no expectation of anything in particular in return. In turn, the growler was shared with a bunch of other BAs & non-BAs at an impromptu weekend tasting. Reviewed from admittedly sketchy notes.

Pours an amber, leaning towards yellow, plenty of pop in the head even after hundreds of miles of travel. Smell is dead-on luscious, tons of citrus, grapefruit, a frontal assault of all that is good & holy about the hop. Top of the line nose on this one, just fantastic.

My first impression was damn! The taste doesn't live up to the singing-angels aroma, but hey, what could? Another metric ton of hop variety, grapefruit, rinds, citrus, wrapped in a slick, slippery feel. Surprisingly, there's also a backbone of malt steel here, & the middle of the beer is sticky, syrupy sweet. Wham! The hops come back & that malt is just a warm memory on the tongue.

The consensus was this was an excellent beer, & there was a marked difference once it warmed - a collection of "yeah, it's OK" changed to "damn, this is good" after 10-15 minutes. Really glad I got to try this one, thanks again Tucker! (1,188 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler shared with good friends again. Notes from just a day ago. Great way to sum up a VT weekend.

A- Cloudy as can be, like a murky glass of orange colored swamp juice. Creamy white head forms with a few fingers in size, decent retention. Lace forms immediately and continues down the glass nicely.

S- Big hops lead the way in the aroma. Orange and lemon zest are big along with notes of tropical fruit, pine resin and citrus juice. Slight grains and malts.

T- Hops big here too with lots of fruity things going on. Mango, huge orange juice/zest, citrus bonanza, grapefruit is big, pineapple and some peppery herbal hints. Definitely a bit of sweetness, caramel and alcohol to back those hops up.

MF- Creamy and moderately thick, oily body with a crisp carbonation. Big bitterness and some alcohol warmth.

Big hop blast with tons of nice citrus fruit notes. Really nice use of hops. (896 characters)

Photo of litheum94
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by daysinthewake.

Murky but ultimately clear golden body. Thick, off-white head. Sits atop the body for quite awhile, leaving some nice lacing as it drops.

Pine and citrus, with some papaya. Biscuit malt profile. Some brown sugar sweetness.

Intense bitterness at first, piney and earthy. Sweet peach fruit flavors. Some subtle biscuit malts. those are immediately put in their place by more pine and tropical fruit hops.

Another winner by Hill Farmstead. An easy drinking DIPA, and who knew this was 10%!?! Phenomenal. (538 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this one.

Poured into Bells snifter.

Pours 1 finger of white head that fades to a thick ring. Leaves some lacing from there. Color is a clear golden orange.

Aroma: Hmm, this smells far better than any east cost XPA I have smelt. Reminds me more of west coast style. Huge pine hop profile with a large amount of citrus. Has a lot of mangoes and grapefruit flavors with a bit of orange. I get a touch of onion, but it is very faint.

Taste: Very hoppy. Floral and pine round this one out with a touch of alcohol. It also has a heavy dose of grapefruit, orange, and mango, much like the nose. There is a touch of bready malts and an light union flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. A little boozy. Pretty bitter. Ends clean with a little heat left over.

Overall, this is a great dipa. Either I am very thirsty or this thing is that drinkable, because my glass isn't lasting long. I am glad I have finally had a DIPA from the east coast that has impressed me. (1,025 characters)

Photo of celticfutblclub
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml growler poured into a pint glass

A - inviting bright yellow body with a nice two finger foamy top. great retention and lacing.

S - big hop smells here and good grapefruit edge to it as well.

T - good hop presence here with some bread malts lying beneath. great grapefruit edge to this.

M - lots of carbonation medium bodied beer with good hop puckering.

O - a fine DIPA and well worth the ride out to pick it up. (423 characters)

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