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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: 870
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 3.78%
Wants: 1,469
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 nickd717
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally a tick from Hill Fargstead! Growler (and hand bottle) shared by Arbitrator. Let's see see what these crazy homers are all yappin' about, shall we?

Pours a great bright golden color with a small white head that fades.

Big-time citrusy and herbal hop aroma with sweet malt to back it up. Really enticing.

The flavor is very nice and hop-forward. Sweet and caramel malt base, with huge grapefruity, orangey, pine, herbal notes, and big resin.

Enamel-ripping mouthfeel with fairly lively carbonation despite being from a growler. Medium-full body.

Really awesome DIPA, almost up to Younger level. So easy to drink at 10.5%. Man, never thought I'd become a Vermont hyper, but here I go. Do they put hallucinogens in these beers? (736 characters)

Photo of gonzowestwood
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hill Farmstead 'Ephraim'
10.3%, 21ºP, 280 Theoretical ibus.

On Tap @ Peekskill Brewery

C- cloudy, light orange,golden color very small head and very light lacing on glass(4)
S- orangey, mango, resin hop with a touch of malt and booze (4.5)
T- citrus, quite bitter. A touch of malt and an fresh resin hop at the end(4.5)
M- silky smooth. Light carnation (4.5)
O- very very good DIPA, has great balance But not my favorite from HF (4.5)

#4> Galaxy>Abner>Ephraim (473 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a glowing and hazed amber color with frothy and soapy white head. Scent leads with big bitter pine resin before mellowing into a blend of citrus and tropical fruit (grapefruit, orange, pineapple, tangerine)... quite impressed. Taste follows suit, big and bitter upfront with pine and herbal hops, mellows quickly into a fruit cocktail like blend of citrus and tropical fruits, ends with a touch of tangy bitterness and light alcohol presence. Medium bodied, smooth, clean, perfect carbonation, dry finnish. Simple fantastic brew which showcases many nuances of hops. (572 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 release. 750ml swing-top growler generously sent by SneezyAchew as part of a wedding present. You are too kind, sir.

A: Pours a very hazy dark mango color with a couple fingers of dense white head. Head faded into a thin film that lasted the whole beer through. Great sheets of thick lace were left down the glass.
S: A sweet smelling hop bomb full of citrus and tropical fruits. Sweet notes of passion fruit, kiwi, mint, orange juice, mango and grapefruit peel.
T: Follows the nose with sweet hop flavors of tropical fruits and mild citrus. A citrus rind bitterness shows up in the finish, but overall sweet juicy mango, passion fruit and fruit nectar's dominate. I get a touch of mint in the finish as well, and the aftertaste is full of the lingering citrus rind. I get a touch of peach in there as well.
M: Thick for the style with a sweet but not cloying mouthfeel. Carbonation is fine, fluffy, and smooth. Alcohol is completely hidden, although judging by hope good I’m starting to feel, I’d say it’s in the double digits.
O: Better than I expected, although I’m not sure why as all the hoppy beers I've had from Shaun are amazing. I would drink this on the regular if available. The only thing I can even remotely knock is the sweetness; personal preference is geared toward a dryer bitterer feel. This drinks just fine though, and the alcohol is hidden so ridiculously well. Thanks again, Michael; you’re the man! (1,442 characters)

Photo of Phelps
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks go out to imagineiii for providing this growler as a prize in the fourth Beer Puzzle LIF. It was shared at a tasting of Arizona-bound beer lovers, and my particular pour was put inside a tulip.

Ephraim was the great-great grandfather of the current Hill Farmstead brewers -- the brewery itself sits just several hundred feet downhill from the land that he settled. Ephraim the beer is unfiltered, naturally carbonated, double dry hopped, brewed with water from Hill Farmstead's own wells, and boasts an impressive hop bill (Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe and Warrior) resulting in 280 theoretical IBUs.

Pours a light, perfectly clear tangerine with a head of bubbly, off-white froth that fizzles away quickly. Thin, craggy streaks of lace and very thin silky top layer linger as I drink.

The nose: super floral, super good. Orange blossom, honey liqueur, grass and melon. It's very boozy, and lots of alcohol burns the nose hairs. Rich.

In the flavor: hops, hops and more hops. Grapefruit juice, orange liqueur, honey, a bit of caramel, rose petals, fresh grass. A striking bitterness grips the tongue mightily. Very alcoholic, and again, rich.

The body is a silky medium, liqueur-like in feel, with a light, massaging carbonation. It retains its creaminess as I move it about. The 10.3 percent ABV is very noticeable in the nose, flavor, and drunkenness it's bestowing upon me.

For how heavy and alcoholic Ephraim is, drinkability is incredible. I can't stop sipping it. A fantastic DIPA. (1,516 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 03/19/11 notes. Big thanks to drabmuh for sharing this one; thanks Matt. Got to try a 2 oz. pour of this at EBF last week and loved it so was excited to get a bigger pour of it this time.

a - Pours a clear orange color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of grapefruit, citrus hops, sweet fruity malts, tropical fruits, melon, and maybe a hint of pine hops. Lots of hops and different fruits coming out in the smell, it's reall nice.

t - Taste follows the nose; lots of citrus hops, tropical fruits, grapefruit, melon. Also a crazy amount of bitterness up front. I wish it had been slightly less bitter, but it was still very good.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Huge bitter kick up front.

d - A really nice DIPA; one I would certainly try and trade for again. Lots of citrus hops and different fruits in the nose and if you like that bitter taste in DIPA's, you'll love this one. Would like to have again. (961 characters)

Photo of Doodler
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Alex for sharing this growler. Poured a hazy tangerine, with a big white head. Aroma of citrus and piney hops. Taste is sweet citrus, mango, grapefruit resin, and a nice bitter finish. Super balanced and refreshing, with great hop notes on the finish. Nice stuff! (273 characters)

Photo of Retail1LO
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap into 5.5 oz snifter

Pours a pilsneresque gold with a thin whispy head. Wonderfully subtle hop profile in the nose with some fruity tones. Taste is sublime. Follows the nose perfectly. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean with the slightest bitterness. Oveall a sublime experience. (293 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jason for procuring a growler of this highly regarded brew. Served in a Rodenbach tulip.

A - Not much hiss from the growler, which was literally filled to the brim. A hard pour yields a finger of big-bubbled orange-tinged foam that dissipates to a chunky ring, leaving behind spotty lace. Subsequent pours were normal, with a more smooth and creamy appearance to the foam. The body is a pleasant lightly hazed golden peach color.

S - Huge citrus rind and zest, light dank and catty notes, candied citrus and touch of tropical fruits, burnt sugary malt and a touch of alcohol. There's also a sugar character that reminds me of the Flossmoor beers that contain Jaggery - a quick trip to Ratebeer confirms the addition of dextrose.

T - This was the hardest category for me to evaluate. Around mid-palate the beer really takes off, with intense citrus and bruising bitterness in the finish that lingers well into the aftertaste. It's just the initial flavor seems a big unfocused and flaccid. If I could, this would probably get a 4.25, but I'm going to round up as I was a little hard on the appearance of a beer from a week-old growler sent by mail.

M - Body is big, thick, and juicy, but offset with some low carbonation tingle. There's a bit of warmth, but not an offensive amount by any stretch. Super enamel-melting and resiny residual feel.

D - I really liked this, even with the alcohol and bitterness mounting quickly after the first glass. Still, I couldn't keep myself from returning to the growler throughout the evening. I know this is supposed to be a "triple" IPA, but I prefer more medium and punchy DIPAs that have a bit less sugar character. Still this was a very enjoyable brew and I'd gladly have it again. (1,737 characters)

Photo of hillvt4me
4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a honey orange into HF tulip. Thick and creamy off white head.

S- Grapefruit, pineapple and Mango. Some sweet notes.

T-Follows the nose with some light herbal notes and Etoh; though well hidden for the 10 abv.

M-Like all HF beers, rather drinkable and smooth.

O-I'm fortunate to have had this approximate a dozen times and it's among my favorite of the rotating taps. Delicious and balanced! (406 characters)

Photo of Skrip
4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

A~ hazy golden, glowing copper, nice white head, a little lacing and a good amount of sediment! mmm...! the pieces!

S~ lots of citrus, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, tiny bit of mango. lots of piney earthyness from the hops, and a tad hint of booze on the finish.

T~ extremely complex! with every sip something different comes out, but still very well balanced! follows the nose with all the citrus, plus a ton more pine notes, and different "funk" with every sip. a little white grape funk up in there. it kind of has an Abner thing going on without the saison aspects and minus the slightly boozy smell that you get the whole time as you go for it but its ohh so smooth on the palet.

M~ super nice carbonation, not as dry as i would aspect from all the hops. very refreshing, i could sip on this all day and be very messed up haha and once again sooo smoooth.

O~ yup! amazing! this will some how be added to my top 5 hoppy brews... yeah i don't know how thats gonna happen haha better make it a top 10 or 20 =] but i seriously love it. definitely try it out if you have the chance, highly recommended for sure. its all about the hop funk! (1,212 characters)

Photo of huddyball
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass out of a growler filled 4/12/14.

A: Beautiful hazy goldish-orange. Nice thick head that dissipates leaving a nice lacing as I drink.
S: Orange/mango/pine. This is intense.
T: Much like the nose with a stronger pine/resin flavor coming through. Bit of an alcohol punch.
M: Very smooth and easy drinking.
O: Fantastic and another HF home run. (385 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A week old, bought at the brewery April 19th.

Poured from the 25.4 oz. bottle into a Tree House snifter

a: Cloudy orange with an inch tall white head which receded to dense patchy surface foam and patterned lacing.

s: Intense citrus and pine.

t: Strong orange/grapefruit citrus and pine resin hop flavor over a solid medium malt base. Bitterness is considerable but only slight bitterness lingers on the tongue. Minor throat burn for a 10.5% ABV.

m; Medium with fine body.

o: A superior DIPA. High ABV is skillfully dealt with. Wonderful sipper with tremendous substance. (578 characters)

Photo of bigaltemple
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks tubbnik for the hook up!

Bright golden straw color. Four finger rocky pillow of white sits atop. This dies down to a one finger width that isn't going anywhere. Thick, sticky patches of lace hang onto the glass after every sip.

Big tropical notes of mango and peach. Some grapefruit and rind mix in with spicy and grassy notes. Can't wait to get a drink.

Follows the nose extremely well. Juicy fruits flow across the tongue. Finishes just slightly resinous with a little bite of spice. Simply delicious. This 750 doesn't stand a chance. Full bodied and prickly. Not overpowering at all, with barely any lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is perfect!

I was completely ready to be underwhelmed by the hype of my first HF. That didn't happen. Can't wait to try some other offerings. (787 characters)

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

Traded big for this one as well - a '11 DL for a 750ml growler of this good stuff straight from Hill Farmstead. Pours a fairly golden yet murky orange appearance. Fluffy white head that holds well a bit. Aroma is potent with mango citrus pine and grapefruit bitterness. Somewhat sweet candy like malt a touch alcohol to smell as well. Taste is a load of resionous pine citrus mango citrus rind bitterness. Candy-like sweet malt lets the hops shine through. Smooth mouthfeel that complements well to a rich full body DIPA. Really want to try the Double Galaxy! (559 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 2L growler opened the same day it was filled at the brewery. Served chilled into a pint glass. I drank about 2/3 of this myself and split a little with a friend.

Appearance: Bright orange / yellow in color with a nice two finge, creamy thich head with good retention. A bit cloudy throughout but very nice.

Aroma: Tons of tropical fruit and pine notes upfront. The hop aromas are really big and hit hard. Mango, pineapple, grapefruit, lychee and pine notes are all present. Really nice balance of sweetness and bitterness.

Taste: Nice balance of sweet and bitterness here although there is a touch more bitterness than the aroma. Big mango and grapefruit notes countered with honey sweetness. The alcohol is really well hidden. Definitely plays a bit bigger and sweeter than other HF IPA's I have had, but it doesn't get anywhere near cloying. Bitter pine finish. Surprisingly drinkable and really refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, but the carbonation adds a crisp character. A bit creamy as well.

Overall, a top notch DIPA and certainly one of the best in this ABV range I've had. I think I prefer Abner and some other HF IPA's to this one just because of the ABV. The hop character is bright, vibrant and complex though and it drinks really easy considering. I definitely will seek this one out again. (1,334 characters)

Photo of mistakebythelake
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Urbancaver for sharing this growler.

Pours a nice copper orange. Nice looking beer to say the least. Good finger plus of head with some lacing. Citrus, fruity hops dominate the nose. It smells sweet and also some pine thrown in there. Tastesof hoppy and fruity goodness. Grapefruits And hops abundant! Flighty sweet but the hops still dominate to my delight. Being such a huge beer this was definitely a sipper with a thicker mouthfeel. Overall a great beer and its strength is hidden. Would love to try again. (522 characters)

Photo of russwbeck
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pretty hard to pour from the otherwise cool looking growler. Yellow pour with hints of orange. Nice fluffy white head with decent retention and nice lacing.

S: The hop smell here is huge, pretty daunting. Piney and citrus hops mostly. Not getting a lot of malts or alcohol.

T: I was expecting to be killed by hops on this one, but it really has a nice taste. Citrus hops start it off, and lead into piney hops. A bit of alcohol on the backend. Hardly any malts. More fruity than floral.

MF: Light with a nice amount of carbonation. Pretty bitter, but actually not a lot of alcohol. Very crisp.

O: When I saw it had 280 IBUs I was pretty intimidated, but this is crazy drinkable and very good overall. (707 characters)

Photo of spdyfire83
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

58th Review
Growler to Hill Farmstead glass...as it should be consumed.

From notes. Thanks to CharlieMurphy for sending this amongst other HF treats in a wonderful trade!

A: Dull copper. 1.5+ (pristine white) fingernail head on smooth, soft pour.

S: Piney. Massive hop aromas. More pine clouded by hint of citrus. Yummy!

T: Malty and sweet tropical fruit followed by an overwhelming brilliant burst of hops (mid-palate to finish).

M: Medium to full-bodied, but very, very smooth for such a high ABV brew. Medium carbonation.

O: Another excellent output from an up-and-coming brewery. A super drinkable and wickedly enjoyable DIPA that is not too over-the-top, but just right. Can’t wait to pay these folks a visit in-person! (734 characters)

Photo of koopa
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours goldfish orange with honey folds. The crown is 1 finger deep, white in color, displays moderate retention and good lace.

Smell: Dank pine/resinous hops, grapefruit, pineapple, a hint of grass and hay, plus a touch of caramel malt.

Taste: Everything in the smell but magnified!

Mouthfeel: Medium body, juicy, the slightest bit chewy, with moderate carbonation and a nice hop bite in the finish.

Drinkability: Very high despite the IBU's and ABV. It has a serious kick though and gets an alcohol / slight ethanol note as it warms.

One of my new favorites of the style. Home Run Hill Farmstead! I had heard rumors of this one being over 200 ibu's (I heard 230 to be exact) and while I'm not sure upon tasting, it is defintely more on the bitter side than fruity side. (788 characters)

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After drinking this for the second time, it reaffirms that this beer is very similar in taste to Heady. I'd say Ephraim is a lot more bitter, a little less sweet and didn't have as good as a smell as HT. Not saying I prefer one to the other, it's just a different amazing beer drinking experience. (297 characters)

Photo of ottovon
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

brought by phelps to a tasting.

A: faint coppery color with a white head that faded quickly, leaving a white ring on the perimeter.

S: smells of hops. great citrus aroma. i get grapefruit and melon. a nice bit of alcohol. some caramel and straw. I get a little bit of sweetness in the aroma as well.

T: lots of hops. first thing i notice is the bitterness. citrus hop flavor, grapefruit, and orange. i get some caramel flavors towards the end. there is also some grassy flavors and a bit of alcohol. finishes dry and bitter.

M: medium-thin body with a good amount of carb.

D: very drinkable for the abv. (612 characters)

Photo of Solomon420
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to John for sending me a growler of the most recent batch from early March 2011.

A: clear orangish yellow, lots of bubbles with off white 2 finger head.
S: lots of tropical fruits, hops, tangerines, grapefruits, sweet honesuckle. Perfect
T: didnt quite live up to the aroma. I expected more of a tropical fruit flavor that followed that wonderful aroma. However still very drinkable and it reminded me alot of Pliney the Elder. However I still wish it was a bit more tropical sweet in the flavor instead of heavier on the grapefruit/pine.
M: medium to almost heavy body (towards the end of the swig). Lots of carbonation, but they danced off the tongue.
D: I would have given it a 4.5-5.0 on this one had the taste been a bit more tropical, and at the very end of the swig, I felt this beer had a tinge of aspirin flavor to it. It appeared about 3 seconds after swallowing the beer. It was weird, but detracted a bit from the enjoyment.

However, I must say that this is an EXCELLENT beer and with beers like this and Double Sunshine from Lawson's...looks like Vermont is fast becoming the new "San Diego" and its a pleasure to know that FINALLY the east coasters are understanding how to make a proper hop-forward IPA/DIPA. Keep em coming... (1,252 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Armsby Abbey during Hill Farmstead tap takeover. Reviewed from notes.

A - Very nice clear orange hie with a one finger head that left super nice side lacing. Very creamy blanket.

S - Dank, musty citrus hops along with some super light/faint pineapple and tropical.

T - Taste is more of the musty goodness with some orangy citrus with more of the subtle pineapple and tropical fruits.

M - Mouthfeel is so creamy, and this ABV is hidden perfectly. Incredibly, and dangerously, drinkable.

O - Excellent example of a super hoppy double IPA. Stuff is crazy good drinkable. So glad I got to try this on tap. Very juicy. (640 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's. 5.5 oz snifter/$6.50. I had this batch from a growler about two months fresher so it's interesting to see how its holding up (this keg had to wait ~ a month for PLCB registration. <3 u PLCB)

Bright white head that hangs around for awhile on top of a crisp, hazed golden orange body.

Aroma is showing no signs of age and is still flawless. Tons of fresh, ripe tropical sweetness and mild cane sugar. Pungent, hoppy and balanced with no trace of alcohol. Perfect.

Flavor is showing some signs of age. Bitter and resiny hops are still abundant but some of the tropical sweetness has been blunted. Biscuity malts are a little stronger than I remember as well. Nice, but no longer perfect.

Exceptionally dry with a medium full body and strong, fine carbonation.

Regardless, this is an exceptional DIPA, but it has tasted better. (854 characters)

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