Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Ephraim - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Ephraim
No picture.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

207 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 207 | Hads: 870
Photo of VTLocal420
5/5  rDev +11.1%

This one is magical, should be more sought out that Heady or Double Sunshine, but it is made so few times a year that it doesn't touch either on this list. This is one the best beers I have every tried, easily in my top 10 beers...

If you see this one the list on Hill's site, make the trip or trade what you must, it's a must have experience. (348 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Growler shared by Andrew - thanks.

A: Pours a clear straw yellow under a quarter-inch thick white head which fades to a thin cap and rim yielding some spots of lace.

N: Straight up - crushed pineapple.

T: Plenty of juicy tropical fruits. Nearly perfect balance.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Dry, fruity finish.

O: Really, really nice. The ABV is so hidden, but it creeps in. I'm a believer. (428 characters)

Photo of SadMachine
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes from 4/23/14

A- Pours a clear, bright pale straw yellow with lots of tiny bubbles visible. A bright white head that is about 2.5 fingers in height retains well and leaves excellent lacing.

S- The aroma is bursting with hops! Sweet passion fruit, guava, star fruit, pineapple, kiwi, nectarine, onion grass, and sticky resinous pine. There's a solid backbone of pilsner, caramel, and some cracker-like malts. Smells wonderfully juicy and sweet, but with a little grapefruit zest bitterness to it. Incredible!

T- Just like the aroma this explodes with flavor! The flavor is almost like a blend of tropical fruit juice concentrates. The passion fruit and guava really are in the forefront with other fruits present, especially the nectarine. Some mango not present in the noes makes an appearance. The sweet caramel malt is very present, and just on the edge of being cloying. The pine is there, but subdued. The alcohol is definitely there, but not too much so.

M- The mouth feel is a bit thick, chewy, and sticky. Decent carbonation, but a bit thicker than I like, but still good.

O- This is a freaking awesome Imperial IPA! My only gripes are a bit too much sweetness and a bit too thick, but it's still an incredibly well crafted beer! (1,260 characters)

Photo of Tmyhre802
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On-tap at Hill Farmstead's 4th Anniversary party at Blackback.

A-Beautiful hazy pale yellow.

S-A lot of citrus, but the other fruity smells are very present.

T-Strong pine that perfectly blends in the complex citrus and fruits.

M-Medium bodied, the drinkability is amazing. Can't figure out how they combine the high abv with all the complex elements going on and still create such a smooth beer.

O-Overall this won the day on the IPA side for me along with the society and solitude at the HF Anniversary. Just a really great beer that they make up in Greensboro, can't wait till the next time I can get my hands on some! (626 characters)

Photo of F2brewers
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL growler courtesy of DrewGingras. From notes on 25 April 2014.

Served at 38C into a HF wine glass.

A: Pale yellow, hazy body with a thick creamy 1 1/2 " head that lasts forever leaving heavy lacing. Swirling the glass gently rebuilds the head immediately. Slightly cloudy as all HF IPAs tend to be. Fine carbonation with no evidence of suspended material.

S: Huge citrus and piney esters on the nose. Slight hits of malt if you really serch, but clearly a massively hop forward beer. Wile the hops dominate, they are not dank or oily.

T: Pine and grapefruit. Juicy, yet sweet. You wouldn't think so, but this is finely balanced. Each sip entices the next. While hops dominate, they don't build or make the beer undrinkable or overly bitter. Malt is present but subdued. It's a backbone that complements the hops.

M: Surprisingly lightand properly carbonated, this beer is clean, not slick. You could drink the growler without pause. Slight, but pleasant hoppy aftertaste.

O: A lovely expression of the style. This is reminiscent of west coast style, but with a distinctly east coast, HF style. More, please? (1,119 characters)

Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: A hazy pale yellow with a creamy head and excellent lacing. A picturesque DIPA.

A: Huge pine, apricot, peach, and citrus hop notes that meld with the fruity esters from the yeast. Malt is very neutral, just a clean, faint breadiness.

T/M: Firm bitterness upfront that is met with intense piney and stonefruit hop flavors. Middle of the mouth opens up for more hop complexity of peach and citrus that is reinforced with the fruity yeast esters. The body consists of a medium bodied mouthfeel and a bone dry-finish.

Overall, this may be the best DIPA I have ever had. The flavors are extremely intense, and the balance is perfect. This one is right there with abner, maybe even better in my opinion. Shaun Hill is making some of the best hoppy beers I have ever tasted. (773 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 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 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 rjp217
4.76/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml growler...

Orange yellow in color, nice sticky lace retention. Aroma is a dank, grassy lemon with a juicy grapefruit following. Taste follows the nose except you get so much orange, lemons, limes, a tiny amount of pine and malt finish it off, awesome. Mouthfeel is exceptional as always with a HF brew. Medium body, low carbonation, soft and incredibly smooth.

This is truly world class. Not perfect but incredibly close. So well rounded in terms of it truly being citrus forward with a very light pine/malt base. One of my absolute favorite beers of all time. (569 characters)

Photo of anteater
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 ml growler

A: Golden yellow, fizzy white head

S: Lemon, grass, earth, herbs, cat pee

T: A lot of the same as the nose. Citrus fruits, lemon, grapefruit, grass. This tastes like a 6-7% beer in my opinion, not a 10.5% one. I'm pretty blown away by the lightness of this beer and how it also contains such a huge and unique yet not overbearing hop punch.

M: So light and easy to drink

O: Hype met. I am thoroughly impressed with my first Hill Farmstead IPA! (463 characters)

Photo of NAPO
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-Nice light Orange with a creamy head. Nice looking beer.

S-Strong scent on Grapefruit and Mango. Some intense sweetness in there with a honey and sugar smell. this one is definitely a big beer.

T-Much like the nose with some light grassyness and I definitive feel the alcohol but is not overwhelming.

M-EXTREMELY surprise how mellow and smooth and easy drinking this beer is..very Impressive with the over %10 ABV.

O-Very well made DIPA by HF. (449 characters)

Photo of koutkid41
3.71/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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. (451 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 KornWallace
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date: 4/15/15
Location: Hill Farmstead
Glassware: Red Wine Glass
Appearance: A neatly clear amber that looks like a perfect carbonated apple juice. Pours with a thumb size white head that evaporates quickly with no cascading.
Aromatics: It starts with a Pine bomb. The hops also impart the fruit flavor, a mix between mango and peaches. A nice wheaty grassy smell.
Flavor: The pine again hits first but now the resin is totally present. White peaches and mango. Some sugar in there that I'm having trouble placing adds to the sweetness.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is smooth with a good deal of the resin on the tongue. A nice carbonation.
Notes: Had on tap at HF and in a 750ml growler. Bottled 4/9/14 and suggested drink by date is 4/17/14. (742 characters)

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)

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

Pours a clear gold, some nice bubbles on the top, not too much head. Nice lacing. Smells great. Tropical fruit, honey dew melon. The taste is more bitter than the smell. Pine and citrus with a small alcohol burn. Lemon comes through well. It's a pretty easy drinker for 9%. Medium mouthfeel, smooth as creamy. Impressive for a high alcohol DIPA. (345 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 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 BoldRulerVT
4.76/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed this on draft at Three Penny Tap Room in Montpelier.
A large white frothy head sat upon a light amber bodied DIPA.
First aromas were breathtaking. Citrusy lemon and sweet mango.
First taste was jaw dropping. Citrusy, and dry and full of zing. Delicious.
Mouthfeel was fantastic for a late spring warm day, crisp and refreshing.
This beer is a touch alcohol forward and mixed with Shaun's citrusy profile made for a staggeringly good beer. (447 characters)

Photo of peensteen
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Shared by Liam back in May a day or two after he picked it up at the brewery

Lightly hazed pale orange colour, ring of white headwith a bit of lace here as well. The nose ihas a huge citrus to it, lots of tropical fruit, tangerine, orange, a bit of grapefruit with a bit of sugary malts as well, fantastic hop aroma here. Taste is equally amazing lots of juicy hops and sweet malt up front, followed by loads of citrus flavours, grapefruit and orange, good bitterness throughout, hoppy aftertaste. Lightly carbonated, fairly full bodied. Outstanding stuff, incerdibly drinkable and just an impressive display of hops here. (623 characters)

Photo of nesarebad
4.99/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Last of my Hill Farmstead from my trip a few weeks back. 750 ml bottle style growler poured in to my Hill Farmstead stemware.

A - Pours a murky golden orange color, nice carb with a two finger effervescent head. Delicate lacing clings to the glass as I drink. Even though the beer is unfiltered, it is still a nice looking beer.

S - Sweet tropical fruits, blends of citrus fruits, some earthy notes peak through. Candied sugar and all the right notes, a nose that beckons you in to the first taste. Legit and all too intoxicating.

T - Sweet up front, with a pungent hop note. Sweet tropical fruits in melody with citrus-y hops. MIght be a tad sweeter than some would like in a DIPA, but the hops are blended so well in this one, it is punchy without being over bitter. A taste like none other, I can recollect only a few beers where I was like 'oh, ok' when I first tasted.

M - Despite being sweet up front, the balance in hop pungency makes this beer incredibly balanced. The sweetness is no factor in the drink-ability of the beer. Not much more can be said, this is a very easy to drink beer.

O - This beer exhibits all the best qualities of an easy to drink DIPA. It is tropical punch, sweet but balanced and smooth as can be. One of my all time favorites; I pull no punches here. (1,294 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 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 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)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.