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Ephraim | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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BA SCORE
99
world-class
228 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
228
Ratings:
996
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
17.33%
 
 
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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.

Added by Kegatron on 09-28-2010

User Reviews
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Reviews: 228 | Ratings: 996
Photo of number1bum
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mymrnngjckt for sharing this growler last night.

Poured a hazy orange amber color. Light beige head that kept a thin lace with moderate stick on the sides.

Smell was very fresh and floral, with big citrus and pine aromas in particular. Very fruity, with grapefruit and sweeter tangerine aromas, plus the resiny pine. Really nice.

Taste really showcased some nice hop flavor without overwhelming the palate with bitterness. Citrus and pine were the dominant characteristics again, with some orange sweetness and more bitter, pithy grapefruit flavor as well. The bitterness was substantial, however, and I found that by the time I was done with a second glass it seemed much more bitter than when I started. Malt flavor was pretty minimal, some pale malt sweetness was all. A hop showcase for sure.

Mouthfeel was maybe not as creamy as you'd expect at this level of hoppiness, but was still quite smooth and clean in the finish. I did get a quick shot of alcohol burn at one point, as well.

Glad I got to try this as it's a really good DIPA. Tons of hop flavor with a sneaky, mounting bitterness that takes its toll on the palate before you realize it. So much flavor that it goes down awfully easy, however. One of the best DIPAs on the East Coast for sure.

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

Huge thanks to dreadnaught33 for sharing some of his growler last night.

I have to say, the only thing about this beer that was not immensely impressive was the way it looked - a bit of a thin yellowish orange without a ton of head. Everything else about this beer was exceptional. The smell just hit me in the face with that big, aromatic hop and citrus aroma that I love in a DIPA, and the taste definitely followed suit. It was hoppy, fruity, a little sweet and ridiculously smooth, basically a perfect DIPA. It was so easy to drink that I was shocked to see that the ABV was 10.5%.

Overall, this is one of the best DIPAs I have ever had and a beer definitely deserving of all of the hype it's getting. It's pretty much perfect in every way.

Edit: I had some from the recent batch and it just wasn't quite as good. It was still a hell of DIPA, but it was more resiny and sweeter and a lot less bitter. I just didn't think the flavors came together quite as well the 2nd time around, so I'm making some minor changes to the review.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to TCassell1 for this beer, a treat to have. Notes from 3-3-11

A: Clear Orange to yellowish color with epic lacing and small bubbly head. Nice carbonation from the growler, which I was pleased to see. I expected the color to be brighter than normal IPA's since I saw there was so little malt.

S: Dank Hops, hop resin and sugary malt. Huge citrus notes and bitterness in there, wow.

T: Really crazy concentrated hops at the back of the palate with a huge bitter note and soft sugary feel up front. Grass, citrus, pine its all there in a huge hammer at the back of the palate. It's very nice how the beer has such a nice ease to it at the front of the palate and then really slams you with a multitude of hop flavors that I really dig. This is not the most balanced beer, but it is a dream for hop lovers and bitter loving people!

M: As I said, sugar up front and huge bitter back, maybe the most bitter palate wrecker I've had. Medium feel, not too much heat actually.

D: Great huge IPA, but it definitely taxes your palate fast! Excellent beer, I hope to get more of their stuff.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml growler thanks to ILOVESTOUTS. Thank you so much for hooking me up with my white whale of Double IPAs. Poured into a Hill Farmstead tulip.

Pour: Completely hazy orange with a finger and a half of white, fluffy head. Leaves decent lacing. I love the way Hill Farmstead's unfiltered beers look, and this might just take the cake.

Smell: This beer incorporates all the amazing aspects of a DIPA. All of them. Bursts of grapefruit and orange juice up front, followed by a light lemon zest an white peppercorn. Follows with a clean resinous pine, and light caramel sweetness. I can already tell this beer is going to be big.

Taste: I'm speechless. This beer incorporates so much flavor. Follows the nose to a T, but increases the intensty on everything. Grapefruit and OJ are the overriding flavors that call the shots, with a really, really nice peppercorn spiciness. A light resin lingers around, and the caramel sweetness is pretty substantial, at least for a Hill Farmstead beer. Ephraim needs it - the hop intensity here is not to be trifled with.

Mouthfeel: So incredibly juicy, and so incredibly bitter. This is probably the first Hill Farmstead beer that I am not able to guzzle down should I please. Definitely requires time to enjoy, and that is fine by me, because I don't want the glass to end.

Overall: Wow. I honestly never thought I would get a chance to try this beer, and it did not disappoint. Easily the best "big" DIPA I've ever had, and certainly in my top 5 ever. Hopefully one day at HF, I encounter this beer again.

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Photo of kevanb
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

The beer pours a lovely hazy copper color, reminiscent of orange rinds or peach skins. There is a really nice finger of stark white head, good retention, moderate lacing with a light film on top once the head recedes. A fantastic aroma, huge citrus presence, oranges, grapefruit, light floral notes, and a great tropical fruit presence, mangos, pineapples and a touch of alcohol at the end. The flavors are almost as perfect, lovely citrus burst right away, oranges, grapefruits, light lemon zest followed by a tremendous fruit presence, passionfruit, sweet pineapple juice and faint mango. There is a backing of strong bitter earthy hops that bring out a really nice resinous presence that helps counterbalance the bright and vibrant citrus and fruit flavors. A touch of alcohol wraps up an exceptionally complex and balance flavor profile. The body is perfection, smooth, juicy, spot on dry finish, perfect for an IPA.

Verdict: Simply sensational IPA, between this and Abner, there is no clear winner, only incredible beer. My hats off to Hill Farmstead for this, it is just sublime, great complexity on the tongue, awesome dry finish, everything I want in an IPA.

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Photo of Treebs
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to partner Mike (Gushue3) for filling this guy up for me and to Sean (I think) providing my second tasting of this brew. Never thought I'd get to try it and I get it twice in one weekend! Poured from a 750ml Hill Farmstead growler and served in a Founders snifter.

A: Pours a chilled hazy amber color, but clears up once it warms up, with a one finger fluffed white head that leaves some splotchy lace down the glass.

S: Smells of sweet fruits, grapefruits, apples, some pine and a little booze all fill those nose. Such extreme variations in hops is really an explosion to the nose. You can also pick up some malts somehow.

T: The taste is just exploding as the nose. Buttery and fruity with a nice sugary sweetness. The main fruit I'm picking out is a sweet apple for some reason. Little resin/pine quality with a full malt body. Finish is a slightly bitter.

M: Medium to light bodied with a nice bubbly carbonation and a very refreshing quality. The drinkability is ridiculous. I could drink this all day, every day.

O: This is my first Hill Farmstead beer and it was great. There was a lot going on with all the hop variations, but it worked out nicely and the drinkability was insane. If only Vermont wasn't an 18 hour drive.

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Photo of lovindahops
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh Ephraim from Saturdays Hill Farmstead harvest fest. What an outstanding festival run by Shaun and his crew. Best festival I have ever attended and not to mention I now get to enjoy this gem in syracuse.

A- Ephraim pours a gorgeous hazy orange with a flare of an off white head that consistently tags the edges of the glass as it retreats. Detailed carbonation consistantlty lingers towards the top as the brew glows

S- Ridicuously ripened grapefruit that is running parallel with a dank resionious piney hop scent. The brew literally explodes with fresh citric flavor from an army's length away... And makes my mouth water. Literally heightens the other senses with the fresh tropical flavors

T- Smooth delivery of pineapple, mango, and papaya flavors that could quite possibly be enrobed in a piney hop tortilla! Flavor is exuberant and as fresh as it gets for a DIPA. While I need to mention that there is not even an alcohol presence, I can't avoid mentioning the finish of bitter piney resin that makes this fantastic!

M- again smooth, yet present with cactus like prickles of carbonation that stings the tongue with hop flavor. Carbonation is spot on to facilitate this

O- in this wild world of craft beer, tasting is believing. Shaun hill has done just that!!! In under two years (not to mention the 2,000+ craft breweries), he has gone out and produced one of the most delicious Dipa's known to mankind. Ephraim is up there with my best double ipa's. Keep it coming Hill Farmstead!!!

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice yellow golden color with a huge sticky white head that laces the glass as it slowly recedes. the smell is citrus hops with a touch of malt. the taste is bold grapefruit with a strong bitter finish. the mouthfeel is slightly thick which i normally don't find appealing, but it works here. overall this is one excellent ipa

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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.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.94/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 mL growler into a tulip. Thanks to CharlieMurphy for shipping me this WaLe.

Appearance: The pour is hazy copper color, kind of a faint color. A light creamy head forms on the pour and leaves some light lace on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is full of caramel malt, some honey, pineapple, a little grapefruit, and some herbal notes. More sweet than bitter.

Taste: The flavor starts sweet and retains a honey and caramel fruity sweetness throughout each sip. The hoppy notes are full of pineapple, dank notes, spicy pine, and a little bit of grapefruit. The finish is bitter, but the sweetness really resonates with on my palate.

Mouthfeel: The feel is lighter than the 10.5% ABV would lead me to have expected. It starts sweet and fnishes a little more dry, with a fair amount of hop resin.

Overall: For a sweet DIPA, this was pretty good. Compared to the whole range of DIPA's this is slightly better than mediocre.

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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.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice caramel orange with a light white head of tiny bubbles. Smell of grapefruit citrus, caramel, sugar, cotton candy and well rounded as the sweetness and bitterness seem to equal each other.

Taste of delicious citrus. Possibly the strongest citrus I have had in an Imperial IPA. When drinking it, I could imagine biting into a fresh orange and having similar tastes. Sweet sticky sugar with nice caramelized flavors of pine, citrus and grapefruit with a great thick body. There is a very light carbonation to this coming out of a freshly tapped keg poured earlier in the day. The flavors all come together so smoothly that it is hard to imagine this being a 10.5% beer. In one sip you may find the sweetness coming out where the next you will be thinking about how bitter it is. Both complement each other to the point I could not determine which was more prevalent. Very well done and a treat to have.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery release today. Poured into a HF wine glass.

I'll start off by saying this is my favorite IIPA now.

Quick notes from my phone:
Crystal clear golden orange with HUGE creamy off-white head. Nose is barn-yardy, but not with funk, just hay and leather. Lots of angry citrus and bitter foliage.

Palate is obliteratingly bitter! Big orange, lime, bitter lemon, yellow grapefruit and lots of citrus rind. Good whack of residual sugar in the center helps support the MASSIVE amount of hop character/bitterness.

Finish is gripping and destructive!

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Andrewinski1 for making the trek down to Hill Farmstead to grab this one up. Dedication. Poured into a tulip. Beer pours a slightly hazy straw color with about a finger of white fluffy head. It retains nicely and eventually settles down a bit leaving thin soapy lace.

Perfect balance on the aroma for this one. Bitter pine hops are really in your face on this one. The hop aroma blends itself nicely with a candied blood orange aroma that give a nice touch of sweetness in the aroma.

It's official. This is a hop bomb. Right away tropical juice flavors take over my pallet. Pineapple juice and orange flavors to start it off. If finishes with a really piney hop flavor.

A little bit of a sticky feel to this but the body is still pretty good. Lively carbonation, so it held up nicely in the growler. Overall, this is amazing. Drinkable to no end. 10.5? Like hell. Drinks like it's half that.

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Photo of silentjay
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours like all HF pale hoppy beers, hazy golden straw colored with a HUGE off-white head that sticks around forever and leaves chunks of lacing on the glass when it finally recedes.

lots of tropical fruit on the nose, with some dank hops, tons of citrus, a bit earthy with some powdered sugar hiding behind that.

Pineapple, mango, grapefruit, dank and earthy hops just fill your palate. overtake it, one could say. not bitter overly bitter, but jam packed with hop flavor. gets more dank and earthy as it warms and your palate adjusts. wonderfully balanced blend of hops to make this way too drinkable for a beer of this magnitude.

medium bodied and with a pleasant carbonation with a tropical/bitter hoppiness that lingers for a while. a long while.

the first beer from HF that "wowed" me two years ago at the Extreme Beer Fest. probably the only time I've gone up for multiples of one beer at a festival like that. just tremendously balanced, in your face, yet nuanced. genius.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hill Farmstead Brewery - Ephraim - 750ml growler

Spend the weekend up in Greensboro at a friend's camp and naturally we had to brave a Saturday trip to Hill since it is only five minutes away. We walked up at Noon on a Saturday and were able to walk directly up to the counter with no wait and no line! The guy said it was luck at first try haha!

Look - Pours a slightly hazy honey golden with a luxurious soapy head that dissipates quickly. Fresh, sticky lacing. Minimal carbonation.

Smell - Yeasty and bready sweet honey malts with a rich hop overlay. Pine and resiny hops. Also some spices in the nose. Unique smell and very inviting!

Taste - Rich and thick, a full flavored citrus and pine hops wave of complicated flavor that is one of those ones that transforms as the brew warms. Nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Sticky and hop bitter. Drinkable but formidable. Somewhat boozy but at 9% it is not a surprise at all. Warming to the face and neck but quite pleasant.

Overall - Hill Farmstead continues to delight. This deceptive "golden delicious" kicks some serious ass. This one is my favorite of their offerings.

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Photo of SABERG
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served at the autumn fest in Greensboro. Wine glass.
Appearance medium golden color, not cloudy at all.
Great lacing all around.
Smell was floral and wide,no big alcohol nose to it, lots going on.
Taste was even handed for a huge (3X)IPA, the most striking part IMO. Lots of hop profile while not to overwhelming pucker.
Mouthfeel was not to oily but fabulously complex for such a big IPA.
Drinkability, well that is a slippery slope, at 10+ ABV it should not be taken lightly.
Easily in the top tiers of IPA and yes, I know that is big talk for a big beer.

Well done Shaun

Cheers

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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.

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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.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer was described as the be-all and end-all of beers, so it was disappointing to finally try this beer and not have it live up to hype.

Very boozy on the front, followed by a harsh bitterness, then a mild sweetness on the finish.

This does not resemble a Hill Farmstead IPA at all. Not terribly well balanced. Overall, a good beer but not a great one.

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Photo of Blanco
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

light golden orange color with a small white head. very bright.

Tropical fruit hoppiness upfront, slightly floral but most of the fruit.

hop flavor is sweet and fruity. slightly bitter though not as much as expected. slight alcohol burn in my chest, but none in the flavor. It's 10.5% abv so expected. Slight orange juice notes add some complexity that I thoroughly enjoy. This is one tasty brew.

mouthfeel is medium bodied, with some coating and a residual aftertaste.

Overall, fantastic beer. I really enjoy everything I've tried from Hill Farmstead and can't wait to get some more.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 growler into a snifter. Thanks Rich for hooking me up with this.

Pours an amber slightly hazy body with a big frothy white head that reduces to leave heaving lacing and retention.

Aromas are floral, resinous, light citrus, dank, piney. Taste is very floral, herbal, grassy, finishes dry. Medium body with medium carbonation.

Glad I got to try it. Delicious DIPA from HF.

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Photo of tzieser
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed on-tap @ blackback pub in waterbury vt on 11/12/11. served in a hill farmstead tulip.

a: pale orange in color with a pretty thick haze. fluffy wheat head settles into a pretty thin lacing.

s: big citrus and fruity hop aromas with some pine in there as well.

t: strong hop profile from start to finish. citrus hop flavors with a noticible pine biterness as well. well balanced and the abv is well hidden to boot.

m: velvety smooth mouthfeel.

an excellent DIPA. i cannot wait to try this again.

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Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.