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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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(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
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Reviews: 207 | Hads: 870
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!!! (1,502 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 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. (940 characters)

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 (344 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 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! (563 characters)

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. (911 characters)

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. (915 characters)

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. (1,226 characters)

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. (984 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 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 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. (592 characters)

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. (1,125 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-transparent gold with white whispy head
S-nice blend of citrus hops that are very inviting
T-a lot like it smells. Great hop flavor. Citrusy and sweet
M-medium body and oh so smooth.
O-very good. Worth the hype? Possibly. Not the best I have had but very very good. (267 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Hill Farmstead Glass. The color is a nice orangey gold color. A small white head is formed and leaves super sticky lacing.

The aroma is full of sweet tropical fruit like mango and a touch of orange zest. Smells juicy.

The taste is heavy on pineapple and also has some nice sweet orange in the finish as well. There is a touch of pine needle in there as well, but this is much more overwhelming with pineapple flavor. The sweetness is just enough to offset the bitterness. A great balance as far as a "triple" IPA is concerned.

The carbonation is nice and crisp, the body is relatively light, but still thick enough to fill your mouth with juicy hop nectar.

This is very very drinkable. I can't wait for every sip. Glad I'm only splitting this 3 ways so I can have a bunch. The more I drink, the more I get heavy pine, and it's awesome. (853 characters)

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

thanks much to urbancaver for sharing this

from notes, 3-25-11

A - clear golden, small white head thins to a film and ring.

S - big citrusy hops, some serious malt balancing in the background

T - big bitter and citrus hops, some grassy notes add good complexity and theres a good balance from the malts.

M - big and creamy, lively, smooth

O (D) - Really great. quite tasty, wish i could drink it every day. (412 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 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 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 enen 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 (583 characters)

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. (505 characters)

Photo of tewaris
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mista brought it all to Darkness Day, thanks! My only "tick" from the said event.

Hazy, amber color. Duh. Looks like any and every Hill Farmstead hoppy beer and I am pleased just by the looks! Grainy and piney aroma. Very clean bitterness but well supported by a clean malt base, if that doesn't seem oxymoron-ic. A good hop flavor heavy on pine sap and citrus rind. Glad to have had it. Thank you again! (405 characters)

Photo of Gushue3
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Kate bulb

A modest 1 finger white head with good retention is above murky light orange body. some lace is lace is left after the head goes down and a thin layer of foam is above the body. Beer is very lively in the glass.

S Big time tropcial fruits. Tangerine , grapefruit, and a hint of grass. Sweet.

T Bitter upfront with bitter tropical and citrus. Pink grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, some pineapple and grassy hops Sweetness opens up in the middle thats all fruit followed by a piney finish. There's alot going on for a DIPA, serious stuff.

M medium feel that ends a little somewhat sticky. Carbonation feel nice and prickly on the tongue but not too much.

O Great balance between bitterness and the citrus sweets. As my friend described it "Boner milk of Zeus" (783 characters)

Photo of claaark13
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

jedwards = Awesome. 75cl growler, served in a non-broken Hill Farmstead tulip at around 45 degrees.

A - Pours a murky orange with a 1" white head. Turns into full lacing.

S - Floral, grassy oranges dominate. Slight pineapple note. Really refreshing.

T - Follows the aroma quite a bit. Tons of floral oranges, smooth throughout, hardly any bitterness on the finish. Notes of other faint fruits, such as pineapple and mango, are evident. Smooth and easy to drink. The lingering flavor is of faint oranges.

M - Medium body. Appropriate for style.

O - One of the best DIPAs out there, with less than a handful I can think of that compare. Everything about it really comes together perfectly. The balance between the floral flavors and the orange-like citrus seem perfect. The low bitterness gives just enough bite on the tongue to be pleasant without going overboard. Thank you HF, thank you so much. (902 characters)

Photo of Kinsman
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grapefruit, lemon zest, pine resins... what more could you want in an IPA? Fills the glass with a nice hazy orange body and a creamy white head. Citrus fruits dominate the initial aroma before the pine notes come through. A hint of alcohol comes through as well as it warms.

On the palate it's more bitter than some other HF IPAs I've had. Still, the citrus punch makes for an incredibly refreshing beverage. Slightly spicy as well and the 10.5% ABV is well noted after the first sip or two.

Overall, truly a top-notch IPA as expected but not quite on the same level as Abner or Heady in my book. The slightly higher ABV is the most notable difference on my tastebuds and I guess I prefer the lower ones. (708 characters)

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