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Ephraim - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
EphraimEphraim

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

824 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 824
Reviews: 207
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 8.04%
Wants: 1,245
Gots: 14 | 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:
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 added by: Kegatron on 09-28-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 824 | Reviews: 207 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bobv
4/5  rDev -13%

bobv, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of Stevedore
4.69/5  rDev +2%
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.

Stevedore, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of JohnnieNepal
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

JohnnieNepal, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally caught this one on tap. 12oz. pour served out of a tulip at Bridge View Tavern. Reviewed from notes.

1 finger white frothy head with great retention. Beer is a cloudy grapefruit with patchy and stringy lace with good stick. Amazing save for the clarity.

Nose is citrus, papaya, grapefruit, cane sugar, and a creamy, sappy, hop presence. Aromatic and very enticing.

Opens papaya, citrus, grapefruit, and hop resin. More tropical fruit in the middle and end. Finish is cane sugar with a light citrus hop presence. Sappy hop aftertaste. Like an alcoholic tropical fruit smoothie with an added hop kick. Simply amazing.

Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and quenching in the mouth and smooth going down with a messy finish and a lingering aftertaste. How this could be 10.5% and this drinkable is unexplainable.

If you're a fan of IIPAs with a big malt and citrus presence, it doesn't get any better than Ephraim. A beer that's almost perfect in every way, this offering embodies the Hill Farmstead lineup. Hands down, the best in the style in my opinion.

SpeedwayJim, Oct 01, 2012
Photo of doremite
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

doremite, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of CoolEthan
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

CoolEthan, May 14, 2014
Photo of trevorpost
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

trevorpost, May 12, 2014
Photo of nh2032
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

nh2032, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of DoctorB2B
5/5  rDev +8.7%

DoctorB2B, Apr 22, 2014
Photo of CTJman
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

CTJman, Apr 17, 2014
Photo of jacewg
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

jacewg, May 15, 2014
Photo of hooliganlife
4.2/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

hooliganlife, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of josephwa
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

josephwa, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of anteater
4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
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!

anteater, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of Resuin
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL growler (filled about 6 hours ago) into a HF stemmed glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy orange/light amber and leaves behind a couple fingers of light, very fluffy head behind. A beautiful pour.

Smell: Citrus, grapefruit, earthy, grassy tones. Definitely the most citrus I've ever smelt from an IPA.

Taste: Citrus! Light grassy notes, mango, pineapple, peaches. Extremely balanced and delicious. As tasty as the hops are they aren't overwhelming - this beer has a great malt backbone. Finishes with grapefruit. Supremely smooth - no alcohol flavor to it at all - I don't know where the 9+% ABV is. Mind-blowing. I've never tasted a beer like this.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation, light to medium body. Amazingly smooth and a great juicy mouth-feel to it.

Overall: I am pretty blown away by this beer. It is hands down, the best tasting IPA I've ever had. The fruity, citrus notes from the hops just explode in my mouth and yet it is so smooth, I feel like I could drink a gallon of this stuff and still want more. Amazing.

Resuin, May 31, 2013
Photo of Kirk
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Kirk, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of cadaugherty
5/5  rDev +8.7%

cadaugherty, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of DaveHack
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

5.5 oz pour at Capones.

Poured a gorgeous, clear, golden color.

Smells like a fresh bouquet of flowers with just a hint of pine.

It tastes slightly bitter upfront followed by a ridiculously citrusy and floral hop flavor. The theoretical 280 IBUs are definately there.

The hop oils abound. It is sticky and pretty thick. I just want to hold it in my mouth forever!

Overall, this shit is the real deal. I understand the hype...it is amazing.

DaveHack, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of brystmar
4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Brouwerij Lane!

Bright orange, slightly cloudy. Creamy white head and lace adorn the goblet. Grapefruit and fresh hops in the nose aren't as bold as other HF offerings, but admittedly that's a ridiculous standard.

Much more bitter flavor profile than any other HF DIPA I've tried. Intensely fruited with tons of grapefruit and bitter orange peel. Reminds me of biting too close to the rhind of an orange. Boozy, very hoppy.

Massively viscous body for an IPA, and I love it. Another stellar offering from HF, these guys can do no wrong!

brystmar, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of zekeman17
5/5  rDev +8.7%

zekeman17, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of kbutler1
4.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

kbutler1, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of jmarsh123
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

jmarsh123, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of JohnParadee
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

JohnParadee, Apr 18, 2014
Photo of kingcrowing
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2l pop-top growler poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours a nice slightly hazy orange with very little head (growler is 48 hours old and has been in a fridge the whole time), looks like some light bubbles and carbonation up the side. Nose is amazing! fresh grapefruit and citrus, mango and orange, very fresh and effervescent.

This is criminally good. So fruity and fresh, it's one of the all time greats of the IPA/IIPA world. It's got that east coast sweetness (think 90 min IPA) but it's got such a fresh floral, piney and bitter hop profile that's it's very west-coast oriented as well. Even 2 days old the carbonation has held up very well, although I'll say it's gone down a bit (as to be expected) from the draft version I had the other day. That being said it's still got a nice light carbonation level (which I know many of my fellow BAs appreciate) which makes it damn easy drinking.

There is a slight alcohol bite here, but at over 10% that's no surprise. Event still, I hardly notice it in the mouth - I get more of a warming sensation down my throat into the stomach.

I thought this was damn good fresh at the brewery, but I'll be honest I was a bit overwhelmed at the time with the excitement of getting up to Hill Farmstead for the first time, getting to meet Shaun, see some buddies, and get to try all this new & crazy beer that although I really enjoyed it there, I didn't appreciate it as much as I do now at home slowly sipping it. I saw another reviewer who said PtY and Heady Topper have nothing on this, I can't speak for PtY (yet) but this is in my opinion of the same caliber of Heady Topper & Hopzilla (two of my all time favorite beers).

Keep up the great work Shaun!

kingcrowing, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of Soto
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Soto, May 09, 2014
Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 824 ratings.