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

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: 1,467
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 SpeedwayJim
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (1,090 characters)

Photo of abuliarose
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Farmhouse. Poured into a goblet tasting glass, hazy deep amber-gold body under a lacy white head. The hop smell wafts across the table: sweet, sappy, grassy and with a heavy dose of floral honey. Fresh and mouthwatering IPA smells.

Tastes just less potent than I remember, but with a huge grapefruit presence that dominates the bitter profile and an appealing slight sweetness under the hop backbone. Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy but drying and smooth, medium-bodied. For how bitter this beer is, it's extremely well-balanced and very, very drinkable. Delicious!!

I hope to have this on tap fresh if it comes out again. Definitely an experience to look forward to. (684 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled this at the Autumn Harvest Festival. Now, it's time to review it.

Pours a mild blonde color with a one-finger head into my pint glass. It meets the colors.

Grapefruit encircles the olfactory nerves, followed by a slight hint of mint. Malt is sweet and toned down.

The taste? Grapefruit and apricot flavors from the hops mingle with sweet malt. As this elixir unfolds on the tongue, a slight hint of pineapple greets the taste buds.

Mouthfeel can only be described as full of lingering bitterness, especially pineapple.There's some malt underneath.

Obviously, this is all about the hops. It's beautiful, well-crafted and somewhat too drinkable for the amount of alcohol contained within. Top 10? For sure. Top 5 for Vermont? Heady Topper has some competition! (772 characters)

Photo of sisuspeed
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Farmhouse Tap and Grill. Served in a small tasting glass. A thin white head sits on top of a beautiful glowing orange body. Lots of sticky lacing left behind.

Wedges of orange citrus mixed with pine-laden hop hit the nose. Some sweet malt makes its way in as well. Definitely more balanced this time around than at the release. More citrus notes, but the grassy-pine hop aroma is still nice and strong.

Hoppy, bitter, crushed orange and sweet malts wash across the tongue. Sticky pine, slightly grassy and full of citrus. A great IBU punch to the mouth, but still maintaining great balance. This is how a DIPA should taste.

Mouthfeel is sticky, resiny, smooth and bitter. Good carbonation and a body that is substantial, yet light enough to be refreshing.

As always, this is ridiculously easy to drink. A delicious Double/Triple IPA that has a huge helping of hops, but plenty of citrus and body that make it a pleasure to drink. The ABV is unnoticeable, so this brew is dangerous in more ways than one. I highly recommend seeking this one out. It is simply one of the best hop-infused beers out there. (1,120 characters)

Photo of dragonWhale
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was just flat-out ridiculous. It reminded me only of one other beer, an old DIPA I made 5 years ago with 294.6 theoretical IBUs that was 9.5%. So this one was 280 theoretical IBUs and 10.5%. No heat, all face-fucking hops. Big nasty bitterness, and to all those who "can't taste" above 100 IBUs or don't know the difference, I'm sorry. Some can, if you can't, then oh well. But this was a big beautiful bitter. I've never had a commercial beer approach this level. The next closest would be Bitter Bitch from Astoria.
I stood turgid in Blind Tiger, trying not to poke people standing next to me, for fear of being kicked out and not allowed to have any more. Pine, grapefruit, mangoes, sticky icky. Jesus, this was beautiful. Truly substantiated hype about this brewery and the beers being made here. Praise be to the Blind Tiger for hosting this event today. I cannot wait to put this down my throat again. (913 characters)

Photo of DearthVader
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brendan, I owe you a hug if I ever make it out to New York.

750ml swingtop growler provided by afksports.

It pours an amazing bronze with one of the most impressive heads I've ever seen on a 10.5% DIPA. This thing stayed around forever. I poured it in the HF stemmed Belgian tulip. Ephraim left me some sort of hieroglyphic etchings all over the sides of my glass. Such detailed lacing, it was incredible.

Gobs and Gobs of tropical fruits. Tangerines, oranges, apricots, slight lemon, and some unripe pineapple. Slight drying from the hops, but the caramel malt stands side by side with it to make subtle the hops.

Taste is full of citrus, beautiful ripe tangerine notes and an ever so slight lemon bite. Again, there is a big blanket of caramel malt that gets drowned out fairly quickly by the hop bite. Neither are over done, and they work wonderfully together.

Mouthfeel is uber creamy. You can tell this is a BIG beer from the mouthfeel. Creamy and chewy, especially for a DIPA.

Hill Farmstead is amazing. They have created the most balanced DIPA on the planet and easily sit in front of Pliny, Citra, Heady Topper, etc. Ephraim deserves all the respect it gets. This is an outstanding beer that I will forever donate my cellar towards to get just one more taste. I felt bad at first. My brother was suppose to make it over tonight to split this with me, but he got caught up in some stuff. Now, after having my second pour, I'm just sorry this wasn't a 2L growler so I could have a few more pours all to myself. Thanks again Brendan! (1,547 characters)

Photo of omniscientcause
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Beautiful color. Really rich nice light golden tinge.

S - Huge citrusy/honey fruit with lots of pine and resin Very very similar to heady in its sweet spot of 2-3 weeks out from being canned.

T - Piney and big flavor, but without being super syrupy and malty. The malt is delicate and really just supports the hopping, which is perfect for a Diipa

M - Again, not thick but is very drinkable. I could drink a lot of these because they go down easy.

O - I have 2 more 750s to try this week to get a better grasp. This is very very good and on par if not surpassing heady. I found that it creeps up on you 20 mins or so after you finish drinking it...I dont experience this with most beers it usually takes less time.

Serving type: growler (747 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I sampled this on tap at the brewery on 9/24/10 and knew that I immediately needed to grab a growler. 2 liter "genie" shaped swing-top growler into an oversized tulip glass.

Initially pouring hazy, this clears out nicely into a golden apricot color, topped with a rich foamy head that quickly settles down into a tight finger. This retains with a frothy ¼ finger or so which throws a robust spotty cascade of sticky lacing up on the sides of the glass. Really nice look here once this clears up. The aroma literally smells like a hop grenade went off in your nose. Grapefruit and pine cut through the nostrils like a knife, tempered on the edges by juicy tropical fruit notes (pineapple is especially strong) and sweet sugars from the malt. This is all wrapped up in a blanket of floral, herbal, dank, and spicy tones. This is just so fresh and powerful in the nose; I could literally just sit here and sniff this all night long.

The hop flavors in the taste are just unbelievably fresh and bright feeling, with a blast of bitter grapefruit and resins that stick in the mouth. The balance here is just impeccable though, with the sugary sweetness of the citrus and malts swooping in off the side to do their thing, leaving the fullness of the hop flavors behind but without a completely overly bitter bite up front either. The bitterness does come out to play big time in the backend though, with citrus rind, spice, and pine, all just smashing the finish of this and leaving back a resinous and dry feel that hammers the tongue and roof of the mouth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied in the mouth at first, with a combo of sharpness and smooth slickness from the hop oils, but the alcohol definitely adds some fuller feeling heft to this as well. Warmth hangs on the breath after each sip and gets a little borderline hot at times, especially when paired up with that intense dry-hopped finish.

With full and brilliant hop flavors, awesome balance, and an excellent drinkibility for a nearly 11% Triple IPA, it's hard to not want to compare this (and quite favorably I might add) to a certain similar beer out on the West Coast. The only drawback I could possibly find here is that there is maybe a little too much warmth coming out of the body at times but it's hard not to argue that the hop profiles here are just world class. I had the opportunity to try about five different hoppy offerings while visiting the brewery and to say that they've got a handle on these styles would be an understatement. Just awesome stuff here! (2,534 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at the Harvest Festival into provided tulip/wine glass. Very very thick foamy white head sits on top of this straw hazey color. This smell is so fragrant you can smell it well before you bring it to your nose. Strong candied hop aroma, vanilla, and more more more sweet hops. Taste is amazing! Very well balanced malts and hops. Citrus, mango, cotton candy, and a hint of sweet vanilla. This is the best Double IPA I ever had..hands down. Highlight of the Harvest Fest for sure. (494 characters)

Photo of mavbrew
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a growler yesterday when we made the 3.5 hour drive up.

A: Pours a pale golden color with a nice frothy head that slowly, slowly dissipates and leaves some solid lacing down the side of my Hill Farmstead glass.

S: The scent is a massive explosion of citrus hops right up front with some sweet malts. Fruity undertones (mangos).

T: The upfront flavor is a huge burst of floral/citrus hops that completely coat the palate. The bitters stick around throughout the drink, well after the beer is gone. The sweet/caramel malts come through in the middle to balance out the bitters nicely. The finish is bitter, very bitter and exceptional.

M: Medium bodied with nice tingly carbonation on the tongue. There is a very bitter feel throughout.

D: Got my first sip of Ephraim at EBF, decided to make the trek up north to get a little more. This beer is everything you need from a IIPA and more. It's incredibly hoppy, yet very well balanced with bits of sweetness from the malts poking through the bitters nicely. This is without a doubt the best East Coast "IIIPA" I've ever had (sorry Heady Topper) and dare I say...better than PtE? I think it might be, but that is up for debate. A must try for any beer connoisseur. (1,224 characters)

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. (1,545 characters)

Photo of DaveHack
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (446 characters)

Photo of chuckd123
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Oh god this stuff is amazing. Had on tap several times in VT bars and at the brewery & it does not disappoint. Only downside (?) is the abv. Tough to drink more than a couple and make it through the night. The aroma is spectacular, and I truly think the only worthy alternative in the 10%+ IPA arena is PTY, which is similarly spectacular. Outrageously hoppy, but balanced as much as it can be with a malt backbone. Citrus, grapefruit and grassy hops are all over the aroma and flavor. A complex brew for sure, sort of an overhopped barleywine, but a class act in the IPA space. If you find it on tap or get a growler of it, do not succumb to letting it be your first beer of the night or you will be doomed. Finish with it when it cannot wreck your palate for whatever comes next. (781 characters)

Photo of krisandajt
4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying this brew with some friends to celebrate finishing up my first marathon. Courtesy of mymrrngjckt who received this from the brewer, I'm looking forward to trying this.

Appearance: Poured from a cool looking growler, the beer is a cloudy, rich honey color. Not a lot of head on this one, but I'll attribute that to being in a growler. The thin ring of head around the edge of the beer does leave behind some thick soapy lacing as I swirl it in the glass. Looks good so far...

Smell: Without a doubt, this is the best smelling, hoppy beer that I have ever smelled. Huge bitter citrusy hops without any of that pesky malt getting in the way.

Taste: A fantastic tasting, delightfully hoppy beer! Despite the lack of malt in the nose, there's actually a bit of malty sweetness to at least attempt some balance, but there's no countering the huge about of hops in this brew. Simply put, Pliney has bet it's match. Bitter grapefruit, and just downright awesome.

Mouthfeel: A little lacking in carbonation, but again I have to attribute that to being from a growler. The brew is full bodied and has an interesting sort of hoppy, oily sort of quality to it. Potent for sure.

Drinkability: I love this beer. Loaded with hops, and even though it's got a relatively high ABV you don't realize it while your drinking it. If you are a hop head, you need to try this beer. Highly recommend. (1,389 characters)

Photo of ajsdad06
4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Snifter poured from growler shared by a urbancaver.

Pours a clear dark golden color with a small bubbly white head.

The intense aroma comes leaping from the glass bringing tropical fruits, grapefruit, honey sweetness and a touch of pine. The nose is first class.

The flavor does not disappoint either. More big tropical fruits, citrus, grapefruit, a sweet caramel malt base, honey, and more pine noticeable toward the finish. I don’t know about 280 IBU’s, but the bitterness it has is well integrated.

This is insanely drinkable for what it is. Medium plus body and super smooth for a DIPA. I would have to classify this as an instant classic. (654 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Here is the DIPA that rocketed from unknown to superstar at breakneck speed. This has a lot of hype behind it and thus my expectations are appropriately very high. Now for the judgment. Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Lightly hazed medium orange color. Two fingers of creamy off-white head. Half the head fell after a short time, but the remainder stuck around for a while. Spotty lacing covers the glass.

4.5 S: Really wonderful aroma! Tons of tropical fruits in this. Pineapple, mango, lots of papaya and orange. Secondarily piney and floral. Fruits combine for a sugary sweetness. Malts are pretty well hidden.

5.0 T: Holy shit is this tasty! I can't believe how wonderful this is. I'm pretty sure a pallet of various tropical fruits had been compressed and molden into the shape of a .50 caliber bullet, then overpacked with powder and shot into my tongue. Pineapple, mango, orange, papaya, and peach are incredibly strong. So fruity, but not too sweet. Malt is easily overshadowed by the hops, but it does well enough to keep the taste balanced. For 280 hypothetical IBUs, the bitterness is quite low and only manifests in the aftertaste. Alcohol is extremely well hidden.

4.5 M: Medium to heavier medium body. Good carbonation, especially for a growler. Very creamy (but could be a bit moreso) and incredibly smooth.

5.0 D: I never thought this would live up to the hype, but instead, it has surpassed it. There isn't a damn thing I would change about this beer. It's about as close as you can get to a perfect taste. Absolutely fabulous. Worth whatever you need to trade for it. (1,588 characters)

Photo of OSUBeerStudent
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to kingkong for this one! Counter-pressure filled growler into a glass.

A - Orange/copper clear. Nice-sized creamy head which isn't uber-thick but lingers nicely. Good lacing.

S - Hops and hops and hops! First whiff is a sweet grapefruit with background orange. Second is grassy orange and lemon. From time to time pine sticks its head through. This one's all about the hops, and it's all about the citrus hops, fairly sweet as far as hop aromas go. Just fantastic.

T - More from the nose. Layers of hops. Sweet and resiny hops up front. Grapefruit and every other kind of citrus comes in with a backing of pine and grass, along with just about any orange/yellow-colored fruit you can think of. The sweetness comes from both the resiny character and just the tiniest hint of malts to balance it juuuust a bit, but the sweetness is totally front-mid. The back end is bitter, bracingly bitter. Just all-around fantastic. That 10.5% doesn't even show up, really, but I can feel my taste buds turning to little tiny hops.

M - Very good. Carbonation is great from the counter-pressure. A little syrupy is the only detraction here.

Overall a really fantastic beer that I'm very glad I got the opportunity to try. Best IPA I've tried. (1,244 characters)

Photo of xpimptastikx
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The third attempt at getting a growler was the charm, and the best part was I didn't have to give up anything insanely rare, just good beer!

A - Pours a golden color with pillowy white head, great legs.

S - Resinous hops, pine, grapefruit, and light malt backbone.

T - The nose x5. Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and all those delicious fruity hop tastes. The malt is there, but sits harmoniously in the background. For the 280 theoretical IBUs this beer is pretty damn tame, or just balanced really well. Alcohol is present but also seems no where near 10.5%.

M/D - Great cabonation from a 6 day old growler that was shipped to Texas, excellent full body as well, with a slightly dry bitter finish. This was an excellent DIPA and according to another at a tasting, is right on par with PtY.

It'd be awesome if people didn't ransom these growlers because they had to drive 90 minutes... Everything in Texas takes a least that long of a drive unless it's in your city.

I got lucky, but it'd be awesome if more people had a chance to try this beer because it really is an exceptional DIPA. (1,093 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 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 pmlondrigan
4.76/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the Harvest Festival. Great time. 750ml poured into my shiney new Hill Farmstead steam wear. Murky orange / tangerine color with a white one finger head. Lots o' lacing. Tropical. Papaya, passion fruit, citrus zest. Bam, explosion, nothing more to say. Huge tropical flavor, pinapple, passion fruit, papaya, citrus zest, a little pith and pine resin. Hoppy bitterness lingers on the finish. The finish is dry and there is absolutley no way of detecting that this is 10.5% abv. Slightly more carbonation would be nice. Really they only downside to this beer is the appearance. Don't know how they did this. (623 characters)

Photo of bonbini26
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the blind tiger during the Hill Farmstead event. I had this beer at extreme beerfest, but only one 2oz pour. Today two full 12oz glasses of this hoppy nectar. It poured a wonderful dark golden color, with pretty decent clarity considering it is unfiltered. Little head that faded pretty quick, not a ton of carbonation either. The nose was packed full of citrus deliciousness, pineapple and grapefruit mostly. The taste was more of a pine and grapefruit rind that finishes with an outstanding hop-bitterness. One of the best DIPA's i've had in a while, so lucky i was able to have more than one serving of this. (620 characters)

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

Had a few pours from a growler thanks to Arbitrator. The growler apparently lost a few ounces of beer in transit, but that didn't seem to harm it much beyond a slight loss of carbonation.

It pours a hazy glowing peach color, capped by a finger of white froth that takes a moment to form and then slowly settles to a collar.

I was taken aback by the huge hop aroma. Tangerine, pineapple and grapefruit instantly remind me of Pliny the Younger, my gold standard for the style, but there's also a resiny/evergreen-like quality to it. There's a lightly sweet sugary (though not overtly caramelized) malt backbone, just enough sweetness to give a beer this big some substance.

Hop flavors hit the tongue first, and mirror the aroma with notes of pineapple, tangerine, grapefruit, perhaps a touch more juicy tropical fruit. It has a substantial malt character, but I only pick up a hint of sweetness before my palate is annihilated by the hugely bitter finish. The mouthfeel might be my favorite aspect of the beer, it's sharp and resiny, extremely bitter but not necessarily harsh. Truly outstanding stuff, and surprisingly easy to drink for a 10.5% monster. I hope this becomes a somewhat regular release. (1,204 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 Pentastar
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark orange with a thin off white head.

Aroma: The aroma of this is very strong, with a powerful citrus and apricot kick. Just a lot of fruity and sweet essences here. Some pine comes through, but most of the scent is dominated by sweet fruity flavors.

Taste: There are notes of citrus and pine flavors which help to balance the overall effect of this beer. Apricot flavor is noticeable, orange and orange rind come through, but the biggest flavor here would be the grapefruit. Some maltiness too, along with a lot of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Proper amount of carbonation, the high abv is noticeable.

Drinkability: Drinkeable but boozy. (656 characters)

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