Ephraim - Hill Farmstead Brewery
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Ratings: 808 | Reviews: 207 | Display Reviews Only:
4.6/5 rDev 0%
Review altered after 2011 EBF.
Had this very fresh at EBF. The characteristics are similar to what is described below, but everything was so much more pungent. The nose absolutely exploded with raw hops that carried through to over-the-top hops in the flavor along with a really nice amount of bitterness for a seriously drinkable brew.
Old Review: 4 / 4.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 4
On tap at the Three Penny Taproom. Super-friendly staff and I'm really glad that this was still on we Amyliz4 and I made it in.
Pours a really bright orange color with two fingers of white head and a load of sticky lacing around the edges of the glass. The nose is really nice and over-the-top hoppy with a lot of pine, resin, orange peel, citrus, and some light tropical fruits.
The taste has many of the same components of the nose, though those are often overshadowed by the absolutely bruising bitterness that comes through in the mouthfeel. Citrus, tropical fruits, and a bit of pine. The feel is really, really hoppy and mixes well with the light alcohol that comes through. I'd love to try this again and will hopefully be making a trip back up North to visit all these magnificent Vermont breweries at some point soon.
11-14-2010 13:52:34 | More by Thorpe429
4.93/5 rDev +7.2%
thrilled to be able to drink this growler with calton last night. certainly the highlight of the night, this was no doubt a crazy beer. poured into a white birch glass and enjoyed on 5.14.11
the pour was insane as a crystal clear amber color came gurgling out of the glass. a three inch high head of white comes up and tops the glass and leaves tons of sticky and web like lacing down the glass.
such a fresh herbal smell, wreaks of cannabis with lots of sticky pine and semi sweet orange notes that percolate through. the flavor is as intense as the aroma if it was possible. so clean and fresh i was literally blown away by this beer. the alcohol is non existent but the hops are soo strong but soo clean without any bite. the smoothest it could possibly be.
overall this one is up there with pliny and citra. it is certainly worthy of it reputation!
05-15-2011 18:17:03 | More by mikesgroove
4.43/5 rDev -3.7%
Huge thanks to Todd for hooking me up with a growler of this. So far I've been a big fan of Shaun's IPAs, so I've been looking forward to trying this one.
A: The pour is surprisingly clear, and is a nice golden amber color with a couple fingers of white head and sticky lacing all down the glass.
S: Intensely fruity on the nose. Excellent grapefruit, but perhaps even better tropical fruit aromas. Lots of pineapple and mango, perhaps some grass and certainly a little bit of pine. A mild sugar aroma provides some additional sweetness.
T: There is a touch of sweet malt flavor, but after that, it's just a ton of fruity hops. Pineapple, mango, and peaches give the beer a really nice flavor and the grapefruit and pine notes provide the requisite bitterness.
M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation. Not super bitter on the finish.
D: Damn good stuff, but the alcohol does catch up with you on this one. Deceptively easy to drink.
03-07-2011 17:03:15 | More by womencantsail
4.78/5 rDev +3.9%
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.
10-20-2010 00:30:17 | More by largadeer
4.83/5 rDev +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!
09-28-2010 16:37:03 | More by Kegatron
4.47/5 rDev -2.8%
Thanks to Jason for procuring a growler of this highly regarded brew. Served in a Rodenbach tulip.
A - Not much hiss from the growler, which was literally filled to the brim. A hard pour yields a finger of big-bubbled orange-tinged foam that dissipates to a chunky ring, leaving behind spotty lace. Subsequent pours were normal, with a more smooth and creamy appearance to the foam. The body is a pleasant lightly hazed golden peach color.
S - Huge citrus rind and zest, light dank and catty notes, candied citrus and touch of tropical fruits, burnt sugary malt and a touch of alcohol. There's also a sugar character that reminds me of the Flossmoor beers that contain Jaggery - a quick trip to Ratebeer confirms the addition of dextrose.
T - This was the hardest category for me to evaluate. Around mid-palate the beer really takes off, with intense citrus and bruising bitterness in the finish that lingers well into the aftertaste. It's just the initial flavor seems a big unfocused and flaccid. If I could, this would probably get a 4.25, but I'm going to round up as I was a little hard on the appearance of a beer from a week-old growler sent by mail.
M - Body is big, thick, and juicy, but offset with some low carbonation tingle. There's a bit of warmth, but not an offensive amount by any stretch. Super enamel-melting and resiny residual feel.
D - I really liked this, even with the alcohol and bitterness mounting quickly after the first glass. Still, I couldn't keep myself from returning to the growler throughout the evening. I know this is supposed to be a "triple" IPA, but I prefer more medium and punchy DIPAs that have a bit less sugar character. Still this was a very enjoyable brew and I'd gladly have it again.
10-14-2010 14:37:40 | More by MasterSki
4.58/5 rDev -0.4%
Growler sent to me by baconsausage, thanks! Shared at a recent beer tasting that went from zero to epic in three minutes. Served in a Hill Farmstead becher glass (thanks bacon), because I am able to.
Beer is amber, light amber and mostly clear with a wonderful thick head of small and medium bubbles, head has some retention to it too. Some lacing left on the walls of my HF glass, the lacing probably only works in the right glassware.
Aroma is awesome. It is hoppy, like a fruit salad, with mango and peaches and cantaloupe and papaya. Complex, fruity, hoppy, good.
Beer is medium to light in body and really really bitter. This beer likely maxes out the bitterness scale for beer in general but specifically this beer is quite quite bitter. There is very little hint of malt at the lead off and there is an unfolding on flavors on the midpalate with a variety of fruity esters from the hops. The beer has good connectivity and I thoroughly enjoyed two full pours of this beer. A great great great IPA for sure. I could hurt myself with a growler of this beer.
03-21-2011 16:31:09 | More by drabmuh
4.93/5 rDev +7.2%
I am so happy to have a second chance to enjoy this great beer -this time on tap at Capone's in Norristown 4/23/11 served chilled in a snifter and allowed to gradually raise in temperature.
From the very beginning I am anticipating good things -the color is sunflower golden light amber with resplendent appearance when held to the light. Only a mild amount of haze from hop resins with a thick band of cream and lace stickage is great as the bead is tiny. The fragrant smell of hops emanates from the glass immediately as I bring Ephraim to my nose dank odors of herbs and citrus with lots of floral esters fill my nostrils. The grapefruit accents and there is certainly an element of tropical aroma with some grassy bitter notes. I really enjoy the mild sweet ester that backs giving a huge tangerine element to the IPA, so juicy and a slight catty accent is there making me think of Simcoe w/ mild pineapple and light candied fruit aroma.
The feel is juicy and mildly resinous right away, but a high bitter quality backs up the intense hop jolt to the palate with a spiced edge and smooth bitterness is the key to the feel in that there is not much in the way of astringency, just some really nicely layered hop textures giving way to a mild alcohol intensity and mild malt with tons of hoppy body throughout into the semi-dry finish. I taste sweet glorious hops right off - a slight resinous effect carries a subtle acidic flavor and mild pineapple bitter and sweet taste with some herbal elements and tangerine is following closely with a really intense citric bite. The mild golden grapefruit and mild kumquat with tanginess makes you want to rub your tongue against the roof of your mouth. It has a puckering lingering bitter and fruity edge w/ light malt just offsetting the taste in the middle giving brief respite while the second thrust of hop bitterness comes forward in a wave to carry through to the dry mild tea like astringent and herbal lasting dry edge in the finish.
Overall I can't say it enough, just a phenomenal example of an Imperial IPA, I think this just delivers exactly what it promises and more. It has the bitterness, flavor and aroma without the assault on the palate, it has subtlety which gives you the feeling of an exciting ride without being beaten into submission -Dank American Hops, just can't find many Imperial IPA's that do it better, period.
04-27-2011 13:50:23 | More by Slatetank
4.38/5 rDev -4.8%
Had at Armsby Abbey Hill Farmstead takeover.
Semi clear orange nectar color, nice creamy 1 finger head fades semi slowly with nice lacing.
nose pure hop awesomeness, bit of pine, lots of citrus tropical fruit, guava, passion fruit, some earthy hop, and even a bit of candy. Some light sweet malts underneath.
Taste is more of the same hops, quite bitter, hops galore, pine, citrus, tropical fruit, fresh resin musty, little earthy, candy orange rind and pine. Big malty backbone with bit of sweetness to balance well, and hint of booze. Finish is even more bitter, little sticky but dry, lingering citrus, pine, light musty fresh hop.
Mouth is heavier bodied, decent carb, hint of booze but drinks much better than 10.5%.
Overall awesome but I think I like edward better. Nice balance, juicy hops and malts, a bit more tropical fruits would be more up my alley.
12-30-2011 23:41:32 | More by jlindros
3.55/5 rDev -22.8%
First had: on tap at Blackback Pub, Waterbury, VT
I've had my fair share of HF beers, but for some reason this one has eluded me for years. Now I've had it, and despite it's reputation, I must say, I'm not a huge fan. I actually think the bartender may have poured me the wrong beer, because it just didn't match the bill.
Appearance-wise, the beer was tremendous. Served in a HF stem glass, slightly hazy, bright amber color with a large, foamy, white head that retained amazingly and left blankets of lacing on the glass. Aroma of somewhat muted tropical and stone fruits, musty grass, somewhat bready; none of the intensity I'd expect from a fresh IPA though. More in line with a Belgian IPA or even moderately hoppy saison (further leading me to believe it could have been a mis-pour). Unexpected hit of funkiness up front in the taste, soft peach, citrus zest, mango, pear, bready malts, slightly bitter in the aftertaste. Hmm. Yep. This was either a fresh saison or an old Ephraim. Medium body, somewhat sticky and chewy. Overall fairly drinkable, but not quite what I expected.
10-13-2012 19:52:45 | More by Rifugium
4.05/5 rDev -12%
I received this from a trade and split it at Max's during Baltimore Beer Week. Poured into a goblet.
Appearance: Pours a clear golden/light amber with a half finger of white head that leaves a ring around the edge of the glass.
Smell: Sweet and extremely hoppy. Some malt, but mostly citrus hops. There is a mild burn at the end.
Taste: This beer can only be described as a hop bomb. Sweet citrus hops crush the tongue immediately. The finish is very bitter with a taste of citrus peel and some alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.
Overall: I thought this was a good beer, but I liked Abner more when I tried that. This is intense and I couldn't have done more than one glass.
10-15-2011 18:30:20 | More by oline73
4.47/5 rDev -2.8%
From 03/19/11 notes. Big thanks to drabmuh for sharing this one; thanks Matt. Got to try a 2 oz. pour of this at EBF last week and loved it so was excited to get a bigger pour of it this time.
a - Pours a clear orange color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.
s - Smells of grapefruit, citrus hops, sweet fruity malts, tropical fruits, melon, and maybe a hint of pine hops. Lots of hops and different fruits coming out in the smell, it's reall nice.
t - Taste follows the nose; lots of citrus hops, tropical fruits, grapefruit, melon. Also a crazy amount of bitterness up front. I wish it had been slightly less bitter, but it was still very good.
m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Huge bitter kick up front.
d - A really nice DIPA; one I would certainly try and trade for again. Lots of citrus hops and different fruits in the nose and if you like that bitter taste in DIPA's, you'll love this one. Would like to have again.
03-21-2011 17:22:08 | More by mdfb79
4.93/5 rDev +7.2%
Consumed numerous glasses of this at the Hill Farmstead Autumn Fest on Oct. 2nd.
Beautiful burnished gold with slight orange tinge. Moderate carbonation. Sticky lace is left on my tulip glass after each sip.
An explosion of citrus and pine on first nosing - tangerine, ruby red grapefruit, mango and orange zest.
Taste followed the nose with just enough malt to backup the hop assault on the palate. Certainly more of a West Coast IPA hop forward brew showcasing various hop varieties in all their glory.
Mouthfeel is near perfect and this beer finishes dry begging you to take another sip making the drinkability through the roof.
Get this if you can!!
10-05-2010 23:08:27 | More by Rochefort10nh
Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 808 ratings.