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Ephraim - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
EphraimEphraim

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

855 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 855
Reviews: 208
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.03%
Wants: 1,349
Gots: 16 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 855 | Reviews: 208 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tucquan
4.44/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2011-10-15 at Capone's in Norristown, PA at a HIll Farmstead event.

A - Clear golden-orange with a short white head and mild lacing into a 5.5 oz snifter.

S - A strong smelling brew with lots of pineapple, caramel malt, pine, mango and a boquet of hop floral scents. Wonderful.

T - Pineapple, grapfruit, big chalky-dry caramel malt, roasted nuts, which starts moderately sweet but thankfully mostly dries out. You can notice some alcohol, especially on the outbreath. It's very sticky and resinous, coating the mouth for a long time with great flavor and citric bitterness.

M - Medium body with light carbonation. Smooth, creamy, oily, prickly and resinous.

O - This is quite different from the Abner. This reminds me of Pliny the Younger and the Abner compares favorably with Pliny the Elder. I really love these big triple IPAs when they are so well done, but if I had to pick between the two, I'd go with the double IPA style for better balance and more focus on the citrus and hops than the big malt backbone. This beer ran out second at the event, right after Abner.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a couple 750mm flip top bottles at the Hill Farmstead Harvest Fest. The beer was poured today.

Ephraim pours a clear, light amber color with a small, creamy white head on top. The foam lingers on the surface and leaves behind a fair amount of lacy spots on the glass.

The strong hoppy aroma is loaded with orange and grapefruit citrus, with a touch of lemon rind and pine.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is creamy, lightly carbonated and moderately chewy. The flavor is full of grapefruit citrus, pine and lemon rind. There's enough caramel and toasted malt sweetness in the background to balance out the hoppy bitterness. It finishes bitter, grassy and dry with a lingering grapefruit citrus when gone.

For nearly 11% abv this is a very drinkable beer. I just wish it was easier to find. Still, a trip to northern Vermont is always terrific.

Photo of seeswo
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of twenty5
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of peensteen
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Shared by Liam back in May a day or two after he picked it up at the brewery

Lightly hazed pale orange colour, ring of white headwith a bit of lace here as well. The nose ihas a huge citrus to it, lots of tropical fruit, tangerine, orange, a bit of grapefruit with a bit of sugary malts as well, fantastic hop aroma here. Taste is equally amazing lots of juicy hops and sweet malt up front, followed by loads of citrus flavours, grapefruit and orange, good bitterness throughout, hoppy aftertaste. Lightly carbonated, fairly full bodied. Outstanding stuff, incerdibly drinkable and just an impressive display of hops here.

Photo of JohnParadee
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Stevedore
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Photo of CTJman
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Arbitrator
4.12/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled growler into a glass. Thanks Kristin!

A: Pours a hazy golden peach body with not a ton of head. The growler has been in transit for a week and it was apparently filled right to the top; the paper towel wrapped around the neck showed that it might have leaked in transit, so I'm forgiving any carbonation issues in appearance or mouthfeel. This special is today only! Anyway, the foam is lightly beige in color; it slowly comes out of solution, then vanishes very quickly. Some spotty lace left behind.

S: Carbonation issues or no, it is not affecting the aroma at all. A nice, pungent blend of orange rind, candied grapefruit, pineapple, passionfruit, and a touch of mossy weed (I wrote this down as 'dank' to widespread mockery by the tasting group, but I stand by it). There's an expressive sugariness and booze.

T: Initially the taste is a rough bitterness. I'm unused to this, considering that I mostly drink West Coast IPAs with a lot of hop flavor but not necessarily a lot of hop bitterness. But the flavors come together pretty nicely: orange rind, passionfruit, pineapple. Grapefruit and substantial sugar cookie give the impression of candied grapefruit. The mossy, weedy flavors are particularly noticeable here; they pull into the finish with a sticky, resinous presence. This reminds me heavily of fresh Moylan's Hopsickle.

M: Full, expressive flavors abound. There's a touch of booze that I don't enjoy, but having had a 3-week old growler of Pliny the Younger that was boozier than the tap version, I'm attributing this change to the serving format. It's also low in carbonation, but again, I'm forgiving it. It has an enamel-peeling bitterness and stickiness that made it hard to taste anything afterward. I was a little stupid in opening it so early in the night.

D: I still find that Pliny the Younger takes the cake when you're talking about triple IPAs. I prefer the sweeter presence of that beer to the bitterness of this one. But I've also had the former under optimal serving conditions, and this one less so; I wouldn't be surprised if that makes a difference. This is a great beer. I'd love to have it again. But given most of the trade demands for it, I'd probably get some fresh Hopsickle on tap, instead...

Photo of philbe311
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of a very generous unsolicited package from fellow BA and good friend rfgetz.

A - Two fingers worth of frothy moderately fluffy head that has a slight bit of orange tinge to it... Excellent retention ultimately gives way to mostly full rich lacing... The color is a clean crisp medium color... Limited carbonation most of which is sluggish and rises along the sides of the glass with a couple of stray quick moving bubbles rising in the middle of the glass... A bit of chunky froth clings to the sides of the glass...

S - An absolutely stellar nose that is the best of all things hops... A mix a wonderful fruit aroma... Orange... Mango... A touch of pineapple... Some kiwi... Buried beneath the first layer of fruit is a nice mix of piney character... Earthy and outdoorsy... Faint evergreen... Buried way beneath the surface is a touch of malt backbone... Near perfection for the style...

T - The expected waves of hop goodness don't disappoint... Equal parts citrus and pine work together in harmony to create wonderful character and complexity... A brisk malt back bone emerges closer to the finish with lots of doughy bread and cracker notes... An ever so faint alcohol induced "burn" on the finish that lingers for a bit... Extremely complex with new notes detected after each and every sip...

M - Medium bodied... Surprisingly dense... Lightly carbonated... Sleek and smooth... Even and consistent... A slightly intoxicating alcohol induced warmth...

D - Exceptional all the way around... Very seldom to beers live up to the hype, but this one does... So much flavor, character, depth, and complexity loaded into one growler... This is why I love beer... This is truly work of art...

Kudos again to rfgetz again for the generosity...

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Traded big for this one as well - a '11 DL for a 750ml growler of this good stuff straight from Hill Farmstead. Pours a fairly golden yet murky orange appearance. Fluffy white head that holds well a bit. Aroma is potent with mango citrus pine and grapefruit bitterness. Somewhat sweet candy like malt a touch alcohol to smell as well. Taste is a load of resionous pine citrus mango citrus rind bitterness. Candy-like sweet malt lets the hops shine through. Smooth mouthfeel that complements well to a rich full body DIPA. Really want to try the Double Galaxy!

Photo of jaymo18
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at capones. Nuff said.

A- comes to me in a small snifter with a nice cap of bright white head that has a bit of hold before settling to a thin ring and a nice spray of lace. Lightly hazy golden yellow orange in color.

S- super bold tropical hops bust out of this one like you wouldn't believe with tangerines, mangos, pineapple, the grapefruit is in there as well. Light powdered sugar sweetness. Very impressive.

T- aggressive hop bite right up front with an astringent grapefruit and under ripe pineapple. Tropics are less then the nose but still play a roll. Malts bring a lot of dry biscuit and a bit of sweetness but very light up against the hopping. Unbelievably long bitter hoppy finish.

M- a bit above medium in body with a bright carb that really tingles all over. Super dry finish.

O- this lives up to the hype but that being said I like abner better. E is a monster hop bomb and a very good one at that. I hope this and many more hill beers make it down.

Photo of anteater
4.66/5  rDev +1.1%
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!

Photo of jampics2
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of DonFrap
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of jegross2
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing Ephraim from the Hill Farmstead Brewery out of Greensboro Bend, Vermont. This imperial pale ale is one of Hill Farmstead's most sought after non-bottled release. Major thanks to Fitz for helping me acquire this gem!

Score: 99

Exactly one week old 750 ml growler served in a Perennial snifter and enjoyed on 05/21/13.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden straw color with two-plus fingers of white head that settle to a thin layer atop the glass. A layer of lacing coats the side of the glass and lingers forever. Excellent appearance for the style. My second glass (not pictured) was laden with floaties, however, which is why the appearance only gets a four out of five. 4/5

Smell: Dank, resinously piney hops and grapefruit smack you upfront. Pine sap, peach, mango, lemon, pineapple, caramel and a little bit of what can only be described as "fresh potting soil" (in a good way). Some spice and "dirty hops" too. This beer smells like a raw and hoppy tropical citrus bomb that is aggressively rough around the edges -- I could smell this beer all day. 5/5

Taste: Super bitter and juicy tropical citrus and piney hops. The bitter pine flavor really lingers on the palate. A lovely medley of grapefruit, pineapple juice, lemon zest, bitter orange rind and tangerine soak the palate. A little spicy caramel malt kick of flavor towards the finish that blends nicely with the piney bitterness. I absolutely love the aggressive hoppiness of this brew! 5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied with spot on carbonation to both give the hops life and let the bitterness linger on the tongue. Super oily, juicy and mouthwatering. If you let this elixir sit on the tongue for a few seconds, the bitter factor really kicks in. 5/5

Overall: A near perfect hoppy beer, which perfectly hit the spot after a long day of work on a perfect spring afternoon. This is much better than I recall it being back when I first had it at Darkness Day this year. Ephraim has all the juiciness and aggressively bitter hoppiness one desires in an IPA (er, imperial pale ale). Easily one of my top 10, possibly even top 5, pale ale/IPA consumed to date. If you have not had a chance to try this yet, I highly recommend you seek out a growler pour while it is still in season and available at the brewery!

Cost: $10 for a 750 ml growler (no 2L fills available this time around).

Photo of trevorpost
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Resuin
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of Amalak
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had during Hill Farmstead's Harvest Fest in September 2012. This is the only one I reviewed, as I was fairly hammered after trying every other brew on displace. But this was the best, in my opinion, followed by Edward.

A. It has a nice deep straw to red color, with a big white head and a good deal of lacing.

S. It has a fruity, hop scent.

T. As the scent would indicate, this is a nice fruity hop taste. A good bitter bite, with some tangy fruit.

M. It has a nice carbonated, bitter bite.

O. This was so good. I went back for more several times during the event.

Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of sholland119
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of bobv
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 855 ratings.