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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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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 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 tarheels86
3.82/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL growler thanks to oteyj. Pours a clear amber with a modest white head. Looks very different from other samples I’ve had which looked glowin yellow. Nose here is pretty sticky, sugary, muted, candy, maple, orange, 3C hops. Decent. Taste up front is sticky with some very obvious booziness moving to vanilla and maple. But overall, sticky and resinous. Not vey fruity or tropical like I was expecting. Very different from the Double Citra. Good stuff, yummy, but nothing too exciting.

Tap at Capone’s. Definitely not good enough to warrant the iPhone theft that happened to my girlfriend. Small, dense off-white head on a dirty, ugly yellow. Nose is caramel and meaty jackfruit. Taste is boozy, spicy, loads of candied orange slices and orange peel. Sticky, candy body. Butterscotch comes through. Not bad- pretty enjoyable but the opposite of what I was expecting. 10/17/2011 7/3/8/4/15=3.7 (900 characters)

Photo of koutkid41
3.71/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Murky and hazy, gold/orange color, nice two finger thick and creamy head.

S: Sweet tropical fruit, some honey dew, some sweet powdered sugar.

T: Sweet upfront with some breadiness. Honey dew and sugar character upfront then becomes slightly tropical.

M: My only things is I wish it wasn't so sweet and sugary for a DIPA. Body wise it was nice.

O: Not a bad beer but had high hopes for this one, Abner is definitely is a notch above this one. (451 characters)

Photo of Skrip
4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

A~ hazy golden, glowing copper, nice white head, a little lacing and a good amount of sediment! mmm...! the pieces!

S~ lots of citrus, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, tiny bit of mango. lots of piney earthyness from the hops, and a tad hint of booze on the finish.

T~ extremely complex! with every sip something different comes out, but still very well balanced! follows the nose with all the citrus, plus a ton more pine notes, and different "funk" with every sip. a little white grape funk up in there. it kind of has an Abner thing going on without the saison aspects and minus the slightly boozy smell that you get the whole time as you go for it but its ohh so smooth on the palet.

M~ super nice carbonation, not as dry as i would aspect from all the hops. very refreshing, i could sip on this all day and be very messed up haha and once again sooo smoooth.

O~ yup! amazing! this will some how be added to my top 5 hoppy brews... yeah i don't know how thats gonna happen haha better make it a top 10 or 20 =] but i seriously love it. definitely try it out if you have the chance, highly recommended for sure. its all about the hop funk! (1,212 characters)

Photo of Beerisheaven
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at another great event/gathering at Capones. Matt continues to roll out the heavy guns this month, with this event following Russian River and Firestone. Matt, you spoil us so.

A - Crisp and colorful, dominated by a yellow/orange profile with a nice white head that pulls back and leaves a moderate level of stickiness on the glass.

S - For my money, this is the shining part of the beer. Grapefruit, citrus, and pine all come forward in an intoxicating manner.

T - Now I will temper this somewhat by saying that hop-bombs are not my favorite style. This one assaults you with bitterness, strong pine, and citrus flavors. An edge of malt lies in the background, but the real punch is in the hoppy frutiness and pine flavors. Personally, a little too much for me but again not my preferred style. I leave it to the experts to debate this v. Younger and the other leaders of the DIPA pack.

M - Tart with the bitterness again dominating the experience.

O - OK, so I am glad that I tried it but I would not offer up my cellar to obtain this beer simply because it is not my cup of tea (or hops). Still, glad to have had the opportunity to try this beer since so many talk about it. Thanks again Matt for another great event. (1,234 characters)

Photo of hillvt4me
4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a honey orange into HF tulip. Thick and creamy off white head.

S- Grapefruit, pineapple and Mango. Some sweet notes.

T-Follows the nose with some light herbal notes and Etoh; though well hidden for the 10 abv.

M-Like all HF beers, rather drinkable and smooth.

O-I'm fortunate to have had this approximate a dozen times and it's among my favorite of the rotating taps. Delicious and balanced! (406 characters)

Photo of Tmyhre802
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On-tap at Hill Farmstead's 4th Anniversary party at Blackback.

A-Beautiful hazy pale yellow.

S-A lot of citrus, but the other fruity smells are very present.

T-Strong pine that perfectly blends in the complex citrus and fruits.

M-Medium bodied, the drinkability is amazing. Can't figure out how they combine the high abv with all the complex elements going on and still create such a smooth beer.

O-Overall this won the day on the IPA side for me along with the society and solitude at the HF Anniversary. Just a really great beer that they make up in Greensboro, can't wait till the next time I can get my hands on some! (626 characters)

Photo of DosBeerigos
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

C: Clear
H: Liquid GOLD
N: Pine and Citrus Overpower the Nose

Big thanks to HopScotch for sharing this super popular new IIPA from Vermont. I was really looking forward to this beer. Will it live up to the hype?

BIG TIME! Jesus, this is what a double IPA should be. Tons of citrus and piney hop flavor, with a solid body, and a nice hint of malt/caramel on the back-end.

OK, so it lives up to the hype, but does it compare to Pliney, Hopslam, Dreadnaught, and other awesome IIPA’s? Well pretty good but its not a Fresh Pliney. I’d say 2nd best IIPA I have ever had. I will be on the look out for more beers from this brewery, and will work on making a trip to Vermont. (675 characters)

Photo of renegadeburger
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

got to visit hill farmstead and even try lots of their rare brews had to take a while to take it all in there were a lot of memorable experiences and some really awesome things going on...

beer poured really deep orange color had some little bit of sediment in there some floaties i believe or stray yeast either way not that big of a deal small head pops like rice krispies

smell absolutely fantastic i think my favorite aroma of any double ipa i had to date pure fruit punch right in your face real strong and potent

taste outstanding too real nice hop overtone not bombarded by booze here

big mouthfeel with nice tart citrus in the end

overall this has to be one of my favorite double ipas out there wow super awesome (727 characters)

Photo of airohead2001
3.97/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to glazeman for this one. Winter is breaking in Chicago's western burbs. Bring on the sun. This beer is poured into a snifter from a bigass crazy looking growler.

The appearance is nothing too special - light yellow with a one finger head; pretty clear; reminds me of Sculpin.

Smell is fruity and boozy - mango, grapefruit, and some nutty maltiness in the finish.

Taste is good, but there is a lack of a fresh hop bite. Too sweet and too fruity.

Mouthfeel is sort of chalky and syrupy. Nice, but maybe a little too thick for a DIPA.

Overall, this is a good beer. But no, it does not live up to the hype. (619 characters)

Photo of NAPO
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-Nice light Orange with a creamy head. Nice looking beer.

S-Strong scent on Grapefruit and Mango. Some intense sweetness in there with a honey and sugar smell. this one is definitely a big beer.

T-Much like the nose with some light grassyness and I definitive feel the alcohol but is not overwhelming.

M-EXTREMELY surprise how mellow and smooth and easy drinking this beer is..very Impressive with the over %10 ABV.

O-Very well made DIPA by HF. (449 characters)

Photo of mymrnngjckt
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared a growler with two friend recently. Appearance is a golden dark yellow. The smell is simply outstanding. Great pine/citrus (grapefruit) smell. The best smelling east coast IPA I have ever had. The taste did not dissapoint. More hoppy than malty (which I like.) Mouthfeel was also excellent. Perfectly carbonated.

All things being equal, I would pick this over any other DIPA I have ever consumed. This one is nothing short of perfection. (446 characters)

Photo of jammalamma
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Was able to make it up to the Hill Farmstead release on sat last week and couldn't be more pleased with this find! Triple IPA...yes please!
Clouded orange-amber color with a decent white lacy head.
this thing smells like it going to be a bomb, piney hops and juiced citrusy fruits forward-
First taste is smooth upfront, then mid to back tongue the hops kick in. Hops leave your mouth with dry herbal piney stink- fairly bitter and resinous citric hop notes really lingering around with this one.
Finish is still lingering bitter hop resin... delicious!
Seems is was produced in Vermont-afornia by its style. MY favorite style IPA- american and intense! Hope this wont be the last time I get to have this great IIIPA (719 characters)

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

Just another SICK growler provided by hopscotch. Clear golden pour with small frothy white head. Hop and peach aromas. An easy sippin’ DIPA with a somewhat thinner body. Tangy/citrusy hop flavors with a subtle spicy finish. Not as bold and in your face as some DIPAs, but still very good... (292 characters)

Photo of Solomon420
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to John for sending me a growler of the most recent batch from early March 2011.

A: clear orangish yellow, lots of bubbles with off white 2 finger head.
S: lots of tropical fruits, hops, tangerines, grapefruits, sweet honesuckle. Perfect
T: didnt quite live up to the aroma. I expected more of a tropical fruit flavor that followed that wonderful aroma. However still very drinkable and it reminded me alot of Pliney the Elder. However I still wish it was a bit more tropical sweet in the flavor instead of heavier on the grapefruit/pine.
M: medium to almost heavy body (towards the end of the swig). Lots of carbonation, but they danced off the tongue.
D: I would have given it a 4.5-5.0 on this one had the taste been a bit more tropical, and at the very end of the swig, I felt this beer had a tinge of aspirin flavor to it. It appeared about 3 seconds after swallowing the beer. It was weird, but detracted a bit from the enjoyment.

However, I must say that this is an EXCELLENT beer and with beers like this and Double Sunshine from Lawson's...looks like Vermont is fast becoming the new "San Diego" and its a pleasure to know that FINALLY the east coasters are understanding how to make a proper hop-forward IPA/DIPA. Keep em coming... (1,252 characters)

Photo of mistakebythelake
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Urbancaver for sharing this growler.

Pours a nice copper orange. Nice looking beer to say the least. Good finger plus of head with some lacing. Citrus, fruity hops dominate the nose. It smells sweet and also some pine thrown in there. Tastesof hoppy and fruity goodness. Grapefruits And hops abundant! Flighty sweet but the hops still dominate to my delight. Being such a huge beer this was definitely a sipper with a thicker mouthfeel. Overall a great beer and its strength is hidden. Would love to try again. (522 characters)

Photo of Cascade77
3.7/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The second of two growlers I picked up last weekend.

Poured into a Duvel Tulip and leaves a small off-white head that goes quickly. Lots of bubbles coming up through a light yellow beer. Pretty clear.

Smells really nice with pine flavored resiny hops up front. Really not much else. A bit of booziness to the smell.

Taste is lighter than expected. A bit fruity, hops come on strong with mango, papaya and other island tastes. Really no malt to speak of. Booze comes through stong after the third sip but that's to be expected.

Mouth feel is thin and dry. A bit champagne like. Kind of tingly mouth feel as with most of the HF beers I have tried so far. Not something I love.

Overall I liked it but not a lot of depth. Hoppy and thin with that signature bite and tingly, numbing feeling. Where is the flavor? Dangerously close to proving that if you dump enough hops into it the geeks will flock to it. (911 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 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 GatheringBrews
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a dangerous beer because of it's smoothness, balanced and big ABV. I can easily drink a few of these if not careful.

On tap and in growlers.

It pours a hazy yellow with a medium creamy head that holds nicely and laces in the glass. Big hop aroma with notes of citrus and pine. The taste is slightly resinous, citrusy and fruity, but smooth and no alcohol hotness at all. It finishes with a balanced bitterness and slight dryness that begs for a repour.

Really fresh taste overall and one of the few Imperial IPAs I can enjoy more than one of in a sitting. (566 characters)

Photo of Ynot2
3.4/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a 750ml swing top growler into a tulip glass (thanks Satchboogie). This is probably a 2 week old beer at this point shipped from East to West coast.

Pours a golden color with decent fluffy white head. Plenty of lacing left as I drink it down. About what I would expect.

The smell is sweet and fruity with a little pine and even some sugary malts. Lots going with the smell, one of the better parts of the beer.

The tastes are kind of earthy, especially for a DIPA. The nice citrusy hops fade quickly and is replaced with sweet tropical fruits. The end is a little more bitter than I expected, not a good or bad thing, just not expected. The sweet flavors are big and all of a sudden you are left with a bitter bite.

Mouthfeel is good for DIPA, nothing spectacular, but good. The alcohol is well hidden, again not good or bad, just there.

I was disappointed in this. I had a Pliny that was a month old just before this and the Pliny had more of a hop profile, a better balance and just an overall better beer (for me). A good beer, but not in the same league as Pliny, Citra, Ruination, Hopslam or Dreadnaught. (1,127 characters)

Photo of VTLocal420
5/5  rDev +11.1%

This one is magical, should be more sought out that Heady or Double Sunshine, but it is made so few times a year that it doesn't touch either on this list. This is one the best beers I have every tried, easily in my top 10 beers...

If you see this one the list on Hill's site, make the trip or trade what you must, it's a must have experience. (348 characters)

Photo of F2brewers
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL growler courtesy of DrewGingras. From notes on 25 April 2014.

Served at 38C into a HF wine glass.

A: Pale yellow, hazy body with a thick creamy 1 1/2 " head that lasts forever leaving heavy lacing. Swirling the glass gently rebuilds the head immediately. Slightly cloudy as all HF IPAs tend to be. Fine carbonation with no evidence of suspended material.

S: Huge citrus and piney esters on the nose. Slight hits of malt if you really serch, but clearly a massively hop forward beer. Wile the hops dominate, they are not dank or oily.

T: Pine and grapefruit. Juicy, yet sweet. You wouldn't think so, but this is finely balanced. Each sip entices the next. While hops dominate, they don't build or make the beer undrinkable or overly bitter. Malt is present but subdued. It's a backbone that complements the hops.

M: Surprisingly lightand properly carbonated, this beer is clean, not slick. You could drink the growler without pause. Slight, but pleasant hoppy aftertaste.

O: A lovely expression of the style. This is reminiscent of west coast style, but with a distinctly east coast, HF style. More, please? (1,119 characters)

Photo of Rampage1
3.65/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank on Mar. 25th.
Was really looking forward to trying this after hearing so much about it and having had Farmstead Citra which I thought was pretty damn good.

Appearance: Has a dark golden color to it with not a ton of carbonation. White head that disappeared pretty quick.

Smell: Has some nice tropical smells to it. Mostly Citrus with mango and a little pineapple. I am also getting some apricot smells and a little hot alcohol in the smell.

Taste: Has a ton of citrus in the first part of the taste that quickly goes to a decent amount of bitterness. I was a little disappointed there was not much malt to balance this out much. No real biscuit flavors like I get with Kern Citra. I also get a little hotness from the alcohol which i was surprised about but could be due to the lower side of the carbonation.

Mouthfeel: This one is really thin and I thinks that's why it taste's hot to me. Poured with some carbonation initially but the head faded quick and the taste became a little more one dimensional.

Overall: I liked this IPA but would say I am not seeking this one out again. In the end it does not come close to my favorite double IPA--Kern Citra which is my measuring stick. Maybe if it had better carbonation and a little stronger smell I would think different. I liked Hill Farmstead Citra much better for sure. Citra had a better nose and way better overall taste to it. Glad I got to try it. (1,415 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)

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