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Fear And Trembling (French Oak Cabernet) - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Fear And Trembling (French Oak Cabernet)Fear And Trembling (French Oak Cabernet)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

47 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 47
Hads: 84
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 8.37%
Wants: 139
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: 6DaysBottomOcean on 10-09-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Fear and Trembling is Hill Farmstead’s first collaboration – a Baltic Porter brewed with malt that was hand smoked over maple wood by our Danish friend, and former colleague, Anders Kissmeyer. This bottled version was aged in French Oak Cabernet barrels. As a student of philosophy and former resident of Copenhagen, it is fitting that our brewer named our first collaboration after Denmark’s great thinker: Søren Kierkegaard. All three contemplated absurdity, faith, and salvation while wandering the shores of the Baltic Sea…

“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…”
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 84
Reviews by xenjoiii:
Photo of xenjoiii
4/5  rDev -4.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle. Drank alongside the other two Fear and Trembling beers.

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is pretty nice. I get some oak and caramel notes, as well as some smoked malt. I don't get any real wine notes in the aroma.

The flavor is similar. I get some smoked malt, peet, oak, chocolate and roasted malt. I also get some dark fruit notes, which may be from the wine barrel aging. There is little detectable alcohol. Easy to drink.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

 547 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of deebo
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5 years later still quite smoky nice brew.

42 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
4.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark brown to almost black with a small dark brown head that's really light and creamy. Nose is very smokey and oaky, very nice.

Taste is smokey and oaky, the cab flavors are light but there and subtle. Mouthfeel is really creamy, a bit sweet but not too syrupy. Really tasty slow drinker.

 338 characters

Photo of glid02
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Grant - thanks! Tasted side-by-side with the other two in the series.

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with equal amounts of smoked malts and dark chocolate. Also present are faint dark grape aromas and spicy tannins from the barrel.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Roasted and smoked malt flavors kick things off and are joined shortly thereafter by moderate amounts of dark chocolate. Midway through the sip lightly tart red grape flavors come into play. Near the end of the sip the flavor profile dries up a bit with the addition of spicy oak, carrying through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have any problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this was my least favorite of the three, the cab influence was nice but it was too mild. Additionally, I'm not sure the base beer was one that could integrate well with the barrel type. Still, it's a very good beer that's worth a shot.

 1,140 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into a couple of glasses.

Pours a black/deep brown, with a finger or so of frothy mocha head. This stays bubbly and rich, leaving back a decent amount of spotty froth down the sides of the glass. The smoke has been tamed a good bit and relegated to the background by the barrel here, especially compared to the bourbon version, with tones of fruit, oak and vanilla and more malty notes of chocolate and toffee helping bring that peat character down a notch or two.

The taste is similar, with that heavy smoke being cut by sticky notes of dark fruit, oaky vanilla, chocolate and caramel. Roast returns in the finish with a dry and lightly burnt feel, with some extra smokiness and barrel flavors lingering on the tongue. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some prickliness on the tongue and then a mostly smooth and creamy feel as this works itself across the back of the palate. Like the bourbon version, the alcohol here is just extremely well hid, which aids in the overall accessibility of this.

It’s funny how this version took the exact opposite approach than the bourbon version, which much more of that French Oak barrel being on display here and much less of the smoked aspect of the base Baltic Porter. The dark fruit and oak flavor here actually gets fairly strong the more this warms. This was solid but isn’t quite there for me yet.

 1,369 characters

Photo of 6DaysBottomOcean
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a dark chocolate colored head that settles quickly to a cap. Aroma is big on the smoked malt, decadent smoked meats and mocha/chocolate, roasted malt character is also evident. Flavor starts out with sweet dark toffee which quickly gives way to multiple layers of thick smoked character. The smokyness is nicely balanced with oak/tannins from the cabernet barrel, really working well to complement each other. A solid but creamy texture holds the rich flavors together, very well integrated. Tough to say where the base beer flavor ends and the barrel character begins, to me thats always a good sign of a well crafted beer.

 641 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review #400! Bottle shared by mikesgroove early on Christmas Eve in a gas station parking lot (hobo style!), thanks Mike! Served from split bottle into a Delirium Tremens snifter. Poured a deep murky brown almost black with a minimal very light tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, smoke, and subtle alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, slight brown sugar, toffee, subtle spices, oak, and a touch of vanilla. It had a medium feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this brew was quite excellent. I could honestly see myself getting in trouble with this one at this ABV. Has an excellent aroma and great well balanced flavor going on here. This is a definite must try if you are fortunate enough to do so or track down. I'm sure Mike and I looked like a bunch of hobos drinking this one, but it was totally worth it, plus we had proper glassware. Thanks again Mike for sharing this rare gem!

 991 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of trappistlover
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(sampled from RBWG). Pours dark brown with a tan head. Aroma had a nice smokiness that imparted similar flavors including some savory bacon. Medium bodied with a dry finish. This was a nice beer and I'm lucky to try this. Thanks to whomever brought this.

 254 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 9.3% ABV, no date.

Big thanks to Rochefort10nh for surprising me with this trio of awesome brews! Beerwolf and I gave 'em all a go at once to compare them.

A - Black in the tulip with nice clarity on the pour but almost no head generation. A thin foam of tan bubbles with a well-retained ring. Spotty lace left over.

S - Great peat-smoked malt aroma with notes of chocolate behind the campfire aroma. There's wood in the nose but no real oak stand-out or French Cabernet, that's for sure. While I enjoy the bold smoke, it overwhelms any chance for the wine nuances I really hoped to see here.

T - Tart French oak Cabernet peeks in the very finish with a bit of grape but it's almost all a one-dimensional brew, full of peat smoked chocolate malt.

M - Slightly dry, a bit tart on the finish with a medium-full-body and mild acrid bitterness. Nice feel on this one.

D - Good drinkability for a high ABV barrel-aged smoke beer! Not too strong but I really wish that the French oak Cabernet would have been more present.

 1,073 characters

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of EgadBananas
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly black, thought the pour appeared the darkest brown. Head was a nice tan color, with nice spotty lacing.

Aroma was lightly sweet, pleasantly smoky, with touches of tart wine notes fighting for a piece of attention.

Taste is fairly predominantly smoky, with some nice sweetness, chocolate notes and maybe some bitter espresso notes, and a slightly dry, tart wine-like finish. Intriguing taste, interestingly tasty.

The feel is medium in body, a bit creamy, smooth, and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability is good. Finishing the whole pint+ will be a breeze, but smoky beers are one of those things that make for challenging sessionables for me, despite my love for them.

 679 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

stopped by on xmas eve and split this bottle with a good friend while standing around and just hanging out for a few moments for the holidays. his half in a snifter, my in nonic.

pour was jet black with a small tan head that kept a ring around the entire glass leaving a good bit of lacing up and down the sides of the glass that really looked to be quite nice to me. aroma is deep peat and smoke, much more then i really thought it would be, nicely done. warming brings up lots of oak and touches of vanilla in the flavor. the grape and vinous character from the cab barrels is not very noticeable until it really warms and by that time it is still quite light. rich and smooth, with a deep smoke flavor that leaves a long lasting oak note on the palate an a light, but enjoyable finish that really gives a nice rounded profile.

overall very solid and well deserved for the day. cannot wait to try the rest of the set.

 922 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This rare tick was generously provided by bring. Thanks, Barry.

Dark brown, almost black. The body is nearly opaque, and the head retains solidly for several minutes.

The nose is smoky, meaty and oaky. There's a mild vinous character, though the smoke is most prevalent.

It's more vinous on the palate, tannic and oaky, smoky, somewhat meaty. The body is medium, carbonation is moderate. The finish brings roasted malt and more smoke. This is very enjoyable for a smoke beer, fairly balanced and drinkable for the style.

 523 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oline73
3.87/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of phingdong
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of BrianTheBrewer30
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

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Fear And Trembling (French Oak Cabernet) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.