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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

84 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.41%
Wants: 140
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 48
Reviews by xenjoiii:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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.

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

5 years later still quite smoky nice brew.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of glid02
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of 6DaysBottomOcean
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of thagr81us
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
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!

Photo of trappistlover
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter.

Pours near black with a single-finger tan head with just a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass. The nose brings forward a good dose of smoke and oak barrel. The cabernet adds a really nice touch throughout.

The flavor pushes the cabernet barrels more toward the front with a really nice complexity. Smoke and oak combine really well with the fruit character. A bit of chocolate and roasted character sit there as well. Medium body with a really nice dryness in the finish. Just a bit of booze there. Drinks quite well. A really, really solid brew and I'm glad I got to brad some of these bottles.

Photo of AgentZero
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer provided by Mike, awesome contribution to the Bachelor Weekend tasting.

A - Nice black stout with a small off-white head on the hard pour. Faded to a ring, no lacing or drag on the sides.

S - Smells amazing. Great smoke smell in a roasty porter. The cabernet barrels ad a nice touch of balancing sweetness. Don't think you can get much better smelling than this.

T - The oak age comes across in the beer, and the cabernet definately makes it's presence felt with a nice sweetness. Great smokey taste on this porter, just a touch too sweet for me, but I love this beer and could drink a lot of it.

M - Solid, smooth, full, great.

D - Great beer, I recommend this to anyone. Easy to drink for something at this ABV and body.

Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chris for sharing this, my first Hill Farmstead tick.

A: The pour is almost black in color with a finger or so of a sturdy, soapy, khaki colored head.

S: Lots of smoke to open up the nose, sort of what I expected. Like most smoked beers, I get a distinct salty and meaty aroma, though not as "bad" as some examples. The roasted malt and chocolate aromas are still pretty decent, and there's a bit of wine -bal character, too.

T: The flavor is still quite heavy on the smoke, but the other flavors are allowed to shine through. Good roasted malts, oak, vanilla, red wine, and a slight meaty character. Fairly good for a smoked beer...

M: The body is medium with the carbonation being a bit on the low end of medium.

D: I'm not the biggest smoked beer person, but this was pretty good. I don't think I'd rush out to drink it again, but wouldn't turn it down.

Photo of FosterJM
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

773rd Review on BA
Bottle to snifter

@Woodshop Classix

App- This was a very dark brown with a bit of amber around the edges. It poured similar to the barrels it came from, like a deep dark red wine. No head, no bubbles. A bit flat.

Smell- True to style this smelled quite nice for a baltic porter. Smoky, bacon, rye and a little bit on the oaky side and a little tannin note.

Taste- This was kind of all over the place for me. It started off with a smoky bacon like note and then moved to the roasty malts and finished with a ton of dark chocolate. A little bit of the oak comes through on the end of the drink. A little tannin as well.

Mouth- Medium bodied and a medium carbonation level. A nice smoky note remains.

Drink- I don't normally like the baltic porters but this had a few nice dimensions with the aging on it in the barrels. Not as harsh and bacony.

Photo of beerwolf77
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerFMAndy for busting out the Fear and Trembling trio. Bottle split into tulips.

A: Pitch black, tiny wisp of beige head. A few flecks of soapy lace.

S: Mild smoke, roasted malt, black coffee, just a hint of the cabernet. Traces of barrel wood.

T: Nice rich maltiness. Dark chocolate and black coffee. The smoke is just right. Not too powerful. Slightly bitter finish. Just a hint of the tartness from the wine barrels.

M: Medium to full body. Light carbonation.

D: Overall a very nice Baltic Porter. Smoke is usually something that I can live without. Yet in this beer it fits nicely. I sort wished for more wine flavor but I won't let that affect the score.

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.46/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hard to tell if a potential loose cap was to blame, or time, or both..but this was oxidized and had seen better days. Still an awesome opportunity...thanks again Mike!

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

Many thanks go to Kegatron for sharing all 3 Fear and Trembling variations during our recent gathering. Awesome experience to have these all back to back. 500ml bottle poured into some snifters following the bourbon edition. The brew appears dark brown in color with some lighter brown around the edges. A finger of mocha head sits atop and as it slowly fades, leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

Just like the bourbon version, this is heavily smoked to then point of being beefy. Cured meat aromatics blend into a touch of chocolate grain, roast and mild raw barrel tannins that is a deviation from the other iteration of this brew. Some alcohol tang with mild dark fruit inclusion blends into an afterthought of smokey pete moss.

The taste is beefy with smoke and roast. A bit almost burnt and ashy with a raw (not necessarily harsh) barrel character that integrates fairly well with the level of bold smokiness. Some tangy alcohol is evident with an increased perception of fruity plum or raisin flavor. The aftertaste includes some earth and chocolate grain quality.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Overall a slightly different example than the Bourbon version with a unique twist and focus on raw barrel character and a bit more depth to the fruity alcohol inclusion. I typically prefer a more mellow and blended barrel inclusion but in this case, the raw tannic nature of this version really worked well with the aggressive smoke profile. I liked this version slightly more than the bourbon one.

Photo of Phelps
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sent by sholland119 as part of the Blind Beers BIF, this was reviewed blind.

It pours the color of melted dark chocolate -- brown verging on black. A little thin-looking, though. Half a finger of tan foam fizzles away in just a few seconds.

Holy shit, this aroma. I've had many rauchbiers; I've had beers aged in peat-smoked barrels. This has to be the most fantastic smoky nose I've ever experienced. Bacon, applewood campfire, a touch of tangy fruits, some chocolate, a hint of toasted sourdough. Raisiny, too.

Smoky! Figs and dates drizzled with milk chocolate and smoked over a campfire. Toasted bread, a touch of vanilla, bitter cocoa. The smoke is bigger than these, yet allows them to shine just enough.

Body is a bit lighter than expected -- medium-light. High carbonation, poky on the tongue. Just a bit of fizz as it moves. No noticeable alcohol, though.

I love smoke, and this beer is full of it. Great balance of flavors, and the lighter body makes it more drinkable.

I say again, holy shit! My favorite style, from one of my new favorite breweries. Awesome to get to try this one.

Photo of dougofthefuture
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a ton to a kind trader for including this bottle as an extra! I have been staring at it for a while thinking I would share at a tasting, but tonight the temptation was too much.

A. Pours a dark brown/black with maybe a bit of amber. Minimum tan head for a short period. Seems a bit oily, but not in a bad way.

S. The grape-like wine is very present, with a bit of oak character and a nice helping of smoke. Smells delicious.

T&M. Wow, what balance! This is a beer that could convince anyone to like smokey beers. It fits so well with the oak and wine components. They blend together perfectly. Mouthfeel seems a bit off, as carbonation is a little low. Especially compared to something like smoke from the oak wine, which is the closest beer I have had to compare this to.

D. Balance is the highlight here, and alcohol is completely hidden. This is the best beer I have had in a while, and sipping on this before dinner is a perfect way to kick off a weekend!

Photo of HopHead84
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4/17/2011

Bottle opened by me at Oakquinox, thanks!

A: Dark brown in the snifter with a big creamy light brown head which shows nice retention and leaves lots of lacing.

A: Smoke is pronounced and dominant, redolent of apple wood bacon and beach wood with light oak notes. Roasted malt is restrained and there's a subtle yet complex dark chocolate profile beneath the smoke. There's a very faint vinous note. Smells great.

F: The flavor is noticeably less smoky than the aroma, allowing notes of cocoa, vanilla, and oak to play a bigger role. The smoke is bacon and beach wood, and it's quite delicious. Roasted malt is moderate. I don't pick up wine-like qualities from the barrel in the taste, but this is still quite good. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Medium in body with a lower moderate level of carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and dry.

Overall: A complex and enjoyable smoked beer. Definitely recommended if you're a fan of the style.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours dark brown with thin tan head. Nose ha smoke, chocolate, and light cab barrel. Smokey flavor, light chocolate, fair. Bit of malt sweetness and ovry cab sweetness flavors. Body is medium, smooth, a touch oily and thin compared to the blend. assertive carbonation.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, smoke, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and smoke bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that doesn't really have any wine barrel aged characteristics at this point other than wood qualities.

Photo of brydeen
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown, reminiscent of dark coffee. Thin khaki colored head. Quickly dissipates.

S: Smokey, charred woody aroma. Smells like meat cooking on a smoker. Perfect to pair with the brisket and pulled pork for dinner.

T: Taste mirrors the nose, especially as it warms. Tastes very meaty and smokey. Slight charred flavor, but has a smoothing sweetness as well. The flavors blend together well, with no one aspect dominating the next. Has a hearty richness to it. Definitely a slow sipper.

M: Creamy and full bodied. Very smooth carbonation, with the alcohol very well disguised for a 9% brew.

O: Very nice beer to have with some smoked meat. A treat to drink, and maybe my favorite of the 3 barrel aged versions. It certainly has a lot going on, but they all tie together wonderfully. I certainly hope they choose to make more barrel versions of this beer, because they're all deliciously unique.

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Fear And Trembling (French Oak Cabernet) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.