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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

77 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 145
Gots: 8 | 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:
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 added by: 6DaysBottomOcean on 10-09-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 46 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

t0rin0, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of xenjoiii
4/5  rDev -4.8%

xenjoiii, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

stakem, Sep 19, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Kegatron, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of johnbjaeger
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

johnbjaeger, May 13, 2012
Photo of hoppymcgee
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

hoppymcgee, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of cpetrone84
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

cpetrone84, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black with a thin ring of frothy chocolate head. The head fades fairly quickly with nice lacing

S - Aroma is full of smoke and burnt chocolate malts. The red wine barrel comes though with some oak and a touch of rye.

T - Starts off with lots of smoke, deep roasted bitter chocolate, and some of the red wine barrel flavor. Through the middle some more oak comes through with some dark fruit, a bit of bacon, and some vanilla. The finish is a mix of smoke, burnt malts, red wine, oak, and touch of tannin.

M - Medium-plus bodied with mild carbonation. Smooth with a big smokey warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. The smoke is super strong here, but there are so many other bold flavors that it all works nicely together. The barrel also adds a nice dimension.

ngeunit1, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of Jeffo
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks goes out to jbeatty for hooking us up with this delicious three beer set. I had almost given up on ever seeing any of these, so I'm absolutely stoked to finally get a chance at the threesome. Cheers man!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
This was the first bottle we opened.

APPEARANCE: All of these variants look the same. Pours transparent brown and yields a small, medium looking, light tan head with decent retention. Head fades to a slight wisp and bubbly ring. Black body, relatively clear, with no carbonation evident. Only a ring remains until the end and leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Definite smoke on the nose with some smoked meat, touches of roasted malts, dark chocolate and some wine from the barrel aging. A hint of oak as well, but the smoked aromas are much more prominent on the nose.

TASTE: Smoked malts, roasted malts and some dark, baker’s chocolate up front, all working very nicely together and providing a good foundation for the barrel. This moves into an oaky and wine flavored finish, though it doesn’t overpower the base. Mild yet lingering aftertaste of dark chocolate, smoky malt and smoked meat, and a touch of oak and red wine. Well balanced and surprisingly easy to drink. Much more balanced than the nose.

PALATE: Medium-full body and lower levels of carbonation. Slightly creamy on the palate, goes down nicely and finishes slightly sticky. Goof feel and decent weight.

OVERALL: This was a really nice treat. The nose was a little smoke heavy, with a bit more smoked salami than I’d prefer, but the flavors were really well balanced and the feel solid as well. Lots of going on here; very complex and tasty, and the flavors blend really well together. I doubt this one will get any better with age, so I was more than glad to get the chance to try it now. This whole series is well worth tracking down. Highly recommended.

Jeffo, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

ygtbsm94, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of jammalamma
5/5  rDev +19%

jammalamma, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +19%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -4.8%

jh1982, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +19%

Photekut, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

coreyfmcdonald, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

FosterJM, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of maximum12
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to baconsausage for this bottle, from a brewery that I'm growing quite fond of. My second encounter with F&T, the first in a rather epic tasting with good BA friends from near & far. Now I get a whole bottle to myself, as my wife won't touch 'bacon beers'. Her loss, right?

Lovingly poured into my big Terrapin snifter, black-on-black with minimal carbonation. Smell is on the meek side: smoked malt, light chocolate, not much else.

Fear & Trembling from the vine is very nicely put together. Initially this feels like the smoke-trail off a campfire missle: smoked malts. More smoke. And yes, bacon, too. But there are subtleties in the mix, yes, my precious. A dusting of cocoa, a little rump roast, an eyedropper of dark fruits that are doubtless the cabernet. The finish is an exquisite shot of oak barrel that layers well with the smoke.

My only faint complaint is that this is a big, heavy, tummy-filler of a porter, a zing of bubbles would have been appreciated. Still, it doesn't do much damage, I'll have no issue wrapping this one up by myself.

This is a lovely beer. What starts out as a campfire jammed down your throat warms to reveal layer after layer of complexity, & not just for its own sake. Excellent beer. Can't wait to try the blend that's awaiting my pleasure in the cellar.

maximum12, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of trappistlover
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

trappistlover, May 18, 2011
Photo of mikeyv35
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Date: 05/11/2011
Type: 500ml. Bottle
Glass: Tulip
Vintage: 2010

Pours a motor oil black in color w/ a 1/2 finger creamy tan head that leaves medium amounts of sticky lacing. Aromas of bittersweet chocolate, molasses, smokiness(big, almost like a campfire), and peat. The taste was of chocolate and huge roasty peat up front, followed by a close of faint bitterness and red wine. Thin bodied, too thin for a Baltic Porter. Finishes pretty dry due to the wine barrel aging and roastiness. Well hidden ABV makes this pretty drinkable if smokiness is your thing.

Overall, for what it is this is a very well put together brew. Way to roasty/smokey for me, but I am not a huge fan of Rauchbiers, which to me this is essentially what this is. Also, would have liked this a little less smoke dominated, and had the red wine notes more pronounced. Anyway, solid brew and worth seeking out if you enjoy Rauchbiers.

mikeyv35, May 12, 2011
Photo of jale
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Bearsonacid for this.

A: Pours dark brown with two quarters of tan head.

S: Smoky peaty with a hint of wine.

T: Sweet malt upfront followed by generous amounts of smoke. Slight wine and mild alcohol heat. A little hops in the finish. When you swish the beer around in your mouth you get all the cab flavors.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

O: This is my favorite of the three. IMO this is the smokiest and hopiest of the three.

jale, May 05, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

HopHead84, May 05, 2011
Photo of gford217
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle.

Pours dark, dark brown with a small head that leaves only a trace of lacing and little retention.

Aroma is heavily smoked malts with hints of chocolate underneath. The wine notes definitely come through with a light dry fruitiness and spicy oak.

The taste is very smooth with the smoked malts and chocolate dominating until the finish which is dry and oaky, vinous and slightly tart really which isn't surprising given the barrel I suppose.

The mouthfeel is smooth with solid carbonation and drier than the other treatments.

This is a really nice smoked porter though the straight-up cab version is probably my least favorite.

gford217, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of EgadBananas
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

EgadBananas, Mar 08, 2011
Fear And Trembling (French Oak Cabernet) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.