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Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend) - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

107 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 107
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 10.26%

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 blended from beer aged in both American Oak Cabernet barrels and Bourbon 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: Slatetank on 10-12-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 107 | Reviews: 52 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | 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 a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass 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 barrel aged characteristics at this point other than wood qualities

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 23:23:06 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Skrip

South Carolina

4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a Funkwerks snifter.

A~ extremely dark brown with a slightly bigger head then the other 2 versions and a tiny bit of lacing.

S~ mostly smoked meat, bacon, and dark malts. then some sweetness from the bourbon and a tiny bit of wine barrel funk.

T~ bourbony caramel, vanilla up front. followed by smokey bacon, more dark malts and some zesty rye. a tiny bit of wine barrel funk on the finish. bourbon and maple syrup sticks with you for what seems like forever! definitely not a bad thing!

M~ honestly its probably the smoothest of the series. carbonation of the bourbon version, so not bad but it could use a little more. maple syrup thickness from start to finish!

O~ surprisingly not my favorite of the series. i have a feeling this version got more bourbon than cabernet or it could have something to do with the age. the bourbon might have just taken over a bit. no real complaints about that though haha, i was just hoping for a little more funk.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 03:08:19 | More by Skrip
Photo of Etan


4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml into a Zwanze taster glass. Shared generously by Sean9689.

A: Black body, no head.

S: Smoked meat, caramel, some vinous tannins, light vanilla. The smoked malt is the focus here, as it should be.

T: More bacon, light breadiness, wood smoke, vanilla, caramel, light maple. The bourbon is more assertive than the cabernet but there is a bit of a dry vinous note to it.

M. Medium-bodied, light carbonation.

O. A great smoked beer. It's good to see brewers besides the traditional Germans getting balance in smoked beers right, and I suppose it helps that HF sourced very high quality malt.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 06:03:21 | More by Etan
Photo of stakem


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. We drank this blended version last in the set of 3. The brew appears dark brown to black with brown clarity noticed around the edges. Some spotty to patchy lace sticks to the glass and swirl revives a finger back to the surface.

The smell is beefy with smoke but significantly more mild than the individual parts that this blend is comprised of. A mild hint of coconut and toffee is noted from the barrel aging. Some raw oak mixes with tangy alcohol inclusion that is quite reminescent of the cabernet version while the coconut and toffee is what I expected from the bourbon version. The way these two blend together is quite enjoyable.

The taste includes some tangy alcohol upfront with a flavor of raisin or plum that blends into some raw oakiness. Mid palate there is the expected smoke character but it is significantly more mild than the individual parts that comprise the blend. More sips reveal notes of earth, ash, roast and mild vanilla as it warms up.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The alcohol inclusion is much more forward and pronounced in this blend than the other versions. It displays a bit of crisp quality to the finish. I was really surprised at how unique each of these fear and tremblings were in their own subtle way. Having them all side by side or back to back is the way to do it, else you might not really get the nuances (especially between the bourbon and cabernet versions.) My favorite was this one which which has the least focus on smoke and let more of the barrel quality come forward. Thanks again for sharing Heath!

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2012 14:01:20 | More by stakem
Photo of Kegatron


4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into a couple of glasses.

Pours a black/dark brown in the glass, with a finger of dark mocha. This looks just like the first two in the series, with good retention and lacing. The aroma smells of light smoke, dark fruit, cocoa, caramel and toffee. A touch of sticky charred bourbon hangs on the edges.

The taste is tart dark fruit, sticky chocolate and toffee, vanilla, moderate citrus notes and then some heavier roast towards the backend. Some light smokiness hangs in the finish, where it lingers with some leftover dry oak character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and feels just like the other two beers, with a solid combo of crisp and creamy with a surprisingly well hid ABV.

I think this one definitely hit the sweet spot of the three beers in this series. You get a little bit of everything here from both the French Oak and Bourbon barrels plus just the right amount of smoke as well. This was definitely the winner of the bunch for me but they were all interesting in their own way.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2012 19:13:06 | More by Kegatron
Photo of cpetrone84


3.65/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours dark brown with thin tan head. Rather smokey nose with some rich chocolate and roasted malts. Flavor is similar, less smokey but still present. Rich chocolate and hint of roasted coffee. Light bourbon towards back with a hint of sweetness. Full body, smooth, good finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 19:07:19 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of Jeffo


3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | 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 last of the three bottles 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: Smoked malts, roasted malts and some light bourbon and wine notes. Both barrels are there, but not as pronounced as in their respective variants. Dark chocolate and roasted malts are there, but the smoked meat is still in the forefront. More dark chocolate than the other variants and the barrels seem to cancel each other out slightly. Still very nice in its own right, however.

TASTE: Smoked malts and roasted notes with both barrels coming in through the middle into the finish. Bourbon, oak with dark chocolate and smoky meat at the finish with a touch of wine as well. The bourbon barrel is more prevalent, which was expected, since it was bolder than the wine barrel in their respective variants. Mild and lingering aftertaste of oak, bourbon, hints of sine and dark, chocolaty malts. Interesting stuff, very complex, but not quite as flavorful and mind-blowing as the bourbon version.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky. Good feel.

OVERALL: Could definitely tell this was a blend of the two other variants, but unfortunately they seemed to cancel each other out a little, which can sometimes happen with blends. This one was complex and enjoyable for sure, and was perhaps even more complex than the other two. That said, however, it didn’t quite have the boldness in the nose and flavor profile that I loved so much about the regular cabernet and bourbon version, which is why it finishes behind them. Oddly enough, our own 50/50 blend was more flavorful and interesting that this one. In the end though, this F&T set was a phenomenal treat, and I’m extremely glad I had the chance to try them all out. A huge thanks again jbeatty. This was pure class!

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 20:53:09 | More by Jeffo
Photo of msubulldog25


4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

[from notes]
500ml bottle shared with my wife (split to 2 snifters) last Friday, watching Portlandia and Grimm. The bottle came from sleepydave about a year ago and has beer cellared/fridged ever since.

Subtitled 'Frygt og Bæven' on the label, a tribute to a Danish friend (who smoked the maple wood) and for philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, who's quoted here: "...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling...".

A: Impenetrable darkness, not unlike many imperial stouts I've seen - but, remember, this is a Baltic Porter - with barely a ruby glint at the finish. Not much head, a skim of mocha that may have reached a half-finger then cowered at the rim as a thin ring. Vague gauzy swirl atop.

S: Enticing, heady scent of smoked wood, a bit sweet and mildly 'syrup' like. I jotted that down before I re-read the label's reference to 'malt that was hand smoked over maple wood'; fragrant but not overpowering, there's a beautiful marriage between 'traditional Baltic' scents, like cocoa and plump pit fruits, and a 'campfire rustic' quality. I continually went back to sniff from the glass, pretty remarkable.

T: Such a savory flavor! Chewy fruits (raisins, dates, prunes) wed with fudgy cocoa. Oaked vanilla, bourbon spicing and tannic grapeskin: all come out to play. But the smoked malts star here... they permeate every bit of this sturdy, full-flavored porter and layer the experience. After some time warming, the 'cabernet' quality grows, a little more bitter (dark chocolate) and drier, ashier.

M: Ridiculously smooth... THE most marvelously creamy feel. Body is medium, borderline thick. A very fine graininess in the finish, a coating sheen on teeth and cheeks. Perfect level of carbonation.

O: I'll remember this beer for a long time (and wish I had more for the future) for it's enthralling taste and scent. Smoked malt and deft barrel aging take this Baltic to a far greater level than most. My wife may remember it even more fondly than I will;she says it's the first 'smoked beer' she's ever enjoyed (tried others and really disliked them)... a game-changer for her?

Terrific job, Shaun Hill, and many thanks, Dave...

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 08:15:08 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of ChrisPro


4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF #6

Blind beer # 10 from sholland119.

500 mL? bottle poured into my Victory tulip.

A - Opaque onyx with a one finger khaki head. Splotches of lacing on the glass, but a nice "oil slick" of bubbles across the top. 3.5

S - Rauch geek breakfast, for sure. Awesome campfire smoke, and some rich spicy coffee behind it. I don't know what coffee it is, but it it reminds me of an earthy African coffee. Hard to get much else beyond that. Seems like there's some oak aging, but I think that's just the smoked malt. 4.5

(my wife's quote after her first sniff: "Damn, I might as well smoke a cigarette!")

T - Much sweeter than the nose indicates. Great vanilla and milk chocolate. Not as much coffee as I expected. Hmm...Awesome dry smoke finish. Very little hop bitterness but some nice roasted char. It's definitely a Scandinavian style stout. Slightly tart fruitiness adds a twist as it warms. 4

M - Light carbonation. Very full bodied. A touch of heat, but I'm thinking this is still in the 7-8% range. Slightly dry finish. 4.0

O - Pretty quaffable. On the sweeter side (I like!) but great. This is a pretty complex stout. Tons going on, so I can't tell if there are any flaws, but it drinks so well I don't care! Great brew. 4.0

While the nose reminded me of rauch geek breakfast, there's not as much coffee as I wanted. This may actually just be a smoked imperial stout. Definitely Scandinavian, but on the sweet side.

Final Guess: A Scandinavian smoked imperial stout. Rauch Geek Breakfast is my only guess.

the reveal: Hill Farmstead Fear and Trembling Cabernet/Bourbon blend

This was a HUGE want. Thanks, Scott! Now knowing what it is, I do realize that there was, in fact oak on the nose. And the slightly twangy fruitiness is definitely the cab. Really cool complex brew and one I'm going to savor the rest of the bottle. Thanks a ton!

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 00:43:17 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Hill Farmstead Harvest festival, shortly after opening a bottle of the first (only) release.

Dark brown, near black with a dark tan head that settles in to a finger thick head with abundant webs of lacing. Much more bourbon and vanilla presence on the nose from the barrel than the bottle. Smoke is still present, but not as overwhelming. Roast malt, oak, smoke, and dark fruit blend in the aroma and flavor. Blend of the barrel and smoke is smooth and interesting; bourbon is still present, but the wine barrel has fallen out of the flavor. Very smooth, silky body with light carbonation. Having had bottles fresh and aged, and kegs at multiple stages, I'd say there isn't much point in aging bottles longer, but still an interesting beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2011 21:30:42 | More by yourefragile
Photo of Gushue3


4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes I found in my car from last month's Hill Farmstead Harvest Fest. I probably drank this straight for an hour and got a free kick the keg pour, what a weekend.

A Pitch black in tasting glass with nice sized head thats light brown/ tan. lots of sticky lacing left around the glass.

S Nice smoke and roast. Definitely get some barrel scents like bourbon and a tiny bit of vanilla. It was cold up there and this smelled a plenty.

T All over the place. Smoke takes over with some nicely mellowed out bourbon. Smoke is almost bacony. There's a sweetness hanging around but I can't put my finger on what it is. Wicked complex stuff here. Smooth, bold and tasty.

M Thick chewy mouthfeel with very little carbonation. Smooth as hell and perfect for a cold day.

O This is hands down one of the best things I have ever drank. The taste is unbelievable and everything else is spot on, I wish there was more of this.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2011 16:27:57 | More by Gushue3
Photo of CharlieMurphy

New York

4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

"Last keg in existence" @ Harvest Fest 10/1/11

A: Very black with a slivered chip of brown on the edges and roan, mercurial off-white/tan head. Looks deep

S: Medium smoke, some clear barrel aging, bourbon is restrained with some vanilla whispering so softly I'm not sure if it's actually there or not. Smells deep.

T: Smoky, roasty, mildly sweet, albeit a very curious sweetness, very smooth oak with a super enjoyable level of minimal bourbon that's played perfectly. The blend of the barrels adds a lot of complexity, depth, and smoothness to this beer that seems to evolve like a perfect storm of flavor. Quite unique and uncommon.

M: Not very drying. Carbonation is low-medium.
Smooth Smooth Smooth

O: Damn Tragic this won't be brewed again. Some of the best barrel usage I've ever saturated my organs with.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2011 02:13:46 | More by CharlieMurphy
Photo of Chincino


4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer at the Hill Farmstead Harvest Festival this past weekend. I liked it so much I used three tickets for it to have it three times.

The beer poured to be a very dark brown and one could argue that is was even black in color with a mocha/medium brown head.

The aroma is strong in this beer-smokey smell, possibly vanilla, dark fruit, and definitely could smell a hint of Bourbon.

Medium-bodied beer. Taste was intense and flavorful, but not overpowering.

This is one of my favorite all-time beers so I'd recommend trying it if you get the chance. Hill Farmstead does some really amazing beers!


Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2011 10:34:38 | More by Chincino
Photo of maximum12


4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to an A+ trader, sholland119, for this bottle. Had no idea there were so few floating around - I had some previously at an epic tasting along with the others in a set, but now get to have one all to myself (my lovely wife objects to any smoke in her beer).

Poured into my big Terrapin snifter, leaving a bit in the bottom of the 500ML bottle for later dispensation. Black. Ring of head like white hair on an aging accountant. Smoke is the primary driver in the smell: really, the only smell. Nothing else parts the curtain.

Fear & Trembling: Mixed Up is par for the course for the triplets. Woodfire blazing up front initially overwhelms the palate, but as the taste buds adjust to the onslaught, other tastes slip in underneath. The cabernet is evident as a dash of wine in the mix underpinned by a healthy, drying factor of oak. Wood-fired bacon is present but doesn't pork the place up. Bourbon? Shows up mainly in the tongue-numbling backdraft, an echo of vanilla & alcohol. 40/60 I could have picked it out without a label, but it does come forward as the beer warms.

Beautiful baltic porter. More subtle & restrained than many barrel-aged brews, it's a good thing the base beer is (presumably) world-class. Excellent beer. Now, to track down a bottle of the bourbon...

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 02:20:39 | More by maximum12
Photo of starrdogg

District of Columbia

3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to yourefragile for breaking out this bottle. This has been one of my long-time Wants.

A: Pours an opaque dark brown/black with a tan head.

S: Smoke is definitely the most prominent smell here, but there's also some hints of bourbon, oak and dark malts. It smells quite nice, but I had no idea how smoke-forward this beer would be.

M: Wow, this is meaty. The smoke really takes over the flavor and whatever flavor had come from the barrels seems to have largely faded. As it warms, the smoke mellows a bit, and there are some chocolate, oak and dark fruit flavors.

M: Medium-heavy bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: I was a little disappointed in this one. I'm a big smoked porter fan and really thought that the barrels would add something great to this beer, but the smoke really took over the flavor and made it unbalanced. I wonder how it would've tasted fresh.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 15:55:29 | More by starrdogg
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to beeruser (I think at least) for sharing this one! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured pitch black with a one finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount very slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, smoke, and BBQ. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, smoke, smoked meat, and subtle alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Ovearll this was an excellent brew. The smokiness I got on this one took it to a whole new level. Not sure where it came from, but I was definitely not complaining in the least. Probably one of the best Baltic Porters to cross my palate to-date. Really glad I got the opportunity to try this and hopefully you get the chance as well.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2011 14:28:16 | More by thagr81us
Photo of bs870621345

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's end to PBW barrel aged event.

Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with ruby highlights and a tiny bit of lacing. No lacing on the snifter.

Smell is a tad muted, however there is a lot there. Almonds, caramel, honey, smoke, coffee, chocolate, citrus, oak, blackberries, and blueberries are in there. Really opens up a lot more when warm.

Taste opens with caramel and fruits moving into a smoke and coffee flavor. Everything culminates into blackberries, caramel, and chocolate on the end. This is a really unexpected surprise. Surprisingly dry with a tinge of lingering sweetness. I only had 2 5.5oz pours, so I'm sure there is a lot more going on.

Not even noticing the alcohol, I'm not sure I would ever stop.

This is a great beer, makes me want to get to VT soon.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2011 18:18:46 | More by bs870621345
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black as night with a thick oil like look to it and a big tan head that left streaks of lace all throughout the glass, really a damn near perfect look with a wonderful settling.

aroma is deep bourbon, oak, vanilla, hints of dark roasted malts, coffee, bitter ark chocolate and a rich and roasty profile that is cut with a slight touch of alcohol, really very well done here. each sip was better then the one before as the thick liquid coated the tongue and left no room for an error. boozy bourbon and vanilla creep across the palate with hints of molasses and chocolate, chewy at times with a bit of heat left in the finish as well. warming brings out a hint of dark fruit notes that gently graze the palate. smooth and strong finish leaves a long taste that lingers forever.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 04:29:01 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of ShanePB


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of Capone's last PBW event, 5.5 ounce pour into a miniature snifter glass, served a bit cold but let it warm up to a nice tempature.

A: Extremely deep black for being considered in the Porter family, some very faint dark brown hues line the edges with virtually no head by the time it was poured. No lacing or retention here, either.

S: Smoked wood, pecan, vanilla, dry Cabernet, bourbon and a finishing note of some charred coffee beans. Wonderfully complex and inviting, this blending of all things smokey to the subtle fruitiness of a dry wine is outstanding.

T: Lots of hickory smoked wood and bacon notes up front, nuts (almonds, pecans), a hint of chocolate and finishes with some great mellow bourbon undertones. Again, a great blending of varying flavors, smoke seems to be the constant in this beer.

M: Creamy, lower carbonation, a bit chewy for a Porter but I absolutely loved it.

Honestly, I could sit and sip on this beer all afternoon. The flavors are so intense in the correct proportions and diverse that every sip brings something new to your senses. My first beer from Hill Farmstead and what an impression they left.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2011 19:03:57 | More by ShanePB
Photo of Blanco


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes, had at capone's during PBW.

Pours a black color with chocolate head. Smells like roasted malts and some odd, hard to make out smells that are either the utopias or cabernet barrels. Tastes extremely fruity with the flavor of dark berries and hints of bourbon, raisins and chocolate. Slightly medicinal in quality. Light bodied. This one is quite unique and another solid offering from Hill Farmstead.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 17:10:08 | More by Blanco
Photo of HopHead84


4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Thanks! I let the bottle sit out of the fridge for half an hour before pouring the beer into a snifter.

A: Very dark brown and essentially opaque with a large and creamy tan head and scattered lacing.

S: Like the other iterations of Fear and Trembling, the smoke profile is the most prominent aspect of this beer, redolent of beechwood and bacon. Though, I don't find it to be quite as powerful as the other two version. Maybe it's faded a bit since the release, if that even happens with smoke beers. A dark chocolate undercurrent rides the smoky tide. Roasted malt is pretty strong and there's a faint toasted presence. I detect light caramel notes as well as a restrained vinous quality, molasses, and a touch of toasted nut character. The oak is prominent throughout. Amazing aroma.

T: Beechwood and applewood bacon in the flavor with an upper low bitterness and persistent dark chocolate. Vinous notes fade in and out from start to finish. Malt has an upper moderate roastiness. I detect a little plum and caramel, as well as a molasses. Bitterness begins a gradual increase midpalate as the smoke begins to wane. Is that a whisper of Utopias? The finish is smoky with a strong roasted character and accompanying chocolate.

M: Lower full bodied with moderate carbonation that lends a creaminess to the beer. The mouthfeel is dry, smooth, and sticky, with not insubstantial warming on the palate.

Overall: One of the better smoked beers I've had and my favorite of the three Fear and Tremblings.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2011 03:07:26 | More by HopHead84
Photo of orangesol


4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle at Capone's during the Hill Farmstead party during Philly Beer Week.

A - Pours jet black with a small half finger tall off white head leaving light wisps of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of charred wood, chocolate, vanilla, smoked dark malt, and some dulled dark berry sweetness. I only detect the faintest hint of bourbon but I do get a bit more of the Cabernet.

T - Taste is pretty similar to the nose with hints of chocolate, smokey malt, and a very interesting dulled grape/wine taste from the Cabernet barrels. I don't detect too much of the bourbon but I suspect it was swallowed up by all the dark flavors going on in this one. Finish has a good bit of smokey dark malt, lingering for some time. i liked this one, it is complex yet enjoyable.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Rich, full, feel with plenty of lingering smokey roast in the finish. I expected more burn but I didn't get too much. Very nice feel.

O - Pretty good. I have been very impressed with most of the beers I have had from Hill Farmstead so far, and I told Shawn Hill as much. This one was a tiny bit too smokey but the rest of the flavors were spot on and the blending was very well done. Glad I finally got to try one of the Fear And Trembling treatments.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 22:26:33 | More by orangesol
Photo of BARFLYB


4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A pour from a bottle.

Fear and Trembling looks baltic like as it's a very dark ruddy brown that might as well be black. Some nice suds on top of this elixir surprising me as it's a blend from various barrels. No stick though but that could be the glass. Smell is a bit vinious, I get that right up front. It's also smoky as hell from all the smoked malt. Don't really pick up any bourbon, but I do get some wet wood and some chocolate and berry scents. This is one messed up baltic in a good way. I never had the base but would love to try it. Im thinking the bourbon is being masked by everything else but the cab comes through with vinious spirit, berries as well. I cant get around the smoke but it's not killing me, nice chocolate and hits of vanilla. All together though, the roast rules this beer and that's what a baltic is all about. Feel is above medium and the flavors stick around a bit and the red wine especially, the beer is not flat, bubbles are there. I really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 01:31:24 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of oglmcdgl


4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a bottle at capones while talking with mr hill himself. Awesome dude.

A- comes to me with a small fizz of tan head that settles quickly and leaves just a few wisps on top. Very dark brown bordering on black with a red brown glow at the edges.

S- deep complex nose. Dark roasted malts with some chocolate and dark bread. The barrels play well with each other but hold their own and never get lost. Vinous hits that roll into a sweet bourbon and molasses hit. Over ripe dark berries and grape must.

T- opens up with a big time dark roasted malt that's as roasty as it is sweet then the bourbon hits you with a subtle vanilla and molasses sweetness. The wine sneaks in right behind and add a new layer of flavor with the tannic oak and fruits. Hints of brunt nuts. Seriously complex yet very enjoyable.

M- on the heavier side of body with a nice stick to it, smoothly coating, and lightly carbed. Just right for the style.

O- this is a great brew that really lends itself to a good long journey down the glass. The depth of flavor is amazing yet so easy to drink one could easily have a few. Wow! Good work Shaun thank you so much for coming to philly.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2011 19:34:29 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of jale


4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
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: Smoked malt.

T: Sweet smoked malt upfront followed by just a hint of wine. I don't detect any bourbon in this. Slight bitter coffee and very mild hops.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

O: Would like a little more of the bourbon flavors but still a nice drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 16:30:31 | More by jale
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Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.