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Fear And Trembling - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Fear And TremblingFear And Trembling

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

304 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 304
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.06%
Wants: 90
Gots: 33 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 01-21-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 304 | Reviews: 53
Photo of More_betterness
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Midnight black body topped with a quickly receding khaki head. Patchy lacing left on the glass.

S: Dark fruits and smoke upfront, layered with coffee and raw cacao. Not nearly as smoky as I was expecting, very well balanced.

T: Dark chocolate and macerated cherry, followed by an acrid drying finish and only a hint of smoke.

M: Per usual epic mouthfeel from an HF beer. Creamy and soft on the palate, with a medium body and a pleasantly dry finish.

O: I will preface this by saying that I absolutely hate smoked beers, but this was really enjoyable. I'm done doubting Mr Hill, the hype is justified.

Photo of jbaker67
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours near black with a lacy, beige head. Aroma of roasted malts, a little coffee, a little smokiness, a little bit of dough, and floral hops. Flavor the same with a nice combo of dark and smoky malts. Smooth texture. A really well executed take on the style.

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Farmhouse in Burlington.
Pours very, very dark almost black with no head.
Aromas are smokiness, roasted coffee, roasted malts, touch of chocolate.
Tastes incredible. FULL flavor of coffee, touch of chocolate, some caramel.
Mouthfeel is silky and smooth.
Overall, a flat out stunning porter by Shaun. Another masterpiece.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

There's just something about Hill Farmstead and Porter that just go ideally well. Their creamy dry marriage captures all the toasted and chocolaty glory of the roasted barley kernel in a way that's rarely tasted.

Feat And Trembling kicks off with a dark, "bark" brown color that pushes black except for the sparkle of garnet ribbons that pierce through its body- showing off its brilliant clarity. Topped with a creamy, yet arid lightly tanned foam cap- the beer retains the session with ease, trailing with concentric lace in the beer's wake.

Its aromas are all about smoky chocolate, as found in premiere chocolate shops. Its roasted character nearly seems of stout, but its high toast scent is woven together with burnt caramel, nutty columbian blend coffee, obvious dark chocolate and walnut. As the porter breathes, a slim vinous note rises from the dark grain and ester complex.

Its taste is equally as captivating as a milkshake-type sweetness emerges, bringing with it toffee, vanilla and heavy cream. Its sweetness is quickly shed as the heavy campfire scent comes to life and creates a dry honeycomb structure of cocoa, charred toast, walnut oil, and french-press coffee. Its smoky aura simmers on the palate like smoldering embers as its dry and minerally finish ushers in remarkable drinkability.

Medium-full on the palate, the beer's early creaminess soon dissolves as the carbonation and residual malt sweetness disengage. What's left is an arid smoky dryness with cocoa-type bitterness and a mild roast-derived astringency that is prompted by a light plaster-like finish.

The inquisitive ale is highly characterful as it goes from smooth and creamy to dry, powdery and slight ash in a hurry. It takes quite a journey over top the palate in short order. Fear And Trembling is as much of an experience for the mind and memory as it is for the taste buds.

Photo of facundoCNB
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A dark brown pour with a nice brown head. Smells fantastically smoky and chocolatey. Tastes fucking phenomenal, sweet smoky, with a distinct lager year flavor. Medium body chalky medium carbonation.
A wonderful beer, I'm trying not to be one sided with the whole HF thing, but this is my first offering from then and it's fucking mindblowing.

Photo of Jeffo
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from Rutager in a summertime box. You spoil me man. Cheers!

From a 50cl bottle into a snifter
20.3 Plato

APPEARANCE: A clear, dark brown pour yields a one finger, medium looking, light tan head with good retention. Head fades to a good full wisp and frothy ring. Black body with lower levels of carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp remains leaving some falling dots of lace down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted notes, smoked malts, dark chocolate and hints of coffee as well. Smoked malts are meaty but not overpowering, letting the chocolate and light cream notes play a roll as well. Nicely balanced.

TASTE: Roasted and smoked malts up front with caramel and dark, bitter chocolate at the swallow. Big and bold aftertaste of smoky, roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, bitter espresso with hints of sweet cream and caramel. Very flavorful and interesting, as well as showing solid balance with the smoked elements.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Very creamy on the palate, velvety smooth, goes down and finishes slightly sticky. A touch light for the style and ABV, but very, very velvety smooth.

OVERALL: Another excellent porter from HF. Complex and interesting, with appreciated constraint with the use of the smoked malts here, too much of which can be off-putting. We had the three barrel aged versions a while back and those were outstanding as well. Finally nice to try the base beer as well. Fantastic stuff Rutager. Thanks again!

Photo of MarcWP
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage. Exactly one year old. Poured into Russian River glass.


Pours pitch black with little light coming through on the edges. Small, compact dark khaki colored head that lingers for a bit.


Aroma is major dark chocolate forward with campfire, coffee pot, and faint s'mores that rounds off the nose beautifully.


On the palate you get all that campfire, melted chocolate, coffee, toasted graham cracker, and sweetness almost like it was coming from lactose sugars. Perfect interpretation of the nose. And a lot more complex flavor than many other Baltic porters I've had.


The mouthfeel on this is what really showcases the mastery at HF. Definitely a heavier side of medium mouthfeel with an incredible silkiness that carries the flavor well over into the aftertaste. Perfect carbonation with a prickly pickup at the end that contradicts the silkiness but makes the pair harmonious in its affect.


Overall a great beer. I'll be honest, I've never been a big fan of Baltic porters and haven't had more than maybe 6 to 8 beers in the style. But this will stand out in my memory as one that expressed great balance and an incredible mouthfeel. Maybe the year of age on it toned down the typical roasty, smokey characteristics of Baltics and brought out an underlying sweetness that played well with the other nuances. Baltics by nature (at least the ones I've tried) are really dry. This had a milky sweetness that made it more enjoyable for me.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

big thanks to franklinn for the assist on this one. enjoyed from a hf taster wine glass.

a - brew poured an attractive lush black with a finger and a half greyish tan head that had solid staying power. as i sipped the beer nice chunky streaks of lacing were left in the wake.

s - nose is quite smokey...almost peaty, but not in a bad sense. char rounds it out keeping the campfire, but extinguishing most of the grease.

t - taste is quite incredible. i'm not a huge smoke beer fan, but don't mind smokey beers and this one is really nice. some chocolate and roast behind the char and smoke.

m - all hill farmstead beers seem to have an amazing feel. drinks really easily and is simply smooth and refreshing.

o - overall i dug this beer more than the barrel treatments i had a while back. really enjoyable baltic porter.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Bottled 1/2013.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, smoke, and cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty 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 with a nice smoke presence that is slightly better in the aroma.

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle 9,0% Abv.
Served chilled and split between a snifer and a wine glass.
Bottled Jan 2013

Thanks to Futura for this one.

Appearance: Fear & Trembling appears pitch black in the glass, however a back light reveals the beer to infact be an ultra deep red, with beautiful deep golden edges. A rough pour yields a massive dark tan coloured head that lasts well for the Abv. and leaves some good looking lacing as it recedes. A swirl results in light alcohol legs.

Smell: The aroma is not as smokey as I was expeting, but it still smells delicious. Cocoa and dark chocolate combing with some smokey campfire, charred wood and a little roasted malt. As the beer warms, the nose opens up with the campfire notes increasing and some caramel an earthy quality and some darker fruit notes also becoming apparent.

Taste: The flavour is a little smokier than the nose suggested, with big campfire notes, roasted malt and some charred wood dominating the flavour. Dark chocolate, cocoa, a creaminess, underlying caramel and a touch of meatiness. There is no trace of alcohol noted in the flavour.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium-full and there is a high level of carbonation. The carbonation is fairly smooth, but has a distinctly lager feel to it and this makes the beers ridiculously drinkable for nearly 10%.

Overall: Fear and Trembling is a great Baltic porter and another great beer from HF. I hope to have it again soon.

Photo of PHBoiler
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I believe this was a 1/2013 bottle.

Minimal head with deep brown/black body and slight reddish brown hues when swirled in the glass.

Plenty of smoke on the nose with some roastiness as well.

Minimal smoke in the taste with smooth roast. Body shows the baltic porter style well. Smooth and easily drinkable cold or as it warmed. Mouthfeel is near perfect. The body is so well done like any HF beer I've had. Very refined. High end version of the baltic porter style. Smoke adds some complexity to the nose but little else. Very good beer.

Photo of Chaney
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Shared at a recent tasting by Huzuhbendah. Thanks Matt!

Served in a Hill Farmstead glass.

A: Poured a dark mocha color with a dark mocha head as well. Looks pretty amazing: Dark, dark brown.

S: About as smokey as it gets. We had a Yazoo "Sue" earlier and this was even smokier IMO. Really bacony.

T: Bacon grease, fried egg, burnt toast, and some coffee. Possible theme: Breakfast beer?

M: Even though this was moderately bitter, it wasn't bitter at all. No French Toast in here, in case you're wondering.

O: This was my first HF beer and it didn't disappoint.

Photo of Seanniek91
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 500ml bottle into a Woodcock Brothers Brewery pint. Holding on to this since February.

Appearance- Pitch black. Half finger of off-white head that stuck around for a while. Some pretty nice lacing.

Smell- Chocolate, coffee, some bitter vanilla and licorice, very light smoke, no booze.

Taste- Medium smoke up front, but turns into bittersweet chocolate, licorice, and light coffee notes. A slight metalicy taste. No booze for 9%.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied with medium-light carbonation.

Overall- A real solid baltic porter. I liked it a lot from the tap at the brewery, but the bottle lost some of the creaminess.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to Kyle for this one... and all things Hill Farmstead. 500ml capped bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1.5 finger frothy, coffee colored head with moderate retention. Beer is pitch black. Lacing is patchy and stringy with good stick. Thin legs. Great looking brew.

Nose is maple, smoked and roasted malt, liquorice, cocoa, and bittersweet chocolate. Very deep with the perfect balance of sweetness and smokiness. Aromatic too. Awesome!

Opens smoke, ash, and roasted malt. Maple and molasses sweetness creeps in to keep things balanced in the middle. Chocolate and liquorice coupled with cocoa powder and more maple towards the end. Sweet, sticky finish with a lingering, smoky, meaty aftertaste kind of like maple bacon. I don't like smoked beers for the most part but this is very, very impressive.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and silky in the mouth and goes down slick and oily. Messy finish with a sweet, light, but lingering aftertaste. Really good.

I'm not a huge fan of smoked beers in general but again, this is just an outstanding brew that's been expertly crafted. Another extremely impressive Hill Farmstead offering. Now I have to find the barrel-aged variations!

Photo of Rutager
3.96/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thank you to Montrealbcr89 for this treat from Vermont.

Appearance. Pours black with over a finger of light tan head.

Smell. Dark malts and molasses, peaty smoke, chocolate and a slight brininess.

Taste. Nice dark malts and a little molasses, chocolate and water doused campfire log.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, medium-low carbonation.

Overall. The smokey aspect suits the style well. A decent beer but doesn't stand out from the crowd like most HF beers I've tried.

Photo of Knapp85
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a nice rich black color with some dark brown hues around the edges. The head is tan in color with a light retention and lacing. The smell of the beer is definitely smoked, there is a light chocolate roasted aroma in there as well but the wood and smoke are most prominent. The taste is roasted, again the smoke comes out right away but doesn't linger or turn into a salty bacon-like flavor which is good. The smoked essence is minimal enough that I still enjoyed this brew but could see the path they were headed in. Very dark malt driven beer which is how it should be in this style. The mouthfeel was heavy and thick, with a good carbonation as well. Overall this beer is very, It's not one I would track down and go completely crazy over but still was a nice one to try.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a 6 oz snifter.

A- pours black with a 1 finger dark tan head. Thin layer of lacing around the rim of the glass.

S- light smoked malts, roast, coffee, dark chocolate.

T- semi sweet bakers chocolate, some light smoke is present, coffee and chocolate with light bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Starts off creamy and fairly thick and then goes down very easy.

O- very solid porter. Has all facets you want to see, chocolate, coffee, and slight sweetness. If you don't like smoke beers don't be afraid to try this one, slight smoke that works very well in this beer.

Photo of metter98
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is nearly jet black in color - slight traces of amber are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a thin head that died down, leaving a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted coffee beans are present in the nose. Light bits of smoke become detectable as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of coffee beans and dark roasted malts and also has a light amount of bitterness. Notes ofchocolate and smoke become noticeable as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a complex yet relatively easy to drink compared to other Baltic Porters.

Note: Bottled January 2013

Photo of dbrauneis
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled January 2013.

A: Pours a mostly opaque yet clear very dark brown (approaching jet black) in color with light amounts of visible carbonation and some very dark amber + cola brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy tan head that reduces to a medium sized medium thick patch of larger bubbles and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted malts and roasted coffee. There are lighter hints of smoked malts and some light amounts of chocolate.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of smoked malts and darkly roasted malts. Then there are some lighter flavors of roasted coffee and dark baker's chocolate. Moderate amounts of lingering bitterness in the finish.

M: Just heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with some light dryness in the finish.

O: The alcohol is well hidden and there is a very nice amount of complexity in the smell and taste of this beer. Nice addition of smoked malts without getting into the medicinal flavors or aromas. Well balanced and one to enjoy.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 4.23.13
Bottled Jan 2013

A - Pours a very dark brown with a one finger light brown clumpy head with good retention and lacing left on the glass.

S - Light smoke and roasted malts.

T - Smokey, roasted malt, chocolate.

D - Silky smooth - decent carbonation and a medium to heavy body.

O - Smokey and silky. Nice for the style. I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black color with a low and tight beach sand colored head. Once the head dissipates it's left looking flat and tranquil with not even a hint of carbonation at the surface.

The smoke is subtle in the aroma and accompanied by coffee, chocolate fudge, and root beer.

The chocolate and coffee share the lead with the smoke, which pops a lot more than in the scent. It's a nice balance of sweet and smokey with just a touch of bitterness in the finish, like coffee grounds.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. It drinks much lighter than a 9.30% beer, though.

Another great beer from HF, no surprise there. The smoke plays a big role in this one but doesn't dominate.

Photo of mechamifune
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep dark brown with a slight tan head. Strong lacing and carbonation in the glass. A very nice looking beer.

Smell is smoke, tobacco, leather, chocolate, coffee...smoke is the stronest note here but it is a nice, complex smell.

Taste is smokey upfront followed by some sweetness and then a bitter/acidic coffee-like finish. Just like the smell, this is pretty complex, but i'm not convinced it all melds together as well as it could. No real hop presence. Smoke, again, is probably the most obvious note but it's not overpowering.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth if not particularly full. Could stand to have just a little more body, but that's more a personal preference than anything.

Overall I feel a little conflicted about this beer. Nothing is particularly wrong with this beer, and I enjoyed drinking it, but I can't say i'd make a point of drinking it again. It's a nice integration of smoked malt and the smoke element is far from overpowering, but that flavor note has just never been one i've been crazy about. In the end though, its worth a try if you can get it and you have an affinity for baltic porters and/or smoked beers of any kind.

Photo of harrymel
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Vintage Jan, 2013

It's near black with a fleeting tan head leaving a etched top. Smells of toasted malts, richly of bitter coffee grounds, some soil, some vinyl and a good chunk of leather. Flavor is very leathery with some meat flavor (well done flank sans spice), some soil - much less sweet than most baltic's I've had. Full bodied with sharp, but limited carb and an off dry finish. Nice beer, not among the best baltics I've had, but a yummy beer best suited for a rich Irish/English meat and potatoes style dinner.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to David for this bottle! Bottled in Jan 2013.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black. One finger of mocha coloured head that reduced to a thin layer. Good lacing.

S - Roast, anise and a big hit of smoke up front. Some chocolate notes in the background. The smoke is dominant without overwhelming the nose.

T - A big roasty profile with a good dose of smoke and lighter anise and chocolate flavours. A fairly big bitterness is present throughout.

M - Medium body with a huge chew. Creamy and silky. Light carbonation. Perfect mouthfeel for the style.

Photo of WillCarrera
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, bottled in January, 2013, poured into a snifter. Thanks Jonathan!

A- Pours black with a thin khaki head, recedes to a collar and leaves spotty lacing.

S- Nice aroma of smoked malt, chocolate, and a sweet, fruity, molasses aroma.

T- From the beginning it's a blend of chocolate and smoked malt. The malt provides some smoky, jerky/meat flavors, which is nicely balanced by the chocolate and sweeter licorice and molasses flavors. Has a very nice lingering chocolatey finish.

M- Medium-bodied, nice smooth feel.

O- A tasty baltic porter, the smoked malt is a nice twist, saisons definitely seem to be his strength but this is another very good beer from HF.

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Fear And Trembling from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 304 ratings.