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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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
Reviews by yottachem:
More User Reviews:
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 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 joel66
2.81/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

flavor and nose was very smoky. tasted like everett and his first born child tragically got blazed off two dutchies jam packed with the sour diesel.. BOOOM.

all the porter characteristics were there, however i felt this was overwhelmingly smoky. by far my least favorite HF offering.

Photo of DaSolomon
3.59/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type Bottle poured into chalice.

Poured black with a small 1cm tan head.

Nose full of smoke, like doing a line of some Zabar's Lox. Some malt notes push their way through but smoke cover's all.

Taste is all smoke again, with a hint of more smoke. again porter notes seep through every once in a while but they are smothered by the smoke. Little Char notes make an appearance. Its not HF best offering, but compared to the rest of the smoked porters out there its solid. Would I seek it out again? No. It's a one and done beer, had it and move on.

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 Alieniloquium
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

750 mL growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours a deep brown, almost black. Nice khaki head and good wisps that regenerate with every swirl.

Smell - Quite smokey, but it has a sweet caramel aroma with it. Deep roasted malt blends with the smoke.

Taste - Pleasant amount of smoke. Caramel throughout snifter the darker malts come through in the back. Bitter and very Smokey in the finish. It gives it an interesting finish for a lager, but it's rough.

Mouthfeel - Overly bitter. Nice until the very end, but excessively bitter.

Overall - Missing the HF magic. Never been the biggest fan of smoked beers and while the smoke improves the Baltic Porter, it's rough in the end.

Edit: Had this out of the bottle and it was much better. Smoother finish.

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 Kinsman
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy smoke Batman! Fills the class with a dark and sexy black body and capped by a nice bit of dark mocha colored head. First whiff is beautifully smokey character thats more on the campfire side of things but has some bacon/meaty quality as well. The underlying porter comes across a bit sweet on the nose with chocolate and brown sugar notes.

First sip reveals a great balance of smoked beer and porter qualities. Most other smoked porters I've had seem to seriously lack on the smoked side of things but this one gets right up there with a big but not overpowering woody smoke flavor. And of course, as one would expect from HF, even without the smoked malt this porter would be among the best. Creamy and a bit sweet but not cloying at all. Chocolate and maple notes pair well with the smokey character. Nice full-bodied mouth feel but it's scary how easily this beer goes down at 9% ABV.

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 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 BTVflatlander
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Waited in the February Vermont cold for two hours for this here brew.

A: As to be expected considering the type, Fear and Trembling pours a deep, silky black with a caramel head--even with the growler having been open for over 24 hours.

S: Overwhelming smoked malt overtones.

T: Taste is predominantly maple and smoke dominated. It is true to the style for sure, and is without doubt the best baltic porter I've had.

M: Neither especially syrupy or heavy nor weak or watery.

O: This masterpiece of Hill Farmstead was undoubtedly worth the numbingly cold wait in line and $18 it took to get in my possession--something I cannot say about many other beers.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark, not black, light brown head, finger, light edges.

Aroma: smoke, but a burning wood smoke, not a meat smoke, chocolate, nutty, caramel.

Taste: smoky and charred, woody, chocolate, caramel, sweet and bitter.

***quite good. Have grown to prefer a meatier smokiness, as opposed to a woody smoke, but its still great. Very drinkable.

Photo of yamar68
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to cfrances33 for this awesome surprise bottle - bottled 1/13:

Deep black body with an edge of coffee clarity. A creamy finger of light brown head leaves great cloudy beading beneath and milky lace above. Sort of looks like a fresh A&W on draft. Nice looking stuff.

Loads of chocolatey smoked malts, oak ash, faint vanilla notes, licorice and molasses beneath it all... ginger, maybe a bit of cardamom? There's a good amount of complexity here but it takes some time to dissect... at a glance, it's all about the rauch.

Some great porter flavors laced with earthy smoke and an Abyss like licorice presence. A bit of peat moss, charred bacon, plenty of barley... the alcohol contribution is still subtle. I'm typically on the fence when it comes to smoked beers but I can dig this. It's interesting... probably not a beer that I would choose to include in the standard rotation though.

Thanks Colin, very glad to have had the opportunity to give this one a go!

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 rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, almost a black ruby brown when pouring, one finger off white/beige head with lacing.

S-Smoke, leather, beef jerky, oak and roasted malt.

T-Smoke, but isn't overpowering, oak and beef jerky/leather notes. Slight chocolate with roasted malt. More of chocolate as an undertone. Vanilla is there as well.

M-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated and creamy.

O-Easily the best smoked beer I've had, the smoke was not off putting and balanced nicely with the rest of the beer.

Photo of oline73
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the growler into a tasting snifter.

The beer pours a dark mahogany with a layer of light tan head that leaves a thick ring around the pour. In the nose I'm getting smoke and dark fruit along with a malt sweetness and some roasted malt. The taste follows from the smell. I'm really liking the smoke and there is just enough sweet malt to back it up. The mild dark fruit notes and the roast work well with everything else. The finish is smokey and bitter. The body is medium with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

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 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 jlindros
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

It's now a week old, wish I had it earlier but I got sick all weekend last week, then had some growler IPAs to do first. THis is perfect though, it's a great beer to drink while snowed in, and get in my blood before having to go out and clean all the snow.

Pours a nice big creamy mocha colored almost 2 finger thick head that fades fairly slowly, nice sticky lacing, very dark just a step away from pitch black.

Nose starts with a nice smoked aroma, like smoldering log and smoking wood, little almost hickory like, touch of smoked meat, chewy malts and oats, some dark chocolate and cocoa powder, faint black malt maybe a hint of roast but hard to tell, could be black patent malt or carafa, mostly stuck behind the smoke, and faint earthy spicy hops in the back end.

Taste starts rich and creamy, plenty of malts, creamy oats, chewy malts, etc. Smoke out first, smoking wood again, little smoldering log but not really campfire, hint smoked meat. THen the chocolate, creamy milk chocolate but more like hot cocoa and lush semi dark chocolate. THen into black malts, not really roast but maybe hint of coffee, and some black malts almost chalky flavor. THe dark malts bring a hint of minerality and very faint char. BItterness not only comes from the dark malts but also earthy spicy slight even grassy like hops. Quite a nice profile with nice bitterness that doesn't overpower or get acrid. FInish is drier than expected, but a little stick mouthfeel, plenty of lingering bitterness with just a hint of smoke, more cocoa and black malt, oats too.

Mouth is fuller bodied, creamy and lush, thick, nice carb, just a touch of warming booze.

OVerall nice beer, good smoke, good black malts, nice hop profile, creamy and smooth, booze hidden well, a well done beer.

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.

Photo of davey101
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled January 2013, 500 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a dark, dark brown body. Just a shade below black. Two fingers of mocha foam settles to a one finger cap of long lasting foam. Excellent lacing and moderate retention.

S - Smokey malts, ham, chocolate, coffee and a nice mineral bite. The smell is just phenomenal, smokey and rich with just enough sweetness and bitterness to keep things in check.

T - Starts off smokey and savory. Smooth milk chocolate and bitter coffee beans come to the rescue to provide some balance. Finishes with lasting ash and sweetness. This is a top notch smoked porter. Very delicious with the perfect level of smoke.

M - Medium bodied and creamy. Moderate level of carbonation.

O - I'm not a big fan of smoked beers, but this is right up there with Alaskan Smoked as the best I've ever had. Really great stuff.

Photo of flexabull
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of donfrap, thanks again!

Pours a dark brown color with a decent lightly tan colored head.

Aromas are quite nice. Nice blend of dark bitter bakers chocolate and light hints of smoked malts.

Taste really kicks it up more than I expected from the nose, and in a good way. Taste starts off with light cocoa, then kicks in a nice mixture of smoke flavors. I notice light peat, dark roasted coffee, smoked meats, char, and campfire which all join in, but don't overpower at all like these flavors often do. Finish is bitter, with a nice mineral note. This beer really does a wonderful job balancing the smoke flavors with the baltic porter flavors.

Mouthfeel is nice. Very smooth and full bodied. I like a touch more body, but that's a nit pick at this point.

Overall, this is outstanding. One of the best beers I have had in months, and at ths point it is easily my favorite from Hill Farmstead. The balance of flavors is done with a deft hand, very well crafted and delicious. I want another bottle or 10.

Photo of cfrances33
4.51/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead stem.

Pour: Splashy black with a nice two fingers of foamy tan head. Nice lacing, and the head hangs around for most of the glass.

Smell: Lots of roasted chocolate and coffee up front, and a clean char. Some smoke, but not a ton. Like burnt oak.

Taste: Not as smokey as the nose would lead you to believe. Lots of dark roasted coffee and some milk chocolate. Smoke comes through mostly on the finish, with vanilla, roastiness, and a clean smoke.

Mouthfeel: Very nice and creamy. Carb is just right on this one. The smoke isn't over powering, but half a bottle was plenty for me.

Overall: Well executed, and one of the few smoked beers I have enjoyed.

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 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.

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