Fear And Trembling - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Fear And TremblingFear And Trembling

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

54 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 54
Hads: 306
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 3.06%
Wants: 91
Gots: 32 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 306
Photo of joel66
2.81/5  rDev -33.9%
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. (284 characters)

Photo of DaSolomon
3.59/5  rDev -15.5%
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. (557 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
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. (650 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled January 2013

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a frothy, two finger beige head that slowly settles into thick, lasting ring. Really good retention with streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Robust, slightly smokey aroma with hints of burnt wood, charcoal, smoked meat and campfire yet still retains porter characteristics. Not as intensely smokey as I expected but this allows hints of dark chocolate, toast, coffee and oatmeal to come through. Smoke stands out a bit more as it warms but it's nicely integrated and not a complete smoke bomb.

Viscous and full bodied with a slight creamy texture and a very nice, rich smoke flavor that's decently integrated into the roasted porter notes. Very dry and bitter up front with hints of charred wood, ash, charcoal and barbecued bacon countered by deeply roasted dark chocolate malt, burnt coffee and oatmeal. The ABV is well masked but the malt tastes more burnt than smoked. Lingering acrid bitterness hurts the flavor and drinkability a bit. There's is a touch of sweetness balancing things out but this beer needs more of that. I'm a huge fan of smoke beers but there's something slightly off here. Still, an enjoyable beer that I'm glad to have tried. (1,224 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (473 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
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! (974 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served at 47 degrees in a tulip. Bottled January 2013. Pours the color and clarity of cola with a loose, tan-colored head that dissipates into a sudsy band around the edges while leaving a soapy slick across the center. Nose is vinous upfront with a suggestion a milk chocolate and a kiss of smoke at the tail end. Taste expresses a lot of smoke (think just shy of smoked meat), followed by dark fruits and cocoa. Finishes with a slightly medicinal character. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a consistent, even carbonation. Overall, a solid example of the style. The smoked quality adds an interesting element; however, it's a bit too assertive for my sensibilities. (694 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (349 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (610 characters)

Photo of jbaker67
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (259 characters)

Photo of mechamifune
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (1,166 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (761 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (373 characters)

Photo of More_betterness
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (608 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (792 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (824 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a growler while up in VT with JLindros. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice deep, dark brownish black with a very creamy two and a half finger mocha khaki head that faded to leave very nice side lacing and a creamy blanket. Quite nice.

S - Quite smokey, to the point of masking alot of the other qualities of the beer. Lots of deep roasted/smoked malts. Thats pretty much it though.

T - Taste offers some more well roundedness though. The smoked, roasted malts are there but along with some nice faint sweet caramel. Some very faint alcohol along with vanilla. Tasty.

M - Mouthfeel is super rich, light but sharp carbonation. Quite drinkable.

O - Overall, a solid beer. Damn good baltic porter, though perhaps a hair too smokey for my liking. (767 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (566 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,872 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

New Hill Farmstead beer. I so excite.

The beer is dark brown with a small beige head. The aroma brings a huge dose of malt, sausage, campfire. Baltic character. Rauchbier quality. Burnt sausage and bacon with smokey campfire flavor. Delicious. Not for everyone, but if you like smoked brews (and I do), this is for you. Just delicious. (336 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a deep murky black with an inch of tan head that dissipates and thinly blankets. The nose is smokey, but sweet, reminiscent of a s'more (thanks tom for the analogy) minus the gram cracker. The taste presents an initial caramelized sweetness with a modest infusion of smoke, metal, and fruit. Err I'm not sure what "hand smoked over native woods" means exactly, but I'm hoping to try a beer aged on one of Darren's stellar looking chairs at some point. This is a very drinkable Baltic porter with great fruity/caramel sweetness, smooth, thick body, yet is supremely smoky and saturates your palate without dominating it. This is a great beer, but not a "definitely must try this" beer (and the 0.5L size is the perfect size for 2 healthy samples). (761 characters)

Photo of Pinknuggets
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle to rock art pint glass

A:very very dark brown in color completely opaque and as dark as they come in terms of porters. It looks almost like motor oil especially since there is no head at all to speak of or even a lacing.

S: there is definitely that smoked smell upfront, but it is not overwhelming or powerful. There are also some coffee/mocha notes in there. Also you can smell the standard porter malts very dark, overall a very nice smell.

T: To start there is definitely a smokiness but its is tolerable in terms of light weights and for me really ads to the taste as it is light and sweet but still lasts throughout the finish you can really taste the hand smoked quality of the malt. Outside of the smokiness there is a solid porter lager backbone that is clean, there are also some hints of coffee/mocha as in the smell (could just be the smoke). For the the alcohol I am extremely surprised as I cannot even tell its presence.

M: It is clean and thin considering how dark it is it is almost watery but that makes it extremely drinkable and which is very important considering the smokiness of this beer. There are strong flavors but it is almost sessionable more like a lager in feel which is impressive given the high abv.

O: This beer is impressive it has a great tasty and unique smoke flavor while not being overwhelming and balancing with other flavors. It is not my favorite beer by any stretch of the imagination but it is clearly extremely well crafted and worth a try 100% especially if you like smoked beer then this is a must try (1,561 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (527 characters)

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,434 characters)

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Fear And Trembling from Hill Farmstead Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.