Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Fear And Trembling | Hill Farmstead Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
63 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
63
Ratings:
358
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
8.02%
 
 
Wants:
102
Gots:
55
For Trade:
6
Fear And TremblingFear And Trembling
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States | website

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fear and Trembling was Hill Farmstead’s first collaboration—a Baltic-style porter brewed with malt that was hand smoked over maple wood by our Danish friend, and former colleague, Anders Kissmeyer. This batch was brewed with malt that was hand-smoked over a blend of native woods, then fermented in the traditional way, with lager yeast, and conditioned in stainless steel.

Added by MasterSki on 01-21-2013

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 358
Photo of Knapp85
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
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 kawilliams81
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
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 metter98
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
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

 790 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 1,122 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
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 Vonerichs
4.45/5  rDev +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.

 678 characters

Photo of mechamifune
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
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 harrymel
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
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 TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

 563 characters

Photo of WillCarrera
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 675 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 490 characters

Photo of neophilus
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served from capped bottle, label indicates stainless lagering. Dark brown ale with a foamy tan head on top. Aroma has complex layers of malt, semi-sweet chocolate mixed with brown bread and just a hint of ash from the smoked malt.

Very smooth and rich on the palate, the flavor leads with a creamy sweetness that is somewhat cut by the edge of the roasted grain and more subdued smoke flavors. The smoke is definitely way in the background of this bottle. As it warms the chocolate malt flavors coalesce into a luscious malted milkshake flavor.

Went in expecting an acrid brew showcasing smoked malt but instead found a decedent dessert porter, pleasantly surprised.

 668 characters

Photo of flexabull
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

 1,023 characters

Photo of Pinknuggets
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
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 Dreadnaught33
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Chris (ravensdkr) for sharing this.

This beer is great, it seems to our tasting to be a rauch porter, very smoked smell and taste for a porter.

Nice very dark brown color some nice lacing and sticky tan head. The smell is very smoky and meaty, also with a great dark chocolate bitterness and depth. Very malty in smell and taste. The taste follows suit, chocolate, smoky jerky, malt, very little hops. Great balance and feel over the palate, great carbonation level.

Overall a nice beer. but not essential stuff.

 526 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev 0%
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 yamar68
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
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 nootch23
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A - pours a dark thick black, just like a stout. Had a small, soft white, vanilla head to it that disappears quick but hangs around at the edge of the glass.

S - right up front a heavy smokiness with coffee and notes of chocolate. a great smelling porter.

T - this is all smokiness. hints of coffee and chocolate barely come up behind all the smokey flavor to this. very smooth tasting, easy to drink. there is a little booze but very very small amount.

M - very easy, smooth porter. very refreshing and sweet and then a dryness comes up slowly. a really balanced beer.

O - very tasty porter, very enjoyable. I would put this in my Top 10 List of favorite porters. I really enjoy smokey porters and this one is kind of the ideal smokey porter. The smokiness is strong but I don't feel it's overpowering although i can see why people would think so. It's not one of the best HF beers but I definitely like this one and would buy it again. I can definitely enjoy this porter on a chilly or cold night.

 1,046 characters

Photo of corby112
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
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 jlindros
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 1,768 characters

Photo of DaSolomon
3.59/5  rDev -15.3%
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 joel66
2.81/5  rDev -33.7%
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 rudzud
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
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 cfrances33
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 694 characters

Photo of davey101
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

 861 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Fear And Trembling from Hill Farmstead Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.