Fear And Trembling - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Fear And TremblingFear And Trembling

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

306 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 306
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.06%
Wants: 91
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: 306 | Reviews: 54
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 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 neophilus
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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 Pinknuggets
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
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

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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 nootch23
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of corby112
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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 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 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 rudzud
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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 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 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 morebeergood
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A friend brought me back a growler from VT. Poured into stemmed glasses. Dark brown body with light beige head. Tons of smoke aroma up front. Taste was a great blend of smoke, chocolate, and wood. Very nice body, which was perfect for a Baltic Porter, but smooth enough to make an over 9% beer very drinkable. Overall, a pleasure to drink and quite a treat, so thanks to Joey G.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
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).

Photo of jaasen64
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into HF stemmed glass.

A- Pours a dark brown that appears an opaque jet black in the glass. Fairly minimal mocha head that quickly recedes to leave a fairly still top and some light spotty lacing.

S- Smoked beechwood malt, a bit of smoked ham blended with rich chocolate and coffee. Very nice balance and fairly aromatic that you can smell while pouring the beer into the glass.

T- Creamy rich chocolate, espresso, finishes with a nice malty smokiness that isn't too overpowering. Not as smokey as the aroma. Extremely nicely balanced with a nice lightly smoky chocolate lingering aftertaste.

M- Creamy, smooth, very easy drinking, nice carbonation for the style, almost perfect feel for a baltic porter.

O- This was a fantastic baltic porter that definitely lived up to my expectations. This isn't the smokiest baltic porter but the balance between the smoked malt and the luscious chocolate is spot on in my opinion. This is another grand slam by HF and a must try for any smoked baltic porter fan.

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 Gosox8787
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 500 mL bottle from the brewery. I also had this on tap at the brewery as part of the sampler. Chilled and poured into a Russian River tulip glass. Enjoyed over an hour or so.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. A slow forming, medium brown head that holds well and turns into a nice lacing.

Aroma: Cocoa beans, caramel and really nice, subtle smoke tones throughout. All the flavor of the malt is there without any astrigency or burnt character. More sweet than bitter in the nose. Extremely well rounded.

Taste: Really rich, well rounded smoke character. Really imparts an almost smoked meat character throughout. Strong caramel backbone with a touch of coffee balances out the smoke and really makes this tasty and drinkable. The balance of smoke and sweetness is really on point.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a touch of creaminess. Surprisingly strong bite of carbonation.

Overall, another great porter from Hill Farmstead. So much flavor, complexity and balance in such a drinkable beer. The smoke is almost perfectly balanced with sweetness from the malt. It definitely fits into the category of a smoked beer more than a baltic porter for me. It is a great beer no matter how you classify it though.

Photo of Skrip
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

550ml bottle poured into a Dogfish snifter.

A~ black as night with a sandy colored head.

S~ smokey up front, following with dark malts and a hint of vanilla.

T~ mmm...! and i'm not one for smoked brews. almost follows the nose, smoke and maple syrup up front, dark malts and some bitterness on the finish.

M~ i'm in love with how this feels (no homo lol) amazingly thick and syrupy with a crazy smooth finish.

O~ i haven't had too many darker brews from HF but this one is definitely my favorite so far. and thats really saying a lot cause i normally don't like a "smoked" beer. i would definitely drink again!

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 Jmerril77
4.89/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best smoked porters I've ever had.

Appearance is dark, thick, and a dark caramel head
Aroma is very smokey...especially the first sniff
Taste is smokey, bitter, and chocolately

I enjoy many of Hill Farmstead's beers. This is one of my favorites.

Fear And Trembling from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 306 ratings.