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Ephraim | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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BA SCORE
99
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230 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ephraim (1823-1913) was our great-great grandfather; Hill Farmstead Brewery resides several hundred feet downhill from the land that he and his father settled. In his honor, this Imperial India Pale Ale is dutifully crafted from American malted barley, buckets of American hops, our ale yeast and water from our well. It is unfiltered, naturally carbonated, and double dry hopped. Intensely aromatic and saturated with resinous hop flavor, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Ephraim.

280 Theoretical IBU

Pale Malt; Dextrose; Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, and Warrior hops, Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.

Added by Kegatron on 09-28-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
230
Ratings:
1,008
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
1,497
Gots:
39
For Trade:
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 230 | Ratings: 1,008
Photo of cpetrone84
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is hazy bright golden amber with tons of egg white head leaving a thick lacing. The nose is pungent, light clean grain, dusty, strong tropical fruits, mango and grapefruit behind. Taste also has nice balance with huge hop punch. The grain is up front, clean and lightly dusty. Hops surround with a creamy dough and more tropical fruit. Plenty of mango and fuzzy peach with a grapefruit hit in back and crisp bitterness with little lingering effect. Body is light, a touch creamy mid palate, softer carbonation in the finish.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jrallen34 for hooking us up with this.

A - An opaque orangish amber with a late rising head that had decent retention. Nice stick on the sides with some very fine lace.

S - Smells very light, an interesting citrusy flavor, smells something like a tropical fruit that I just can't place. Burnt sugar, and a nice malt backbone.

T - A nicely light drinking triple IPA. Citrusy hops, you can definately pick up on the added sugar in this one. The bittering hops in this is quite suble but picks up steam on the end and gives you a nice bite that really gets you. An interesting fruity taste that is also like the smell that I can't place. Alcohol is quite well hidden, only burn comes with the sugar at the end.

M - Lighter side of medium body with moderate carbonation. Good feel for this beer.

D - Very drinkable triple ipa, alchohol quite well hidden, a little sweet that keeps it at a 4.

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Photo of craytonic
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy straw-amber-apricot-peach pour, good head and lacing

Smell: This beer is huge. Enormous, over-the-top load of hops. Pine resin, grapefruit, tropical fruits, papaya. Slightly sweet

Taste: Just enormous in the hop department. It is like they backed a dump truck full of hops and forced it into this growler. Just huge. Tropical fruits, citrus, grapefruit, orange. A bit sweet. Bitterness is perfect, strong and present without being overbearing. That said, I think they dialed it up to 11 and should have stopped at 10.

Mouthfeel: Again, this is a big beer. You don't gulp it. You don't drink it. You sip it, otherwise it will overpower you.

Drinkability/Overall: This is so huge it is hard to consume in quantity, but it does run with the big boy DIPAs. Well done. This thing is a hop grenade, although I prefer the boy king / pliny the younger type ones.

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Photo of -Rick
4.31/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A great double IPA here. Real nice tropical nose, lots of citrus forward smells. The taste follows the nose- pineapple, mango, with a slight bitter finish. Wanted to try this for a while. Did not disappoint.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler, thanks Jason.

A - Pours a clear orangish/yellow, white head that dissipates to a thin film, very sticky lacing all along the sides of the glass, and a thin ring around the glass.

S - Sweet burnt sugars, lots of malts, bitter citrus notes, dankness. Pretty damn solid combo of stuff going on here.

T - Sweet malts and sugars up front followed by an onslaught of bitter hoppy dankness. It's a transition from one to another, but holy shit, the hops are beating my palate into submission.

M - Medium bodied, syrupy feel, smooth, light carbonation.

D - Now on my second glass, I'm feeling pretty good. Really enjoyed this one and hopefully, I'll get to try some other offerings from this brewery.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to the most generous BA I know. Thanks man, I owe you big time! Growler shared amongst friends and consumed exactly 6 days after the growler was filled.

A- Pours a clear, vibrant amber color. Produced two fingers width of white head. Some lacing as beer was consumed. Very pretty to look at.

S- An abundance of tropical fruits and hops. Very juicy, with mango, papaya, and pineapple at the forefront. Just a great hop profile in the nose. I could smell this all day.

T- I was expecting a hop bomb, but this was more on the balanced side. The tropical aromas are well represented here. Not too much hop bitterness. Very juicy with a bit of a caramel presence in the finish. Restrained, but clean prominent flavors.

M- Light to medium bodied with good carbonation. Really being picky here, but could of coated the palate a little better.

D- At 10.5% this beer is very dangerous. Alcohol is nearly undetectable and the tropical fruit flavors beg you to come back for more and more.

Overall, an excellent DIPA and one that I am extremely grateful to have tried, much thanks to a very generous BA. This is a very tropical fruit forward DIPA that is nicely balanced. I think it could have used a little more hop bitterness though. Recommended.

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Photo of billab914
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. 750ml growler shared with some friends over the weekend. It poured orange in color with a thin, bubbly white head sticking to the edges of the glass.

The aroma had a bright, citrusy and juicy hop profile to it. I get notes of peach and pineapple to it mixing with a little grapefruit hoppiness. Some sweeter, almost sugary malty flavors come out in it as well.

The taste also has a juicy, citrus fruit presence to it throughout the flavor. I get a lot of peach and pineapple notes to it, with a touch of grapefruit. It finishes with some sweeter, malty, slightly candy like notes mixing with the juicy hops. It was relatively low on bitterness in the finish for the style as well.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall it was great beer of the style. It was very big on the juicy, citrusy hoppiness which I liked a lot. Out of the two I tried though this weekend I think I liked Abner slightly better. Abner seemed to balance the juicy citrus with some grapefruit and citrus rind bitterness while Ephraim was all about the juicy, fruity, sweetness. Both were pretty awesome though.

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Photo of tyamhydrogen
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a growler into a pint glass. Last growler of the batch, consumed day of.

A: Golden, clear body with a one-finger head.

S: Grapefruit and pineapple hop aromas. Smells superb.

T: Grapefruit, pineapple and other fruity notes are initially present and dominant, giving way to a residual fruitiness and a tiny amount of warming booze. Delicious.

M: Mouthfeel is definitely thick. Not syrupy, but certainly noticeably on the thicker side. Thick for a DIPA.

O: Overall an extremely solid DIPA, and perfect for autumn in Vermont. I prefer the Double Citra and the Abner, but it seems as though this beer is exactly what it’s aiming to be, a bigger, boozier DIPA than Shaun’s other offerings. Still extremely drinkable for being 10.5%. Another great Hill Farmstead creation.

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Photo of rorykanderson
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big, beefy DIPA with a huge ABV that drinks incredibly easy. Hoppy, piney and floral aroma; taste of orange rind, mandarin orange, mango, apricot, grapefruit, tobacco and green tea. Outstanding citrus and bitter profile with a soft mouthfeel, but it's not a balanced beer - it's a big time hop-forward DIPA that comes on strong and doesn't let up. With a 10% ABV I'm not sure what else you could expect. Prepare your face. They've employed magic to make such a huge beer so palatable.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hazy orange color. Smell is a subtle pony hops with some malt. The taste is an earthy hops with good malt background. A very smooth yet hearty feel. No double galaxy, but still a to notch beer.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml growler straight from the source provided by who else but cbutova. Enjoyed whilst running around changing a car battery.

Pours a super hazy orange, full-a floaties. Small white head retains decently.

Super citrus/orange juice up-front in the scent, lots of earthy fruitiness, a touch of alcohol. Big scent that fades a bit with time.

Taste is where it's at, huge beer. Lots of danky oranges, pine, bright juicy tropical fruit, grapefruit, with big caramel malts and breadiness there too. It is definitely on the sweeter side for an IPA but hops are huge as well.

Good full mouthfeel. High bitterness is balanced nicely by the malts, drinks pretty easy for the ABV - it feels big but there's not much alcohol heat.

I think the sweetness+alcohol could get to be a little much after time, I think as far as DIPA's go I prefer something more like Abner or Heady Topper. But this is without a doubt a crazy good beer.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer was described as the be-all and end-all of beers, so it was disappointing to finally try this beer and not have it live up to hype.

Very boozy on the front, followed by a harsh bitterness, then a mild sweetness on the finish.

This does not resemble a Hill Farmstead IPA at all. Not terribly well balanced. Overall, a good beer but not a great one.

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Photo of tscanlon51
4.23/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Expecting a bit more from this one. I expected the booziness given the 10% ABV but seem to be lacking in the aroma department. I enjoyed Abner earlier this week much more. Nonetheless, this is still a great beer. HF continues to produce high quality beers.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750mL courtesy of Jim. Huge thanks.

A: Beautiful golden-orange with a foamy white head. Sediment mars the overall beauty, but it still looks quite nice.

N: Wonderfully balanced. Pine, earth, mango, pineapple. Deep and rounded. Some grass and a little bit of caramel around the edges.

T: Quite sweet at the front with a moderate bitterness. Showcases the hops very well. Both stinging and balanced. Big kudos here, though it’s just a tad sweet for me.

M: Very good mouthfeel. Carbonated nicely with a slight dryness and a round, heavy mouthfeel.

O: A top tier beer that might get a few more points from me with a touch more dryness and a little less malt. Still, well done. Would have time and time again.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden orange body with nice clarity and a decent sized foamy cap. Good retention and solid lacing.

S: Fruity citrus--grapefruit, orange, and pineapple--plus a bit of pine. Very nice, but not the same depth of fruity goodness of something like fresh sculpin.

T: A nice fruit forward amped up IPA. The flavors are muted, and although there is a bit going on here, it doesn't have the same layered complexity of PtY where you can get lost for days in the flavor interactions.

M: Medium bodied, effervescent on the tongue. Nice level of bitterness leaves a refreshing finish.

O: Overall this is a VERY NICE imperial ipa. That said, I can name quite a few that I'd easily take over this. I am sure this was better the day it was first tapped at the Farmstead though.

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Amber in color with a 2-3 finger white head

S - Very sweet and fruity.

T - A ton of grapefruit, some honey, a lot of malty-ness. A slight touch of pine.

M - Medium. Right amount of carbonation, very refreshing.

O - Great beer. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

3/6/2011 Re-review thanks to Chris. This is batch 2, drank from a counter-pressurized growler. This batch is more hot, way too much alcohol on the finish. Still pretty good, just not the epic level of the first batch, still recommend trying.

Growler provided by sleepydave, drank into my Narke tulip...The top pops without an whiff and I'm a bit concerned, then I see theres only about a half centimeter of air, so I'm good. Pours a dark peach, nice color. At first it pours without any head, then as it settles about a full finger of light tope head. Pretty good retention, but really nice lacing; thin drops around the glass but super sticky...The aroma is not at as strong as expected, but in a good way; doesn't overpower. Very light grapefruit on the front, light sugar, and sweet pine hops. The backbone is light pine and alcohol but exactly what you are looking, makes me really want to drink it...The taste is a super nice perfect combination of sweet and bitter. The sweetness doesn't really show as fruits, but sugar and alcohol. The finish is hoppy, gives you want you want but not at all harsh or so much hops it distracts you from drinking. The finish is pine resin, sugar, alcohol and a little metal....The feel is outstanding. Sticks to your palate start to finish, its full, coating, makes you lick your lips, a smooth and lasting finish...Incredibly drinkable.

Another beer that was crazily hyped but actually lived up to expectations. Would LOVE to try this fresh.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into a HF tulip

pours a dull golden yellow, light frothy white head. faint retention.

heavy on the citrus and earthy pine. dominating tangerine and orange.

bitter and strong pine resin. very earthy and citrus hop forward. red grapefruit through the finish. malt body is faint and light, no detection of alcohol.

light body with a very moderate carbonation, lots of bite. enhances bitterness.

overall, good. very hop dominate.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler. Pours a golden yellow amber color with a very white head that forms a nice 1 finger head of foam that false rather quickly. I can smell the hop aroma as I pour this out into the glass. Very aromatic with nice tropical type hop notes like pineapple and mango, also some citrus rind. Medium mouthfeel. Fruity malty sweetness gives way to a nice bitter hop bite. Wow, bitter bite, might be a tad much. Very slight alcohol notes but otherwise the alcohol is fairly well hidden.

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Photo of Lunch
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by the king of growlers himself, drabmuh at a tasting in the woods. If drabmuh does not bring a growler to a tasting...something must be wrong with the world.

Really looking forward to this as I love a good DIPA and this one was pretty goddamn nice. Pours a nice gold color with great carbonation and nice sizable head leaving some nice lacing.

Lost of citrus comes through in the nose with no real malt to speak of which is ideal. Some alcohol is detected, but not much.

Taste is rather bright with a lot of citrus and some sweetness. Some peach notes with hints of grapefruit shine through.

Mouthfeel is spot on for the style and I don't think that I would have a problem finishing the entire goddamn growler myself.

Thanks again Matt!

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Photo of Yagman3000
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 32 ounce growler into a snifter. The source was a generous sharing by fellow BA CosmicEvan who had it smiled kindly after a recent brewery release.

Appears a beautiful golden apricot with a touch of rouge at its center. Small foamy head is subsiding at a normal rate with a steady effervescent bubbling occurring toward the top half inch.

Smells very sweet and rich... Like apricot jello. There's a lot if tropical fruit that comes through and I'm really excited to taste what I hope is a heavy hitter.

Tastes really fruity and bitter in a pleasing way. Grapefruit and pineapple are prominent. It finishes, though, with a bit if a medicinal flavor that reminds me of dark red Robitussin.

Mouthfeel is pleasing and filled with fresh effervescence. It was pretty creamy and quite fresh from the growler.

Overall a good beer with a great start but its finish leaves a little bit to be desired.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

750ml growler. Teku glass.

A: Pours a straw/pale color with two fingers of cloud-like, wispy white head. Very good retention but chaotic, thin lacing.

S: Liquid caramel, candied citrus (tangerine), white grape, grass, bready character. Nice complexity on the nose.

T: Bread and biscuit are the most prominent, with undertones of grapefruit peel, tangerine, a little white grape, finishing with a mild to moderate bitterness which is offset slightly by lingering sugar and citrus.

M: Medium body, soft texture, with medium, somewhat sharp carbonation. No alcohol is evident; in fact, this drinks like a pale ale.

O: A solid and well constructed--though unexceptional--pale ale. (Wait, wut. This is a DIPA?) Drinkability is average: it kind of grates on me after half a pint partly due to the bitterness. Sigh, there are so many better options that are much more readily available.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap At Capone's.

A- Ephraim looks the part, shades of golden orange with some tangerine looks. a nice amount of white foam on top that leaves minor stickage. Decent retention, while some swirls brings it back.

S- A really pungent bouquet of hop aroma blasting out. Smells of ripe tropics such as grapefruit and pineapple with a decent amount of pine. A array of hop types in here, probably including Summit(slight onion), thanks for the tip Bill.

T- First sips, Ephraim just comes out swinging. An assult of hop flavor and tropic mixed in with pine in the beginning. Some malt biscuit barely makes a whimper in between. Just a bit of summit hop flavor under a bevy of others. It's interesting and worth the praise, just not my top pick.

M- Like said, hops and bitterness basically envade the mouth. Astringent and really grabs ahold of the tounge. Medium bodied and carbed up from the tap. Great beer burps afterwards and the flavor sticks around with me forever.

O- A great beer and a banging double eye. Very drinkable, but the bitterness can deter for a bit. the tropics are not as large as expected, Abner really shines in that department. This is another beast.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled growler into a glass. Thanks Kristin!

A: Pours a hazy golden peach body with not a ton of head. The growler has been in transit for a week and it was apparently filled right to the top; the paper towel wrapped around the neck showed that it might have leaked in transit, so I'm forgiving any carbonation issues in appearance or mouthfeel. This special is today only! Anyway, the foam is lightly beige in color; it slowly comes out of solution, then vanishes very quickly. Some spotty lace left behind.

S: Carbonation issues or no, it is not affecting the aroma at all. A nice, pungent blend of orange rind, candied grapefruit, pineapple, passionfruit, and a touch of mossy weed (I wrote this down as 'dank' to widespread mockery by the tasting group, but I stand by it). There's an expressive sugariness and booze.

T: Initially the taste is a rough bitterness. I'm unused to this, considering that I mostly drink West Coast IPAs with a lot of hop flavor but not necessarily a lot of hop bitterness. But the flavors come together pretty nicely: orange rind, passionfruit, pineapple. Grapefruit and substantial sugar cookie give the impression of candied grapefruit. The mossy, weedy flavors are particularly noticeable here; they pull into the finish with a sticky, resinous presence. This reminds me heavily of fresh Moylan's Hopsickle.

M: Full, expressive flavors abound. There's a touch of booze that I don't enjoy, but having had a 3-week old growler of Pliny the Younger that was boozier than the tap version, I'm attributing this change to the serving format. It's also low in carbonation, but again, I'm forgiving it. It has an enamel-peeling bitterness and stickiness that made it hard to taste anything afterward. I was a little stupid in opening it so early in the night.

D: I still find that Pliny the Younger takes the cake when you're talking about triple IPAs. I prefer the sweeter presence of that beer to the bitterness of this one. But I've also had the former under optimal serving conditions, and this one less so; I wouldn't be surprised if that makes a difference. This is a great beer. I'd love to have it again. But given most of the trade demands for it, I'd probably get some fresh Hopsickle on tap, instead...

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Photo of Beerisheaven
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at another great event/gathering at Capones. Matt continues to roll out the heavy guns this month, with this event following Russian River and Firestone. Matt, you spoil us so.

A - Crisp and colorful, dominated by a yellow/orange profile with a nice white head that pulls back and leaves a moderate level of stickiness on the glass.

S - For my money, this is the shining part of the beer. Grapefruit, citrus, and pine all come forward in an intoxicating manner.

T - Now I will temper this somewhat by saying that hop-bombs are not my favorite style. This one assaults you with bitterness, strong pine, and citrus flavors. An edge of malt lies in the background, but the real punch is in the hoppy frutiness and pine flavors. Personally, a little too much for me but again not my preferred style. I leave it to the experts to debate this v. Younger and the other leaders of the DIPA pack.

M - Tart with the bitterness again dominating the experience.

O - OK, so I am glad that I tried it but I would not offer up my cellar to obtain this beer simply because it is not my cup of tea (or hops). Still, glad to have had the opportunity to try this beer since so many talk about it. Thanks again Matt for another great event.

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Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.5 out of 5 based on 1,008 ratings.
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