Ephraim | Hill Farmstead Brewery

BA SCORE
99
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1,017 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
1,017
Reviews:
231
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
1,497
Gots:
40
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,017 |  Reviews: 231
Photo of Richter525
4.09/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.11/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - For a "TIPA" or one of 10.5% ABV, this beer is golden, plenty of activation in the glass and looks like a standard low ABV West Coast IPA. You see right through the glass...very impressive here.

S - Mango's, Pineapple and oranges with a candy sweetness to those fruits I mention...and grassy pine and earth. Nothing overpowering, actually a bit more mellow than I was expecting but very pleasant nevertheless.

T - Much of the same as the nose. Not overpowering but everything plays well together. A little boozy on the back end and the pine plays an equal role here as the tropical fruits. This is a bitter beer, I'd imagine overly bitter for most or some, but for a DIPA of this ABV it works awesome for making this extremely drinkable. Malt backbone there, but plays second fiddle to the hops. Dry and crisp upon finish. Leaving you ready for more - Really reminds me of RRBC's IPA profile...

M - This beer drinks VERY light and feels light for a 10.5% DIPA. Too easy. Like a 7% IPA but make no mistake, you do taste the booze in the finish. Very well balanced. Very much reminiscent of the PtE and PtY mouthfeel here... Blind, I'd assume this was a new RRBC IPA. The ONLY reason this aspect does not receive a 5 from me is that the booze could be masked a bit more. PtY and Terrapin Hopzilla side project 12 does a better job of this.

O - This is a hop-head's must try at least once. Does it live up to the hype....for me almost but just shy. It's a very very good beer but with all the madness lately surrounding it....there are others that match up. Although....I need a on tap specimen to really back that statement up I'm fully aware. Great stuff!

 1,663 characters

Photo of NelCet
4.11/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

 1,174 characters

Photo of braican
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

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...

 2,251 characters

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.

 1,234 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Mojua
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I don't generally love hoppy beers that are over 8.5% because they're too heavy and sweet, and this one is just those things. Hill beers have unrivaled mouthfeel and elegance, and this is just overdone. Intended I'm sure, given that it's 10%, but I'd take most of the Hill single and double IPAs over Ephraim.

 309 characters

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

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.

 914 characters

Photo of spw109
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

 885 characters

Photo of kiki3drt292
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

 482 characters

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!

 760 characters

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.

 437 characters

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

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.

 769 characters

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.

 253 characters

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.

 1,485 characters

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

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.

 716 characters

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

Photo of Word2BigBIrd
4.22/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.5 out of 5 based on 1,017 ratings.
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