Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings!

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Ephraim | Hill Farmstead Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
99
world-class
228 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER INFO

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

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:
228
Ratings:
1,001
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
1,491
Gots:
40
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 228 | Ratings: 1,001
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 gcamparone
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 growler into a snifter. Thanks Rich for hooking me up with this.

Pours an amber slightly hazy body with a big frothy white head that reduces to leave heaving lacing and retention.

Aromas are floral, resinous, light citrus, dank, piney. Taste is very floral, herbal, grassy, finishes dry. Medium body with medium carbonation.

Glad I got to try it. Delicious DIPA from HF.

 391 characters

Photo of cultclassic89
4.36/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Clear amber, white head to a ring. It's fine, but not what I love.

S: Clean, grapefruit and some caramel malt. A bit of butter which is fine for the style.

T: Better here. Clean grapefruit citrus, ever so slight bubblegum. Light malt.

F: Great, this really hides the abv as there's no alcohol to speak of. Medium light and fine carb.

O: Great beer, but it's very west coast, which I'm just not a big fan of anymore. But for that style, it's great.

 454 characters

Photo of mschantz
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sampled pour from a fresh 32 oz growler That indicated Amarillo hops were highlighted. Pours bRight, nearly lemon yellow and slightly hazy with a solid 2 fingers of dense head. Nose is lemongrass combined with grapefruit and a hint of bubblegum sweetness. The taste presented the sweet fruitiness apparent on the nose but was beautifully balanced by resinous hop bitterness. This is definitely one of the best IPAs I've had the pleasure of tasting.

 452 characters

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.

 259 characters

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.

 484 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So. Damned. Creamy. The dextrose bumps up the body but doesn't make it syrupy. The appearance is pretty much perfect; bright auburn, perfect carbonation, sticky lacing. Pine resin and grapefruit dominate the taste and aroma. Maybe some tangelo and sweeter citrus. Though far from my favorite HF hoppy beer, it's ne of the best triple IPAs I've had. My heart still belongs to Notorious though.

 392 characters

Photo of dar482
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a pale amber, medium haze.

The aroma is dank, sweet orange peel, biscuity malt, marmalade sweetness, sticky resin, pine, dried herbs.

The beer continues with an underlying theme of dank resin, onto bitter pine and herbs on the finish. It is covered with biscuity sweetness up front, bitter grapefruit peel in marmalade.

Ephraim is a beer like no other Hill Farmstead I've encountered. Reminders of Enjoy By, Double Jack, and Hopslam come to mind, but still, the beer offers a level of drinkability and gentle qualities unlike those.

 554 characters

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Loved his brew! Waited forever to track it down but was able to sue to solid trading partners!!! :). Shared from a fresh 750 with friends. Excellent beer and tons of hops! Still pretty smooth but you can tell the abv is rather high

 234 characters

Photo of jjdc
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The hallmark of HF beers is restraint, sophistication and a flawless execution. Ephraim is a bit peculiar by this standard. It is a bit too boozy, bitter and big. Distinctly lacking in those great tropical fruit/floral notes that the best HF hoppy beers have. I suspect another reason this is slightly disappointing is that the IPA game has consistently upped the bar since Ephraim stepped on the scene. Not a bad beer, but also not up to the considerable hype either.

 468 characters

Photo of Rizzy17
3.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a growler filled on 2/13/16 into a Hill Farmstead stem glass.

A: A translucent orange/light amber color with a white head that dissipates quickly.
S: Resinous and slightly citrusy aroma.
T: Resiny and almost sticky. Not a whole lot going on with this.
F: Smooth and drinkable.
O: Not really impressed with this. Maybe I should've had it fresher.

 359 characters

Photo of anteatr23
3.82/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque orange, light carbonation, one finger head. Smells zesty, with a pilsner-like malt, herbal. Taste is hugely big and bitter. Spicy, dry and intense. This is a real hop bomb. At least... there isn't much else you can taste through all the IBUs. Leaves your mouth feeling dry and sort of wrecking the palate. It's not that this beer is bad -- it's not. It's just SO hop forward that it'll likely only appeal to hop heads looking to be blown away. Fine for an IPA drinker, but not especially impressive.

 524 characters

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.

 209 characters

Photo of Hootie159
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap. Not hazy like their other beers. Not clear, but I can actually see bubbles. Stellar lacing as always. Great clean smell. Pine. Bitterness. Taste is similar. No real fruit presence. Just a classic hop bitter. Imperial and assertive. That bitter keeps growing but I like it. Feel is smooth carbonation. Just the right amount. Super sticky as well. Different than what I'm used to from these guys. Still very good.

 419 characters

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.

 197 characters

Photo of Fireman_RK
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Bright golden hues reminiscent of barley straw with a 0.5cm soapy white head; copious amounts of lacing around the glass
S: Mango, oranges, tangerines and a multitude of tropical fruits on the nose that is met by a distinct piney dankness
T: Sweet crackery malt and citrus is evident upfront and immediately beset by strong pine and hops; the finish is sweet and dry
F: Thin to medium body with moderate carbonation
O: I can appreciate the musings of a few of the more recent reviews of this beer about how Ephraim perhaps embodies the bitter and less juicy IPAs en vogue a few years ago, but to me that is what I love about this beer. If I think back, it is the overloaded hoppy beers like this that drew me to the IPA style initially and in a sense drinking this beer takes me back a few years to an earlier time before juice bombs were all the rage. Of course this wasn't Shaun Hill's intention, but in the sense that some of his beers are a tribute to older family members, to me, Ephraim represents a best of breed from the 'old guard' of top IPAs from a few years ago. Overall this is an excellent beer and embodies the zeitgeist of an earlier era of craft beers - I'm glad to see it back and am privileged to have been able to enjoy it.

 1,246 characters

Photo of Sheppard
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent gold with soapy white head. Some sweetness in the aroma. There is a lot of sweet malt up front. Like a fruit snack base sweetness. The piney hop finish arrives on the end, providing some nice complexity. The mouthfeel is thin though, which kind of takes away from that for me. Overall, this is a beer I would have killed for 3-4 years ago. Now, it's just a good imperial IPA.

 395 characters

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.

 361 characters

Photo of jhawkvol
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

After not being blown away by Abner and hearing some negative reviews, I was prepared to be underwhelmed. But this one definitely lived up to the hype! What stood out to me is the perfect balance between the pine and citrus hop characteristics and the way the ABV is hidden so well. This is up there with Triple Sunshine among the best DIPA's I've ever had and certainly the best TIPA I've ever had, if you want to consider it in that category. Worth seeking out for sure!

 472 characters

Photo of reds2harleys
4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another fine brew from HF. Enjoyed on tap at Ambulance brewhouse. Nice light golden color. Very typical VT - DIPA. Very fruity and just so - so smooth. Easy to drink and hides its ABV very well. Could drink quite a few of these which is a little dangerous.

 262 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Really orange and bright producing over an inch of head, holy crap, when you smell how amazing this is, you'll be even more impressed that the appearance can produce that head and retain it so well.

So much tropical and citrus fruit, they are just amazing how starbursting they are. Pineapple, mango, apricot, they all jump at the nose and tongue. Giant bitter beer but it isn't just that, it has a shitload of hop flavor and a really dry and clean mouthfeel that hides the alcohol and massivity of the innocent enough looking beer.

One of the best beers in the world bar none.

 586 characters

Photo of VTLocal420
5/5  rDev +11.1%

This one is magical, should be more sought out that Heady or Double Sunshine, but it is made so few times a year that it doesn't touch either on this list. This is one the best beers I have every tried, easily in my top 10 beers...

If you see this one the list on Hill's site, make the trip or trade what you must, it's a must have experience.

 348 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Growler shared by Andrew - thanks.

A: Pours a clear straw yellow under a quarter-inch thick white head which fades to a thin cap and rim yielding some spots of lace.

N: Straight up - crushed pineapple.

T: Plenty of juicy tropical fruits. Nearly perfect balance.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Dry, fruity finish.

O: Really, really nice. The ABV is so hidden, but it creeps in. I'm a believer.

 428 characters

Photo of SadMachine
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes from 4/23/14

A- Pours a clear, bright pale straw yellow with lots of tiny bubbles visible. A bright white head that is about 2.5 fingers in height retains well and leaves excellent lacing.

S- The aroma is bursting with hops! Sweet passion fruit, guava, star fruit, pineapple, kiwi, nectarine, onion grass, and sticky resinous pine. There's a solid backbone of pilsner, caramel, and some cracker-like malts. Smells wonderfully juicy and sweet, but with a little grapefruit zest bitterness to it. Incredible!

T- Just like the aroma this explodes with flavor! The flavor is almost like a blend of tropical fruit juice concentrates. The passion fruit and guava really are in the forefront with other fruits present, especially the nectarine. Some mango not present in the noes makes an appearance. The sweet caramel malt is very present, and just on the edge of being cloying. The pine is there, but subdued. The alcohol is definitely there, but not too much so.

M- The mouth feel is a bit thick, chewy, and sticky. Decent carbonation, but a bit thicker than I like, but still good.

O- This is a freaking awesome Imperial IPA! My only gripes are a bit too much sweetness and a bit too thick, but it's still an incredibly well crafted beer!

 1,260 characters

Photo of Tmyhre802
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On-tap at Hill Farmstead's 4th Anniversary party at Blackback.

A-Beautiful hazy pale yellow.

S-A lot of citrus, but the other fruity smells are very present.

T-Strong pine that perfectly blends in the complex citrus and fruits.

M-Medium bodied, the drinkability is amazing. Can't figure out how they combine the high abv with all the complex elements going on and still create such a smooth beer.

O-Overall this won the day on the IPA side for me along with the society and solitude at the HF Anniversary. Just a really great beer that they make up in Greensboro, can't wait till the next time I can get my hands on some!

 626 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe