Ephraim | Hill Farmstead Brewery

BA SCORE
99
world-class
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 costanzo_mike
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap, served in a tulip

The body sits a glowing orange color with a one+ finger of creamy, off-white foam. Good retention and spider web lacing coating the inside of the glass.

Ruby red grapefruit, tropical fruit, and ethanol leap out of the glass. Pineapple, mango, apricots, pine resin, orange peel. Intensely hoppy aroma. Malt is an afterthought.

The flavor really explodes mid-palate. A burst of tropical fruit and pine resin with some sugary sweet notes. A mild breadiness holds things down on the back end. This is not an all out onslaught, but rather a calculated attack. Refined.

Medium body, with a dry, bitter finish, engulfed in tropical fruit. Smooth and borderline lush as it rolls around your palate. There is a decent amount of ethanol that lingers, detracting from the delicious flavors.

Ephraim is an excellent beer with tons of delicious flavors and aromas. The booze is a little more in your face than its bretheren, detracting from the overall beer.

I've been lucky to try Pliny the Younger, Heady Topper, and now Ephraim. I will say that Ephraim is firmly in the middle of both. Heady is raw and in your face, while PtY is the well-refined cousin at family gatherings. Ephraim has equal elements of both. Clean and refined, while still being a little brash (in a good way.)

 1,302 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Brad007
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled this at the Autumn Harvest Festival. Now, it's time to review it.

Pours a mild blonde color with a one-finger head into my pint glass. It meets the colors.

Grapefruit encircles the olfactory nerves, followed by a slight hint of mint. Malt is sweet and toned down.

The taste? Grapefruit and apricot flavors from the hops mingle with sweet malt. As this elixir unfolds on the tongue, a slight hint of pineapple greets the taste buds.

Mouthfeel can only be described as full of lingering bitterness, especially pineapple.There's some malt underneath.

Obviously, this is all about the hops. It's beautiful, well-crafted and somewhat too drinkable for the amount of alcohol contained within. Top 10? For sure. Top 5 for Vermont? Heady Topper has some competition!

 772 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler shared with good friends again. Notes from just a day ago. Great way to sum up a VT weekend.

A- Cloudy as can be, like a murky glass of orange colored swamp juice. Creamy white head forms with a few fingers in size, decent retention. Lace forms immediately and continues down the glass nicely.

S- Big hops lead the way in the aroma. Orange and lemon zest are big along with notes of tropical fruit, pine resin and citrus juice. Slight grains and malts.

T- Hops big here too with lots of fruity things going on. Mango, huge orange juice/zest, citrus bonanza, grapefruit is big, pineapple and some peppery herbal hints. Definitely a bit of sweetness, caramel and alcohol to back those hops up.

MF- Creamy and moderately thick, oily body with a crisp carbonation. Big bitterness and some alcohol warmth.

Big hop blast with tons of nice citrus fruit notes. Really nice use of hops.

 896 characters

Photo of rjp217
4.76/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml growler...

Orange yellow in color, nice sticky lace retention. Aroma is a dank, grassy lemon with a juicy grapefruit following. Taste follows the nose except you get so much orange, lemons, limes, a tiny amount of pine and malt finish it off, awesome. Mouthfeel is exceptional as always with a HF brew. Medium body, low carbonation, soft and incredibly smooth.

This is truly world class. Not perfect but incredibly close. So well rounded in terms of it truly being citrus forward with a very light pine/malt base. One of my absolute favorite beers of all time.

 569 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet another overt thanks to a top-notch trader, baconsausage, who tossed this growler my way with no expectation of anything in particular in return. In turn, the growler was shared with a bunch of other BAs & non-BAs at an impromptu weekend tasting. Reviewed from admittedly sketchy notes.

Pours an amber, leaning towards yellow, plenty of pop in the head even after hundreds of miles of travel. Smell is dead-on luscious, tons of citrus, grapefruit, a frontal assault of all that is good & holy about the hop. Top of the line nose on this one, just fantastic.

My first impression was damn! The taste doesn't live up to the singing-angels aroma, but hey, what could? Another metric ton of hop variety, grapefruit, rinds, citrus, wrapped in a slick, slippery feel. Surprisingly, there's also a backbone of malt steel here, & the middle of the beer is sticky, syrupy sweet. Wham! The hops come back & that malt is just a warm memory on the tongue.

The consensus was this was an excellent beer, & there was a marked difference once it warmed - a collection of "yeah, it's OK" changed to "damn, this is good" after 10-15 minutes. Really glad I got to try this one, thanks again Tucker!

 1,188 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler thanks to Gushue3, thanks Mike!

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clear, medium colored orange with a one finger off-white head. Great retention and lots of lacing is left on the glass.

S - Citrus, orange, grapefruit, mongoes, pineapple.

T - A fruit basket here. Citrus, tropical fruit, there is a nice hop pine that is in the background and finishes strong.

D - Good carbontion, average body - a touch of bitterness lingers in your mouth.

O - A very fruity and wonderful IPA.

 500 characters

Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a vibrant orange glow, slightly over one inch of head on it. Nose just erupts with the juiciest aromas of tropical and citrus fruits this side of Pliny, maybe even moreso. Its magnificent and owes nothing to nobody. Sliding in with the varied fruits are plenty of pine and soft lemon. Pineapple, pine, apricot, mango, you name it, its there. Yum.

Everything that shows up in the aroma takes on a respectful assault on the palate, again, waves of tropical fruit, citrus fruit and pine envelope the tongue. There's tons of bitterness, but it comes off so smooth, and for being ten and a half percent abv, there sure is no sign on of it, this beer really tastes phenomenal and drinks effortlessly, you don't have to feel like you're getting your big boy drinking jeans on, this one just rocks so easily. The malt is so much a distant memory, but somehow manages to carry the gigantic double dry hopped triple ipa. Really one of the natural wonders of the world I says. Finishes very dry, while keeping the fruitiness and green vegetal hop mouthfeel persistently dominating the mouth. The hops are just so herbal, so tasty per bitterness unit. The best hops in massive quantity, making some great teamwork and love.

What more could a guy want? An ipa that is just bursting with hop flavors reeking of tangerine, orange, pine, lemon, melon, mint, apricot, pineapple, green apple, mango, papaya, you could go on forever.

This is what triple ipas are all about. There's really only one other in its class.

 1,510 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 cosmicevan
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note's from Captain Lawrence Rosso Batch 3 release / tasting:

Growler Hill farmstead ephiram (thanks capra!): pours a gorgeous orange honey copper with decent head for a 1 ounce pour. The smell is hops all day, but super balanced. This is a 5 smelling beer. I could just sit and smell it, I don’t even need to drink it, but I will. Very balanced taste, hop forward, a touch bitter on the hops. Medium mouth feel, little bitter, little bitter. Overall great beer, glad I got this tick and look forward to our next...

-- EDIT -- had again on 2011-10-26...thanks baconsausage for the 32oz growler.

4 - 5 - 4.5 - 4 - 4.5

same look, perhaps a bit more read...much more sizeable pour yields head at first but that goes quick. i agree with my original assessment of smell. for the flavor, it is 100% grapefruit. nothing else. it tastes EXACTLY like grapefruit. still pretty bitter finish after a sweet grapefruit blast.

 918 characters

Photo of Resuin
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL growler (filled about 6 hours ago) into a HF stemmed glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy orange/light amber and leaves behind a couple fingers of light, very fluffy head behind. A beautiful pour.

Smell: Citrus, grapefruit, earthy, grassy tones. Definitely the most citrus I've ever smelt from an IPA.

Taste: Citrus! Light grassy notes, mango, pineapple, peaches. Extremely balanced and delicious. As tasty as the hops are they aren't overwhelming - this beer has a great malt backbone. Finishes with grapefruit. Supremely smooth - no alcohol flavor to it at all - I don't know where the 9+% ABV is. Mind-blowing. I've never tasted a beer like this.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation, light to medium body. Amazingly smooth and a great juicy mouth-feel to it.

Overall: I am pretty blown away by this beer. It is hands down, the best tasting IPA I've ever had. The fruity, citrus notes from the hops just explode in my mouth and yet it is so smooth, I feel like I could drink a gallon of this stuff and still want more. Amazing.

 1,045 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of threedaggers
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of zekeman17
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of akang
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Grant - much obliged!

Pours a hazy light copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of soft pale malts with large amounts of citrus and light floral hops. Also present are hints of tropical fruit and lighter hints of herbal hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by citrus and slight herbal hops. Midway through the sip hints of breadiness work their way into things before being pushed aside by mild tropical fruit flavors. The tropical fruit, pale malt, and citrus flavors carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this was a very easy-drinking beer and the only thing keeping it from entering the upper tier of the style was a defining characteristic - nothing about it is outstanding. A very nice beer with no flaws that's worth a shot.

 1,085 characters

Photo of bpfrush
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of bobv
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of xnicknj
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

 529 characters

Photo of bsuedekum
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of tectactoe
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of scottfrie
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 release. 750ml swing-top growler generously sent by SneezyAchew as part of a wedding present. You are too kind, sir.

A: Pours a very hazy dark mango color with a couple fingers of dense white head. Head faded into a thin film that lasted the whole beer through. Great sheets of thick lace were left down the glass.
S: A sweet smelling hop bomb full of citrus and tropical fruits. Sweet notes of passion fruit, kiwi, mint, orange juice, mango and grapefruit peel.
T: Follows the nose with sweet hop flavors of tropical fruits and mild citrus. A citrus rind bitterness shows up in the finish, but overall sweet juicy mango, passion fruit and fruit nectar's dominate. I get a touch of mint in the finish as well, and the aftertaste is full of the lingering citrus rind. I get a touch of peach in there as well.
M: Thick for the style with a sweet but not cloying mouthfeel. Carbonation is fine, fluffy, and smooth. Alcohol is completely hidden, although judging by hope good I’m starting to feel, I’d say it’s in the double digits.
O: Better than I expected, although I’m not sure why as all the hoppy beers I've had from Shaun are amazing. I would drink this on the regular if available. The only thing I can even remotely knock is the sweetness; personal preference is geared toward a dryer bitterer feel. This drinks just fine though, and the alcohol is hidden so ridiculously well. Thanks again, Michael; you’re the man!

 1,442 characters

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