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Ephraim | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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228 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 228 | Ratings: 1,005
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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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 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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Photo of F2brewers
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL growler courtesy of DrewGingras. From notes on 25 April 2014.

Served at 38C into a HF wine glass.

A: Pale yellow, hazy body with a thick creamy 1 1/2 " head that lasts forever leaving heavy lacing. Swirling the glass gently rebuilds the head immediately. Slightly cloudy as all HF IPAs tend to be. Fine carbonation with no evidence of suspended material.

S: Huge citrus and piney esters on the nose. Slight hits of malt if you really serch, but clearly a massively hop forward beer. Wile the hops dominate, they are not dank or oily.

T: Pine and grapefruit. Juicy, yet sweet. You wouldn't think so, but this is finely balanced. Each sip entices the next. While hops dominate, they don't build or make the beer undrinkable or overly bitter. Malt is present but subdued. It's a backbone that complements the hops.

M: Surprisingly lightand properly carbonated, this beer is clean, not slick. You could drink the growler without pause. Slight, but pleasant hoppy aftertaste.

O: A lovely expression of the style. This is reminiscent of west coast style, but with a distinctly east coast, HF style. More, please?

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: A hazy pale yellow with a creamy head and excellent lacing. A picturesque DIPA.

A: Huge pine, apricot, peach, and citrus hop notes that meld with the fruity esters from the yeast. Malt is very neutral, just a clean, faint breadiness.

T/M: Firm bitterness upfront that is met with intense piney and stonefruit hop flavors. Middle of the mouth opens up for more hop complexity of peach and citrus that is reinforced with the fruity yeast esters. The body consists of a medium bodied mouthfeel and a bone dry-finish.

Overall, this may be the best DIPA I have ever had. The flavors are extremely intense, and the balance is perfect. This one is right there with abner, maybe even better in my opinion. Shaun Hill is making some of the best hoppy beers I have ever tasted.

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Photo of hillvt4me
4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a honey orange into HF tulip. Thick and creamy off white head.

S- Grapefruit, pineapple and Mango. Some sweet notes.

T-Follows the nose with some light herbal notes and Etoh; though well hidden for the 10 abv.

M-Like all HF beers, rather drinkable and smooth.

O-I'm fortunate to have had this approximate a dozen times and it's among my favorite of the rotating taps. Delicious and balanced!

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Photo of DWolf
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply said, this is as close to perfect an imperial IPA you can ask for. From the aromatic piney esters, to the cirtrusy flavors, to the soft round mouth feel, to the dry finish. This is simply outstanding. The only negative is the exclusivity that makes this hard to get. I'm sad that I may not have it again.

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Photo of scotorum
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A week old, bought at the brewery April 19th.

Poured from the 25.4 oz. bottle into a Tree House snifter

a: Cloudy orange with an inch tall white head which receded to dense patchy surface foam and patterned lacing.

s: Intense citrus and pine.

t: Strong orange/grapefruit citrus and pine resin hop flavor over a solid medium malt base. Bitterness is considerable but only slight bitterness lingers on the tongue. Minor throat burn for a 10.5% ABV.

m; Medium with fine body.

o: A superior DIPA. High ABV is skillfully dealt with. Wonderful sipper with tremendous substance.

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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.

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Photo of anteater
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 ml growler

A: Golden yellow, fizzy white head

S: Lemon, grass, earth, herbs, cat pee

T: A lot of the same as the nose. Citrus fruits, lemon, grapefruit, grass. This tastes like a 6-7% beer in my opinion, not a 10.5% one. I'm pretty blown away by the lightness of this beer and how it also contains such a huge and unique yet not overbearing hop punch.

M: So light and easy to drink

O: Hype met. I am thoroughly impressed with my first Hill Farmstead IPA!

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Photo of NAPO
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-Nice light Orange with a creamy head. Nice looking beer.

S-Strong scent on Grapefruit and Mango. Some intense sweetness in there with a honey and sugar smell. this one is definitely a big beer.

T-Much like the nose with some light grassyness and I definitive feel the alcohol but is not overwhelming.

M-EXTREMELY surprise how mellow and smooth and easy drinking this beer is..very Impressive with the over %10 ABV.

O-Very well made DIPA by HF.

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Photo of koutkid41
3.71/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Murky and hazy, gold/orange color, nice two finger thick and creamy head.

S: Sweet tropical fruit, some honey dew, some sweet powdered sugar.

T: Sweet upfront with some breadiness. Honey dew and sugar character upfront then becomes slightly tropical.

M: My only things is I wish it wasn't so sweet and sugary for a DIPA. Body wise it was nice.

O: Not a bad beer but had high hopes for this one, Abner is definitely is a notch above this one.

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Photo of huddyball
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass out of a growler filled 4/12/14.

A: Beautiful hazy goldish-orange. Nice thick head that dissipates leaving a nice lacing as I drink.
S: Orange/mango/pine. This is intense.
T: Much like the nose with a stronger pine/resin flavor coming through. Bit of an alcohol punch.
M: Very smooth and easy drinking.
O: Fantastic and another HF home run.

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Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.5 out of 5 based on 1,005 ratings.
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