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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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Reviews: 228 | Ratings: 1,005
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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Photo of KornWallace
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date: 4/15/15
Location: Hill Farmstead
Glassware: Red Wine Glass
Appearance: A neatly clear amber that looks like a perfect carbonated apple juice. Pours with a thumb size white head that evaporates quickly with no cascading.
Aromatics: It starts with a Pine bomb. The hops also impart the fruit flavor, a mix between mango and peaches. A nice wheaty grassy smell.
Flavor: The pine again hits first but now the resin is totally present. White peaches and mango. Some sugar in there that I'm having trouble placing adds to the sweetness.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is smooth with a good deal of the resin on the tongue. A nice carbonation.
Notes: Had on tap at HF and in a 750ml growler. Bottled 4/9/14 and suggested drink by date is 4/17/14.

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

Doug generously bought this growler to share with me and Shaun #1 yesterday, 6/3/2013. Poured into a snifter.

Aroma: Fantastic. Smells like straight up citrus. Very explosive nose that's even more so than Pliny. There's tropical fruit and a hint of pine. Yet its all put together extremely well and explosive to boot.

Colour: Hazy gold body that pours with a nice 1cm white head that dissipates quickly into a thin film and collar. Some lacing, but not a ton. It looks very appetizing and refreshing.

Flavour: Follows the nose- its a well-done, complex combination of hops and malt. Lots of citrus, some tropical fruit, a bit of grassiness and a good bite of pine on the back end. Its also got a nice sweet malt backbone- a bit of candied sugar and honey. Incredibly pleasing to drink, and I had no idea it was 10.5% ABV at any point.

Mouthfeel: A nice surprisingly full bodied beer that definitely has substance more so than a lot of other DIPAs. Its well-carbonated and comes with a fizzly dry finish. Aftertaste is not too bitter which I really appreciated, but it does have a good bit of pine and grassiness to it.

Overall: Excellent DIPA, one of the best I've ever had. I would have been able to drink the whole bottle myself in a flash if I wanted to. And let me tell you, I wanted to. To me, it's much more on the Pliny end of the spectrum vs the Abrasive end, but it's just as flavourful if not more so than Pliny is with the same bit of quaffability it has. I'm very impressed and thanks to Doug for sharing this gem.

Re-review: Thanks to a very generous VT trader, I was able to repay Doug the favour of bringing a growler of Ephraim to a tasting, almost a year later. Thanks! Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 4/13/2014. Basically, this is what I remember this beer as. It's a classic DIPA, compared to Abner, which I really realize is appropriately labeled as more of a double pale ale. Smells so complex, with a lot of citrus, pine and floral notes, and the palate is appropriately more so. It's such a complex, bitter DIPA with a great creamy mouthfeel that really satisfies any aspect of a DIPA that you could look for. Having had this on a fresh palate, this is up there with Double Sunshine for the most complex, drinkable and enjoyable DIPA that I've ever had. That includes Heady, Pliny, Kern Citra, King Sue, etc. that I've been able to try over the past year, and trust me, that's a lot of fantastic DIPAs. Ephraim and Double Sunshine is 1a and 1b at this point for me, and while I prefer Double Sunshine to this, you can't go wrong with this as far as double IPAs go.

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Photo of Mikeypnh
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear gold, some nice bubbles on the top, not too much head. Nice lacing. Smells great. Tropical fruit, honey dew melon. The taste is more bitter than the smell. Pine and citrus with a small alcohol burn. Lemon comes through well. It's a pretty easy drinker for 9%. Medium mouthfeel, smooth as creamy. Impressive for a high alcohol DIPA.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After drinking this for the second time, it reaffirms that this beer is very similar in taste to Heady. I'd say Ephraim is a lot more bitter, a little less sweet and didn't have as good as a smell as HT. Not saying I prefer one to the other, it's just a different amazing beer drinking experience.

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

Enjoyed this on draft at Three Penny Tap Room in Montpelier.
A large white frothy head sat upon a light amber bodied DIPA.
First aromas were breathtaking. Citrusy lemon and sweet mango.
First taste was jaw dropping. Citrusy, and dry and full of zing. Delicious.
Mouthfeel was fantastic for a late spring warm day, crisp and refreshing.
This beer is a touch alcohol forward and mixed with Shaun's citrusy profile made for a staggeringly good beer.

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Photo of peensteen
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Shared by Liam back in May a day or two after he picked it up at the brewery

Lightly hazed pale orange colour, ring of white headwith a bit of lace here as well. The nose ihas a huge citrus to it, lots of tropical fruit, tangerine, orange, a bit of grapefruit with a bit of sugary malts as well, fantastic hop aroma here. Taste is equally amazing lots of juicy hops and sweet malt up front, followed by loads of citrus flavours, grapefruit and orange, good bitterness throughout, hoppy aftertaste. Lightly carbonated, fairly full bodied. Outstanding stuff, incerdibly drinkable and just an impressive display of hops here.

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Photo of nesarebad
4.99/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Last of my Hill Farmstead from my trip a few weeks back. 750 ml bottle style growler poured in to my Hill Farmstead stemware.

A - Pours a murky golden orange color, nice carb with a two finger effervescent head. Delicate lacing clings to the glass as I drink. Even though the beer is unfiltered, it is still a nice looking beer.

S - Sweet tropical fruits, blends of citrus fruits, some earthy notes peak through. Candied sugar and all the right notes, a nose that beckons you in to the first taste. Legit and all too intoxicating.

T - Sweet up front, with a pungent hop note. Sweet tropical fruits in melody with citrus-y hops. MIght be a tad sweeter than some would like in a DIPA, but the hops are blended so well in this one, it is punchy without being over bitter. A taste like none other, I can recollect only a few beers where I was like 'oh, ok' when I first tasted.

M - Despite being sweet up front, the balance in hop pungency makes this beer incredibly balanced. The sweetness is no factor in the drink-ability of the beer. Not much more can be said, this is a very easy to drink beer.

O - This beer exhibits all the best qualities of an easy to drink DIPA. It is tropical punch, sweet but balanced and smooth as can be. One of my all time favorites; I pull no punches here.

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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 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 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 codysjb
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growlers into a cup.
A: Large head that takes a while to dissipate, lot of foam and a cloudy golden color.
S: Grapefruit, lemon zest, hops.... this is without a doubt the best smelling IPA I have ever smelled. I want a candle made out of this smell, I want to make my house smell like this forever.
T: Wow grapefruit and minor hop notes coat the mouth with nice overall hops.
M: Balanced. very hoppy and balanced.
O: Great, its like heady but better. The hops dont rush forward but rather linger to stay in your mouth for minutes.

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Photo of harrymel
3.9/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Oh, just one of six half growlers I received recently.

Pours a hazy light apricot with a sheet of light white foam. Smell is juicy. Some pear, some tangerine, some melons and pineappel, and hints of resin, but mostly sweet juicy hops. This is an approach to hops and grain I've not really experienced before, this is really innovative - this does not really smell like an IPA/IIPA. More like a sweet biscuit with some preserves on it. Flavor follows suit, really unassuming for the style. Not overly syrupy sweet, like some IIPAs, but slightly sweet with lots more juicy fruit, biscuity malt and now some bitterness and a little more hop character as it warms. Full bodied with sharp carb and a semi dry finish. This is a really fine brew, I'm not sure I would go nuts for it, and would likely prefer a few cans of Heady Topper over this, or several others as well. i might argue the beer is a little too heavy on the Dextrose, like Hop Henge in the last couple years.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a hazy yellow colour with some off white head. Nose was full of fresh tropical fruit aromas with some pine and a caramel sweetness. Palate is bursting with mango and peach flavours with lighter orange notes that accompany the vintage HF IPA dryness. Another great IPA/DIPA from HF.

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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.

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