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Ephraim | Hill Farmstead Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
99
world-class
228 Reviews
THE BROS
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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
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Reviews: 228 | Ratings: 1,001
Photo of SABERG
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served at the autumn fest in Greensboro. Wine glass.
Appearance medium golden color, not cloudy at all.
Great lacing all around.
Smell was floral and wide,no big alcohol nose to it, lots going on.
Taste was even handed for a huge (3X)IPA, the most striking part IMO. Lots of hop profile while not to overwhelming pucker.
Mouthfeel was not to oily but fabulously complex for such a big IPA.
Drinkability, well that is a slippery slope, at 10+ ABV it should not be taken lightly.
Easily in the top tiers of IPA and yes, I know that is big talk for a big beer.

Well done Shaun

Cheers

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Andrewinski1 for making the trek down to Hill Farmstead to grab this one up. Dedication. Poured into a tulip. Beer pours a slightly hazy straw color with about a finger of white fluffy head. It retains nicely and eventually settles down a bit leaving thin soapy lace.

Perfect balance on the aroma for this one. Bitter pine hops are really in your face on this one. The hop aroma blends itself nicely with a candied blood orange aroma that give a nice touch of sweetness in the aroma.

It's official. This is a hop bomb. Right away tropical juice flavors take over my pallet. Pineapple juice and orange flavors to start it off. If finishes with a really piney hop flavor.

A little bit of a sticky feel to this but the body is still pretty good. Lively carbonation, so it held up nicely in the growler. Overall, this is amazing. Drinkable to no end. 10.5? Like hell. Drinks like it's half that.

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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 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 thagr81us
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to mikesgroove for sharing this one during the Growler Party this weekend! Served from growler into a Southern Tier tulip. Poured yellow-orange with a one and a half finger very slightly off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, and pot. The flavor was of sweeet malt, earth, citrus, citrus hop, and pot. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this brew was just plain excellent. Not really any other way to say it. All of the aspects on this one just stood out to your senses to let you know that you were having a great beer. The aroma on this one was other-worldly for the style. You would have never known this was 10.5% at all, and I could see that getting a lot of people in a lot of trouble really easily. Really glad I finally got to tick this beast!

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Photo of philbe311
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of a very generous unsolicited package from fellow BA and good friend rfgetz.

A - Two fingers worth of frothy moderately fluffy head that has a slight bit of orange tinge to it... Excellent retention ultimately gives way to mostly full rich lacing... The color is a clean crisp medium color... Limited carbonation most of which is sluggish and rises along the sides of the glass with a couple of stray quick moving bubbles rising in the middle of the glass... A bit of chunky froth clings to the sides of the glass...

S - An absolutely stellar nose that is the best of all things hops... A mix a wonderful fruit aroma... Orange... Mango... A touch of pineapple... Some kiwi... Buried beneath the first layer of fruit is a nice mix of piney character... Earthy and outdoorsy... Faint evergreen... Buried way beneath the surface is a touch of malt backbone... Near perfection for the style...

T - The expected waves of hop goodness don't disappoint... Equal parts citrus and pine work together in harmony to create wonderful character and complexity... A brisk malt back bone emerges closer to the finish with lots of doughy bread and cracker notes... An ever so faint alcohol induced "burn" on the finish that lingers for a bit... Extremely complex with new notes detected after each and every sip...

M - Medium bodied... Surprisingly dense... Lightly carbonated... Sleek and smooth... Even and consistent... A slightly intoxicating alcohol induced warmth...

D - Exceptional all the way around... Very seldom to beers live up to the hype, but this one does... So much flavor, character, depth, and complexity loaded into one growler... This is why I love beer... This is truly work of art...

Kudos again to rfgetz again for the generosity...

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Photo of Luk13
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Harvest Festival. The most stinky and dank IPA I've had. Lots of onions, some earth, very farmhouse. Some citrus of course. The bitterness is higher than most Hill Farmstead. Not my favourite from Hill Farmstead but definitly interesting, unique and very tasty.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review altered after 2011 EBF.

Had this very fresh at EBF. The characteristics are similar to what is described below, but everything was so much more pungent. The nose absolutely exploded with raw hops that carried through to over-the-top hops in the flavor along with a really nice amount of bitterness for a seriously drinkable brew.

Old Review: 4 / 4.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 4

On tap at the Three Penny Taproom. Super-friendly staff and I'm really glad that this was still on we Amyliz4 and I made it in.

Pours a really bright orange color with two fingers of white head and a load of sticky lacing around the edges of the glass. The nose is really nice and over-the-top hoppy with a lot of pine, resin, orange peel, citrus, and some light tropical fruits.

The taste has many of the same components of the nose, though those are often overshadowed by the absolutely bruising bitterness that comes through in the mouthfeel. Citrus, tropical fruits, and a bit of pine. The feel is really, really hoppy and mixes well with the light alcohol that comes through. I'd love to try this again and will hopefully be making a trip back up North to visit all these magnificent Vermont breweries at some point soon.

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

Fresh Ephraim from Saturdays Hill Farmstead harvest fest. What an outstanding festival run by Shaun and his crew. Best festival I have ever attended and not to mention I now get to enjoy this gem in syracuse.

A- Ephraim pours a gorgeous hazy orange with a flare of an off white head that consistently tags the edges of the glass as it retreats. Detailed carbonation consistantlty lingers towards the top as the brew glows

S- Ridicuously ripened grapefruit that is running parallel with a dank resionious piney hop scent. The brew literally explodes with fresh citric flavor from an army's length away... And makes my mouth water. Literally heightens the other senses with the fresh tropical flavors

T- Smooth delivery of pineapple, mango, and papaya flavors that could quite possibly be enrobed in a piney hop tortilla! Flavor is exuberant and as fresh as it gets for a DIPA. While I need to mention that there is not even an alcohol presence, I can't avoid mentioning the finish of bitter piney resin that makes this fantastic!

M- again smooth, yet present with cactus like prickles of carbonation that stings the tongue with hop flavor. Carbonation is spot on to facilitate this

O- in this wild world of craft beer, tasting is believing. Shaun hill has done just that!!! In under two years (not to mention the 2,000+ craft breweries), he has gone out and produced one of the most delicious Dipa's known to mankind. Ephraim is up there with my best double ipa's. Keep it coming Hill Farmstead!!!

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Photo of dubinsky
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to jcojr72 who brought me a 750ml growler for an in person trade. No bottle date, but im drinking it a week after the trade date. Poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a nice hazy deep orange with a very thin wispy white head. The normal pour barely yielded a head and i'm worried this may be a somewhat flat beer. Whatever head there is seems to crawl to edges of the glass and just sits there leaving some spotty lacing behind.

S - Fresh tropical fruit sweetness. Huge tangerine, mango, pineapple notes are followed by light citrus wafts. Nicely bitter hops are present with a really nice caramel malt base. I’m not a huge fan of the way east coast ipa's smell but this is easily one of the best smelling beers from the east that I have had.

T – The taste really follows the nose closely. Huge tropical fruits with an initial sweetness quickly give way to a rather intense bitterness and citrus bite. The sweetness from the caramel malt is very evident and provides a good balance which is equally matched with the hop bitterness that I described in the smell.

M - Medium body, with low carbonation. I fear this was a tad on the flat side and would like to try it again to compare. My mouth went through some serious exercises with this beer with all the varied and complex flavors and textures that I provided.

O – This was a truly awesome beer that lived up to the hype for me. I think that this on par with the best DIPA's I have had, hoplsam and Pliny. Is it better than those, no. But is it close, hell yes. Very well done.

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Photo of Holland
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: golden color, minimal head, very cloudy

S: citrus, grapefruit, peach, pine

T: amazing combo of citrus, sweetness, bittertness, and pine. None are overwhelming but it is bursting with flavor

M: thick and sticky with low to medium carbonation.

O: beats abner for me. Just delicious. If it had bwttwr carbonation I'd put it ahead of heady.

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

On tap at capones. Nuff said.

A- comes to me in a small snifter with a nice cap of bright white head that has a bit of hold before settling to a thin ring and a nice spray of lace. Lightly hazy golden yellow orange in color.

S- super bold tropical hops bust out of this one like you wouldn't believe with tangerines, mangos, pineapple, the grapefruit is in there as well. Light powdered sugar sweetness. Very impressive.

T- aggressive hop bite right up front with an astringent grapefruit and under ripe pineapple. Tropics are less then the nose but still play a roll. Malts bring a lot of dry biscuit and a bit of sweetness but very light up against the hopping. Unbelievably long bitter hoppy finish.

M- a bit above medium in body with a bright carb that really tingles all over. Super dry finish.

O- this lives up to the hype but that being said I like abner better. E is a monster hop bomb and a very good one at that. I hope this and many more hill beers make it down.

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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 nhindian
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2L growler poured into a tulip. Big thanks to CharlieMurphy for this, props Nick!

A - Pours a golden amber, crystal clear as well. A huge fluffy head gradually fills in the extra space in the glass. Retention is good for the amount of alcohol in here, and lacing is on par with some of the best in the style. A visually impressive beer!

S - After my first smell I'm getting flashbacks to Bell's Hopslam in the fact that there's a ton of citrus and fruit in here. The grapefruit is bitter to a vengeance, taking exception to the IPAs I've quaffed in days past. You can almost smell the hop juice oozing out of this beer. Besides the grapefruit, there's also a good bit of orange and mango in here as well, and perhaps just a bit of alcohol.

T - I take my first sip and I can almost hear my teeth scream and this beer rips the enamel straight off of them as the 280 IBUs cut through my palate. This beer features a cornucopia of citrus, most prominently the grapefruit. This is a big hop bomb, but not in the typical West Coast style. The finish is long and very bitter, with mango the strongest flavor.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with good carbonation. The hops really do a number on the palate, and its very resiny. The tongue feels a bit heavier after a glass of this.

D - Drinkability is high. This beer is a monster and has a ton of flavor and hops. An incredible offering from a hopefully up and coming brewery!

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thanks much to urbancaver for sharing this

from notes, 3-25-11

A - clear golden, small white head thins to a film and ring.

S - big citrusy hops, some serious malt balancing in the background

T - big bitter and citrus hops, some grassy notes add good complexity and theres a good balance from the malts.

M - big and creamy, lively, smooth

O (D) - Really great. quite tasty, wish i could drink it every day.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750ml HF swing-top growler into HF over-sized wine glass. Growler filled at the brewery two days ago. I've had this beer multiple times from multiple batches but this is the first time writing a full review.

A- Pours a nice glowing yellowish orange with some light translucency and a light haze. About a finger's worth of white foamy head forms that has decent retention leaving spotty lacing as it recedes. Nice consistent carbonation.

S- Oranges, orange peels, grapefruit, balanced malts, a little bit of booze. Nice balance but booze comes through a bit and slightly too zesty, but other then that perfect.

T- Nice juicy oranges, hint of grapefruit, some orange peel, restrained bitterness, very little booze presence, nice lingering orange juice presence on the finish. Awesome balance, nice juiciness, hardly any alcohol presence for the abv.

M- Medium bodied, juicy, extremely drinkable especially when considering abv, nice carbonation level, exactly how I like my IPAs.

O- This is one of my favorite HF IPAs, and easily one of the best IPAs out there. The drinkability and juiciness of this is incredible considering the abv on it, my only complaint is that I wish it was made more often. If you're a hop-head this is definitely one worth seeking out.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to TCassell1 for this beer, a treat to have. Notes from 3-3-11

A: Clear Orange to yellowish color with epic lacing and small bubbly head. Nice carbonation from the growler, which I was pleased to see. I expected the color to be brighter than normal IPA's since I saw there was so little malt.

S: Dank Hops, hop resin and sugary malt. Huge citrus notes and bitterness in there, wow.

T: Really crazy concentrated hops at the back of the palate with a huge bitter note and soft sugary feel up front. Grass, citrus, pine its all there in a huge hammer at the back of the palate. It's very nice how the beer has such a nice ease to it at the front of the palate and then really slams you with a multitude of hop flavors that I really dig. This is not the most balanced beer, but it is a dream for hop lovers and bitter loving people!

M: As I said, sugar up front and huge bitter back, maybe the most bitter palate wrecker I've had. Medium feel, not too much heat actually.

D: Great huge IPA, but it definitely taxes your palate fast! Excellent beer, I hope to get more of their stuff.

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Photo of renegadeburger
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

got to visit hill farmstead and even try lots of their rare brews had to take a while to take it all in there were a lot of memorable experiences and some really awesome things going on...

beer poured really deep orange color had some little bit of sediment in there some floaties i believe or stray yeast either way not that big of a deal small head pops like rice krispies

smell absolutely fantastic i think my favorite aroma of any double ipa i had to date pure fruit punch right in your face real strong and potent

taste outstanding too real nice hop overtone not bombarded by booze here

big mouthfeel with nice tart citrus in the end

overall this has to be one of my favorite double ipas out there wow super awesome

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Photo of starrdogg
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to dreadnaught33 for sharing some of his growler last night.

I have to say, the only thing about this beer that was not immensely impressive was the way it looked - a bit of a thin yellowish orange without a ton of head. Everything else about this beer was exceptional. The smell just hit me in the face with that big, aromatic hop and citrus aroma that I love in a DIPA, and the taste definitely followed suit. It was hoppy, fruity, a little sweet and ridiculously smooth, basically a perfect DIPA. It was so easy to drink that I was shocked to see that the ABV was 10.5%.

Overall, this is one of the best DIPAs I have ever had and a beer definitely deserving of all of the hype it's getting. It's pretty much perfect in every way.

Edit: I had some from the recent batch and it just wasn't quite as good. It was still a hell of DIPA, but it was more resiny and sweeter and a lot less bitter. I just didn't think the flavors came together quite as well the 2nd time around, so I'm making some minor changes to the review.

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Photo of 4thmedbn
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful color. Really rich golden a little blush.

S - Huge citrusy/honey fruit with lots of piney, resiny magicks.

T - Piney and big flavor, but without being super syrupy and malty. The malt is delicate and really just supports the hopping, which i completely dig in an IPA.

M - Again, not thick and syrupy. Super drinkable. I could drink a lot of this without feeling wicked full and sugar coma-ey. Dangerous.

O - Vermont is just too far away.. I require more beer like this. All the time.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's on 4/23/11.

A - Poured a sunny golden liquid with a dried apricot haze and a wispy white head that diminished to reveal plenty of lacing reminiscent of cheese cloth.

S - Ephraim's pungent nose drips with juicy citrus and tropical fruits, a distinct herbal dankness and fresh pine. Wow! While there is a lot going on here with the hop character, this DIPA boasts one of the most unabashedly citrus aromas I've ever come across.

T - Intense hop character bursting with citrus, tropical fruit and pine, just as the nose forewarned. There is a malt presence, which adds support by way of sweet, grainy notes. Some alcohol heat poked its way through as the liquid warmed. Finish is well-balanced yet still retains a full hop character and aggressive bitterness without being over the top.

M - Medium bodied with an oily texture and crisp, zippy carbonation. Finishes with an assertive bitterness that lingers on the palate for quite some time.

D - Delicious hop bomb that is up there with the best of 'em. Would love to have this side by side with PIY and Dreadnaught in an ultimate DIPA throwdown!

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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 mdaschaf
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Thanks to Paul for sharing!

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a nice white fluffy head on top. Great head retention and lacing.

S: Great aroma of citrus and tropical fruit. Grapefruit, lemon, orange, orange rind, and a bit of mango. A little bit of grainy malt, but the aroma from the hops in this one dominate.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of grapefruit and pineapple mixed with orange rind and zest. Some nice bitter pine comes in afterwards giving it a slight bitterness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks easy and smooth for its abv.

O: Fantastic DIPA, really bright flavors. Not my favorite DIPA of all time, but definitely up there.

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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 wagenvolks
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to xpimptasticx for the share! Served in an unmarked snifter.

The growler unleashes a gorgeously bright, brassy body that supports a fluffy, crackling tuft of foam. Sticky lacing coats the insides of the glass. The aroma is tropical, with big notes of pine resin and pale malt in the background. Very assertive nose, and a delight to inhale.

The flavor is unmistakably styled after the West Coast IIPA's, as floral, citrusy, and incredibly piny hop flavors explode upon the palate with each sip. Malts keep up a solid, balancing backbone, however, perhaps a testament to the true East Coast nature of this hop monster. Mouthfeel is clean, crisp, and bright with bitterness. A joy to sip. Definitely a must-try for any hop lover.

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Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.
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