Ephraim | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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99
world-class
1,039 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:
1,039
Reviews:
238
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
1,496
Gots:
43
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,039 |  Reviews: 238
Photo of eawolff99
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BARFLYB
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap At Capone's.

A- Ephraim looks the part, shades of golden orange with some tangerine looks. a nice amount of white foam on top that leaves minor stickage. Decent retention, while some swirls brings it back.

S- A really pungent bouquet of hop aroma blasting out. Smells of ripe tropics such as grapefruit and pineapple with a decent amount of pine. A array of hop types in here, probably including Summit(slight onion), thanks for the tip Bill.

T- First sips, Ephraim just comes out swinging. An assult of hop flavor and tropic mixed in with pine in the beginning. Some malt biscuit barely makes a whimper in between. Just a bit of summit hop flavor under a bevy of others. It's interesting and worth the praise, just not my top pick.

M- Like said, hops and bitterness basically envade the mouth. Astringent and really grabs ahold of the tounge. Medium bodied and carbed up from the tap. Great beer burps afterwards and the flavor sticks around with me forever.

O- A great beer and a banging double eye. Very drinkable, but the bitterness can deter for a bit. the tropics are not as large as expected, Abner really shines in that department. This is another beast.

 1,174 characters

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

On tap at Capone's the other day.

The beer pours a golden peach color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. This beer is very aromatic, showcasing dry citrus, fruit cocktail, orange marmalade, vanilla and considerable pine. The flavor profile tends to replicate the nose pretty closely in this tasty DIPA. Also, while there is a considerable tropical fruit component to this beer, there's more than enough hoppy goodness to balance it, leading to a long, bitter, pine infused finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, and while you can tell the alcohol is up there in this one, the beer is not at all hot or boozy on the finish.

This is an excellent DIPA, no doubt about that. Still not sure I'd put it in the same category as Hopslam, younger and elder, but there's no denying that this is a well made, well crafted DIPA.

 844 characters

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.

 297 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 yourefragile
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's. 5.5 oz snifter/$6.50. I had this batch from a growler about two months fresher so it's interesting to see how its holding up (this keg had to wait ~ a month for PLCB registration. <3 u PLCB)

Bright white head that hangs around for awhile on top of a crisp, hazed golden orange body.

Aroma is showing no signs of age and is still flawless. Tons of fresh, ripe tropical sweetness and mild cane sugar. Pungent, hoppy and balanced with no trace of alcohol. Perfect.

Flavor is showing some signs of age. Bitter and resiny hops are still abundant but some of the tropical sweetness has been blunted. Biscuity malts are a little stronger than I remember as well. Nice, but no longer perfect.

Exceptionally dry with a medium full body and strong, fine carbonation.

Regardless, this is an exceptional DIPA, but it has tasted better.

 854 characters

Photo of fthegiants
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

750ml Swing Top - Thanks to pushkinwow!

Appearance - Slightly hazy amber colour with a large size frothy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone and there are some floaties.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the taste is made up of caramel and malts mixed with lots of hops. It also has apricots, pineapples, lemons, grapefruits, tangerines and a little bit of a candied fruit sugary sweetness. It ends with a pungent citrusy bitter hop aftertaste.

Overall - It reminded me of a sweeter Heady Topper. Definitely one of the better beers I've had to date. I'd like a touch less sweetness but it is an imperial IPA afterall I guess. Happy I had the chance to try this, truly world class.

 885 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Armsby Abbey during Hill Farmstead tap takeover. Reviewed from notes.

A - Very nice clear orange hie with a one finger head that left super nice side lacing. Very creamy blanket.

S - Dank, musty citrus hops along with some super light/faint pineapple and tropical.

T - Taste is more of the musty goodness with some orangy citrus with more of the subtle pineapple and tropical fruits.

M - Mouthfeel is so creamy, and this ABV is hidden perfectly. Incredibly, and dangerously, drinkable.

O - Excellent example of a super hoppy double IPA. Stuff is crazy good drinkable. So glad I got to try this on tap. Very juicy.

 640 characters

Photo of Kelp
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.87/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 750mL swingtop growler to snifter on 11/13/11 at a small tasting with friends
*From notes

-- Yet again, many thanks for sharing, Bill --

A: A really healthy presentation. Rich, golden amber and when properly poured, a bubbly 1.25 finger head and decent lacing appear. Really nice retention, as the head lingers for some time.

S: It's floral, yet rather subdued. It's earthy, malty and signifigantly herbal. Lovely, it's really a pleasure to let this drift in and out of the nostrils.

T: This is intense stuff. For as laid back as the bouquet is, the flavor profile is quite the opposite. There's less fruit here, and more of an intensly toasted, almost burnt onion quality to it. It's most certainly rich, and the finish showcases hints of ripe strawberries.

M: The texture is suitable, yet I wish there was more to it. A bit undercarbed, which I'll forgive as it is coming from a growler. But to pack that big of a punch into an almost flabby body is not what I'd call desirable.

O: Hill Farmstead's Ephraim is a very, very good beer that, in my opinion, never reaches the heights of greatness. It certainly knows where it wants to go, yet it wasn't where I felt it needed to be. More of a sipping DIPA, it's one to be shared, as I don't know how one would get down massive quantities of this.

Of the two hoppier HF offerings we imbibed that afternoon, I would have no reservations reaching for their Abner each and every time, as I feel it to be the better and substantially more balanced offering.

 1,512 characters

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.

 2,611 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks! A much anticipated first review from a much anticipated brewery. I'm new to Hill Farmstead brewery, but not to the beers of this brewer.

A: Appears tangerine orange and clear with a billowing white head, great retention, and thick sheets of lacing.

S: Aroma is of grapefruit, peach, tangerine, mango, orange, passion fruit, and a little papaya, a veritable cornucopia of fruit characteristics that coexist harmoniously. Holy shit this smells fantastic. There's a whisper of pine in there as well, but the hop character is mostly fruit. Alcohol is very well hidden for the monstrous ABV, I can't even detect it. Malt is light and reminiscent of caramel. One of the best smelling Double/Triple IPAs I've encountered.

T: Big hop flavor, manifesting itself in the form of a myriad of fruits: peach, mango, orange, grapefruit, papaya, and tangerine. Bitterness is at an upper moderate level with ephemeral sweetness midpalate. Malt is caramel in character but takes a backseat to the bold and unabashed hop profile. This is _outstanding_ stuff. Finish is a hop explosion with a lingering pithy bitterness. Alcohol is deftly masked.

M: Medium bodied with a dry, sticky mouthfeel and good carbonation. The growler held up very well.

Overall: Top notch stuff. This is one of the best Double/Triple IPAs I've had, up there with Younger. If future batches are as good as this first batch this beer will become very well known. Seek this out!

 1,444 characters

Photo of DucksFan16
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

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 PEIhop
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of corby112
3.42/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color with a one finger frothy white head that has good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring. Sporadic chunks of lacing left behind.

The nose on this beer is absolutely fantastic. Just bursting through with a ton of tropical and citrus fruit along with some slight earthy pine, pale malt and sweet booze. Lots of mango and pineapple as well as some grapefruit and lemon peel. One of the best smelling IPAs I've encountered.

This beer looks great and smells incredible but unfortunately the flavor falls way off. The citrus and tropical fruit notes are there but anywhere near as prominent as the aroma suggests. More bitter and earthy than expected with piny/soily flavor but not overly dry. Also, it is very hot and the strong booze component kills the best of the hop flavor. Hints of grapefruit and lemon peel with a very faint tropical presence. The malt backbone is also stronger than expected with hints of biscuit and an overly grainy graham cracker presence. Toward the end of the palate the beer is almost all booze. Kind of all over the place an very disappointing.

I have heard very good things about this beer and was really looking forward to it but it was an enormous let down. I'm gong to be trying it again on draft in a few days and will update my review if my opinion changes.

 1,341 characters

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of mltobin
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of JohnParadee
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

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

Pours a glowing and hazed amber color with frothy and soapy white head. Scent leads with big bitter pine resin before mellowing into a blend of citrus and tropical fruit (grapefruit, orange, pineapple, tangerine)... quite impressed. Taste follows suit, big and bitter upfront with pine and herbal hops, mellows quickly into a fruit cocktail like blend of citrus and tropical fruits, ends with a touch of tangy bitterness and light alcohol presence. Medium bodied, smooth, clean, perfect carbonation, dry finnish. Simple fantastic brew which showcases many nuances of hops.

 572 characters

Photo of kscaldef
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of DeadeyeOTDO
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bylerteck
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the brewery filled May 3, Chugged down May 7. From notes.

A - Poured a dark orange colour and cloudy. Two finger pillowy and thick head of an off white persuasion. Great thick rings of lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Similar to other HF pales and IPAs. Tons of citrus and passionfruit. Melon is a nice addition. Grapefruit and mango too. There is a distinct element I can't pin down that I really enjoyed. Sweet fruits, mango, canteloupe, some alcohol. Gorgeous.

T - Much of the same with more grapefruit. Grapefruit pith and pineapple. Less sweet fruit. Some orange. Bit rougher than the aroma leads on. More darker, sweet tropical fruits, and more grapefruit-esque citrus. Less bright citrus in the flavour. Some good maltiness is there. A little alcohol is present. Complex.

M - Gripping bitterness, fairly strong carbonation, medium to full body that seems a bit oily.

O/D - Flavour is weaker than the aroma. But seriously, this is quality. Complex, tasty, and fairly balanced for what it is. Malt shows, but doesn't play too big a role. Well done and easy to drink for what it is.

 1,113 characters

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.5 out of 5 based on 1,039 ratings.
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