Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Baltic Porter
Ranked #11
ABV:
9.3%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,757
Avg:
4.26 | pDev: 9.62%
Reviews:
64
Ratings:
165
From:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
 
Vermont, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  157
Gots
  13
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)
Notes: Fear and Trembling is Hill Farmstead’s first collaboration – a Baltic Porter brewed with malt that was hand smoked over maple wood by our Danish friend, and former colleague, Anders Kissmeyer. This bottled version was blended from beer aged in both American Oak Cabernet barrels and Bourbon barrels. As a student of philosophy and former resident of Copenhagen, it is fitting that our brewer named our first collaboration after Denmark’s great thinker: Søren Kierkegaard. All three contemplated absurdity, faith, and salvation while wandering the shores of the Baltic Sea…

“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…”
Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 165 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Stevedore
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle from December 2016. Served in a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Pours a dark black body, cola coloured head which brings out about one finger, with a nice medium collar that has a lot of staying power, good retention and minimal lacing as expected. Smell is rich milk chocolate, touch of smoked wood, mild whiskey sweetness, a bit of cocoa and a nice dark chocolate. A bit of nougat also. Flavour is milk chocolate, caramel-like nougat sweetness, slight smoky oak, light bourbon smoke that certainly complements the intrinsic smoked malt, red tannic character lingering on the backend with a touch of vanillin sweetness. Really rich, complex and fascinating admixture of smoke and barrel. Mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy and soft, one of the more substantial Hill Farmstead stouts/porters I've had. Wonderful silky body with a lot going on the finish, with oak, tannins and vanillins playing around on a background of milk chocolate. This isn't a super smoky beer, similar to the base, and the barrels have a nice interplay amongst each other without overshadowing the base porter which has a lot of chocolate character in its own right.

 1,149 characters

Stevedore from Wisconsin, Jun 15, 2018
Photo of cosmicevan
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Recent released version from I think December? Massive thanks to Steve for the hookup. Like most, I am not a big fan of smoked beer but this is about as immaculate as a smoked beer can get. The barrel blends are phenomenal and really dialed in. This is actually thirst quenching. Paint me impressed.

 301 characters

cosmicevan from New York, Feb 21, 2018
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with black chocolate notes with some bourbon and vanilla notes is quite exquisite. Taste is also a mix roasted malt, black chocolate with some bourbon, vanilla notes with oak and subtle smoked presence. Body is full with oily texture and good carbonation with no overly apparent alcohol notes. Quite the complex porter with great drinkability level.

 486 characters

Phyl21ca from Quebec (Canada), Dec 11, 2017
Photo of jzeilinger
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown/black pour, thin creme colored lacing.

S - Some smokiness, chocolate char, red grape skins.

T - Smokey/char, big lingering dark smoked chocolate, cabernat red grape skins.

M - Full bodied.

O - Held up well.

 225 characters

jzeilinger from Pennsylvania, Dec 03, 2017
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2017 release.

This one pours a fairly dark black, with a small white head, and not much lacing.

This smells like vinous red wine and dark cherry, with oak, vanilla, fudgy chocolate, and light smoke.

This is aged in a combination of red wine and bourbon barrels, and the red wine comes through a bit stronger for me, as this is fairly vinous and there's some nice dark fruit layered throughout. The chocolate malt aspect of the base is amplified through the time in barrels, and the smoke is definitely downplayed, which is slightly unfortunate. There's a nice spicy oak character, though.

This is medium bodied, creamy, with both a lightness and richness at the same- which obviously makes no sense.

This is a really fun beer. I'm not sure if it's a big improvement from the base- as the base integrates smoke flavor so well into the porter base. Despite that, it's a very tasty beer that shows careful barrel aging.

 921 characters

GreesyFizeek from New York, Nov 14, 2017
Photo of thatche2
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 20 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Appearance is jet black with some brown around the edges and very little head. Smell is a good mix of chocolate brownie and bourbon with notes of molasses, oak, and a hint of smoke/roast.

Taste is creamy Chocolate brownie and bourbon up front with some of the smoked wood showing up on the back end. The flavor profile and complexity is very nice throughout. Some red wine shows up on the finish, which I did not get in the aroma. There is a hint of oxidation present, which actually works well. Mouthfeel starts out nice and creamy, but I was searching for more body on the finish. Carbonation was moderate and well executed.

Overall this is an interesting and well executed Baltic Porter. The bourbon barrels are much more prominent than the wine, which works well. The smoked wood notes added a nice element. Unfortunately, the lighter mouthfeel holds this beer back from being great. Regardless, if the opportunity is there, it is a treat.

 993 characters

thatche2 from Georgia, Oct 30, 2017
Photo of SadMachine
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black, slowly glugging out of the bottle, leaving a fairly large, dark khaki head. This slowly recedes, but maintains once it gets down to 1/3 of a finger, clinging to the glass and leaving lots of sticky lacing.

The aroma really jumps out at you right from the get-go! The first thing that comes to mind is rich dark chocolate covered cherries. Hints of smoke, charred oak, and vanilla follow, highlighting the bourbon barrels. Rich dark fruits, again led by cherries, but also prunes, raspberries, and figs come through in a big way. There are some nice vinous tannins from the red wine barrels, and a slight hint of tartness (not anything reminiscent of an infection). Super complex, and incredibly enticing!

The flavor is mostly dominated by charred oak, roasted malt, and cherry. There are strong hints of smoke throughout, but not to the extent you might find in a rauchbier or things of that sort. It doesn't quite deliver on the promise the nose made of rich chocolate and dark fruits, but the flavors are there, albeit somewhat muted. Only slight hints of vanilla, but fairly strong wine and bourbon notes throughout that aren't quite as rounded or balanced as I'd like, but still tasty.

The mouthfeel is medium, with a fairly high carbonation for the style and the time spent in barrels. Fairly boozy, with a dry vinous finish.

Overall this is a very good beer, but it doesn't quite deliver on the promise of world-class status that the aroma suggests. The red wine and bourbon barrels do add unique, interesting elements, and there are some good flavors there, I just wish everything I smelled so strongly came through just as strong in the flavor!

 1,675 characters

SadMachine from New Jersey, Oct 17, 2017
Photo of Hyptochrons
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

not sure if this is actually the proper variant. 2017 version aged in wine and bourbon barrels. notes of dark smokey malts, oak, leather, tannins. vinous quality, molasses, chocolate, barrel brings some smooth vanilla and caramel character, hint of booze but pretty subdued. overall really complex and enjoyable brew, moutfeel is on point as well!

 347 characters

Hyptochrons from Massachusetts, Oct 06, 2017
Photo of corby112
2.69/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a dark chestnut brown, almost black color with mahogany and plum colored edges. One finger beige head that slowly settles into lasting. Decent retention with some spotty lacing left behind.

Spicy spirit barrel in the aroma with prominent dry oak/toothpick and spicy green peppers character followed by subtle smoke and robust dark malt notes. Oak and peppers overpower the smoke and dark malts and I'm not picking up much cab or bourbon. Phenols aren't as prominent as in the other variations but it's still there. Slight smoke with charcoal, BBQ meat and ash along with some burnt toast and fried green chilies. Smoke is subtle, barrel notes are weak and the peppers are too strong.

On the fuller end of medium body with harsh spicy booze and lots of dry charred oak. Strong spicy spirit and boozy sweetness yet overwhelming dry with damp, burnt oak. Dry and one dimensional with harsh pepper flavor. Bland barrel character that doesn't add much to the beer.

 978 characters

corby112 from Pennsylvania, May 16, 2015
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A blend of what's still hanging on (the bourbon) and what's going the way of the dodo (the cab). Interesting to have all three at the same time where the dichotomy is in full display. Thanks again so very much Mike.

 215 characters

BarrytheBear from Wisconsin, Jan 12, 2015
Photo of jaasen64
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into HF taster. This is one of the first bottles HF released over 4 years ago.

A- Pours a dark black still retaining a nice mocha head and ample, lively carbonation.

S- A nice strong meaty smokiness is the most prevalent, along with some cocoa, a light syrupiness in the background, and a little bit of dark fruits from the cabernet. Smells pretty good for it's age without too much oxidation and still retaining it's strength other then maybe a little bit of faded barrel presence.

T- Nice cocoa presence with a nice meaty smokiness that comes out a lot more on the finish, some light dark fruits and a hint of muted cabernet presence hiding in the background. Overall like the aroma this is holding up well with strong flavors, little oxidation, and maybe just a little bit of a faded barrel presence as it was fairly hard to detect.

M- This is where this beer really shines through. The beer has the perfect body to supplement the smoky presence almost adding a light chewiness without being too thick or viscous. The carbonation has held up perfectly for the 4 years and is one of the more spot on porters/stouts I've had carbonation wise from HF.

O- We were a little bit worried that this beer had probably fallen off quite a bit by now but we were all presently surprised. The beer didn't show it's age too much besides maybe a little bit of a muted barrel presence judging by the fact it was hard to detect. Other then that this beer is still drinking great and I'm glad I had the chance to finally try it.

 1,553 characters

jaasen64 from Massachusetts, Dec 28, 2014
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.42/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown, almost black. Small khaki head. Wispy surface and a chunky collar.

Smell - Some wine, but it's faint. Light smokiness. Dark chocolate. A little sherry oxidation.

Taste - Sweeter than the fresh base beer, which I had just before this. The smoke has faded a lot. A bit of wine presence. Lots of sherry and oxidation. Some bitter chocolate and smoke in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation. Kinda thin. Tasting old.

Overall - It's a good beer, it's just old. Fresh version is a much better beer.

 575 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, smoke, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and smoke bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that doesn't really have any barrel aged characteristics at this point other than wood qualities

 675 characters

UCLABrewN84 from California, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of Skrip
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a Funkwerks snifter.

A~ extremely dark brown with a slightly bigger head then the other 2 versions and a tiny bit of lacing.

S~ mostly smoked meat, bacon, and dark malts. then some sweetness from the bourbon and a tiny bit of wine barrel funk.

T~ bourbony caramel, vanilla up front. followed by smokey bacon, more dark malts and some zesty rye. a tiny bit of wine barrel funk on the finish. bourbon and maple syrup sticks with you for what seems like forever! definitely not a bad thing!

M~ honestly its probably the smoothest of the series. carbonation of the bourbon version, so not bad but it could use a little more. maple syrup thickness from start to finish!

O~ surprisingly not my favorite of the series. i have a feeling this version got more bourbon than cabernet or it could have something to do with the age. the bourbon might have just taken over a bit. no real complaints about that though haha, i was just hoping for a little more funk.

 980 characters

Skrip from New Jersey, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of Etan
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml into a Zwanze taster glass. Shared generously by Sean9689.

A: Black body, no head.

S: Smoked meat, caramel, some vinous tannins, light vanilla. The smoked malt is the focus here, as it should be.

T: More bacon, light breadiness, wood smoke, vanilla, caramel, light maple. The bourbon is more assertive than the cabernet but there is a bit of a dry vinous note to it.

M. Medium-bodied, light carbonation.

O. A great smoked beer. It's good to see brewers besides the traditional Germans getting balance in smoked beers right, and I suppose it helps that HF sourced very high quality malt.

 597 characters

Etan from Wisconsin, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of stakem
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks go to Kegatron for sharing all 3 Fear and Trembling variations during our recent gathering. Awesome experience to have these all back to back. 500ml bottle poured into some snifters. We drank this blended version last in the set of 3. The brew appears dark brown to black with brown clarity noticed around the edges. Some spotty to patchy lace sticks to the glass and swirl revives a finger back to the surface.

The smell is beefy with smoke but significantly more mild than the individual parts that this blend is comprised of. A mild hint of coconut and toffee is noted from the barrel aging. Some raw oak mixes with tangy alcohol inclusion that is quite reminescent of the cabernet version while the coconut and toffee is what I expected from the bourbon version. The way these two blend together is quite enjoyable.

The taste includes some tangy alcohol upfront with a flavor of raisin or plum that blends into some raw oakiness. Mid palate there is the expected smoke character but it is significantly more mild than the individual parts that comprise the blend. More sips reveal notes of earth, ash, roast and mild vanilla as it warms up.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The alcohol inclusion is much more forward and pronounced in this blend than the other versions. It displays a bit of crisp quality to the finish. I was really surprised at how unique each of these fear and tremblings were in their own subtle way. Having them all side by side or back to back is the way to do it, else you might not really get the nuances (especially between the bourbon and cabernet versions.) My favorite was this one which which has the least focus on smoke and let more of the barrel quality come forward. Thanks again for sharing Heath!

 1,784 characters

stakem from Pennsylvania, Sep 20, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into a couple of glasses.

Pours a black/dark brown in the glass, with a finger of dark mocha. This looks just like the first two in the series, with good retention and lacing. The aroma smells of light smoke, dark fruit, cocoa, caramel and toffee. A touch of sticky charred bourbon hangs on the edges.

The taste is tart dark fruit, sticky chocolate and toffee, vanilla, moderate citrus notes and then some heavier roast towards the backend. Some light smokiness hangs in the finish, where it lingers with some leftover dry oak character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and feels just like the other two beers, with a solid combo of crisp and creamy with a surprisingly well hid ABV.

I think this one definitely hit the sweet spot of the three beers in this series. You get a little bit of everything here from both the French Oak and Bourbon barrels plus just the right amount of smoke as well. This was definitely the winner of the bunch for me but they were all interesting in their own way.

 1,013 characters

Kegatron from Pennsylvania, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of cpetrone84
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours dark brown with thin tan head. Rather smokey nose with some rich chocolate and roasted malts. Flavor is similar, less smokey but still present. Rich chocolate and hint of roasted coffee. Light bourbon towards back with a hint of sweetness. Full body, smooth, good finish.

 277 characters

cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of Jeffo
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks goes out to jbeatty for hooking us up with this delicious three beer set. I had almost given up on ever seeing any of these, so I'm absolutely stoked to finally get a chance at the threesome. Cheers man!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
This was the last of the three bottles we opened.

APPEARANCE: All of these variants look the same. Pours transparent brown and yields a small, medium looking, light tan head with decent retention. Head fades to a slight wisp and bubbly ring. Black body, relatively clear, with no carbonation evident. Only a ring remains until the end and leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Smoked malts, roasted malts and some light bourbon and wine notes. Both barrels are there, but not as pronounced as in their respective variants. Dark chocolate and roasted malts are there, but the smoked meat is still in the forefront. More dark chocolate than the other variants and the barrels seem to cancel each other out slightly. Still very nice in its own right, however.

TASTE: Smoked malts and roasted notes with both barrels coming in through the middle into the finish. Bourbon, oak with dark chocolate and smoky meat at the finish with a touch of wine as well. The bourbon barrel is more prevalent, which was expected, since it was bolder than the wine barrel in their respective variants. Mild and lingering aftertaste of oak, bourbon, hints of sine and dark, chocolaty malts. Interesting stuff, very complex, but not quite as flavorful and mind-blowing as the bourbon version.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky. Good feel.

OVERALL: Could definitely tell this was a blend of the two other variants, but unfortunately they seemed to cancel each other out a little, which can sometimes happen with blends. This one was complex and enjoyable for sure, and was perhaps even more complex than the other two. That said, however, it didn’t quite have the boldness in the nose and flavor profile that I loved so much about the regular cabernet and bourbon version, which is why it finishes behind them. Oddly enough, our own 50/50 blend was more flavorful and interesting that this one. In the end though, this F&T set was a phenomenal treat, and I’m extremely glad I had the chance to try them all out. A huge thanks again jbeatty. This was pure class!

 2,382 characters

Jeffo from Netherlands, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of msubulldog25
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

[from notes]
500ml bottle shared with my wife (split to 2 snifters) last Friday, watching Portlandia and Grimm. The bottle came from sleepydave about a year ago and has beer cellared/fridged ever since.

Subtitled 'Frygt og Bæven' on the label, a tribute to a Danish friend (who smoked the maple wood) and for philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, who's quoted here: "...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling...".

A: Impenetrable darkness, not unlike many imperial stouts I've seen - but, remember, this is a Baltic Porter - with barely a ruby glint at the finish. Not much head, a skim of mocha that may have reached a half-finger then cowered at the rim as a thin ring. Vague gauzy swirl atop.

S: Enticing, heady scent of smoked wood, a bit sweet and mildly 'syrup' like. I jotted that down before I re-read the label's reference to 'malt that was hand smoked over maple wood'; fragrant but not overpowering, there's a beautiful marriage between 'traditional Baltic' scents, like cocoa and plump pit fruits, and a 'campfire rustic' quality. I continually went back to sniff from the glass, pretty remarkable.

T: Such a savory flavor! Chewy fruits (raisins, dates, prunes) wed with fudgy cocoa. Oaked vanilla, bourbon spicing and tannic grapeskin: all come out to play. But the smoked malts star here... they permeate every bit of this sturdy, full-flavored porter and layer the experience. After some time warming, the 'cabernet' quality grows, a little more bitter (dark chocolate) and drier, ashier.

M: Ridiculously smooth... THE most marvelously creamy feel. Body is medium, borderline thick. A very fine graininess in the finish, a coating sheen on teeth and cheeks. Perfect level of carbonation.

O: I'll remember this beer for a long time (and wish I had more for the future) for it's enthralling taste and scent. Smoked malt and deft barrel aging take this Baltic to a far greater level than most. My wife may remember it even more fondly than I will;she says it's the first 'smoked beer' she's ever enjoyed (tried others and really disliked them)... a game-changer for her?

Terrific job, Shaun Hill, and many thanks, Dave...

 2,159 characters

Photo of ChrisPro
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF #6

Blind beer # 10 from sholland119.

500 mL? bottle poured into my Victory tulip.

A - Opaque onyx with a one finger khaki head. Splotches of lacing on the glass, but a nice "oil slick" of bubbles across the top. 3.5

S - Rauch geek breakfast, for sure. Awesome campfire smoke, and some rich spicy coffee behind it. I don't know what coffee it is, but it it reminds me of an earthy African coffee. Hard to get much else beyond that. Seems like there's some oak aging, but I think that's just the smoked malt. 4.5

(my wife's quote after her first sniff: "Damn, I might as well smoke a cigarette!")

T - Much sweeter than the nose indicates. Great vanilla and milk chocolate. Not as much coffee as I expected. Hmm...Awesome dry smoke finish. Very little hop bitterness but some nice roasted char. It's definitely a Scandinavian style stout. Slightly tart fruitiness adds a twist as it warms. 4

M - Light carbonation. Very full bodied. A touch of heat, but I'm thinking this is still in the 7-8% range. Slightly dry finish. 4.0

O - Pretty quaffable. On the sweeter side (I like!) but great. This is a pretty complex stout. Tons going on, so I can't tell if there are any flaws, but it drinks so well I don't care! Great brew. 4.0

While the nose reminded me of rauch geek breakfast, there's not as much coffee as I wanted. This may actually just be a smoked imperial stout. Definitely Scandinavian, but on the sweet side.

Final Guess: A Scandinavian smoked imperial stout. Rauch Geek Breakfast is my only guess.

the reveal: Hill Farmstead Fear and Trembling Cabernet/Bourbon blend

This was a HUGE want. Thanks, Scott! Now knowing what it is, I do realize that there was, in fact oak on the nose. And the slightly twangy fruitiness is definitely the cab. Really cool complex brew and one I'm going to savor the rest of the bottle. Thanks a ton!

 1,882 characters

ChrisPro from Illinois, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of yourefragile
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Hill Farmstead Harvest festival, shortly after opening a bottle of the first (only) release.

Dark brown, near black with a dark tan head that settles in to a finger thick head with abundant webs of lacing. Much more bourbon and vanilla presence on the nose from the barrel than the bottle. Smoke is still present, but not as overwhelming. Roast malt, oak, smoke, and dark fruit blend in the aroma and flavor. Blend of the barrel and smoke is smooth and interesting; bourbon is still present, but the wine barrel has fallen out of the flavor. Very smooth, silky body with light carbonation. Having had bottles fresh and aged, and kegs at multiple stages, I'd say there isn't much point in aging bottles longer, but still an interesting beer.

 757 characters

yourefragile from District of Columbia, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Gushue3
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes I found in my car from last month's Hill Farmstead Harvest Fest. I probably drank this straight for an hour and got a free kick the keg pour, what a weekend.

A Pitch black in tasting glass with nice sized head thats light brown/ tan. lots of sticky lacing left around the glass.

S Nice smoke and roast. Definitely get some barrel scents like bourbon and a tiny bit of vanilla. It was cold up there and this smelled a plenty.

T All over the place. Smoke takes over with some nicely mellowed out bourbon. Smoke is almost bacony. There's a sweetness hanging around but I can't put my finger on what it is. Wicked complex stuff here. Smooth, bold and tasty.

M Thick chewy mouthfeel with very little carbonation. Smooth as hell and perfect for a cold day.

O This is hands down one of the best things I have ever drank. The taste is unbelievable and everything else is spot on, I wish there was more of this.

 915 characters

Gushue3 from Massachusetts, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of CharlieMurphy
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

"Last keg in existence" @ Harvest Fest 10/1/11

A: Very black with a slivered chip of brown on the edges and roan, mercurial off-white/tan head. Looks deep

S: Medium smoke, some clear barrel aging, bourbon is restrained with some vanilla whispering so softly I'm not sure if it's actually there or not. Smells deep.

T: Smoky, roasty, mildly sweet, albeit a very curious sweetness, very smooth oak with a super enjoyable level of minimal bourbon that's played perfectly. The blend of the barrels adds a lot of complexity, depth, and smoothness to this beer that seems to evolve like a perfect storm of flavor. Quite unique and uncommon.

M: Not very drying. Carbonation is low-medium.
Smooth Smooth Smooth

O: Damn Tragic this won't be brewed again. Some of the best barrel usage I've ever saturated my organs with.

 817 characters

Photo of Chincino
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer at the Hill Farmstead Harvest Festival this past weekend. I liked it so much I used three tickets for it to have it three times.

The beer poured to be a very dark brown and one could argue that is was even black in color with a mocha/medium brown head.

The aroma is strong in this beer-smokey smell, possibly vanilla, dark fruit, and definitely could smell a hint of Bourbon.

Medium-bodied beer. Taste was intense and flavorful, but not overpowering.

This is one of my favorite all-time beers so I'd recommend trying it if you get the chance. Hill Farmstead does some really amazing beers!

Cheers!

 619 characters

Chincino from Massachusetts, Oct 03, 2011
Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 165 ratings