Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)
133 Ratings
Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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…”

Added by Slatetank on 10-12-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 133 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kbuzz
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
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

Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thatche2
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
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

Photo of Philcassella
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dfhhead25
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of pagesofphotographs
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SadMachine
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
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

Photo of Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hyptochrons
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of rodmanfor3
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of the_beerist
4.89/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Kelp
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of corby112
2.69/5  rDev -36.7%
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

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mendvicdog
3.82/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
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

Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jaasen64
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
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

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.42/5  rDev -19.5%
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 goldspire
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of JWalterWeatherman
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 133 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.