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

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Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend)
148 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
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Ratings: 148 |  Reviews: 63
Reviews by Chincino:
Photo of Chincino
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
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!


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More User Reviews:
Photo of bierdabbler
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle. Drank alongside the other two Fear and Trembling beers.

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is pretty similar to the other two beers from this series. I get a lot of smoked malt, chocolate, oak and roasted malt. Not real surprises.

The flavor is not surprisingly, a blend of the other two beers. The chocolate is the predominant flavor, but I also get some oak, bourbon, smoke, roasted malt and peet. There is also some dark fruit notes. Easy to drink. The alcohol is fairly well hidden.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark brown/black just like the other two, head is still small but ever darker and finer. Nose is amazing, it's got the smokiness and bourbon flavors.

Taste is amazing as well, the cab is there up front with bourbon On the finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Easily he best of the trio.

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Photo of doremite
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Grant - thanks! Tasted side-by-side with the other two in the series.

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of large roasted malts with solid amounts of smokiness. Also present are moderate amounts of tannins, vanilla, and spicy oak, in that order.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though with more influence from the bourbon. Robust roasted malt and smoked malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by moderate amounts of dark chocolate. Midway through the sip mild amounts of vanilla and spicy oak flavors come into play. Near the end of the sip lightly tart tannins come into play, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I thought this was the best of the three in that it was (not surprisingly) the most complex. The barrel-aging was very well done and this beer is worth a shot if you can find one.

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Photo of pwoods
3.74/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to rpstevens for this bottle in secret Santa!

500ml brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: pours pitch black with a bit of viscosity. Tan head on the pour with pretty good retention and some lacing.

S: Huge smoke. Probably too much but not overly abrasive. The smoke definitely does overpower nearly everything. Theres a bit of the Baltic porter left behind everything but it's nearly all smoke and beef jerky like aroma.

T/M: More of the huge smoke but not quite as overpowering as in the aroma. The Baltic porter base sticks out a bit more. If I try real hard, I get a bit ofthe bourbon and possibly some notes from the cab barrel. Body is full with smoothing carbonation.

D: Split this with Kels and that wasnt too much and I think I could have probably done the whole bottle.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of 05Harley
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2010

Purchased @ Hill Farmstead Brewery back in the Fall.

Price: $10.00/bomber

Appearance: Near pitch black with a creamy mocha head that retreats fairly quickly to the outer rim. Held up to the light with a near empty glass, I see some suspended solids. Spotty lacing decorates the drinking vessel.

Smell: My three favorite aromas, chocolate, bourbon and maple in the form of smoke - Nice!! I'm sold.

Taste: Having had all three versions, this one is more impressionable IMO. You get bourbon flavor but it's cut off quickly reminding you of the wine influence. A mild smokiness compliments the chocolate and bourbon. Makes me in the mood for steak..

Mouthfeel: Medium body and smooth. Lite carbonation which adds to the creamy feel. slite bitterness and dry in the finish.

Drinkability: Oh yeah! I got hammered off this stuff during the Fall event, this and Ephraim. Shaun does a wonderful job blending smoke in his beers. Me likes..

Oh yeah, I need to be reminded that this is over 9.0%. I can stay on this all night long!

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Photo of nkersten
3.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into NB globe. Dark brown black with ruby edges, a swirling tan head that fades to a collar. Smokey oak, subtle bourbon, bitter chocolate, a hint of wine, although it is very subtle. Taste is chocolate, smoked malts, slightly sour wine barrel, a bit of oak, some alcohol in the finish. Medium to heavy body with a light carbonation and a strange astringent feel. My favorite of the three F&T, but this one has a strange aftertaste that is putting me off.

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Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +17.6%

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.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to beeruser (I think at least) for sharing this one! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured pitch black with a one finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount very slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, smoke, and BBQ. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, smoke, smoked meat, and subtle alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Ovearll this was an excellent brew. The smokiness I got on this one took it to a whole new level. Not sure where it came from, but I was definitely not complaining in the least. Probably one of the best Baltic Porters to cross my palate to-date. Really glad I got the opportunity to try this and hopefully you get the chance as well.

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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 GRG1313
4/5  rDev -5.9%

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

Photo of BNarc
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Psychmusic
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 9.3% ABV, no date.

Thanks, once again, to Keith for this brew and the two others I got to try with this one!

A - Black in the tulip with a dense tan head. Great retention with just a smidgen of lace left on the glass.

S - The bourbon from the bourbon blend comes through with notes of vanilla and alcohol with a very mellow presence. Once again the French oak Cabernet is nearly absent. A touch of tart grape on the finish is all. Roasted chocolate malt and mocha. The smoke is the most mellow in this one.

T - Much more Cabernet barrel in the flavor (ironically, more than just the French Oak version), this smoked Baltic Porter has a mellow smoke flavor that lifts up the mocha, light bourbon with woody, vanilla notes all over the place.

M - Smooth and full-bodied with a dry cocoa finish and low acrid bitterness, this one has a very faint alcohol warmth. Very nice.

D - Once again, this guy has good drinkability, just like the last two. A great comparison of all three, I'd have to say that I like this one the best, although not by much over the bourbon barrel version. Ironically the Cabernet comes out the most in this one. I would have loved to see more of it in the Cab. version.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black as night with a thick oil like look to it and a big tan head that left streaks of lace all throughout the glass, really a damn near perfect look with a wonderful settling.

aroma is deep bourbon, oak, vanilla, hints of dark roasted malts, coffee, bitter ark chocolate and a rich and roasty profile that is cut with a slight touch of alcohol, really very well done here. each sip was better then the one before as the thick liquid coated the tongue and left no room for an error. boozy bourbon and vanilla creep across the palate with hints of molasses and chocolate, chewy at times with a bit of heat left in the finish as well. warming brings out a hint of dark fruit notes that gently graze the palate. smooth and strong finish leaves a long taste that lingers forever.

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Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 148 ratings