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)

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 121
Reviews by jale:
Photo of jale
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to bearsonacid for this.

A: Pours dark brown with two quarters of tan head.

S: Smoked malt.

T: Sweet smoked malt upfront followed by just a hint of wine. I don't detect any bourbon in this. Slight bitter coffee and very mild hops.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

O: Would like a little more of the bourbon flavors but still a nice drinking beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of bierdabbler
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev 0%
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.

 606 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
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 glid02
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
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 -11%
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.

 795 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of 05Harley
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

 1,047 characters

Photo of nkersten
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
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 +19%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.42/5  rDev -18.6%
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 Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
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

Photo of thagr81us
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
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 GRG1313
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Psychmusic
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

 1,247 characters

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 777 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks, Chad!

Dark mocha brown, pretty much opaque, though not quite black. A thin tan head forms and slowly settles to a crown.

Smoky, meaty nose. Burnt bacon, vinous fruitiness, dark chocolate. The smoke character is pervasive, but fairly enjoyable.

Rum raisin fruitiness on the palate, smoked bacon, tannic oak, roasted malt, bittersweet cocoa. Medium-light body, fairly dry. Charred, smoky bitterness in the finish. Good, but not a beer I'd want to drink terribly often.

 477 characters

Photo of Blanco
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes, had at capone's during PBW.

Pours a black color with chocolate head. Smells like roasted malts and some odd, hard to make out smells that are either the utopias or cabernet barrels. Tastes extremely fruity with the flavor of dark berries and hints of bourbon, raisins and chocolate. Slightly medicinal in quality. Light bodied. This one is quite unique and another solid offering from Hill Farmstead.

 422 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of ShanePB
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of Capone's last PBW event, 5.5 ounce pour into a miniature snifter glass, served a bit cold but let it warm up to a nice tempature.

A: Extremely deep black for being considered in the Porter family, some very faint dark brown hues line the edges with virtually no head by the time it was poured. No lacing or retention here, either.

S: Smoked wood, pecan, vanilla, dry Cabernet, bourbon and a finishing note of some charred coffee beans. Wonderfully complex and inviting, this blending of all things smokey to the subtle fruitiness of a dry wine is outstanding.

T: Lots of hickory smoked wood and bacon notes up front, nuts (almonds, pecans), a hint of chocolate and finishes with some great mellow bourbon undertones. Again, a great blending of varying flavors, smoke seems to be the constant in this beer.

M: Creamy, lower carbonation, a bit chewy for a Porter but I absolutely loved it.

Honestly, I could sit and sip on this beer all afternoon. The flavors are so intense in the correct proportions and diverse that every sip brings something new to your senses. My first beer from Hill Farmstead and what an impression they left.

 1,144 characters

Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Fear And Trembling (Cabernet/Bourbon Blend) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.2 out of 5 based on 121 ratings.
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