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Fear And Trembling (Bourbon) | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Fear And Trembling (Bourbon)Fear And Trembling (Bourbon)
95 Ratings
Fear And Trembling (Bourbon)Fear And Trembling (Bourbon)

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 aged in 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…”

Aged in used Sam Adams Utopias barrels.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 95 |  Reviews: 41
Reviews by Skrip:
Photo of Skrip
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a Funkwerks snifter.

A~ extremely dark brown with a small tanish head and minimal lacing.

S~ lots of smokeyness up front, followed by dark chocolate malts. all finishing with vanilla, caramel, and extreme sweetness from the bourbon.

T~ the bourbon sweetness really masks the smoke in this version. i mean don't get me wrong the smoke is definitely still there haha. other than the smoke, vanilla, caramel, and bourbon you get some leather, tobacco, and a bunch of burnt coffee.

M~ soooo smooth! nice carbonation but the bourbon definitely dumbs that down a bit. not boozy at all but still a little warming.

O~ this is the second one i've tried of the series following the cabernet version. definitely less smoke here then in the other version. the blend is next! and i seriously can't wait, the aspects and complexity that these both contributed can only lead to one of the most amazing blends in brew history. we shall see!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | 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 few brown bubbles, but no real head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate, with some smoke notes mixed in as well. I also get some whiskey notes, but it is more similar to scotch than to bourbon.

The flavor is heavy on the chocolate, roasted malt and smoke. Once again the scotch-like notes are present and I also get some peet notes. The barrel aging definitely adds to the aroma and flavor, but you can tell the base beer is very nice as well.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

 635 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of kingcrowing
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured in a tulip.

Pours a dark brown to almost black with a small light brown head. Nose is smoky with a bit of bourbon but not as strong as it was fresh.

Taste has gone down a bit since fresh, the bourbon has really fallen out a lot sadly. Still quite good but it's mellow, creamy and a bit chewy. Mouthfeel is light and balanced.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jh1982 for breaking this out during March Madness. Dark brown and black appearance. Beige head, great retention. Damn this smells smoky. Big time. Hints of the bourbon, but smoke and char dominant.

Taste is crushingly charred wood, smoke and alcohol. After a few more sips, the chocolate roasted malt slips in there, but has a tough time competing with the campfire and bourbon presence. Might be some more subtleties in there, but this one leads with power.

This was a challenging beer to drink, not going to be a crowd pleaser, but if you like big stouts/rauchbier/barrel aging, it should be up your alley.

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Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | 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 smooth roasted malts with solid amounts of smokiness. Also present are smooth dark chocolate aromas and hints of vanilla and butterscotch.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though with more influence from the bourbon. Lightly roasted malts with strong smoked malt flavors kick things off. Subtle vanilla with spicy bourbon come into play shortly thereafter. Hints of dark chocolate come into play midway through the sip before fading out and allowing vanilla, smoke, and roasted flavors to carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

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

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

Overall I thought the bourbon influence was more subtle than in 90% of other bourbon-barrel-aged beers. A very good base beer allowed this to happen and still produce a tasty beer. Well worth a shot.

 1,113 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of nkersten
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into NB globe, black liguid with brown edges, small tan head that fades to a collar with no lacing. Smell is very smokey, camp fire, alder smoke, a bit of oak and bourbon. Taste is smokey as hell, slightly boozey, some harsh oak, spicy bourbon. Could use a bit of malt sweetness but not a terrible flavor. Heavy body with a medium carbonation slightly coating. Overall this beer wasnt bad, but it could use a little more balance to be considered highly drinkable.

 477 characters

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Dark brown body. Small off-white head. A bit of a collar.

Smell - Smoke is much more prominent than it is in the Blended version. Oak. Some dark chocolate.

Taste - Smoke is still pretty rich. Lightly sweet up front. Some light bourbon, but not a lot. Oak. Very slight red wine acidity. Oxidation is light, but creeping up.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation. Medium body, maybe lacking a little bit.

Overall - This one aged much better than the Cab/Bourbon blend. Less oxidized and the smoke is still very nice.

 573 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into a couple of glasses.

Pours a black/deep brown, with a finger or so of frothy mocha head. This retains with a thin covering that flares up nicely into a ½ finger of rich foaminess that leaves some robust spotty lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is WOW, straight up smoked peat! It is very strong here in the nose, filling up almost the entire profile except for some light notes of cocoa, caramel and bourbon barrel notes that are all shoved way in the back. Damn, this is peaty smelling!

The taste is thankfully a bit more subdued with the smoke, as chocolate, toffee and light citrus have more of a presence here. That smoked meat character, while lighter here in the taste, is present though and spreads out into the finish where it lingers with some bourbon flavors that were hanging on the edges of the profile. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with a creamy carbonation (which has just a bit of crispness to it) that flows nicely here in the mouth. There is a touch of alcohol warmth present in the body but the overall ABV here is extremely well hid for the size.

Wow. Well if you like smoked beers then this one is definitely worth a try, as it is pretty darn dominant in this. I mean to the point of taking even that bourbon barrel character and just shoving it aside. Things in the taste are definitely more balanced and honestly, I didn’t mind the assertive smokiness by itself but I would have liked to have had some other flavors present themselves a little more in the taste. This was a good start to this three beer series.

 1,586 characters

Photo of mfunk9786
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Capone's during PBW.

This beer pours a very dark ruby red. It smells of sour red wine, oak, and smoke. The flavor is incredibly complex - a lovely sweetness along with major smoke, chocolate, more tart red wine, sweet maple, and a hint of savory smoked meat (without being overpowering - looking at you, Dark Lord). This was an incredible beer to get to try.

 375 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
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 again to Keith (Rochefort10nh) for sending these my way. Bottle #2!

A - Pitch black brew with nice clarity on the pour with much better head retention than the French Oak and a finger of thick foam. Nice lace adorns the glass.

S - Peat smoked chocolate malt doesn't add much beyond the smoke aroma present in the French Cab. barrel. Mocha undertones mostly, but what this beer has is the bourbon-barrel aroma! Mellow notes of vanilla and low fruit with bourbon. Awesome nose!

T - The bourbon that's so great and prevalent in the aroma fades back just a bit too much in the flavor. It's still there but the flavor is filled with more roasted malt and chocolate. Notes of vanilla and mellow smoke (surprisingly!).

M - Full-bodied and smooth with a creamy finish leading into a medium-dry and low acrid bitter finish. Mellow warming alcohol.

D - Good drinkability for the alcohol level and mild bourbon flavor that's going on. Note too far off from the French Oak version, but definitely a step above.

 1,081 characters

Photo of jegross2
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich and completely black with a huge towering head on the top that would not quit. Spilling over the sides it left everything just completely soaked and sticky with a thin chocolate covered film. A wonderful mess indeed. Rich notes of bourbon and Vanilla welcome you in on this one and play off each other nicely. Warming lets a touch of the chocolate underneath peak its head up but not as much as I would have liked, still, very nice. As I take a sip, it crashes over the palate. Richness that is well served to say the least. Creamy and full bodied the deep chocolate and roasted malts interact with vanilla and a leather and tobacco note making it all so smooth and full that it was absurd. Enormous flavor here that was simply hard to withstand. I really could have just sat there with a glass of this all day, it seemed to really come together quite well. Long and very sweet finish had nice hints of molasses and vanilla leaving me looking around to find out just what had happened.

Overall solid as could be. It appears they cannot go wrong with aging their offerings. Very impressed with what was going on here and rightfully so. A lot of time went into these and it really shows. Very well done.

 1,208 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of oline73
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of LynnHomeBrewer
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of phingdong
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of rpstevens
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of BrianTheBrewer30
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

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Fear And Trembling (Bourbon) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 95 ratings