Fear & Trembling
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Fear & TremblingFear & Trembling
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Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Porter - Baltic
Ranked #16
Ranked #2,631
4.22 | pDev: 8.06%
Apr 18, 2021
Jan 21, 2013
Fear & TremblingFear & Trembling
Notes: Fear & Trembling was Hill Farmstead’s first collaboration - a Baltic-style porter brewed with malt that was hand smoked over maple wood by our Danish friend, and former colleague, Anders Kissmeyer. This batch was brewed with malt that was hand-smoked over a blend of native woods, then fermented in the traditional way, with lager yeast, and conditioned in stainless steel.
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4.28 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois on Apr 18, 2021
Photo of EMV
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by EMV from Pennsylvania

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Dark, dark mahogany brown pour. Nearly black with a finger of mocha colored head. Solid retention/lacing.

S: Bourbon and booze. Rich roasted malts... a hint of smoke and vanilla.

T.F: Semi-sweet and rich. Smooth and creamy. Bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Not picking up as much of the wine barrel (red I'm assuming)... a bit of tanins as it warms with some dark fruit. A very pleasant hint of smoke... not overdone in any way. Dark chocolate, leather, and a bit of char.

O: Absolutely fantastic Baltic porter. It picks up the best of the base style, the smoke, and the barrels. This was a wonderful slow sipper.... complex and delicious.

Mar 13, 2021
Photo of Pinz412
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Pinz412 from Pennsylvania

Poured into a willi becher, Fear & Trembling poured a dark mahogany that allowed little to no light to penetrate the glass. An inch and a half tan creamy tan reached reached for the rim of the glass and lingered for some time. The aroma was beautifully toasted malt while sitting next to a smoldering campfire. The smoke didn't hit you with every inhale, but the occasional shift in wind carried the scent to you. As it warmed, the smoke became more prevalent. It was not hard to give it that time to develop as this was clearly a beer that demanded your patience and attention from the first sip. That first taste revealed a remarkably rich and robust porter with just enough smoke. Dark chocolate malt, toasted grain, and a bitter and dry finish defined the opening notes. The longer I sipped, the more smoke made it's way closer to the top of the flavor profile. Everything was in perfect balance. The mouthfeel was silky smooth with a body that was well past medium, but not quite full. Fear & Trembling was an absolute stunner.

Feb 27, 2021
Photo of jrc1093
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by jrc1093 from Connecticut

Bottled on 8/12/20; consumed on 1/19/21

Pours a deep jet-brown/glossy black body capped with multiple fingers of rich, creamy, pale hazelnut-hued foam; excellent head retention yields a finger of equally creamy cap, a moderate, frothy collar, and thick, chunky rings of lacing circling around the walls of the glass.

Aroma initially presents soft notes of sinewy, delicately smoked bacon informing the front of the bouquet before embracing a fluid, milk chocolate sweetness; a middle of underlying coffee and vague nuttiness eases toward a touch of campfire, with hints of maple syrup absorbed by the building malty roast on the close.

Taste opens with hints of milk chocolate taking on an almost mineralic, clean smoke, touched with meaty bacon into a mid-palate embracing bittersweet coffee and toasty malts; dark chocolate implies a brief, robust richness into a back end of charry roast pronounced into smoke and raw cacao showing further on the finish.

Mouthfeel features a plush, pillowy-slick, medium-light body along with a creamy puff of otherwise moderate carbonation; a roasty texture appears quickly upfront and remains consistent across the palate, evolving with a taut, almost chalky, drying bitterness over the back end before reaching a mild char on the finish.

Distinct yet beautifully understated, with all elements, from (Rauchbier-esque) smoke to roast to sweetness, evolving with each sip; the touch and effortless composure Hill Farmstead brings to this beer really shines throughout.

Jan 20, 2021
4.5 by paulish from New York on Dec 12, 2020
4 by pepesylvia from Pennsylvania on May 14, 2020
4.25 by dannycohen62 from Illinois on Apr 06, 2020
4.02 by Vicirus from Massachusetts on Oct 26, 2019
3.33 by user785335 from Florida on Aug 08, 2019
2.83 by hopkrid from Florida on Apr 28, 2019
4 by cmdbrews from New York on Mar 20, 2019
4.18 by Beerbom from California on Jan 15, 2019
5 by Kwright from North Carolina on Jan 04, 2019
Photo of OompaMentor
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by OompaMentor from Georgia

DLD - Bottle share (2017); 5/19/2018

Jan 02, 2019
4.46 by rogacks from Massachusetts on Jan 02, 2019
4.49 by Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts on Dec 31, 2018
4.39 by eddiefl from New York on Dec 27, 2018
Photo of ScaryEd
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by ScaryEd from New Hampshire

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a near pitch black color with 2 fingers of creamy tan head. The head leaves a literal wall of lacing as it settles into a thick blanket of foam.

The aroma brings notes of dark chocolate, smoked dark malts, bacon, wood, and roasted coffee. There's a faint hint of maple syrup on the back end.

The flavor brings notes of molasses and maple syrup, followed by smoked bacon and dark chocolate. Finishes with some roasted coffee and charred leather.

The feel is medium-full bodied with soft carbonation. Very smooth and rich with a dry finish. A bit syrupy.

Overall, a fantastic Baltic Porter that is wonderfully complex, bringing forth an array of flavors and aromas that are somewhat atypical of a porter. Has lots of elements of a German Rauchbier that cannot be ignored.

Dec 20, 2018
Photo of FFreak
4.76/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by FFreak from Vermont

Purchased at the brewery over a year ago. Such an awesome porter! Oily black with a fluffy, dark tan head. Syrupy smells with maybe a little bourbon. A complexity of flavors with a slight tartness from the wine barrells (?) melding with a soft and smooth bourbon/maple syrup sweetness. Mouth feel is awesome...so soft and excellent. Overall, a wonderful beer.

Nov 14, 2018
4.6 by GreatStoutman from Texas on Sep 13, 2018
4.35 by CantankerousCaveBear from Canada (ON) on Jun 05, 2018
4 by Phurley2 from Massachusetts on May 09, 2018
Photo of yasky
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by yasky from Canada (ON)

Near black pour, larger light tan head, good retention, gobs of lacing. Aroma of smoked malts, black coffee, light woody notes, bakers cocoa. Moderate smoke up front, dark malts, light black strap molasses, strong black coffee. Medium body, very light smoky aftertaste. Pair with a rainy day and some Alpha Tolman.

Mar 28, 2018
4 by petermethot from New Jersey on Jan 17, 2018
4.27 by mjco04 from Connecticut on Jan 11, 2018
4.27 by TboneRN from Minnesota on Jan 02, 2018
4.25 by Juice14 from Connecticut on Dec 27, 2017
4.19 by fthegiants from California on Dec 14, 2017
4.6 by smutty33 from Connecticut on Dec 07, 2017
4.47 by JamieDuncan from Maryland on Nov 15, 2017
4.37 by bubseymour from Maryland on Nov 15, 2017
5 by beermanben from Wisconsin on Nov 05, 2017
4.35 by Eddiehop from Texas on Oct 28, 2017
Photo of Zythophile
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Zythophile from District of Columbia

Bottle Date: 9/13/16
Palate Contaminants: other beer

The look is an opaque deep brown. Fair amount of tan head, mostly fine, but with some larger bubbles.

Smell is chicory and non-bitter dark chocolate. And this might seem strange, but I get roasted coffee without the coffee. (In other words, just the roast.) It's somewhat lactic, as well.

Taste is roasted chocolate, if that makes sense. (i know, I keep getting things in combinations that don't make normal sense.) Dark rum. Lots of barrel, but not overly charred, which sometimes drags the whole affair down. Green tree stems. There's some burned coffee, but it's more bitter than acidic, although the bitterness doesn't overwhelm.

The label says it's a niner, but I can't pick out the alcohol. Carbonation is fairly coarse, yet not prickly. In the aftertaste, whatever was burnt recedes back to toastiness.

Oct 09, 2017
4.28 by Samact from Vermont on Sep 15, 2017
4.34 by CharlesK from Pennsylvania on Sep 05, 2017
4.57 by TheGeoMurph from Virginia on Aug 12, 2017
4.61 by johnlatona from New Jersey on Aug 08, 2017
Photo of Stevedore
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Stevedore from Oregon

500ml bottle, dated 10.28.15. Served in a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Pours a dark cola brown body, nearly black, one and a half finger thick mocha head, good retention, medium collar that sticks around for quite a while, good retention, not much lacing. Smell is moderate smoke and oak, with a nice milk chocolate sweetness in the background that somehow moderates the smoke. I was expecting a campfire, but this is starting to smell more like s'mores. It's still fairly smoky, and that smooths over on the flavour- which is really, really nice. It tastes like chocolate milk with a nice dose of smoke and oak, with more of the milk than the chocolate. It's got a nice sweetness to it that reminds me of lactose, with a some Ritter sport milk chocolate dunked in there. You know how you take a square of Ritter and just put it in your mouth and let it melt? That's what it tastes like, plus a fair bit of smoke and oak? Nice. The mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied, creamy, perhaps from the lager yeast, or any particular non-fermentable addition, who knows? This is a delight to drink, and I'm happy to finally tick this one off. I usually dislike smoked beers, but this is perfectly balanced by the grain bill on this beer, plus a nice bit of complexity too. S'mores without going over the top. It'd be even neater if they tossed some vanilla beans in.

Jul 25, 2017
3.75 by PA-Michigander from Pennsylvania on Jul 23, 2017
Fear & Trembling from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 462 ratings