Fear And Trembling | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Fear And TremblingFear And Trembling

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 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.

Added by MasterSki on 01-21-2013

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 419
Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2016 batch from a bottle. Pours nearly black with a fluffy head. Smoke flavor is very subdued - lots of coffee and chocolate notes, although neither were used to brew this beer. Feel is super creamy. This is how you do a Baltic Porter. Well done.

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Photo of professorchow
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark, almost inky, with modest head. Smells of smoke, coffee, chocolate. Taste is similar. The smoke is far from overpowering, but is a presence, making what would already be a pleasant porter much more interesting. You get no idea--none--how much alcohol there is in this. Mouthfeel is smooth as can be. I'll almost always reach for a stout over a porter, but this porter is one I'd drink whenever (at best rarely, alas) it's available.

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

Dark, chocolate brown. Smells like roast, very slight hint of smokiness. Taste is a rich, full, sweet, smokey chocolate. Leaves a solid smoke taste after you swallow that fills your mouth and makes your breath feel "thick." Hint of bitter from the malt that grows as the beer warms and you keep drinking. No alcohol heat... super smooth and chewy, low carbonation.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a pretty thick and creamy looking black, with a thick and persistent head, and lots of lacing.

Smells like rich woody smoke, very roasty coffee, slight powdery chocolate, vanilla cream, and really awesome roasted malt.

This is nearly flawless. It's quite smoky, so if you don't like that flavor, you might be out of luck. However, I really dig that sort of flavor. It's a very woody and dry smoke flavor, earthy and super tasty. There's lots of smoky chocolate flavor too, with roasted coffee bean, some light vanilla cream, and a definite nuttiness. It's got such a creamy and wonderfully smoky flavor.

This has a really creamy and full body, while remaining quite drinkable. It has a super decadent feel to it, without being very sweet, which is an interesting effect.

This is one of the best smoked beers I've ever had. It's absolutely wonderful.

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Photo of rjp217
4.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Not my favorite style but you gotta give it up to SH on this one. Just the perfect hint of smoke, not overpowering in the least. Smooth body, lots of chocolate and some robust roast. For the type of beer they're going for here, it really can't be made better than this.

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Photo of Duff27
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cap and collar of darker brown throughout. Darkest of brown in body.

Aroma of fresh ground fudgey coffee beans.

It's a battle of chocolate and smoke throughout with roasty notes pulling it all together. Drinks at around 7%

Velvety smooth mouthfeel, tight carb.

This was a well made (and drank!) beer from HF. I jump at any chance to tick a smoked/rauch beer. Thanks egrace84

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

Poured from a recent release, bottle date of 9/13/2016 into a small goblet.
A - Dark and mysterious, lurking in the void is carbonation feeding a mocha colored cap of loose knit spheres supporting
an unstable structure of intrigue.
S - Madagascar chocolate, dark roast malts, at first the cocoa is strong and the smoked malts are in the background. Upon warming the smokiness smolders to the front. Gentle application of the smoked malts proves delightful. Dark fruit
fig and plum run between the chocolate and smoked malts.
T - Wonderful toasted malts, dark chocolate, a bit of sweet fruits, fig, raisin blend seamlessly with a bit of blond tobacco and pumpernickel. Dark grains and semi-sweet cocoa.
F - Incredibly soft on the palate, to start. A drying happens in great haste. The tongues side roll down in acquiescence, A short period of sweetness and then a finish as dry as cocoa powder leaves the calling card for another sip.
O - A Baltic Porter to be reckoned with, the alcohol is so well hidden in this complex and delightful offering. Worth every effort to be had. A brewers skill on display.

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

Service: Bottle
Bottled on: Oct-28-2015

Pours a ruby-tinged jet black, impenetrable. Three big fingers of tan foam-mattress that slowly eases to a healthy film. Good retention; lots of droopy lacing. (4.25)

Rich, toasty coffee and cream, brown sugar, toasted wood, dark fruits, toffee, coffee grounds caramelized wood (?). As it warms the light campfire smell becomes more robust—not to sausage proportions, though, and a slight roast astringency tweaks your nose. (4.25)

Soft sweet beer with a malty wave at the end. Dark berries, baker's chocolate, roasty malts, smoky body—almost peaty, slight char in the finish. (4.25)

Smooth, full-bodied, light carbonation, a bit astringent, lingering peaty finish. (4.25)

Tasty, interesting, well-made beer. It is different, but not in a weird way.
The smoke and the sweet roastiness seem like a really natural fit. Neither takes over completely, but it is definitely a big, flavorful beer. The sweetness is well balanced by the smoke, and it really opens up as it warms. Taste was not as complex as the nose lets on, but very good nonetheless. Would have again; worth trying. (4.25)

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Photo of Zaximus
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark. Small foamy head with really nice lacing.

The smell on this is off the charts. It's so smokey. Smells like smoked almonds. It's fairly overwhelming.

The taste doesn't quite follow. I don't get much of the smoke but a lot of roasted malt. It's sweet too. Almost too much so. Still, the flavors are vivid. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy.

I've really been impressed with HF's porters. Maybe more so than even their IPAs.

This is pretty delicious and easily drinkable.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Dark brown color with brownish head. Aroma has sweet coffee and roasted malts. Taste follows with the same flavors plus some earthy hops. Medium body and carbonation. Well made beer but it's not a style I enjoy very much.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle tonight at the tasting at SteveOJ's.. Pours dark mahogany brown with red highlights when held to a light.. meaty smoky notes on the nose translate perfectly to the palate... beef jerky and peat smoky notes.. umami is the name of the game here.... Painfully average, nothing new here.

All 3.5

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Photo of dar482
4.64/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a black color with a creamy mocha brown color.

The aroma offers licorice, spice, big caramel and toffee sweetness, milk chocolate, wood, nuttiness, coffee.

The flavor smacks of the sweetness of burnt caramel, brown sugar, onto dark chocolate, roasted coffee, hints of underlying dried dark fig and date, hints of licorice and acrid woodiness linger on the finish. The beer shines with its clean lager finish.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color porter with a nice dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with light coffee notes is quite nice. Taste is a nice mxi between some roasted malt, light lactose notes with some nice dry floral coffee notes with light smoky undertones. Body is light with good carbonation. Great beer and nice balance to avoid the smoke notes form overshadowing the other flavours.

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Photo of Gatch
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Massive frothy brown head. Smoked and charred wood, deeply roasted malt, and some bittersweet dark chocolate. Smooth and easy drinking with massive flavor. And not at all boozy. A killer smoked beer and Baltic porter, distinguishing itself from a traditional porter. HF does it again. Every style, every time. Thank you Samuel T. Judkins for the thoughtful birthday gift!

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Photo of jcoleMA66
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Getting back to reviewing this beer after first trying it last Fall. I opened another bottle I've been cellaring for a 6-7 months for a bottle share this weekend, and still really love this beer. Pours black with 1/2 finger mocha head and it doesn't show any red tints at the edge of the glass. Roasted coffee jumps out of the glass and there's an underlying smokiness, which I'm glad isn't overpowering the aroma. Taste is bitter, unsweetened dark chocolate, some caramel, dark roasted coffee and very nice smoke undertone and finish. Mouth feel is velvety smooth. Still love this beer!

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On the palate, the flavors of bitter dark chocolate and roasted malt dominate, with hints of coffee lingering in the back, finishing with a unique breath of wooded smoke.

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Photo of AMCimpi
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark black with a nice tan head
S: Super smoky and some dark chocolate.
T: Some chocolate, a little roast on the back end and a whole bunch of smoke all the way through.
M: Medium to Full, creamy
O: Another great one from Shaun Hill, just a great smoky baltic porter. I'm not a smoky beer guy, but this one works so well

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark brown/black pour with a thick dark toffee colored lacing ring.

S - Dark roasted chocolate and smoke fills the nose.

T - Deep, dark roasted chocolate from start to finish, towards the end a little bit of milk chocolate/cocoa pops up for a brief moment, smokiness, wood, and a nice lingering bittersweet chocolate. No alcohol burn.

M - Big medium body with a velvety texture, and dry finish.

O - An outstanding porter with the 9% ABV dangerously hidden.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served at 47 degrees in a tulip. Bottled January 2013. Pours the color and clarity of cola with a loose, tan-colored head that dissipates into a sudsy band around the edges while leaving a soapy slick across the center. Nose is vinous upfront with a suggestion a milk chocolate and a kiss of smoke at the tail end. Taste expresses a lot of smoke (think just shy of smoked meat), followed by dark fruits and cocoa. Finishes with a slightly medicinal character. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a consistent, even carbonation. Overall, a solid example of the style. The smoked quality adds an interesting element; however, it's a bit too assertive for my sensibilities.

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Photo of More_betterness
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Midnight black body topped with a quickly receding khaki head. Patchy lacing left on the glass.

S: Dark fruits and smoke upfront, layered with coffee and raw cacao. Not nearly as smoky as I was expecting, very well balanced.

T: Dark chocolate and macerated cherry, followed by an acrid drying finish and only a hint of smoke.

M: Per usual epic mouthfeel from an HF beer. Creamy and soft on the palate, with a medium body and a pleasantly dry finish.

O: I will preface this by saying that I absolutely hate smoked beers, but this was really enjoyable. I'm done doubting Mr Hill, the hype is justified.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours near black with a lacy, beige head. Aroma of roasted malts, a little coffee, a little smokiness, a little bit of dough, and floral hops. Flavor the same with a nice combo of dark and smoky malts. Smooth texture. A really well executed take on the style.

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

Poured on tap at Farmhouse in Burlington.
Pours very, very dark almost black with no head.
Aromas are smokiness, roasted coffee, roasted malts, touch of chocolate.
Tastes incredible. FULL flavor of coffee, touch of chocolate, some caramel.
Mouthfeel is silky and smooth.
Overall, a flat out stunning porter by Shaun. Another masterpiece.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

There's just something about Hill Farmstead and Porter that just go ideally well. Their creamy dry marriage captures all the toasted and chocolaty glory of the roasted barley kernel in a way that's rarely tasted.

Feat And Trembling kicks off with a dark, "bark" brown color that pushes black except for the sparkle of garnet ribbons that pierce through its body- showing off its brilliant clarity. Topped with a creamy, yet arid lightly tanned foam cap- the beer retains the session with ease, trailing with concentric lace in the beer's wake.

Its aromas are all about smoky chocolate, as found in premiere chocolate shops. Its roasted character nearly seems of stout, but its high toast scent is woven together with burnt caramel, nutty columbian blend coffee, obvious dark chocolate and walnut. As the porter breathes, a slim vinous note rises from the dark grain and ester complex.

Its taste is equally as captivating as a milkshake-type sweetness emerges, bringing with it toffee, vanilla and heavy cream. Its sweetness is quickly shed as the heavy campfire scent comes to life and creates a dry honeycomb structure of cocoa, charred toast, walnut oil, and french-press coffee. Its smoky aura simmers on the palate like smoldering embers as its dry and minerally finish ushers in remarkable drinkability.

Medium-full on the palate, the beer's early creaminess soon dissolves as the carbonation and residual malt sweetness disengage. What's left is an arid smoky dryness with cocoa-type bitterness and a mild roast-derived astringency that is prompted by a light plaster-like finish.

The inquisitive ale is highly characterful as it goes from smooth and creamy to dry, powdery and slight ash in a hurry. It takes quite a journey over top the palate in short order. Fear And Trembling is as much of an experience for the mind and memory as it is for the taste buds.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A dark brown pour with a nice brown head. Smells fantastically smoky and chocolatey. Tastes fucking phenomenal, sweet smoky, with a distinct lager year flavor. Medium body chalky medium carbonation.
A wonderful beer, I'm trying not to be one sided with the whole HF thing, but this is my first offering from then and it's fucking mindblowing.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from Rutager in a summertime box. You spoil me man. Cheers!

From a 50cl bottle into a snifter
20.3 Plato

APPEARANCE: A clear, dark brown pour yields a one finger, medium looking, light tan head with good retention. Head fades to a good full wisp and frothy ring. Black body with lower levels of carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp remains leaving some falling dots of lace down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted notes, smoked malts, dark chocolate and hints of coffee as well. Smoked malts are meaty but not overpowering, letting the chocolate and light cream notes play a roll as well. Nicely balanced.

TASTE: Roasted and smoked malts up front with caramel and dark, bitter chocolate at the swallow. Big and bold aftertaste of smoky, roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, bitter espresso with hints of sweet cream and caramel. Very flavorful and interesting, as well as showing solid balance with the smoked elements.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Very creamy on the palate, velvety smooth, goes down and finishes slightly sticky. A touch light for the style and ABV, but very, very velvety smooth.

OVERALL: Another excellent porter from HF. Complex and interesting, with appreciated constraint with the use of the smoked malts here, too much of which can be off-putting. We had the three barrel aged versions a while back and those were outstanding as well. Finally nice to try the base beer as well. Fantastic stuff Rutager. Thanks again!

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Fear And Trembling from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.25 out of 5 based on 419 ratings.
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