Fear & Trembling
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Fear & TremblingFear & Trembling
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Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Baltic Porter
Ranked #17
Ranked #2,651
4.22 | pDev: 8.06%
Today at 01:54 AM
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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Rated: 4 by Holderness from Massachusetts

Today at 01:54 AM
Rated: 4.1 by npolachek from New York

Mar 26, 2023
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Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Polished dark brown nearing mahogany with a tall tan head that retains thick and puffy while leaving coral lacing all over the glass.

Silky smooth and softly frothy, the smoke is mild, but the formidable roast level of the malt amplifies and accentuates the effect as it comes to a slightly sharp and woody yet nutty swallow. With time, it becomes chocolatey and even acidic like espresso.

Though it starts off somewhat viscous, it thins out in the paper dry finish.
Feb 25, 2023
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Reviewed by papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
From a 500ml bottle, ‘bottle conditioning since December 9, 2022.’ Served in a tulip.

Pours an unhighlighted mahogany-black with two fingers of sturdy, foam insulation-like, beige head. Retention is exceptional, leaving a bubbly cap and a solid blanket of sudsy lacing.

Nose is roasty and earthy. Smoke character is subtle to the point of having to have read it on the label to be certain it was there. Aromas of crackly bread crust and perked coffee.

Taste makes up for the nose by putting the smoked malt front and center. Tasting burnt whole wheat toast, creamed burnt coffee and dates. A little toasted marshmallow, not a sweetness per se, just sort of that quality of… caramelized smoke? campfire and vanilla.

Feel is smooth and creamy, medium bodied and brightly carbonated. Very smooth and easy drinking.

Overall, almost entirely quite excellent. My only reservation is that, by the very end of the bottle, the smokiness had taken on something of the character of last night’s damp campfire and was becoming mildly tedious. A problem that would easily have been solved by sharing the bottle and not hogging it all to myself, I mean, right?
Feb 23, 2023
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Rated by mintzmeet from Washington

4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Wow. Precision. Expertise. Manifested perfection.
Jan 19, 2023
Rated: 4.25 by SkiBum22 from New York

Nov 04, 2022
Rated: 4.28 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Apr 18, 2021
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Reviewed by EMV from Pennsylvania

4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
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
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Reviewed by Pinz412 from Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
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
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Reviewed by jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 4.5 by paulish from New York

Dec 12, 2020
Rated: 4 by pepesylvia from Pennsylvania

May 14, 2020
Rated: 4.25 by dannycohen62 from Illinois

Apr 06, 2020
Rated: 4.02 by Vicirus from Massachusetts

Oct 26, 2019
Rated: 3.33 by user785335 from Florida

Aug 08, 2019
Rated: 2.83 by hopkrid from Florida

Apr 28, 2019
Rated: 4 by cmdbrews from New York

Mar 20, 2019
Rated: 4.18 by Beerbom from California

Jan 15, 2019
Rated: 5 by Kwright from North Carolina

Jan 04, 2019
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Rated by OompaMentor from Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
DLD - Bottle share (2017); 5/19/2018
Jan 02, 2019
Rated: 4.46 by rogacks from Massachusetts

Jan 02, 2019
Rated: 4.49 by Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts

Dec 31, 2018
Rated: 4.39 by eddiefl from New York

Dec 27, 2018
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Reviewed by ScaryEd from New Hampshire

4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
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
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Reviewed by FFreak from Vermont

4.76/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
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
Rated: 4.6 by GreatStoutman from Texas

Sep 13, 2018
Rated: 4.35 by CantankerousCaveBear from Canada (ON)

Jun 05, 2018
Rated: 4 by Phurley2 from Massachusetts

May 09, 2018
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Reviewed by yasky from Canada (ON)

4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 4 by petermethot from New Jersey

Jan 17, 2018
Rated: 4.27 by mjco04 from Connecticut

Jan 11, 2018
Rated: 4.27 by TboneRN from Minnesota

Jan 02, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by Juice14 from Connecticut

Dec 27, 2017
Rated: 4.19 by fthegiants from California

Dec 14, 2017
Rated: 4.6 by smutty33 from Connecticut

Dec 07, 2017
Rated: 4.47 by JamieDuncan from Maryland

Nov 15, 2017
Rated: 4.37 by bubseymour from Maryland

Nov 15, 2017
Rated: 5 by beermanben from Wisconsin

Nov 05, 2017
Rated: 4.35 by Eddiehop from Texas

Oct 28, 2017
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Reviewed by Zythophile from Washington

4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
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
Fear & Trembling from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 468 ratings