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Fear And Trembling | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Fear And TremblingFear And Trembling
BA SCORE
4.23/5
Exceptional
452 Ratings
Fear And TremblingFear And Trembling
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,929
Reviews:
80
Ratings:
452
pDev:
8.04%
 
 
Wants:
101
Gots:
64
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 452 |  Reviews: 80
Reviews by Kinsman:
Photo of Kinsman
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy smoke Batman! Fills the class with a dark and sexy black body and capped by a nice bit of dark mocha colored head. First whiff is beautifully smokey character thats more on the campfire side of things but has some bacon/meaty quality as well. The underlying porter comes across a bit sweet on the nose with chocolate and brown sugar notes.

First sip reveals a great balance of smoked beer and porter qualities. Most other smoked porters I've had seem to seriously lack on the smoked side of things but this one gets right up there with a big but not overpowering woody smoke flavor. And of course, as one would expect from HF, even without the smoked malt this porter would be among the best. Creamy and a bit sweet but not cloying at all. Chocolate and maple notes pair well with the smokey character. Nice full-bodied mouth feel but it's scary how easily this beer goes down at 9% ABV.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of TheDoctor
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Service: Bottle
Bottled on: Oct-28-2015


A:
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)

S:
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)

T:
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)

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

O:
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 More_betterness
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 608 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev 0%
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.

 1,872 characters

Photo of sliverX
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of RayUF07
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jlindros
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

It's now a week old, wish I had it earlier but I got sick all weekend last week, then had some growler IPAs to do first. THis is perfect though, it's a great beer to drink while snowed in, and get in my blood before having to go out and clean all the snow.

Pours a nice big creamy mocha colored almost 2 finger thick head that fades fairly slowly, nice sticky lacing, very dark just a step away from pitch black.

Nose starts with a nice smoked aroma, like smoldering log and smoking wood, little almost hickory like, touch of smoked meat, chewy malts and oats, some dark chocolate and cocoa powder, faint black malt maybe a hint of roast but hard to tell, could be black patent malt or carafa, mostly stuck behind the smoke, and faint earthy spicy hops in the back end.

Taste starts rich and creamy, plenty of malts, creamy oats, chewy malts, etc. Smoke out first, smoking wood again, little smoldering log but not really campfire, hint smoked meat. THen the chocolate, creamy milk chocolate but more like hot cocoa and lush semi dark chocolate. THen into black malts, not really roast but maybe hint of coffee, and some black malts almost chalky flavor. THe dark malts bring a hint of minerality and very faint char. BItterness not only comes from the dark malts but also earthy spicy slight even grassy like hops. Quite a nice profile with nice bitterness that doesn't overpower or get acrid. FInish is drier than expected, but a little stick mouthfeel, plenty of lingering bitterness with just a hint of smoke, more cocoa and black malt, oats too.

Mouth is fuller bodied, creamy and lush, thick, nice carb, just a touch of warming booze.

OVerall nice beer, good smoke, good black malts, nice hop profile, creamy and smooth, booze hidden well, a well done beer.

 1,768 characters

Photo of SourinQns
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of madtowndmb1
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Labeorphile
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark with a thin tan head. Lots of dark chocolate and smoke in the nose and in the flavor. Very smooth and drinkable, love the smoky flavor.

148 characters

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of SupremePie
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of monitorpop
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of theGlasstronaut
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

New Hill Farmstead beer. I so excite.

The beer is dark brown with a small beige head. The aroma brings a huge dose of malt, sausage, campfire. Baltic character. Rauchbier quality. Burnt sausage and bacon with smokey campfire flavor. Delicious. Not for everyone, but if you like smoked brews (and I do), this is for you. Just delicious.

 336 characters

Photo of Pinknuggets
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle to rock art pint glass

A:very very dark brown in color completely opaque and as dark as they come in terms of porters. It looks almost like motor oil especially since there is no head at all to speak of or even a lacing.

S: there is definitely that smoked smell upfront, but it is not overwhelming or powerful. There are also some coffee/mocha notes in there. Also you can smell the standard porter malts very dark, overall a very nice smell.

T: To start there is definitely a smokiness but its is tolerable in terms of light weights and for me really ads to the taste as it is light and sweet but still lasts throughout the finish you can really taste the hand smoked quality of the malt. Outside of the smokiness there is a solid porter lager backbone that is clean, there are also some hints of coffee/mocha as in the smell (could just be the smoke). For the the alcohol I am extremely surprised as I cannot even tell its presence.

M: It is clean and thin considering how dark it is it is almost watery but that makes it extremely drinkable and which is very important considering the smokiness of this beer. There are strong flavors but it is almost sessionable more like a lager in feel which is impressive given the high abv.

O: This beer is impressive it has a great tasty and unique smoke flavor while not being overwhelming and balancing with other flavors. It is not my favorite beer by any stretch of the imagination but it is clearly extremely well crafted and worth a try 100% especially if you like smoked beer then this is a must try

 1,561 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled January 2013.

A: Pours a mostly opaque yet clear very dark brown (approaching jet black) in color with light amounts of visible carbonation and some very dark amber + cola brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy tan head that reduces to a medium sized medium thick patch of larger bubbles and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted malts and roasted coffee. There are lighter hints of smoked malts and some light amounts of chocolate.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of smoked malts and darkly roasted malts. Then there are some lighter flavors of roasted coffee and dark baker's chocolate. Moderate amounts of lingering bitterness in the finish.

M: Just heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with some light dryness in the finish.

O: The alcohol is well hidden and there is a very nice amount of complexity in the smell and taste of this beer. Nice addition of smoked malts without getting into the medicinal flavors or aromas. Well balanced and one to enjoy.

 1,122 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Skrip
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

550ml bottle poured into a Dogfish snifter.

A~ black as night with a sandy colored head.

S~ smokey up front, following with dark malts and a hint of vanilla.

T~ mmm...! and i'm not one for smoked brews. almost follows the nose, smoke and maple syrup up front, dark malts and some bitterness on the finish.

M~ i'm in love with how this feels (no homo lol) amazingly thick and syrupy with a crazy smooth finish.

O~ i haven't had too many darker brews from HF but this one is definitely my favorite so far. and thats really saying a lot cause i normally don't like a "smoked" beer. i would definitely drink again!

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Photo of stmgl01
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of JonnyBeers
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of mechamifune
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep dark brown with a slight tan head. Strong lacing and carbonation in the glass. A very nice looking beer.

Smell is smoke, tobacco, leather, chocolate, coffee...smoke is the stronest note here but it is a nice, complex smell.

Taste is smokey upfront followed by some sweetness and then a bitter/acidic coffee-like finish. Just like the smell, this is pretty complex, but i'm not convinced it all melds together as well as it could. No real hop presence. Smoke, again, is probably the most obvious note but it's not overpowering.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth if not particularly full. Could stand to have just a little more body, but that's more a personal preference than anything.

Overall I feel a little conflicted about this beer. Nothing is particularly wrong with this beer, and I enjoyed drinking it, but I can't say i'd make a point of drinking it again. It's a nice integration of smoked malt and the smoke element is far from overpowering, but that flavor note has just never been one i've been crazy about. In the end though, its worth a try if you can get it and you have an affinity for baltic porters and/or smoked beers of any kind.

 1,166 characters

Photo of CB_Crowe
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of fehrminator
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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Fear And Trembling from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 452 ratings