Fear And Trembling | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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71 Reviews
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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.

Added by MasterSki on 01-21-2013

BEER STATS
Reviews:
71
Ratings:
416
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
8%
 
 
Wants:
103
Gots:
66
For Trade:
8
User Reviews
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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 416
Photo of cosmicevan
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

big thanks to franklinn for the assist on this one. enjoyed from a hf taster wine glass.

a - brew poured an attractive lush black with a finger and a half greyish tan head that had solid staying power. as i sipped the beer nice chunky streaks of lacing were left in the wake.

s - nose is quite smokey...almost peaty, but not in a bad sense. char rounds it out keeping the campfire, but extinguishing most of the grease.

t - taste is quite incredible. i'm not a huge smoke beer fan, but don't mind smokey beers and this one is really nice. some chocolate and roast behind the char and smoke.

m - all hill farmstead beers seem to have an amazing feel. drinks really easily and is simply smooth and refreshing.

o - overall i dug this beer more than the barrel treatments i had a while back. really enjoyable baltic porter.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Bottled 1/2013.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, smoke, and cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice smoke presence that is slightly better in the aroma.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle 9,0% Abv.
Served chilled and split between a snifer and a wine glass.
Bottled Jan 2013

Thanks to Futura for this one.

Appearance: Fear & Trembling appears pitch black in the glass, however a back light reveals the beer to infact be an ultra deep red, with beautiful deep golden edges. A rough pour yields a massive dark tan coloured head that lasts well for the Abv. and leaves some good looking lacing as it recedes. A swirl results in light alcohol legs.

Smell: The aroma is not as smokey as I was expeting, but it still smells delicious. Cocoa and dark chocolate combing with some smokey campfire, charred wood and a little roasted malt. As the beer warms, the nose opens up with the campfire notes increasing and some caramel an earthy quality and some darker fruit notes also becoming apparent.

Taste: The flavour is a little smokier than the nose suggested, with big campfire notes, roasted malt and some charred wood dominating the flavour. Dark chocolate, cocoa, a creaminess, underlying caramel and a touch of meatiness. There is no trace of alcohol noted in the flavour.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium-full and there is a high level of carbonation. The carbonation is fairly smooth, but has a distinctly lager feel to it and this makes the beers ridiculously drinkable for nearly 10%.

Overall: Fear and Trembling is a great Baltic porter and another great beer from HF. I hope to have it again soon.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I believe this was a 1/2013 bottle.

Minimal head with deep brown/black body and slight reddish brown hues when swirled in the glass.

Plenty of smoke on the nose with some roastiness as well.

Minimal smoke in the taste with smooth roast. Body shows the baltic porter style well. Smooth and easily drinkable cold or as it warmed. Mouthfeel is near perfect. The body is so well done like any HF beer I've had. Very refined. High end version of the baltic porter style. Smoke adds some complexity to the nose but little else. Very good beer.

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Photo of Chaney
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Shared at a recent tasting by Huzuhbendah. Thanks Matt!

Served in a Hill Farmstead glass.

A: Poured a dark mocha color with a dark mocha head as well. Looks pretty amazing: Dark, dark brown.

S: About as smokey as it gets. We had a Yazoo "Sue" earlier and this was even smokier IMO. Really bacony.

T: Bacon grease, fried egg, burnt toast, and some coffee. Possible theme: Breakfast beer?

M: Even though this was moderately bitter, it wasn't bitter at all. No French Toast in here, in case you're wondering.

O: This was my first HF beer and it didn't disappoint.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 500ml bottle into a Woodcock Brothers Brewery pint. Holding on to this since February.

Appearance- Pitch black. Half finger of off-white head that stuck around for a while. Some pretty nice lacing.

Smell- Chocolate, coffee, some bitter vanilla and licorice, very light smoke, no booze.

Taste- Medium smoke up front, but turns into bittersweet chocolate, licorice, and light coffee notes. A slight metalicy taste. No booze for 9%.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied with medium-light carbonation.

Overall- A real solid baltic porter. I liked it a lot from the tap at the brewery, but the bottle lost some of the creaminess.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to Kyle for this one... and all things Hill Farmstead. 500ml capped bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1.5 finger frothy, coffee colored head with moderate retention. Beer is pitch black. Lacing is patchy and stringy with good stick. Thin legs. Great looking brew.

Nose is maple, smoked and roasted malt, liquorice, cocoa, and bittersweet chocolate. Very deep with the perfect balance of sweetness and smokiness. Aromatic too. Awesome!

Opens smoke, ash, and roasted malt. Maple and molasses sweetness creeps in to keep things balanced in the middle. Chocolate and liquorice coupled with cocoa powder and more maple towards the end. Sweet, sticky finish with a lingering, smoky, meaty aftertaste kind of like maple bacon. I don't like smoked beers for the most part but this is very, very impressive.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and silky in the mouth and goes down slick and oily. Messy finish with a sweet, light, but lingering aftertaste. Really good.

I'm not a huge fan of smoked beers in general but again, this is just an outstanding brew that's been expertly crafted. Another extremely impressive Hill Farmstead offering. Now I have to find the barrel-aged variations!

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Photo of Rutager
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thank you to Montrealbcr89 for this treat from Vermont.

Appearance. Pours black with over a finger of light tan head.

Smell. Dark malts and molasses, peaty smoke, chocolate and a slight brininess.

Taste. Nice dark malts and a little molasses, chocolate and water doused campfire log.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, medium-low carbonation.

Overall. The smokey aspect suits the style well. A decent beer but doesn't stand out from the crowd like most HF beers I've tried.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a nice rich black color with some dark brown hues around the edges. The head is tan in color with a light retention and lacing. The smell of the beer is definitely smoked, there is a light chocolate roasted aroma in there as well but the wood and smoke are most prominent. The taste is roasted, again the smoke comes out right away but doesn't linger or turn into a salty bacon-like flavor which is good. The smoked essence is minimal enough that I still enjoyed this brew but could see the path they were headed in. Very dark malt driven beer which is how it should be in this style. The mouthfeel was heavy and thick, with a good carbonation as well. Overall this beer is very, It's not one I would track down and go completely crazy over but still was a nice one to try.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a 6 oz snifter.

A- pours black with a 1 finger dark tan head. Thin layer of lacing around the rim of the glass.

S- light smoked malts, roast, coffee, dark chocolate.

T- semi sweet bakers chocolate, some light smoke is present, coffee and chocolate with light bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Starts off creamy and fairly thick and then goes down very easy.

O- very solid porter. Has all facets you want to see, chocolate, coffee, and slight sweetness. If you don't like smoke beers don't be afraid to try this one, slight smoke that works very well in this beer.

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Photo of metter98
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is nearly jet black in color - slight traces of amber are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a thin head that died down, leaving a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted coffee beans are present in the nose. Light bits of smoke become detectable as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of coffee beans and dark roasted malts and also has a light amount of bitterness. Notes ofchocolate and smoke become noticeable as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a complex yet relatively easy to drink compared to other Baltic Porters.

Note: Bottled January 2013

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 4.23.13
Bottled Jan 2013

A - Pours a very dark brown with a one finger light brown clumpy head with good retention and lacing left on the glass.

S - Light smoke and roasted malts.

T - Smokey, roasted malt, chocolate.

D - Silky smooth - decent carbonation and a medium to heavy body.

O - Smokey and silky. Nice for the style. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black color with a low and tight beach sand colored head. Once the head dissipates it's left looking flat and tranquil with not even a hint of carbonation at the surface.

The smoke is subtle in the aroma and accompanied by coffee, chocolate fudge, and root beer.

The chocolate and coffee share the lead with the smoke, which pops a lot more than in the scent. It's a nice balance of sweet and smokey with just a touch of bitterness in the finish, like coffee grounds.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. It drinks much lighter than a 9.30% beer, though.

Another great beer from HF, no surprise there. The smoke plays a big role in this one but doesn't dominate.

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Photo of mechamifune
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of harrymel
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Vintage Jan, 2013

It's near black with a fleeting tan head leaving a etched top. Smells of toasted malts, richly of bitter coffee grounds, some soil, some vinyl and a good chunk of leather. Flavor is very leathery with some meat flavor (well done flank sans spice), some soil - much less sweet than most baltic's I've had. Full bodied with sharp, but limited carb and an off dry finish. Nice beer, not among the best baltics I've had, but a yummy beer best suited for a rich Irish/English meat and potatoes style dinner.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to David for this bottle! Bottled in Jan 2013.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black. One finger of mocha coloured head that reduced to a thin layer. Good lacing.

S - Roast, anise and a big hit of smoke up front. Some chocolate notes in the background. The smoke is dominant without overwhelming the nose.

T - A big roasty profile with a good dose of smoke and lighter anise and chocolate flavours. A fairly big bitterness is present throughout.

M - Medium body with a huge chew. Creamy and silky. Light carbonation. Perfect mouthfeel for the style.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, bottled in January, 2013, poured into a snifter. Thanks Jonathan!

A- Pours black with a thin khaki head, recedes to a collar and leaves spotty lacing.

S- Nice aroma of smoked malt, chocolate, and a sweet, fruity, molasses aroma.

T- From the beginning it's a blend of chocolate and smoked malt. The malt provides some smoky, jerky/meat flavors, which is nicely balanced by the chocolate and sweeter licorice and molasses flavors. Has a very nice lingering chocolatey finish.

M- Medium-bodied, nice smooth feel.

O- A tasty baltic porter, the smoked malt is a nice twist, saisons definitely seem to be his strength but this is another very good beer from HF.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, almost a black ruby brown when pouring, one finger off white/beige head with lacing.

S-Smoke, leather, beef jerky, oak and roasted malt.

T-Smoke, but isn't overpowering, oak and beef jerky/leather notes. Slight chocolate with roasted malt. More of chocolate as an undertone. Vanilla is there as well.

M-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated and creamy.

O-Easily the best smoked beer I've had, the smoke was not off putting and balanced nicely with the rest of the beer.

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Photo of neophilus
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served from capped bottle, label indicates stainless lagering. Dark brown ale with a foamy tan head on top. Aroma has complex layers of malt, semi-sweet chocolate mixed with brown bread and just a hint of ash from the smoked malt.

Very smooth and rich on the palate, the flavor leads with a creamy sweetness that is somewhat cut by the edge of the roasted grain and more subdued smoke flavors. The smoke is definitely way in the background of this bottle. As it warms the chocolate malt flavors coalesce into a luscious malted milkshake flavor.

Went in expecting an acrid brew showcasing smoked malt but instead found a decedent dessert porter, pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of flexabull
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of donfrap, thanks again!

Pours a dark brown color with a decent lightly tan colored head.

Aromas are quite nice. Nice blend of dark bitter bakers chocolate and light hints of smoked malts.

Taste really kicks it up more than I expected from the nose, and in a good way. Taste starts off with light cocoa, then kicks in a nice mixture of smoke flavors. I notice light peat, dark roasted coffee, smoked meats, char, and campfire which all join in, but don't overpower at all like these flavors often do. Finish is bitter, with a nice mineral note. This beer really does a wonderful job balancing the smoke flavors with the baltic porter flavors.

Mouthfeel is nice. Very smooth and full bodied. I like a touch more body, but that's a nit pick at this point.

Overall, this is outstanding. One of the best beers I have had in months, and at ths point it is easily my favorite from Hill Farmstead. The balance of flavors is done with a deft hand, very well crafted and delicious. I want another bottle or 10.

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Photo of Pinknuggets
4.25/5  rDev 0%
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

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Chris (ravensdkr) for sharing this.

This beer is great, it seems to our tasting to be a rauch porter, very smoked smell and taste for a porter.

Nice very dark brown color some nice lacing and sticky tan head. The smell is very smoky and meaty, also with a great dark chocolate bitterness and depth. Very malty in smell and taste. The taste follows suit, chocolate, smoky jerky, malt, very little hops. Great balance and feel over the palate, great carbonation level.

Overall a nice beer. but not essential stuff.

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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.

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Photo of yamar68
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to cfrances33 for this awesome surprise bottle - bottled 1/13:

Deep black body with an edge of coffee clarity. A creamy finger of light brown head leaves great cloudy beading beneath and milky lace above. Sort of looks like a fresh A&W on draft. Nice looking stuff.

Loads of chocolatey smoked malts, oak ash, faint vanilla notes, licorice and molasses beneath it all... ginger, maybe a bit of cardamom? There's a good amount of complexity here but it takes some time to dissect... at a glance, it's all about the rauch.

Some great porter flavors laced with earthy smoke and an Abyss like licorice presence. A bit of peat moss, charred bacon, plenty of barley... the alcohol contribution is still subtle. I'm typically on the fence when it comes to smoked beers but I can dig this. It's interesting... probably not a beer that I would choose to include in the standard rotation though.

Thanks Colin, very glad to have had the opportunity to give this one a go!

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Fear And Trembling from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.25 out of 5 based on 416 ratings.
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