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Hill Farmstead Fear and Trembling (French Oak Cabernet)

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RATINGS: 88   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 279   ABV: 9.3%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Fear and Trembling is Hill Farmsteadís first collaboration - a Baltic Porter brewed with malt that was hand smoked over maple wood by our Danish friend, and former colleague, Anders Kissmeyer. This bottled version was aged in French Oak Cabernet barrels. As a student of philosophy and former resident of Copenhagen, it is fitting that our brewer named our first collaboration after Denmarkís great thinker: SÝren Kierkegaard. All three contemplated absurdity, faith, and salvation while wandering the shores of the Baltic Sea... "...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling..."


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tmoney99 (10412) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUL 28, 2011
Bottle shared by alexsdad06. Poured dark reddish brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted malt,smoke peat and wood aroma. Medium to full body with a dry smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy complex toasted bittersweet flavor with a Medium to heavy dark smoke sweet finish of moderate to long duration. Very good and exceeded my expectations.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Glouglouburp (5938) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 28, 2011
Common rating for all 3 versions of Fear & Trembling
In short: Thick, heavy, meaty and earthy sweet porter with a lot of wood barrels. Good beer.
How: Bottles 500ml. All three versions consumed side-by-side approximately 6 months after the initial release (batch 1 of all three, only batch so far)
The look: Near black body topped by a medium tan head with average retention
In long, common to all: Strong nose with lots of wood barrel and some smoke. Obviously barrel character varied in the three versions but what remains true with all three versions is that it smelled like wood barrels and not like actual bourbon/carbernet. Taste is roasted grainy cereals, earth, burnt caramel, a touch of smoked peat, lots of wood. All three versions had a slight salty-meaty character reminiscent of beef jerky. With each sip my palate was initially overwhelmed by a high amount of residual sugars but the strong wood presence really dries out the beers and makes them somewhat easy to drink. For Barrel Aged beers these beers showed a relatively strong presence of leafy resinous hops in the finish. Almost no alcohol presence. Thick body with a low-medium carbonation
Bourbon version: More bourbon then the others (díuh!). More chocolaty. Less of the salty-meaty character present in all three versions. Some roasted almonds that I didnít find in the other two versions. (7-4-8-3-16) (3.8)
Cabarnet version: This one had a slice of raisin pie that the bourbon didnít have. Less hops presence of the three. In this one the light smoke, meat and saltiness were going into smoked salmon territory. (7-4-7-3-15) (3.6)
Bourbon/Carbarnet blend version: Obviously had a bit of both the Bourbon version and the Carbarnet version but for some reason it was much more similar to the Bourbon version than the Carbernet version, as if the blend was a 1/3+2/3 blend. (7-4-8-3-15) (3.7)
Conclusion: The 3 versions of Fear and Trembling are good beers but among my least favorite Hill Farmstead beers. There is a lot of things going on here, these are complex brews, but just too heavy for me to give them my usual high Hill Farmstead score. The three versions pretty damn good beer. And with these beers finally now even Chuck Norris can experience Fear and Trembling.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
decaturstevo (4872) - decatur, Tennessee, USA - MAY 24, 2011
Brown/black pour with creamy tan head and lace. Aroma of coffee and sour malt. Coffee and chocolate dominate the flavor. Medium bodied with good carbonation. nice beer.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
AmEricanbrew (5616) - Same Trailer, Different Park, Louisiana, USA - APR 29, 2011
Courtesy of thirdeye11. Black color/ tan head. Nice smoked meat, campfire, dark malt aromas. Good smoked meat, chocolate milk, campfire, black malt flavors--good--

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dnstone (2128) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - APR 15, 2011
Smokey-dominated aroma, with oak tones. Smokey, roasty flavors with an interesting woody note, probably the wine, lightly sweet finish. Black with a small tan head. A nice complex beer. A bit smokey for my taste but nice.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Thorpe429 (5012) - , Illinois, USA - APR 15, 2011
Served in a snifter. Pours near black with a single-finger tan head with just a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass. The nose brings forward a good dose of smoke and oak barrel. The cabernet adds a really nice touch throughout. The flavor pushes the cabernet barrels more toward the front with a really nice complexity. Smoke and oak combine really well with the fruit character. A bit of chocolate and roasted character sit there as well. Medium body with a really nice dryness in the finish. Just a bit of booze there. Drinks quite well. A really, really solid brew and Iím glad I got to brad some of these bottles. Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 12-19-2010

3.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jrallen34 (3478) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 1, 2011
Thanks again to Thorpe...Looks like the other Fears, black with an ok head...A really awesome aroma of peat, smoke, and pork, balanced and just awesome. A hint of red wine is great...The taste doesnít translate as well, the front is tons of fresh oak ( a little too harsh for me), oak kills a lot of the smoke and pork, which is my favorite part. More chocolate than smoke. Still good just a disappointment of what I was expecting...This is very good, my 2nd favorite.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - APR 1, 2011
500ml bottle. Pours dark, dark brown with a small head that leaves only a trace of lacing and little retention. Aroma is heavily smoked malts with hints of chocolate underneath. The wine notes definitely come through with a light dry fruitiness and spicy oak. The taste is very smooth with the smoked malts and chocolate dominating until the finish which is dry and oaky, vinous and slightly tart really which isnít surprising given the barrel I suppose. The mouthfeel is smooth with solid carbonation and drier than the other treatments. This is a really nice smoked porter though the straight-up cab version is probably my least favorite.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Savvy1982 (1705) - Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA - MAR 23, 2011
Bottle at RBWG 2011 Grand Tasting. Pours clear black, thin to medium tan head, spotty lacing. Nose is bacon, smoke, roast, ham, cocoa... very interesting. Flavours of bacon, dried cassis berries, cranberries, very smoky/hammy. Great roast character here too. Tasty stuff.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 14, 2011
500ml bottle, aged several months. The pour gives a deep and nearly impenetrable mahogany colored body with a small head of mocha tinted froth. The bubbly foam pushes out towards the edge rather quickly, leaving just a thin center film surrounded by dense froth. Small, rounded spots and splotches of lace mark the glass. The nose is based in sweet dark chocolate and even darker cacao roast, with a strong overtone of smoky, almost meaty, bacon-like tendencies. Deep inhalation brings notes of burnt caramel sugars and some dried raisin sweetness, while ever so slightly-tannic barrel notes impart a dryness that is distinctly different than the sweeter maple barrel of the bourbon version. Flavors follow suit, displaying good balance between the the semi-sweet, nearly black cocoa and caramel malts and the dryer, lightly fruity yeast element. Cabernet brings a very slight peppery note, along with some dry vanilla toast from the barrel. Smoke is bold and persistent throughout, aggressive, yet not overpowering. The palate is very big, clearly heavy on residual sugars, sporting a smooth, fine tingle of drying carbonation and a somewhat sticky, laborious finish. I only wish it was a little less heavy, because otherwise it is a mighty fine and complex smoked Baltic.


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