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Hill Farmstead Brewery
Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA
Ephraim (1823-1913) was our great-great grandfather; Hill Farmstead Brewery resides several hundred feet downhill from the land that he and his father settled. In his honor, this Imperial India Pale Ale is dutifully crafted from American malted barley, buckets of American hops, our ale yeast and water from our well. It is unfiltered, naturally carbonated, and double dry hopped. Intensely aromatic and saturated with resinous hop flavor, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Ephraim.
280 Theoretical IBU
Pale Malt; Dextrose; Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, and Warrior hops, Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.
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look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
I sampled this on tap at the brewery on 9/24/10 and knew that I immediately needed to grab a growler. 2 liter "genie" shaped swing-top growler into an oversized tulip glass.
Initially pouring hazy, this clears out nicely into a golden apricot color, topped with a rich foamy head that quickly settles down into a tight finger. This retains with a frothy ¼ finger or so which throws a robust spotty cascade of sticky lacing up on the sides of the glass. Really nice look here once this clears up. The aroma literally smells like a hop grenade went off in your nose. Grapefruit and pine cut through the nostrils like a knife, tempered on the edges by juicy tropical fruit notes (pineapple is especially strong) and sweet sugars from the malt. This is all wrapped up in a blanket of floral, herbal, dank, and spicy tones. This is just so fresh and powerful in the nose; I could literally just sit here and sniff this all night long.
The hop flavors in the taste are just unbelievably fresh and bright feeling, with a blast of bitter grapefruit and resins that stick in the mouth. The balance here is just impeccable though, with the sugary sweetness of the citrus and malts swooping in off the side to do their thing, leaving the fullness of the hop flavors behind but without a completely overly bitter bite up front either. The bitterness does come out to play big time in the backend though, with citrus rind, spice, and pine, all just smashing the finish of this and leaving back a resinous and dry feel that hammers the tongue and roof of the mouth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied in the mouth at first, with a combo of sharpness and smooth slickness from the hop oils, but the alcohol definitely adds some fuller feeling heft to this as well. Warmth hangs on the breath after each sip and gets a little borderline hot at times, especially when paired up with that intense dry-hopped finish.
With full and brilliant hop flavors, awesome balance, and an excellent drinkibility for a nearly 11% Triple IPA, it's hard to not want to compare this (and quite favorably I might add) to a certain similar beer out on the West Coast. The only drawback I could possibly find here is that there is maybe a little too much warmth coming out of the body at times but it's hard not to argue that the hop profiles here are just world class. I had the opportunity to try about five different hoppy offerings while visiting the brewery and to say that they've got a handle on these styles would be an understatement. Just awesome stuff here!
Serving type: growler
09-28-2010 16:37:03 |
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