326. Hill Farmstead Ephraim
Well it took 326 beers to find one that warranted 5 stars and no surprise it comes from Hill Farmstead. Ephraim was one of the big draws for me at the Harvest Festival and was available at the VIP session as well as in growlers on Saturday morning. I hung around on Saturday morning long enough to grab a bottle (limited to 1 per person unfortunately) and actually ended up with my brother in law’s bottle as well as he enjoyed S&S#5 as much as he did Ephraim.
While drinking this beer I could not think of anything it was lacking or anything that would make it better so I guess that is the definition of a 5 star beer. The color is an unfiltered light orange color with a slight white head. Head retention is excellent and lots of lacing remains on the glass, a very appealing beer to look at. I could smell this beer from 5 feet away while taking the picture; huge tropical fruit aroma.
Taste is amazing with tons of hop flavor including the obvious citrus, tropical fruit but also some pine and a touch of sweetness to balance things out. Finish is slightly bitter but only very slightly. Mouth feel and carbonation are just right making this as close to perfection as I have had.
This beer is not available often and due to sales of Hill Farmstead beer on places like eBay it may become even harder to obtain. If you are lucky enough to attend an event or find it on draft somewhere be sure to try it.
Alcohol Content: 9.8% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 280 (theoretical ibus)
Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Description: 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. 9.8%, 21ºP, 280 Theoretical ibus. Ingredients: Pale Malt; Dextrose; Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, and Warrior hops, Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.