Hill Farmstead Fear and Trembling Cabernet/Bourbon Blend, Infinite Resignation is the Last Stage of Fatih

Believe it or not, I have actually been trying to ratchet back my reviews of all these HF gems lately. No, it is not due to the confusion surrounding the Ephraim release, and no it is not due to my latent bitterness being unable to land an Ann (her?) I simply cannot forego reviewing some of these old school (relative to Hill Farmstead lifespan) treats.

This porter is suspending my universal beliefs for my individual understanding of what a porter can be.

Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States
Baltic Porter | 9.30% ABV

A: Just like all well-done porters, this has that signature thin bodied nature to it that splashes into the glass without heft or massive sheeting. The carbonation is generous and looks like a Coffee Bean drink with khaki foam and microbubbles smaller than 3J’s role in Family Matters.

At a certain point you should at least try to mask your affection for something.

S: This is a bit smokier than I would have liked but imparts a nice char, super Charizard if you will. Then again I am not a fan of char in the first place so I guess take that with a grain of char limits. There’s chocolate, a slight red grape aspect that is more of a tannic dryness, and a bitter coffee aspect. I could have used a bit more of the refreshing porter aspects to this instead of toeing the imperial stout line but, you mess with the Baltic, you get the horns.

T: Thankfully this campfire session eschews the roasted wood and goes a ‘smore route with a deep chocolate, cocoa, vanilla and a touch of mallow foam. The dryness from the oak is present but doesn’t put both hands in your malt bowl, just enough to be noticed. There’s some plum and stone fruit aspects and a smoky finish at the verrrrry end that sneaks in like the littlest roast puppy in the litter. There’s a great complexity and it’s tough to knock any of the three variants of this beer.

If you don’t enjoy dark beer I could always serve you a baby sloth in a chalice, your decision.

M: The mouthfeel is slick and light, dead on to porter, but not quite going into an overweight stout territory. The carbonation is fine and feels like 700 thread count sheets, a sateen duvet in your mouth. But you drink beer so you probably have that Walmart all-in-one bedsheet that single moms love to tolerate. I liked this better as it warmed and the barrel characteristics became more pronounced. You want that deep dark fruit, go get it.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and masks its ABV very well. The light body and huge flavor profile is a haymaker that clears your glass pretty effortlessly. I would say the imperial porters from Hill Farmstead are improving steadily as I would rank them as follows:

Birth of Tragedy > BA Everett > Fear and Trembling

For anyone who gives a shit about bottles that are nearly impossible to obtain. Me recommending a 300 bottle run of something limited beyond belief is kinda like polishing an apple on my shirt and talking about which of my Ornithopters is my favorite.

Some people think imperial porters are just stouts in disguise, haters gonna hate.

Narrative: “And go, take your last bottle, first born in your cellar and cast it into the Fedex truck, for a return blessing shall be forthcoming.” The anonymous message seemed suspicious, yet highly credible to Mark Wallerstein. He had been trading beer online for years, but never before had he received such a divine command. “Is this some kind of LIF or someth-” he thought and suddenly a message appeared “NO, this is not a lottery it forward, only when you sacrifice your most precious bottle can you obtain that which is truly worthwhile.” This was a bit creepy but Mark began solemly wrapping his 2007 Cable Car in bubble tape, aware of the intense burden laid at his doorstep. He was to suspend all belief in bartering and give up his most precious to become elevated to a state of fear and trembling. He would exchange rationalism for hope in the ultimate gesture of beer bonhomie. Just as Mark was about to ship his final and only Cable Car, a UPS worker stopped him. “You see Mark, only by knowing that you could give up this sick wale, could you demonstrate your right to receive this:” and on that very site, his bottle was spared and he was given a bottle of Dirty Horse, unblended, 1983. A divine blessing indeed.


Cigar City, Either/Or Black Ale, EITHER This Beer is Awesome, OR Kierkegaard is Wrong.

Cigar City either blindsides me with a gem, or you open something like Vuja De and don’t know what the fuck to make of it. This beer falls in the former category and my only complaint is the old amorphous “black ale” title that initially put me off to this. Let’s call this what it is: an awesome imperial stout er…maybe a triple imperial porter…fuck. I don’t know it is EITHER a stout OR this is a shitty pun.

Oh, ok. Either and Or are the same beer. Ba dum tish. Dichotomies about.

Cigar City, Either/Or,
Black Ale, 11.5% Abv

A: What a novel gimmick, two beers, the same beer. Sounds like an expensive bottle labeling maneuver. I was expecting some earth shattering Soren Kierkegaard business, but this wasn’t particularly mind blowing…AT FIRST. This has a kinda watery look to it of freshly pressed ink from a baby squid. Murky but shiny. Mild lacing and medium carbonation. It’s like a halfway home for abused porters and baby stouts.

You can enjoy huge black ales and get super dreeze, heck, enjoy nature, just don’t be a dbag when you take it to the 11% abv dangerzone.

S: There is a Huge hop profile, wood, oak, nice black licorice, and a toasted maltiness. It is like a low-cal version of Hunaphu’s. Low is relative, I GUESS. Actually it is more like a more svelte blacker Huna with some smoothe cocoa swagger.

T: This has a great chocolate/anise taste to it that it sweet but with a nice bitterness to it, without being medicinal. It’s like when you were a kid and had too many delicious Flintstones vitamins, only chocolate and tobacco flavored, and no diarrhea. Not yet at least. WE SHALL SEE.

Discover an amazing black ale, realize it is sold 3000 miles away. Shed manly tears.

M: This has a nice coating and mild stickiness to it that washes away but leaves a little something behind, like a crafty clingy first date that wants you to think about her again. YOUR TRICKS WONT WORK ON ME. Ok well I sought it out again so maybe those tricks worked, who knows? I would gladly go after this again.

D: This has a cool hybrid drink ability to it and is very delicious. Overall the complexity isn’t overwhelming but it makes it all the more appealing. Plus in the 12oz format you can come and go as you please, no need to be a deatbeat dad about your black ales, leaving them all around town. You can gently nurse them and pick up another at your leisure.

I don’t know, what the fuck, is going on.

Narrative: “And that’s how you fit 22 slavs in a phone booth!” Yurgis exclaimed with his own eastern European sort of aplomb. “Yes, er uh, thank you for that Yurgis, Mr. Chalmers, Yurgis is our exchange student and he sure does have an INTERESTING SENSE of humor, pass the peas please sweetie.” Walter succinctly stated to his supervisor. This family dinner would decide the fate of his career for the next half decade, if only his disheveled ukranian house guest would keep quiet. Mr. Chalmbers was the new CFO of Texodyne, a chemical manufacting plant whose operations were largely based out of Uzbekistan, apparently a locale that Yurgis had plenty to say about. “And when the streets run red with the blood of the nonbeliev-” “ok ok ok, thank you Yurgis.” It wasn’t that he was particularly bad or dark, he was actually kinda sweet in his own third world sort of way. Most people just had a tough time looking past his penetrating darkness. “Good and bye Mr. Chalm-bers, I want for to make love to your daughter in soon time, we will be good friends!” The family hung their heads at the prospect of another 5 years without a raise.