Beyond Good And Evil - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Beyond Good And EvilBeyond Good And Evil

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

457 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 457
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 7.46%
Wants: 504
Gots: 70 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  ABV ?

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ThatsThatDude on 02-05-2014

Imperial Stout brewed with Maple Syrup. Aged in Bourbon Barrels for nearly 2 years.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 457 | Reviews: 41
Reviews by MusicaleMike:
Photo of MusicaleMike
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Resuin for this beer in a trade. Beyond Good and Evil is Hill Farmstead's tribute to Nietzsche's work of the same name. They brewed the base beer back in May of 2012 and allowed this imperial stout with maple syrup to age in bourbon barrels for 18 months. This 375ml bottle was filled in January of 2014. Served chilled in a Hill Farmstead stemmed balloon glass.

An extremely viscous pour. Dark brown and black in the glass. I could tell that the carbonation would have a hard time being coaxed into a head, so I opted to pour slowly and from a great distance. A perfect two-finger tall mocha-colored head developed on top with a buttery soft, whipped cream texture and amazing retention. It even left some decent spotty lacing.

Even when chilled, the aroma of this beer is rich and delicious. The smell invites the comparison to a dessert wine. It is filled with notes of toffee, nuts, nutella, chocolate, boysenberry, maple sugar, oak, and alcohol. It's an incredible smell for sure, and even if I wished the intensity was more amplified, it's near perfect.

The first thing of note is the body and texture of this beer. Beyond Good and Evil is extremely thick, with a full, almost chewy body. It's viscous, sticky, and yet the carbonation smooths everything out perfectly, until it feels like the beer is just melted chocolate truffles. Everything about this beer is so well balanced. Instead of being syrupy, it's smooth. Instead of being cloying, it's more evenly balanced. The maple sweetens the palate, especially up front. The barrel character blends in seamlessly with the imperial stout base, and there is only a hint of alcohol on the back of the tongue and in the swallow. Flavors of maple, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, toffee, and to a lesser extent, espresso, all mingle together in the taste and finish. It leans more towards being sweet, but like I mentioned before, comes nowhere close to being sickly sweet.

This beer is incredible. It's such a decadent dessert beer. Full-flavored, rich, and it drinks like melted chocolate. There is no booziness at all. It would pair very well with chocolate truffles or some dense pancakes drenched in butter and Blis maple syrup. This beer was inspiring, and it reminded me of the first time I tried Dark Lord. I was so impressed with the sheer viscosity of that beer. This also impressed me, but with how well-crafted it was.

More User Reviews:
Photo of IrishColonial
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

This is an interesting beer in an interesting category. Basically a chocolate and maple bomb, supplemented by some decent bourbon heat but not as much bourbon flavor as I usually like. Oak comes out more. Milky and rich with toffee, caramel, and slight molasses flavor. Not much roast or coffee and slightly thin on the mouthfeel.

Hard to rate for me. Basically liquid chocolate bourbon maple candy. Very sweet but not as cloying to me as Chocolate Rain or Black Tuesday. Delicious in its own way but the sweetness and lack of bourbon and coffee/roast starts to take a toll. Gave half to my wife after an initial attempt at taking it to the face. IMO, far better than the Faystons I have had but not in the same realm as beers like Maple Bacon Coffee Porter and KBBS. Have not had Mornin Delight but doubt it approaches that either from the reviews. Definitely worth seeking out but definitely best split with others.

Photo of Jared14
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

This is a great beer very unique. First review using new ratings system.

A- Dark brown/black very very little head.

S- Cocoa, Maple, booze

T- Much like smell but with a touch of barrel and molasses?

MF- a touch like but drinks very well.

Overall a fantastic stout from HF and in general. Would drink this again.
Shout out to markgugs for this long time want

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.24/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a medium khaki head. Wispy surface. Thin collar.

Smell - Bourbon. Maple syrup. Vanilla. Oak. Pretty chocolatey. More bourbon before it gets fudgy.

Taste - Lots of maple syrup. Very sweet. Chocolate. Bourbon. More maple. Oaky finish.

Mouthfeel - Very thick and very sweet, but worth the sugars. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Maple really helps this transcend other HF stouts.

Photo of Kevincredible
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Probably the best BA maple stout I've had. Excellent.

Photo of boredalready
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite possibly the best stout I have ever had. Perfection. Excellent mouthfeel, great maple syrup flavor and sweetness layered with the barrel character and malty goodness of the base stout.

Photo of Rutager
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Montrealbcr89, you light up my life.

Appearance. It's black and looked pretty thick as it poured out. Barely a skim of head, but a light brown collar formed and stayed the course.

Smell. Sweet chocolate syrup, maple, sweet boozy liqueur, a touch of coffee and sweet bourbon, a bit of toasted oaky coconut barrel wood.

Taste. Sweet maple, sweet chocolate syrup (quality shit, not the hershey's), light tannic woodyness and a touch of coffee, some decent booze but goes okay with the sweetness.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, low+ carbonation.

Overall. Very sweet ...which I heard but still wasn't expecting quite so much. Excellent desert beer and quite unique. So awesome to get the opportunity to try these rarities thanks to handsome beardos like the man, montrealbcr89.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.19/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The black brew is viscous with no real retention and no lacing. Carbonated crude is not an exaggeration nor a compliment. Nose is sugary and dark chocolate, not a lot going on. Flavor is teeth rotting sweet, all that viscosity is sugars that have gone nowhere. Bourbon barrel presence is nice, but certainly doesn't do anything to help quash the residual sugars. I had 2x pours and the 2nd was too much. Not a good beer at all.. I talk shit about the Bruery for having "Diabeetus" beers, but at least theirs are generally pushing 18%, this is just a flawed brew IMO. I can think of 10x BA RIS that are miles better.

3/3.25/3.25/3.25/3

Photo of jegross2
3.99/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Beyond Good and Evil from the Hill Farmstead Brewery out of Greensboro Bend, Vermont. This maple-brewed imperial stout was aged for close to two years in bourbon barrels.

Score: 91

2014 vintage bottle served in a snifter and enjoyed on 04/12/14. Review is from iPhone notes

Appearance: Pours a brown syrupy color with virtually no head. Splotchy bubbles cling to side of the glass, but no head or retention otherwise. 3/5

Smell: Boozy caramel with a kiss of vanilla. Wood and a hint of molasses/maple syrupiness. 4/5

Taste: Boozy caramel, oak and a touch of vanilla. Molasses/maple towards the finish, growing as it warms, but never super intense or bold. Fiery booziness. Nice sweetness without being fatiguingly sweet. Lingering syrup flavor. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, under-carbonated (there is virtually none). Creamy mouthfeel with a nice sweetness. 3.5/5

Overall: A good, but not great stout from America's most sought after brewery.

Cost: $15 for a 375 ml bottle.

Photo of cbutova
4.29/5  rDev -5.9%

Second time having this brew. First time was at the anniversary at Blackback on draft.

A- Poured from the 12oz bottle to three snifters. Thick, pitch black body with a light brown mocha cap rising up to half a finger. The frothy cap falls to a medium ring and spotty lace results.

S- Bourbon jumps out of the bottle as I open it and I can smell it from several feet away but a closer inspection brings on a deep sweetness along with decadent chocolate and malts. Dark cocoa really comes through with heavily roasted cereal grains to compliment the barrels.

T- The barrel feel in this beer reminds me of the other dark Bourbon ales from HF because the extended aging really relaxes the barrels pungency but a ton of quality wet oak and whiskey vanilla comes out. Deep cocoa mixed with the maple brings on the character of a decadent brownie or truffle of sorts. Just a bit raisiny and charred.

MF- Very thick bodied with a low end carbonation. The consistency overall is oily slick and silky with just a bit of creaminess. Finishes with a soothing warmness while big flavors linger for quite a while.

Big deep chocolate roast malts with plenty of balanced out barrel feel. The maple comes out with an earthy sweetness and some flavor but certainly not CBS level or overpowering in any way. Continues an excellence by HF using barrels with dark beers (BoT, BA Everett, Daybreak).

Photo of Anonymous1
3.47/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours flat black with minimal head or retention

S: This is probably the best part, tons of maple and even some vanilla notes on the nose. Very nice.

T: Boozy, tons of molasses, just a hint of maple, some fig and walnut. Lots of good flavors as they stand alone, but they're simply poorly integrated. The predominant note is cloyingly sweetness like a Bruery stout or strong ale. Got sick of it after about 2oz.

M: Oily, slick, undercarbed

O: I can't taste the rarity here. This stuff isn't as good as regular BCBS.

Photo of SadMachine
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes from 5/5/14

A- Pours a thick oil slick black with a small dark tan head of small bubbles that retains well, leaving lots of sticky lacing.

S- The aroma is bursting with maple syrup sweetness, rich roasty malt, and oak tannins. There are some more subdued dark fruit aromas, especially fig. Molasses, brown sugar, and sweet chocolate come out more as it begins to warm. That distinct hint of tartness that is present in so many Hill Farmstead barrel aged beers is there. Finally a slightly vinous note. Surprisingly low booziness.

T- If I had to use one word to describe this beer it would be decadent! It is so rich and sweet, but maintains balance throughout. The maple syrup is present from start to finish. Dark chocolate and raspberry flavors are huge and delightful. Vanilla, tons of roasty malt, and oak are all strong supporting flavors. Hints of bourbon, a vinous tartness, and only the slightest bit of astringent alcohol in the finish.

M- The mouth feel is super thick, creamy, smooth as silk, with perfect carbonation for the style!

O- Wow! Hill Farmstead has done it again with this one! Yes, it's very sweet, and I'd recommend sharing the bottle, but this is one of the best dessert beers ever made!

Photo of Luk13
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a deep black with thick dark brown head and nice lacing. Powerful aroma of molasses, bourbon, vanilla, nuts and maple. Taste has a lot of maple, molasses, dates, port and wood. Very tasty. Full bodied and liquorish. Another hit by Shaun, I love these fortified imperial stout by Hill Farmstead.

Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Ricky for sharing this beer I probably never would have gotten to try otherwise. Long gone are the good old days when I could drive up to Hill on a whim, get 10 growlers and a bunch of bottles, drive home the same day and get home in time to drink half the growlers. Oh well, at least their success is good for them, but bad for me.

Small fizzy head, almost nothing, no lacing, pitch black beer, decent legs.

Nose brings some cocoa, dark choc, little fudgey and little vanilla oak, very light bourbon barrel, hint of roast and coffee, little acrid char, little booze, etc. All are light and subtle.

Taste is ok, quite sweet with maple syrup, candy and caramel, toffee, mild milk choc. So syrupy and sweet candy, little warming then hot booze, little creamy but light feeling, hint of roast and coffee. Finish is sweet and little sticky but light, more maple and sweet candy lingering.

Mouth is a bit thin, light carb too, little warming then hot booze.

Overall quite meh for a hill Farmstead beer. Way too sweet and heavy but yet a bit thin feeling, a weird overall beer for them, they're usually way on with styles like this. Maybe some age would help this.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jwk7324 for this beer!

375ml bottle sealed with pressure cap; bottled on 01/2014.

poured into HF Wine Stem.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 2 fingers of creamy head that is a medium brown color. The beer leaves a decent amount of lacing on the side of the glass and the head has some decent staying power that eventually drops to a thin cap with a thick ring around the glass.

Smell: This stout smells extremely chocolately and rather sweet. Hints of real maple sap straight from the tree and an earthy aroma maybe even some light smoke. A hint of mellow, spicy, and oaky bourbon. The spiciness is reminicent of rye whiskey.

Taste: Rich and decadant milk chocolates with undertones of earthy maple sap, mellow bourbon and a hint of oak. This beer is very chocolately just like it smells. Hints of vanilla, molasses and dark fruits. The oak notes from the bourbon and the earthy maple flavor really compliment each other nicely. The oak notes get bigger with each sip and seem to dry out the finish of the beer. You get a spicy rye whiskey note with the moderate oakiness in the finish, not to mention a decent amount of lingering milk chocolates. It starts to get slightly boozey the last few sips of the beer as the beer reaches room temperature.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low carbonation levels. This beer has such a creamy, silky, and lush mouthfeel; it coats every inch of your palate. The beer has got exactly the right amount of bubbles.

Overall: Complex and well integrated bourbon and maple syrup notes in both nose and flavor profile. I still cant believe how chocolately this beer is without becoming too sweet ot cloying. Not to mention the nose and mouthfeel are pretty nice as well. This is definately a dessert beer. I could have used some lite bitterness or roasty malts to help balance things out, but the beer was still very good without those elements present in the beer. Beyond Good and Evil is another fantastic stout by brewed Hill Farmstead. I think that its a great representation of what 100% maple syrup straight from the tree tastes like in a barrel aged stout.

Photo of KornWallace
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Date: 4/28/14
Location: Hill Farmstead Brewery
Glassware: Tulip

Appearance: Black and Black. The beer pours with a light brown carbonation but little to no head. The carbonation does form a small ring around the beer while helps to hide a viscous ring as well. There is a real nice carbonation cling as the beer is sipped. The beer has some legs.
Aroma: Big bourbon boozy aroma right off the bat with strong notes of toffee, vanilla, coffee, malts, and everything that is right with a bourbon stout. The difference between this stout and others is the maple syrup aroma. It smells like the freshest, sweetest pure maple syrup I’ve ever inhaled. It’s like they pressed maple tree into the beer like coffee rinds.
Taste: Holy, The Lord, this beer is decadent. The bourbon sweetness comes through with the toffee in full swing. There is a molasses flavor that comes through so nicely and gives the beer some bite and heft. The coffee hits a little at the end with. But again, again the maple syrup is the absolute star of this beer. It gives the beer such a sweetness that runs throughout the whole beer.
Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy in mouthfeel. Smooth the maple syrup helps everything along so nicely. The molasses, and some coffee, helps to give the beer a little snap. The Beer is moderately viscous.

Notes: I could really write an entire essay as to why this beer is fantastic. This is going to be the first beer I review as a 5/5.The best offering I received from my first HF trip and I couldn’t be happier to have had the opportunity to try it.
Brewed May 2012, Bottled 01 2014

Photo of nrs207
4.26/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A - Pitch black, minimal head. Looks fine, especially for a beer that spent this long in a barrel.

S - The nose isn't very entertaining. It's a bit sweet, a bit bourbon-y. It's surprisingly muted in my opinion.

T - This grew on me as it warmed. I wasn't a huge fan at the beginning, but it is very subtly good, which is the case in most HF stouts. I got the sweet maple characteristics, along with some of the bourbon and oak notes. I really expected the barrel to have played more of a role after so long. I'm glad it didn't take the Central Waters turn, and just lose all beer characteristics because it was in a barrel for so long.

M - Impressively hides the booze. Very smooth, minimal carbonation.

O - It's really good. Definitely not worth what it's trading for, however. I'd recommend getting it if you don't have to give up your cellar for it. I'm very grateful that DaveHack opened one at a share, and would love to try it again. However, I won't be seeking it out.

Photo of Ready4aHeady
4.21/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very sweet-maple flavors up front with dark chocolate in the middle followed by lingering bourbon/oaky/vanilla/tobacco flavors.... Very nice after dinner sipper... could be split amongst a couple of people due to the concentrated sweetness...

Photo of Seanniek91
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 375ml bottle into a HF stemmed tulip.

Pours a motor oil black with quick mocha thin lacing. Smell is a little one dimensional honestly. Lots off bourbon, some light maple, a little bit of roast, and a bunch of milk chocolate. Taste is big bourbon with a good smack of maple and coffee. Caramel, vanilla, and milk chocolate are all prevalent. This is a thick beer. Drinks like maple syrup. medium carb, a little booze heat.

Overall this is a good stout. Not my favorite from HF, but this is still a treat to have all to my self.

Photo of Chico1985
3.93/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375ml picked up at the brewery 2 weeks back, dated 01-2014. Split dis.

A - Inky black pour into a snifter with about a finger of tan head. Retains decently as a swirly cap thick ring.

S - Big sweetness, bourbon at the forefront with pretty strong maple as well. Rich dark fruit/cordial feel, some toasted oak. Really missing usual stout elements, but it is a nice smell.

T - Bourbon and maple, buttery oak barrel, dates/dark fruit galore, bourbon spice, molasses, just a bit of chocolate, some coffee grounds in the finish. Like the nose, very sweet, wish there was some roast/more stoutness to balance this out a bit, but it is admittedly quite tasty.

M - A bit thin on the mouthfeel with medium carbonation. A little on the boozy side. Mystery ABV, hm, I'd peg this at maybe 10-11%.

O - I don't really think the CBS comparisons are warranted, this is a very different beer. The bourbon/maple/dark fruit combo is flavorful and enticing, the huge sweetness and lack of roast/heftiness unfortunately drags this down for me. Best taken as a rich and slow sipper, probably best split as well.

Photo of homebrew311
4.23/5  rDev -7.2%

Pours a thick black with minimal head and no light passage. Nose presents sweet malt notes paired with noteable maple syrup character. This is partnered with some barrel char, light vanilla, black licorice, and deep roasted chocolate. Taste leans towards the sweet side of things and has a slick, heavy mouthfeel. The maple presents itself nicely and pairs with chocolate. The oak and bourbon are in the back and the bourbon is very well integrated. Overall, an enjoyable experience, albeit a little bit on the sweet side.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is jet black with a thin amount of light brown head. Nose is vanilla, fudge, milk chocolate, light roast and bourbon with a good bit of syrup. Taste is rich, tons of maple sugar, lots of fudge and milk chocolate, the roast isn't really there. Bourbon is moderate in the finish. Full bodied, soft carbonation, very creamy and drinkable.

Photo of hillvt4me
4.59/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a HF tulip glass. bottled 01/2014

A- Pours tar black and small medium brown head; solid lacing.

S- dark chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts and some maple sweetness.

T- maple syrup and dark chocolate are prominent; some malts, dark fruits and bourbon elements.

M- Low to mod carbonation with a mod thick body. Well balanced and finish is smooth. Etoh is well hidden.

O- While sweet, not as much as expected from others reports. Likely the balance and complexity of flavor lends to balanced sweetness.The maple syrup, while not really apparent in the aroma, came through in a big way in the taste. This is a treat. Can't wait to see what this does with some more age.

Photo of anteater
4.52/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The darkest brown, minimal head

S: Rich coffee, chocolate, bourbon and maple

T: So ridiculously smooth. Layers of boubon, oak, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, maple all integrated into one very smooth, very balanced taste but very rich taste.

M: Thick

O: I was not let down by this one at all. It actually reminded me a little bit of BCBS (at least in terms of thick mouthfeel and smooth taste) with the noticeable but not overpowering addition of maple

Photo of Jwale73
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours one shade shy of black with a loose head that dissipates into a skim. Nose expresses roast, cocoa and ethanol. Taste reveals maple, booze, dark malts and a hint of soy sauce. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with a still carbonation and a silky/oily consistency. This is a fantastic stout! The maple flavors really coalesce nicely.

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Beyond Good And Evil from Hill Farmstead Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 457 ratings.