Daybreak (Orange Liqueur Barrel Aged) - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Daybreak (Orange Liqueur Barrel Aged)
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206 Ratings
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Ratings: 206
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 31
Gots: 18 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Daybreak aged in Grand Marnier barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 24
Reviews by Pahn:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffo
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from jbeatty a while back. Cheers man!

From a 37,5 into a snifter
Bottled January 2014

APPEARANCE: An opaque black pour yields a two finger, medium-thick, creamy, light mocha head with great retention. Pitch black body and basically no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full, creamy wisp. A splotchy wisp and ring remain leaving dots of lacing down the glass. Classic HF stout look. Excellent.

SMELL: The orange liquor is there for sure. Citrus, dark chocolate and some roasted and black malts are there. A little milder in the aroma, however. Some coffee under the oak and orange liquor barrels. Interesting, though a touch milder than hoped.

TASTE: The oak and orange liquor is there up front again with a bit of a roasted and chocolate base. Citrus from the orange is there still too, but rather faint at this point. Flavor comes out more after the swallow with more base stout. A punch of orange liquor gives way to a big and lingering aftertaste of burnt and roasted malts, bitter coffee and dark chocolate, a hint of oak and some vanilla sweet cream. The orange plays a small roll in the finish but it quite interesting up front. Fun stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine with a bit of a scratch and finishes somewhat sticky on the palate. Some heat lingers, but not much. Could be fuller and creamier for the style, but still good stuff.

OVERALL: Really good with a very interesting orange liquor barrel. The first of its kind, as far as I know. Though it's somewhat mild, that's probably a good thing, as it allows the big and flavorful base stout, which is excellent in its own right, to shine though. Really fun beer that I enjoyed more than the scores indicate. Thanks again jbeatty. Always a pleasure.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Very inky black. Impenetrably dark. Small khaki head. Wispy surface.

Smell - Intense roasted malt. Oak. Lots of both. Not an intense amount of citrus, but it's there.

Taste - Again, intensely roasty. Bright orange flavor. Gets extremely oaky without any abatement in the roast. Dry ashy finish. Funny fruity finish.

Mouthfeel - Abrasive. Very bitter. Very roasty. Medium body.

Overall - It's a shame. The concept seemed so good and the original beer was so good, but this isn't working so well.

Photo of Bung
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mikkeler bar in Copenhagen. Recommended from the bartender that night. Surprised how well this concept works.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage.

A - Deep black with a thin layer of medium brown head that reduced to a ring around the edges of the glass.

S - Bitter roast, orange rind, oak and a liquor/spirit presence with some sweet chocolate in the background.

T - Bitter roast up front. Some orange and spirit flavours are also present along with sweet chocolate. The oak is present as well but very much in the background.

M - Medium to bull body; creamy. Light carbonation.

Photo of smakawhat
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a stemless wine glass. Much thanks Jim.

Deep black walnut body, and a nice thick light coffee and cocoa tan brown head. Easily makes three fingers off the pour on a nice controlled motion. Good retention, pretty basic, and lots of staying power, no lacing.

Oh this nose is beautiful. Deep roasted malts of coffee and dark powdered cocoa. Hints of thick chocolate liqueur and sweet oranges. Delicious sensing sweetness and brandy like grape warmth. This is so inviting, it's like beer roast schanps or something.

Palate just sings. THick notes of dark chocolate and wonderful silky round texture that fills the palate. Slight tobacco finish, and great orange liqueur like flavor. Cointreau/Tripel Sec sensing dark chocolate candy. Incredibly lush and chewy grained texture. Love this mouthfeel which has a hint of thick grain and coating chocolate. Warmth brings piping coffee which matches with the liqueur like angles so nicely.

Overall I am a sucker for chocolate and orange, and this is just rolling in it in spades. Just an overall wonderful beer, that is so nicely proportioned and balanced in this sense of unique and contrasting flavors. Great creation.

Photo of rlee1390
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%

A-Black in the glass, not much carbonation at all, a tiny brown head that doesn't last long.

S-Chocolate, roasted malt and coffee, the orange doesn't come through until it warms up.

T-Starts with a nice chocolate that meshes well with the orange. A tad bit of the liqueur is still present. There is coffee and roasted malt as well.

M-Medium bodied, a tad thin and almost watery though.

O-Another great beer from HF, an interesting take on the style due to the orange liqueur barrels. Better as it warms.

Photo of SadMachine
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from 2/15/14

A- Pours a deep black, with the slightest of brown hues at the edges when held to the light. A finger and a half of dark tan head retains well and slowly recedes to a thick film.

S- This smells super roasty, with dark chocolate notes, and a huge presence from the orange liqueur. An impressive sweet citrus presence that works so well with the bitter chocolate and dark roasted malts. There is a nice coffee presence as well. I also get some solid oaky tannins and some tartness from the orange liqueur. A very impressive aroma!

T- The taste is sweet, with a lot of chocolate notes, and some hints of tangerine. The Grand Marnier barrel definitely plays a big role. Some dark roast and dry vinous notes in the finish. Lastly there is a pronounced oaky tannic flavor.

M- The mouth feel is slightly thin for the style, but still velvety smooth. Solid carbonation, and a drying finish.

O- Overall this was a very nice and unique barrel aged imperial stout. It improved a lot as it warmed to room temp, and I loved the citrus notes added to the chocolate!

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Pete for this bottle!

375ml bottle sealed with pressure cap.

poured into HF wine Stem.

Appearance: dark black bodied beer with thick cap of tan khaki head eventually becoming a thin uneven cap.

Smell: sweet nose fillled with scents of gourmet milk chocolates and vanilla beans! Really gotta get your nose into this beer to get it, but definately an orangey liqour thing going in here too.

Taste: Roast malt with light bitterness; coffee grinds and baker cocoa immediately come to mind which I didnt see coming at all because the nose is fairly sweet and rich. Charred oak notes. Juicy oranges and vanilla, and bourbonesk flavor, but it is most likely the orange liqour that starts to become more evident in the middle of the beer. Oranges and orange zest that is has a sweet and lightly bitter contrast that is really quite interesting. Cant believe how much citrusy orangey flavor is in this stout, yet it still remains sturdy like a stout should be.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low almost moderate carbonation levels. Not a hint of booze at all. Drinks really easily. If I were to guess I'd say it would be 9 to 10% barrel aged stout that we are deal with here.

Overall: What a unique and special beer! This beer tastes like the Grand Marnier filled chocolates candies plus a charred barrel plus a roasty stout all rolled into one great beer. Another HIll Farmstead beer that is both innovative and creative, then brewed and barrel aged in an expert fashion to make this beer a high end drinking experience. This beer is excellent once it warms up and opens up unraveling all the layer of many different flavors.

Photo of Ohiovania
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The citrus reminds me a lot of a hopped imperial stout without the ibu's. Interesting take on this one. Not itching to get another bottle but a really enjoyable Double.

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 batch.

Pours out a thick, jet black. Really loving the look of it. 1 finger of an off white head. Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate bitterness and a muted orange in there. The orange isn't jumping out at me. Taste pretty much follows the smell. This is a superbly balanced imperial stout. Like most of Hill's beers, no one thing dominates the flavor profile. As it warms, I get a slight tingling on the tongue from citrus oils. Not overwhelming at all. No alcohol presence detectable. Mouthfeel was very nice, if slightly under carbonated, but didn't take away from the experience. Just a really good Imperial stout. Wish there was just a bit more citrus.

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.95/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Hill Farmstead/Mikkeller - Daybreak (Orange Liqueur Barrel Aged), poured into a Craftgeer snifter.

Look - Pours a high viscosity motor oil black with a small foamy mocha head. Lots of lacing. Ruby tinge to it.

Smell - Rich chocolate velvet with lots of sweet vanilla and rich oaky orange liqueur boozy.

Taste - Rich but not overly so, the barrel-aging complements it perfectly. The touch of citrus is amazing.

Mouthfeel - Heavy-medium body with moderate carbonation. So smooth and easy to drink. Not at all boozy but it will catch up with you. ;-)

Overall - This is easily up with my favorite stouts of all time, it simply clicks with me.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AndrewK for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, wood, and orange liqueur aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, char, and orange liqueur flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with solid barrel aged characteristics that make this version better than the original in my opinion.

Photo of wordemupg
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle poured into tulip 2/1/15 cheers kumatmebrew for the bottle

A black liquid with a thin cola edge, a thumbs width of dense mocha foam has decent retention leaving a single ring of lace

S the barrel plays a big role almost leaving you with a woody Terry's chocolate orange, bakers chocolate, a little coffee, some char, and plenty of citrus

T woody char, burnt coffee, the GM barrel comes out pretty strong, a little booze and a fair amount of bakers chocolate

M silky but not as thick as expected, enough bubbles to give it some life, very bitter, chocolate orange and char on the finish

O interesting barrel choice for a big stout but it works fairly well, lots of dark malt mixing well with everything else going on

I could drink another bottle, something different and worth a try no doubt

Photo of Stevedore
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle of the very recent bottling of Daybreak that we picked up at the brewery yesterday. Poured into a Voodoo snifter today, 2/13/2014. Thanks Doug!

Review #447.

App- Dark black body, opaque and comes with a nice one finger tan head that retains quite well actually. Not much lacing. But looks paradoxically dark given the name. But maybe not.

Smell- this beer smells like a fantastic, dark fruity and complex imperial stout cold. The key here is to let it warm up to room temperature and you are going to get a nice orange creamsicle bite with that Grand Marnier nose. I'm serious, this smells like a blend of a RIS with orange peel, mixed in with a half shot of Grand Marnier. If you like Grand Marnier, drink this at room temperature.

Flavour- Nice and complex. When its relatively cold, I still think this base RIS is better than Bourbon Damon. So sweet, dark fruity and roasty all at once. Very complex. When it gets warm, you get more of that Grand Marnier, citrus acidity that you can feel on the back of my wisdom teeth. It's not orange forward by any means but it's the tingly acidity you feel on the back of your teeth that lets you know its there. I definitely recommend nursing this one to get the full spectrum of the experience.

Mouthfeel- Thick bodied, well carbonated, not superbly creamy but honestly dangerously easy to drink. Aftertaste is remarkably similar to Grand Marnier, but more mellow and of course mixed in with chocolate and coffee malts from the base RIS.

Overall- Really, really interesting and well-executed orange imperial stout. Unique and enjoyable to drink. Just don't expect it to be like a Black IPA. Highly recommend trying this if you like citrus, and 100% must-try if you enjoy Grand Marnier.

Photo of Mikeypnh
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my HF tulip. So dark. Almost no head, just a tan ring around the glass with a couple small bubbles clinging to the glass. Smells just like I expected. A nice stout wih some citrus in there. Dark malts, chocolate, toffee, orange rind and maybe a bit smokey. Initial taste is very dark chocolate forward with a hint of orange. Aftertaste of smokey coffee and toffee, and the bitterness of the citrus comes through, as well. Some very nice flavors here and nothing really pops out and takes over. Citrus gets more dominate as it warms, it's very nice. Mouthfeel is good. Very slick, feels heavy in the tongue but actually goes down quite easy. This is a good sipper even though the alcohol is hidden. Definitely let it warm and take it all in.

Photo of Resuin
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a stemmed glass. Served at cellar temperature. This was bottled 01/2014 so is quite fresh.

Appearance: Pours a very deep brown/black and leaves a finger of deep, tan head, which fades into a brown rim around the glass.

Smell: Big roasted malts, milk chocolate, nice citrus, mild berries, coffee, charred oak. Quite complex, and very pleasant aroma.

Taste: Charred oak, bitter citrus rinds, sweet milk chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, smooth orange liqueur. Nice complex, balanced flavor. Very drinkable. I really like the contrasting flavors, they blend together very nicely.

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a medium, creamy body. Definitely could be thicker, but it still works. Finishes really smooth, with some roasted malts.

Overall: This is a really nice stout. The orange/citrus flavors are restrained but present. Very well balanced, and nice contrasting flavors that work together nicely to make a smooth, tasty stout.

Photo of Skrip
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a Tahoe Mountain Brewing boulder.

A~ pitch black with a tan espresso like head and no lacing.

S~ tons of roasty dark malts along with some bitter dark chocolate. a little bit of coffee and some lingering citrus.

T~ a ton more citrus here which i assume is from the orange liqueur barrels. other than that pretty much follows the nose, roasty malts up front, bitter dark chocolate and burnt coffee mid pallet with an amazing citrus after taste that i never want to go away!

M~ super smooth and a little thicker, but right where i like a stout. nice carbonation and very drinkable.

O~ soo much better than i remember the regular version being. i hardly got any citrus in the non BA version. which must mean the orange liqueur barrels worked wonders! yup... they did haha i'm glad this lasted a while on the shelfs up there, everyone should try this. so unique!

Photo of rudzud
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Kyle for sharing.

A - Poured into a tulip a nice dark brown hue with a very thin head
that fades to leave light lacing.

S - Aromas of nice almost wheat like stout light chocolate, faint citrus notes. Quite pleasant, very subtle orange liquor.

T - Taste is nice chocolate notes, very faint citrus peels. Good cocoa nibs, very faint orange notes, really soft chocolate and citrus is quite harmonious. Tasty.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, alcohol hidden well.

O - Overall this was a tasty beer, very nicely balanced with chocolate notes and orange liquor.

Photo of yourefragile
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375 mL bottle, dated 01/2014.

Pours a sludgy opaque black with a generous mocha colored head that fades to a thick collar and a few streaks of lace. Nose of graham cracker, roast chocolate malt, candy orange, light ash and vanilla, and cocoa. Graham cracker, gingerbread, dark bitter chocolate and roast are most dominant in flavor, with the barrel aging adding more of a smoothness to the finish than a strong contribution to the flavor. Light candy orange citrus flavor persists on the finish, but not as citrusy or juicy as I remember the original batch of Daybreak being fresh on draft. As others have said, this needs to warm to appreciate more of the barrel presence and citric acidity, but even then the roasty, dark chocolate, graham cracker bready dryness persists. Thick body, fluffy and soft with very low carbonation. Whatever the base for this beer is is a winner, though I want to break out an original bottle alongside this as I think I still prefer an aged b1.

Photo of jaasen64
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into stemmed HF glass. Bottle split two ways.

A- pours an opaque black, a thin mocha head forms that has a fitting slight orange hue and recedes to just a thin ring along the sides. Looks great but could use a little bit more head.

S- Orange liquor comes out fairly noticeably giving a slight candied orange smell, orange balanced with a nice roast, slight dark chocolate, and a decent malt profile. Fairly aromatic, nicely balanced, and well done for what it is.

T- Creamy dark chocolate, fairly light orange profile, decent roast coming out more on the finish with a orange liquor presence. Decent overall stout. Orange liquor adds a subtle but unique balance however not a huge fan of its presence overall, instead of a fresh fruit presence it's a little bit more of a candied orange presence however I really like how it balances with the roast.

M- Very slick, fairly light for a 10% barrel-aged stout, very little carbonation, could use a little bit more body.

O- This was well done for what it is and makes use of a barrel that isn't commonly used much with beers. I liked how all the flavors balanced but I wouldn't say this is my favorite flavor profile in a HF beer. It's been a little while since I had the original Daybreak so its hard for me to compare, however from what I can remember this is fairly similar with maybe slightly more roast and more of an orange liquor presence on the finish and nose. This is definitely worth trying however I wasn't quite as blown away as I am with a lot of other HF beers.

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A great extra from a great BA!

A- Pumpkin dark brown to black, translucent around the edges. Medium lacing with no legs.

S- Orange liqueur forefront, then ba stout and belgian malt backbone.

T- Great BA malt backbone, orange liqueur comes out perfectly; then the chocolate and belgian dark fruit starts to come out. I can't imagine dealing with an orange liqueur barrel aged beer; but they pulled it off. *stale oak flavor after a few minutes, but a great brew*

M-I have never said this before, but there is not enough carb. Crazy smooth; great butter feel.

O- Prob never have this again because of rarity, but I am sooo happy that I got to try it. A true improvisation

Photo of HoppyKilaMonster
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into JK wine glass. Let sit for a few minutes to open up.

A- Dark black, milk chocolate colored head, which dissapates rather quickly.

S- As soon as I opened it up, I got a wiff of suggary sweetness, folowed by the barrel presence. Apart from the initial sweetness, I cant detect much of the grand marnier barrel.

T- This is rather dry, especially for a HF stout. I am searching, but I cant detect much citrus, besides a touch at the end. (As it warmed, the citrus came through a little more, but still not a main element in this beer.)

M-This seems quite dry for a srout. Almost bitter at the end

Photo of lunarbrew
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared at a tasting on Thursday, poured into a Voodoo chalice.

Pours dark, smooth, and medium viscosity (for a stout). Slick looking beer with little head or lacing.

Smells faint orange ride and a tad liqueur sweet. There is a mellow roastiness and a decent amount of complexity. Dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, oranges, and a hint of vanilla slowly creep from the glass. As it warms the flavors intensify and some slight oxidation comes out, which is very nice.

Flavor is interesting and complex. I found that cold, the beer is a little muddled and overly-simple. However, as the beer warms it really comes to life. With warmth, the orange is present along with a decent sweetness, some booze, a faint oxidation, and some woodiness. I taste a little roast and a lot of sweet malt. If you're expecting an orange bomb, this isn't your beer. There is orange, but it is very much a liqueur flavor. More than anything, the orange barrel is used as a tool to heighten the complexity of the beer. It is not a gimmick. In technique alone, this beer is world-class.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied (a bit too light), smooth, and pretty sticky. There is low carbonation, which I appreciate here.

Overall, I really enjoyed this. I can already foresee some advocates' criticisms of a weak orange flavor, but I think this was intentional. I personally believe the barrel was used in a very technical way. Daybreak is not meant to overwhelm your palate, but instead provide a nuanced and unique drinking experience. IMO, this beer far exceeds bourbon damon, and gives HFs other stouts a run for their money. Most importantly, the mouthfeel of Daybreak is quite good, which has always been my problem with Shaun's stouts.

Photo of alaimoa
4.61/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured cold into the hill farm glassware.
Pours jet black but lace lacks a bit. Not much to speak of likely due to barrel aging.
Smell is bourbon chocolate with a hint if the orange liquor in the background.
Taste follows the nose with a great roasty bourbon and chocolate and no overpowering sweetness. Runs a bit hot on the back end but will likely smooth over some cellaring. Feel is thick and coating. Not too sticky with a dry yet good aftertaste

Daybreak (Orange Liqueur Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.