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Twilight Of The Idols - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Twilight Of The IdolsTwilight Of The Idols

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

867 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 867
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 419
Gots: 120 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kingcrowing on 10-28-2010

A Winter Porter brewed with Coffee and Cinnamon…Aged on Vanilla Beans.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 867 | Reviews: 154
Reviews by starrdogg:
Photo of starrdogg
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Prost76 for sending me this one in time for the tasting.

Beer pours black with a thin off-white head. Smell is really excellent - roasted malts, coffee and some spice all come together quite nicely. Flavor follows the nose, it has that same awesome porter flavor as Everett, but adds some coffee and spice to the mix, really impressive. Sadly I'm not getting much vanilla, but I can deal. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is yet another fantastic beer from Hill Farmstead.

More User Reviews:
Photo of gcamparone
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Acquired as an extra in a trade!

A- The pour is translucent and brown, once in the glass it has an opaque black body with a thick, creamy 3" mocha colored head that reduces slowly.

S- Coffee, dark fruits, roasted malt, cinnamon, vanilla.

T- Starts off with some very heavy roasted malt flavors, transcends into notes of dark fruits, apples?, the finish is roasty coffee and fresh mocha-coffee-chocolate aftertaste.

M- Medium carbonation, medium body, slightly thin.

This is a beautifully crafted porter. Not thick enough that I'd consider it a stout, but hugely flavorful and complex.

Photo of Clonies720
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into taster glass. No freshness date, but is marked "Fall/Winter 2012". This beer is marked as 7.5% ABV on BeerAdvocate, however is labeled 7.2%ABV for this vintage.

Appearance: Pours an abyss black color. This beer absorbs the light! 2-finger creamy mocha-colored head.

Smell: The first smell that hits my nose is a sweet chocolate fudge cake followed by freshly brewed espresso. Wonderful backdrops of supporting vanilla. Slightly bready yeast that brings me to a chocolate-covered donut.

Taste: Freshly brewed espresso is dominant on the palate. Faint notes of woodiness. Stronger vanilla comes out than was apparent in the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Lightly carbonated. Medium-full bodied.

Overall: Very delicious. World class. However, Vanilla Bean Framinghammer porter has ruined me for life and this beer pales in comparison to it.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2L growler poured into a Tumbler.

Pours a very dark brown that's near black, slowly a small deep dark brown head arises and slowly fades into some very fine lacing. Nose is all coffee, quite impressive. There are some light sweet spicy & vanilla notes as well.

Taste is again strongly coffee. It's a bit dry and bitter with a lot of coffee characteristics as well. The cinnamon comes in on the finish very faintly and subtly that's super well done. A great holiday beer that's flavorful and drinkable.

Photo of ehammond1
3.41/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, mkabull!

A very appropriately pretty porter. Very dark brown, bordering on black, with a moderate-sized, and somewhat persistent dark brown head. Leaves irregular spiderwebs of stick down the glass.

Miscellaneous roast in the aroma along with definite cinnamon. Simple and straightforward, and the cinnamon definitely adds uniqueness, though I don't think it's particularly complementary.

The flavor follows the aroma: roast, mild chocolate, some definite cinnamon character that adds some licorice and spice notes, though could be confused with an acidity. I don't think it's complementary nor works very well at all with the base beer. I would prefer this without the cinnamon. Nice, lingering chocolate character on the finish, however.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation for the style.

Different strokes for different folks. A rather ordinary beer made less appealing through the addition of cinnamon.

Photo of jeonseh
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a snifter

A - Dark, chocolate brown with a small milk chocolate head

S - Chocolate, sweet vanilla, light coffee and roasted malt near the back end. The vanilla actually stands out well to give it an overall sweet nose.

T - Up front is milk chocolate with a light coffee presence. There is then a nice vanilla up front that makes it tastes slightly like a mocha frappe. The finish has a good presence of roasted malt and a slight bitterness from the coffee

M - Medium body with low carbonation. It is slightly velvety. The finish is a bit astringent from the coffee and roasted malt but it isn't overpowering.

O - This is a solid porter as a base beer which is given another level of flavor and complexity with the vanilla and coffee added. The vanilla adds a nice sweetness that you notice up front while the coffee adds some punch on the backend.

Photo of hagbergl
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a glass of Hill Farmstead's Twilight of the Idols winter porter during a visit to Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA. What a pleasure it was to have this venerable, rare beer, and served in authentic Hill Farmstead brewery glassware–nice touch, Armsby!

Appearance (5/5): The beer, presented in a Hill Farmstead glass, is deep black and topped by the most luxuriant, pillowy beige head that retains well. A disk of foam sticks with the beer all the way down. Lots of sticky beige-brown residue sticks to the sides of the glass. Twilight of the Idols is one impressive looking brew.

Smell (4.5/5): Twilight has a very roasty aroma complicated by notes of fresh-brewed coffee, dark chocolate, and smokiness (though I don't think there's any smoked malt in the brew). The aroma is definitely more intense than your average American Porter though less dark chocolate going on in the nose of Twilight than in Hill Farmstead's other Porter, Everett.

Taste (4.5/5): Very complex: roasty, dark bread, coffee bean bitterness, a light vanilla sweetness, dark chocolate, a bit of warm spice from the added cinnamon. Twilight is not very sweet; it still features robust and assertive porter flavors. A light alcohol flexes and warms in the finish. Subtle, beautiful, bold–that's what Twilight of the Idols is.

Mouthfeel (4.5/5): Creamy, medium-heavy body, medium-light carbonation, Twilight of the Idols is very smooth going down. Given its strength and overall "big" taste, I can't say it's the most drinkable beer; you probably won't order two in a row at the bar.

Overall (4.5/5): Twilight of the Idols is a great American Porter that features a wide array of flavors perfect for a winter beer. One of the best things about it is that all the ingredients–the vanilla beans, coffee, and cinnamon–seem to mix well together; it's not one of those beers that seems to use additives as a crutch. It also doesn't have that fake spiciness thing going on that some winter beers have (you know who you are). This is a subtle, complex, and very tasty dark ale that really brings the roast. Shaun Hill has done it again–another excellent Hill Farmstead Brewery beer.

Photo of pwoods
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kels bf for picking this up for me.

750ml growler poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with no light. Moderate head with only some retention. Decent lacing.

S: lots of fresh brewed coffee with a hint of vanilla but with a pepper/chili kind of spice... Though I don't think there's any in this beer. Some light roast.

T/M: Coffee is big but not dominate. Vanilla is mild and not very sweet, as well as the spices. Roast is slightly bigger. Body is medium full to full and creamy with medium to mild carbonation.

D: Pretty drinkable for the weight of the body, but everything is very balanced and pretty tasty.

Photo of 05Harley
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased @ Hill Farmstead Brewery, Greensboro VT

Price - $16/growler

A Winter Porter brewed with Coffee and Cinnamon…Aged on Vanilla Beans.

This is one dark beauty with a thin red edge noticeable only under the light near the top. A delicious looking beer with a half inch creamy tan head and patches of lacing.

Aroma is perfect for winter with vanilla, caramel, gingerbread, fresh roasted coffee and cinnamon spices.

The flavor mirrors the nose with the addition of dark chocolate but the spicey cinnamon steals the attention and takes center stage. A definite sweetness is noted from start to finish.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a medium body and slightly sticky. The bitter/dryness is held in check keeping it very much a dessert beer. Very low in carbonation, pretty much nonexistent.

Overall this is a good example of the style and a perfect fit for the holiday season. An easy drinking porter and a candidate for a Christmas after dinner menu.

Photo of AdamF625
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- pours black with a thick brown head .
S- coffee, vanilla, dark roasted malts.
T- a lot of vanilla and coffee, bitter chocolate malts.
M- medium body with a a nice creamy mouthfeel.
O- great easy drinking winter seasonal. A lot of taste and great body.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Review from notes. Thanks to Paul for sharing!

A: Pours black with a one finger tan colored head on top, great retention which left behind some thin lacing.

S: Some roast with chocolate and a coffee. The vanilla is there, a little lighter than I would have liked, but not a knock at all. The cinnamon is faint as well, but present.

T: The coffee is a bit more forward in the flavor profile and the chocolate takes a back seat. Nice level of roastiness with some vanilla and spice.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Extremely smooth and creamy.

O: Another tasty porter from HF. A can see how this would be nice to drink in the winter, but nothing wrong with drinking it on a cloudy May afternoon in Seattle either.

Photo of nkersten
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap, served into a tulip. Pitch black with a one finger tan head that settles to a cap, very creamy with amazing lacing. Smell is bourbon and raw vanilla beans, spiced cinnamon, coffee beans, dark roasty malts, spicy hops. Taste is very sweet malts and some roasted malt bitterness, vanilla, slightly hoppy, a hint of coffee and some cinnamon (a later batch I had was heavy on the cinnamon, i prefer this version). Medium/heavy body with a light carbonation. This beer drinks and feels more like a spiced stout then a porter, but an excellent Christmas beer either way. One of the most drinkable spiced beers I have ever had. Sadly, TSA smashed the growler I was attempting to bring back so I wont get to have any more of this for a while.

Photo of socon67
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black pour with a cream colored foam

S - Nice scent of chocolate, coffee, and rown sugar.

T - Hearty, robust porter with plenty of flavor. Malt tastes a bit more like an english porter, but the chocolate and coffee flavors are up front and consistent.

M - This one is very smooth for a hearty porter. Feels lighter than you would think.

O - Liked this one alot. Great example of a porter that could pass for a hearty stout.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Couldn't wait any longer! 500ml bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black with a 1.5 finger mocha head with average retention. Lacing is stringy and thick with good cling. Oily legs coat the glass. Solid, but not great given a comparison to Everett.

Nose is burnt coffee beans, roasted malt, a very mellow vanilla presence and some cocoa powder. Aromatic. Decent but I wish this was a bit sweeter.

Opens big coffee notes upfront. Some bitter chocolate, roasted malt, and sweet liquorice in the back. A slight tartness from the coffee and roasted malt towards the back. Finishes sweet with a touch of vanilla and fudge. Cocoa and just a touch of booze on the aftertaste. Really good balance.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Some bubbles in the mouth but smooth, warm, and silky going down. Messy finish with a pleasant, lingering aftertaste that leaves my lips sticky. Perfect.

I much prefer Everett over Twilight but that's not to say this isn't one of the better porters out there. Exhibits great balance in flavor and as always, a perfectly crafted feel. Worth a try but if you're into sweet porters, the vanilla is very subtle in this beer and you'll likely prefer Everett over this.

Photo of schmidtmattsays
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 11/13

A: Poured from 500ml bottle into a HF stemmed tulip. Little carbonation, typical cola-like porter appearance: dark brown with light coming through around the edges.

S: Surprisingly dominant smell of greenery, largely mint. Light pine. Underpinned by typical porter roast.

T: Lots of vanilla coming through, underpinned again by roast and coffee beans. As it warms up, I pick up the cinnamon aftertaste.

M: Creamier and more substantial mouthfeel than you would find in a lot of porters. Not stout-like, but definitely on the hearty side for a porter.

Photo of dirtylou
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, split

Note: Despite the description on this page and the claims of some reviewers, there does not appear to be cinnamon in this beer. It's not listed in the description or ingredients list, nor is it detected anywhere in the beer.

A good porter, but not really stand-out. Dark and roasty with a big dry roast finish. The vanilla beans are subtle, cocoa and cocoa dust seem to permeate. Heavy on the dark chocolate, chocolate malt, and a secondary blast of coffee. I liked, but not really an upper class porter to me.

Photo of tempest
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a glass at the Farmhouse in Burlington VT. Damn, that's a porter. The coffee and vanilla are wonderfully blended into the beer. So many coffee porters and stouts go too heavy on the java, and even get a stale taste. This beer takes a great cup of joe, adds a dash of subtle vanilla, and still brings a great porter. The malt brough a dark, chocolate character with a sharp roasted edge that's balanced by the sweet vanilla. The beer is formidable, but never too heavy. Find this porter.

Photo of hooliganlife
3.7/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Sean

Pour was a deep black, cocoa head. Body looked pretty on queue for a porter.

Dark chocolate and espresso. Vibrant nose.

Flavor was very coffee forward, light chocate and strong roasted flavors. Vanilla and cinnamon were pretty muted.

Nice carbonation, full but easy body.

Overall, I was not that into this. Needed far more vanilla to balance the coffee.

Photo of nickd717
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to grassrootsvt.

Pours a very dark brown color with a one finger tan head that fades to swirls.

Big rich chocolatey aroma, along with vanilla and roasty notes. Some spice evident.

Chocolate - Tootsie Roll or Hershey's bar - is big on the flavor. Behind that is roast, coal, cinnamon, and vanilla. Tasty.

Medium-bodied and fairly dry on the mouthfeel with a good long finish.

Really good porter, impressive and easy to drink.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Fall/Winter 2012 bottle.

Appearance - Black with a khaki head. Chunky bubbles unbalanced around the edge. Slightly transparent at the edges.

Smell - Lots of vanilla. Coffee, but not the most interesting or intense coffee flavor. Sweet malt and some roast.

Taste - Still lots of vanilla. Chocolate and coffee. Lacking the roast I'd like from it. Bitter chocolate and a slight herbal character. Tastes like spices in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Slick and chewy for its size. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Lots of vanilla. Needs more roast. Good without being Hill Farmstead's best beer.

Photo of Kegatron
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Lord Hobo (Cambridge, MA) on 2/3/12. Served in a cervoise.

Pours black, with a thin mocha colored head. This retains with some creamy ringing around the edges, leaving back a nice enough looking cascade of spotty lacing behind. Chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon sit right at the forefront, with flavorful roasted coffee flavors moving in next, before it is all undercut by a floral green citrus presence. There’s just a nice ebb and flow to the nose, with the flavors intertwining beautifully here.

The taste is just as rich, with chocolate, toffee, and dark burnt grains spreading out into more of a roasted espresso presence. Hops are bit more assertive here as well, with a profile of green citric bitterness. The vanilla addition really works nicely here, as it helps smooth out some of the rough edges from the hops and roast but they still return in the finish, with a combination of citric bitterness and a dry charred feel. Cinnamon is spread throughout, with me probably picking it up in backend and finish of the profile the most. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a big mouth filling firm creaminess to the carbonation which pops that roast and hops on the tongue. This gets a much more smooth and silky feeling along the back, combining with that ridiculously well hid ABV to get this a extra creamy feel that goes down effortlessly.

I’ve been anxious to try this one for a while now and man, I was impressed! I just loved the combo of flavors involved here, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, with roast and hops adding a bit of an edge to things. But this was so well balanced and smooth overall. Wow, I love their takes on American Porters from here. Just tremendous stuff!

Photo of Vonerichs
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with a decent amount of light passing through the edges and surface. Tight tan head. There was quite a bit if sediment that was noticeable when I tipped the glass.

Heavy aromas of fresh ground coffee beans and vanilla. There's also an earthy tobacco scent.

Strong coffee and vanilla flavor with a touch of root beer. There's a faint metallic aftertaste.

Smooth mouthfeel with medium-light carbonation.

It's a really solid porter that had a couple slight flaws in appearance and the finish.

Photo of Kinsman
4.02/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yup, it's black alright. Bit of tan head sits on top but fades kind of quickly. Quite a strong vanilla note to start things off, some cinnamon and a nice solid porter to back it all up. Some chocolate aromas and a healthy dose of coffee roasting going on.

Really digging what the vanilla bean and cinnamon have done with this porter. The vanilla is more prominent here than I expected given other vanilla bean aged porters I've had. Cinnamon naturally pairs really well with these flavors and it's a shame you don't see more spiced beers go as dark as this (too many generic winter warmers seem to be boring amber ales with spices added). Anyone that's had Everett knows that HF makes a mean porter so naturally the base beer in this holds up really well. Not as roasty and robust as Everett but I think that gives the other flavors a better chance to shine.

Full-bodied and creamy mouthfeel. Really, this might just be the perfect winter beer.

Photo of claaark13
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to jedwards for sending this my way. He's been talking it up for a year now and I just missed it when I was at HF in 1/12. 2012 Fall release, 500ml bottle. Poured at cellar temp into a HF tulip.

A - Pours a translucent brownish-black with a thick, creamy off-white head. Great, full lacing remains. It really looks great for a Porter.

S - Dark malts, smooth and mild coffee, hints of sweet vanilla in the back.

T - Much like the aroma. Malts, mild coffee, vanilla. The coffee is a main flavor, but it seems to come from a mild blend. The vanilla give a good sweetness to the flavor and keeps the bitterness from the coffee away. There is a great balance.

M - Medium body, expected for a Porter.

O - This is a fantastic Porter. It falls short of Birth of Tragedy, but that's to be expected. I can't think of another better Porter that I've had. Overall balance, great but not overwhelming flavors. This is everything I wish all Porters could be.

Photo of Rutager
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big thank you to Franklinn for this treat from Vermont. Into the ol' Bruery tulip for you, Twilight!

Appearance. Pours a very dark brown, pretty much black in the glass. Topped with a finger of thick and creamy, slighlty orangy, tan head that leaves a little patchy lacing.

Smell. Dark roasted coffee, some vanilla and maybe some other sweet and peppery spices that I can't identify along with a little chocolate, dark malt ...even some grassy hops.

Taste. Dark coffee and some peppery spice, dark roasted malts, dry bakers chocolate and a touch of vanilla. Pretty dry overall with a ton of flavour.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with with smooth, below medium carbonation.

Overall. A very nice flavourful porter with plenty of coffee and a unique bit of spice. Very enjoyable on this Friday afternoon! Thanks again, Franklinn ...the only one who has correctly guessed the source of my internet name that I've been using for around 15 years now. Very impressive!!!

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Twilight Of The Idols from Hill Farmstead Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 867 ratings.