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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
97
world-class

846 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 846
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 404
Gots: 123 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
A Winter Porter brewed with Coffee and Cinnamon…Aged on Vanilla Beans.

(Beer added by: kingcrowing on 10-28-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 846 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Renobrew
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Renobrew, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of shuajw
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

shuajw, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of laxer8811
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

laxer8811, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of diverite
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

diverite, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of Seanniek91
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 500ml bottle into a Guinness imperial pint. Served just about cellar temp.

Appearance- Pitch black with small off-white head that left a nice ring around the top of the beer.

Smell- Chocolate malts and light coffee first. There's an oaky vanilla scent that keeps coming in and out. Light booze. No hops.

Taste- Very nice and roasty coffee mingles with the light sweetness of vanilla beans. Mild hop profile and chocolate malts finish very cleanly. Light metallic taste lingers.

Mouthfeel- This is how I want every porter to feel. Medium bodied with such a smooth finish and a tiny bit of heat at the back of the throat. Nectar.

Overall- Very nice winter porter that I should have drunk back in winter and not spring, but whatever. Quite nice. Hill Farmstead does it again.

Seanniek91, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Looks like chocolate milk right after a violent stir from a spoon. Milk chocolate color with a cluster of large bubbles atop the body. Completely opaque.

S-Nose is not incredibly intense but it displays a perfectly crafted aroma of coffee with cream. Mocha aroma along with some French vanilla. Smells creamy.

T-The flavor is very roasty and delicious. Espresso beans along with both milk and dark chocolate. Bitter coffee notes are balanced by a lactic milky taste. A robustly flavored Porter.

M-Feels like a Stout. Pretty viscous. Full bodied. Carbonation is very soft. Oily and creamy.

O/D-Awesome. Such a treat to try. One of the more imbibable dark brews I have had. Creamed coffee in beer form. Very happy. This brewery cannot do wrong!

VelvetExtract, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 12/01/12 notes. Big thanks to Franch for sharing a fresh growler of this at Zwanze Day 2012.

a - Pours a deep brown, almost black color, with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of coffee, roasted malts , vanilla, caramel malts, sweet milk chocolate, toasted malts, light cinnamon, and gingerbread. Awesome nose; ton of nice coffee, chocolate, and vanilla to it.

t - Tastes of coffee, milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malts, vanilla, cinnamon, spice, toasted malts, bread, burnt malts, espresso. Follows the nose very closely, which is a great thing. Love the taste.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy body, and no heat whatsoever. Great mouthfeel.

o - Overall a fantastic porter. I've had 2 darker beers from HF now between this and Damon and both have been great. This one just has a ton of coffee, vanilla, and chocolate to it, with no heat whatsoever and is easy to drink. Would love to have this one again sometime.

mdfb79, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of starrdogg
4.48/5  rDev +3%
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.

starrdogg, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of inlimbo77
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz, 2012
Hill Farmstead wine glass

A: Pours pretty much pitch black. Very dark brown color. Held up to light, nothing. Quarter finger of head. Light tan color. Faded quickly. Leaving lacing sheeting. Some reddish hues on edges.

S: Big roasted coffee character on the nose. Smells fabulous. But if you really dig in there you get that softness from the vanilla beans. Almost like it was a milk stout. Awesome!

T: Up front you don't get killed with that coffee. It's a beautiful roast character that isn't overpowering. Like I took from the nose, it's almost like a milk stout in flavor as well. Really mild on the bitterness, probably because of the vanilla bean aging. You do get that pronouced flavor meshing with the roast in the mid palate. Finishing wise, it's fairly dry. There is a lingering creaminess to it that I like.

M: That is a big medium or basically full bodied brew. Wow.

inlimbo77, Dec 03, 2012
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!

Kegatron, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of Gushue3
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Smaller brown head with some retention that leaves little lacing. Body is deep dark brownish and black

S- Nice combination of roast, chocolate and coffee. Theres a lighter sweet scent thats different.

T- Coffee beans take the forefront with some chocolate that make a full nice tasting porter. Theres some slight holiday spice notes hiding that comes out in the end. Great flavor.

M- Full body with pretty much no carbonation makes this smooth as hell. almost like a milkshake.

O- This stuff is fantastic. Awesome taste and feel which compliment each other nicely. I wish this stuff was bottled.

Gushue3, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of Satchboogie
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler poured into a hill farmstead glass

A: Pours black with just over a finger of fluffy brown head, fairly good retention, good lacing.

S: Big roasted malt character with chocolate, coffee, and a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. Just a little hop character.

T: Robust roasted malts (heavy roast without becoming burnt), bakers chocolate, lots of caramel and molasses. Fresh coffee upfront with a little hop character. The vanilla and cinnamon come out in the finish (mostly vanilla, just a touch of cinnamon). Very rich and malty.

M: Medium to slightly full body (for style), slightly low carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

O: Like Clockwork, Shaun has managed to create another magnificent beer. Very rich and chocolaty with lots of depth and great coffee and vanilla highlights. As good as it gets for the style.

Satchboogie, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of jbaker67
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pour is black and opaque, tons of tight caramel brown head. Nose is roasted coffee, assertive vanilla and rich chocolate, light char, fair spice to it. Taste is similar in comparison to the nose. Same aspects, coffee is light with the roast slightly stronger. Very rich chocolate and vanilla, light peppery tang to it. Balanced sweetness subtly behind showing a deep malt presence. Body is lighter, carb is assertive with a juicy texture and semi dry finish.

jbaker67, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of jlindros
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at the Hill Farmstead tasting room.

Tap at hf brewery

Big fluffy darker head, lacing, pitch black beer with no light.

Nose lots of dark malts, roast, hint of cocoa, black patent, chalky powdered choc, caramel, lots of oats, espresso fresh coffee grinds.

Taste creamy malts , chocolate milk and milk chocolate, hint of dark, cocoa, then coffee grinds and espresso, roasted malts, oats, caramel, vanilla, deep bakers chocolate, flaked and powdered cocoa and coffee. Finishes a bit bitter, dry, lots more chocolate and roast.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied, decent carb.

Overall really nice, great dark malt flavors without too much bitterness or any burnt flavors, nice and creamy and tasty, drinkable, a big time winner!

jlindros, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of madorb
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier then followed up with a taster @ Hill Farmstead.

Truly delicious beer - lots of coffee and chocolate flavor but with a solid underpinning of vanilla and spice in just the right amount to be impactful but not overbearing. I could drink a LOT of this beer.

Big regret is leaving the brewery without a growler of this. I'll just have to make do with my 8 bottles of various other tasties.

madorb, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of harrymel
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2012-13 winter. It's relatively fresh is what I'm saying.

It's black with a nice solid sheet of tan foam. Smells nice, coffee, cocoa, rich toasted graham crackers, bits of burnt toffee and a good dose of vanilla - but not overbearing. Flavor is rich with the tone of the nose and a little hint of pepper and almost a waxy crayon note. The bitterness is well matched with rich dark gooey chocolates and a little bit of dust. Full and smooth body with low carb and an off dry, but mucous producing finish. Nearly perfect mouthfeel for my money. nice beer as usual.

harrymel, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jeff for this bottle! F/W 2012 bottling. Poured in to HF tulip.

A - Black with one finger of cocoa coloured head.

S - Sweet vanilla up front with espresso, roast and milk chocolate aromas. Fairly sweet overall nose.

T - A huge espresso flavour up front that is immediately followed by sweet vanilla and milk chocolate. Some roast is also present in the background. The finish is sweet vanilla. A great overall flavour profile.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Light to moderate carbonation.

TheSevenDuffs, May 08, 2013
Photo of ghostwalker
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill from the source. Nice drive if you have the time!

A: Beautiful chocolate brown body with a dark brown head.

S: Nose is deep, dark, rich chocolate malt. Just scrumptious.

T: Flavor is smooth and rich chocolate with a noticeable spice contribution. Molasses, pumpkin pie, cinammon. Truly a wonderful sipper.

M: Slick and smooth. Even leaves a smooth residue.

O: Very nice porter. I'm sure I didn't get all of the complexity that is in there, but I really enjoyed this brew. One of my favorite porters ever.

ghostwalker, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of cfrances33
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to ilovevermont, poured into a HF stem.

Pour: Completely pitch black with the slightest dark brown edges to the glass. This glass is completely black. A finger and a half of khaki white head forms, that sticks around nicely and leaves solid lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted chocolate, with a significant coffee presence. A light smokiness, followed by some vanilla, but only just.

Taste: Really nice clean dark chocolate. Roasted coffee beans are present throughout, and provide a nice bitterness. Sweet milk chocolate then comes which mellows out any harshness from coffee bitterness. Finishes with an ever so slight touch of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: Holy amazing. Super velvety and creamy. This beer is amazingly drinkable, yet decadent to savor. Nailed the mouthfeel with this one.

Overall: Another incredible beer from Shaun Hill. Not sure if I prefer this over Everett or not. For now I'll say "yes."

cfrances33, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of mltobin
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twilight of... was served on-tap in Worcester MA.

Appearance is black with a light brown head. Upon smelling this, you know right away that you are in for a treat. It has vanilla and coffee on the nose, some malts. Then, with a taste and there is more of the coffee and vanilla, along with some cinnamon and some other winter spices. Roasted malts continue in the taste too. This is very well balanced and drinks easy, a smooth texture and finish. It would be great to drink a glass of this alongside chocolate chip cookies. A fantastic porter and well suited to a cold night in New England.

mltobin, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of Stevedore
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap twice at the Reservoir in Waterbury, VT. One 10oz pour each on 11/23 and 11/25, into a black lettered Hill Farmstead stemmed wine glass. The first time, I didn't know the full details of this beer, only that it was a porter.

Pours a fairly standard black body, with a minimal mocha coloured head that dissipates relatively quickly. Lacing consists of very small bubbles, but not quite lacy foamy, that slowly sink into the glass quickly. It really looks like a barrel aged stout, to be honest.

Smells fantastic and incredibly intense. Honestly, at first it smells like mint chocolate vanilla ice cream. I don't know how else to describe it. Remember, the first time I had this beer, I only knew it was a special porter but didn't know it had cinnamon, coffee and vanilla beans in it. So in that respect, this was a very surprising nose. As it warms up, more of the chocolate and roast qualities come out, but it is still very much dominated by that intense mint chocolate vanilla flavour. Very unique, have never smelled a beer like this.

Tasting this is an unique relevation. More of the bitter black coffee comes out in the taste, but it continues to taste like what it smells: mint chocolate vanilla ice cream. I'm sure there are better ways to describe it, but this is unique and incredibly flavourful.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy. Its very smooth and foamy yet not fizzy or prickly. Aftertaste is a nice vanilla ice cream flavor, a bit less of the mint. Lingers quite a bit in the palate, a very creamy brew.

This beer is as close to ice cream as I've ever tasted. I'm not going to lie, this might be a beer that you either don't care for or really enjoy. I would have given it a 4.25 overall had I reviewed it after the first time, but having it a second time gave me even greater appreciation for it. Remember, mint chocolate vanilla ice cream.

Re-review: Had this again out of the bottle, from the 11/2013 release. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass on New Year's Eve, 1/1/2014. Thank you FleetwoodMatt, for sending me a bottle.

Basically, this beer's flavour profile is very similar but the mouthfeel is definitely thinner bodied in comparison to what I recall on draft (and from the original review above). My guess is that it isn't as well carbonated as it was on draft. I'm going to conclude here that I certainly prefer this beer on draft, so if you've had it out of the bottle and thought it was good but not great, I encourage you to try it out on draft on your next visit to Vermont.

Stevedore, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of SABERG
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a modified tulip. Growler from the brewery within 24 hrs.

A - Dark, some light head and short lacing. The color of caramel.

S - Vanilla, caramel, roast malts, some spice winter based, cinammon, cocoa. What a pleasure.

T - All those smells come roaring through, what a smorgashbourg Difficult to track but a pleasure to enjoy. Vanilla, cocoa, a hint of bourbon?

M- Smooth feel with a moderate oils, not a dry ending. The lingering is spiced, vanilla, a touch of coffee, and cocoa.

O - This is a fabulous winter treat. The balance is spot on. Delicate and well defined. Thanks to the fine folks who crafted this remarkable offering.

Cheers

SABERG, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of jaasen64
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle purchased at the brewery. Poured into HF glass, served slightly below cellar temperature.

A- Pours a dark jet black with about a finger's worth of light mocha creamy head that has decent retention but fades to a very thin layer and leaves some spotty lacing. Nice consistent carbonation.

S- Coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, a tiny bit of nutmeg, nice aroma strength. Aromas are extremely well balanced with the coffee and cinnamon blending very well together and neither dominating.

T- Light coffee with creamy vanilla and a hint of subtle cinnamon on the finish. Very well balanced and nice level of spices without anything that dominates too much. Very flavorful.

M- Medium bodied, pretty average body for a porter, nice carbonation for a porter, very easy to drink.

O- This was another fantastic porter from Hill Farmstead. Twilight was very flavorful and extremely well balanced. In my opinion the subtle spices and vanilla were perfect in this beer and it was very easy to drink. Overall I like the chocolate and coffee that come out a little bit more in Everett (the vanilla takes a little bit of that away), but this is also a fantastic porter that I'm glad they are making a regular seasonal offering. I definitely recommend trying it out.

jaasen64, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of woosterbill
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the NYC Gingerman into a goblet. Reviewed from notes.

A: Black body with a finger of creamy light brown head; average retention and good lacing. Solid.

S: Rich roasted notes of espresso and dark chocolate, along with some oak, dark candied fruit, and spice - anise and cinnamon. Lovely.

T: Opens with huge, authentic-tasting cocoa, molasses, and anise. Vanilla oak and candied fruit come on strong midway through, leading to a smoothly bittersweet finish. Absolutely decadent.

M: Robust medium body with light, soft carbonation. Pleasant enough.

D: I don't know the ABV, but I could drink tons. Very rich and yet supremely smooth.
[edit: I originally gave this a 5 for Drinkability, but in light of the change to Overall I've lowered the score to a 4.5]

Notes: This was just a fantastic porter. The spice, roast, and sweetness all worked together beautifully, making the whole package one of the most enjoyable and satisfying winter beers I've had. I wish this were more readily available, and count myself lucky to have gotten to try it.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another nice beer shared by Matt, starrdogg.

It pours a really nice black to dark brown color with a nice tan ring of head and some great lacing left with a swirl. The smell is a great melange of the added flavors of coffee, vanilla bean, and the some kind of astringent malts. The coffee isn't a great quality coffee, almost like a instant coffee almost, and has some spicy notes to it. The taste is very nice with a great vanilla bean flavor added to the coffee flavor and nice malty porter base. Taste pops nicely. The feel is ok, kind of drier than I like in a porter with additions like this and medium in body. Overall a good beer but I don't love it as much as others at the tasting did.

Edit: had this same batch tonight, and the smell is significantly better, maybe with some age the coffee mellows out and everything seems to coalesce very nicely with a bit of age, a nice roasty solid example of a porter aroma. It was noted that the alcohol level is perfect for a chocolate coffee vanilla porter, it's also very nice in subtlety. The feel also seems silkier than last time. Nice! Thanks to Andrew MacWilliams for the bottle!

Dreadnaught33, Nov 03, 2012
Twilight Of The Idols from Hill Farmstead Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 846 ratings.