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

870 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 870
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 428
Gots: 117 | 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: 870 | Reviews: 154
Photo of flexabull
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of cbeer88, thanks again!

Pours a dark brown almost black color with a very nice tan head. Great looking beer.

Aromas are of dark ripe fruits, brewed coffee, roasted malts, and a hint of vanilla.

Taste is sweet up front, milky and creamy, with notes of cocoa and vanilla. Finish is crisp, with a slightly earthy hop note.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky, with nice full body.

Overall, a very nice beer. Leans a little too much to the sweet side for my tastes, but still well crafted and enjoyable.

Photo of Brad007
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black color with a nice, thick brown head.

Aroma is full of cream and chocolate. Just a hint of roasted coffee.

Taste is dark and rich with roasted coffee and a light hint of cream and chocolate.

Only a touch of roasted coffee remains. It pretty much seeps into your pores.

This ale is marvelous. I would expect no less from Hill Farmstead. Shaun knows how to take a style and make an excellent interpretation of that style.

Photo of ThreeLions
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle split with Hab11

Appearance: Jet black. Bottle pours softly with little to no but noticeable carbonation. Even darker in color than Everett.

Smell: Chocolate malts come through the strongest. Not sure I would even know there are caramel malts if the bottle didn't mention it. The coffee is there in the nose as well, but the chocolate is the most pronounced smell. Not sure I pick up the vanilla either. Almost pick up a creme de menthe smell that I wonder whether or not it will translate to the taste.

Taste: Absolutely delicious. The taste has much more of a medley of flavors than the aroma. Chocolate comes through at first but takes a step back to let the vanilla, coffee and roasted barley come together in perfect harmony. Very well balanced beer this one.

Mouthfeel: Not overwhelming but very good malt presence. Far from a watery mouthfeel. Creamy, but not silky. Sessionable and very pleasant feel.

Overall: Damn good beer. Great balance overall. Very sessionable and rewarding beer. Quite complex for what can sometimes be a style that can be overpowered by a particular ingredient. Not my favorite offering from Hill Farmstead but honestly I don't have a single complaint about this. Very nice job.

Photo of justforrazors
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler on 10/24/13

A- Pitch black with a 1/2 inch tan head that fades to a thick ring around the glass. Medium carbonation evident in bubbles.

S- A ton of roast malt with a touch of cocoa and vanilla, although the roast malt dominates the nose.

T- the cinnamon is huge- vanilla is also present with some chocolate malt (maybe cocoa nibs too) and a nice roasty finish that provides some astringency. The astringency is actually pretty nice, is makes for a quicker finish and leaves minimal alcohol burn.

M- Medium-high body, low carbonation, astringent finish from the roast malt/tannins.

O- I don't remember it being this big of a cinnamon flavor last year. Also, there seems to be less vanilla. Very good, although not the beer I have loved in past years. Still amazing, although I wanted something that simply wasn't there, mainly less roast and astringency, and more vanilla and chocolate.

Photo of MDDMD
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown black color with a decent tan head and some lacing

S-chocolate, coffee, dark malt, molasses

T-dark roasted malt, chocolate, espresso, molasses, hint of cinnamon, vanilla,slight char, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-very nice porter, good flavor and balance, not as smooth as Everett

Photo of homebrew311
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark brown with barely any head.
Nose is dark bitter chocolate, earthy hop character in the middle with a little bit of of vanilla at the back. The coffee is present on the nose but much tamer than I would expect for a coffee porter. The taste features a stronger presence of vanilla, chocolate, a touch of cinnamon on the back. Very nice. Overall, tons of flavor and decent balance, coffee is more backseat than I expected.

Photo of koopa
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at the Black Back Pub this past weekend.

It was explained to me that the recipe has been tweaked once as batch 2 sat on vanilla beans for an extra month.

This review is for batch 1...

Appearance: Pours a deep attractive brown mahogany with a brown crown that displays decent retention and lace.

Smell: Nice roast malt, cinnamon, and the tiniest hint of vanilla.

Taste: Same as nose but the vanilla doesn't make much of an impact.

Mouthfeel: Thick side of medium bodied with subtle carbonation...nearly perfect for the style in my opinion.

Drinkability: The abv and mouthfeel hold it back a touch but I definitely wanted more than one pour and had more than one....heck I had more than two :)

Photo of rodkin
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark black, with a small tan head. Decent lacing.

Smell is mocha coffee, vanilla, honey-like sweetness, slight roasty bitterness, some fruitiness, spice.

Taste is great. Coffee, vanilla, honey, slightly astringent burnt roasted coffee, sweet fruitiness, caramel, cinnamon spice. Very sweet, but the burnt coffee bitterness and bit of spice balances it nicely.

Medium thick, maybe slightly on the thinner side but it doesn't detract too much. Fairly carbonated, maybe slightly more than I'd like. But not much more.

This is a great beer. My first exposure to HF, and I'm definitely a fan.

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

Chilled growler into a glass. I think this was shared by nickd717. From long-ago notes.

A: The growler was a bit cold, so the beer (black body) initially poured flat and eventually generated a tan head that lasted briefly before receding into a thin collar. No lace.

S: This is more chocolate-forward than Everett (which to me is primarily roasty). Vanilla, coffee, roasted grain, and some smoke are noted.

T: Again, chocolate-forward, but roasted grain is stronger here than the nose implied it would be. Coffee and vanilla are also weaker than the nose implied. There is a nice spice kick (cinnamon?); that and a nutty molasses flavor give the beer a wintry feel.

M: Medium-bodied, with low-medium carbonation. It has a little lingering stickiness, but it's not oily.

O: An outstanding porter. I think Everett takes the cake for me, but this is a fine entry in Hill Farmstead's recipe book...

EDIT: In retrospect, uploading this review maybe 2 years later, I realized that this must have been the base beer for Birth of Tragedy. Nice. No wonder that beer turned out to be so exceptional.

Photo of axeman9182
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Cafe D'Alsace, and served in a tall thin glass.

Twilight of the Idols pours a solid black, with about a finger of mocha foam left crowning the beer. Head retention is just average, and there's a little bit of lacing left stuck around the glass. The nose is nice, dominated by milk chocolate with a strong spicy cinnamon presence. The flavor profile takes things to the next level though, starting with a creamy chocolate open. Cinnamon comes in for a short time in the mid palate, before coffee and more chocolate close things off. The finish is like the liquid equivalent of snacking on chocolate covered coffee beans. The mouthfeel is also top notch, very full and creamy for a 7.5% beer, with a subtle and understated carbonation. I'd be shocked if there weren't a healthy dose of oats in the grain bill, because the body is just that silky smooth. Twilight of the Idols was the first non hoppy beer I've had from Hill Farmtead, and it left me just as impressed with them as I was by their outstanding IPAs.

Photo of mtomlins
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.
Bottled on 11/2014; Poured 2014/03/31
Thanks to UncleJazz for the bottle!!

A: Pours a dark black and up to a tall creamy, tan head that sticks around for a while, gently falling to a thin creamy collar and leaving nice lacing as it goes.

S: The nose is assertive and dominated by dark roasted malt, coffee and some spice. Their is an off note in the background (stale inner tube air?), but it might just be the spice.

T: On the palate, the dark roasted malt comes through big, rich and sweet and is accompanied by dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, espresso, holiday spice cake and vanilla. The finish dries out a bit with a slight hoppy bitterness and maybe a touch metallic.

M: There is a medium + body and nice carbonation delivering a silky smooth, round and creamy mouthfeel.

O: Overall an excellent beer; the nose and taste are very enticing and complex (though maybe a touch off). The subtle treatments and additions to this beer at the various stages of brewing (coffee, cinnamon, vanilla beans) all work very well together making a beer greater than the sum of its parts.

Photo of dickieb
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a slightly bigger than average coffee head and average lacing. The smell is quite faint with nothing but grains and chocolate malts coming through. The flavor on the other hand is rich and complex with chocolate vanilla coffee and lingering spice and cinnamon notes finish it off. The mouthfeel is not overpowering and just about right and this is a very drinkable brew. The first "dark" beer I have had from Hill Farmstead and another great beer.

Photo of davewlfpckfan29
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

WOW. I am lucky enough to have this brewery so close to me. I have had this on tap both at Hill Farmstead, and now at Parker Pie. I have purchased the 750ml bottle as well because I like this beer so much.

Beautiful dark brown color, tan lacing which sits at the top

The smell of the beer is very pleasing.

Vanilla and coffee. Yes. But also much more taste from spices, such a great balance of so much that is going on in this beer.
Delicious.

Smooth mouthfeel, very easy to drink a couple glasses of this.

Photo of andrewinski1
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Crop. Served in a nonic glass with a small dark tan head. The color is very black.

The aroma is not very strong, but some mildly sweet chocolate.

The taste is excellently rounded with lots of sweet chocolate and vanilla. The finish has a nice coffee emphasis without leaving any harsh bitterness.

The body is medium with a nice soft carbonation; this is a little smooth.

The flavor is unbeleivable here. Hill Farmstead remains one of my all time favorites.

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 Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Hen of the Wood, Waterbury, VT.

This was a great and surprising selection to be seen at HotW, considering they only keep 2 or 3 beers on tap. Nice seeing something other than Edward on tap in the area (not that there's anything wrong with Edward).

Deep black pour into a snifter, with a small, sturdy cap of brown head that sank to a wispy layer and dotted the glass with lace. In the nose, roasty malts and coffee, vanilla beans, some caramel and milk chocolate sweetness. Taste was nicely balanced. On the sweeter end: milk chocolate, vanilla, marshmallow; on the roastier end: dark malts, cocoa, coffee, toasted grains. I didn't really get any cinnamon, either because I wasn't searching for it, or because it had faded (not sure of the date on this keg). Smooth mouthfeel, medium-full body, moderate to low carbonation. Easily drinkable and extremely tasty.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 12.14.12

A - Pours a dark brown with a one inch medium brown-tan head with great retention.

S - Coffee mostly, then roasted chocolate malts, some very faint vanilla.

T - Smooth chocolate up-front, then bitter coffee and finishes with nice vanilla.

D - Decent carbonation with a medium body.

O - Nice layers of chocolate, coffee then some vanilla.

Photo of HopHead84
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12/29/2012

2012 Fall/Winter release 500ml bottle poured into Hill Farmstead stemware.

A: The essence of black, possessing neither brown nor crimson tones when held to light. The khaki head is mousse-like and lingers for a few minutes before settling to a bubbly froth. Sheets of lacing are scattered.

S: Firm roasted malt presence (slightly charred) with soft vanilla notes and earthy coffee. Dark chocolate is pervasive and there's a little licorice in there. I'm not really getting cinnamon in the aroma, despite the site's description of the beer. I'm not sure if this batch has it.

As the beer opens up I detect a nutty quality to the coffee, and now I'm getting some cinnamon. Very nice.

T: Bittersweet dark chocolate blends with roasted grains and a little licorice. Coffee is potent, bringing to mind earth and char. Vanilla is soft up front but a bit stronger on the back end and it tastes quite nice. There's a moderate level of bitterness and a little alcohol in the charred coffee finish. Cinnamon becomes apparent when the beer warms to room temperature, bringing to mind Mexican chocolate.

M: Lower full body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is chewy, sticky, silky, and viscous. Hill Farmstead nailed this aspect of the beer.

Overall: I'm really enjoying this. The beer has a nice blend of flavors that go well with the base Porter. It really opens up when allowed to breathe.

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

Served on tap @prohibition pig in waterbury VT

A: super dark brown, just about black with a nice finger of creamy mocha head, this looks delicious. The head recedes nicley, not much lacing though.

S: I get sweet milk chocolate, with a touch of dark fruit. first off, then coffee with a bit of creamy vanilla, then as the beer warms I begin to notice the cinnamon giving a vague cinnamon teddy graham note.... A touch of alcohol a well. Loving the aroma, particuarly as it warms.

T: milk chocolate coffe and vanill, reminds me of chocolate milk but mocha, the cinnamon comes in a touch on the end.... Sadly I do not get the teddy Graham's I gt in the nose....

M: heavy medium body with lower carbonation... Mouthfeel is slick and velvety with a dry finish. Very full bodied for a 7.5 abv.

O: a really good porter, don't really know what else to say... A touch of sweetness to it for the style and a hint of dark fruit, but overall deffinatly try this if you get the chance.

Photo of yourefragile
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL growler served in a HF wine glass.

Pours a rich chocolate black with a quickly dissipating mocha head. Dots of lacing and wet legs line the glass. Aroma starts with mild smoke, bread and burnt malt, and turns mildly sweet with molasses, milk chocolate, vanilla bean and light cream. Flavor has a bready and coffee base, more roasted malt and a baker's chocolate finish that isn't particularly sweet. Vanilla and molasses subtly blend in and out of the body without ever being cloying. Biggest knock on this is the slightly thin body and watery finish. Nowhere as robust as Everett and too thin for the style and ABV for my taste. Regardless, an excellent, unique porter but I'll just stick to Everett.

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 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.

Twilight Of The Idols from Hill Farmstead Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 870 ratings.