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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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 870
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 427
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 UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at my tasting.

Fall/Winter 2012 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy 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, coffee beans, and vanilla. Taste is much the same with a rich cocoa, coffee, and vanilla flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some great aromas and flavors.

Photo of metter98
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color and has just notes of amber near the edges of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a finger high brownish tan head consisting of large bubbles that died down but left a good amount of bubbles still covering the surface.
S: Moderately strong aromas of roasted coffee beans in the nose.
T: The taste has lots of flavors of coffee beans (slightly roasted) and chocolate malts along with notes of vanilla beans, the latter of which particularly stand out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: If you like coffee and vanilla beans, you'll find this to be a beer that's packed with flavors and is also very well balanced.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled at the brewery on 11.04.2010. Poured into a Bruery tulip.

Color is near black with a really strong tan head and loads of spotty lacing with a ring of light head and spots atop throughout. The nose brings a really nice, slight bourbon character. It's not overpowering, but is somewhat mellow with a nice vanilla and oak creaminess to it. Some slight chocolate in the background as well.

The taste is nice with a bittersweet chocolate character layered underneath a good presence of vanilla. Again, some really nice and mellow bourbon notes and a hint of oak. Medium body with a slight hint of booze. Overall, a fantastic brew from Shaun and the vanilla really shines through.

Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours out half foam and half liquid, with the beige foam eventually desceding into the onyx liquid leaving a few shards here and there

Smell: Coffee and cinnamon prominent, with the dark chocolate and vanilla tones underneath

Taste: Unlike in the aroma, it is the chocolate that first hits the tastebuds, with the cinnamon comingling with the hops to bring spicy bitterness into the middle; the vanilla arrives next and is joined by the coffee, after the swallow, with all of the elements in an interplay in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; very creamy

Overall: A really good porter (or is it a stout) that brings a lot of complexity

Thanks, wildcats10, for the opportunity

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Riding on the heels of Everett Porter, the winterized version ramps up with added vanilla and coffee, and a spicy zing that only cinnamon can provide. Without over doing it, this in many ways is the perfect winter beer, or spring beer, or summer beer.... you get the point.

But with the most well-built Porters, Twilight of the Idols pours with the deepest, darkest and most ominous dark brown color that is could easily be confused with Stout. Billowing with a creamy, dense, sand-stained head, the foam slowly recedes into a blanket across the glass that holds crazy-firm and laces the glass with broken lace in the beer's wake.

Chocolate, coffee, cream and vanilla fill the nose with a lush scent of dessert, robust, and ale scents. Firmly malty and balanced, that scent is decorated with notions of tangy yougurt, nondescript spice, and woodish hops.

Its delicious taste is lead by a blend of bold roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Those tastes are supported by the lavish taste of sweetened whipped cream, heavy cream, vanilla, and a tangy malt taste that offers up a pleasant acidity to match that of the roast. Delving a tad deeper, the roasted flavors reel in auxiliary tastes of walnuts, woody hops, a modest spice of cinnamon, and a tinge of burnt fruit. Finishing earthy and modestly bitter- the coffee tones seem to carry the beer's final impressions.

Full bodied, but not absurd- the beer's velvety texture presents its cream character early and retains its structure very deep into the session. A gradual turn to dryness yields a malty-dry close with light warmth, slim acidity, and high rate of satisfaction!

Its sinful of how well this beer satisfies the taste- and does so with no real gimmicks, over-selling attributes, and keeping within style. Its raises the bar of what is the best Porter on the market!

Photo of largadeer
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks, Nick. Growler into a tulip glass.

Opaque dark brown with a black center. A small tan head forms and quickly recedes to a thin collar.

The nose is heavy on roasted malt, quite bready and bordering on burnt. It smells like a bar of bittersweet chocolate when it warms. Pleasant enough, but not terribly aromatic.

It's bolder on the palate, with flavors of anise and baker's chocolate, burnt bread, French roast coffee. I've read that this was brewed with cinnamon and vanilla, but I couldn't pick out those flavors above all the dark malt. The mouthfeel is dry, medium-light in body, perhaps a touch thin for the 7.5% ABV. An enjoyable beer, easy to drink, but not particularly special.

Photo of oline73
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours very dark, almost black with a layer of light tan head. The head fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet and packed full or roast. Some mild dark fruit and chocolate in there as well.

Taste: This is a very smooth beer. Lots of roast, but it is smooth like silk. Dark chocolate shows up as well. The finish is a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side with very mild carbonation. The finish is dry.

Overall: This is just a fantastic porter. Nothing I didn't like about it.

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 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!

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 MasterSki
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Sean, to cap off a day of debaucherous drinking. Served in an unknown vessel - probably a Darkness glass.

A - Late-rising tan foam settles to a thin collar, leaving minimal lace. Black body.

S - Huge, rich chocolate cake aroma, with notes of molasses, vanilla, high-end coffee, roasted malts, and a touch of smokiness.

T - The taste is also heavy on the chocolate and roasted malts, with light coffee and vanilla bean notes creeping in from time-to-time. The cinnamon finally makes its presence known in the finish, but it's exceptionally well-integrated. I don't really like cinnamon much (particularly in beer), but it works in this case.

M - Medium body, pleasant medium-low carbonation, chewy and sticky texture, with a viscosity that implies a bigger beer. No perceptible alcohol.

D - Delicious stuff that I would gladly drink again on any occasion. I'd like to get another growler, as I don't think my mental facilities were quite up for the complexity and depth of flavor when we drank this beer. I'm extremely hopeful for Birth of Tragedy.

Photo of mdfb79
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

At the time of this review, this beer is #8 on the "Top Beers - American Porter" list on beeradvocate.com. Impressive, at least to me for sure. Served in a stemmed tulip from Hlil Farmstead. This has been a long time want and brings me slightly closer to finishing the BA top 250 list. So that's pretty sweet (four to go).

Beer is black with a thin tan head of small bubbles, head needs coaxing to come out but once it does it is made up of tiny bubbles, some lacing, moderate retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, mild chocolate, no cinnamon unfortunately.

Beer is medium in body and fairly sweet, the finish isn't bitter or spicy at all, it is super drinkable and makes me happy. I really enjoy this beer and hope to have it again in the future, perhaps on draft or fresher when the spices are still dominant.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to benz08 for picking this up on his visit to VT in December.

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some very dark amber highlights and a light to moderate amount of gentle visible carbonation at the surface. The beer has a finger tall dark tan beige that slowly reduces to an extremely thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted malts with moderate to heavy amounts of chocolate and slightly lesser aromas of vanilla and coffee.

T: Moderate to strong flavors of dark roasted malts with some chocolate notes to it, then there are some moderate flavors of freshly brewed coffee. After that, there is a light amount of vanilla that imparts a touch of sweetness. Moderate amounts of bitterness which fades over a fairly short amount of time.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and slightly creamy.

O: This is a really enjoyable brew that I was happy to get my hands on, and I would be happy to have a few more of these - it is a really nice brew. Very nice complexity to both the smell and the taste with nice coffee and vanilla notes (one of my favorite combinations).

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 mothman
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pure black in color. Tan head.

Flavors of coffee and chocolate. A lot of roast. The vanilla and cinnamon show. It is actually kind of spicy. Red hots. Very malty.

Mouthfeel is roasty and smooth. Ends kind of dry.

Overall this is a nice coffee stout. Very unique. I couldn't drink a lot of it, however.

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

Thanks go to BA Deuane for sharing this growler over the weekend. I got to have several pours into a snifter. The brew appears black in color with thick mocha colored head. The cap fades slowly producing a full wall of lace. A light swirl revives a finger back to the surface.

The smell is pretty strong with vanilla beans. Almost a sticky feeling to the nostrils before the onset of roasty coffee, charred grain, earthen elements and then citrus hops. Across the back as this brew warms up, it is somewhat reminescent of an oyster stout with its mineral inclusion and roasty elements.

The flavor is super roasty with dark kilned grain and an accenting bitterness of citrus bitter coffee coupled with herbal hops. A pronounced sticky vanilla bean flavor and sweetness persists though the middle of this brews flavor profile. The finish goes back to a bit of that previous mentioned oyster stout feel with plenty of mineral character somewhat earthen and reminescent of cinnamon bark.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is smooth and easy drinking with lots of pleasant roasty stout quality contrasted by sticky sweet vanilla bean addition. I had no problems finishing my glass and reaching for more. My only complaint is the mineral aspect thy seemed a bit out of place.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by starrdogg. Thanks Matt!

The beer is dark brown with a quarter inch of beige head. The aroma is roasty, with a touch of spice. Vanilla presence hits immediately upon the first sip. While vanilla presence is muted in the aroma, it is rather assertive in the flavor. Smooth, silky feel with lingering vanilla, chocolate. Delicious. Another fabulous beer from Hill Farmstead.

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 billab914
3.96/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a tasting glass. Black in color with a huge frothy head to it. Nice head retention and great lacing. Great looking porter overall.

Aroma has very nice notes of both chocolate and vanilla. There is a herbal almost piny presence to it as well. Vanilla is pretty good, but the aroma doesn't seem to quite come together as well as the taste does.

The taste has some really nice roasted malt, chocolate, and vanilla flavors to it. The vanilla lingers into the finish. There is a little coffee to it as well. Very smooth and drinkable and the vanilla compliments it perfectly.

Mouthfeel is creamy and somewhat thick with carbonation being moderate. Great mouthfeel for the style. Overall, it was a very good beer. The aroma was a little off but the taste completely made up for it. Very good beer overall, I especially loved the vanilla component.

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 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 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 johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a creamy mocha head that persists forever leaving lots of lace on the way down the glass. Smells of chocolate and a hint of roast and coffee with a solid shot of vanilla, a touch of ash and earthy hops. The flavor is rich chocolate, caramel and coffee up front with again a bit of vanilla contrast. Sweet flavor with little to no hop flavor or bitterness. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a creamy velvety smooth mouthfeel. I tried this on tap this weekend and thought the vanilla was a bit too forward, but trying this bottle its seems just right to me. This is a really nice porter, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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