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Twilight Of The Idols - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Twilight Of The IdolsTwilight Of The Idols

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

169 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 169
Hads: 965
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 21.03%
Wants: 455
Gots: 163 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Porter | 7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

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

Twilight of the Idols is our winter porter. We brew Twilight each autumn, with a touch of locally roasted coffee and cinnamon, and age it on a blend of select vanilla beans. Originally conceived with a friend in 2009 while brewing in Denmark, the name of this annual release is inspired by the title of one of the last texts written by one of our philosophical idols, Friedrich Nietzsche.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 169 | Hads: 965
Photo of Gosox8787
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 500 mL bottle chilled and poured into my Dogfish Head tulip glass. Picked up from the brewery today.

Appearance: Obviously, near pitch black in color. Doesn't pour a really aggressive head, but the beige head does recede into a nice lacing around the glass.

Aroma: Coffee and chocolate notes really stand out in the aroma. After the initial burst of roasty, porter notes, there is definitely a nice vanilla presence. The vanilla is definitely there but not overdone at all. Some nice cinnamon also peeks through.

Taste: Really nice fresh coffee and milk chocolate notes. Really nice combination of coffee bitterness and sweetness from the chocolate and caramel of the malts. The vanilla is not too strong, but compliments the other flavors very well. Some light cinnamon notes as well. Very complex and extremely drinkable and most importantly, tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with average/low carbonation for the style. Warming throughout.

Overall, probably my favorite non-barrel aged porter ever. Incredibly drinkable and complex. All the additions to this beer (coffee, vanilla, cinnamon) work well together and complement each other. Nothing is too heavy handed and it makes for an incredible porter. Having this released during the winter season was also a great choice as it drinks great in the cold weather.

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Photo of SABERG
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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

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Photo of unclejazz
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap on Sunswick 35/35 last week and have been thinking about it ever since. I have had some good porters since then, but they all bring me back to this.

A-is for alluring. The velveting reddish tan color of the head about a finger thick laid on top of black body with ample carbonation.

S-is for sultry. This mixture of anise, coffee, and cocoa with a roasted smoky background. dang amazing.

T-is for toffee. this came through in taste and i must have missed the smell, but it is delicious. this flavor cuts through me like the wind outside.

O-I had seen good things about Hill Farmstead and thought I would not have a chance to sample their wares. Thanks to the great taps of Queens. Vermont is not too far away, maybe a road trip is in order.

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Photo of JizackFH
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Sunswick 35/35 in Astoria, NY on 11/27/11.
Review taken from notes.

This beer pours a really dark brown color. There is a small finger of light tan head on top of it. The head sticks around for a bit, and it leaves behind a few specs of lace behind as it recedes. The nose is roasty and there are aromas of coffee, chocolate, and a bit of dark fruit. There is also a bit of vanilla and molasses that comes out. The taste starts off with a strong roasted malt presence. There are some good flavors of milk chocolate and coffee that stand out. Also, there are flavors of vanilla, dark fruit, molasses, and a bit of cinnamon. The finish leaves some lingering roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate behind on the palate. This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a rich velvety feel to it. There a good amount of roasted malt bitterness here, as well a nice dose of sweetness. It coats the mouth nicely and really lets you taste all of it. The roasted bitterness and sweetness sticks to the palate and lingers for a bit. This has good drinkability. It is a really tasty beer, and I could easily have a few glasses of it in an evening. Overall, I think this is a good beer and a good example of the style. This is a solid beer, and I recommend trying it out. I would buy it again.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 ML bottle poured into a grand service glass. Liquid comes out dark brown and is black in the deepest parts of the glass with brown highlights around the edges. The hard pour came out with dark tan cap that leaves better than average lacing.

Smells is very, very good. Lot's of dark roasted, to slightly charred grains. In additions there are hints of a of coffee with a back aroma of vanilla. All of the aromas mesh together nicely and even gives a slight liquorish smell to it as well, overall it's pretty robust.

Taste is also very good, maybe a slight but not as strong as I expected based on the smell. Immediately you can taste the earthy sweet grains. A little bready similar to toast that got left in a little too long with some molasses. Definitely a coffee flavor a darker roast than the smell would indicate. At the end there's a slight hint of the vanilla.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's certainly full with a good carbonation level. It's very smooth, almost silky then leads to a nice dry finish that's pretty clean. Very drinkable, one to slowly enjoy and/or even share, but anybody who likes porters could very easily polish this one off. A well done seasonal brew. Huge props to BBG for sharing this one.

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Photo of davey101
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fall/Winter 2012 vintage. 500ml bottle into a tulip glass. The HF website lists this beer as being brewed with coffee and cinnamon, but the ingredient lists and description on the label has no mention of cinnamon. Recipe change perhaps?

A - Pours a very dark black body. Holding it up to the light lets just a bit shine through to show a very dark brown color. Dense and creamy two finger mocha head forms and dissipates rather slowly into a thin cap with thick edging. Lacing and retention is just insane on this beer. Super sticky and clinging foam.

S - Roasty and smoky with intense espresso beans and rich vanilla. Finish is of sweet milk chocolate and a touch of spice. Excellent aroma, very dark and roasty.

T - Roasted malts lead into a strong vanilla presence. Notes of coffee and sweet milk chocolate intertwine. The intense roastiness of the beer is cut by an almost syrup like level of sweetness. Extremely decadent and delicious but slightly cloying.

M - Creamy and silky with a perfect level of carbonation. Swishing the beer in your mouth causes it to instantly froth up. It finishes surprisingly dry which helps with the intense syrupy sweetness of the beer. The mouthfeel is just perfect here.

O - An exceedingly complex and intense porter. I assume Everett is the base beer due to matching abv's. I do prefer Everett in that its much simpler and basic while perfecting all the qualities that make a world class porter. The addition of ingredients seems to make a great thing a bit less great. Still a world class porter that is exceedingly enjoyable on a cold ass night.

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Photo of fmccormi
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Straight pour from a 500ml pry-off bottle to a 10oz stemmed tasting glass (TH small stemware). This beer is about three (possibly four?) years old. It was sitting in my basement for the past couple of years, but it recently migrated to my fridge, where it’s been for the past week or so.

Appearance (5.0): This pours a very dark, translucent mahogany brown/nearly black body, capped by a good three fingers of cappuccino-colored foam, which dies down at a slow pace to leave a cookie-like platform of bubbles. It leaves a collar all the way around the glass, linked to the head with little stalagmites of thin, lacy foam. This is unbelievably attractive.

Smell (4.25): Molasses, pumpernickel, dark cocoa, a light espresso note, and raw cacao come through in the nose. The malt body is most obvious, driven by the dark, molasses-like sweetness, balanced out by the cocoa and espresso aromas. This smells great—richer and deeper than the average porter, and more like a stout.

Taste (4.5): Compared to the nose, this is more driven by the dark (but surprisingly soft, not acrid) cocoa, with a drying coffee flavor, like what you get in cake made with espresso powder. There’s an almost jammy, nimble, underlying sweetness propping up the drier cocoa and coffee flavors. This is bright and surprisingly fruity (a little strawberry and sweet raspberry, even), but does a great job maintaining a balance between the lighter and darker notes. Unbelievably drinkable.

Mouthfeel (5.0): Whereas the aroma and flavor reflect more of a stout profile, the mouthfeel is more porter: the body is on the light- side of medium-weight, slick and smooth, but also somewhat dry. The carbonation comes in quiet as a mouse, propping up the body with velvet-smooth bubbles before foaming up with a plush feel just before washing out. It manages to be light but rich at the same time, and generally full of character.

Overall (4.5): There’s not a bad thing you can say about this beer—it’s rich, full, light, soft, dark, somehow fruity . . . I honestly don’t know how they fit all of this into one beer that still manages to be flexible, nimble, and thoroughly drinkable. And, I’m amazed at how well this has held up after so much time. Shawn Hill’s talent has, evidently, been clear for a long time.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Between two batches bottled in different years, this beer has shifted between a 4.0 and a 4.5 rating. As such, I marked my current rating as simply an average of the two.

One batch had far stronger vanilla and coconut notes on the palate, warranting a 4.5. Without it, the entire beer seemed to fall apart from my reference standard for the beer, marking it a 4.0.

If you land a good batch, the beer will taste great. If you land an off batch, the beer will be good.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of Retail1LO
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sampler from a 750mL swingtop. Pours jet black with a thin head. Nose is roasty and sweet. Taste is mildly smokey with a nice tinge of bitter ess. Mouthfeel is pretty decent. Well carbonated, slightly astringent. Im not a huge porter fan, but this is one of the beat examples of the style I've had.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.28/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours solid black with 1/4 inch of mocha head. Sticky lacing.

S-Fresh ground coffee, baking chocolate, banana peel, dulce de leche. A hint of star anise.

T/M-Smoky and roasty, with a rich, velvety smooth body and a lightly warming finish. A little anise bitterness up front, followed by soft, mellow notes of drinking chocolate and foamed milk. The finish shows delicate notes of bittering hop and cocoa powder.A little warming alcohol on the back of the throat.

O-First beer I've had from Hill Farmstead and it's impressive. Totally worth driving to the middle of nowhere to pick up a growler.

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Photo of tewaris
3/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thoroughly ordinary and the perhaps the only sub par (or at par) HF beer I have had. For one, it is over carbonated so that takes quite a bit away from this beer. It is a porter alright and suffers from the excessive acidity that porters tend to have sometimes. Among the "spices" part, I get some vanilla and that is about it. Thin body and harsh feel, I found it tough to go through my sample.

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Photo of Gushue3
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of claaark13
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of Kinsman
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - black with a small mocha head.

S - typical porter aroma. Anise etc

T - far different than the nose. Coffee, cinnamon, a touch of vanilla, anise, molasses in the finish.

M - medium, good amount of carbonation.

O - awesome, my favorite non barrel aged porter. wish I had gotten a second growler.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Farmhouse Tap and Grill. Poured into a small goblet. A thin, light-tan, head sits on top of a black body. The head maintains well with beautiful lacing.

Vanilla and roasty dark malts mix with a hint of coffee bean on the nose. Lots of well roasted malts.

The flavor follows the nose, but adds more to it with vanilla, chocolate and a touch of cinnamon spice. Plenty of well roasted malt backbone mixed with coffee beans. The vanilla and dark malts come through the most with the coffee beans being more subdued, but still more noticeable than the light cinnamon notes.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, lightly spiced and roasty. Hint of warming alcohol.

Wow, this stuff is extremely drinkable. Great flavor and really smooth. Just delicious. The vanilla and cinnamon add some nice layers to this beer that bring it a step up from a regular porter. I really need to get a growler of this.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500mL bottle from JMRSN. Thanks! Because nothing says summer like a winter porter.

A: Do you like some head? Because this pour fills about half my glass with a light cappucino foam. Very dark mahogany. Decent legs. Also, the bottle has a single bubble blown out of it like a child's bubble toy.

N: Coffee, raisin, cola, chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. There's some blackberry mixed in here as well.

T: Very, very bitter/earthy with a lot of cinnamon spice. There's a decent amount of sweetness here. Very, very assertive.

M: Maybe a touch light given the ABV, but the carbonation is pleasant and it's got a good chalkiness.

O: A pretty nice beer that I'd probably have again. The cinnamon balance here works, however, I think this combination works better in a stout.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours black with a thin cap of dark espresso crema colored head. Pour head retention.

S- roasted malt with notes of caramel and chocolate blend with a rich coffee aroma. Nice hint of vanilla on the finish.

T- tastes like an iced vanilla latte. Notes of caramel, oily coffee bean and semi-sweet chocolate play on the palate as well. Lingering vanilla bean and roasted malt on the finish.

MF- slick mouthfeel with a medium body. Mild carbonation with a nice creamy texture.

D- very drinkable and smooth.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hill farmstead twilight

A - pours a deep velvety black color with a hint of chocolate brown. A fingers worth off white foam caps the liquid which dissipates slowly to just a thin film and ring around the glass.

S - roasty notes of oily espresso beans, burnt grains and a wisp of charcoal at first. As it warms more notes of sweet melted chocolate, mocha and a dusting of cocoa powder. Maybe a hint of smoke and vanilla as it warms further.

T - big flavors of roasted grains and smooth city roast coffee up front. Mid palate the chocolate comes through bringing out a mocha note. Slight hint of smoke and iron on the backend. Bright spice character on the finish. Finish is long with a lingering chocolate flavor.

M - a round and supple medium body. Texture is like freshly spun silk. Medium carbonation.

O - I love how it really changes and opens up when consumed over a long period of time. A great beer to sip and savor.

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Twilight Of The Idols from Hill Farmstead Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.