Twilight Of The Idols - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Twilight Of The IdolsTwilight Of The Idols

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

155 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 155
Hads: 873
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 2.81%
Wants: 429
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 155 | Hads: 873
Photo of Duff27
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with a light mocha cap. Minimal lacing.

First whiff is coffee, vanilla beans after a couple swirls.

Coffee dominates for me but there is a hint of vanilla. Roasty yeah stuff. 7.5%abv is about what it feels like.

Super smooth. Medium low carbonation, medium mouthfeel.

Very good and I can see where the hype lies. Thanks egrace84! (349 characters)

Photo of AlexFields
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a rich dark brown, not much of a head, just islands of creamy foam on top of the beer.

Smells of lots of sweet vanilla, espresso/latte style coffee, chocolate and other rich malt.

Basically the same--delicious vanilla, creamy coffee without much bitterness, sweet milk chocolate. HF definitely lean toward the sweet and malty end of the spectrum with their porters/stouts.

Very good porter, but again am slightly disappointed in that I expected something really special and got something merely very good. I like Victory at Sea a lot better than this.

8.1/10 (568 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (368 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into tulip 28/4/13 cheers Rutager for the bottle

A gushed upon opening but I managed to get it all in my glass with a massive mocha head that has great retention leaving a few chunks of lace, the liquids nearing black

S has some nice chocolate, vanilla, coffee and licorice, but a an infections setting in with a little funk being noticeable, its not too bad but I doubt the funky notes are intentional

T anise and licorice are a little stronger and has a little spice I can't place, a little mint I didn't smell, chocolates not as dark and I want to love it but there's some bretty funk in the background that seems out as place

M a few extra bubbles and a little thin for the color, finish has a little char to it and still just a little funk

O even a bad bottles still decent? I'll need to read some reviews but I'm pretty sure what I'm drinking isn't what HF intended, even with a little funk there's still enough nice roasty notes to make it enjoyable

quite disappointing when you open a top 250 for the first time and it just isn't what you expect, I'm almost certain I got a bad bottle so please send me all you HF so I can do some quality control (1,184 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (441 characters)

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fall/Winter 2012 bottle sampled 4/20/13.

Pours a dark hazy black colored body with a smallish khaki head that settles to a whisp of khaki foam.

Aromas begin with dark roasted malt, cocoa, medium roasted coffee beans and vanilla. Not getting much cinnamon and as much vanilla as I would have expected/hoped.

The tastes follow the aroma with some rich, darker cocoa, medium roasted coffee and light vanilla flavor which emerges more as it warms. Roasted malt asserts itself more and the cocoa dissipates over time.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. The finish is lightly roasted and balanced overall.

Overall this was a very good beer but not exceptional. I wonder if the age or storage prior to me acquiring it was a contributing factor but I will never know. Solid but not up to the elevated expectations I have come to expect from HF. (865 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From growler bought at the brewery. Shared with bpk59 that very night as I couldn't wait to drink more of it. This is a slightly different beast than from the tank.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a rich, oily black with a BIG dense two finger dark mocha head that hung around forever. Lots of thick, creamy side lacing. Stuff is masterful in a glass.

S - Deep, dark roasted malts and alot of oats. Powdered cocoa, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, fresh coffee grounds. This is very, very good.

T - Again, wow. Its the aroma, on my tongue! Roasted rich malts, TONS of chocolate (powdered, bars, bakers) with delicious fresh coffee. Slight hop bitterness towards the end mingles with the coffee.

M - Mouthfeel is silky and smooth. Its creamy black velvet on my tongue.

O - Overall this beer is exceptional. This alone is practicly worth the drive up to Greensboro. A definate growler fill of this is needed again. Argh, I want to drink this every day! (956 characters)

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

500ml bottle, split

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

A good porter, but not really stand-out. Dark and roasty with a big dry roast finish. The vanilla beans are subtle, cocoa and cocoa dust seem to permeate. Heavy on the dark chocolate, chocolate malt, and a secondary blast of coffee. I liked, but not really an upper class porter to me. (532 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thank you, Eric. Fall 2012 release.

A very dark brown that ends up being black in my Duvel glass, this beer is capped with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and moderate lacing. The nose is pretty solid. Coffee and vanilla bean are immediately noticeable, along with an undercurrent of roast, caramel and unsweetened chocolate. Hop character is minimal here. The vanilla is surprisingly potent, lending sweetness as well as flavor to the nose. The coffee character is interesting. Unlike many coffee beers, this isn't loaded with dark roast. Instead, it's closer to a medium roast, with the fruity notes pairing well with the chocolate and vanilla.

The palate is a step up from the nose. Creamy and gently carbonated, this beer opens with a blend of vanilla, caramel, coffee and chocolate. Not as roasty as my favorite porters, though there is a pleasant grainy bitterness towards the finish. Vanilla characteristics dominate, with the unsweetened chocolate and coffee coming in second and third. The combination is quite enjoyable, though. The finish is creamy, almost with a touch of lactose, with chocolate and vanilla dominating. The medium body on this beer is just wonderful, a sentiment that is heightened by the fantastic level of carbonation. A very good beer, though pricey for what it is IMO. (1,322 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
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! (750 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (458 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a HF stemmed tulip

Pours a near black with a thin dark khaki cap. Bit of a creamy cap as it clings to the sides and leaves faint sip marks.

The aroma is of roast, dark chocolate, vanilla beans, fresh coffee and a faint hint of cinnamon lays low. There is a fresh citrus hop presence that pokes through all of the other aromas.

Up front, the roast, dark chocolate, and fresh coffee take the lead before a rush of citrus and a finish of roast, vanilla, and cinnamon. Some citrus lingers, but the lingering flavors are mainly roast and cinnamon.

Full bodied porter, rich and creamy. The feel is really the best part of this beer. So smooth for how big it is.

This is a fine porter that I would seek out again. Rich, bold flavors, a nice hop profile and the added touch of cinnamon for a little flair. (820 characters)

Photo of jbaker67
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (458 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Dat for looking out on a recent trip to the brewery. enjoyed from a HF wine glass.

a - brew pours an 8 ball black into the glass with some visible tan carbonation jumping to the surface. brew initially poured with a finger plus of rich creamy head but that quickly dissipated to a thin skin of off light tan bubbles. lacing was streaky in large chunks of mini bubbles.

s - really nice roast with a very appropriately balanced amount of baker's chocolate and coffee notes. some vanilla and milky creaminess coats the scent giving it an almost milk stout or sweet stout vibe. not much char that i would expect, but smells pretty outrageous.

t - coffee crossed with chocolate and then roasted. subtle bitterness on the finish. the chocolate is fairly heavy giving this a rich blast of dessert porter flavors.

m - the feel jumped out at me first when i took my initial sip as the char that was missing from the nose is definitely present on the feel, and dialed in at an appropriate amount to give it a porter vibe but not being too burnt.

o - overall, very nice porter. a bit decadent and rich for the style, but enjoyable none-the-less. something in that Hill Farmstead water, i tell ya. (1,204 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to egrace84 for sharing this beer with me! Thanks elliot!

reviewed from notes on 11/21/12.

poured into a Cascade snifter/tulip hybrid glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with thinn brown head.

Smell: light roast notes, chocolates, cinnamon, coffee, vanilla. The nose is very balanced.

Taste: Chocolate and mellow sweetness from the vanilla. Nice coffee note thats not overly roasty. Cinnamon on the back end of the beer. The cinnamon note seem to become stronger as the beer warms. Pretty awesome balance in this beer as noticed in the nose.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. It got a little bit of silkiness to the beer as well. Its a bit thinner than Everett and I wish this beer had the same mouthfeel as everett.

Overall: Really awesome beer! As usual HF delivers another beer worth your time. Recomended! (847 characters)

Photo of mltobin
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (592 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On- tap at Armsby. Reviewed from notes.

A- Black pour into a pint glass. Tan head with good size and retention. A decent amount of lace.

S- Porter base with a pretty big dark fruit, cinnamon and general holiday spice feel. Roast malt, cocoa and coffee in the background.

T- Holiday spiced porter with a nice earthy cinnamon bark and vanilla flavor. The dark fruit flavor is big here once again over cocoa and roast malt.

MF- Silky feel with low but smooth carbonation. Oily and warm feel.

A good porter with very noticeable cinnamon bark, vanilla and spiced feel. (568 characters)

Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at the Santa Cruz tasting in January. Chocolate and fresh coffee aromas, some vanilla and honey as well. Big coffee notes in the flavor, firm roastiness balanced by sweet dark malts. Smooth vanilla bean finish. A really nice rich mouthfeel. (254 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown almost black with khaki colored head. Coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, and roastjavascript: RadioSel(overall,16);ed malt on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a roasted vanilla malt note. (219 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
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! (1,065 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1761st review on BA
Bottle to snifter
500ml

Thanks to GuruDel for sharing.

App- A very dark pour. Not at all the brown porter I was expecting. Much more of a black inky pour with a big and full brown head. Good scattering of cling and falls semi slowly.

Smell- I liked the addition of the vanilla in this one. The base porter wasnt as malt forward as I would have thought and instead was a bit sweeter on the nose. A bit thin on aromatics and draws more from the additional vanilla. I like vanilla. I dont mind.

Taste- This porter was damn tasty. I like the balance struck between the line of thin stout vs. full porter. The flavors are balanced and complimentary without overshadowing the malt line. Additional vanilla really enhances the flavors and balance on this one.

Mouth- A thicker body and a thicker carbonation make this one a better sipping beer. A bit full for the style but the residual vanilla and char make up for it.

Drink- I really thought I would have to trade a ton for this one. Thanks for sharing vince. I appreciate it. (1,048 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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

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

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

Overall. A very nice flavourful porter with plenty of coffee and a unique bit of spice. Very enjoyable on this Friday afternoon! Thanks again, Franklinn ...the only one who has correctly guessed the source of my internet name that I've been using for around 15 years now. Very impressive!!! (964 characters)

Photo of Satchboogie
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (831 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, one finger head that doesn't last, deep amber around the edges, some lacing.

S-Mainly coffee and roasted malt. Almost some burnt notes in there as well.

T-Starts with coffee, balanced with roasted malt, some burnt malt, vanilla creeps in. Chocolate as well. Great balance.

M-Medium bodied, very smooth with slight carbonation.

O-An amazing porter. HF can do no wrong. (393 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (2,543 characters)

Twilight Of The Idols from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.