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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

168 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 168
Hads: 964
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 20.98%
Wants: 456
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: 168 | Hads: 964
Photo of sposter4
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz into a sam adams glass. Pours dark with toffee colored head. Seemed light on both smell and taste but to be fair Ive been drinking a lot of higher ABV and BA beers recently. Vanilla is present upfront with some coffee floating around in there. Nice lacing. Good beer to drink if you want something dark and drinkable.

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Photo of larryi86
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to bstyle for this!
500 ml bottle, dated 11/18/15, poured into teku

A- Black with a three finger khaki head.

S- Roasted coffee, some dark chocolate, vanilla, some mild cinnamon, nicely balanced.

T- Roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, some caramel malts, vanilla, hints of cinnamon, fairly coffee heavy.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A solid coffee Porter with a nice touch of vanilla and hint of cinnamon. Worth seeking out, definitely need more HF in my life.

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Photo of pkalix
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

guy below nailed it- subdued aroma and very settled and balanced flavors. slight on the coffee although it is present. cinnamon follows in on the coffee's heels and a blanket of soft vanilla throughout. very little bitterness. the pour is beautiful with a nice creamy topping and some cinnamon color. around the edges. very nice; i should have been more prepared to enjoy this.....

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Photo of fmccormi
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
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 LambicPentameter
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Received as part of a trade from fellow BA AnthonyB123. Enjoyed out of a brown 500 mL bottle with a bottling date of 10/25/15 and enjoyed on 1/2/16. Poured into a curved pub-style pint glass.

Appearance (4.5) - Off to a good start, this one pours brown-black with a slightly viscous look to the liquid. Once it's all settled in the glass, it's black enough to prevent any kind of light penetration through the glass, even around the edges. Atop the body sits a healthy three fingers of mocha tan foam consisting of tight, smaller bubbles and a pockmarked, meringue-like surface. Retention is moderate, leaving curtains of heavy looking lace shellacking the sides of the glass after foam slinks down to a permanent half finger of hefty-looking foam.

Smell (4.25) - I have to admit I'm a little disappointed. On the positive side, nothing reaches out of the glass and smacks you in the face, with the various profiles melding together into a more cohesively balanced aroma. On the negative side, nothing reaches out of the glass and smacks you in the face, so it comes across as a little bit muted and polite. With flavor profiles like coffee and cinnamon, you expect a certain aggressiveness to the aroma, even though most of the HF beers I've had admittedly exhibit a great deal of balance and restraint (in a good way). Here, the cinnamon and coffee are present but just so, and the vanilla's presence seems to be indicated more by how it impacts the other elements than by making a stand itself.

Taste (4.0) - Unfortunately, the politeness of the aroma belies a similarly toned down collection of flavors on the tongue. It does allow the base porter to shine through with gentle roasted malts and light bitterness, as well as some light roast coffee and chocolate sweetness. The coffee presence is restrained enough that it's honestly hard to tell the difference between the natural coffee-like flavor profiles that are common in some darker beers and the actual addition of coffee. While I can appreciate balance as much as the next guy, it is not good to use an additive and leave drinkers wondering whether it was the additive itself or the inherent nature of the style that they tasted. The cinnamon is much less present in the taste than it was the aroma, and the vanilla is the exact opposite, providing a nice rich sweetness on the finish. The cinnamon's primary contribution to the beer is aroma and some impact on mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel (4.25) -Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. The cinnamon also imparts that feel that is common for the spice--coming up just shy of feeling chalky on the tongue. Finish is semi-sweet.

Overall (4.0), a beer that, while delicious, I can't help but be a little bit disappointed by. A classic case of over-expectations based on an ingredient list that speaks directly to me and a brewer with a stellar (and deserved) reputation. The sad thing is that I would probably pick this porter up off the shelf over the vast majority of standard porters out there, but the beer doesn't quite match the effort it takes to acquire.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle received in a recent trade.

This one pours a dark glossy black, with a quarter inch mocha-reddish head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like bitter earthy roasted coffee, roasted malt, light cinnamon, and some chocolate. Not really getting any vanilla bean.

The taste run fairly similar to the aroma. The dominant flavor is a refined, elegant bitterness from the earthy coffee, along with the roasted barley. There's a light touch of cinnamon, and just the smallest smidgen of vanilla bean. It's delicious and runs counter to the usually super sweet adjunct stout game most breweries play when presented with this ingredient list.

This is medium bodied, very creamy, with a normal level of carbonation.

This is another slam dunk from Shaun Hill.

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Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Blind Tiger on New Year's Eve. This is really incredible. Perfect feel; the cinnamon, coffee, and vanilla beans are perfectly balanced. I actually think I like this more than the barrel-aged version (Birth of Tragedy).

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Photo of Holden
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Small but sustaining head, totally opaque, dark brown. Sweet roastiness aroma from the coffee. Vanilla and coffee come through lending a flavor sensation similar to Star Anise. Nice brew.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
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 Dustin_Sallitt
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nose is all vanilla and coffee. First sip hits you with some really tasty coffee, an ever so slight touch of cinnamon and a nice touch of sweet vanilla! The aftertaste has more noticeable cinnamon and still a nice amount of vanilla, with the coffee just still noticeable. The mouthfeel is good, about what you would expect for a porter in this alcohol range, with medium light carbonation. A very good porter, but probably not world class.

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Photo of reds2harleys
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this beer impressed me. Most of the brews I've tried from HF have been lighter - sessions or IPA's - some have been good - some great - none bad. With this in mind I tried this because I trust HF but being my first Porter from them I wasn't sure what to expect. This is a wonderful brew. Def a cold weather sipping style - meant to drink slowly and enjoy all the flavors going on. Aroma is just what you'd expect and the flavor hits your with a nice subtle coffee note and then gets complex from there. Easily in my top 3 from HF. Cheers

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Photo of Shaun_S
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a 4oz serving glass at the brewery. Beer poured a very rich almost black burnt caramel colour with a very thick creamy head which reminded me of a cappuccino pour. The coffee was the most upfront flavour with very rich and sticky molasses-ie taste right after with just the most subtle hint of the cinnamon.
A very heavy beer, definitely a sipper.

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Photo of WoostaBia
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

10 ounce Belgian glass at Armsby Abbey - Worcester
Color: black ale that allows no light with brown edges.
Smell: light vanilla, hops, dark fruit. Full bodied porter with a smooth taste of dark fruit, light roasted malt, dark fruit, light molasses, with no rough edge from the hops or roasted malts which are mute here. Medium thickness mouth feel. This is a hoppy beer with pronounced grassy notes that dissipate as soon as they hit your tongue. No bitter finish. The porter's taste does not linger. It's a good beer but forgettable.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
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 Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
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 ThreeLions
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of Hab11
4.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tested from a 500ml bottle. Color is a rich dark black with a creamy brownish white head. Smell is of smoked coffee with heavy hints of toffee and lighter notes of dark chocolate malt. Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy with a nice hop finish. Tastes of vanilla, dark roast coffee, and a rich European milk/dark chocolate finish. Heavy cream and smoke are noticed at the back of the Tongue. Overall one of my favorites of this style. Really good thing I don't live closer to Hill Farmstead as I would be broke.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.46/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of schmidtmattsays
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From Growler dated Dec. 8th 2013 – NYC bottle share with mdfb79.
Huge thanks to Beerlawyer85 for bringing this – Cheers Ross!
12/12/13 – Served in a Duvel tulip glass

My very first HF Brew!

A: Black coffee look with a dark brown edge. Completely opaque. Thin layer of light brown sugar cream on top. Takes some conjuring and settles out to a crown relatively quickly leaving behind a few swirls and dotting across the glass.

S: Smells rich with a melted chocolate medley, roasted malts, scorched caramel, and some vanilla infused coffee beans. I get a light warming spice and maybe a touch of licorice but nothing too discernibly cinnamon here. Has a good dose of earthy hops mixed in. Incredibly rich and chocolaty nose which is great in a Porter.

T: Immense chocolate roast flavor. I get creamy milk chocolate mixed with some lightly toasted cocoa nib, vanilla bean, dark caramels, and premium roast coffee mostly. Much like a mocha frappe. Has a real nice green coffee earthiness to it with some light warming spice on the back end. There is a pretty low perceived bitterness to the beer and the alcohol is kept well in check. Touch of licorice and some charred grain on the finish but this beer is never harsh. Very smooth rather and balanced all the way through. Really tasty. Nice complexity with loads of chocolate and dark roast flavors.

M: Semi-thick and heavy but with an incredibly smooth consistency makes the mouth feel on this one a creamy delight. Slick and clean with a light drying finish.

D: Deliciously roasty with flavors full of decadent chocolates and a wonderful creamy mouth feel. I get the sense I would love just the base beer minus any special adjuncts here. They don’t seem to heighten an already great Porter for me. Has a supreme balance of flavors and easy drinkability. Would love to start trying some more of their offerings. Really great stuff!

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Photo of Resuin
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a HF stemmed glass. This was bottled 11/2013.

Appearance: Pours a deep hazelnut/brown and leaves a finger of tan head.

Smell: Coffee leads the way with some mild cinnamon, cocoa, roasted malts and vanilla right there. Also some mild dark fruits.

Taste: Plenty of cinnamon, roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate accompany a nice, rich vanilla profile.

Mouth-feel: Low carbonation with a medium body, slightly creamy.

Overall: A very nice holiday porter. Very well balanced with a really nice, smooth flavor. Very drinkable.

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Photo of RADRACING
4.93/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Severed on tap at worthy burger

A. Dark with tan thick head

S. Mocha chocolate sweet vanilla

T. Light roast notes heavy chocolate and mocha nice sweet vanilla.

M. Full Body but drinkable balance leans towards the sweet side

O. Couldn't ask for anything more. It's a fantastic brew. There's no point to saying what style it fits in. It's awesome drink it enjoy it. Be happy you are getting to enjoy it.

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Twilight Of The Idols from Hill Farmstead Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.