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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.

155 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 155
Hads: 879
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 441
Gots: 116 | FT: 6
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

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 155 | Hads: 879
Photo of Clonies720
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into taster glass. No freshness date, but is marked "Fall/Winter 2012". This beer is marked as 7.5% ABV on BeerAdvocate, however is labeled 7.2%ABV for this vintage.

Appearance: Pours an abyss black color. This beer absorbs the light! 2-finger creamy mocha-colored head.

Smell: The first smell that hits my nose is a sweet chocolate fudge cake followed by freshly brewed espresso. Wonderful backdrops of supporting vanilla. Slightly bready yeast that brings me to a chocolate-covered donut.

Taste: Freshly brewed espresso is dominant on the palate. Faint notes of woodiness. Stronger vanilla comes out than was apparent in the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Lightly carbonated. Medium-full bodied.

Overall: Very delicious. World class. However, Vanilla Bean Framinghammer porter has ruined me for life and this beer pales in comparison to it.

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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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Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev 0%
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

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Photo of beerdrifter
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked this up from a great trade with Evan! Nice black pour with two fingers of thick, foamy beige head with great retention and lacing. Complex nose with hints of roasty coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, and a bit of mocha. The taste follows suit with lots of dark roasty coffee up front along with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, sweet cream, milk chocolate, and some subtle black pepper. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, extremely creamy, and smooth as silk. Overall, this is a really nice Porter with a unique holiday twist. It's a bit too sweet for my taste, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.28/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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!

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Photo of justforrazors
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler on 10/24/13

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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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Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into a snifter. Courtesy, I believe, of Mike. Thanks buddy!

Holy gusher...this bottle would make Vesuvius blush. Big piping flowage just rises and bubbles and oozes and puffs its might chest. Once in the glass there's equal pars beer and head for quite a spell.

The initial scent of plastic tubing really pissed me off. I've had a flat Birth of Tragedy and was going to shake my paws at the sky in a vain attempt at remedying the situation if this beer had qc issues. Upon settling a light creaminess emerges. Smooth mocha mingles with the perfect cup of coffee where the half and half meets the roast and just copulates like the filthy bitches they both know they are. You dirty, dirty...I digress. The smell is quite enticing. Vanilla beans join the now gentle menage a trois, as the first two combatants lie in a sweaty embrace.

What we have here is an incredibly smooth drinking porter. Rather than suffering from waif-like body, as some porters are bound to disappoint, the body is both creamy and fluffy. The light creamed coffee, mocha, and vanilla beans are soft in their presentation. However, each delicately plays nicely together allowing one another to shine in their respective competencies. The finishes shows a spike of cinnamon and a flash of alcohol that belies a vanilla fade. Thank god this doesn't fall prey to that fake off putting extracty vanilla abomination that can absolutely piss all over an otherwise good beer.

I'm not sure what's not to like about this. Judge on its merits as a porter, this is an amazing beer. I enjoyed this far more than Birth of Tragedy.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
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 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

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Photo of AdamF625
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- pours black with a thick brown head .
S- coffee, vanilla, dark roasted malts.
T- a lot of vanilla and coffee, bitter chocolate malts.
M- medium body with a a nice creamy mouthfeel.
O- great easy drinking winter seasonal. A lot of taste and great body.

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Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Stoutfest 2013, Armsby Abbey. Served in a tulip glass.

Pour is black with about a half-finger of tan head. It retains as a mostly full cap leaving some good lace behind.

Solid, well-rounded scent with decent potency. Just about even distribution of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, with a good amount of spices and vanilla.

Taste follows suit nicely. The cinnamon is noticeable but nicely restrained and unique, definitely gives it a 'winter' feel. Cocoa and coffee are just about equal, with vanilla and roasted malts there as well.

Nice, full mouthfeel with highish carbonation. No alcohol, fitting for a highish-ABV porter.

This was quite good, a very stellar porter with a wintery twist - loved the amount of cinnamon used here, just the right amount - though one glass would be enough for me I think. More well-rounded and solid than the bourbon-barrel aged treatment (birth of Tragedy).

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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 Vonerichs
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with a decent amount of light passing through the edges and surface. Tight tan head. There was quite a bit if sediment that was noticeable when I tipped the glass.

Heavy aromas of fresh ground coffee beans and vanilla. There's also an earthy tobacco scent.

Strong coffee and vanilla flavor with a touch of root beer. There's a faint metallic aftertaste.

Smooth mouthfeel with medium-light carbonation.

It's a really solid porter that had a couple slight flaws in appearance and the finish.

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

Got this from jbeatty and hotpipes a while back. Cheers for the bottles gents!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
Fall/Winter 2012

APPEARANCE: A clear, dark pour yields a two finger, medium looking, fluffy, light tan head with great retention. Black body with lower amounts of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full foamy cap and sticks to the sides of the glass. A half, swirly wisp remains leaving some good lacing down the sides of the glass.

SMELL: Dark malts, caramel notes, coffee and hints of vanilla as well. Quite a bit of vanilla with some lactose and milk chocolate as well. Pretty big nose for sure.

TASTE: Dark and roasted notes with coffee flavors, espresso and sweet cream. Lots of flavor here. A big finish with vanilla, sweet cream, milk chocolate and roasted espresso bitterness as well. Flavorful and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Very velvety and creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a touch sticky. Nice stuff.

OVERALL: Surprising that this is the base beer to Birth of Tragedy actually, as the abv difference is quite large. Nevertheless, this is an excellent beer and quite drinkable for it's size. Perhaps a little more bitterness at the finish would make this perfect, but it is a really tasty and enjoyable treat as it is. Another great porter/stout from Hill Farmstead. Cheers again for the bottles guys!

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Photo of FosterJM
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1761st review on BA
Bottle to snifter

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.

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Photo of mothman
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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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 drabmuh
4.11/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to dujayhawk for this one. Reviewed from notes. Poured from 500 mL bottle into a CCB pint glass.

A: This one pours essentially black, opaque, with a one finger tan head, and a low level of visible carbonation.

S: Dark mocha, mild roasted coffee, dark leather that's almost dank, with hints of dark fruit sweetness.

T: Follows the nose, though with more dark fruit than I get from the aroma. Bittersweet roasty cacao, maybe a touch of smoke, leather, and tobacco.

M: Amazing. Velvety smooth. This is what a porter should be like on the tongue. Medium carbonation sensation, but the alcohol presence is a smidge hotter than it should be.

O: A solid, quite enjoyable porter, and another good beer from HF. However, I did not find it to be quite as good as Everett.

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Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
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.


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