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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
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 168
Hads: 963
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: 963
Photo of FosterJM
4.16/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of mothman
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
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 +0.2%
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 -4.2%
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 -5.8%
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 +2.3%
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 -6.8%
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
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | 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

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Photo of dirtylou
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of harrymel
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2012-13 winter. It's relatively fresh is what I'm saying.

It's black with a nice solid sheet of tan foam. Smells nice, coffee, cocoa, rich toasted graham crackers, bits of burnt toffee and a good dose of vanilla - but not overbearing. Flavor is rich with the tone of the nose and a little hint of pepper and almost a waxy crayon note. The bitterness is well matched with rich dark gooey chocolates and a little bit of dust. Full and smooth body with low carb and an off dry, but mucous producing finish. Nearly perfect mouthfeel for my money. nice beer as usual.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Almost no head was present over the jet black body after a vigorous pour.

S: The aroma was mainly coffee with a subtle smoked aroma throughout.

T: Heavily roasted malts are in thr front of this beer with coffee and smoke in the background.

M: Heavy body with great carbonation.

O: I disagree with the classification of this beer as a porter. It is more of a stout. Either way it is a great beer.

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Photo of Skrip
3.71/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

550ml bottle poured into a Raleigh Beer Tasting snifter

A~ dark, pitch black. with minimal head.

S~ lots of dark malts, bitter dark chocolate, and figs with a little bit of coffee.

T~ pretty much follows the nose, more fresh coffe beans come out here. on the end theres a little vanilla bean as well. nice and dry with lots of sweetness.

M~ not too thick and not thin, really nice and smooth feel. dry on the finish.

O~ nice full flavor porter, definitely not my favorite porter but in my opinion its actually a nice mix of a stout and a porter. to me its still all about the pales/IPA's and saisons/wilds with HF!

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.41/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, mkabull!

A very appropriately pretty porter. Very dark brown, bordering on black, with a moderate-sized, and somewhat persistent dark brown head. Leaves irregular spiderwebs of stick down the glass.

Miscellaneous roast in the aroma along with definite cinnamon. Simple and straightforward, and the cinnamon definitely adds uniqueness, though I don't think it's particularly complementary.

The flavor follows the aroma: roast, mild chocolate, some definite cinnamon character that adds some licorice and spice notes, though could be confused with an acidity. I don't think it's complementary nor works very well at all with the base beer. I would prefer this without the cinnamon. Nice, lingering chocolate character on the finish, however.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation for the style.

Different strokes for different folks. A rather ordinary beer made less appealing through the addition of cinnamon.

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Photo of metter98
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of rodkin
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark black, with a small tan head. Decent lacing.

Smell is mocha coffee, vanilla, honey-like sweetness, slight roasty bitterness, some fruitiness, spice.

Taste is great. Coffee, vanilla, honey, slightly astringent burnt roasted coffee, sweet fruitiness, caramel, cinnamon spice. Very sweet, but the burnt coffee bitterness and bit of spice balances it nicely.

Medium thick, maybe slightly on the thinner side but it doesn't detract too much. Fairly carbonated, maybe slightly more than I'd like. But not much more.

This is a great beer. My first exposure to HF, and I'm definitely a fan.

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Photo of Rutager
4.16/5  rDev -3%
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!!!

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Photo of dhartogs
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sorry for the non-technical review. I had this beer about a week ago, and honestly, I have not stopped thinking about it since, kind of like a first date with a girl you know is going to turn out to be the one. The coffee bean/vanilla bean combo was amazing, took the bite out of the coffee and gave it a velvety smoothness I've never had in a beer. A friend from Vermont gifted me about 6 different offering from Hill Farmstead and this is the first one I tried. The aroma matched the flavor. Poured nice and dark, what you would expect from a winter porter. I can't want to try this again.

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Photo of flexabull
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of cbeer88, thanks again!

Pours a dark brown almost black color with a very nice tan head. Great looking beer.

Aromas are of dark ripe fruits, brewed coffee, roasted malts, and a hint of vanilla.

Taste is sweet up front, milky and creamy, with notes of cocoa and vanilla. Finish is crisp, with a slightly earthy hop note.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky, with nice full body.

Overall, a very nice beer. Leans a little too much to the sweet side for my tastes, but still well crafted and enjoyable.

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Photo of dickieb
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a slightly bigger than average coffee head and average lacing. The smell is quite faint with nothing but grains and chocolate malts coming through. The flavor on the other hand is rich and complex with chocolate vanilla coffee and lingering spice and cinnamon notes finish it off. The mouthfeel is not overpowering and just about right and this is a very drinkable brew. The first "dark" beer I have had from Hill Farmstead and another great beer.

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Photo of tewaris
3/5  rDev -30.1%
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 sleuthdog
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer courtesy of franklinn- thanks man!
Fall/Winter 2012 vintage poured into Bruery tulip

Pour: Pours black with not a bit of light penetrating this. Has a nice three fingers of khaki brown head that slowly recedes leaving a ridiculous amount of lacing behind. Whats left is a thin film of light brown on the surface of the beer with a ring and a ton of lacing.

Smell: Lightly roasted notes with vanilla, bakers chocolate, cinnamon, and slight coffee. This actually smells sweeter than I thought it would and everything is in harmony here. Really nice!

Taste: Big coffee taste with chocolate almost like dark chocolate covered coffee beans. There is a big roasty like taste mid palate yielding to a mild bitterness. I get a smokey/char taste in this too. I'm not a big fan of smoke and char but this one has it in perfect balance to even out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium feel and somewhat slick. Moderate amount of carbonation leave a tingle on the tongue and the alcohol is somewhat noticeable at the tail end of the swallow.

Overall: Thanks to franklinn I am having my first experiences with HF and must say that this brewery knows how to craft some damn fine beers! Again one spectacularly balanced big dessert like beer. Outstanding!

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Couldn't wait any longer! 500ml bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black with a 1.5 finger mocha head with average retention. Lacing is stringy and thick with good cling. Oily legs coat the glass. Solid, but not great given a comparison to Everett.

Nose is burnt coffee beans, roasted malt, a very mellow vanilla presence and some cocoa powder. Aromatic. Decent but I wish this was a bit sweeter.

Opens big coffee notes upfront. Some bitter chocolate, roasted malt, and sweet liquorice in the back. A slight tartness from the coffee and roasted malt towards the back. Finishes sweet with a touch of vanilla and fudge. Cocoa and just a touch of booze on the aftertaste. Really good balance.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Some bubbles in the mouth but smooth, warm, and silky going down. Messy finish with a pleasant, lingering aftertaste that leaves my lips sticky. Perfect.

I much prefer Everett over Twilight but that's not to say this isn't one of the better porters out there. Exhibits great balance in flavor and as always, a perfectly crafted feel. Worth a try but if you're into sweet porters, the vanilla is very subtle in this beer and you'll likely prefer Everett over this.

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