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Twilight Of The Idols | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
179 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
179
Ratings:
1,016
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
8.64%
 
 
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Twilight Of The IdolsTwilight Of The Idols
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by kingcrowing on 10-28-2010

User Reviews
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Reviews: 179 | Ratings: 1,016
Photo of jvillefan
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
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 fmccormi
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of 321jeff
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler provided by Michael when the Stillwater stuff got boring, thanks!

A pour down the middle only yields a fingers worth of head, but the brew is a rich chocolate brown.

Aroma is is slightly roasty with some milk chocolate notes but I don't get much vanilla. Very mild but pleasantly so.

Taste hits with some vanilla up front and some slight roast. Finish is milk chocolate and a little sweet. The flavors each stand out in their own way but none tops the others.

Mouthfeel on this one is a homerun. Silky smooth and the alcohol is non-existent. Overall, a great take on a porter, rich without being over the top (yes, I'm looking at you, Southern Tier).

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

On tap at Warpigs, pre-CBC. Pitch black with an espresso head. Tons of chocolate in the nose and taste, soft chocolate and a bit of spice. Really nice.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of 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 ArkyVaughan
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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 rodmanfor3
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2013 release was fantastic. It had vibrant vanilla, cinnamon, and coconut notes on the palate and drank very well.

The 2015 release seemed to lack most of those tasty characteristics, falling far short of my expectations.

Here's to the hope that time in a bottle will make the most recent batch taste like the beer I remember having a few years ago.

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Photo of gustavmahler-09
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, little head. Smells sweet, of spices, coffee. Taste follows the smell, sweet, vanilla, coffee, fruits. Feels lush and creamy. A great porter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Kegatron
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Lord Hobo (Cambridge, MA) on 2/3/12. Served in a cervoise.

Pours black, with a thin mocha colored head. This retains with some creamy ringing around the edges, leaving back a nice enough looking cascade of spotty lacing behind. Chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon sit right at the forefront, with flavorful roasted coffee flavors moving in next, before it is all undercut by a floral green citrus presence. There’s just a nice ebb and flow to the nose, with the flavors intertwining beautifully here.

The taste is just as rich, with chocolate, toffee, and dark burnt grains spreading out into more of a roasted espresso presence. Hops are bit more assertive here as well, with a profile of green citric bitterness. The vanilla addition really works nicely here, as it helps smooth out some of the rough edges from the hops and roast but they still return in the finish, with a combination of citric bitterness and a dry charred feel. Cinnamon is spread throughout, with me probably picking it up in backend and finish of the profile the most. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a big mouth filling firm creaminess to the carbonation which pops that roast and hops on the tongue. This gets a much more smooth and silky feeling along the back, combining with that ridiculously well hid ABV to get this a extra creamy feel that goes down effortlessly.

I’ve been anxious to try this one for a while now and man, I was impressed! I just loved the combo of flavors involved here, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, with roast and hops adding a bit of an edge to things. But this was so well balanced and smooth overall. Wow, I love their takes on American Porters from here. Just tremendous stuff!

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Photo of Gushue3
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Smaller brown head with some retention that leaves little lacing. Body is deep dark brownish and black

S- Nice combination of roast, chocolate and coffee. Theres a lighter sweet scent thats different.

T- Coffee beans take the forefront with some chocolate that make a full nice tasting porter. Theres some slight holiday spice notes hiding that comes out in the end. Great flavor.

M- Full body with pretty much no carbonation makes this smooth as hell. almost like a milkshake.

O- This stuff is fantastic. Awesome taste and feel which compliment each other nicely. I wish this stuff was bottled.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 12/01/12 notes. Big thanks to Franch for sharing a fresh growler of this at Zwanze Day 2012.

a - Pours a deep brown, almost black color, with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of coffee, roasted malts , vanilla, caramel malts, sweet milk chocolate, toasted malts, light cinnamon, and gingerbread. Awesome nose; ton of nice coffee, chocolate, and vanilla to it.

t - Tastes of coffee, milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malts, vanilla, cinnamon, spice, toasted malts, bread, burnt malts, espresso. Follows the nose very closely, which is a great thing. Love the taste.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy body, and no heat whatsoever. Great mouthfeel.

o - Overall a fantastic porter. I've had 2 darker beers from HF now between this and Damon and both have been great. This one just has a ton of coffee, vanilla, and chocolate to it, with no heat whatsoever and is easy to drink. Would love to have this one again sometime.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Prost76 for sending me this one in time for the tasting.

Beer pours black with a thin off-white head. Smell is really excellent - roasted malts, coffee and some spice all come together quite nicely. Flavor follows the nose, it has that same awesome porter flavor as Everett, but adds some coffee and spice to the mix, really impressive. Sadly I'm not getting much vanilla, but I can deal. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is yet another fantastic beer from Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz, 2012
Hill Farmstead wine glass

A: Pours pretty much pitch black. Very dark brown color. Held up to light, nothing. Quarter finger of head. Light tan color. Faded quickly. Leaving lacing sheeting. Some reddish hues on edges.

S: Big roasted coffee character on the nose. Smells fabulous. But if you really dig in there you get that softness from the vanilla beans. Almost like it was a milk stout. Awesome!

T: Up front you don't get killed with that coffee. It's a beautiful roast character that isn't overpowering. Like I took from the nose, it's almost like a milk stout in flavor as well. Really mild on the bitterness, probably because of the vanilla bean aging. You do get that pronouced flavor meshing with the roast in the mid palate. Finishing wise, it's fairly dry. There is a lingering creaminess to it that I like.

M: That is a big medium or basically full bodied brew. Wow.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

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Photo of jbaker67
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
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 jlindros
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at the Hill Farmstead tasting room.

Tap at hf brewery

Big fluffy darker head, lacing, pitch black beer with no light.

Nose lots of dark malts, roast, hint of cocoa, black patent, chalky powdered choc, caramel, lots of oats, espresso fresh coffee grinds.

Taste creamy malts , chocolate milk and milk chocolate, hint of dark, cocoa, then coffee grinds and espresso, roasted malts, oats, caramel, vanilla, deep bakers chocolate, flaked and powdered cocoa and coffee. Finishes a bit bitter, dry, lots more chocolate and roast.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied, decent carb.

Overall really nice, great dark malt flavors without too much bitterness or any burnt flavors, nice and creamy and tasty, drinkable, a big time winner!

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Photo of madorb
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier then followed up with a taster @ Hill Farmstead.

Truly delicious beer - lots of coffee and chocolate flavor but with a solid underpinning of vanilla and spice in just the right amount to be impactful but not overbearing. I could drink a LOT of this beer.

Big regret is leaving the brewery without a growler of this. I'll just have to make do with my 8 bottles of various other tasties.

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Photo of jcoleMA66
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Returning to reviewing this beer after first trying 7 months ago with a bottle that was cellared since then. Shared with friends this weekend in a bottle share. Color is super dark and looks more like a stout than porter. One finger tan head. Aromas are chocolate, coffee, some dark fruits, faint cinnamon, no sign of vanilla. Taste is dark chocolate, faint dark cherries, roast coffee heading towards espresso, with faint cinnamon and vanilla. Mouth feel is medium. I really enjoyed this beer again the second time around and didn't adjust my original ratings.

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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 ghostwalker
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill from the source. Nice drive if you have the time!

A: Beautiful chocolate brown body with a dark brown head.

S: Nose is deep, dark, rich chocolate malt. Just scrumptious.

T: Flavor is smooth and rich chocolate with a noticeable spice contribution. Molasses, pumpkin pie, cinammon. Truly a wonderful sipper.

M: Slick and smooth. Even leaves a smooth residue.

O: Very nice porter. I'm sure I didn't get all of the complexity that is in there, but I really enjoyed this brew. One of my favorite porters ever.

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Photo of harrymel
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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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Twilight Of The Idols from Hill Farmstead Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.