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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: 442
Gots: 114 | 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
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Reviews: 155 | Hads: 879
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 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 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 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 hagbergl
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a glass of Hill Farmstead's Twilight of the Idols winter porter during a visit to Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA. What a pleasure it was to have this venerable, rare beer, and served in authentic Hill Farmstead brewery glassware–nice touch, Armsby!

Appearance (5/5): The beer, presented in a Hill Farmstead glass, is deep black and topped by the most luxuriant, pillowy beige head that retains well. A disk of foam sticks with the beer all the way down. Lots of sticky beige-brown residue sticks to the sides of the glass. Twilight of the Idols is one impressive looking brew.

Smell (4.5/5): Twilight has a very roasty aroma complicated by notes of fresh-brewed coffee, dark chocolate, and smokiness (though I don't think there's any smoked malt in the brew). The aroma is definitely more intense than your average American Porter though less dark chocolate going on in the nose of Twilight than in Hill Farmstead's other Porter, Everett.

Taste (4.5/5): Very complex: roasty, dark bread, coffee bean bitterness, a light vanilla sweetness, dark chocolate, a bit of warm spice from the added cinnamon. Twilight is not very sweet; it still features robust and assertive porter flavors. A light alcohol flexes and warms in the finish. Subtle, beautiful, bold–that's what Twilight of the Idols is.

Mouthfeel (4.5/5): Creamy, medium-heavy body, medium-light carbonation, Twilight of the Idols is very smooth going down. Given its strength and overall "big" taste, I can't say it's the most drinkable beer; you probably won't order two in a row at the bar.

Overall (4.5/5): Twilight of the Idols is a great American Porter that features a wide array of flavors perfect for a winter beer. One of the best things about it is that all the ingredients–the vanilla beans, coffee, and cinnamon–seem to mix well together; it's not one of those beers that seems to use additives as a crutch. It also doesn't have that fake spiciness thing going on that some winter beers have (you know who you are). This is a subtle, complex, and very tasty dark ale that really brings the roast. Shaun Hill has done it again–another excellent Hill Farmstead Brewery beer.

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Photo of unclejazz
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap on Sunswick 35/35 last week and have been thinking about it ever since. I have had some good porters since then, but they all bring me back to this.

A-is for alluring. The velveting reddish tan color of the head about a finger thick laid on top of black body with ample carbonation.

S-is for sultry. This mixture of anise, coffee, and cocoa with a roasted smoky background. dang amazing.

T-is for toffee. this came through in taste and i must have missed the smell, but it is delicious. this flavor cuts through me like the wind outside.

O-I had seen good things about Hill Farmstead and thought I would not have a chance to sample their wares. Thanks to the great taps of Queens. Vermont is not too far away, maybe a road trip is in order.

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Photo of Duane_Opfer
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Hill Farmstead. Reviewed while in line for growler fills. Review written from notes. Consumed on 11/2.

A - Brown approaching black with a light beige head. No sediment or last lacing.

S/T - Dark chocolate, molasses, toffee, and cinnamon. Completely hides ABV. Well balanced and leaves a lasting pleasant tart in the mouth.

M - Outstanding. Feels crisp and clean with good carbonation.

O - Very enjoyable and warming. Highly recommended to try.

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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 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 davey101
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fall/Winter 2012 vintage. 500ml bottle into a tulip glass. The HF website lists this beer as being brewed with coffee and cinnamon, but the ingredient lists and description on the label has no mention of cinnamon. Recipe change perhaps?

A - Pours a very dark black body. Holding it up to the light lets just a bit shine through to show a very dark brown color. Dense and creamy two finger mocha head forms and dissipates rather slowly into a thin cap with thick edging. Lacing and retention is just insane on this beer. Super sticky and clinging foam.

S - Roasty and smoky with intense espresso beans and rich vanilla. Finish is of sweet milk chocolate and a touch of spice. Excellent aroma, very dark and roasty.

T - Roasted malts lead into a strong vanilla presence. Notes of coffee and sweet milk chocolate intertwine. The intense roastiness of the beer is cut by an almost syrup like level of sweetness. Extremely decadent and delicious but slightly cloying.

M - Creamy and silky with a perfect level of carbonation. Swishing the beer in your mouth causes it to instantly froth up. It finishes surprisingly dry which helps with the intense syrupy sweetness of the beer. The mouthfeel is just perfect here.

O - An exceedingly complex and intense porter. I assume Everett is the base beer due to matching abv's. I do prefer Everett in that its much simpler and basic while perfecting all the qualities that make a world class porter. The addition of ingredients seems to make a great thing a bit less great. Still a world class porter that is exceedingly enjoyable on a cold ass night.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nearly pitch black color with minimal head. The smell is chocolately, roasty, with hints of vanilla and spice. The flavor is more roasty when cold, but as the beer warms you get wonderful notes of vanilla and chocolate with a good residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is full with low carbonation. I did sit on the full growled for a few days without opening. I wonder if it would have been more carbed if I had drank it fresh. Overall this beer is awesome, it really is one o the best porters I have had.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled at the brewery on 11.04.2010. Poured into a Bruery tulip.

Color is near black with a really strong tan head and loads of spotty lacing with a ring of light head and spots atop throughout. The nose brings a really nice, slight bourbon character. It's not overpowering, but is somewhat mellow with a nice vanilla and oak creaminess to it. Some slight chocolate in the background as well.

The taste is nice with a bittersweet chocolate character layered underneath a good presence of vanilla. Again, some really nice and mellow bourbon notes and a hint of oak. Medium body with a slight hint of booze. Overall, a fantastic brew from Shaun and the vanilla really shines through.

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Photo of Gatch
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fall/Winter 2012. Bottle says 7.2% ABV.

A: Deep, dark brown. Nearly black. A light-to-medium brown foamy, soapy, pillowy head that fades into a bit of lace and a ring of retention.

S: Sweet, roasted malt, some bourbon, vanilla beans, a bit of earth/wood, molasses, brown sugar, and a touch of sweet booze. Very complex. Almost the nose of an Imperial Stout.

T: Vanilla hits the tongue right away. A great balance of sweetness and roasted flavor from the malt. All the aromas in the nose come through in the flavor. A seriously delicious beer that is more enjoyable with each sip. When a Porter is done well, it's a great thing.

M: Super smooth. Like, really damn smooth. Huge flavor, great body for a Porter, and the right carbonation. As is expected from the style and the amount of sweetness in this beer, it can be a tad cloying in the finish. Just a bit, though.

O: A killer beer. A killer AP. HF can craft a great brew from any end of the spectrum. Of this I am convinced.

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Photo of Damian
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at Lord Hobo, Cambridge, MA
Served in a cervoise

The beer poured super oily and nearly pitch black. A tight, one-finger head of saddle brown froth topped the liquid. The head quickly dissipated to a clingy ring of foam.

Super strong notes of freshly ground coffee beans dominated the nose. A touch of roast was also noticeable. Hints of vanilla. Straightforward yet so amazing.

The flavor profile was rich and robust. Coffee notes were again quite apparent, but they was more bitter and roasty than in the aroma. Roasted malts came through strong on the front end. Some sweet caramel malts as well. Touch of vanilla and spice in the center. Faint notes of dark chocolate. The finish was roasty and moderately bitter. Overall, this was a very well balanced beer.

The mouthfeel was fuller bodied for the style. Quite slick and oily. Creamy and silky smooth on the palate.

After trying Twilight Of The Idols and Birth of Tragedy (which is the barrel-aged version of Twilight) on back-to-back nights, I can confirm that these beers are entirely different beasts. While I loved the bourbon notes and the overall intensity of Tragedy, Twilight definitely had more coffee and vanilla nuances (and more carbonation). Like nearly all of Hill Farmstead's offerings, this beer is fantastic.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 500 mL bottle chilled and poured into my Dogfish Head tulip glass. Picked up from the brewery today.

Appearance: Obviously, near pitch black in color. Doesn't pour a really aggressive head, but the beige head does recede into a nice lacing around the glass.

Aroma: Coffee and chocolate notes really stand out in the aroma. After the initial burst of roasty, porter notes, there is definitely a nice vanilla presence. The vanilla is definitely there but not overdone at all. Some nice cinnamon also peeks through.

Taste: Really nice fresh coffee and milk chocolate notes. Really nice combination of coffee bitterness and sweetness from the chocolate and caramel of the malts. The vanilla is not too strong, but compliments the other flavors very well. Some light cinnamon notes as well. Very complex and extremely drinkable and most importantly, tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with average/low carbonation for the style. Warming throughout.

Overall, probably my favorite non-barrel aged porter ever. Incredibly drinkable and complex. All the additions to this beer (coffee, vanilla, cinnamon) work well together and complement each other. Nothing is too heavy handed and it makes for an incredible porter. Having this released during the winter season was also a great choice as it drinks great in the cold weather.

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Photo of KingdomBobcat
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Hill Farmstead tap takeover at Parker Pie Nov. 16 2013

A-wonderful dark brown, off-black color
S-coffee, cinnamon, roasted malts, hardly noticeable vanilla
T-this is where the beer lost it for me. Everett is probably my favorite porter, and I went into this beer with expectations that I would enjoy it more than Everett, but the cinnamon killed it for me. very light coffee taste and the cinnamon is light as well but the combination of the two just didn't work for me.
M-Rich, smooth chocolatey-coffee taste, some spiciness, hardly noticeable booze
O-I liked the beer, and it's fun for a seasonal release, but it isn't my new favorite porter like I had hoped

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Photo of rudzud
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Bardwashrind
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Shared with the lady of the house and our good pal, Rake. Thanks to RSchaeffer for always coming through.

Drank while listing to Gorgoroth's Twilight of the Idol's. Crushingly appropriate.

Grower was filled to the point of nearly overflowing, full is a good descriptor of it's condition. Mocha colored bubbles arose from the glass and a delicious aroma of sweet chocolate and vanilla wafers followed. Almost black in color with just the slightest hint of light making it's way at the beer's edges. More aromas of burnt sugar, fresh brewed coffee, toasted bread and a little bit of charcoal. Insanely inviting.

The first sip was full of a harmonious balance of sweetened chocolate ganache, espresso, raisins, vanilla beans and black pepper. Quite amazing, the balance of richness with the drying finished left me speechless. The charred flavor of the darkened malts tied everything together and made for one seamless drinking experience.

Unreal. The subtle flavors and the sheer level of rounded integration of each component was just remarkable. These beers speak so softly and yet they say so much. I swear it, my bags are nearly packed, I'm just about ready to drop everything and lurk in the woods around Hill Farmstead with hopes for more tastes of these beers. World class for sure.

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Photo of youbrewidrink
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All I can say is Christmas in a glass. I had this on tap at both Three Penny & Blackback.

You start with a the darkest of brown color with with a minimal mocha head.

You follow that with a slight coffee/ vanilla nose with some roasty goodness.

Ok taste buds don't let me down, This tastes exactly as it smells and I loved it.

The carbonation was light, but appropriate for the style. The mouthfeel was rich and the proper viscosity in my book.

Once again Shaun has captured the essence of a place in your mind in an outstanding beer.

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Photo of Hab11
4.71/5  rDev +10%
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 thirsty4beer
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap @ Mugs Ale House in Brooklyn, NY

A: Very dark brown pour - bordering on black - with a thin layer of light walnut head that dissipated quickly. Lacing is minimal but present.

S: The nose is dominated by freshly roasted coffee beans and vanilla extract. Dark chocolate and Christmas spices are detected (especially cinnamon) with a bit of roasted malt as well.

T: Amazing! Espresso and creme brulee just made love in my mouth. Bold espresso, vanilla beans, roasted cacao beans, freshly grated cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and notes of dark fruit. Just a touch of burnt toffee. The flavors come together rather smoothly with just the right amount of creamy lactose sweetness. A very faint hop character comes through to perfectly balance this porter.

M: Very smooth, medium bodied, slightly dry with a gentle carbonation.

D: One to remember. Instantly one of my favorites. I could easily drink this all night and would be very tempted to have a few the following morning. Hats off to Hill Farmstead for this winner. Can't wait to get my next Twilight fix.

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Photo of Rhode17
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml Growler. Thanks to Mike for bringing it back from his Vermont road trip.

Barely a wisp of foam on this one. Not really much carbonation but it still has fantastic color and just a hint of a ring of caramel head.

Smells slightly of cocoa, vanilla and coffee. Beautiful aromas that mix really well together. There is just a little bit of spice lurking in there too.

Well balanced flavors that echo the aromas. Velvety but lighter in body at the same time. Ever sip lasts for a minute or two on the tongue. I can't shake the little flavor on the finish that reminds me of gingerbread. This is just decadent without being overdone and artificial.

Man this is just a fantastic beer, totally worth the expectations. Too bad I have to wait for folks to drive north to get a second growler of this one.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hill Farmstead Twighlight Of the Idols

Look 10/10
Smell 18/20
Taste 40/40
Feel 10/10
Drinkability 20/20

Overall 98/100

Absolutely lights out, I think of it as a KBS light, which says something as its not barrel aged. Also it was even more sessionable. Once I got to the end of the Growler, I savored every last drop. Currently (11/26/13) my all time favorite brew.

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