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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

169 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 169
Hads: 965
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 21.03%
Wants: 455
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: 169 | Hads: 965
Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go to BA Deuane for sharing this growler over the weekend. I got to have several pours into a snifter. The brew appears black in color with thick mocha colored head. The cap fades slowly producing a full wall of lace. A light swirl revives a finger back to the surface.

The smell is pretty strong with vanilla beans. Almost a sticky feeling to the nostrils before the onset of roasty coffee, charred grain, earthen elements and then citrus hops. Across the back as this brew warms up, it is somewhat reminescent of an oyster stout with its mineral inclusion and roasty elements.

The flavor is super roasty with dark kilned grain and an accenting bitterness of citrus bitter coffee coupled with herbal hops. A pronounced sticky vanilla bean flavor and sweetness persists though the middle of this brews flavor profile. The finish goes back to a bit of that previous mentioned oyster stout feel with plenty of mineral character somewhat earthen and reminescent of cinnamon bark.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is smooth and easy drinking with lots of pleasant roasty stout quality contrasted by sticky sweet vanilla bean addition. I had no problems finishing my glass and reaching for more. My only complaint is the mineral aspect thy seemed a bit out of place.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to ilovevermont, poured into a HF stem.

Pour: Completely pitch black with the slightest dark brown edges to the glass. This glass is completely black. A finger and a half of khaki white head forms, that sticks around nicely and leaves solid lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted chocolate, with a significant coffee presence. A light smokiness, followed by some vanilla, but only just.

Taste: Really nice clean dark chocolate. Roasted coffee beans are present throughout, and provide a nice bitterness. Sweet milk chocolate then comes which mellows out any harshness from coffee bitterness. Finishes with an ever so slight touch of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: Holy amazing. Super velvety and creamy. This beer is amazingly drinkable, yet decadent to savor. Nailed the mouthfeel with this one.

Overall: Another incredible beer from Shaun Hill. Not sure if I prefer this over Everett or not. For now I'll say "yes."

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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 DaveHack
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a HF tulip.

Pours pretty typical for the style. Very dark, virtually black. Mocha colored head rests nicely on top.

Smell is very roasty. I can catch a hint of bitter chocoalte as well.

Taste is in line with the smell. It's very roasty up front along with a little bitterness.

Considering the smell and color, I would've expected this to be much heavier and thick. It isn't a light beer, but it's certainly not heavy. It's really a smooth beer.

Not my favorite of styles, but I enjoyed this.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by starrdogg. Thanks Matt!

The beer is dark brown with a quarter inch of beige head. The aroma is roasty, with a touch of spice. Vanilla presence hits immediately upon the first sip. While vanilla presence is muted in the aroma, it is rather assertive in the flavor. Smooth, silky feel with lingering vanilla, chocolate. Delicious. Another fabulous beer from Hill Farmstead.

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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 Dreadnaught33
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another nice beer shared by Matt, starrdogg.

It pours a really nice black to dark brown color with a nice tan ring of head and some great lacing left with a swirl. The smell is a great melange of the added flavors of coffee, vanilla bean, and the some kind of astringent malts. The coffee isn't a great quality coffee, almost like a instant coffee almost, and has some spicy notes to it. The taste is very nice with a great vanilla bean flavor added to the coffee flavor and nice malty porter base. Taste pops nicely. The feel is ok, kind of drier than I like in a porter with additions like this and medium in body. Overall a good beer but I don't love it as much as others at the tasting did.

Edit: had this same batch tonight, and the smell is significantly better, maybe with some age the coffee mellows out and everything seems to coalesce very nicely with a bit of age, a nice roasty solid example of a porter aroma. It was noted that the alcohol level is perfect for a chocolate coffee vanilla porter, it's also very nice in subtlety. The feel also seems silkier than last time. Nice! Thanks to Andrew MacWilliams for the bottle!

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Photo of Kinsman
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yup, it's black alright. Bit of tan head sits on top but fades kind of quickly. Quite a strong vanilla note to start things off, some cinnamon and a nice solid porter to back it all up. Some chocolate aromas and a healthy dose of coffee roasting going on.

Really digging what the vanilla bean and cinnamon have done with this porter. The vanilla is more prominent here than I expected given other vanilla bean aged porters I've had. Cinnamon naturally pairs really well with these flavors and it's a shame you don't see more spiced beers go as dark as this (too many generic winter warmers seem to be boring amber ales with spices added). Anyone that's had Everett knows that HF makes a mean porter so naturally the base beer in this holds up really well. Not as roasty and robust as Everett but I think that gives the other flavors a better chance to shine.

Full-bodied and creamy mouthfeel. Really, this might just be the perfect winter beer.

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Photo of brystmar
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mac comes through with the pre-hurricane growler! What better way to ride out Hurricane Sandy than with a fresh growler from Hill Farmstead?

Deep brown body, nearly opaque. Fluffy dark tan head, excellent retention and lace, all of which are par for the course for a Hill Farmstead brew.

Aroma is exceedingly dry, and yields only a hint of cinnamon. Other than that, it smells like a regular robust porter without extra ingredients. Surprisingly minimal roast and spices here; this isn't what I expect from HF.

Fortunately, everything shows up on my palate. Predominantly roasty malt layered with smooth vanilla, leaving a lingering cinnamon flavor in the back of my throat. Coffee is the weakest of the flavors, and I'd like a more coffee-forward profile here.

Pretty sure I prefer Everett to Twilight of the Idols as it stands. I like this combination of flavors moreso in theory than in this particular beer. Perhaps the next batch will be better?

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chilled growler into a glass. I think this was shared by nickd717. From long-ago notes.

A: The growler was a bit cold, so the beer (black body) initially poured flat and eventually generated a tan head that lasted briefly before receding into a thin collar. No lace.

S: This is more chocolate-forward than Everett (which to me is primarily roasty). Vanilla, coffee, roasted grain, and some smoke are noted.

T: Again, chocolate-forward, but roasted grain is stronger here than the nose implied it would be. Coffee and vanilla are also weaker than the nose implied. There is a nice spice kick (cinnamon?); that and a nutty molasses flavor give the beer a wintry feel.

M: Medium-bodied, with low-medium carbonation. It has a little lingering stickiness, but it's not oily.

O: An outstanding porter. I think Everett takes the cake for me, but this is a fine entry in Hill Farmstead's recipe book...

EDIT: In retrospect, uploading this review maybe 2 years later, I realized that this must have been the base beer for Birth of Tragedy. Nice. No wonder that beer turned out to be so exceptional.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap @prohibition pig in waterbury VT

A: super dark brown, just about black with a nice finger of creamy mocha head, this looks delicious. The head recedes nicley, not much lacing though.

S: I get sweet milk chocolate, with a touch of dark fruit. first off, then coffee with a bit of creamy vanilla, then as the beer warms I begin to notice the cinnamon giving a vague cinnamon teddy graham note.... A touch of alcohol a well. Loving the aroma, particuarly as it warms.

T: milk chocolate coffe and vanill, reminds me of chocolate milk but mocha, the cinnamon comes in a touch on the end.... Sadly I do not get the teddy Graham's I gt in the nose....

M: heavy medium body with lower carbonation... Mouthfeel is slick and velvety with a dry finish. Very full bodied for a 7.5 abv.

O: a really good porter, don't really know what else to say... A touch of sweetness to it for the style and a hint of dark fruit, but overall deffinatly try this if you get the chance.

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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 xenjoiii
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap; poured into a tulip at the Good Life.

A: Black body with a small dark khaki head that quickly faded into a thin layer of film around the side of the glass.

S: Roasted coffee and bitter chocolate

T: A combination of strong coffee and roasted malts dominate the front of the palate. Faint notes of vanilla and cinnamon begin to emerge towards the middle of the mouth. The beer has a nice bitter chocolate finish. Excellent porter.

M: Lightly carbonated. Silky mouthfeel.

O: As previously stated this is an excellent porter. Definitely one of the best I have had to date.

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Photo of socon67
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black pour with a cream colored foam

S - Nice scent of chocolate, coffee, and rown sugar.

T - Hearty, robust porter with plenty of flavor. Malt tastes a bit more like an english porter, but the chocolate and coffee flavors are up front and consistent.

M - This one is very smooth for a hearty porter. Feels lighter than you would think.

O - Liked this one alot. Great example of a porter that could pass for a hearty stout.

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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 axeman9182
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Cafe D'Alsace, and served in a tall thin glass.

Twilight of the Idols pours a solid black, with about a finger of mocha foam left crowning the beer. Head retention is just average, and there's a little bit of lacing left stuck around the glass. The nose is nice, dominated by milk chocolate with a strong spicy cinnamon presence. The flavor profile takes things to the next level though, starting with a creamy chocolate open. Cinnamon comes in for a short time in the mid palate, before coffee and more chocolate close things off. The finish is like the liquid equivalent of snacking on chocolate covered coffee beans. The mouthfeel is also top notch, very full and creamy for a 7.5% beer, with a subtle and understated carbonation. I'd be shocked if there weren't a healthy dose of oats in the grain bill, because the body is just that silky smooth. Twilight of the Idols was the first non hoppy beer I've had from Hill Farmtead, and it left me just as impressed with them as I was by their outstanding IPAs.

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

Twilight of... was served on-tap in Worcester MA.

Appearance is black with a light brown head. Upon smelling this, you know right away that you are in for a treat. It has vanilla and coffee on the nose, some malts. Then, with a taste and there is more of the coffee and vanilla, along with some cinnamon and some other winter spices. Roasted malts continue in the taste too. This is very well balanced and drinks easy, a smooth texture and finish. It would be great to drink a glass of this alongside chocolate chip cookies. A fantastic porter and well suited to a cold night in New England.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a HF stemmed tulip

Pours a near black with a thin dark khaki cap. Bit of a creamy cap as it clings to the sides and leaves faint sip marks.

The aroma is of roast, dark chocolate, vanilla beans, fresh coffee and a faint hint of cinnamon lays low. There is a fresh citrus hop presence that pokes through all of the other aromas.

Up front, the roast, dark chocolate, and fresh coffee take the lead before a rush of citrus and a finish of roast, vanilla, and cinnamon. Some citrus lingers, but the lingering flavors are mainly roast and cinnamon.

Full bodied porter, rich and creamy. The feel is really the best part of this beer. So smooth for how big it is.

This is a fine porter that I would seek out again. Rich, bold flavors, a nice hop profile and the added touch of cinnamon for a little flair.

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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 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 andrewinski1
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Crop. Served in a nonic glass with a small dark tan head. The color is very black.

The aroma is not very strong, but some mildly sweet chocolate.

The taste is excellently rounded with lots of sweet chocolate and vanilla. The finish has a nice coffee emphasis without leaving any harsh bitterness.

The body is medium with a nice soft carbonation; this is a little smooth.

The flavor is unbeleivable here. Hill Farmstead remains one of my all time favorites.

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Photo of tempest
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a glass at the Farmhouse in Burlington VT. Damn, that's a porter. The coffee and vanilla are wonderfully blended into the beer. So many coffee porters and stouts go too heavy on the java, and even get a stale taste. This beer takes a great cup of joe, adds a dash of subtle vanilla, and still brings a great porter. The malt brough a dark, chocolate character with a sharp roasted edge that's balanced by the sweet vanilla. The beer is formidable, but never too heavy. Find this porter.

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Photo of iadler
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml growler courtesy of dciBA. Much appreciated!

A- Pours a deep black with a small light mocha head that dissipates into a thin cap. Some spots of lacing are left behind.

S- Freshly roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, roasted malt and vanilla.

T- Coffee beans with dark chocolate, vanilla, start anice and some roasted malt in the finish.

M- Low to medium carbonation with a smooth rich body.

O- A smooth and easy to drink porter. The flavors complement each-other as nothing was too dominant. The spices weren't as evident as I thought they would be, but still another solid offering from Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of Retail1LO
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sampler from a 750mL swingtop. Pours jet black with a thin head. Nose is roasty and sweet. Taste is mildly smokey with a nice tinge of bitter ess. Mouthfeel is pretty decent. Well carbonated, slightly astringent. Im not a huge porter fan, but this is one of the beat examples of the style I've had.

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

750 ml growler. review from notes from a week or so ago.

pours black as a starless night with an avg mocha head that laces well while quickly settling to a thin film.

coffee, vanilla, molasses, a touch of cinnamon as it warms (though I'm not sure I would have noticed it without reading it had it in there). sweet, roasty, and balanced.

smoooth. vanilla, molasses, day-old coffee. a touch of a cinnamon cuts through the sweetness on the finish.

velvety smooth, medium bodied with a subtle carbonation.

an easy-drinking beer that has plenty of flavor, is well balanced, and is slightly complex. A very good beer, but it doesn't wow me as much as a few other Hill Farmstead beers.

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Twilight Of The Idols from Hill Farmstead Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.