Twilight Of The Idols - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Twilight Of The IdolsTwilight Of The Idols

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

155 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 155
Hads: 873
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 2.81%
Wants: 429
Gots: 117 | FT: 5
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

A Winter Porter brewed with Coffee and Cinnamon…Aged on Vanilla Beans.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 155 | Hads: 873
Photo of nkersten
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap, served into a tulip. Pitch black with a one finger tan head that settles to a cap, very creamy with amazing lacing. Smell is bourbon and raw vanilla beans, spiced cinnamon, coffee beans, dark roasty malts, spicy hops. Taste is very sweet malts and some roasted malt bitterness, vanilla, slightly hoppy, a hint of coffee and some cinnamon (a later batch I had was heavy on the cinnamon, i prefer this version). Medium/heavy body with a light carbonation. This beer drinks and feels more like a spiced stout then a porter, but an excellent Christmas beer either way. One of the most drinkable spiced beers I have ever had. Sadly, TSA smashed the growler I was attempting to bring back so I wont get to have any more of this for a while. (742 characters)

Photo of hagbergl
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (2,165 characters)

Photo of TheDudeRules
3.65/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sinister black pour into my Lift Bridge snifter.

Quarter finger of khaki colored head. Fades quickly. Zero lacing. Outer ring remains around the glass.

Smell consists of coffee, roast chocolate and some oak tones that linger in the nostrils. Even a touch vinous.

Chocolate and coffee roast are at the forefront. The woodsy smell doesn't translate to taste. Slightly sweet on the finish of the sip. Slight boozy exhale. I am struggling to find the vanilla.

Creamy in the mouth. Carbonation is a touch under. Thin. Drinks fairly well.

Very solid beer. As far as a porter goes, one of the better ones. A great tick. (620 characters)

Photo of xenjoiii
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (590 characters)

Photo of davewlfpckfan29
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

WOW. I am lucky enough to have this brewery so close to me. I have had this on tap both at Hill Farmstead, and now at Parker Pie. I have purchased the 750ml bottle as well because I like this beer so much.

Beautiful dark brown color, tan lacing which sits at the top

The smell of the beer is very pleasing.

Vanilla and coffee. Yes. But also much more taste from spices, such a great balance of so much that is going on in this beer.
Delicious.

Smooth mouthfeel, very easy to drink a couple glasses of this. (514 characters)

Photo of Gfunk720
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle out of my Stone glass.

A- A deep pitch black, quite dark for a porter. Pours with a dark tan/coffee colored head, that quickly reduces to a light froth. Light lacing.

S- Nice roasty malts, and a touch of smokiness. I get a little bit of coffee, and some acidity and spice. Some creamy chocolate notes as well.

T- Smooth and creamy as it enters my mouth, which transitions to a nice robust coffee porter. The vanilla and spices are also evident, but I would argue it could take even more vanilla. The aftertaste is a roasted malt flavor with a hint of smokiness. I also get what tastes like cinnamon and perhaps some nutmeg that lingers in my mouth.

M- As with every Hill Farmstead beer it is perfect. Not one complaint.

O- Overall, this is an extremely nice spiced coffee porter. I hate smokey beers, but this has just the right touch of smokiness to compliment the roasted malt character. It reminds me of Victory at Sea, but has a much different spin on it. It's highlights are really the malt and spices, with the vanilla and coffee somewhat taking a back seat. (1,082 characters)

Photo of tubacharlie
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Despite having been filled three days before, and mostly consumed by others in the previous two days, the beer still had a semblance of a head, with enough carbonation to keep a thin ring around the edge supplied.

Coffee and chocolate are evident in the aroma, with hints of anise and vanilla.

A mouthful of the porter delivers sweet vanilla flavor in the middle of the rich coffee and roasted malts with a slightly bittersweet, dark chocolate aftertaste. Balanced by select hop additions and muted carbonation, the overall taste is meaty, with good depth of character.

Excellent brew for winter consumption. Almost too rich for dinner, a porter for pleasure. (662 characters)

Photo of KingdomBobcat
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
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 (661 characters)

Photo of dickieb
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (464 characters)

Photo of 05Harley
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased @ Hill Farmstead Brewery, Greensboro VT

Price - $16/growler

A Winter Porter brewed with Coffee and Cinnamon…Aged on Vanilla Beans.

This is one dark beauty with a thin red edge noticeable only under the light near the top. A delicious looking beer with a half inch creamy tan head and patches of lacing.

Aroma is perfect for winter with vanilla, caramel, gingerbread, fresh roasted coffee and cinnamon spices.

The flavor mirrors the nose with the addition of dark chocolate but the spicey cinnamon steals the attention and takes center stage. A definite sweetness is noted from start to finish.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a medium body and slightly sticky. The bitter/dryness is held in check keeping it very much a dessert beer. Very low in carbonation, pretty much nonexistent.

Overall this is a good example of the style and a perfect fit for the holiday season. An easy drinking porter and a candidate for a Christmas after dinner menu. (965 characters)

Photo of 321jeff
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
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). (662 characters)

Photo of Beerisheaven
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler provided to me by kelp, the undisputed heavyweight champion of trading from the New England area. This guy rolls out great beers in trade after trade like a production line. I am a lucky fellow to have him as a regular trading partner.

A - Pours a rich dark brown or lightish shade of black without much head but with a decent amount of bubbles that go snack, crackle, pop and then they're gone.

S - I get the coffee front and center with a nice compliment of good bakers chocolate. I don't get the cinnomon and the vanilla is in the closet as well.

T - Hill Farmstead is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries. JUst about everything that kelp has thrown my way from them has been top notch. Great coffee, chocolate, toffee, taste to this one. I think that I poured this one a bit too cold. As it warmed, the profiles increased. I would suggest letting this one warm a bit when you take it from the frig.

M - Very pleasant for a porter. As rich and thick as you would expect from this type of beer category.

O - Really nice beer from a great brewery. Wish I was local and could hit them up on a regular basis. I have to remember to never piss kelp off. (1,172 characters)

Photo of Skrip
3.71/5  rDev -13.1%
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! (619 characters)

Photo of youbrewidrink
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
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. (538 characters)

Photo of kinopio
4.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Gingerman in NYC

Appearance was likely altered because it was the end of the keg. Huge foam that was equal in size to the half pour.

The cinnamon and vanilla really come through but at the same time don't overpower the taste one expects from a porter. Tastes like winter in a glass.

Very drinkable for something dark and 7.5%. Since I got the last pour from the keg it was only about 6oz or so and I wish I had the opportunity to order 2 or 3 glasses because it was going down very easily.

One of the best beers I've ever had, just wish there was more of it! (574 characters)

Photo of Jdiddy
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at La Laiterie. Excellent winter beer. So smooth you could drink them all night. The vanilla/cinnamon combo is just right. Reminds me a bit of Anchor Steam's holiday offerings. My only complaint is that ot feels a little thin and I would love to tase this combo in a heavier stout. Either way, Shaun does it again. Superb! (329 characters)

Photo of ggilman
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured vigorously from a HFS growler to a Sebago Brewing Company tulip glass.

Deep dark black, much blacker than Twilight! If I swirl the beer in the light I can pick out some faint chestnut around the edges. Minimal mocha head, with a little brook trout patterned lacing. Vanilla comes through big in the nose, followed by coffee grounds and then kahlua. Some coffee roast, but everything is overshadowed by vanilla bean. So silky smooth. Vanilla, bourbon, and coffee. Rich and chewy. Milk chocolate, root beer, amaretto. A little bit of booze and bitterness, but overall a creamy delicious beer. Not sure I could polish off a growler alone. A little heavy and rich. Ecstasy-inducing in small doses. (701 characters)

Photo of Duane_Opfer
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (457 characters)

Photo of AdamF625
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (256 characters)

Photo of dhartogs
5/5  rDev +17.1%
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. (591 characters)

Photo of ThreeLions
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle split with Hab11

Appearance: Jet black. Bottle pours softly with little to no but noticeable carbonation. Even darker in color than Everett.

Smell: Chocolate malts come through the strongest. Not sure I would even know there are caramel malts if the bottle didn't mention it. The coffee is there in the nose as well, but the chocolate is the most pronounced smell. Not sure I pick up the vanilla either. Almost pick up a creme de menthe smell that I wonder whether or not it will translate to the taste.

Taste: Absolutely delicious. The taste has much more of a medley of flavors than the aroma. Chocolate comes through at first but takes a step back to let the vanilla, coffee and roasted barley come together in perfect harmony. Very well balanced beer this one.

Mouthfeel: Not overwhelming but very good malt presence. Far from a watery mouthfeel. Creamy, but not silky. Sessionable and very pleasant feel.

Overall: Damn good beer. Great balance overall. Very sessionable and rewarding beer. Quite complex for what can sometimes be a style that can be overpowered by a particular ingredient. Not my favorite offering from Hill Farmstead but honestly I don't have a single complaint about this. Very nice job. (1,230 characters)

Photo of Clonies720
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

Overall: Very delicious. World class. However, Vanilla Bean Framinghammer porter has ruined me for life and this beer pales in comparison to it. (868 characters)

Photo of GatheringBrews
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap and in growler from the brewery, the flavors vary slightly between the two tastings in interesting ways.

It pours a rich, dark brown with a tan head, dissipating slowly into a nice thin foam. Aroma on tap is slightly sharper with a bit more coffee, while from a growler it was a little more vanilla balanced with the coffee.

Taste is outstanding both on tap and in growler, with medium sweet malt backbone, a touch of hop bitterness and coffee, vanilla and just a hint of the cinnamon in the finish, with no discernible alcohol or indication of its ABV. Carbonation is on the money for the style, and it's full bodied without being heavy.

Exceedingly well balanced, this is a wonderful beer. (701 characters)

Photo of UnderJoath
4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle. Aroma is a bit bitter with hints of coffee. Vanilla smell could be confused as a smokey character. Nice dark brown with a quickly disappearing tan head. Nice malty porter with a perfect balance of coffee. Sweet subtle vanilla finish. Doesn’t taste nearly as bitter as the aroma. Very nice porter. (318 characters)

Photo of Hab11
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (504 characters)

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