1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Daybreak - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
DaybreakDaybreak

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

303 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 303
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.65%
Wants: 200
Gots: 52 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bark on 09-28-2011

Imperial Stout brewed with Citrus at Hill Farmstead Brewery with the company, hardwork, and input of our good friend Mikkel Borg Bjergsø of Mikkeller.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 303 | Reviews: 59
Reviews by DooshBagalow:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This one pours completely black, not much light passes through this one, even at the edges. The head is tan with a slight tiny of grey. Some wet legging and a bit of spotty lacing is left along the edges of the glass. The aroma pounds forward with a helping of creamy coffee and some light hints of cocoa nibs. Some faint vanilla sits quietly in the background somewhere, accompanied by an almost bourbon-like warmth and character. Overall, it's a bit sweet and grainy on the nose, though I'm not getting much of a citrus character. Maybe a very, very faint hint of orange peel, but nothing that really stands out or catches my attention.

Daybreak starts off with a pillow of some lightly roasted malts and immediately dives into a somewhat smokey character, with a campfire-like charred component and hefty helpings of ash on the back end. Halfway through, the citrus comes out, and in a pretty big way; a nice blast of orange zest and lemon rind rushes to the corners of my mouth and provides a solid sweetness that isn't quite strong enough to be "tart". As quickly as this citrus joined the party, it bows it head and ducks out just as quick, leading the way into an aftertaste that's a bit nutty, woody, and very roasty. Alcohol is tame, especially considering it's 10.5% ABV. Medium-heavy body with a creamy texture and a mild amount of carbonation.

Very solid stout here, with a nice, albeit somewhat strange, addition of citrus flavors. Very drinkable and smooth given the high alcohol content. This went down without a problem, although I don't know if it's worth giving up a lot to get your hands on it. Nevertheless, still a solid stout all around.

Photo of pwoods
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Kels' bf for the bottle.

500ml brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours deep black with medium viscosity. Not much head or retention. Not really any lacing but some oily legs.

S: Definitely plenty of citrus that smells kind of odd blended with the stout. Not a ton of roast.

T/M: Plenty of citrus and more citrus flavors from the hops. A bit more roast than in the nose and a bit of chocolate. Nice velvety slim mouthfeel than finishes surprisingly dry.

D: Interesting beer that's a bit odd. Not my favorite but worth a try.

Photo of Roguer
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thin head, even from a vigorous pour, ~ 1/2 finger of dark brown foam, relatively quickly fading to an oily, bubbly sheen. Not completely unexpected for the style. Dark black brew, with a nutty red/brown highlight to it. Little flecks of lacing slowly slide down the glass.

Barrel aroma is immediately present with a light tartness and slight funkiness. Dark cacao and roasted malts behind, grain-heavy. Is there a hint of citrus there? If so, I can't really separate the "brewed with citrus" aroma from the liqueur barrel aroma. What the nose portends is a delicate and complex mystery.

Dark cacao first, followed by a thick, chocolatey and roasted malt body which rolls in strongly. Final third gives way to the barrel: slight sweet tangerine citrus, and a fairly strong, but well-balanced, liqueur (alcohol) flavor. Difficult to describe the barrel: woody and earthy, with a vanilla-and-liqueur blend that is hard to quantify.

Very thick mouthfeel, oily with a long finish. Lively with no real sting, virtually no hint of alcohol strength, no foam. Not chewy at all, but silky smooth.

The liqueur barrel isn't right up my alley, but it certainly adds a different kind of BA edge to this complex and very enjoyable stout. Very drinkable, although the liqueur presence causes you to pull up and slow down every couple of sips. Very interesting.

Bottled 2 1/2 months ago. Excited to try this one again in a year or more.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Josh for this one. 500ml bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a big, 2 finger frothy mocha head with good retention. Beer is opaque black with stringy, thick lacing with decent cling. Moderately oily legs. Very solid overall.

Nose is orange rind, cocoa powder, liquorice, fudge, roasted malt, and lactose. Aromatic. Decently complex though a touch grainy.

Opens sweet fudge, mocha, and chocolate. Some citrus sweet notes float in and out but don't really make their presence felt. Roasted malt tartness with lactose to smooth things out at the middle. Finishes chocolate and some dark fruit. Coffee, cocoa powder, and roasted malt in the aftertaste. Decent. This one grows on you with time.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Silky and rich in the mouth and warm with a touch of heat going down. Messy finish with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Near perfect as always with Hill Farmstead.

Although this is still a very solid creation, its not one of the better dark beers from Hill Farmstead. That's not a knock against Daybreak but rather a complement to the incredible lineup from HF. Probably not worth the asking price but I wouldn't mind revisiting this in the future.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. Thanks to Kirchhoff for this bottle!

Appearance - Pours with a nice mocha head. It settles into nice swirls of foam atop a black body until it finally fades into a ring. The foam clings to the glass.

Smell - I've been reading reviews where people are saying that the orange flavor is an afterthought, but I think it's fully integrated into the stout/porter aroma. Huge hop presence, which certainly blurs the line between what is hops and what is orange, but the orange is distinct from the hops. Smells like a black IPA with a giant chocolate backbone and a nice aroma of orange peels.

Taste - Huge hop profile at first. Citrus hops. This feels like it was dry hopped like an IPA. Chocolate in the background that eventually comes to the forefront. Distinct orange flavor throughout the drink. It neither fades nor becomes more prevalent. It adds to the flavor nicely. Really terrific.

Mouthfeel - It's got a bitter finish, but it's negligible considering the hop presence of this stout. It tastes nowhere near 10% ABV. I keep taking sips to wrap my taste buds around the citrus flavors and the alcohol never makes an impact.

Overall - This is great. Definitely something that needs to be consumed fresh. It has probably already faded, but it's still delicious. I could go for a touch more roasted malts to really bring out the complexity of the base stout, but the oranges are a great touch. Yet another exceptional HF beer.

Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into a couple of glasses. This is another one courtesy of Stakem.

Pours black with a thin frothy head of milk chocolate foam that flares up quite nicely when swirled, dotting the sides of the glass with a good bit of spotty lace. The aroma smells of bitter orange citrus, roasted coffee, cocoa and a ripe herbal feel. The orange probably has the strongest presence here.

The taste has a bitter orange rind character to it that stands out against a backbone of flavorful coffee and sweet notes of chocolate and caramel. The finish is dry and burnt with some lingering pithiness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a slick and creamy feel that dots the tongue a bit with a touch of crispness. This is extremely smooth feeling overall for 11% ABV and I probably never would have guessed that it was that high without looking at the bottle.

I dug this. It’s got a pretty nice Double Stout base to it as is but then that orange zest added an interesting dynamic to this that worked rather well with those other flavors. And I still can’t believe that this is 10.5% ABV. This is a smooth, flavorful and quite unique sipper for sure.

Photo of bashiba
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark black with a thick dark tan head.

The smell is a nice misture of chocolate and citrus, nice fresh hops, a touc of orange.

A nicely hoppy imperial stout, the chocolate mixes well with the oranges. Nice contrast of citrus and dark malts.

The mothfeel is a nice mixture of creamy and resiny, thick and oily.

Drinkable and very tasty, more like a really good black iipa

Photo of Bardwashrind
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have come across tastes of this beer two times. The first was from a Growler within a week after being released, the second was just a few days ago (February 10th) and I must say that both interactions were quite different. This review will be based on my most recent bottle experience as I'm sure it's the most relavent for those that might be interested.

The beer's initial tasting moment was a joy. Full on bright citrus on the nose and palate. Juicy almost faint Meyer lemon and persevered citrus styled aromas. Big chocolate flavors and a somewhat candied sweetness that followed up into a bitter edge not too far off from the rind of an actual lemon. The sweetness was well in check, balanced by the fruit and supposed high "ICU" count of the beer. Delicious and the alcohol was non existent.

The most recent tasting was out of a bottle and truly came across as a different beer. The big punch of citrus juice I got from the first drink out of the growler was almost nonexistent. Really looking for the citrus, I instead got aromas not too far off from lightly roasted coffee beans and rye flour. Not a bit of alcohol coming off with some smoke and charred malt to back it up. The flavor was nice if a bit lighter on the chocolate. Bitterness from a hoppy/pine/spruce like flavor and a very dry finish made this a slightly singular beer. The citrus was not a big component this go around, still a decent dark beer if just a shadow of the previous interaction.

I hope there are more collaborations from these two. Mikkeller was my first obsession in the world of beer and Hill Farmstead accounts for my current one. When Daybreak was on, it was magic. I could have a slightly off bottle or it just could be unraveling a touch. Let's get some more ICU counts on beers...

Photo of jmarsh123
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown/black with a healthy 2.5 finger dark tan head leaving lacing down the glass with excellent retention.

Smells of pure fudge and roasted malts, but a citrus aroma does creep in.

Flavor follows closely to a regular stoutr. I do get a little bit of a citrus twist at the beginning, but it may be more power of suggestion than actual taste. The roasted malts quickly overpower the citrus and a little bit of sweet chocolate creeps in on the back end as well.

Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

Interesting take but just ok. I wish the citrus has shone through a bit more. Not a bad beer, but there was potential for more.

Photo of oline73
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a fairly thick looking black with a finger of tan head and decent retention. There is a mild amount of lacing left on the glass.

Smell: Really roasty from the malt right off the bat. There is also some sweetness from the malt along with mild citrus notes, but the roast dominates.

Taste: The citrus shows up more here, but the roast bitterness dominates the taste as well. I'm picking up a little sweetness and some dark chocolate as well. The finish is bitter and roasty.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side with mild, tingly carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall: This is a good one, but I would have liked it to be a little smoother.

Photo of cbutova
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to Emma for sharing this.

January 2014 date on the label.

A- Poured from the 12oz bottle to four glasses for the tasting with a pitch black body. Light mocha tan head forms to about a finger even on a small pour with a frothy texture. Head retention is decent as it falls to a small ring leaving spotty lace as well as a few patches.

S- Deep roast malts make up basically the entire nose of the brew for me. Dark roast maltiness, dark bitter cocoa powder, toasted oats, cereal grains and a tiny bit of an ashy burnt quality. Fair amount of hops and citrus round it all out, not sure if all of that comes from the citrus but it is nice and fresh feeling.

T- Follows the nose with a great base Imperial Stout. Roast and toast qualities really come out in all capacities with a breadth of flavors coming to mind. Notes of charred dark grains, cereal, toasted oats, rich dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, licorice and caramel. The citrus is trumped by the roast grains at first but starts to open more and more with warmth and it really adds a new dimension to stouts for me. Citrus zest oil hits the palate in the finish and compliments the deep roast grains. Slight liqueur edge that opens a lot with time.

MF- Not the thickest of all Imperial Stout bodies for me but at a moderately high chewiness after all. Carbonation at a decently high level which usually isn't that great in big stouts but without it the citrus might not shine like it does. Roasty and citrus peel bitterness in the finish.

At a certain point in the experience this beer hits a warmth where the zest, barrel and massive roast base stout open up and shine together. I personally think each element is done well and they balance and work off of each other. Another fresh, delicious HF brew, no surprise anymore.

Photo of rfgetz
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, dark black with small cap of brown bubbles. Scent contains solid roasted and charred grain, light bits of dark bitter chocolate and a strong fresh squeezed orange note. Strong roast leads taste and chocolate, coffee and char accompany, big juicy fresh orange and orange peel, light bit of sugary sweetness with moderate bitterness join the profile, ends with a splash of dark fruit. Fuller side of medium bodied, smooth and creamy and finishes dry. What a unique brew... must be sampled to be appreciated, goes beyond a simple highly hopped stout with the strong orange notes.

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of aapp. Served in a Hill Farmstead long-stem tulip.

Pours near-black with a good, frothy tan head and nice lacing. The nose carries quite a bit of citrus along with some backing roast and a bit of chocolate. Orange comes through well in the flavor with stout backing. Medium body and a good slightly-dry finish. Very solid brew.

Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice fluffy 1 finger head of darker color, fades slowly with nice lacing, over pitch black colored beer and some yeast chunks swimming at the bottom.

Nose is an imperial stout alright. Nice dark malts, not really any roast, but some darker crystal, and a bit of chocolate. There is plenty of caramel and milk chocolate with a hint of darker baker's chocolate, and a candy bar like essence. Light hops, bringing hints of floral and grassy earthy hops, and a bit of citrus. Just a hint of booze as well.

Taste is again very imperial stout like. Dark fluffy malts, with plenty of caramel and a bit of toffee. Just a hint of a roasty malt flavor but not much. Then chocolate, not a huge chocolate kick, but enough, with some milk chocolate candy flavor, and some dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Bitterness is present, with a decent bitterness, some from the charred malts, but more from some light earthy, hint spicy hop, and a bit of citrus. The citrus seems more like it comes from the hops than actual citrus brewed in the beer, but there is a hint of orange peel. It also brings a light fluffy oat like taste, with a candy chocolate oatmeal flavor. Finish is smooth and drier but still semi sweet and sticky, bitterness ramps quickly on the finish with an earthy almost spicy chewy hop flavor, and light citrus, and a smooth chocolate caramel lingering flavor with the hops. The booze really isn't there, it's surprisingly drinkable.

Mouth is full bodied, creamy and smooth, rich, decent carb for the style, and barely any booze warmth.

Overall wow, very nice stout, drinks like a 7% instead of 10.5%. The bitterness and the hop flavor balance well with the light sweetness, dark malt flavors, and no overpowering roasty or burnt flavors. Just a hint of citrus which is good since I was worried it would taste like a chocolate covered orange peel. Another winner from HF!

Taste

Photo of Rifugium
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from the brewery.
Shared with the group at a recent tasting.

Poured a dark black-brown-ruby color, with a small cap of chocolate head that receded to a wispy layer, dotting the glass with lacing. Dark malts in the aroma, moderate roast with some coffee notes, and not much else. Not bad, just really nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing in the way of citrus going on. Similarly in the taste, there were the usual suspects for a good imperial stout: dark malts, roast, coffee, cocoa, caramel, earth, light hops in the finish. I barely got any orange at all, and in a blind taste-test I probably would not have even guessed there was citrus in this brew, perhaps mistaking it for a subtle hop flavor in the background. Medium-full body, and a good drinker, with the higher ABV pretty well hidden. Good as a regular imperial stout, but ultimately a bit disappointing, as any orange that was present had either faded or was just too hidden behind the dark malts.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sweetwater mini-snifter.

For whatever reason, this beer makes me think of bad vampire novels or something... Anyway, it pours a deep dark sienna topped by a finger of light brown foam. The nose comprises candied orange peel, dry roasted malts, buttery toffee, and dusty lemon zest. The taste holds notes of mandarin orange syrup, roasted malts, light dark chocolate powder, and candied orange peel. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation, a smooth feel, and a dry finish. Overall, a pretty nice stout, one that shows that a stout can indeed be blended with fruity elements without the latter taking over and ruining things, but it wasn't entirely my cup of tea: While the elements didn't actually clash, they didn't seem in complete cooperation and harmony, either. Still, it didn't turn out all that badly...

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle opened on 2-10-12.

A - Pours a very dark chocolate brown with a dark tan-brown small head. Good retention.

S - Chocolate, roasted malt, citrusy - orange.

T - A unusual orange-chocolate mix. Unbalanced, but improves greatly as it warms.

D - Good carbonation, heavier body.

O - I like the thought, but doesn't quite deliver till it warms.

Photo of Ready4aHeady
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

smell and taste of bittersweet chocolate intermingled with grand marnier orange liquor.... a little thin for my liking but a very tasty stout as the orange mixes nicely with the base stout.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received from Aberration. Thank you for all the effort that went into getting me a bottle of this, Nick. I had to come out of my Mikkeller boycott to trade for this.

In my Great Divide tulip, this beer sits a picture perfect black with a dense, creamy dark brown head with excellent retention. The head slowly falls off to a disk, leaving nice, dense lacing. The nose is nice and robust without being ashy or astringent, which happens all too easily. Robust, mildly smoky, a little vanilla and some caramel are present. I guess this has been around for a while, the citrus peel is a little hidden in the mix, lending a brightening spritz to the nose quite unlike what a hop would add. A creamy note presents a base to tie the nose all together. Pretty excellent IMO.

The beer really shines on the palate. With a moderate roasty, dark chocolate malt character with some caramel and a little coffee and cream, this is quite robust and well-done. A touch of licorice root appears on the finish, along with a citrus oiliness . The flavor of mildly sweetened dark( ~70%) chocolate (this aspect is *perfect* IMO) is bookended by a little grainy bitterness and a creamy sweetness. Despite its relative youth, I the hops aren't as assertive as you'd expect, especially on the flavor, considering that the who's who of currently favored hops including Citra, Galaxy and Summit are on the bill. While I do wish there was a little bit more of a grainy bitterness (by way of either black patent or roasted barley), this beer is very enjoyable as is. The oats help keep the mouthfeel ridiculously smooth, and the carbonation is soft and creamy. This is a very creamy and smooth imperial oatmeal stout.

An excellent beer, a wonderfully executed hybrid between the more traditional imperials (of which aged Expedition and Abyss are my favorites) and the newer age stouts a la Eclipse or Black Tuesday. Highly recommended, though I'm not sure this beer necessarily needs to age. Drink fresh IMO. And if you can, please pair this with the Rogue River blue wrapped in pear brandy soaked grape leaves, you will not be left wanting. The combination of the brandy (especially!), the funk and the creaminess from the cheese and the flavors from the stout is simply marvelous.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500 mL bottle poured into a Cigar City tulip glass. Big thanks to phingdong for sharing this with me.

Appearance: Pitch black in color with a nice creamy head, light brown head that recedes into a nice sticky lacing. Spot on for the style.

Aroma: Baker's chocolate and espresso notes upfront. Some pine notes from the hops. I do get a touch of the citrus notes, but they are definitely secondary and not a main note. A little booze heat, but it is well hidden for the most part.

Taste: Dark chocolate cake and roasted coffee beans dominate upfront. Pine hop notes provide a balancing bitterness, but are not too heavy at all. There is a lingering, heavy hop profile in the finish that weighs this beer down a little. The citrus in the taste is again secondary and don't do a whole lot than add another layer. ABV is well hidden. Nice balance.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy. Lower than average carbonation, but it leaves a velvet note on the tongue. Perfect for the style in my opinion.

Overall, a nice, well done stout for the most part. Not my favorite offering from Hill Farmstead, but a nice offering nonetheless. The citrus doesn't really add a lot and seems a weird place to advertise as a focal point. I would definitely have this again though.

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

500ml bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Cheers to SneezyAchew!

A: Pours near black with 3 fingers of dense and frothy milk chocolate head that slowly faded into a thick and lasting film. Solid sheets of sticky lacing were left down the glass.
S: I definitely get notes of the orange, with a little bit of chocolate coming through as well. This smells like those orange flavored chocolate orange slices that come in the foil.
T: Much less citrus than the nose. Dark chocolate, coffee, mocha, and a hint of grassy hops come through in addition to the orange. Dark chocolate really stands out, and the finish is full of it. The aftertaste is bitter and full of hops and roasted grains.
M: Very soft and creamy full body with a rich and smooth mouthfeel and velvety carbonation. This beer goes down smooth and easy and feels great on my palate.
O: Great head, great lace, great smell, great flavor and great feel. This was a wonderful stout on all accounts. Thanks again for hooking it up Mike!

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle courtesy of Cody. Thank you for the opportunity! I believe this is my first Hill Farmstead beer and one I am excited to try.

Pours a rich looking black with milky hot chocolate colored froth that pools to a ring of medium sized bubbles. Subsequent sipping yields some spotted stickability.

Bitter dark roast and hops. An earthy bark quality as well along with a spot of orange and booze.

Bigger than the nose indicates and very bitter. Drying baker's chocolate mixed with orange rind. Juiciness of the citrus hops really clashes against the roasted stout base. Lingering earthy bitter finish plays yin to the hops' yang.

Mouthfeel is light despite that weight and bitterness. Carbonation may be higher than needed.

Overall, I think this beer works better in theory than execution. I can't believe I'm saying the hops should be dialed down, but it would benefit the beer in my opinion. A kitchen sink of citrus hops atop a very dry and roasty bitter base just doesn't quite work. I can see how this beer would be desirable, as it was for me. I just can't help but feel this is a bit disjointed.

Photo of stakem
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into some snifters. The brew appears brown in color with some ruby brown clarity when held to the light. A finger of mocha head sits atop and slowly fades leaving spotty lacing on the glass. A swirl revives a finger back to the surface.

The aroma includes a hearty inclusion of musty coffee coupled with pulp from oranges. It has a bit of a soapy feel before the onset of more citrus as fruity alcohol notes. There is am herbal aspect and a minor veggie element here that while not obnoxious, just doesnt totally work for me.

The taste is bitter like chocolate with some hebal hops and a strong flavor of musty coffee. Some orange zest brighten things up a bit and transitions the flavor away from stale coffee. More sips reveal an earthen flavor mixed with fruit and some catty to veggie hop quality.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is musty and bitter with zesty elements which is unique but not good enough to warrent the trouble acquiring again. Its not a terrible brew but its also something I really wouldnt be interested in again either. Old coffee plus orange zest just didnt pan out all that well together.

Photo of Phelps
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Daybreak

Shared by ejyoung and poured into a tulip. This stout brewed with oranges is a collaboration between Hill Farmstead and Mikkeler. It boasts 1,000 ICUs, a made-up measurement for the amount of citrus in a brew.

Looks like a milkshake. The beer below is a deep black; the one-inch head is the creamiest, densest foam and the color of melted milk chocolate. It eventually recedes, leaving meandering trails of lace.

The ICU measurement may be warranted. Big orange notes in the nose, along with alcohol, cocoa, dark chocolate and toast.

Great flavor. Bittersweet cocoa nibs, a touch of toast, orange peel and sweet oats in the front. The swallow brings the rounder malt flavors that really smooth out the edges and add complexity. Vanilla, chocolate malt, orange slices, burnt toast. A lovely blend.

As expected, the body’s creamy like a milkshake, a nice medium-full. It fills the mouth up as it moves. Very soft nudges of carbonation add a little life to the brew, as does a quick heat of alcohol heat in the nostrils.

Daybreak is a better Black Butte XXIII. Creamy, smooth-flavored, delish.

Photo of HopHead84
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

1/7/2012

Bottle courtesy of bring, thanks! Snifter.

A: Resembles motor oil as it flows forth from the glass. The head is enormous, forming two fingers of dense light brown froth that recede in a haphazard fashion. Lacing covers the glass. A very nice looking Imperial Stout.

S: Strong roasted grain presence with a dash of blackstrap molasses. Dark chocolate is pronounced and I get a little coffee. Citrus is vibrant and fits well with the other aspects. It reminds me of orange flesh. I get a little smoke and caramel.

T: A firm roasted malt presence blends with molasses and dark chocolate. The malt borders on burnt. Citrus reminds me of orange flesh and pith, and it's well integrated. There's a general earthiness about the beer and a moderate bitterness. Alcohol is well hidden. The finish is bitter and chocolatey with a light astringency. It's somewhat burnt and acrid. Coffee is light but pervasive.

M: Full in body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is chewy, sticky, and silky.

Overall: A little more roasty (approaching burnt) than I generally like, but I still found this to be enjoyable. Still, there's a little too much Mikkeller in this one. The citrus is a nice touch, though.

to view more.
Daybreak from Hill Farmstead Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 303 ratings.