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Daybreak - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

261 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 261
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 8.63%
Wants: 196
Gots: 50 | FT: 10
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:
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 added by: bark on 09-28-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 261 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dcisco44
3/5  rDev -28.1%

dcisco44, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of Bardwashrind
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%

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...

Bardwashrind, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of TheDudeRules
3.35/5  rDev -19.7%

Poured into my Darkness snifter.

An almost black pour with two fingers of foam head. Strong roast and citrus protrude from the glass. A mocha coffee is evident in the taste. It's a bit different though. Basically what I am tasting is is a citrus oatmeal stout that feels dry hopped with a dry and bitter ending. A big knock is how thin this is. Overly so.

Not a letdown but a rather average beer. Take a run of the mill oatmeal stout and add orange peel. Whoopee. My hopes were higher. Not great but descent.

TheDudeRules, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of JAXSON
3.35/5  rDev -19.7%

Thanks Robert, pours near black with a creamy brown mocha foam head. Nose is roasted malt, citrus, hops, mint. Highly roasty in the mouth with a long bitter element, a collage of hops, orange peel, and roasted malt. Finish is creamy with a bit of vanilla sweetness opening up. Mint and lots of orange peel on the finish too. Feel is pretty thick and creamy. This would appeal to those who enjoy very roasty stouts with heavily bitter elements. Kind of has an orange chocolate thing going on. Interesting, though not really my thing.

JAXSON, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of craytonic
3.4/5  rDev -18.5%

Appearance: Near-black pour with a tan head that sticks around
Smell: Heavy roast, chocolate and a bit of lemon zest and piney hops
Taste: Roasted malts, chocolate, lemon zest, piney hops, faint smoke and coffee.
Mouthfeel: medium body and carbonation
Overall: Not that impressive, particularly for the style.

craytonic, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of jh1982
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

jh1982, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of hooliganlife
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

hooliganlife, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of jegross2
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

jegross2, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of nathanjohnson
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

nathanjohnson, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of Mrpickles
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Mrpickles, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Ineedabeerhere, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of seeswo
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

seeswo, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of wiltznucs
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

wiltznucs, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of bsuedekum
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

bsuedekum, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of rmaste6282
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

rmaste6282, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of marine1975
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

marine1975, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of tom10101
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

tom10101, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%

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.

BarrytheBear, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.54/5  rDev -15.1%

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, citrus, earth, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with char, cocoa, and slight citrus flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but there is an odd earthy quality in the taste that isn't to my liking.

UCLABrewN84, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of jmarsh123
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%

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.

jmarsh123, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of stakem
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%

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.

stakem, Sep 13, 2012
Photo of pwoods
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%

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.

pwoods, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of starrdogg
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%

Big thanks to SneezyAchew for this bottle. I love me some Hill Farmstead, let's see how this one stacks up.

A: Beer is nearly jet black and opaque with a thin tan head. Beer leaves some pretty significant lacing on the sides of the glass. Looks like this one has some body to it.

S: Smell is very interesting and unique. You definitely get some of the big Hill Farmstead DIPA hop blast aroma in there, but it's mixed with a mild roastiness and some orange as well.

T: I have to say, after the incredibly complex smell, I'm a little disappointed in the flavor here. The components are definitely all there: hops, roast and citrus, but I feel like it all gets a bit muddled when they come together. The hops are big on the front end, but when the roastiness kicks in, it seems to give it a bit of a chalky flavor. It's got a pretty bitter finish as well.

M: It's pretty thick, but there's some weird chalky/dryness in the finish which is a bit of a turnoff.

O: I should admit that Black IPAs and hoppy stouts are not usually my favorite style, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I guess I had hoped that Hill Farmstead would blow me away yet again and open my eyes to a style I'd given up on, like they did for me with Everett and porters. Unfortunately I think the bitter hops combined with bitter roastiness is hard for me to enjoy. Not to say that this is a bad beer by any stretch. If you like these types of beers, this is a great one, and I don't want to deter you from drinking this particular one. It's just not to my preference, but the idea is interesting and I commend HF and Mikkeller for trying something a little different.

starrdogg, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of HoldenDurden
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

HoldenDurden, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of mgr78704
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

mgr78704, May 08, 2014
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Daybreak from Hill Farmstead Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 261 ratings.