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Daybreak - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

267 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 267
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 8.63%
Wants: 197
Gots: 49 | 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: 267 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mrpickles
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Mrpickles, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of funkel81
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

funkel81, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -4.1%

acurtis, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of eyeenjoybeer
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

eyeenjoybeer, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of Gosox8787
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Gosox8787, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of phingdong
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

phingdong, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of jlindros
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
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!


jlindros, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of rpstevens
4/5  rDev -4.1%

rpstevens, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to AshleyMiller. Served in a Bell's tulip.

A - A finger-plus of tan foam eventually settles to a solid cap, leaving behind spotty lace - nice retention here. Opaque dark brown body.

S - Intriguing - reminds me of citrus-glazed smoked meats. I also get some earthy and piney notes from the Galaxy and Columbus hops. I expected more orange flavor, but what I get is more of a zest/peel flavor. Plenty of baker's chocolate and a touch of caramel rounds things out. A very unique aroma, but not exactly what I was expecting from the description.

T - Taste is again quite smokey, with notes of dark chocolate, heavily roasted malts, chary, and a mixture of espresso and hop bitterness in the finish. There's some definite bitter citrus peel flavor in the periphery, but it's a complementary flavor. No alcohol presence - was a bit shocked by the 10%+ ABV.

M - Medium body, nice soft moderate-to-low carbonation, creamy texture, and well-hidden alcohol. Quite excellent on this front.

D - Not my favorite Hill Farmstead offering, but very interesting and quite drinkable considering the alcohol content. I'd happily drink this again, although I don't think I'd actively seek it out.

MasterSki, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -4.1%

AgentZero, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of jsilva
4/5  rDev -4.1%

jsilva, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of jh1982
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

jh1982, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of Satchboogie
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a HFS Tulip glass

A: Pours black with nearly a finger of mocha brown head. The head disappears rather quick to a stead layer of big brown bubbles on the surface. Just a touch of lacing, good alcohol legs.

S: Chocolate fudge, deeply roasted malts, citrus (chocolate covered oranges), a little coffee, dark fruits.

T: Heavily roasted malts that verge on char, somewhat dark chocolate, coffee & oats. A fudgey chocolate mocha bomb initial impression. Citrus is in the background with mainly orange and doesn't appear to have that much bitterness. Moderate dark caramel/molasses sweetness that hints licorice. Alcohol is really well hidden. Finish is chocolate covered oranges with lingering coffee, char, and dark fruits. Fairly complex and absolutely delicious.

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation. Very smooth and a little chewy. Drinks incredibly easily for over 10%.

O: I had this on tap fresh at the Fall Harvest Festival and while I enjoyed it, it seems a little too bitter and astringent for my taste. 2+ months in the bottle has eased the hop bite and bitterness while retaining most of the citrus hop flavor. Well balanced, complex, and delicious. Another homerun from Shaun. I'm really not trying to hype all his brews, but I can't help but be blown away by a lot of his beers.

Satchboogie, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of LambicKing
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

LambicKing, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of ithinkimasofa
4/5  rDev -4.1%

ithinkimasofa, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5


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.

HopHead84, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of pwoods
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

pwoods, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into Narke tulip.

A - Pours black, dark mocha-colored head, spotty lacing, thin collar.

S - Hoppy citrus aroma with light malts and a good level of roast. There's a Mikkeller char in there mixed with light chocolate and toasted malts.

T - Pretty hop-forward with some citrus, some toasted malts, light chocolate, and the char isn't in the taste as much as the nose. Finish is slightly sweet and a bitter citrus.

M - Medium to full body, soft carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Not even Mikkeller could screw up a beer brewed by Hill Farmstead, and that's saying something. I enjoyed the citrus aspect of this beer, and it was even more hoppy then I imagined. Drinks really easy and is an excellent twist on a Imperial Stout.

Sean9689, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of fo1ksguitar
4/5  rDev -4.1%

fo1ksguitar, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of bsuedekum
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

bsuedekum, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of DefenCorps
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

DefenCorps, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of InspectorBob
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

InspectorBob, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of Reagan1984
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A buddy took a photo of the first glass of this beer to hit our table. It was posted on Facebook and our group of friends have been admiring it all day today. It’s a perfect looking beer. Just beautiful.

Thick creamy tan head with awesome retention. In same lacing. High Sheen black color.

Aroma is of chocolate, dark roasted malt. For quite a while I was commenting that I could not detect any orange notes. This slightly changed as the beer warmed considerably. There is a VERY slight sense of citrus peel oil. But that’s about it.

Tons of chocolate notes some dark fruit. As noted above, would not have noted orange in anyway without knowing this. Also, could detect some citrus oil later, but very mild. Nice rounded roasted malt flavors without any harshness.

Very smooth and silky mouth feel. Rather bold body.

Very nice beer. Hill Farmstead’s consistency in building these beers is rather impressive.

Reagan1984, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of Racnee
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Racnee, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of ZacharyJ
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

ZacharyJ, Dec 31, 2011
Daybreak from Hill Farmstead Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 267 ratings.