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Daybreak - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

278 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 278
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 8.63%
Wants: 198
Gots: 46 | 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:
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: 278 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of polishkaz
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

polishkaz, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

HuskyinPDX, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

ygtbsm94, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

nmann08, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of DoctorB2B
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

DoctorB2B, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Alieniloquium, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of jmarsh123
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

jmarsh123, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of Bardwashrind
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%
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...

Bardwashrind, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a HF stemmed tulip

Pours an ink black with a two finger mocha colored cap. The head stuck around for a while, never fully retreating. Some sip marks with dots and delicate lace.

The aroma is of thick chocolate, almost fudge-like with a good amount of bitter roast. A large amount of oranges cut right through everything else and invade the olfactories in a quick burst.

Much like the nose, bitter roast and fudgey chocolate hit first before a wave of citrus. The citrus bursts onto the palate, cutting right through the other flavors, and leaving a lingering bittersweet citrus flavor on top of of a touch of roast.

A medium body with moderate carbonation make this guy feel lighter than it really is. The wave of citrus is really impressive. Like a quick strike before receding.

A clean, flavorful stout with a huge rush of citrus that makes this guy unique.

ColForbinBC, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of craytonic
3.4/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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 oline73
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

oline73, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Ineedabeerhere, Feb 06, 2012
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
Daybreak from Hill Farmstead Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.