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Birth Of Tragedy - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Birth Of TragedyBirth Of Tragedy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

864 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 864
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 913
Gots: 180 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Imperial porter brewed with coffee and honey and aged in bourbon barrels.

2011 vintage - 11% ABV

(Beer added by: s1ckboy on 11-20-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 864 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spicelab
3.83/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

500mL bottle with props to MrKennedy. 2012 I think. Reviewed from notes.

Inconspicuous black with a small mocha head that animates nicely with agitation.

Nose has a quite delicate bourbon canvas supporting notes of fennel, liquorice, rich molasses, tar and some mild phenolics.

Similar but sweeter from the honey and appreciable vanilla barrel contingent. Choc-caramel slice, cola, maple syrup and dried figs.

Light to medium with restrained carbonation and slight booze warmth on the back end. Would barely have guessed this was 7% let alone 9%

This is really well crafted, but lacks a little punch and complexity for a large-ish BA stout/porter.

spicelab, Oct 05, 2013
Photo of scottfrie
3.85/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into Block 15 snifter. Thank you for giving me this, Michael.

A: Well, there’s no head. I get a few bubbles, but even those quickly disappeared. The color is a deep dark woody/raisin brown.
S: The nose makes up for this beer’s meager looks. The coffee really shines through and mixed well with spicy scents of bourbon and oak. The coffee is fresh and roasted smelling unlike some stouts that smell like burnt coffee ground. I detect some sweet vanilla as well.
T: Follows the nose with rich notes of roasted coffee and dark roasted malts, vanilla and moderate bourbon. Flavors are smooth and syrupy. Finish is full of dark chocolate, and the aftertaste and a few notes of roasted coconut and caramel.
M: Flat as hell but the thick body helps it out. Man this is flat. The mouthfeel is very slick and greasy, so at least the beer isn’t watery.
O: This beer would kill if it had a few bubbles. Flavors were rich and well integrated. A roasted bal-aged porter all around. The flatness saddens me, and I knocked the score because of it. Thanks again, SneezyAchew.

scottfrie, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of cpetrone84
3.85/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch 2 (flat batch). pour us jet black with no head even with a vigorous pour. The nose is very nice, rich chocolate cake with a strong bourbon note and lightly scorched barrel. Taste has all the chocolate cake, dry chocolate through the finish, faint bourbon much less than the nose, virtually no carb with a burnt finish and a medium silky body.

cpetrone84, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of callmemickey
3.85/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Koopa

A: Dark black with a minimal brownish head. A few stray stands of lacing.

S: Bourbon, caramel, molasses, honey sweetness.

T: Like the nose there is a healthy dose of bourbon and sweet malts. Definitely some caramel, dark fruits, and a little smokey/roasty malts.

M: Medium-full bodied. Light carbonation. A tad too much residual sweetness in the finish.

O: An interesting effort, but a bit too ambitious.

callmemickey, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of afksports
3.85/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nails the porter side, but the bourbon barrel is very weak. It's messy, the oak doesn't come through as strong as you'd hope, and the final product seems a little thin. Especially for an 11% beer.

Looks great though, and it smells on point. But ultimately it was a little disappointing. Especially when 2010 Olde Hickory Imperial Stout was opened on the same night and absolutely blew it out of the water.

Reviewed from notes, shared with alalvarez75 before Birth of Tragedy hit the hype machine!

afksports, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of Chico1985
3.86/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First choice at Stoutfest 2013, Armsby Abbey. ~10 oz. pour into a tulip glass.

Pour is black with a thin bubbly tan ring for a head, sticks around as such.

Smell is good - chocolate and bourbon forward, with roast and vanilla there as well. Not extremely potent, but definitely a nice scent.

Taste is a slight improvement, opens up more with warmth. Chocolate brownie, bourbon oak up front with light vanilla, roasted malts, toasty malts. Just a hint of spices here. Sweet and kinda boozy.

Carbonation is pretty low, feels a bit thin and boozy for 9%. Not bad, but could've used some more heftiness.

Good beer, nothing that blew me away though- felt a little disjointed. I actually wound up enjoying the base beer (Twilight of the Idols) more, the spices here were a little too smothered by bourbon and sweetness.

Chico1985, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of hillvt4me
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- darkest of brown and blend of black with tinge of red. Minimal head with little lacing.
S-toffee, coffee, waft of cherry bourbon; sweet/honey aroma throughout.
T-Sugar laced Coffee, the cinnamon is fairly present. Minimal bourbon on back.
M-Low end of a medium thickness.
O-solid brew, complex flavor, balanced; though a bit sweet for my preference.

hillvt4me, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes. Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a snifter.

Birth of Tragedy pours a mahogany, nearly black color with a small tan mocha cap.

Lots of espresso, somewhat bitter and a bit creamy, dark bitter chocolate, sweet milk chocolate, roasted malt, and a bit of spicy hops in the nose.

The flavor is full of a ton of espresso, a bit of cream, dark, bitter chocolate, deeply roasted malt, and a bit of spice toward the finish. There is a sweetness to some of chocolate notes, but overall it is fairly bitter. There is not very much bourbon character coming through.

The mouthfeel is fairly full, there is a creamy carbonation. It is a bit acrid in its bitterness, with a dryness toward the end. Even without the bourbon flavor coming through, it feels like the dryness from the oak barrel came through fairly strongly.

It was fairly nice, but I really noticed the acrid nature of it, which detracted from the experience.

KickInTheChalice, May 16, 2012
Photo of Florida9
3.93/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A: Bottle opened with the faintest hiss. Poured into a tulip. Forms a few big bubbles and the slightest hint of a head, but in reality this one just looks flat. No lacing. Very dark brown or black in color.

S: Well the smell is pleasant. Dark roasted malts, oak, vanilla, chocolate. Damn, smells like freshly baked brownies.

T: Didn't think it was possible, but the taste is even better. Sweet, chocolately brownies. Mild oak. Lots of vanilla. A touch of coffee. Some dark fruits, like plum and raisin, but the sweet chocolate flavor dominates.

M: Fucking flat. There's no carbonation here. And thats the problem. Slick, oily, and viscous with a chalky finish.

O: Apparently the carbonation isn't allowed to leave VT. This beer truly has the potential for greatness, but it should be properly carbonated. And it's not. There is nothing there leaving a sweet, chocolatey liquid to swirl around the mouth.

Florida9, May 18, 2013
Photo of harrymel
3.98/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage

Dark brown, flat appearing beer. Smells decadent: vanilla, oak, nougat, more vanilla, bits of graham, some cocoa, a hint of dark fruits. A really nice nose. Flavor follows suite - really fine dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, bits of minced licorice, some leather. The flavor is really nice also. Mouthfeel: this is where the beer falls apart. While full bodied with a silky feel, not even a swish through the teeth makes this bubbly, slightly wet. A real treat - with carbonation this would be hard to beat, honestly.

harrymel, May 04, 2013
Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Schlais, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of joel66
4/5  rDev -9.7%

joel66, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of sourdog
4/5  rDev -9.7%

sourdog, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Cynic-ale, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of ipa247
4/5  rDev -9.7%

ipa247, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photekut, May 18, 2013
Photo of nickhiller
4/5  rDev -9.7%

nickhiller, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of Steve_Oldrati
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Steve_Oldrati, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of garrisonp
4/5  rDev -9.7%

garrisonp, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of trevorpost
4/5  rDev -9.7%

trevorpost, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of Dajtai007
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Dajtai007, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was able to try this during Night of the Barrels and during the EBF.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a layer of tan head that fades quickly to a ring around the cup.

Smell: This one has more roast than I expected. I'm picking up some bourbon, chocolate, and alcohol heat as well.

Taste: As in the smell, quite roasty. I'm picking up the wood from the barrel and a mild peppery flavor. Sweet, but the bitterness from the roast is the dominant flavor. Would have liked it to be a tad smoother.

Mouthfeel: Just on the thick side of medium with a tingle of carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I would have liked this beer to be a tad thicker. I enjoyed the flavors that the wood added. I would have another.

oline73, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of ChrisPro
4/5  rDev -9.7%

ChrisPro, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of greenspointexas
4/5  rDev -9.7%

greenspointexas, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of Cottzilla
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Cottzilla, May 26, 2014
Birth Of Tragedy from Hill Farmstead Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 864 ratings.