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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

851 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 851
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 903
Gots: 173 | 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: 851 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

There was some coffee, not so much bourbon because the whole IP was so balanced and tasty and drinkable. One of the best porters I have had. Thanks Tomtom for the hookup.Thick mouthfeel.

Sammy, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BrianTheBrewer30 for sharing this one while waiting in line for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, wood, and bourbon. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, vanilla, bourbon, and a woody flavor on the aftertaste. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a medium body. Overall, this is a very good barrel aged porter that is quite tasty and drinkable.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -9.7%

djrn2, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Pours black with a good tan-mocha head and nice retention. Lacing on the glass. The nose brings forward very smooth bourbon with a bit of roast and chocolate. Some coffee there as well. Flavor integrates bourbon and chocolate quite well. Nicely done, but nothing to really bring it over the top. Mouthfeel is ultra smooth without any trace of alcohol. Fantastic barrel usage, but lacking the final oomph to really make it world class. Still, a great beer.

Thorpe429, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

zestar, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

nmann08, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

acurtis, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with a one inch cap of beige foam that leaves some strands of lacing behind

Smell: Dark chocolate, with hints of Bourbon, dark fruit and coffee

Taste: Dark chocolate, up front, with growing elements of Bourbon, dark fruit and coffee through the middle; really big flavors, that reach a crescendo after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somewhat creamy, with moderate carbonation

Overall: We don't see many Hill Farmstead beers here in NC but when someone has one, it is always going to be a treat

brentk56, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Texasfan549, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -9.7%

kjkinsey, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

GRG1313, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pretty much black in color with a very small khaki head. Intense roasted malt and bourbon aromas. Lots of vanilla notes to it. There's a bit of the honey coming through as well as the coffee. I don't get much spice, though. A nice bit of chocolate in the back ground. The flavor is a touch boozy at first, but otherwise quite nice. Excellent vanilla and bourbon notes with some roast, coffee, and dark chocolate. Really smooth and well done. Medium to full bodied with a low, smooth mouthfeel.

womencantsail, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -15.3%

ygtbsm94, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -9.7%

spycow, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a really nice looking black color with a brown head on top. The smell of the beer was sweet with lots of wooden aromas to it. The taste of the beer had some interesting transitions to it, the beer was sweet up front with some nice bourbon vanilla flavors that got a little funky in the aftertaste. The honey didn't really come through too well but the coffee notes were a good bittering agent here. The mouthfeel was of a typical porter but it was on the fence with a stout. Overall I liked it quite a bit. I would enjoy this one again.

Knapp85, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

westcoastbeerlvr, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Bruery snifter.

Big thanks to cbeer88 for this bottle!

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF 7. This stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a half-finger at best of sienna foam. The nose comprises rich cocoa, dark fruits, and molasses. I didn't really get any barrel character at this point, interestingly.. The taste brings in more of the same, with a seeming fudge component coming in up front. Again, no real barrel character comes through to me, but it doesn't detract from the rest of the experience. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly chewy feel. Overall, a very nice, rich porter. I was a little disappointed to not really get any barrel out of this thing, but it's still pretty damn good. (I initially thought this was a smooth stout, and I will continue to say that it does come close to that kind of experience.)

TMoney2591, Oct 28, 2012
Photo of largadeer
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stupac2 opened this one. Thanks!

Appearance: Viscous dark brown - not quite opaque. A lower-medium level of carbonation produces a thin cap of foam that disappears pretty quickly.

Smell: Sweet bourbon paired with earthy, bitter coffee, toasted coconut, dark chocolate, caramel candies. Really nice nose, heavier on the chocolate and bourbon than coffee. 4.5

Palate: Lots of bittersweet chocolate up front. The barrel has integrated pretty nicely with the base beer, lending caramel, vanilla and oak flavors that don't overwhelm the malt. Coffee is present but somewhat subdued. Alcohol is at a noticeable but mellow and pleasant level. Sweet and rich with a big chewy body. Fantastic stuff.

largadeer, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

JAHMUR, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

SocalKicks, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of Kegatron
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into a couple of glasses. Thanks go to Stakem for sharing this one.

Pours a deep black, with some bubbly edges of dark mocha froth that coat the sides of the glass with spotty lace and gooey brown oils. The aroma smells of charred bourbon warmth, which gives way to notes of coffee, chocolate, brown sugar and a honeyed sweetness. This has a nice density to it with the flavors in the nose.

The taste is similar, with a rich mix of chocolate, honey, coffee, green citrus, a touch of molasses or brown sugar notes on the edges and then a dry and burnt oaky feel on the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a chewy firm creaminess to the carbonation. That 11% ABV naturally brings some alcohol to the table and while it mostly serves to bring out a bit of aggressiveness from some of the more assertive flavors here, it does stick with you for a bit.

I really liked the richness and balance of flavors here but unlike some other recent Hill Farmstead offerings that I’ve had, this doesn’t quite mask its alcohol quite as well as you as I would have liked. It doesn’t doesn’t bring any stinging heat to the profiles or anything like that but does slow the drinkability up a bit. This is still a really nice beer though. Thanks again for sharing it Adam!

Kegatron, Sep 11, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #2100. Bottle courtesy of AshleyMiller. Shared with Jason for "Polish" Christmas. Served in a tulip of some sort.

A - Quick-dissolving sliver of mocha foam settles to a thin ring, a few wisps, and tiny specks of lace. Black body with a glint of brown at the rim of the glass.

S - This was probably served too cold, so I was forced to let it sit and warm up over an extended period of time. The initial aroma was heavy in dry oak, bourbon, and a hint of solvent alcohol. However, as the beer reached an appropriate temperature more of the base beer's dark chocolate, roasted malts, and cinnamon joined the mix. Coffee and vanilla are present, but quite faint.

T - I find the taste to actually be superior to the aroma, as it cuts some of the harsh oak and bourbon cuts and amps up the rich dark chocolate, cake, fudge, and vanilla bean flavors. Perhaps I have a sweet tooth, but this just seems like a better balance of flavors to me. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden - I didn't realize this was so much stronger than Twilight of the Idols.

M - Medium-full body, low carbonation, chewy texture, and light tannic dryness in the finish. Pretty much what I like in a barrel-aged Imperial Porter.

D - I liked this beer quite a bit, but I think I prefer the base beer more, as I like the interesting mix of adjuncts and malt flavors and some of that is masked by the barrel-aging. Still, this is a high-quality and well-crafted beer that is well worth seeking out - but did anyone expect anything less from Hill Farmstead?

MasterSki, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Slatetank, May 27, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a really interesting beer, courtesy of one of denvers great beer men, lucky me. It pours a really dense black, midnight or darker, with essentially no carbonation, a motor oil viscosity, and just a thin film of mocha bubbles around the rim of my glass. the nose on this is heavy bourbon, oaky and charcoaly, with spice notes of cinnamon and clove, a very intense roast, and a summery sweetness amidst all the black thick stuff. the flavor, just like the nose, is bourbon first. I also get really strong cinnamon from this, although I don't think that its an ingredient. I do pick up the honey through the bitter dark malt, and its sweetness is welcomed to lighten things up a little. this is a teeth coating brew, sticky and about as thick as any ive encountered in terms of body. I really wish it had a little more carbonation. not a ton, but enough to get it moving a little bit, but I understand that a barrel can reduce that quite a bit. more would aid its drinkability, but I don't think its trying to be a session beer of course. I love the aftertaste on this, with the bourbon, vanilla, and warming alcohol. this is a beer of impressive quality and depth, not one to be consumed frequently, but one to treasure and share. hill farmstead never ceases to impress me, and although this is amazing, its a level below some of their hoppy and farmy stuff.

StonedTrippin, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by yourefragile in my kitchen last night, served in a Hill Farmstead becher. If you didn't, you did it incorrectly. At the time of this reivew, this is #3 on the "Top Beers - American Porter" list on beeradvocate.com and on a side note, this is the last beer I haven't reviewed on the "Top Beers - Popular" list (currently #95) on beeradvocate.com. 100/100 tickers, I win beer!

Beer is black and thick with a thin dark brown head of large bubbles, seriously undercarbonated, low retention, no lacing, looks fine.

Aroma is fudge and heat, strong liquor, strong alcohol, lots of chocolate and fudge, nice aggressive nose. Smells dangerous.

Beer is medium to thin in body, not hot at all AT ALL on the palate, the nose is deceiving. This is a relatively easy drinking beer. The back palate falls away quickly and finishes a little thin but not dry. The forward is all sweetness and fudge, chocolate, oak and liquor. Not detectable alcohol on the beer. I love it. I'd have it again. Increase the carbonation in future bottles of this beer to increase the quality, otherwise don't change a thing.

drabmuh, Apr 19, 2012
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Birth Of Tragedy from Hill Farmstead Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 851 ratings.