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Birth Of Tragedy - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Birth Of TragedyBirth Of Tragedy

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

918 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 918
Reviews: 149
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 958
Gots: 167 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: s1ckboy on 11-20-2011

Imperial porter brewed with coffee and honey and aged in bourbon barrels.

2011 vintage - 11% ABV
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 918 | Reviews: 149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DucksFan16
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of tarheels86
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500mL thanks to oteyj. Pours near ink, very black SRM generating a surprisingly fizzy, reddish tan head settling to a thin cappuccino froth. Sticky, webby tan lace. Nose is interesting. Sharp vanilla bean and ancho/guajillo chili pepper dark chocolate sprinkled with turbinado sugar. Wow. Soft bourbon spice. Subtle yet fantastic nose- must allow it to decant a little bit. Morphs to melted dark chocolate bar. Taste....wow. Very silky, soft, almost like drinking super dark chocolate milkshake. Wild palate. Hilariously soft- almost impossibly soft. Muted bourbon spice, buttery dark chocolate ganache, true French truffles melting. In the finish is mild barrel character. Palate is 6/5. I can see all those people at Dark Lord Day pooping in Port-A-Potties and reeking of BO waiting for 8 hours to try a beer that they think will taste like Hill Farmstead Birth of Tragedy, but sadly is Dark Lord. A 3.8 level imperial stout at best that trembles in the presence of this behemoth, which is devastating not only in aesthetics and taste but also in subtlety and softness. What a magical experience. I will say one thing: DO NOT AGE!! You will be wildly disappointed. This baby is good to go. 12/10/2011 9/4/8/5/18=4.4

Photo of surlytheduff
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of jmarsh123
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with no head at all. Slight beige cling around the edge of the glass.

Aroma features a ton of vanilla along with a bourbon kick, some roasted malts and sweet chocolate.

Thankfully not quite as sweet as the nose would indicate. Lots of good roasted coffee mingle with the vanilla to produce a good milk chocolate flavor backed up by a kiss of bourbon. Gets a bit boozier as it warms, but very well integrated and never gets overpowering, but complements the base beer. A little residual sweetness although the roasty and sweet flavors balance supremely well.

And here is the bugaboo. I don't think I've ever had a HF beer that did not ace the carbonation test. Whatever the style, they all seem to be perfect and that's what makes this even more disappointing. Good creamy texture, but almost no carbonation. I'm talking near HOTD & Kuhnhenn levels of nothingness. I think a style like this should have lower carbonation, but this level almost mutes the flavors and make it taste almost like stale Irish coffee despite the excellent flavors and great barrel integration.

What could have been. These are some of the most outstanding flavors I've ever had in a porter, but the mouthfeel just makes this a good not great beer for me. That said, it's still pretty impressive that I completely hate one aspect of this and it's still a solid beer. If you like extremely low carbonation levels then you'll love this one as the flavors are great, but if you don't you'll end up just a bit disappointed.

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of BeRanger
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of boogercrack
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of nkeckhar
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thanks to dtmets84 for bringing this to a bottle share - 2011

Appearance: Pitch black oily, small brown head

Smell: Absolutely beautiful with some spice, vanilla, dark chocolate, sweetness, and barrel.

Taste: Roasty, coffee, vanilla right away...well hidden alcohol. Sweetness from the honey is there.

Mouthfeel: Silky and smooth...good body and round mouthfeel

Overall: Easily a standout in its style, but moreover a standout for me against anything I've drank. We tried this against Black Note, King Henry, and BA Blackout and this one was a consensus winner. I will seek out another bottle of this so more people in my circle can wonder at this marvel.

Photo of MaineMike
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Sean9689
4.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As of 7/8, this completes the top 100 here on BA and top 50 on RB. Yeah, I'm badass so whatever.

A - Pours black, tan-colored head, thin collar, big bubbles.

S - Chocolate, booze, coconut, oak, caramel. The booze has smoothed out and the sweetness is balanced nicely with the sweetness. The barrel influence is pretty heavy, but it compliments the base porter and adds some complexity.

T - Chocolate, booze, oak, light roast, vanilla. The barrel has added an additional layer of sweetness and booze, but it's also taken away a lot of the base beer. Alcohol is smooth, but pronounced with vanilla and oak. Finish is bitter dark chocolate, light vanilla, and burnt sugars.

M - Medium to full body, super-rich, smooth booze, creamy finish.

O - The 11% has really smooth out, but there's still a bunch of sweetness from the barrel. I really like how the barrels have worked with Twilight, but I think the coffee and spices are long-gone as this point. Maybe some of the light roast I picked up is coffee, but I can't be too sure. A really great brew and something I liked more then Damon...good stuff.

Photo of birchstick
4.18/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black without much of a head. As the description states, honey, coffee, and vanilla. Starts off chocolate that fades to some bourbon and heat. All of these flavors meld together really well and make a nice porter. Ends dry. Really good bourbon barrel aged porter. I am looking forward to trying more from this brewery.

Photo of afksports
3.9/5  rDev -12.4%
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!

Photo of AleWatcher
3.25/5  rDev -27%

Photo of stxSS07
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of MarkIntihar
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of ithinkimasofa
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of resistdefy
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of discord257
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.9/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Photo of DP34
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of beenitty
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of jsvt
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Birth Of Tragedy from Hill Farmstead Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 918 ratings.