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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.

838 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 838
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 899
Gots: 174 | FT: 25
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: 838 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of phingdong

New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +7%

01-31-2012 16:16:25 | More by phingdong
Photo of hu5om


5/5  rDev +12.6%

01-30-2012 20:59:16 | More by hu5om
Photo of Pete27lax

New York

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

01-28-2012 19:38:32 | More by Pete27lax
Photo of claaark13


4.65/5  rDev +4.7%

Brought this to a tasting and got to try an ounce. Intrigued, I was able to track down more. Thanks to the guys that have provided these bottles. Poured slightly too cold into a HF tulip. Warmed and consumed with happiness.

A - Very dark with a very, very slow rising low head. Slight lacing remains. Decent, certainly not spectacular. It sticks well to the side.

S - Coffee, a slight amount of sweetness, likely from the honey. The coffee is a smooth aroma, nothing burnt/harsh. Pretty well rounded. I can't tell if I am smelling the honey or faint vanilla.

T - Coffee, very light yet smooth vanilla. A little bit of dryness tries to come out towards the end but is subdued so well. The finish provides for the sweet coffee to return. There is almost a cocoa or cinnamon poking through the backbone. Chocolate comes out more as the tongue gets coated after a few sips. The barrel is pretty faint and seems to add a couple favorable notes. Great balance.

M - On the thicker side of medium. There is pretty low carbonation, but I somehow still really enjoy the feel. Any heaviness on the tongue seems to be due to the very low carbonation.

O - I love this beer. It presses the barrier between a Porter and a RIS. The barrel seems to be there just complementing and guiding along the base flavors. Very well crafted. I can't imagine a Porter getting any better.

01-28-2012 00:43:49 | More by claaark13
Photo of Jzmhector

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

01-26-2012 01:19:58 | More by Jzmhector
Photo of marisatheyounger


5/5  rDev +12.6%

01-25-2012 21:46:04 | More by marisatheyounger
Photo of MikeyMikee

New York

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

01-24-2012 05:26:06 | More by MikeyMikee
Photo of McBraniel


5/5  rDev +12.6%

01-23-2012 02:35:23 | More by McBraniel
Photo of starrdogg

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Big thanks to Chris for sharing this one.

Pours a very dark brown/nearly black with very little head and almost no lacing. Smell is very coffee and chocolate with very little bourbon or oak, but still pretty nice. Taste is excellent, a great mix of bourbon, oak, coffee and chocolate, the coffee stands out the most but doesn't take over the flavor, very smooth and incredibly easy to drink for such a big. Mouthfeel is a little thin for the style and it's a bit low on the carbonation, but it doesn't really bring down the experience of drinking the beer. Overall, this is an outstanding tasting beer, the only detractors are the mouthfeel and appearance, but pretty great overall.

01-22-2012 22:22:59 | More by starrdogg
Photo of seeswo


4.75/5  rDev +7%

01-21-2012 18:26:57 | More by seeswo
Photo of mistakebythelake


4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

01-19-2012 22:43:06 | More by mistakebythelake
Photo of CliffBrake

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

01-17-2012 02:03:11 | More by CliffBrake
Photo of womencantsail


4.38/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

01-16-2012 05:52:56 | More by womencantsail
Photo of BDeibs


4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

01-14-2012 22:15:22 | More by BDeibs
Photo of myspoonistoobig


4.93/5  rDev +11%

Bottle split two ways, into a Hill Farmstead tasting glass.

Appearance: very dark, thin tan head. Spot on for what I'd expect, though I'd hope for slightly more head retention.

Smell: a knockout punch of bourbon, bittersweet chocolate and molasses kissed with a hint of honey.

Taste: all that and more: roasted malt and coffee notes and it all goes on and on and on...

Mouthfeel: outstanding length, moderate carbonation (again, would prefer just a hint more in that department) and present but restrained bourbon heat.

Overall: beer of the night and the best beer I've had in a while, everything is just hung together in perfect harmony. So glad I have another bottle, but now I know it's going to have to be a very special occasion to bring this out again.

01-13-2012 20:49:39 | More by myspoonistoobig
Photo of cbeer88


5/5  rDev +12.6%

01-11-2012 23:04:45 | More by cbeer88
Photo of AshleyMiller


4.75/5  rDev +7%

01-11-2012 17:49:56 | More by AshleyMiller
Photo of mrbubbler


5/5  rDev +12.6%

01-11-2012 06:15:03 | More by mrbubbler
Photo of sideshowe


4/5  rDev -9.9%

01-09-2012 13:50:57 | More by sideshowe
Photo of callmemickey


3.85/5  rDev -13.3%

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.

01-09-2012 03:01:14 | More by callmemickey
Photo of Kelp

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +12.6%

01-04-2012 11:44:35 | More by Kelp
Photo of SneezyAchew


5/5  rDev +12.6%

01-04-2012 00:39:07 | More by SneezyAchew
Photo of rowingbrewer


4.75/5  rDev +7%

This beer pours a nice brownish black color with minimal head. the smell is heavy upfront with bourbon followed by a hint of coffee. the flavor follows through(though it is a little muted in comparisson to the tap version) with one of the smoothest least burning bourbon flavors I have ever had in a beer, It is truly amazing how well the bourbon melds into this beer, the coffee is a nice little side note in the flavor, the bourbon is followed by sweet rich and chocolatey notes. the mouthfeel is full, but not syrupy full. carbonations is low to low medium, which compliments the beer nicely. overall i would say this beer is better on tap but still excellent out of the bottle

01-02-2012 18:06:01 | More by rowingbrewer
Photo of cbutova


4.03/5  rDev -9.2%

On-tap at Armsby Abbey. Reviewed from notes.

A- Black pour into a goblet. No head but there is a small dark mocha ring. No lacing at all.

S- Big nose of bourbon, caramel, oak, alcohol, vanilla and cocoa. Like many barrel aged stouts but the wood and whiskey profile is a bit more complex.

T- Like the nose but a few more things are noticed here. I get some spice, cinnamon, dark fruit and earthy bark hints that didn't come into play in the aroma. The cocoa, coffee, oak, vanilla and complex whiskey all stick around. Somehow I get a tiny peppermint feel from all of this combined.

MF- Basically flat here, not sure how bottles were. Oily thick and pretty warm from alcohol.

Good stuff but the lack of carbonation always takes away from these strong barrel aged beers for me. Love the oak and whiskey use but the spices combine in a strange way to me.

01-02-2012 16:54:38 | More by cbutova
Photo of MasterSki

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

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?

01-02-2012 00:55:51 | More by MasterSki
Birth Of Tragedy from Hill Farmstead Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 838 ratings.