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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

812 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 812
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.23%
Wants: 886
Gots: 175 | FT: 26
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: 812 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ficknish
ficknish

California

5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Black. Great tan head.

S - Oak. Bourbon. Chocolate. Toasted marshmallow. Some nuttiness. Maple.

T - Toasted marshmallow. Oak. Carmel sweetness. Root beer. Slight bourbon. Bitter chocolate.

M - Silky smooth. Slight bitterness. Slight alcohol heat. Sweet.

O - What an amazing beer. I could drink barrels of this stuff. So deep in flavor and well balanced. Will definitely be drinking again. If I can ever get a hold of more.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 03:20:19 | More by ficknish
Photo of nh2032
nh2032

New York

5/5  rDev +12.6%

12-11-2011 02:24:24 | More by nh2032
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

12-09-2011 13:56:09 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of locke459
locke459

California

5/5  rDev +12.6%

12-08-2011 08:36:31 | More by locke459
Photo of polishkaz
polishkaz

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +12.6%

12-07-2011 23:49:15 | More by polishkaz
Photo of DaveHS
DaveHS

California

4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours pitch bloack with a thin, bubbly coffee colored head. Sticky lacing.

S-Big roasty coffee aromas, followed by bittersweet chocolate, toffee and toasted marshmallow.

T/M-Exceptional on every level. Thinner bodied than the base beer (Twilight of the Idols) with a concentrated, thin caramel sweetness. Round, oaky bourbon goodness washes over the palate, fading softly into a slightly phenolic, dry warming finish. For a beer with such a nice bourbon character, it's not all that sweet.

O-Every aspect of this beer is harmonious. Wouldn't change a thing about it. I don't even know that aging would do anything for it, as it is drinking perfectly now. Another winner from Hill Farmstead.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 01:32:55 | More by DaveHS
Photo of csano
csano

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

12-06-2011 19:17:00 | More by csano
Photo of auroracrisis
auroracrisis

Kentucky

4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into two tulips.

Silky black on the pour with a head that dissipates into a ring of foam around the edges after a big, frothy head.

Soft baker's chocolate and bourbon on the nose, with fudge, heavy roasted espresso, and vanilla. Plenty of oak.

Big roasted notes on the tongue with vanilla and coffee. Fudge, and more roast. Awesome balance between the coffee and bourbon.

Heavy medium on the tongue with a silky body. No carbonation to make note of.

Plenty of barrel in this with good coffee, vanilla, and baker's chocolate. Reminds me of KBS with no oatmeal. Would recommend.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 07:45:13 | More by auroracrisis
Photo of alcstradamus
alcstradamus

Washington

3.68/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours black with a thin cola-like head. Aroma is vanilla, toffee, alcohol, and sweet fudge. Flavor is dominated by the barrel flavor although not overpowering in booziness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and appropriately carbonated.

My overall feeling about this beer is one of severe disappointment. I feel that Twilight of the Idols is probably the best porter I have ever had, and this barrel aged version is a clear departure from that wonderfully nuanced flavor and it is not a positive change at all. The barrel flavor here is not powerful like..say..a Bourbon County Stout, but it still masks almost all the underlying complexity.

It is a good beer when judged on its own merits, but it is not one I would ever want again.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 00:46:14 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of Amyliz4
Amyliz4

Virginia

5/5  rDev +12.6%

12-02-2011 02:26:23 | More by Amyliz4
Photo of theellebee
theellebee

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +12.6%

12-02-2011 02:13:32 | More by theellebee
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

5/5  rDev +12.6%

12-01-2011 02:11:29 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
SubpoenaDeuces

California

4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: The appearance has that classic imperial porter sheen to it, like the coat of an alcoholic panda bear. Black and slick in all the right places, it beckons to slippery asphalt and car crashes that New Englanders no doubt survived in obtaining this succulent potation. As a side note, my bottle had hardly any cabronation, wah wah, here comes the wahhhmbulance ready to pick some nits.

S: This has a crazy powerful bouquet that smells like melted chocolate, toffee, boozy vanilla extract, and a mild hint of bourbon heat. There is a sweetness that is perfectly balanced by mild alcoholic heat, just like your old bus driver.

T: This is an incredible porter and I know that I ride this brewery's jock like its jock will soon be discontinued, but it's really that good. Top 5 porter and guess what, one of the other spots is held by, that's right Barrel Aged Everett. I can't get over this brewery, like the haughty 14 year old girl, who just wont accept that her 22 year old boyfriend wasn't really in love with her. Ok so, it has a nice sweetness that enters and has a set allowing the alcohol waft to permeate and suddenly you forget that you are at a drive in, then a mild coffee pick me up before the bourbon mellows it all out. Just ridiculously pleasant, koala foot massage pleasant.

M: It is thin, like a porter should be, no fat ass imperial stouts up in this mix. It is just light and coats just enough to be rewarding but then hammers its point home. The alcohol is like a stage director in all black watching every movement, making sure that the pilgrim chocolate kids dont miss their entry cues. Holy mixed metaphors.

D: This is incredibly drinkable, I am trying to tame myself from powering through the entire 500ml bottle with little success. It is thin, hot, and sweet, oh wait here's a patently obvious female entendre. Nope, keeping it classy here. It is totally drinkable and I wish it came in sick sixers or at least tall boys to take up to the lake. PSYCHE. This beer is meant for hearths and post skiing discussions, luge comparisons and other highbrow Vermontean prose.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 06:22:40 | More by SubpoenaDeuces
Photo of jammalamma
jammalamma

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +12.6%

11-29-2011 14:29:54 | More by jammalamma
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a generous trading partner for sending this bottle. I wanted to share this but it's my birthday and I wants it.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a thin mocha head that immediately fades into a thin ring. Not much in the way of lacing.

Huge malt aroma that's bursting with roasted gourmet coffee, luscious chocolate and a strong barrel presence. Some prominent toasted oak along with sweet bourbon and vanilla notes followed by dark chocolate, oatmeal, coffee bean, dark fruit and toast. Complex and although the bourbon is strong, it doesn't overpower the other notes.

Slightly viscous mouthfeel with a really nice balance of bourbon barrel, molasses, luscious chocolate, dark fruit and boozy heat. Really well balanced even though there is quite a bit of bourbon flavor. Dry toasted oak along with some sweet vanilla flavor and tons of delicious, sweet bourbon. Underneath, there is a nice molasses character that adds fullness to the palate along with a strong dark malt presence. Bittersweet dark chocolate complimented by a slightly roasted, incredibly smooth coffee flavor that never becomes acrid, astringent or harsh. There's a decent amount of boozy heat in the finish but overall the high ABV is very well masked.

Overall this beer is complex, well balanced and extremely flavorful. It's refreshing to find a beer like this that isn't a complete bourbon bomb. Recommended!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 04:18:04 | More by corby112
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

John's parents hooked this one up too! Man, they rock! Poured into a tulip. This one pours black with some brown highlights. No head on the pours even though we went right down the middle of the glass.

The aroma has hints of bourbon and toffee. Hints of dark chocolate and big roast malts. Vanilla and dark cherries linger in the background. Really a no nonsense in the aroma here. The taste is a lot like the aroma. Rich coffee and dark chocolate flavors on the pallet with vanilla adding a nice sweet finish. Good barrel aging here, really nice non-overpowering flavor.

The body is nice a full but this is pretty close to flat; very little carbonation.

Overall this one is pretty rock solid. Would really love better carbonation here. Maybe just a sub par bottle, but let's face it. Even a sub par bottle is pretty damn good.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 00:50:51 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of andrewinski1
andrewinski1

New Hampshire

4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine taster. the color is very dark brown and appears black. There is no head, and a couple bubbles appear from a bit of agitation.

The aroma is full of vanilla, raisins, fig, chocolate, with a touch of bourbonesque booze. Pretty much the perfect barrel aged beer aroma.

The taste is sweet vanilla and chocolate, with a nice bitter chocolate finish that leaves a lingering bourbon sting. This is the only barrel aged Hill Farmstead beer that picked up a strong component of the barrel, most are a bit more subtle. This makes me happy.

This is thick and heavy. This is probably undercarbonated by most people's standards, but I don't think it lowers the drinkability at all if any. I enjoy the smoothness.

Another top notch beer by Hill Farmstead. I'm hoping my other bottle at least pours a bit prettier.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 00:37:56 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap at the Hill Farmstead release. Sweet mother of mercy.

A - Poured into my Hill Farmstead wine glass a deep, dark black...as black as brown can get with a creamy one finger mocha head that leaves lots of thick, creamy side lacing.

S - Oh...my...god. My nose is assaulted with rich bakers chocolate, oak, carmel, burnt sugars, vanilla, and some of the smoothest bourbon I've ever smelled.

T - My goodness, this is...can BA go higher than a 5? Tastes of rich chocolate, complex oaks and vanilla and carmel. And this bourbon...my goodness. Stuff drinks like its already had 5 years on it to mellow and smooth out.

M - Almost no carbonation on the tongue. Its super creamy though and nicely thick. ALOT of mellow, smooth bourbon.

O - Overall this is one of the best beers I've ever had, easily the best porter by a landslide. This sure is a rare one and wish I could have bought more than 4 bottles. For those who didnt go and only have reviews/numbers to go off of, this really is THAT good. Be prepared to spend big if you missed this one!

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2011 00:49:52 | More by rudzud
Photo of nathanjohnson
nathanjohnson

Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

11-25-2011 12:33:41 | More by nathanjohnson
Photo of Gushue3
Gushue3

Massachusetts

4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Pours dark ark brown into my Hill Famestead big bulb glass. No heat at all and no lacing to speak of. but I can already smell it.

S The majority of the smell I get is bourbon but doesnt kill everything. Some chocolate and a tiny roast but I'm getting bourbon. nice scent

T Wow.. bourbon is present upfront but somewhat subdued. Light vanilla, chocolate, and sweetness from the malt? Lots of stuff going on and this beer is nice and complex. very well done.

M Medium mouthfeel with small carbonation which makes this really smooth and easy to drink.

O I cant take it, this is so good. Taste is perfectly balanced and so easy to drink. I wish I grabbed more of this. Thank you Shaun.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 02:54:08 | More by Gushue3
Photo of Gosox8787
Gosox8787

New Hampshire

4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter at cellar temperature. Huge thanks to phingdong for picking up a bottle for me at the release. As a huge fan of basically everything Hill Farmstead brews, I am beyond excited to try this, especially after seeing early reviews.

Appearance: Pours the anticipated midnight black in color with almost no discernable head. I thought the ABV might cut into the pour a bit, but this almost looks flat on the first pour.

Aroma: Nice roasted coffee beans, sweet bourbon, caramel and vanilla bean are all in balance in the nose. The coffee is nice and in the forefront and the bitterness of the beans is perfectly offset by the honey. Not much burn at all from the alcohol. Really complex and pleasant.

Taste: Coffee beans and espresso upfront. The bitterness of the beans are balanced with vanilla, caramel and the sweetness of the honey. I usually don't care a lot for honey in beer but it works as good as I've had here. The bourbon is expertly blended into the base beer and gives almost no additional burn. Really balanced and tasty. Flawless.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy. Just a touch of carbonation, but it works here. Goes down so smooth.

Overall, a really outstanding barrel aged porter and just a terrific overall beer. Really complex and balanced. The coffee is outstanding and this definitely is drinking great fresh. Pop this open if you have it and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 01:51:31 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of koopa
koopa

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

11-24-2011 17:25:09 | More by koopa
Photo of bwmichaud
bwmichaud

Vermont

5/5  rDev +12.6%

11-24-2011 08:34:01 | More by bwmichaud
Photo of Patrickbrusil
Patrickbrusil

Massachusetts

4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The real deal in a bottle. Look no further.

This one oozes with bourbon, coffee, and honey. A combination that would make a fine cocktail and rallies into an unprecedented porter.

What truly puts this ahead of other dark barrel aged beers is that it had that slight smokey characteristic and lighter body than a viscous stout - and god damn that is AWESOME.

The smell is heavenly. If I could make it into a cologne I would wear it daily. I'd shower in this stuff.

Bravo hill farmstead

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 03:06:48 | More by Patrickbrusil
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alright, every time I think I've found my favorite Hill Farmstead tipple Shaun releases a new beer that is at the top of it's class. Such is the case with Birth of Tragedy. A great thank you to jammalamma for allowing me the opportunity to try this in the bottle. I had this on tap at the brewery on Saturday and then again in the bottle tonight and in each occasion I was blown away.

This beer is dark roasted black in the glass with auburn highlights when held up to the light. A very slight head is formed on a vigorous pour.

Aroma is where this beer becomes otherworldly. Deep vanilla bean, caramel, toffee, candied cashews, clarified butter in the best sense. Fine expresso with a touch of sweet cream, honey, strong agave nectar (think fine anejo tequila) - so much going on!!

Taste is strong on the nuts, agave theme with mocha and honey notes. Outstanding! There more you sip the more you discover! Vanilla and toffee really come to the fore the more the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is spot on for a barrel-aged beer. Light to moderate carbonation with a moderately heavy viscosity that belies the beer's hefty abv.

Overall just a tremendous beer from the get go and here's hoping it becomes a standard yearly release. Well done!!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 00:17:18 | More by Rochefort10nh
Birth Of Tragedy from Hill Farmstead Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 812 ratings.