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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

808 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 808
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.23%
Wants: 884
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: 808 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml, Winter '12
HF wine glass

A: Pours almost pitch black. Didn't get much head, even after an aggressive pour. Only a little layer of light/dark tan head. Formed into only a ring of big bubbles around edges. Definitely some alcohol feet. No lacing.

S: Lots of vanilla right away. Caramel and toffee. Some roast coffee. Not as coffee forward as twilight.

T: Up front you get dark roast coffee. Dark bitter chocolate. Can't get past the lack of carbonation. Really sits heavier than it should. Getting that vanilla from the bourbon barrel and vanilla beans after the coffee. The finish linger and is long. Lck of carbonation makes it stick around for a while.

M: Full bodied. Carbonation would really help. It's basically flat. Docking a couple points because of it.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2013 15:44:38 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of Dicers
Dicers

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

02-14-2014 06:34:04 | More by Dicers
Photo of vonnegut21
vonnegut21

New York

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

2012 Vintage bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.

A: Pours a deep dark black, with minimal head that fades exceptionally quickly.

S: Huge vanilla presence in the nose. Bourbon notes, caramel, a hint of port wine, maybe some sherry as well. Just a great smelling beer.

T: Vanilla, bourbon, port wine, caramel and touch of dark winter fruit. Bakers chocolate and roasted coffee linger in the background.

M: Undercarbonated, but exceptionally smooth. Nice body for a porter. Very drinkable.

O: I think the 2012 vintage is a bit less carbonated than the 2011 vintage, but I really feel like the flavor profile is fuller and more complex than last year's, which I didn't think was possible. Easily the best porter I've ever had. I truly love this beer. Shaun is known for his IPA's and Saisons, but his barrel aged dark beers are exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 23:29:33 | More by vonnegut21
Photo of MinorThreat
MinorThreat

Nebraska

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

09-25-2013 22:35:32 | More by MinorThreat
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic

Florida

3.6/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to ActonBrewer for this one. Reviewed from notes. Poured from 16.9 oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

NOTE: The problems here started early. Upon removing the bottle cap, there was no noise, no "pfft" of releasing carbonation, nothing...

A: Dark - essentially black - and opaque. Other than a few stray large bubbles that formed briefly on the top, there was no head, and no visible carbonation at all.

S: Here's where the bottle really shined. Bourbon, roasted sweet malts, dark fruit, candied raisins and plums, chocolate, leather, oak barrel tannins, and an overarching coffee aroma that still let the other notes have their places. Very nice.

T: Bourbon, roasted malts, and barrel in a nice balance. Sweetness from the bourbon and dark fruits, coffee and cacao. Some hop bitterness mixed in with the rich mocha hang.

M: Body seems thinner than the other Hill Farmstead porters I've had. Alcohol seems well-integrated into other flavors. But the big loser here is the complete lack of carbonation.

O: I feel like this could have been a sample of a beer pulled of the tank, and I would have said, "Wow, that's going to be a really good beer when it's finished." Unfortunately, this was what made it into this bottle. I'd love to give it another chance, and if so I will update these scores. But the total lack of carbonation killed the mouthfeel, and didn't let the flavors come through as they should have. I guess this may have been a bad bottle? But I'm very disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2014 23:35:52 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of Zach136
Zach136

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

04-20-2014 04:02:16 | More by Zach136
Photo of mrebeka
mrebeka

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +7%

01-26-2014 16:44:03 | More by mrebeka
Photo of Amalak
Amalak

New York

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

11-28-2012 03:35:26 | More by Amalak
Photo of beergorrilla
beergorrilla

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

01-08-2013 18:47:35 | More by beergorrilla
Photo of waiting4lunch
waiting4lunch

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

02-05-2012 04:12:45 | More by waiting4lunch
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by the always generous ejyoung at a recent Cooters tasting. Poured into a Russian River glass.

No head at all, even after a pretty aggressive pour. Deep black, with maroon at the edges.

Great aroma. Espresso, dark chocolate, honey, smoke, tangy fig, vanilla bean. Bourbon is in the background, as it should be. A perfect blend of all of them.

More sweetness and fruits in the lead in the flavor. Vanilla beans, figs, prunes, smoke, dark chocolate, honey, coffee beans, bourbon. Kind of like a Baltic porter. Sweet throughout with a little heat in the back. Rich.

Very nearly dead flat, with just a hint of tingly carbonation. The body, however, is a thick, viscous medium-full. Swallows like syrup. A touch of tongue-numbing heat, but nowhere near what you’d expect from 11 percent ABV.

A very smooth and tasty blend. It’s thick, but I could drink it all night. Hill Farmstead knows what it’s doing.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 23:14:33 | More by Phelps
Photo of WanderingFool
WanderingFool

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

09-30-2012 23:52:20 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.76/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip from a 500ml bottle.
2012 Vintage.

Pours a gorgeous viscous dark black liquid with a nice quarter inch tan head. The head is dense but recedes fairly quickly down to a nice thin film and a thicker ring around the glass. Head like a frothy espresso.

Aroma is simply marvelous. Perfect roasty notes of coffee and burnt malts mix in perfectly with a cocoa powder and milk chocolate sweetness with a tinge of dark cocoa. Some oat notes can be perceived as well in the nose. So perfectly layered like a rich chocolate cake. Coffee notes are present but not overdone exquisite nose. The back end of the nose leads you into the nice vanilla and caramel of bourbon barrels along with mild oak. Complex and well blended aromas.

Here goes nothing. Mouthfeel is rich and velvety. Amazing low carbonation lets you experience all the flavors with enough cleaning and bubbly power to leave you wanting more. Wow. Taste starts off with some mild boozy heat followed by an amazing coffee note that plays ever so slightly yet perfectly with great sweet honey notes. The honey is a robust sweetness that give the brew some oomph but isn't sugary or cloying. AS the brew progresses there is a nice blend of oat-like notes with milder roasted malts and of course a nice powdery dark cocoa note that has equal sweetness and bitterness. As the brew warms the sweetness of the honey starts to blend very well with all the notes as opposed to being a stand alone flavor. Complex, creamy and delicious brew.

Overal, this brew floored me. Its pretty amazing. The mouthfeel is legit. Amazing creamy, silky and velvety smooth. Pretty sticky too. Nice roasted malt notes fill the palette but play second fiddle to awesome honey and bourbon sweetness with some cocoa to boast.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2013 00:52:48 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +7%

12-10-2013 04:04:32 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

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

The beer comes in a pitch black color.

The aroma is wonderful brilliant of honey, gentle touches of vanilla and bourbon character, a medium amount of sweet roasted coffee.

The flavor is sublime for a character aged beer. Definitely a "Hill Farmstead" style of restraint and complexity. Bourbon lingers throughout. Roasted coffee hits in the front. A honey and vanilla sweetness moves the beer through the palate. The mouthfeel is smooth and minus full, and not very sticky.

One of the best barrel aged beers I've had. Just a shocking amalgamation of flavors that dance wonderfully together.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 03:58:09 | More by dar482
Photo of Satchboogie
Satchboogie

New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +7%

02-02-2012 01:46:35 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of mltobin
mltobin

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

08-16-2013 22:25:55 | More by mltobin
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -26.8%

06-04-2012 13:47:27 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

02-05-2012 13:43:16 | More by portia99
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Three Penny Taproom. Served in a HF stemmed glass. Initially served too cold, so I let it warm up in the glass a little bit until it was close to room temp. The '12 batch is only 9% abv. This review is from two pours (before and after dinner)

A- Pours an opaque jet black with a still top (1st pour had a little bit of a mocha bubbly top) and some consistent small carbonation bubbles, but not overly carbonated.

S- Sweet bourbon, molasses, honey, brown sugar, coffee, some dark fruits, fairly aromatic and definitely on the sweet side.

T- Molasses, honey, brown sugar, coffee, finishes with sweet bourbon that blends well with the porter aspects. Sweet lingering aftertaste of light molasses and bourbon.

M- Medium bodied, fairly low carbonation, slightly oily, very smooth, nice feel for a BA porter.

O- This was a very good barrel-aged porter but nothing overly mind-blowing. There was plenty of sweet bourbon and a nice sweet molasses taste that balanced well, but I was expecting a little bit more coffee and chocolate to come out. Overall this is very good, but I think there are a few barrel-aged porters out there that are slightly better. Definitely don't drink this cold, it dulls the flavors and makes it taste a little bit watery. I would love to see what a little bit of age in the bottle does to this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2012 04:30:52 | More by jaasen64
Photo of CoolEthan
CoolEthan

California

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

04-24-2014 23:18:29 | More by CoolEthan
Photo of Photekut
Photekut

Tennessee

4/5  rDev -9.9%

05-18-2013 20:59:30 | More by Photekut
Photo of bum732
bum732

Lesotho

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

08-10-2013 17:00:06 | More by bum732
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.03/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Josh for this one. 500ml bottle poured into a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black and viscous with no head. Very sparse, spotty lace and oily, thick legs. Average for the style.

Nose is booze, honey, molasses, roasted coffee, and fudge. Pretty subtle. Leaves me wanting a bit more here.

Opens sweet honey and molasses. Fudge, chocolate, and booze with some sweet prunes mixed in. Coffee presence is noticeably missing probably because of the age of this one. More booziness floats around at the end, complementing the robust honey, molasses and fudge flavors. Finishes sweet and bourbon-y. Aftertaste of sweet roasted malt, chocolate, and fudge. Tasty but a bit one-dimensional without the coffee.

Medium bodied and nearly flat. Viscous, slick, and oily in the mouth and warm and smooth going down. Messy finish with a long, lingering aftertaste. This might not be for everyone but I like my heavier beers a bit flat and this fits the bill for me.

Pretty sure this one is past its prime at this point. However, that doesn't mean its not good. Flavor is decidedly a bit one-dimensional but its still everything you could want from a barrel-aged porter. Warming and delicious. I'd love to revisit this fresh if its ever made again.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 18:36:10 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of schnarr84
schnarr84

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev -9.9%

06-30-2014 23:24:34 | More by schnarr84
Birth Of Tragedy from Hill Farmstead Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 808 ratings.