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Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged) - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

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

550 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 550
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.78%
Wants: 1,034
Gots: 102 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 01-10-2012

Damon (1993-2004) The time spent with loved ones, now lost, seems to affect our mind and body perpetually: memories happen upon us, unsuspectingly, and bring about tears of fond remembrance. Damon was our brother – devout and patient in an age of busyness and distraction. In his honor, we crafted and conditioned this Imperial Stout in bourbon barrels from our favorite distillery. We still reflect, daily, upon our Damon and his scruffy chin of grey – of his loyalty and his love.

Aged in Blanton's bourbon barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 550 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Urbancaver
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Jesus this is an amazing beer. Tried it only a few days after RARE DOS from Peg's... the most similar beer to RARE DOS I've ever had. Amazing mouthfeel. The aroma and flavour can only be described as perfect. A masterpiece from Shaun and one I'm looking forward to having again

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4.75/5  rDev +7%

Photo of ErrandWolfe
4.75/5  rDev +7%

Photo of marine1975
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Pete27lax
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Devi0us
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Sean9689
3.78/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at Perennial.

A - Pours black, mocha-colored head, wisps, thin collar.

S - This is a Blanton's/bourbon bomb straight away! After the huge booze, there's roasted malts, chocolate, light bread, caramel, oak, very subtle hops, and burnt sugars. The booze flairs my nostrils...woah.

T - I think this beer needs to additional cellar time to lose some of the booze. The palate offers lots of bourbon, oak, chocolate, light vanilla, caramel, and toasted malts. The alcohol is very noticeable, which detracts from the rest of the beer. Finish is chocolate and booze with light oak. Really more like 3.75 here.

M - Medium to full body, good carbonation, rich, creamy finish.

O - While I like this beer, I want to like it more. I think another 6 months to a year of additional cellar time will do this beer some good. I will revisit then and update when I have it again. Right now, I suggest holding your bottles unless you really want a bunch of alcohol with your RIS (which some people prefer).

In summary, good now but is destined to be great in the future.

Photo of afksports
3.4/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This reminded me a little of Bell's Black Note. In that they are both hyped barrel aged imperial stouts that underwhelmed. Body was slightly thinner than expected, alcohol was hot and up front, but way boozier than 10% abv should be. Cheap quality bourbon vanilla taste without rounded molasses notes. Sugars found in the middle were syrupy and wet, although there was a nice chocolate component present. Finish didn't carry the roastiness you'd expect from the middle of the taste. But probably the worst was that the booze was overwhelming and clouded by oak, ash and carbon.

Worst part, those pieces - oak, heat, bourbon, stout base, weren't integrated very well. Maybe this was sitting in a hot place before we opened the bottle? I'd tend to give the brewery the benefit of the doubt, based on the tremendous stuff they've put out before.

And that said, for all the negatives, Damon still drank as a solid beer. It did the style adequately (despite the oak), and I'd quaff it again. Especially on tap. But when there's shelf stuff like Oak Aged Yeti available that tops it, I'd only drink Damon as a local find, not as a must-seek "gem".

Photo of Knownfactor
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown to a light black in color with small carbonation barley a finger head.

S- This baby smell of the finest bourbon in the world with fresh smell of vanilla and oak tannins even a slight of roasty scent.

T- Aww pure heaven with the flavors of good bourbon , vanilla , honey and caramel that so sticky goodness. Even had hint of light milk chocolate taste in the aftertaste.

M- This have a nice smooth to velvety goodness that just wraps around the tounge and just clinging on every minute.

O- This is one hell of beer. IMO it ranks with the best and should climb the latter pretty fast. This is a must try beer. Cheers....

Photo of Kelp
4.75/5  rDev +7%

Photo of mdillon86
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Jeffo
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Was lucky enough to get a couple bottles of this, one from jedwards and the othe from jbeatty. Thanks heaps gents. I thought I'd take the HF challenge and drink them both on the same night. What a treat / mistake that was...

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter.
Vintage 2011
Bottle 451 of 864

APPEARANCE: A sludgy black, thick pour yields a small, tight, tan head with very good retention. Head fades to a good wisp and ring. Pitch black in color with no carbonation evident. A swirling wisp and ring remain until the end and leaves dots of lacing down the glass. Thick and nasty looking. This is a black, black, thick, evil looking stout beer.

SMELL: Big nose on this one for sure. Roasted malts, dark chocolate and lots of bourbon barrel. Oak, vanilla and milk chocolate in there, as well as touches of toffee and molasses. This is phenomenal, though perhaps a touch more base beer is needed for a perfect score.

TASTE: This is a perfect score. Period. Roasted and caramel malt up front, with lots of bourbon barrel at the swallow. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and milk choclate with some bitter dark chocolate and toffee sweetness as well. Big, bold and lingering aftertaste of bourbon barrel, bitter dark chocolate, sweet molasses and roasted flavors just doesn't quit. This is phenomenally ballanced and absolutely decadent. Love it.

PALATE: Full body, thick and heavy on the palate, with lower levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine with a bit of a bite at the swallow, though well measured, and finishes slightly sticky. Some heat lingers. Could be a touch smoother, but it's full, heavy, and plenty dominating.

OVERALL: Well, I hate to say it, but this is perhaps the best barrel aged imperial stout to have ever crossed my lips. I can't imagine it getting any closer to perfection than this. A massive, evil look, a wonderfully bold and balanced nose, flavors to write home to your mom about, and a heavy and meanacing palate to boot, this is just a nasty beer that every BA stout lover should get to try. Actually, since I would love to get more of it, forget everything I just said about it. Nevermind. It sucks. Thanks again gents! Send more asap. I am thirsty.

Photo of bpfrush
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of brystmar
3.85/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by a generous BA at our tasting last weekend.

Aroma boasts dark, strongly roasted malts (almost burnt) with subtle notes of bourbon. Hints of chocolate in the background too.

Starts off roasty but gets immediately blindsided by booze and, to a lesser extent, bourbon. Chocolate tries to save the day towards the end, but the alcohol prevents it from finishing cleanly. A touch ashy overall too.

Truly surprised at how messy this stout was. If memory serves, my two pours of it on draft at EBF were considerably better and more balanced. Booze character then wasn't the sore thumb it's become in the bottle. *Generously* rating it 4.0 on taste because 1) I recall my EBF pours being quite good, and 2) time might smooth these rough edges.

Our 9-person group's opinion on Damon was (surprisingly) unanimous: this is a hot mess. Bourbon isn't integrated well, nor is the booze character. A tremendous disappointment.

Still, Damon's a decent RIS overall, though it falls far short of my expectations from Hill Farmstead. Founders Imperial Stout truly is a better beer right now, but that could easily change in a year or so.

Photo of eawolff99
4.75/5  rDev +7%

Photo of thstevens12
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of GuisseppeFranco
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Mark000
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at EBF Saturday afternoon. Solid black color with an off white head. Aromas of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Flavor follows the aroma quite well with a bit of a dry finish. Light body and level of carbonation with a sweet slick mouthfeel. Smells wonderful tastes pretty good but is a bit thin and finishes kind of dry. I’m a bit disappointed with this one because the other Hill stuff I’ve had has been exceptional. Maybe I can revisit this after the bottles come out.
I was able to try this again out of a bottle on 5/11/2012, thanks Matt. Pours a solid black with a thinnish tan head. Smells a lot of bourbon with chocolate, oak, vanilla, coffee, roast, and a hint of smoke. Flavor is big and bold with the bourbon and the alcohol that comes with it. Roasty chocolate and coffee with hints of vanilla and oak in there. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a chewy sweet mouthfeel. I certainly enjoyed the sample I had out of the bottle much better than at the fest. This is a damn good stout and I do love me some stout. Its a shame these beers are so hard to come by. My rating reflects my impression of the bottle version.

Photo of airbag11
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of brooklynbrews
4/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of domtronzero
4.75/5  rDev +7%

Photo of resistdefy
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 550 ratings.