Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged) - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

81 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 81
Hads: 601
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 24.26%
Wants: 1,130
Gots: 102 | FT: 8
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 81 | Hads: 601
Photo of 05Harley
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage: 2011
Bottle # 699 of 864
(315 calories)

Price - $20/500ml bottle

The inaugural RIS brewed by Hill Farmstead brewery. I've been waiting a long time for this one.

Pours pitch black and I mean midnight black. A one finger brown creamy head follows and fills the top of the glass with red edges. A looker, hell ya like a Victoria Secrets model dressed in lingerie. The foam appears to be a little more modest and retreats to a creamy film. Left behind is polka dotted lacing at a stand still on my snifter due to the sticky nature. The appearance is a dead ringer for the style.

Let's talk about the nose, strong and full of aroma. Chocolate, bourbon, caramel, oak and dark cherries. A faint but noticeable roastiness works it way through but can't overcome the sweet sensation. Highly quaffable and simply amazing.

Tastebud sex baby! Flavors of chocolate and soft vanilla bourbon come on first followed by layers of extras such as buttery caramel, molasses and various dark fruits. The bourbon flavor is as close to perfect as possible without being overdone. A slight booziness is noticeable but quickly forgotten with the next sip.

The mouthfeel is silky smooth and maintains that creamy look with the feel. The body is medium with low carbonation and very little bitterness. Finishes tangy and moderately dry. A little more bittering hops please..

Overall am I biased due to it being brewed by a local, your f***ing right I'am but I'll take the hit on this one. As I poured the final glass I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. This was it. The bottle is empty and the experience is over. I think this feeling is what it's all about, keep them begging for more. The last time I felt like this I was enjoying another local favorite RIS "Kate The Great". Phenomenal job Shaun and thank you for the experience.

 1,833 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Waited in line for a few hours outside of Hill Farmstead to get this beer. Was the first person in line. Few in the cellar and one to crack now, the day before Kate Day. Poured into my Duvel tulip. Bottle 799/864

A - Pours a deep, rich almost oily black colour. Definately is clear, I could see that in the stream, but as it collects in the tulip it is inpenitrable by light. There was a half finger deep dark mocha head but that disappeared rather quickly to leave a very, very thin halo.

S - Aroma is very rich and inviting. Some sweet malts, nice chocolate roast. Lots of rich mellow bourbon on this one. Clearly a good bourbon with some nice earthy vanilla wood. There is some slight alcohol burn on the end.

T - Very smooth and mellow. Nice roasted malts and chocolate. Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate that is wonderfully intermixed with smooth good quality bourbon. Nice bourbon and oak along with some vanilla. There is a very slight warm booze bourbon finish to it.

M - Mouthfeel is very nice. Rich, creamy, thick and silky smooth. Practically no bourbon heat at all on the finish but all the nice bourbon qualities.

O - Overall, yet another excellent limited release from Hill Farmstead. Their stuff is well worth seeking out. Delicious beer that will only improve even more with age.

 1,297 characters

Photo of jeonseh
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1 bottle poured into a GI tulip. Part of NWI new year day's tasting

A - Dark chocolate brown with a syrup body. A light mocha colored head.

S - Light nose comprised of vanilla, bourbon, and light milk chocolate

T - Tons more flavor than you'd expect in the nose. Sweet bourbon upfront with vanilla, chocolate, and maple syrup. There is a light chocolate malt in the middle. The finish is bourbony sweetness that lingers on in the finish.

MF - Silky smooth beer with barely any carbonation. Lightly astringent in the finish as well There is also a slight oak presence that lingers in the finish

O - Amazing flavor in this one which makes you want to keep on sipping it. There is a lot of bourbony presence and sweet vanilla in this one. Additionally, it has a great mouthfeel as well as it was nice and creamy. I do wish it had a bit of a better nose as it was not too fragrant. This is definitely good but I'm not sure it is worth giving up a lot to get a bottle

 974 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

not sure how I missed reviewing this before, but finally got around to it.

No head, super dark pitch black thick beer nice legs, mild dark mocha head as I swirl.

Nose tons of dark choc, dark malts, caramel, cocoa, then even more barrel notes, some bourbon, vanilla barrel, great toasty vanilla barrel and dark choc, hint of fluffy nougat, faint booze, even touch buttery oak.

Taste is great but not as good as the nose, lots of dark malts, cocoa and dark choc, fluffy nougat, caramel, etc. Then barrel, vanilla barrel, little buttery oak and plenty of bourbon but not a ton, juicy dark malts, mild bitter earthy hops and bitter mild roast, touch of warming booze, even hint fudgey and toasted oak. Finish is dry with lots more bourbon and toasty vanilla oak, more bitterness and bitter dark malts, hint of booze.

Mouth is thick and rich, heavy, but not too thick, decent carb, mild warming booze.

Overall great, great bourbon and barrel, nice base beer that absorbs the bourbon and barrel well.

 1,003 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by yourefragile because he thinks I'm fragile, poured into a Hill Farmstead becher because that's the only HF glass I have and drank through a straw because there was a baby on my head at the time, all of this actually happened.

Beer is black with a nice tan head of small bubbles, moderate retnetion, low carbonation, some lacing, looks nice.

Aroma is interesting, not as bourbon forward as one might expect but excellent because I can smell both the bourbon and the yeast, mild roast, sweetness, chocolate perhaps?

Beer is medium in body, creamy, sweet, mildly oaky and bourbony, tastes nice, an interesting beer. I commented that it is slightly Black Albert like and people didn't disagree. I'd have it again, a very nice beer.

 747 characters

Photo of claaark13
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled, set out for about 15 minutes and poured into a HF tulip...both the bottle and tulip provided by jedwards (badass). Bottle #639.

A - Pours black with a very slow rising, minimal head. The head never really develops and remains as lingering lacing throughout. Returns upon some sifting. The lacing retention keeps it looking good.

S - Traces of oak, chocolate and dark fruits. Nothing is too strong at all. Nice, but muted.

F - Slight oak, vanilla, cocoa, dryness from the oak that has some sweetness to balance, and then a nice cocoa/vanilla finish. Wow. There is complexity yet so much balance and smoothness.

M - Thicker side of medium, low-medium carbonation, very silky. Although the body feels so nice, it is still a little light on the tongue.

O - HF does it again. I'm having a tough time figuring out the difference between this as an RIS and Birth as a Porter. The only real difference in the two are the flavors....and a little bit in the appearance. Fantastic all around. I wish I had a case of this.

 1,025 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Smells awesome. Has a great roast, but is balanced amazingly with the bourbon barrel. No one flavor overpowers. Medium mouthfeel which I'm not minding because there is a perfect amount of sweetness. Very impressed.

 214 characters

Photo of mhksuccess
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into ballast pt snifter
pretty dark color very little lacing and no head just a slight ring around the outside of glass
smell is slightly boozy
taste is amazing really like
it has a great barrel flavor and extremely smooth
not hott at all
could drink this on a regular basis
definite would get again if have the opportunity

 349 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml black wax topped bottle into a couple of snifters. Bottle # 178/864. Huge thanks go to Stakem for sharing this bottle with a couple of us.

Pours black as night in the glass, with a think bubbly head of dark mocha froth. This maintains some rich edges, which just coats the sides of the glass with spotty lacing and gooey brown oils. The aroma smells of burnt bourbon character up front, with is quickly followed by notes of chocolate cake, coffee, molasses, brown sugar and spicy alcohol. Man, this has a nice booze soaked sweetness to it in the nose.

The taste is chocolate fudge, roasted coffee, burnt molasses, brown sugars, and more spicy alcohol which leads into a charred bourbon finish. This is just so burnt, sticky and rich feeling on the palate. I’m in love. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a thick and chewy carbonation that is undercut by a good amount of tannic slickness that helps this drink way smoother than it should considering the alcohol and assertive barrel character here.

This a great BA Imperial Stout from Hill Farmstead and I especially loved how it didn’t hide its brashness but instead complimented it with a host of delicious sticky sweetness that kept this accessible and a joy to sip on. I drank a bunch of this at the last EBF and it was a pleasure to be able to sit down with it again. Thanks again Adam!

 1,358 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second bottle I have consumed, getting the review in.

A- Poured into both Hill Farmstead stemware glasses, mine being the snifter looking one. Pitch black all the way with a nice dark mocha tan head. The cap forms to a finger in size with a bubbly texture, retention is good for barrel aged. A few legs and lace spots.

S- The nose is somewhat dissimilar from the flavor, which will obviously come later. Aroma mostly consists of the great whiskey barrel: smoothed out Bourbon whiskey, great vanilla and toasty oak. Some cocoa and alcohol to finish.

T- Cocoa really steps up to the plate, like luxury chocolate melting on the taste buds with some great dark cherries thrown in by the yeast. The cocoa and fruits are well off with the barrels they resided in. Notes of whiskey, vanilla, caramel and oak wood balance it all out with just a tad of alcohol.

MF- Lower end carbonation but that is very appropriate for a 10% bourbon barrel stout. The body is rich, thick and somewhat creamy. A nice alcohol warmth supports the flavor well.

The flavor ends up reminding me of a brownie made with bourbon soaked cherries. The cocoa presence is rich and really works well with the bourbon flavor present.

 1,199 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

**First and foremost, my scores reflect the times I have had this beer on-tap at the brewery events while the words reflect the bottled version.**

Thanks to DocJ007 for sharing this one with us last weekend, Batch #2.

A - Pours jet black with a small half finger tall tan head, quickly dissipating down to a light ring around the edge of the glass, leaving little to no lace at all on the glass.

S - Smells of warm bourbon, fudgey chocolate, vanilla, molasses, dark fruits, overly charred oak and plenty of dark roasted malt. Lots of dark aromas lurking in the shadows of this one.

T - Starts off much like the nose does with a bit sugary kick - mainly the fudgey chocolate, vanilla, molasses mixed dark fruits - quickly being joined by the smokey charred oak and base dark roasted malts. Finish is much like before with a mix of sweetness and dark roasty flavors, lingering long after the finish.

M - Heavy body with moderate to low carbonation. Slick feel throughout, booze is hidden quite well.

O - I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Not as good as when I had it on-tap but still a very enjoyable beer. Really looking forward to trying that Double Barrel version in the near future.

 1,188 characters

Photo of s1ckboy
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle, thanks phingdong! About 6 months of age, maybe? Not sure.

A - Black body, dark brown head, uneven bubbles.

S - Oak, bourbon, brown sugar.

T - Oak, Bourbon, bit of vanilla(?), small amount of chocolate, toasted marshmellow, molasses. A lot of wood in the finish.

M - Not a lot of carbonation which works very well. Very smooth.

Great beer, incredibly smooth! The base beer takes a slight backseat to the bourbon barrels but it works quite nice.

 461 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.46/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Armsby Abbey, Worcester, MA.

Nice surprise seeing this one on tap! Dark black pour, maybe some faint brown hues around the edges, with a minimal head, just a dark collar, which left a few shards of lacing and some legs on the glass. Nice aroma, thick with fudge, dark malts, caramelized sugar, notes of bourbon and vanilla. More of the same in the taste, with the barrel element coming out a bit more, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, oak, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, slight char and roasty coffee. I got more malt/sweet/bourbon than bitter/roast/coffee in this one. Medium-full body, lower carbonation, silky mouthfeel, booze was present, but not too hot at all. Very good overall.

 691 characters

Photo of spicelab
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared 3 ways. Batch 2, 8/2013.

Black, though not of the thick and intimidating variety, with a modest but persistent fine-bubbled beige head.

Nose is quite barrel forward, with woody vanilla and coconut complementing firm dry cocoa molasses and burnt toffee. Flavours follow. Rich and indulgent choc-caramel fudge, burnt toffee and date slice before the cocoa, dark chocolate and tannins emerge at the end to dry out the finish. Quite a coup.

Terrifically good Imperial Stout. Impressively clean and distinct profile.

 531 characters

Photo of MacQ32
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8/2013 date on bottle

A - pours a deep dullish muddied brown. Nearly black as it sits in my glass. Fantastic near finger of rich chocolate/auburn tinted head. Decent retention, strong lacing.

S - Semi sweet. Vanilla, tons of chocolate, booze, almost a peppermintish boozy type aroma. Pretty broad smelling, not overly rich.

T - Rich boozey vanilla/charrred flavors initially with some raisin/dark fruit which soon mix with ample sweet chocolaty (minimally roasty) flavors

M - thick on the tongue, full bodied with hardly any carbonation. A wonderful sipper

 560 characters

Photo of Gfunk720
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mike for this bottle the night of the release. Out of my Hill Farmstead steamware.

A- Pitch black with a nice light tannish/mocha colored head. Reduces to a ring around the edge of the glass.

S- Lots of dark malt, molassas, and good amount booze. Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and nice caramel roasted malt.

T- Extremely smooth and rich. Chocolate, some sweetness, oaky bourbon, and again some vanilla. Still quite boozy, but very good. Nice roasted malt after taste, chocolate and caramel. A very well balanced blend of flavors, though the heat is a bit off putting.

M- Smooth and silky,great body without being overboard thick. Perfect carbonation for the style in my opinion.

O- While this is still a bit hot and boozy, it shows a ton of promise and is already quite good. It really is well balanced, and the mouthfeel is already pretty perfect. With some age, I think this one should mellow out nicely.


 929 characters

Photo of beerdrifter
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from a great trade with Evan! An aggressive pour of this pitch black beauty yields a one finger dark caramel-colored head that dissipates pretty quickly but leaves some really nice lacing. The nose is fairly sweet initially, but quickly yields to lots of dark roast, chocolate fudge, oak, vanilla, and a ton of booze. The taste is big and bold with rich chocolate fudge, vanilla, dark fruits, oak, subtle char, molasses, espresso, cocoa, black cherry, and booze. The mouthfeel is incredibly thick. Reminded me of tasting brownie batter. It's velvety smooth with a subtle warming on the finish. Overall, this was a hard beer to figure out. It was incredibly flavorful and easy to drink, even though the booze was sometimes a bit too much. With that said, it never really hurt the experience. Only my second beer from HF. Hopefully more to follow...

 862 characters

Photo of homebrew311
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled this at darkness day. Pours a silky opaque black with some tan head which retains a nice layer. The nose hites you with decadent notes of vanilla and cream paired with heavy roast and chocolate. Some smokey notes come through as well as some earthy hop notes as well. The taste is much like the nose. The bourbon barrel aged characteristics are expertly integrated wih the beer. The bourbon is present but is harmonious with the sturdy stout base beer. Taste is smooth, plenty of vanilla, chocolate, and roast with some mellow oak char. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth with velvety texture. Overall, delicious brew here, definitely worth seeking out!

 656 characters

Photo of FrostBlast
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle bought on-site at Hill Farmstead on release day.

I never mention bitterness in my reviews, my bitterness taste buds are ridiculously under-sensitive.

APPEARANCE : No light gets through this tough guy. Incredibly opaque, with a heavy, syrupy look, almost no head, but what head it has is khaki. The bubbles forming the thin head creep up to the surface so slowly you'd think they're rising through molasses. A larger head would make for a more appealing appearance, but then the added carbonation might ruin the mouthfeel (more on that to come).

SMELL : First nose is herbal molasses, cocoa, roasted malts, coffee, wood, faint vanilla, figs and raisins, a bit boozy. Second nose has the same and also releases some sharper aromas, on the herbal side, but with a definite rich sweet vanilla undertone. Third nose is the same as second, but with more booze. The bourbon cask is obvious, but well integrated.

TASTE : The mouth releases a smoky side that was not obvious on the nose. The smoke is definitely strengthened by the roasted coffee aromas, they meld together quite nicely. The rest is the same as the nose. Some sweetness.

MOUTHFEEL : Thick. I've seen thicker (Hardknott's Vitesse Noire, for example) but this is definitely up there with the big guys as far as standing-a-fork-straight-up-in-your-glass goes. Almost no carbonation, which increases the heaviness, but IMO, not to the point of being overwhelming.

OVERALL : Very interesting beer, well crafted. Chances are some people will find this to be way too much, way over-the-top, but I personally enjoy it very much. We were limited to 2 bottles per person on site, so I'm very happy a friend of mine, who only wanted one, agreed to buy a second one and sell it right off to me. I'll keep these for the cold winter nights.

 1,803 characters

Photo of stakem
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the same bottle as the previous reviewer. (#178/864) Thanks to Deuane for the trade and to Kegatron for assisting in making an event out of opening up some Farmstead offerings. The brew poure black in color with a skimpy head. A few bubbles make their way to the surface and collapse quickly. When held to the light, some brown clarity is seen through the edges. Faint spotty lace sticks to the glass along with legs of alcohol.

The aromatics are straight up brownie batter: cocoa, fudge, vanilla and caramel all come together to formulate this rich sticky quality to the nose. Trace amounts of bourbon spiked alcohol emit from the glass as it warms up.

The taste is a bit more boozy than the aroma leads on. There is a spiit reinforcement of alcohol bite overtop of a plehora of barrel aging characteristics. Coconut, caramel, oak, vanilla and a bit boozy but it is masterfully integrated with a slight bitter roast inclusion across the back. The aftertaste is again a throwback to the aromatics: cocoa, coffee and fudgy with a hint of must.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a very light hint of carbonation. This brew displays awesome barrel aging character and is a real treat to sip on almost more as a dessert than anything. I cant gloat about nothing but the good here... being nitpicky id say that just a slight bit more carbonation would have been nice but id certainly take it again in a heartbeat if offered.

 1,444 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle shared by jedwards. Bottle 425/864. Pours an inky black with no head. Nose expresses bourbon, dark malts, buttery notes and ethanol towards the back. Taste expresses bourbon, but not too bold, with roasted malt and some sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body, slightly oily in consistency with some residual heat. This is an exceptional, incredibly tasty and well-balanced BA stout. If you are expecting a big bourbon bomb, you will not find it in Damon; however, the way this beer comes together is quite fantastic.

 535 characters

Photo of jaasen64
4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #1 from 2011, bottle #501 of 864. 500ml bottle poured into HF stemmed wine glass. Thanks Alex (Ataraxia) for bringing this to our HF stout tasting. Split three ways, reviewing live, have had this several times but first time doing full review.

A- Pours a dark black, thin mocha head, some faint spotty lacing.

S- Dark fruits, chocolate fudge, integrated bourbon, light woody oak. Average aroma strength, great complexity.

T- Chocolate fudge, milk chocolate, slight oxidation, very well integrated bourbon, some light dark fruits, hints of oak and vanilla, finishes with more chocolate fudge, some espresso, and a faint hint of dark fruits. Awesome complexity with great balance.

M- Medium bodied, extremely smooth, minimal carbonation, extremely drinkable.

O- This beer is awesome and probably my favorite of the HF stouts. Compared to batch #2, batch #1 has a lot more fudge and with age it has a nice light dark fruit presence and very slight oxidation. I wouldn't age this anymore as its already slightly falling off but it's still tasting fantastic.

 1,064 characters

Photo of justforrazors
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into HF stemware 10/5/13

A- Black with no light passing through. Decent 1/2 inch mocha head that fades over a minute to a ring around the glass. Impressive lacing.

S- Bourbon up front, followed by chocolate, cocoa nibs, and roast malt. Lots of roast malt. Some woody tobacco notes as well.

T- Follows the nose- lots of chocolate, coffee, roasty malts, followed by a nice amount of boozy bourbon and some oak tannins. Complex, interesting, very tasty. Not the best of the style, but very good.

M- Full body with low carbonation creeping on medium. Very tannic and astringent on the end- the booze (either the bourbon or the beer itself) really lingers on for a while, and not in the best way.

O- Maybe it was my high expectations from this beer, the effort it took to get it, or the hype-train behind Shaun's beers, but I was a bit let down. This beer is good, but not amazing. I love bourbon barrel stouts, and this was just lacking the vanilla flavor and decadent mouthfeel that I really love about the style. I bet this will get better with a year on it- right now it is just too hot with way too much roast malt astringency at this point.

 1,157 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a tulip.

Damon has a nearly black color with coffee brown edges. There is a small mocha tan cap that leaves a few wisps of lacing.

The aroma is sweet bourbon, creamy chocolate, a bit of dark roast coffee, and a full roasted malt presence.

The flavor starts with a light and smooth bourbon flavor. Then there is creamy dark chocolate, full roasted malt, some milk chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and oak, with a bit more bourbon on the finish.

It has a very nice full body, rich, creamy carbonation, and a little bit sticky mouthfeel. Damon is definitely rich and creamy.

Overall Damon does a great job of packing a smooth, tasty bourbon barrel stout into a nice, full-bodied package.

 733 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Split with Nanoslug.


A: Pours pitch black in the center, with some edge translucence. The body has a small mocha-colored head.

S: Fudgy brownies, vanilla, caramel, smoke, bourbon. While this is clearly barrel-aged, the bourbon and oak presence is relatively muted (compared to something like Bourbon County), and the smoke is an interesting touch.

T: Brown sugar, fudge/chocolate, vanilla, caramel -- this is an imperial stout first and barrel-aged second. Smoke, bourbon, oak, and dark cherries accentuate the flavor in the mid-taste, with the oak pulling into the finish for a slightly tannic, as well as boozy, finish. Smoke carries into the exhalation. Quite nice.

M: Medium-plus bodied; this doesn't have the full richness of something like Black Tuesday or Bourbon County, and I don't necessarily want that. I think Hill Farmstead angles for beers that are more balanced and ready to drink out of the gate, and that is reflected here. The one drawback is that it's slightly boozy.

O: Another entry in my series of "Why is Hill Farmstead ruining my grading average?" series. I had a sip of this once, a long time ago, and it didn't make an impression. Sampling a bottle in a quieter setting over an hour was a much more enjoyable experience. This is outstanding.

 1,323 characters

Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.