Damon (Double Barrel Aged) - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

111 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 111
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.79%
Wants: 339
Gots: 29 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  ABV ?

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

1 year in Port, 1 year in Van Winkle Bourbon.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 04-25-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 111 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of blabaer
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Review from 10/26/2014. Opened alongside the most recent batches of Bourbon Damon and Port Damon, alongside a bunch of other amazing stouts, including KBBS. Prior to this tasting, Bourbon Damon was my favorite non-adjunct stout. I suspect you can guess where this is going...

A: Jet black. Somehow marginally darker than Bourbon Damon. Port Damon was quite carbonated comparatively, but the carb here was a light hiss upon opening, equivalent to Bourbon Damon. Almost no head whatsoever. Viscous, as I like my stouts.

S: The depth of the barrel characters is astonishing. This completely blows the smell of Bourbon Damon out of the water. Possibly the richest layers of chocolate, coffee, bourbon, red wine, and slight vanilla imaginable. The perfect non-adjunct stout smell. By comparison, the nose on Port Damon was weak. Astonishingly though, compared to this, Bourbon Damon also feels sparse. Eye opening to smell them next to each other. Without tasting them, I can tell this is starkly superior.

M: Silk. Not overbearingly thick, nor thin whatsoever. The additional year in the barrels really mellowed this out perfectly. I can't help but think I am drinking this at exactly the right juncture in its lifecycle.

T: The taste begins with rich perfect bourbon, more intense than Bourbon Damon despite spending the same time in bourbon barrels. Somehow, this is immensely darker and richer. The profile continues with layers of molasses, espresso, chocolate, vanilla, caramel. Then, the port finish takes this to the next level. A perfect red wine acidity mellows the final gasp of flavor, not overbearing, as young Port Damon was for me. Didn't think this could be that perfectly balanced given my pre-disposition against red wine characters in stouts.

O: A masterwork. This beer is especially remarkable given that there are no other ingredients besides Malt, Hops, Yeast, and Water. This beer succeeds because it is significantly greater than the sum of its parts. Obviously, we had to blend regular Bourbon and Port together to see how it matched up. Not even friggin' close. Truly, this is Shaun at his absolute finest.

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5/5  rDev +9.9%

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5/5  rDev +9.9%

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5/5  rDev +9.9%

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5/5  rDev +9.9%

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5/5  rDev +9.9%

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5/5  rDev +9.9%

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5/5  rDev +9.9%

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5/5  rDev +9.9%

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5/5  rDev +9.9%

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5/5  rDev +9.9%

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5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of HugeBulge
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of SadMachine
4.96/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes from 12/31/13

A- Pours a thick, viscous black with almost no head whatsoever, but that's expected with this spending 2 years in barrels! Nice alcohol legs when swirled.

S- Wow, the aroma is incredibly broad and deep! The bourbon is in charge at first, with oak, char, molasses, honey, and vanilla. This is followed by red wine, burnt sugar, coffee, and a mild tartness. Though I'm tipsy right now, I feel this aroma is perfect!

T- This tastes very similar to the nose, though there's significantly more roast/coffee than expected. This is a super complex and delicious brew! Sweet and chocolaty at first, followed by, coffee, oak, dry red wine, tart and sweet cherry and raspberry. There is also some moderate warming booze. The chocolate is both bitter (like baker's) and sweet (like dark raspberry chocolate). Honestly, if I wasn't tipsy I would expound, but this is incredible, and I just want to drink it!

M- The mouth feel is thick, creamy, and velvety smooth. Amazing!

O- This is the best stout, and probably the best beer I've ever had! So complex, yet perfectly balanced!

Photo of jegross2
4.93/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the Double Barrel Damon from the Hill Farmstead Brewery out of Greensboro, Vermont. This Russian Imperial Stout is a blend of Damon aged one year in port barrels and one year in van winkle whiskey barrels.

Score: 99

2013 vintage bottle served in a stemmed Hill Farmstead bulb glass and enjoyed on 02/22/14.

Appearance: Pours a dark, rich syrup color that is almost black in color with some bubbles that quickly and completely dissipate. No head really, nor any lacing. There is a nice browning to the sides of the glass from swirling with solid legs too. 4.5/5

Smell: Hot fudge, dark chocolate, bourbon, and light vanilla, with the port character beginning to come through as it begins to breath. A kiss of a generic hop aroma too. So much chocolate/fudge, which only amplifies as it warms. I could smell this beer all day! 5/5

Taste: Port and sweetness upfront following by a fudgey bourbon finish and a mild bitterness that cuts through the upfront sweetness. The fudgey finish is long lasting, and intensifies as it warms up. Caramel, molasses, vanilla and a hint of fruit too. Near-perfect mix of bourbon and port and chocolate here. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Full/full-medium bodied; amply thick, but not the most viscous stout that I have encountered. Dry finish. Great balance of sweet and bitter characters here. 4.5/5

Overall: Masterfully blended! I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this, considering that I was not a big fan of Port Damon. The bourbon and port characteristics mingle nicely, with chocolate notes for days. The bitterness on the finish imparted a nice balance, and made it all too drinkable. All-in-all, this beer took a personal favorite (bourbon Damon) to a whole new level of excellence. This one is absolutely worth seeking out!

Cost: $35 for a 375 ml bottle.

Photo of huddyball
4.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Ok, so I held onto this long enough. Bought this bottle at the release in September on my first ever trip to Hill Farmstead. Bottle is dated 5/2013. Poured into a stemmed Hill Farmstead glass.

A) Jet black with no head and no carbonation whatsoever. Obviously this comes to no surprise , after all we're talking about a brew that had needed over 2 years before it was put in a bottle.

S) WOW. You get the bourbon and the wine, a slight edge to the wine. The booziness of both port and bourbon are there too.

T) OK, I'm a novice at this but I'll do my best. The bourbon hits first with vanilla, chocolate, caramel, and oak. Next you get the port which when blended with the bourbon gets a bit of raspberry/wine combo, this aspect seems to really shine as it warms. Quite exquisite and surprising. The booze is still prevalent here too.

M) Not overly thick, but a nice coating as I sip. It allows for the flavors to linger between sips (which is nice since I'm nursing this puppy).

O) Hands down one of the amazing beers I've ever had the privilege to try. Super complex and something that will be hard to beat.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle pour at the tasting at la casa de dirtinabottle.

Pours a thick black, with no head and no lacing. No visible carbonation either, even if there was I wouldn't be able to see it through the abyss that is the body of this beer.

Smells like chocolate, port, bourbon, and vanilla. So good, so rich, and just awesome.

The port comes through stronger in the taste than the bourbon, which is interesting, given it was more recently in bourbon barrels. Strong vinous port flavor is folded very nicely into the body of the beer. Some great chocolate flavors as well, along with cookie dough, bourbon, oak, vanilla. Not much roasted malt flavor left after the extended double barrel session, but it's a little noticeable near the end as it warms up.

Velvety, creamy mouthfeel. Don't know the ABV, not stated on the bottle, but I'm guessing it's 11-12%. At that estimated ABV, it drinks incredibly well. There are strong pure bourbon and port flavors, but there is no alcohol presence, really. Hidden so well. Medium body, slightly thin, maybe. Completely flat, no carbonation.

I feel incredibly lucky to have tried this beast of a beer. It contrasts with AB Mex Cake (sampled later) nicely- both stouts wring a hell of a lot of flavor into your mouth, but Double Barrel Damon does it with just a regular, well crafted stout and two barrels. AB Mexican Cake is stellar, but is chock full of adjuncts. As far as I know, there are no adjuncts in Damon. The flavor profile on Double Barrel Damon makes this fact amazing.

Photo of nrs207
4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A - The appearance had a slight knock because of the lack of head and visible carbonation. It's quite dark, nice looking stout other than that.

S - Amazing smell. Got some port flavors mixed with bourbon flavors. It had a nice oak flavors as well. The barrels blended this beer masterfully. I just had bourbon Damon, and there was definitely a port wine influence. The bourbon was also blended into the overall flavor more, but still added some bourbon notes without adding any sharpness. Some dark fruits as well. Not a very roasty stout.

T - Followed it up well. It pretty much matched the nose exactly. Was so smooth and no alcohol heat to be found. Just a nice mix between a traditional RIS with some very smooth bourbon notes and some port notes. I've never had port wine, but I can tell there's some port notes because of the depth of complexity compared to straight bourbon Damon. One of the smoothest beers I've ever had as well. Just went down so silky.

M - Perfect except for a lack of carb. It was almost flat, but it didn't detract too much. With such a huge body and bold complexities, the carb didn't detract much at all. Someone I shared it with found the lack of carb nice in fact. That's why it's only losing .25 points. Also, after 2 years in multiple barrels, I'm not surprised there's a lack of carb.

O - This was phenomenal. Overall, the only thing I could say is that it lacked a bit of carb. It doesn't detract too much, however, and the bold well integrated flavors made up for it. Looking forward to splitting another bottle with a friend. Hill Farmstead seems to do classic styles in a phenomenal way. This reminds me of a classic RIS perfectly made, with very smooth bourbon barrel flavors along with some port barrel flavors.

Photo of vonnegut21
4.86/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

375ml bottle poured into a HF oversized wineglass.

A: Pours a deep, dark nearly black shade, with hints of ruby as the light catches the edge of the glass.

S: Very nice port/sherry character, chocolate, burnt sugar, perhaps a touch of fig.

T: Port barrel shines through on the first sip. Light coffee and chocolate. Caramel and vanilla notes, a touch of alcohol and then a lingering sweetness. As it warms, the coffee and chocolate open up, the port fades slightly and light bourbon notes are apparent.

M: Viscous. Thick and sticky. Lightly carbonated. Decadent.

O: Just a phenomenal beer. The port character really shines in this beer. Very different from bourbon Damon. Really glad to tick this one.

Photo of Jeffo
4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tommy brought the whole set to our latest Moeder Lambic tasting a few weeks ago. Cheers man! Lots of fun for sure.

From a 375 into a tasting glass.
Vintage: 2013

APPEARANCE: Just like regular Damon. 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 with a perfect looking head for the style. Top notch.

SMELL: Closer resembles the bourbon Damon, though notes of the port are definitely in there. Plenty of bourbon barrel, with oak, vanilla and coconut on the nose. A bit of port wine and grapes in there, with hints of chocolate, molasses and roasted malt from the base beer. Really good.

TASTE: Follows the nose nicely, with an accent on the bourbon over the port. Lots of barrel with vanilla, coconut, oak, with a touch of tart wine and dark grapes at the swallow. Just enough of the port to give it extra complexity. Big finish of bourbon barrel, oak, sweet vanilla and coconut, a touch of port and some roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate and molasses from the base beer all linger in very nice harmony. Very well balanced and incredibly flavorful. Doesn't get any better than this.

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: It's a complete toss up between this one and the regular bourbon Damon. They might be the best two BA stouts in the world as well. Loved every drop of this. The bourbon character is more prevalent than the port here, which suits my preferences for sure, though the wine does add another layer of complexity to the experience. The look and feel of this one resembles the bourbon variant more as well, which is world class for sure. Perhaps the best to date. Thanks again for bringing these Tommy, and cheers to everyone for a fun filled weekend.

Photo of Skrip
4.84/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

375ml bottle poured in a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

A~ beautiful dark red towards the edges and dark as night in the center. Not much of a head and no lacing.

S~ sweet red wine followed by dark bitter chocolate, and burnt coffee. Caramel and vanilla from the bourbon. No boozyness at all!

T~ yup officially blown away! Sweet chocolate followed by amazing burnt coffee that Shaun seems to pull off so well. follows the nose with sweet red wine barrel funk and some nice oak qualities. So complex and balanced. Vanilla and caramel from the bourbon are just the icing on the cake. Wow!

M~ not super carbonated but right in the range where I like a stout to be. Smooth and crazy drinkable! And I can't stress this enough, NO BOOZYNESS!

O~ just crazy all around. A seriously amazing blend! The Port barrel dominates slightly here but in a good way. I believe it takes over the boozyness from the bourbon a bit leaving all the amazing vanilla, caramel, oaky aspects. Let's just say I wish I has a case! Yeah I know... But I can dream! Haha

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of rjm0715
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Kmlund
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of innuendobrewskiman63
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

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Damon (Double Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.