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Damon (Port Barrel Aged) - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

26 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 26
Hads: 203
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 3.34%
Wants: 173
Gots: 45 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  ABV ?

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 04-25-2013

Aged for over 16 months in port barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 26 | Hads: 203
Photo of jlindros
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another thanks to rudzud.

Super dark chocolate fluffy nougat creamy thick 1 finger head fades at a med pace, nice messy lacing, thick pitch black beer.

Nose is lighter, some dark choc ad's fudgey cocoa, mild perfumey port notes and little alcohol, fluffy nougat, little caramel and roasted malt, hint of licorice, and char, burnt caramel.

Taste brings more dark malts, super dark roasted charred malts, thick fudgey cocoa, bitter acrid dark roasted roast, little smoke and licorice, charred roast, cocoa notes. Mild port barely there, a touch of a fruity port but barely. Big roast and soul snatching blackness, fluffy nougat and burnt caramel. Very bitter acrid roast. Finish more acrid roast, mild char, some dark fudge again.

Mouth is full bod, thick fudgey, mild warming booze, decent carb.

Overall eh, it's like the port barrel made it darker, roastier, more charred and less tasty, and boozier, instead of the opposite which I expected. After that long in Port I wanted a port bomb, but it's far from it. So it's a decent beer but disappointing. (1,059 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a dark brown almost black hue with a big thick mocha head that fades to leave thick lacing and creamy blanket.

S - Aromas of light chocolate, fainter port. Little roast, light dark fruit, dark malts.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Loads of chocolate, super faint port. Licorice, dark fruits, really faint barrel notes. Light smokiness. Fair amount of booze throughout. Really confusing as I don't remember Damon tasting like this.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, little creamy, alcohol is strong on the finish.

O - Overall this beer was rather underwhelming. Almost no port and lots of flavours I don't recall getting with regular Damon. Rather odd. Hmm...

Serving type: bottle (756 characters)

Photo of leighton
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared in London - picked up in a trade! Cheers! Pours deep black with a massive, cascading brown head; looks perfect. The nose has lots of burnt toast, raisins, torched wood, old leather-bound books. Medium sweet flavor, some burnt marshmallows, more raisins, baking cocoa, strong roast, prunes. Medium to full bodied with fine, massaging carbonation. Lightly warming on the finish with more torched wood, dried dark fruits, bittersweet baking cocoa, slight dark cherries. Rich, extremely complex, exceptionally well balanced. (534 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/2013

Appearance: A very impressive bubble show produces a massive mocha head on top of the obsidian liquid; impressive stickage and a few strands of lace

Smell: The port comes through on the nose, bringing a fortified wine element to the chocolate and oak tones

Taste: The chocolate, roast and port wine tones meld together, up front, with the fortified wine building through the middle, both in terms of fruit and alcohol; the port tones continue to build in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: It took a while for me to warm up to this beer but I found myself really enjoying the port influence after a few sips

Thanks, Nuwanda, for the opportunity (735 characters)

Photo of zoober911
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L - Pours black. Small brown head forms, half a finger width. Head dissipates to small ring of bubbles circling the glass.

S - Smell of chocolate. Cinnamon. Roasted malt. Port on the back end...but faint.

T - Similar to the nose. Chocolate, little bit of cinnamon, and a tiny bit of the port on the back. This was probably more prevalent without the age on it.

F - Mouthfeel is nice. Smooth.

O - Overall this is a very good beer. (433 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a blackish brown color with great lacing and considerable, pillowy head. This beer looks quite impressive. On the nose, I get a complex mélange of winebarrels. roasty malt, light vanilla and coffe. On the palate, this is more of the same. The roasty malt dominates on the palate,,along with some interesting licorice on the finish. Mouthfeel is soft, plush and expansive. The alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can tell it's up there.

An interesting, complex, well crafted beer from HF. Impressive. (554 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up from a great trade with Evan! Pitch black pour with a huge two finger caramel-colored head with crazy retention and great lacing. Big roasty nose with the port coming through nicely along with hints of cocoa, dark chocolate, and booze. The taste is rich and roasty with the port front and center again. Lots of espresso and dark chocolate along with hints of vanilla, oak, booze, and some interesting vinous notes. The mouthfeel is thick, creamy, and mouth coating with medium carbonation and a warming, bitter, boozey finish. Overall, didn't enjoy this as much as the bourbon version, but still very tasty, albeit a bit hot. (640 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.41/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

Served alongside Damon and Double Barrel Damon.

Gargantuan head, akin to an infected stout. A moderate pour yields 90% head 10% beer. Whatever. After settling, the beer offers a red wine and chocolate aroma. Ok flavor. On the lesser end of Hill Farmstead beers. Not near the quality of Damon or Double Barrel Damon (which was world class). Port notes, mild sweetness. Roast chocolate. Odd. Eh...I had my hopes up for this one, but it wasn't to be. (479 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured one shade shy of black with a tight, quarter inch, mocha-colored head that dissipates into a skim. Nose expresses malt, roast and char. Taste expresses char, molasses, ethanol and a slight metallic quality. Mouthfeel is medium in body with a syrupy consistency and a pleasant, lively carbonation. Overall, a very good BA beer, but I don't get much of the port barrel and I have to say that I enjoyed standard Damon a bit more. This isn't a bottle I would sit on. (469 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Was very happy to see the three different Damon treatments at our big Moeder Lambic tasting a few weeks ago. Cheers for bringing these along Tommy. Lots of fun.

From a 375 into a tasting glass.
Vintage 2013

APPEARANCE: Thick black pour yields a very large, slightly foamy tan head with very good retention. Pitch black body with no real carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a half foamy cap and leaves lots of lacing down the glass. Thick and nasty looking, but a bit too much foamy head for the style.

SMELL: Decent strength aromas of port, oak, with some dark grapes on the nose. Slight notes of coffee in the back, but the wood and port definitely take center stage.

TASTE: Oak and port wine up front with some chocolate and bitter coffee notes at the swallow. Flavors of hay and some funky flavors run into the aftertaste as well. This is also rather hot, with lots of alcohol in the flavor profile. A medium but lingering aftertaste of wood, port, some grapes, funky notes for sure and some alcohol.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. Very creamy on the palate, goes down okay with a burn and finishes silky. Very creamy for sure, but a bit harsh and over carbonated.

OVERALL: This was okay, but not nearly as impressive as touted, and definitely the lesser of the three. The port barrel is interesting but it seems to muddle the rest of the beer, while the over carbonation makes it less pleasurable to drink. An interesting beer that I'm very glad to have been able to try, but not something worth writing home about. Thanks again Tommy! (1,589 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle into a tulip
pitch black pour with a surprising inch and a half red head. smell is big on port..as well as booziness. taste is big and boozy. very sweet. I get a lot of the port barrel on the back end. a very big beer. excellent.. full bodied, super thick. carbonation is pretty high as well.

overall very well done . good job! (342 characters)

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

375ml bottle poured into HF stemmed wine glass.

A- Pours a dark black, a half-finger mocha head (much more then any other HF stout), head recedes fairly fast to a wispy top leaving thin spotty lacing.

S- Dark fruits, leather, port, slight oak, plums, cherries, some underlying slight roast. Nice complexity, nice aroma strength, slightly weird smelling though.

T- Dark fruits, decent amount of smoke, some roast, dark chocolate, some very light oak. Nice complexity, decent balance, flavors conflict a little bit.

M- Medium bodied, very drinkable for abv, unlike other HF stouts a bit overcarbed.

O- We opened this during a big HF stout tasting, unfortunately Port Damon was one of my least favorites. The port added a nice complexity however I felt like it didn't complement the base beer as well as I was hoping (unlike DB Damon that has the best of both barrels). This is definitely worth trying but I wouldn't go crazy trying to obtain it. (949 characters)

Photo of jegross2
3.66/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Port Damon from the Hill Farmstead Brewery out of Greensboro, Vermont.

Score: 86

2013 vintage bottle served in a stemmed "blackjack" tulip and enjoyed on 02/11/2014.

Appearance: Pours a black color with less than a finger of dark khaki head, which slowly settles to a thin layer. Good lacing and retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Chocolate, grape/port, and oak. Simple, but nice. 4/5

Taste: Tannic oak and lots of port flavor with a little tartness/berry flavor. Chocolate underlies. A little fruit on the finish too. Average integration. Simplistic, without shining in any of it limited dimensions. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low (but appropriately so) carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. 4.25/5

Overall: A bit to astringent and oak-forward for my taste. Definitely a step back from bourbon barrel Damon in my opinion.

Cost: $15 for a 375 ml bottle. (861 characters)

Photo of huddyball
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A) Jet black with a dark brown head that leaves nice lacing.
S) You get the stout, slight roastiness with a bit of booze. Then you get the port.
T) Very similar to the nose. Very smooth and the port is more prominent. I get a bit of sweetness in there too. Char is coming through as it warms.
M) Smooth with slight carbonation. Fairly viscous but not too thick.
O) First ever HF stout and it is good. Can't wait to try more.

Cheers. (434 characters)

Photo of thebigredone
3.71/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Excited to try this, thanks North Jersey.

Smell is oddly smoky, not what I was expecting at all.

Taste follows suit, very charred, ashy, smoky flavor, with a hint of sweetness that I'm assuming came from the port. The ashy flavor really dominates, a bit of bitter chocolate and roast bitterness can be found, minimal vinous flavors from the port.

Mouthfeel is pretty bad, feels coarse and grainy in the mouth as if there were really ash in the beer.

Overall, not what I was expecting. Had Bourbon Damon a month or two ago, seems like a completely different beer. Not sure if the barrel treatment can really make that much of a difference, or if we simply got a bad bottle. (676 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. Glass-staining. Big khaki head. Hefty collar.

Smell - Chocolate covered cherries. Vinous red wine. Dark roasted chocolate malts.

Taste - Not anywhere near as good. Red wine. Chalky and a little metallic. Intense roasted malts. Bitter coffee. Very chocolatey.

Mouthfeel - Overcarbonated. Boozy. Oaky.

Overall - The smell is quite outstanding, but the flavor doesn't follow suit. Really improves as it warms, though. (481 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is jet black with plenty of tight dark mahogany head. Nose has a fair bit of barrel, not as sweet as bourbon damon. Notes of olive, dry chocolate, and sweetness. Taste also has a lot of barrel up front, a touch ashy like a Belgium imperial stout, faint dry chocolate with a light malt sweetness through the back. A touch bitter and ashy lingering through the well carbonated finish on a full bodied beer. (409 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, thanks to Matt for this one. Poured into a GLBC snifter today, 1/12/2014.

Pours a typical BA stout body- thick, viscous and dark black. Comes with a lovely, damn thick mocha head that's thicker than most BA stouts. Great retention. Even 15 minutes later, there is still a half finger worth of head. Small bits of lacing.

Smells great. Nice and roasty base stout with black coffee bitterness and some sweet chocolates. And the port doesn't take over entirely- smells like strong sweet red wine throughout but I can still pick out the base RIS. Nicely done, the way a BA stout should be, honestly.

Flavor wise is quite good- the port comes out a lot more- a sweet sticky red wine-like flavor with overtones of sweet umami RIS. Quite complex but not quite as much as the nose.

Full bodied, creamy and very slick. Finish is just like port- decadent and very dry. This is a perfect dessert beer. Can't really taste the ABV here either. It's certainly meant to be sipped and savored.

Great example of a barrel aged stout as a whole. You can still get the base RIS characteristics but the barrel still makes itself known. Nicely done, and certainly better than bourbon Damon. (1,192 characters)

Photo of SadMachine
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes from 12/25/13

A- Pours pitch black with an enormous light brown/tan head that leaves a ton of lacing.

S- The port wine is immediately evident in the nose with tannic/woody and red wine aromas. These are followed up by rich chocolate notes, mostly sweet, but some bitter. A bit of roasted malt rounds it out. The aroma doesn't jump out at you at first, but it opens up to be quite wonderful as it warms.

T- Just as expected from the nose this is rich and chocolately with a lot of influence from the port barrel. Dry red wine, oak tannins and a hint of tartness which makes this quite unique. There is also a good bit of dark/bitter/baker's chocolate and some coffee-like bitterness. Incredibly well balanced and drinkable, with almost no alcohol presence. Superbly done!

M- The mouthfeel is medium to thick, and quite smooth. I'd prefer it to be slightly thicker, but it's still quite good. The carbonation is subtle, but enough for the style.

O- The port barrel did some awesome stuff to this beer! I love the mix of the rich chocolate and the subtle tartness! This is a great variant of an awesome beer! (1,130 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to DocJ007 for sharing this one with us at his impromptu tasting a week or so ago.

A - Pours pitch black with a small half finger tall tan head, quickly dissipating down to next to nothing, leaving little to no lace down the sides of the glass. Pretty much dead flat after five minutes.

S - Smells of bakers chocolate, dark roasted malts, day old coffee, dark fruits, oak and freshly dumped port barrels. All the intended aromas came through but they were a bit out of sync.

T - Starts off with the strong port barrel shadow that never really fades away. Hints of coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, some black berries, dark roasted malts and dry oak. Bit more booze heavy compared to the regular Damon's I had in the past. Finish is roasty and dry, lingering long after the finish.

M - Big body with moderately low carbonation. A little dull on the feel, went pretty flat after about five minutes in the glass.

O - While this is probably my least favorite version of the Damon variants I still think it is a pretty solid beer. The port is there in spades at the moment, if that can die off a bit this one would be really nice. Would love to try this one again in the future. (1,187 characters)

Photo of hillvt4me
4.89/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

375ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead tulip glass.

A~ medium black with some burgundy undertones; solid head that reduces; minimum lacing.

S~ dark chocolate, coffee, cherry and some malt tones.

T~ some tartness blends with charted bitter chocolate, malt, coffee and over ripe cherries.

M~ medium to full thickness; very drinkable. Mild carbonation is perfect!

O~ complex and extremely balanced wine barrel imperial stout. Wish I had many bottles of this; one left to age and have another year!

Serving type: bottle (525 characters)

Photo of Skrip
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

A~ pitch black with some dark red around the edges and a nice thick chocolate moose like head. hardly any lacing.

S~ dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate, a little burnt coffee, and some really nice wine barrel funk.

T~ this is surprisingly very tart but in the best possible way. sour RIS! yes! stars with fudge like milk chocolate and tons of roasted malts. coffee and oak mid pallet followed by tons of wine barrel tartness. more roasted malts linger on the after taste.

M~ thick, yet very drinkable. nice carbonation as well!

O~ this is a lot like the first batch of Genealogy of Morals. the wine barrel tartness is just insane! might be one of the most complex brews that has ever came out of Greensboro. its hard to say what Damon of the series is superior but that definitely comes down to personal preference with Double Barrel always ending up on top hahahaha! Port or Bourbon will definitely depend on your mood of course. great brew all around! (1,024 characters)

Photo of prdstmnky
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into some HF stemware. Pitch black with nearly an inch of creamy head, a darker shade of tan. Lingers for quite a while, clinging to the glass with each sip. Really is a gorgeous beer. The nose is nice, but fairly subtle. Picking up the port treatment, some roasted malts, some dark chocolate notes as well. Taste is much bolder than the nose - port, roasted coffee, dark malts, some dark fruit flavors, bittersweet chocolate. Dry throughout, with a very slight fruity and tart tinge on the finish, especially as it warms. Really like what the port barrels have done here! Nice texture, creamy and coating in the mouth...lighter, but very adequate carbonation. Great beer, def recommended. (696 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

375 mL bottle, 2013 batch, served in a HF wine glass.

Pours a rich, dark opaque silky chocolate with a slightly aggressive light mocha head. A little over carbed at first, but a few swirls calms it down and settles the head into a thick creamy layer and streaks of thin lace. Very distinct nose from Bourbon or Double Damon; oak, roast, dark berry fruit, bitter chocolate. Nose is also fairly hot and boozy; apt for the style but unexpected for HF. IMO nose is weakest part of the beer and left me nervous going into the first sip.

Body is similar in smoothness and texture to other Damons; prickly, fine carbonation over a silky body with an everlasting, slightly tannic oak finish. Contrasting some of the other dark HF beers, this is actually a little overbearing on the carbonation straight from the bottle. I opened this around 50 degrees which was too cold, as I started to get a lot more out of the flavor after my glass warmed up. This retains the balance of barrel and RIS that bourbon Damon has, and also has some of the same molasses and vanilla blended with a light roast from his brother. However, the port/dark fruit notes that stole the double barrel version fresh are front and center throughout the body here. Immediately the front of the palate is gripped by a sweet dark fruit liquor blended with rich chocolate and dry oak. Finish has an extremely pleasant warming effect that persists with a sticky toffee and chocolate aftertaste. Ready to be consumed "fresh" upon release, serve this on warmer side of cellar temp and give it a few good swirls to smooth out the body. Personally, my favorite of the three batches of Damon released this year. (1,667 characters)

Photo of Resuin
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a HF stemmed glass. This was bottle stamped 10/2013 so is pretty fresh.

Appearance: Pours absolutely jet black and leaves a big two-fingered deep chestnut head which slowly fades to a layer atop the beer. A really beautiful stout.

Smell: Coffee is out front, along with cocoa, roasted malts, sweet raspberry (in fact, chocolate covered raspberries), port. Picked up some really nice sweet notes from the port barrels. Really rich and decadent smelling, but well balanced.

Taste: The flavor profile matches the aroma well: fudge-like dark chocolate, sweet berries, roasted malts, oak, coffee. I love the port barrel influence on this base beer. Really wonderful and super drinkable.

Mouth-feel: Low carbonation (but enough) with a full and creamy body. Really nice feel to it. Thick and silky.

Overall: Really a well-done stout. Along with the incredible chocolate/coffee/roasted malts, there is some really nice fruit notes from the port barrels that just makes it decadent (in a good way). Pretty sweet, but not overly (for me). This is a great desert-type beer, full of flavor and with a wonderful full-bodied feel. Borderline flawless. I'm not sure what time will do to this, but I recommend it now, as it is remarkable. (1,261 characters)

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Damon (Port Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.