Madness & Civilization #1 - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Madness & Civilization #1Madness & Civilization #1

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303 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 303
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 7.21%
Wants: 147
Gots: 56 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 05-02-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

It is a BLEND of very complex components - 2 year old Buckwheat Rye aged in Elijah Craig 18 barrels, 15 month Maple Wheat Imperial Stout, and a blend of Vanilla and Cacao Nib Bourbon Barrel aged Everett.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 303 | Reviews: 43
Reviews by AshleyMiller:
More User Reviews:
Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this brew.
Deeply dark and earthy in appearance. The smell is somewhat shy unless encouraged out with a strong swirl. Noticeable hot alcohol esters, with wet barrel, brandy booziness, sweet dark malts and smoothing of vanilla over the top of it all. The flavour leans to the sweet verse hoppy bitters, with burnt toffee, dark honey, vanilla and a full bourbon warmth. The barrel aging assertively adds depth to this brew.

Photo of mverity
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Picked this bottle up from a great BA trader @lhteacher. Shared at Proof for our little HH. Pours a very thick and viscous black. Good amount of deep tan head that faded into a medium collar. Aroma is of licorice, dark roasted malt, some charred oak, some bourbon. Taste is all of the aroma plus some coffee and vanilla. Maple is also present throughout. Super rich body, nice low carbonation.

Photo of ehammond1
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, AdamJackson!

Very close to black in color with a somewhat persistant, slightly creamy, small-bubbled dark brown head. Gorgeous lacing left down the glass. A simply gorgeous stout. Hill Farmstead always makes beautiful beer.

Layered, complex, and delightful aroma. Coffee, chocolates, marshmallow, and integrated, fine bourbon integrate into something truly special. Some dark fruit emerges as the beer warms some along with a toasted, nearly burnt, fresh out of the oven pie crust character. Exceptional.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, though the bourbon takes a touch more of a firm presence upfront--but not in a stinging, harsh way. The bourbon is flavorful, integrated, and complementary to the chocolate, vanilla, and pie crust flavors. Incredibly drinkable.

Medium to nearing full in body with moderate carbonation. Not an overly heavy or viscous stout.

Fantastic. So much better than Damon, and I had to beg, borrow, and steal to taste that one. This one just showed up unexpectedly. Thanks again, Adam!

Photo of jeonseh
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had as part of a tasting with the NWIBDU. Thanks for sharing!

S - Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, light astringency from the alcohol and oak

T - Caramel, chocolate, good amount of vanilla sweetness. Light booze and alcohol comes through as well as oak to give it a slight heat. Well balanced and delicious stout.

M - Medium smooth body with light astringency from the oak and the bourbon

O - Really a great stout that is right up my alley with the great balance between the sweet chocolate, vanilla and caramel flavors balanced with the slight heat from the booze and astringency from the oak. Another great HF beer.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger dark mocha head with moderate to low retention. Beer is thick and pitch black. Lacing is patchy with good stick. Decent.

Aromas of wine grapes, bourbon, dark chocolate, roast, and cocoa. Some molasses and chocolate sweetness wafts through the layers of booze. Solid though I could go for a bit more oomph here.

Opens sweet chocolate and molasses. An extremely mellow wine-y tartness floats in the background covered by layers of booze, fudge and chocolate. Very sweet throughout. Some woodiness at the back end adds some depth. Finishes chocolate with some slight roast coarseness. Aftertaste of booze and molasses. Very complex but a touch sweet for my taste.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and silky in the mouth and goes down warm and slick. Finishes messy with a sticky sweet, lingering aftertaste. Nice.

An extremely well made beer, this is certainly one of the most complex imperial stouts I've had in a while. The flavors work well together too but there's just a touch too much sweetness for my liking at times. Still, definitely worth trying.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours with a decent khaki head. Nice collar. Islands of bubbles.

Smell - Bourbon and vanilla. More blended into the flavor than #2. Oak and vanilla blend well. Chocolate, but not fudgy.

Taste - Bourbon is very sharp and not as well integrated. Chocolate. Vanilla. Oak comes through in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation. Slightly boozy. Medium body, not very thick.

Overall - Doesn't seem as rich as Madness #2. Just as good though.

Photo of Kinsman
4.81/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fills the glass with a viscous black body and capped by a creamy and rich looking tan head. Wonderful head retention too... something I often don't find in barrel aged beers.

Lots of vanilla and oaky bourbon notes right up front. Cocoa comes through a bit more as it opens up.

First sip has quite a lot going on and it's hard to wrap my head around it all. Definitely the barrel notes play a significant role with sweet vanilla and boozy bourbon. Add in a nice touch of maple and rich cocoa notes and I'm simply amazed by this beer.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied and oh so rich and creamy. Overall, this is an absolutely excellent barrel aged beer. Deserves to stand right up there with the best of them.

Photo of Rutager
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A huge thank you to hoppypocket for this and many other awesome brews!

Appearance. Pours a very deep chestnut brown, close to black. Topped with a finger and a half of thick and creamy tan head. Very impressive.

Smell. Dark chocolate and bourbon barrels, earthy and spicy scents as well (maybe the hops, maybe not...) and some smooth darker malts. Unique and nice.

Taste. Sweet dark malts with a good hit of milk chocolate, smooth bourbon and plenty of barrel, vanilla, dark cherry, and some interesting malty flavours.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, medium (maybe slightly less) smooth and creamy carbonation.

Overall. Very interesting stuff. Sweet, lots of barrel, good stuff.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Black with one finger of cocoa brown head.

S - A huge sweet bourbon aroma up front with a vanilla notes. Chocolate fudge, toasted oak and a touch of coconut.

T - Big barrel notes initially - bourbon, vanilla and charred oak with a big sweetness. Chocolate fudge mid-palate with some roast and vanilla in the finish.

M - Full body. Chewy. Light carbonation.

Photo of jegross2
3/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Reviewing the Madness & Civilization #1 from the Hill Farmstead Brewery out of Greensboro Bend, Vermont.

Score: 75

Spring 2013 vintage bottle served in a taster glass and enjoyed on 01/12/14.

Appearance: Pours a black color with one to two fingers of dark tan head that settles to a thin layer. Above average lacing, very good retention. 4/5

Smell: Milk chocolate, oak, hint of vanilla. Touch of brown sugar. Hint of booze too. Hot, but nice aroma. 4/5

Taste: Sharp, acidic oak-forward bourbon flavor. Chocolate and alcohol finish. 2.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, more carbonation than necessary for the flavor profile. Bitter and acidic. 2.5/5

Overall: Supremely disappointing, particularly compared to Damon and Bourbon Barrel Aged Genealogy of Morals. This was not one of Shaun's better stouts. If you are going to spend big to acquire a Hill Farmstead beer, I recommend considering alternative possibilities.

Cost: $15 for a 500 ml bottle.

Photo of rlee1390
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-Deep black when pouring and practically motor oil. One finger deep tan head.

S-Moderate amount of bourbon, some dark fruits, chocolate, tad bit of coffee, roasted malt and vanilla.

T-Amazing balance. Starts with a moderate amount of bourbon. Then comes dark fruits and chocolate. Finally there is some coffee, roasted malt and best of all vanilla.

M-Heavy, slight carbonation, velvety feel.

O-Another knock out from HF. An absolutely wonderful beer, glad I could share it other.

Photo of eatonale1
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Would like to give this 5's across the board, but there is always room for improvement. Pours a very dark brown (almost black) with a thin head. Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, etc. notes come together perfectly - no aroma overpowers the others. Very glad that the purchase limit was increased to 6 per person at the bottle release. Very curious to see how this ages.

Photo of Luk13
3.84/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Hill Farmstead third anniversary. Black pour with brown highlights, decent moka head. Aroma of chocolate, coffee, bourbon, maple and dark fruits. Taste has chocolate, vanilla and maple but seem a little muted . Medium bodied. Not nearly as decadent as Damon. The beer was so cold because of the weather, it might have opened up a little bit if it had warmed up a little bit.

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a nice solid black with some brownish hues near the edges. a small tannish head forms with good retention and leaving behind a small lacing. leaves behind a brown viscous sludge as it swirls around the glass. dark and opaque.

Smell: lots of dark malt character. strong sweet caramels and toffees, moderate roasted malts. smoky to peaty smell. strong bourbon and alcohol character.

Taste: opens up with a wave of bourbon soaked oak. peat and smoke comes through next before arriving at a strong sweetness, consisting of caramel, toffee and chocolate. some roasted character but not quite espresso like. end is full of a thick molasses to maple syrup.

Mouthfeel: sticky, heavy and strong alcohol warmth.

Overall: This is a seriously good beer. great taste without focusing too much on the barrel. I really like the strength of the smokiness, and the overall balance of the beer.

Photo of Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this side by side with M&C2, which edged this one out.

Dark brown-black pour, with a finger of mocha head, as opposed to its counterpart, which was much more subdued; the head sank to a ringlet and held there, leaving dots of lacing on the glass. Aroma was fairly sweet, scents of dark sugars, toffee, chocolate, cream, bourbon, vanilla, light essence of indistinct dark fruits. In the taste, dark malts, brown sugar, toffee, milk chocolate, bourbon/oak/vanilla, hints of anise and raisin, marshmallow root. Sweeter and not quite as smooth as #2, but still quite good in its own right. Medium body verging on full, slick mouthfeel, with the bourbon being pretty well integrated, and keeping the beer from being too hot. Very good overall.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

thanks to pjl44 for this fantastic extra!
poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 2 fingers of medium tan colored head. Good head retention that drops slowly. Thick and sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lots of milk chocolate, vanilla, and rye notes. Mellow oak, earthy and roasty grain. Everything has a nice balance in the nose. Fairly sweet smell nose on this beer.

Taste: A quick blast of chocolate and cocoa sweetness that is quickly interupted by huge rye notes. Middle of the beer is roasty and oaky. Mild roasty flavor that trancends through out the entire flavor profile of the beer. Then the sweetness returns and takes of vanilla and a hint of marshmellows. More rye notes in the finish with a touch of warming booze and a slightly bitter cocoa flavor that make the beer have a slight dryness. Great balance and complexity. As the beer warms the rye intensifies considerably and some smokiness emerges as well.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is silky, slick, smooth, slightly oily, and creamy. All the flavor just coats your mouth in richness. Just a touch boozey for a 9% beer, but its nothing that is distracting.

Overall: This is the first stout that I have tried from Hills Farmstead. It is a wonderful blend beer, but its biggest crutch is that it has just a little to much rye for my personal taste. It is very complex and rich beer. It has a very nice mouthfeel as well. I have only dabbeled in a few Hills Farmstead beers, but every beer I have tried so far from Hills Farmstead tells me that they flat out brew fantastic beer!

Photo of amnesia85
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle purchased at release. Chilled to 45 deg, served around 47deg F in a Hill farmstead stem. The bottle is nice, Im really liking the new labels ive seen on these past few bottles. Plain black and white on this one. Not much info about the contents of the bottle, but interesting back ground info regarding it. Instructions to check website for full details of the contents.

A: the Beer is jet black. No light will pass through. But the head, the head is fruitful. Nice dark molasses, thick with huge frog eyes peaking through. This head truly complements the color of the beer and when swirled in the glass it chokes right up. Watching the beer run through the head as it settles on the bottom you get a good idea of how thick it really is.

A: Bourbon, raw cacao, hints of vanilla, a nice roasty robust smell from the porters. The bourbon smell is really powerful and I can definitely pick up the Elijah Craig barrel.

T: WOW! This beer packs a powerful punch. The alcohol is right out front, and not fooling me. The flavors in this beer are all so strong and there is so much going on here that it takes a long time to get a good idea of what im tasting. Again the Elijah craig is the first thing I can put my finger on. As this beer warms the other flavors take the stage. Next is the cacao. The cacao flavor is fighting with the bourbon flavor and starts to win. There is a slight subtle vanilla flavor and maybe a slight taste of maple syrup. I really had to dig for the maple syrup though. The cacao comes back into play moments after the beer is gone from your mouth. Then you can try and point to brownie, chocolate cake like flavors.

M: soft yet thick. This beer is viscous and moves slowly in your mouth. The carbonation is perfect, and I really love these naturally carbonated beers when they are fruitful. Syrupy, milkshake like.

O: This beer is huge, simply HUGE. First of all to say the alcohol is well hidden is subjective, and quite an understatement here. All of these ingredients are really strong and pungent so even if it was 5% it would still have boozy qualities. I enjoy the flavor of bourbon so I could hang with it. My wife however drank possibly 2-3oz. If you have some hair on your chest im sure youll be fine. I cant say enough how much I enjoyed the treated Everetts. With this blend however The cacao really overpowered the vanilla and battled constantly with the bourbon throughout the entire show. I would not say this beer is sweet what so ever. Not any sweeter than bourbon is on its own anyway. I loved this Complex blend of powerful flavors and wonderful porters. This beer will keep you company, and I would not share if I were you. With the amount that has been released you will have plenty to lay down for years to come and enjoy some over this winter. Whom ever blended this beer was a genius.

Photo of langchops
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into snifter

A- Pours a very dark brown with one finger tan head

S- Right off the bat, vanilla hits you, really nice. Subtle notes of chocolate and dark fruit, Vanilla and oak really dominate the nose.

T- Follows the nose, but with more subtle notes of chocolate, dark fruits and roasted tones. Well balanced, not too boozey.

M- A little thin, but does the trick for this style. A touch more carbonation than I was expecting, but being picky here.

O - A very well made beer. No one flavor takes over the show, just a joy to drink. It's so nice now.

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a 9oz snifter thick, rich & black. The aroma precedes and leads the nose with its rich chocolate, maple...hints of rye...promises. The taste is full-on luxurious like an initiation into a secret society...decadence (but not in an elitist way) a warmth that reaffirms one's abiding(in this case abiding means something well beyond an addictive attraction) love of beer. Fulfillment in a glass...By this point you've realized that I really LIKED (if liked meant something like sensuously contented) this beer. Clearly something special...keeping in mind that all the adjectives are lacking the definition necessary to convey just how enjoyable this glass of beer was. Thank You HF!!!

Photo of cfrances33
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead stem.

Pour: Pours a semi splashy black with two and half fingers of deep khaki head. Head hangs around for a decent while, and leaves some nice lacing throughout.

Smell: Burnt toffee and rich milk chocolate up front. Some sticky vanilla bean, rye whiskey, and caramel. A touch of oak. Awesome.

Taste: Rich, roasted marshmallow and creamy milk chocolate up front. Some toffee and coffee, with a touch of spicy oak through the middle and end. Definite mellow rye whiskey presence. Simply amazing.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side for a imperial stout - akin to Birth of Tragedy b2. Fantastic coating throughout however... like milk chocolate melting in your mouth. Lightly boozey, but not real burn. A great sipper.

Overall: Fantastic. Ready to drink now. Can't wait to try #2.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 500 mL bottle from the release today. Decided to open one of my bottles after the long drive back home. Chilled slightly before opening and poured into a Hill Farmstead tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. Pours a nice, light brown head with good retention that sticks well to the glass.

Aroma: Marshmallow sweetness, light bourbon, maple and chocolate notes upfront. Definitely a touch of burn from the alcohol. Bursts of maple and vanilla as well as dark fruits.

Taste: Light bourbon tones tones come together with caramel and marshmallow sweetness with the base beer. The combination of the chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, and rye really provide an interesting background contrast. A touch of sweet maple as well. Really nice balance and drinkability. The barrel is nicely integrated and not forced at all.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied overall, but definitely lighter for the style. There is some nice creaminess and a solid amount of carbonation.

Overall, a really tasty blended stout with a really sweet backbone. The sweetness works well with the barrel and the alcohol is not too overbearing at all. Definitely happy to get the chance to try this and look forward to trying it again.

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful barrel integration...smooth, lush, and carries abv flawlessly. Maple flavor and sweetness serve to balance. Very very good beer

Photo of unclejazz
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had on draft at the 3rd Anniversary snow-event. I think I had 3 samples if this before it kicked. Excellent carbonation level, great crisp flavor from that amazing well water. Vanilla takes the lead and them some great oak bourbon notes. Head to head against Damon, this just edged it out. World class blend, this could hold its own against any of the big boys. I wonder if BCBVS is as good?

Photo of justforrazors
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed live 7-30-13

Poured from bottle into HF glass.

A- Pours a thick black with a long lasting mocha head with high carbonation visible. Over the 5 or so minutes I left it to sit before drinking, the head has not dropped at all, and you can clearly see bubbles rising from the bottom to the top. A nice thick half-finger head made it all the way down to the point where I finished with the review.

S- Bourbon, chocolate, some subtle roast and vanilla along with a caramel sweetness.

T- The taste follows the smell. Bourbon followed by vanilla, chocolate, and caramel. The vanilla really stands out and provides a nice marshmallow sweetness to the beer. On the back end, alcohol is evident as well as some oak. There is also a bitter note that lingers for a while after the other flavors disappear.

M- Definitely a bit over carbonated for a RIS in my opinion. Maybe this was an attempt to make sure this one didn't end up like BoT? I could literally hear the carbonation when I went to take a drink, although it didn't feel as overly carbonated as it appeared. The beer has a full body, although it is very smooth and easy to drink. There is a lingering bitter note, as well as some drying qualities on the finish, most likely from the oak.

O- Interesting beer for sure. This isn't the greatest Barrel-Aged stout I have had, but very good either way. The alcohol was still a bit too upfront for me, although hopefully it will mellow a bit with time.

Photo of homebrew311
4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Florida9 for cracking this. Pours pitch black with velvety brown head. Nose features heavy roast and tons of licorice. Some cacao and vanilla come through, but in a subtle way. I don't get a ton of spirit character on the nose, but plenty of char and oak and a hint of booziness. Flavor is creamy and smooth. Chocolate and roast make up the better part of the flavor with some supporting notes from vanilla and oak. The oak brings on some earthiness to the flavor and accentuates the licorice at the end. Mouthfeel is heavy and right where it should be for the style. Overall, this brew is well balanced considering its weight. Tons of flavor.

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Madness & Civilization #1 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 303 ratings.