Madness & Civilization #4 | Hill Farmstead Brewery

very good
126 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Madness & Civilization is a panorama of our barrel aging program—oak-aged beers that emerge from their individual silences to find structure and voice as a unified composition. This is the result of an unpredictable state of permanent happenstance—a dialogue with our evolving approach to blending that challenges convention and circumstance. Each release will include multiple threads and is likely to approximate the style of an imperial stout.

Release #4: Tragedy (et al) aged in Bourbon barrels for 24 months—with Cacao, Ancho and Chipotle.

Added by ThatsThatDude on 03-11-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by travisdiener32:
Photo of travisdiener32
2/5  rDev -47.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of lateralundertow
4.78/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Alright this was my favorite Hill porter/stout so far. Having had all the Damons, GoM, BoT, Everett, MC2..
Id have to say right off the bat I got this amazingly rich chocolate straight honey bourbon taste and nose. As it warmed the peppers came into play for me sort of mixing with the strong barrel presence at the end of the taste as well as the nose. Had great a coat your tongue and throat feel that left you with a little pepper burn. You can tell its been barreled for an extended period of time just in the amount of oaky bourbon that persists while very honey and chocolately to begin with it creeps to a warm bourbon pepper finish.
I noted that the honey lended it self to balance the peppers while this was chilled, making the cocoa more present and at the end, when the peppers for me were making this resemble something more like bourbon, taming the alcohol flavor and letting the peppers shine. Was honestly a fantastic drink.

 941 characters

Photo of Kevincredible
2.36/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Likely infected on this one.

28 characters

Photo of RAKeeler
1/5  rDev -73.9%

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.34/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, it was infected. The nose wasn't all that bad, but the flavor was definitely dark fruits and red wine. Hint of the peppers at the end, but basically no chocolate or bourbon.

Not all that terrible if you enjoy wine barrel aged beers, but not really my cup of tea but HF still finds a way to make it worth my while in what would normally b a drain pour.

 359 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Yup, this def has a sour tang to it. Smells like milk chocolate, maybe a little vanilla. Getting a touch of chili spice on the back end. It's just ok. Kinda disappointed.

 170 characters

Photo of Deltoro
1.1/5  rDev -71.3%

Photo of Skrip
4.63/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

375ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead taster.

A~ pitch black with a tan, sand like head and no lacing.

S~ peppers upfront followed by a lot of chocolate and roasted malts. a little vanilla and caramel on the back end.

T~ changes a lot here! like straight Birth of Tragedy at first, a ton of honey. mmm...! followed by a ton of bourbon. that extra age has done this well! also a lot of cocoa which blends so nicely with the honey and bourbon. so well balanced and theres still more! slight pepper flavor and heat on the back end. honestly hard to tell what kind of peppers the flavor is coming from and this is coming from a pepper fein!

M~ super smooth and thick from the honey. refreshing and great carbonation. surprising? nope! haha

O~ this is incredible! definitely my favorite of the series so far! everything comes through perfectly! my only complaint would be with the peppers. a tad more would push this over the top. i also would have liked a little smoke from the chipotles.

 993 characters

Photo of jaasen64
4.46/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a HF wine glass, split three ways. Thanks Tom for grabbing this for me. Consumed side by side with '13 Birth of Tragedy.

A- Pours a dark brown that has an opaque black appearance in the glass with some light translucency around the edges. Thin mocha head forms that recedes fairly fast fading to a bubbly ring along the side of the glass. Fairly minimal carb but definitely not flat.

S- Dark fudge, sweet chocolate, light molasses, integrated bourbon, a touch of oak, and some very subtle spices lingering in the background that aren't the easiest to detect. Aroma wise this beer is very sweet and smells delicious however the peppers don't really come out much.

T- Chocolate fudge, sweet creamy chocolate, vanilla, very nicely integrated bourbon, some very light chilies on the finish that lend little to no burning and blend with the chocolate sweetness. This beer is delicious with the extra cocoa adding just the right amount of sweetness. The chili peppers don't add a whole lot to the beer, just some subtle complexity on the finish to balance out the sweetness.

M- Medium bodied, fairly low carbonation but definitely not flat, incredibly smooth.

O- If you are looking for a chili bomb that has intense heat this definitely isn't your beer. If you are looking for a sweet yet nicely balanced stout with a fairly subtle amount of chili peppers you will love this beer. Compared to Birth of Tragedy this was much more balanced with more of a creamy chocolate fudge presence. MC4 is probably my favorite of the Madness series so far and definitely worth seeking out.

 1,601 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Afroman
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of doremite
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of williamjbauer
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 03/2014.

Appearance - Black and almost inky. Small khaki head. The thinnest collar.

Smell - Bourbon. Lots of chocolate. A hint of peppers. Vanilla.

Taste - Fudgy. Bourbon. Very woody and astringent. Light peppers. Bourbony and woody finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Fudgy and thick.

Overall - Some nice flavors, but doesn't fully come together as a complete beer.

 424 characters

Photo of Dlestz
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of Denzo
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of bum732
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

Photo of Kmlund
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of trevorpost
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A - poured pitch black with a thin layer of light brown head that reduced to a run around the glass.

S - loads of oak with some bourbon, spice and a light cocoa presence. Not a huge bourbon presence considering the 24 months in the barrels.

T - Oak and chilli flavours are dominant. There's an astringency that detracts from the palate overall. Light bourbon and vanilla notes in the finish. There's also a cola-like flavour present at times. The flavour is don't come together all that well.

M - very thin for the style but creamy. Light carbonation.

O - maybe the least impressive HF beer that I've had. I had high expectations for this one and it missed the mark.

 674 characters

Photo of rondufresne
4.25/5  rDev +11%

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Madness & Civilization #4 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
3.83 out of 5 based on 126 ratings.
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