Elaborative #3
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Elaborative #3Elaborative #3
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Stout - American Imperial
4.3 | pDev: 6.51%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Elaborative #3Elaborative #3
Notes: Brewed March 2014 with our friend Brad Clark of Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery, we crafted this imperial stout with Rapadura, a traditional unrefined cane sugar, then aged it for 20 months in a variety of bourbon barrels. A carefully selected blend of barrels results in a unique, luxurious and complex beer, one that represents the deep, abiding friendship that guided its creation. Best served between 50 and 55 F.

The Elaborative: A brewing collaboration with like-minded friends. A fermentative experiment through thoughtful enquiry and discourse. A desire to further our understanding of the interactive complexities of our process while trying to abandon our preconceptions...
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 83 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a very very dark black color, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like smoked marshmallows, brown sugar, oak, bourbon, chocolate syrup, bitter dark chocolate, and coffee.

This has quite a bit going on. The Rapadura sugar adds an intriguing sweetness - it's not cloying - it's more elegant than that. There's some smoke and dark fruit for sure, with lots of vanilla and oak, and a slight touch of bourbon sweetness.

This is creamy and rich, but not super thick, with no booziness and a pretty good level of drinkability.

I'm very pleased by how good this beer still is. It's held up well, and it's one of the best stouts that HF has ever put out.

Aug 04, 2019
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VetsPackage from Massachusetts

4.64/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Time has done wonders to tame this beer. Whiskey is still the forefront as to be expected with nearly 2 years in the barrel but isn't overly tanic or acrid. Well balanced roasty chocolate notes accompanied by all the usual suspects from the barrel. Charred marshmallows and bitter chocolate, absolutely beautiful beer by 2 of my favorite breweries unafraid to show their best hand in a brilliant collaboration.

Nov 09, 2016
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cbutova from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pitch black motor oil pour from the 500ml into my whiskey glass. A light nutty tan pillow forms but not really a head. Lacing is rare and spotty.

S- Old and worn down whiskey barrels make up a lot of the aroma. Next up is the dark grains with roasted barley leading and cocoa, coffee and sweetness following. Fresh peppery bourbon caramel.

T- Picks up a bit of a fruity feel but the same general character reigns as the bourbon barrel is somewhat hot and dominant with vanilla bean, aged oak, pepper and general whiskey feel. The underlying beer strays from the sweet side and takes on the roasty dry stout feeling with dark chocolate, caramel, nuttiness and slight sweets. Mexican dark chocolate comes to mind.

MF- Thick end bodied but not supremely creamy or sludgey. Texture is both creamy and frothy while bringing a dry feel to the table. Ends rather warm.

A whiskey forward beast. The barrel is dominant as is the bitterness from the dark grains. Licorice also comes to mind.

Aug 22, 2016
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TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Service: Bottle
Bottled on: Oct-21-2015

Pours a used-motor-oil black with a half-finger of tan head that slowly disappears to a ring around the glass. Little retention; just a hint of lace to indicate what side of the glass I drank from. (3.75)

Oily roasted nuts, toffee, caramel, wood, new rubber, bourbon. (4.5)

Caramelized sugar, a touch of licorice, leather, cashews, coffee and cream leading to woodsy maple/bourbon flavors in the finish. (4.25)

Sticky (but not overly so), light carbonation, warming alcohol, lingering finish. (4.5)

Very nice BA RIS.
This is a nice, boozy, warming, malty beast of a beer that is simultaneously pretty straightforward and not too daunting. The aroma and feel of it are definitely the highlights for me, but I enjoyed it all and would gladly have it again. (4.5)

Aug 15, 2016
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clay23 from New York

4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark with a little tan lacing. Smells of sweet bourbon and roast. Not a lot of carb but nice and sticky body, the barrel works well with the sweet malts.

Apr 23, 2016
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PDXAmbassador from Florida

4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500ml bottle at a share.
Pours black, sans head, low carb, medium body.
Huge, burning hot alcohol nose -- almost like rubbing alcohol. Too much.
Tastes strongly like dark brown sugar - molasses like - and bourbon. Straight KY bourbon.
Recommended for those who like bourbon. And no one else.

Mar 20, 2016
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle poured into a globe.

A: Black as night. Coffee colored head retains well. Patchy lacing.

S: This one smells like it spent a long time in the barrel. Heavy on the wood and bourbon. Char. Thick chocolate covered caramels. Brownie batter. Deeply fudgey. Burnt marshmallows. Nougat.

T: Sugary. Glazed chocolate donuts. Brownie batter and fudge. Lightly smokey. Huge barrel flavors of bourbon, wood, chocolate-caramel chews, and burnt marshmallow. Warming alcohol. Sweet sugary finish.

M: Thick in body. Gently pressing weight. Coating. Warming. Low carbonation.

O: The scale tips far in favor of the barrel. This is not a bad thing, so long as you like a lot of barrel character. The base beer is very sweet. Almost a bit too sweet, but the bold barrel flavors rescue it from the brink.

Feb 14, 2016
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Skrip from New Jersey

4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead taster.

A~ dark as night with a slight tan head and no lacing.

S~ smells extremely sweet, a lot of vanilla, a little oak char and some caramel on end.

T~ follows the nose for the most part, some how more sweetness here and slight toffee.

M~ pretty smooth. nice carb but the sweetness makes this hard to drink...

O~ the cane sugar just didn't work well with this or they just added too much. otherwise if you don't mind the sweetness this is fantastic. everything you could want from a BA stout, vanilla, oak and caramel! for those who plan on aging maybe the sweetness will die down... hopefully!

Jan 23, 2016
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.43/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

500 mL bottle. Black body. Smells fudgy. Molasses. Bourbon. Tastes really sweet. Almost like a maple sweetness. Light roast. Bourbon. Heavy and extremely sweet. Pretty boozy. Hill Farmstead has been releasing some outrageously sweet stouts lately and I'm not digging it.

Jan 19, 2016
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Near black body with a quarter inch of tan head. Smooth bourbon, chocolate. Absolutely delicious. Super silky and smooth on the palate. Graceful. Great stuff.

Jan 17, 2016
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rodmanfor3 from Vermont

4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Subtract both the excessive smokiness of Jackie O's dark beers and the overly strong barrel characteristic of Hill Farmstead barrel aged stouts and the end result is this great tasting collaboration stout.

Jan 11, 2016
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rlee1390 from Indiana

4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Starts with bourbon. Then there is extra sweetness from the added sugar. But after the initial flavors, there is not much else. Not much in the way of coffee or chocolate.

Jan 04, 2016
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Danny1217 from Florida

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet, caramelized sugar aroma with a touch of charred oak and chocolate roast character. Taste is sweet, but not cloying, following the aroma with caramel and chocolate notes and a bourbon finish. Full, rich body. Excellent BA stout.

Dec 30, 2015
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Francois for this beer.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a dark black hue with a thin mocha head that fades to leave a light halo.

S - Aromas of chocolate, nice juicy bourbon, good sweet came sugar, alcohol hidden well.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, nice chocolate notes, good bourbon notes, rather sweet sugar and malts. Alcohol hidden well. Again, rather sweet.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, bit sticky, alcohol hidden well.

O - Overall this beer was rather tasty, good stout notes, very nice bourbon as well.

Serving type: bottle

Dec 28, 2015
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to rudzud

No head, just about pitch black.

Nose big chocolate biscuit cocoa, caramel nougat cookie thing, big sweet bourbon candy toffee, little vanilla barrel.

Taste big sweet candy, chocolate cocoa fudge, sweet molasses toffee, little caramel, syrupy notes, big sweet malt and mild booze warmth, mild barrel vanilla whisky thing, nougat candy, etc. Finish sweet candy caramel nougat, toffee, mild cocoa, little booze warmth, sticky.

Mouth is fuller bod, little syrupy, decent but lighter carb, mild booze.

Dec 28, 2015
Elaborative #3 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 83 ratings