Madness & Solitude
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Madness & SolitudeMadness & Solitude
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American Imperial IPA
4.23 | pDev: 7.33%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Madness & SolitudeMadness & Solitude
Notes: In March of 2015 (our Fifth Anniversary), we brewed our Imperial IPA (Ephraim) and then aged it in second and third use bourbon barrels with the intent of an experimental anniversary release. In the spirit of the holidays, we offer you this double dry hopped, oak aged Imperial IPA.
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 87
Reviews by yourefragile:
Photo of yourefragile
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Day old 750 mL growler served in a HF tulip. 2nd and 3rd use bourbon barrel aged Ephraim (triple IPA).

Let's just start by calling this a American Strong Ale, because jk, lol, idk, whatever. Pours a murky golden orange with a bubbly creamy head that leaves behind sticky rings of lace. Barrel aging dominates the aroma, sweet vanilla and oak, candi citrus, sugar, pine and molasses. Flavor isn't quite as decadent as nose suggests, leaning more toward (relative) balance and a slightly hoppy, dry finish. Ephraim is still present; big, sticky, sweet with resiny and pulpy hops, citrus and pine, with a strong sweet malt base. Finishes dry from hops and oak, lingering dry honey and bourbon play with bitter citrus and earthiness. Body is thick and smooth with light carbonation and a lingering warm, boozy aftertaste. Very interesting and well integrated, probably at its most interesting point at this time while there is still a sufficient amount of hops present.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of papposilenus
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 750ml growler filled 11/19.
L: A deep murky pear-colored brew with a finger-and-a-half of rocky creamsicle foam.
S: Massively aromatic. Nose is of a fruity liqueur, with pear and spice; the aroma is so sharp that it trimmed my nose hairs.
T: Bourbon at the start and bourbon on the finish. In the middle is pear (pear again; it's a theme), ginger, apricot, and vanilla. Dank, astringent, but no bitterness at all to speak of.
F: Super-nice mouthfeel, creamy, slick and chewy. Very lightly carbonated, and rightly so.
O: Boozy. Yes, it's a double, but it's boozy like a fruity martini. I don't know, I considered not rating this beer at all, never having had anything remotely like it before and, so, not knowing how or what to compare it to. Clearly, it's a masterfully constructed beer but the flavors just don't quite hit the target for me. Still, it's fun to put in your mouth and swish around!

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Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nicely done blend. More of an american strong, than a palate erasing big hopped beer.

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Photo of doremite
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Frankenbeer. Smells of sweet bourbon and oak. Soft HF feel up front with sharp boozy flavor quickly to follow. Bright floral hops followed by oak by booze. Really interesting but not something I could drink much of or often.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easily the best bourbon barrel aged IPA I have ever had. It manages to retain the hoppiness while adding the layer of oak and vanilla to those hops. If you hate bourbon IPAs give this one a try because it actually works.

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Photo of mendvicdog
4.61/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of drewone
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of dar482
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

The aroma immediately hits of an oak aged hoppy brew. Tons of sweet toasted oak, hints of vanilla, with hints of resinous pine and citrus peel.

The beer is initially heavily woody and oaky. However, as the beer moves on the palate, the juicy qualities of Ephraim begin to shit. Orange, tropical fruits, pineapple, grapefruit peel, onto a lingering resiny and woody bitterness. The beer continues to be surrounded by toasted oak, coconut, floral hops.

An exceptional use of barrels with a hugely hoppy beer.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jlindros
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Neat concept beer, growler filled a couple days ago.

Pours a huge frothy 2 finger head that fades semi slowly, nice lacing super murky dark burnt orange color.

Nose brings a ton of oak and bourbon, fresh barrel juice, with lots of toasty oak, a little buttery oak, which mixes quite nicely with the big orange tangerine citrus burst, vanilla orange cream with bourbon, orange rind, a touch of a tropical note almost pineapple like but not quite there, oak gets really buttery.

Taste brings a ton of oak again, lots of buttery vanilla oak, a little toasty, with some bourbon thankfully not overpowering bourbon (prob thanks to 2nd and 3rd fills), blended nicely with citrus, orange zest, creamy orange juice and citrus cream candies, although the citrus is a bit subdued as the barrel notes dominate. Faint background grapefruit thing going on as well, with pith and rind, with fair bitterness. Finish is drier, a little sticky, lingering citrus orange and grapefruit juice packets, more buttery and toasty oak, and a little bourbon flash, finally a flash of booze in there.

Mouth is med to fulled bod, really nice fluffy carb, very little booze.

Overall pretty nice, the orange played nicely with the vanilla and bourbon for a nice character, but wish the orange and grapefruit notes were a bit more pronounced, but bourbon and barrel were quite nice.

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Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler shared by yourefragile. Thanks Michael!

Hazy yellowish body with a thin cap. Boozy, hoppy, malty aroma. Sweet and boozy with some pine and hops. Bourbon and IPA...not a pairing I would choose. However, this definitely works, albeit in small quantities.

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Photo of bonkers
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL growler. Hazy, almost murky, orange body. Medium white head with nice lacing. Strong citrus hop aroma battling with equally strong bourbon and oak. Very woody. Pale malt sugary aroma, too. Taste is immediately sweet. Caramel up front turns to a lighter sugary flavor. Some bright citrus hops, but it's secondary. Hop bitterness kicks in early. Bourbon doesn't really come through until the finish, but it lingers. Medium heavy. Boozy. Sweet. Medium carbonation. It's missing some aspects that I love about Ephraim and replacing them with bourbon that doesn't really work that well. I wonder if maybe this was an attempt to salvage a batch of Ephraim that wasn't quite perfect. That being said, I'm still enjoying it. Just not as much as other HF experiments.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of stakem
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Never heard of this brew before until it ended up in my glass. Thanks for the share Michael. Its a hazy pale yellow colored brew with a white cap. This brew no longer displays the range of hoppy characteristics that normal ephraim showcases. Instead its an awkward blend of hoppy pith/pulpy bitterness and dry woodiness. The oak showcases a bit of raw wood and almost a spice along the lines of cedar/incense. Not a terrible brew by any stretch but not really something id need to have again in my life either.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bootdown21
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of InspectorBob
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of oline73
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MarkJC1018
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Growler. Interesting; Ephraim (base beer) is a beer I have never tried and have always really wanted to. This is a little bit different but I ain't complaining. It pours a turbid, caramel orange color. The aroma is heavy on oak. Lots of oaky vanilla character. Surprised by how tame the hops have become. There is some lingering citrus but it's compressed by the barrel aromatics. The flavor is a bit less one-sided. More of the citrus hops. Still, that woody, dryness combined with the heavy vanilla wins out. It has quite a full body but it's pretty agreeable on the palate. Creamy, creamy feel. Interesting. I haven't had many oaked hoppy beers and unusually don't enjoy them all that much. This one was tasty and probably was the best take I have had on an oak aged hoppy brew.

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Photo of duceswild
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rudzud
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Armsby Abbey.

A - Poured into a stemmed tulip a murky, muddy brownish orange hue with a thin white head that fades to leave light wisps and light legs.

S - Aromas of nice oak, nice soft vanilla and tannins. Really like how Shaun used second and third? fill bourbon barrels. The hops are nice and lightly bitter with good citrus notes. Super balanced from the barrel.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, very soft and smooth hop notes here with faint citrus peel bitterness. The finish is a nice with bitter orange peel finish. The oak is super smooth and mellow, rounds out the hops. Very little malt and sweetness, just super well rounded barrel wood and soft tannins. Very smooth.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, smooth, lightly creamy.

O - Overall this beer was really tasty with nice soft barrel notes. Very mellow and smooth.

Serving type: on tap

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Madness & Solitude from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 87 ratings