Madness & Civilization #8
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Madness & Civilization #8Madness & Civilization #8
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Imperial Stout
not listed
4.25 | pDev: 6.12%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Madness & Civilization #8Madness & Civilization #8
Notes: 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 #8 is a blend of whiskey and bourbon barrels ranging from 20 to 24 months. Components include Aaron, Double George, Genealogy of Morals, and Everett.
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 108 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of tobelerone
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer, very elegant and well balanced and the addition of Aaron here introduces another level of complexity and unpredictability. Medium to slightly full bodied and just fairly sticky, hints of tannins and just very slightly off-dry in the finish. Medium low carbonation. Might not be the sexiest blend in the series but it’s delicious and deep and fascinating and worth some contemplation. I drank the bottle alone and it unfolded as I went, if I’d had a little sample pour I don’t think I would have been able to find some of the nuances that emerge over time - initial impression might be oh, this is like Central Waters BB stout. Nope, it has the same nimble feel of that underrated shelfie but dig deeper and there is a whole other plane of complexity going on here. Look forward to trying others in this series.

 828 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

This smells like slick dark chocolate, bourbon, caramel, toffee, vanilla, nuttiness, and coconut.

There's a lot going on here. The Aaron and Double George parts of the blend add some interesting nuances, as I definitely get some toffee, and a touch of caramel, almost like liquid peanut brittle or something. There's some light roasted malt, and a silky whiskey character. There's toasted oak, too, and lots of chocolate. This has aged and mellowed out really well.

This medium bodied, silky and clean, with no hint of the (probably) high ABV. It's got such a soft mouthfeel to it.

This is pretty excellent. It's a unique blend and it works well.

 730 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

insane blend, what a beer! huge thanks to my brother for being willing to share this (and other hill beers) with me! some crazy whiskey and barrel to this one, about is saturated and mature as it gets, but so refined, relaxed in feel, and layered in complexity without being kitchen sinky. its sludgy black from the bottle, high luster, without very much head at all but a ton of viscosity and really leggy as i swirl it. to begin to dissect this is almost intimidating with how much is happening, especially considering the balance and the slow unfolding of it all. i dont know the base threads here well enough to say how they all impact this beer individually, but what i do know, is that i get an insane degree of roast, like over roasted or over extracted coffee, chunky barrel char, bitter bakers chocolate, and a toasted nuttiness, the low end here is about as deep as it gets. what interests me most is how it somehow remains balanced without being at all sweet. how do they do it? i get very little caramel or sweet malt despite the obvious concentration of flavors, some milk chocolate or even lactose, a vanilla note but more from the whiskey than anything, and a ton of the bourbon all the way through. faint smoke in the bitterness but not acrid or anything, and heaps of oak both scorched and new and fresh soft of tasting in here, even lending a light coconut note, this goes on forever, cigar and raisin at times, bitter at the end, warming alcohol but its enhancing. very little carbonation but i dont miss it, i am enjoying the silky weight of it gliding down each sip, as complex after the swallow as while its in my mouth. insanely good!

 1,657 characters

Photo of Buck89
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. An opaque dark brown color with a thick tan head. Nice aroma with balanced bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, coffee, and cocoa. The taste was as expected - well-balanced whiskey with the roasted malt. A fruity undertone. The feel was outstanding. Not too sweet but not thin. Overall an outstanding BA stout.

 328 characters

Photo of Sabtos
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

God, I hate these bottles. This mostly dull black blend pours unwillingly, bursting out in obnoxious, splashy spurts no matter how careful you are. A medium tan head accumulates slowly, then settles to a thin bubbly film with a thin creamy collar leaving a short, thin wavy curtain of lace.

Smell is toasty, roasty and nutty, melding to woody and oaky with hints of dark fruit and very mature bourbon. Sticky notes of mapled nuts linger on the rim as it warms.

Taste brings complexity. Very well developed and aged Stouts and Barleywines come together beautifully, with dark roasted malt, wood, fig, toffee, toast and graham. The swallow brings caramel, Tootsie Rolls, honey, and a hint of red fruit.

Medium of body with a crisp but lightly bubbly carbonation and a chewy dry, woody finish.

 793 characters

Photo of kevanb
4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle, Batch #8, poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. Enjoyed on 4.27.17, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a deep brown color, almost black very thick and opaque with a nice tan head that has great retention and lace. The aroma is excellent, tons of chocolate, strong roast, smooth whiskey barrel, charred oak, rich grain, stone fruits, brown sugar, toffee, licorice and some coconut all bounce around. The nose is super complex, a great expression of Everett while the other elements add such nice complimentary layers. The flavors are all Aaron, super smooth grains, mild dark chocolate, charred wood, a hint of coffee roast, toffee and caramel forward whiskey, licorice, coconut and molasses linger with some fig flavors. The mouthfeel is wonderful, coating, thick, chewy, super smooth and gentle, low carbonation with just a light lively texture that is perfect for this beer with a warm but easy finish.

Verdict: A beautiful beer from Hill Farmstead. One of my favorite beers they have made yet, such a great balance between Everett and Aaron while the Genealogy of Morals adds some nice roast character and the Double George just highlights the complexities and subtleties of Aaron. Stunner.

 1,233 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size brown foamy head with limited retention and some light lacing. Aroma of black chocolate notes with light warming alcohol notes is pleasant enough. Taste is mostly dominated by black chocolate malt notes with some light bourbon and vanilla notes with light residual sugar notes. Body is full with oily texture and good carbonation with some alcohol perceptible. Enjoyable but not the most drinkable beer brewed by this fine brewery.

 491 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle, iteration #8. Served in a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Pours a dark black body, thick one finger offwhite head, good retention, bits of lacing. There is a fair amount of leg on this, and tiny sugary particles stick to the glass as I swirl it. I can already tell this is going to be on the sweeter side. Smell is chocolate fudge, brown sugar, molasses, whiskey, touch of spicy rye, touch of roast, slight charred oak and heat. It smells like a dessert beer through and through. Flavour is a bit muddled, on the sweet sugary side, with a fair bit of chocolate fudge, roast and bourbon. Oak, rye, brown sugar, cocoa. A lot of flavours going on here, and it blurs things up. It's also on the fairly sweet side; not BT sweet but it is on the right side of the spectrum. Mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied, appropriately carbonated, smooth and a bit slick with the sugar and whiskey finish. A nice blend of an approximated stout; I think it could do with less of the sweetness and more of the bourbon. That being said, this was a really nice beer to split after dinner with a buddy.

 1,091 characters

Photo of Skrip
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead taster.

A~ black with a small tan head and no lacing.

S~ lots of roasty malt up front followed by slight coffee, honey/caramel sweetness, finishing with some oaky vanilla.

T~ follows the nose with more honey vanilla sweetness. slight dark fruits linger as well.

M~ extremely clawing! honey coats the mouth. but other than that nice carb.

O~ very nice addition to the series! once the sweetness from what i can only assume Aaron and Double George bring to the table dies down this is gonna be wonderful! if you have more i'd give it a year or more.

 594 characters

Photo of agreenman19
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - pours a viscous black oil. No head whatsoever until I set the glass and bottle down, then a thin, sludgy, mocha-colored layer rises from the depths.

S - definitely some oak and quite a bit of bourbon in there. Getting that whiskey burn in my nose hairs. Toasted graham crackers and dark fruits. Brown sugar.

T - initial flavor is soft oak and vanilla iced coffee. It's gentle... almost too gentle. Then the bourbon sets in, but again, it's light. Reserved. Restrained. Dark chocolate truffles and a lactose creaminess. Maybe some burnt cinnamon and the tiniest touch of chili heat. Could just be the whiskey burn though. Finishes as soft as it started. The barrel lightly lingers.

F - this is the definition of creamy. Low low carbonation, almost nitrogenated. Not particularly heavy, but very low-key and velvety smooth.

O - I honestly expected more out of a beer with the word "Madness" in it, but this is very tasty, albeit not in the way I was expecting. The bourbon character is not overwhelming or distracting. If you sit here with your eyes closed, the barrel flavor really comes to life without any of the burn. Rich and decadent chocolate and coffee flavors. Nothing punches you in the face, but they all work together to create a strong, intertwined foundation.

 1,283 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.48/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle. Black body. Small khaki head. Smells of nutty malts, sweet caramel, bourbon, some chocolate. Tastes of bready malts, bourbon, caramel, nutty malts. Very sweet. Heavy. Alcoholic. Very sweet with limited stout elements.

 232 characters

Photo of jcoleMA66
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip from 500 ml bottle purchased at the brewery in late January. Appearance has more of a very dark brown color instead of black I was expecting. There are caramel colored highlights around the edges. No head to speak of. There's a good amount of booze on the nose with lots of sweetness and some roasty and chocolate notes. Taste is sweet up front with bourbon, brown sugar and then transitions into milk chocolate. Finishes with a subtle roast and some bourbon warmth. After drinking this for awhile as it warmed, the flavor profile becomes more complex and there's a sticky sweetness building up on my lips. Nothing in the way of carbonation but I don't really expect it. This has a nice medium to full mouthfeel. Kind of crazy that there's no ABV given - feels like it's up in the 12-13% range for sure. I would have preferred more dark chocolate and roast, but overall nice beer.

 899 characters

Photo of Stephenmheadley
2.73/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Very dark beer that is an acquired taste. Strong taste that stays on the tongue after you finish a sip. The bottle I had (bottled in mid december), had very little head to it and felt fairly flat.

 196 characters

Photo of bobv
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Moderate to vigorous pour yields a 3/4 inch dark tan head over a dark brown body. The head came up a bit more, surprising me and my counter! Ha! Nice lacing at first and dissipating after more than a few minutes. Nose of booze, chocolate (dark, milk, and bitter), and a little coffee. As it warms some dark fruit comes out and the booze all but disappears. Taste follows with the milk chocolate taking over. A dark chocolate finish makes you take another sip just to make sure! Ha! Nice feel and overall another interesting Hill blend. Thanks Shaun!

 549 characters

Photo of SadMachine
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown, almost, but not quite black, with a medium sized khaki head that leaves nice lacing.

Aromas of bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, brown sugar, tobacco, leather, roasted grains, and a touch of coffee and chocolate.

The flavor shines through with bolder notes of everything detected in the nose. The presence of Aaron is really noticeable here, with all the beautiful sweet dark fruits, vanilla, malt, brown sugar, tobacco, and leather at the forefront. The nice roasted malt presence of Everett is also quite evident, and the bourbon and coffee from Genealogy of Morals shines through as well.

Fairly thick, though not completely mouth coatingly viscous. Perfectly carbonated for the style, and very round. No sharp alcohol notes allows this to go down terrifyingly smooth!

Another excellent blend in this series that allows pretty much all the constituents to shine in their own way, while coming together as its own beer.

 940 characters

Photo of KevSal
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

really excited about this guy, it is quite a mix and has aaron and GoM in the fray

500ml into sn tulip.

looks great, super dark brown with a slight head

aroma is lots of sweetness up front, slight bourbon. chocolate roastiness and a bit of a alch burn

taste starts of with a lot of roast and than the barleywine elements come in after. definitly a lot going on. something else is keeping the 2 from uniting, instead it's slightly conflicting. as it warms it becomes more evident that the third party is the imperial brown ale portion. i wonder what the ratios are as it's. becomes more over powering overpowering as if warms

mouthfeel is good as usual, medium thick, somewhat sticky, and coating. brown ale lingers

overall this is a good beer, not a stellar beer but it just isn't my bag. i'm not the biggest fan of brown ales and definitly not when they are blended. i think if they left the double george out this it would be amazing but in the end the beer is not as good as its part individually. genealogy and aaron are my 2 favorite hf beers.
this reminds me a lot of mission street anniversary which used to be a stout, porter and barleywine and it was stellar. following years they relaced the barleywine with an imperial brown and t was a steep drop off in flavor

 1,281 characters

Madness & Civilization #8 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 108 ratings