Damon: Finca Buena Vista | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Damon: Finca Buena VistaDamon: Finca Buena Vista
Damon: Finca Buena VistaDamon: Finca Buena Vista

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Damon (1993 - 2004) was our brother—devout and patient in an age of busyness and distraction. In his honor, we offer this version of his namesake imperial stout. We chose two unique barrels that had aged for more than two years and conditioned them atop Finca Buena Vista beans from Bolivia, sourced and roasted by our friends at The Coffee Collective in Copenhagen, Denmark. Following months of bottle conditioning, this special beer is ready for release.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 17
Photo of kevanb
4.67/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, bottled on May 30, 2018, poured into a black Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. Enjoyed on 3.10.19, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a jet black color, thick and viscous with a khaki head that rises about a finger but offers no retention nor lacing. The aroma is incredible, super chocolatey, fudge, bakers chocolate, cake batter, light bourbon barrel, soft coffee that brings out some tannins and fruity acidity with some darker pitted stone fruits and a licorice heavy finish. The flavors are excellent, just an incredible amount of chocolate, rich rudge, bitter dark chocolate, sweet chocolate cake, the entire spectrum of chocolate sensations but a really excellent layering of coffee, robust and rich but also offering acidity and a fruit character that really brings out the stone fruits and licorice of the base Damon with a light vanilla sweetness and a hearty oak barrel with a light bourbon sweetness and a lingering charred character. The mouthfeel is great, coating, thick, creamy medium body that is easy yet filling with a lightly warm finish.

Verdict: A great barrel aged coffee stout from Hill Farmstead. The coffee character is nuanced and plays so well with the barrel character and the chocolate base beer is just amazing. An exceptional take on coffee and a legitimate improvement on the base Damon, just a killer beer.

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Photo of Phineasco
4.82/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The pours jet black with a tiny khaki head that recedes immediately. It has low carbonation. The beer smells of strong bourbon, oak, fudge, tobacco, and coffee. It tastes of fudge, tootsie roll, oak, roasty coffee, and strong bourbon. The feel is thick, and very drinkable. Great barrel aged stout here.

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Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed at GAB bottle share
No head, pitch black thick syrupy, stains the glass

Nose bright coffee, peppery and little nutty coffee, green pepper, earthy coffee little fudge,

Taste thick syrupy heavy roasted malt, sweet candy, syrup, cocoa, hint pepper, big roast and coffee syrup, little earthy coffee, nice toasted oak barrel, little sweet sticky finish

Mouth is med to heavier bod syrupy, light carb, little booze

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.33/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A consolation pour, generously provided by a gainfully unemployed Hill Farmstead enthusiast.

The description of this beer advertises everything you could want from a Hill Farmstead release: A world class stout paired with world class coffee.

Personally, though, this beer missed the mark, falling short of the grand, hyped expectations set forth by the craft beer community when the bottle first dropped a month ago.

It seemed like Hill Farmstead took a lesser batch of Damon and tried to mask some of the flaws of the base beer by adding coffee. The result was an unbalanced mix of a fairly clean coffee paired with a fairly decent stout. It lacked the rich flavor profile and viscous mouthfeel of a good batch of Damon, and failed to deliver on the seamless integration of flavors showcased in more superior variants of Damon.

Seeing as how this is the only approachable coffee variant of Damon available in the wild, the tick may be worth it for some, even given the high cost of entry. Caveat emptor.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.61/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

The pour is jet black, like motor oil, with a half-finger of caramel head. The head is gone very quickly, ultimately settling into a thin ring around the top of the beer.

The aroma is full of roasted coffee, char, and dark chocolate, with plenty of vanilla and oak on the back end. There are subtle notes of almonds and walnuts throughout, as well as a faint tart dark fruit character.

The flavor follows the nose: Lots of bitter, roasted coffee as well as dark chocolate up front. Then comes a wave of nuttiness, bringing notes of hazelnut, walnuts, and almonds. Finishes slightly boozy, with notes of vanilla and oak and bringing the absolute foggiest idea of plum and tart raspberries. Very complex and well-balanced.

The feel is full-bodied with soft carbonation. Exceptionally creamy and smooth. Has plenty of alcohol warmth, as expected.

Overall, an absolutely mind-blowing barrel aged stout. It's full of flavor and complexity and it never lets the alcohol overpower the coffee and chocolate notes. Would I pay $30 for a 12.9 oz bottle again? Absolutely not. But I'm so happy I got it this time.

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Damon: Finca Buena Vista from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.55 out of 5 with 17 ratings