Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Twilight Of The Idols | Hill Farmstead Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
95
world-class
187 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Twilight Of The IdolsTwilight Of The Idols
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Twilight of the Idols is our winter porter. We brew Twilight each autumn, with a touch of locally roasted coffee and cinnamon, and age it on a blend of select vanilla beans. Originally conceived with a friend in 2009 while brewing in Denmark, the name of this annual release is inspired by the title of one of the last texts written by one of our philosophical idols, Friedrich Nietzsche.

Added by kingcrowing on 10-28-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
187
Ratings:
1,055
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
20.51%
 
 
Wants:
445
Gots:
168
For Trade:
18
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 187 | Ratings: 1,055
Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours out half foam and half liquid, with the beige foam eventually desceding into the onyx liquid leaving a few shards here and there

Smell: Coffee and cinnamon prominent, with the dark chocolate and vanilla tones underneath

Taste: Unlike in the aroma, it is the chocolate that first hits the tastebuds, with the cinnamon comingling with the hops to bring spicy bitterness into the middle; the vanilla arrives next and is joined by the coffee, after the swallow, with all of the elements in an interplay in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; very creamy

Overall: A really good porter (or is it a stout) that brings a lot of complexity

Thanks, wildcats10, for the opportunity

 718 characters

Photo of Treebs
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle served in a CBS snifter. Fall/Winter 2012 vintage. Big thanks to Ivoutlawjlh for the extra. Thanks Jeremy!

A: Pours a nice obsidian color, very opaque, with a tan head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly to a thick ring and a small wispy film. Sheets of lace are left down the glass.

S: Roasty malts and cinnamon are present up front. Baker chocolate with a light vanilla bean that lingers around in the background. Some coffee cake sweetness as well.

T: Finely roasted malts, some coffee bean, and light cinnamon all up front. Toffee malts, some sweet crumb cake and with a little nuttiness on the finish.

M: Dry and roasted with a medium plus body. Medium carbonation. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

O: This was another excellent porter from HF. While enjoy Everett more, this was still a big winner in my book. Nicely hidden ABV and greatly nuanced flavors. Definitely recommend.

 902 characters

Photo of jeonseh
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a snifter

A - Dark, chocolate brown with a small milk chocolate head

S - Chocolate, sweet vanilla, light coffee and roasted malt near the back end. The vanilla actually stands out well to give it an overall sweet nose.

T - Up front is milk chocolate with a light coffee presence. There is then a nice vanilla up front that makes it tastes slightly like a mocha frappe. The finish has a good presence of roasted malt and a slight bitterness from the coffee

M - Medium body with low carbonation. It is slightly velvety. The finish is a bit astringent from the coffee and roasted malt but it isn't overpowering.

O - This is a solid porter as a base beer which is given another level of flavor and complexity with the vanilla and coffee added. The vanilla adds a nice sweetness that you notice up front while the coffee adds some punch on the backend.

 871 characters

Photo of socon67
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black pour with a cream colored foam

S - Nice scent of chocolate, coffee, and rown sugar.

T - Hearty, robust porter with plenty of flavor. Malt tastes a bit more like an english porter, but the chocolate and coffee flavors are up front and consistent.

M - This one is very smooth for a hearty porter. Feels lighter than you would think.

O - Liked this one alot. Great example of a porter that could pass for a hearty stout.

 433 characters

Photo of PeterIngemi
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap @prohibition pig in waterbury VT

A: super dark brown, just about black with a nice finger of creamy mocha head, this looks delicious. The head recedes nicley, not much lacing though.

S: I get sweet milk chocolate, with a touch of dark fruit. first off, then coffee with a bit of creamy vanilla, then as the beer warms I begin to notice the cinnamon giving a vague cinnamon teddy graham note.... A touch of alcohol a well. Loving the aroma, particuarly as it warms.

T: milk chocolate coffe and vanill, reminds me of chocolate milk but mocha, the cinnamon comes in a touch on the end.... Sadly I do not get the teddy Graham's I gt in the nose....

M: heavy medium body with lower carbonation... Mouthfeel is slick and velvety with a dry finish. Very full bodied for a 7.5 abv.

O: a really good porter, don't really know what else to say... A touch of sweetness to it for the style and a hint of dark fruit, but overall deffinatly try this if you get the chance.

 978 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL growler served in a HF wine glass.

Pours a rich chocolate black with a quickly dissipating mocha head. Dots of lacing and wet legs line the glass. Aroma starts with mild smoke, bread and burnt malt, and turns mildly sweet with molasses, milk chocolate, vanilla bean and light cream. Flavor has a bready and coffee base, more roasted malt and a baker's chocolate finish that isn't particularly sweet. Vanilla and molasses subtly blend in and out of the body without ever being cloying. Biggest knock on this is the slightly thin body and watery finish. Nowhere as robust as Everett and too thin for the style and ABV for my taste. Regardless, an excellent, unique porter but I'll just stick to Everett.

 709 characters

Photo of THANAT0PSIS
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hill Farmstead Twilight of the Idols

A: This variation on the brilliant and perfect Everett pours typical midnight black with a somewhat disappointingly small, mocha head of about a finger-and-a-half, and it is not long for this world, either. The carbonation is slow and lazy, but active enough. Lacing is brilliant, however, and the viscosity looks to be more than ample without wandering into sticky territory ruled by the imperial stout. 4/5

A: Coffee and cinnamon leap out of the glass in nearly equal measure (coffee takes the forefront), with the vanilla buried a little under the intense roast notes. There is ample dark fruit here, particularly fig and the very elusive black cherry. The dark fruit is a nice touch that hearkens back to English porters and is lost on many American versions of the style. Burnt caramel and Muscavado sugars lie at the back of the aroma along with bitter vanilla bean, heavily roasted barley (almost smokey), and plenty of baker's chocolate accompanied, of course, by more coffee. This seems very balanced, like most HF beers, and the additives do not take over what is an amazing base beer. 4.25/5

T: In a surprising turn of events, campfire smoke wins out in the taste along with a very hefty roasted coffee. Some cola, fig, and black cherry comes through in the middle along with a touch of fruity hops. The end is all rich, dark chocolate, fading darker and darker, more and more bitter, almost like chocolate-covered espresso beans. Cinnamon is largely absent, contributing perhaps an earthiness but nothing more. This is a wonderfully complex porter, but with the magnificent base to live up to, it falls a bit short in taste, the nuances of Everett covered up a bit by the additives. 4.25/5

M: It is almost boring to review this category for HF beers, as Shaun always nails mouthfeel. Here, a velvety creaminess dominates with just enough prickly carbonation to make the flavors pop. The roast drys the mouth wonderfully. The only complaint is that the somewhat modest alcohol content of 7.2% does creep up in a little bit of heat, uncharacteristic for the style and for HF in general. 4.5/5

O: While this is a great porter (with an even better name), it is darker than this beer when standing in Everett's shadow; Twilight simply cannot match its older, more nuanced, better-balanced brother. It is still a very tasty beer in its own right (and better than most other American-made examples), I will focus all my future trades on Everett itself, the apex of the American Porter. Do not scoff at this if it is offered, however, as it is always worth a drink and then some. Pair with Ihsahn's "After." 4.25/5

 2,660 characters

Photo of schmidtmattsays
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 11/13

A: Poured from 500ml bottle into a HF stemmed tulip. Little carbonation, typical cola-like porter appearance: dark brown with light coming through around the edges.

S: Surprisingly dominant smell of greenery, largely mint. Light pine. Underpinned by typical porter roast.

T: Lots of vanilla coming through, underpinned again by roast and coffee beans. As it warms up, I pick up the cinnamon aftertaste.

M: Creamier and more substantial mouthfeel than you would find in a lot of porters. Not stout-like, but definitely on the hearty side for a porter.

 571 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Hen of the Wood, Waterbury, VT.

This was a great and surprising selection to be seen at HotW, considering they only keep 2 or 3 beers on tap. Nice seeing something other than Edward on tap in the area (not that there's anything wrong with Edward).

Deep black pour into a snifter, with a small, sturdy cap of brown head that sank to a wispy layer and dotted the glass with lace. In the nose, roasty malts and coffee, vanilla beans, some caramel and milk chocolate sweetness. Taste was nicely balanced. On the sweeter end: milk chocolate, vanilla, marshmallow; on the roastier end: dark malts, cocoa, coffee, toasted grains. I didn't really get any cinnamon, either because I wasn't searching for it, or because it had faded (not sure of the date on this keg). Smooth mouthfeel, medium-full body, moderate to low carbonation. Easily drinkable and extremely tasty.

 873 characters

Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nose is all vanilla and coffee. First sip hits you with some really tasty coffee, an ever so slight touch of cinnamon and a nice touch of sweet vanilla! The aftertaste has more noticeable cinnamon and still a nice amount of vanilla, with the coffee just still noticeable. The mouthfeel is good, about what you would expect for a porter in this alcohol range, with medium light carbonation. A very good porter, but probably not world class.

 439 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 12.14.12

A - Pours a dark brown with a one inch medium brown-tan head with great retention.

S - Coffee mostly, then roasted chocolate malts, some very faint vanilla.

T - Smooth chocolate up-front, then bitter coffee and finishes with nice vanilla.

D - Decent carbonation with a medium body.

O - Nice layers of chocolate, coffee then some vanilla.

 368 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12/29/2012

2012 Fall/Winter release 500ml bottle poured into Hill Farmstead stemware.

A: The essence of black, possessing neither brown nor crimson tones when held to light. The khaki head is mousse-like and lingers for a few minutes before settling to a bubbly froth. Sheets of lacing are scattered.

S: Firm roasted malt presence (slightly charred) with soft vanilla notes and earthy coffee. Dark chocolate is pervasive and there's a little licorice in there. I'm not really getting cinnamon in the aroma, despite the site's description of the beer. I'm not sure if this batch has it.

As the beer opens up I detect a nutty quality to the coffee, and now I'm getting some cinnamon. Very nice.

T: Bittersweet dark chocolate blends with roasted grains and a little licorice. Coffee is potent, bringing to mind earth and char. Vanilla is soft up front but a bit stronger on the back end and it tastes quite nice. There's a moderate level of bitterness and a little alcohol in the charred coffee finish. Cinnamon becomes apparent when the beer warms to room temperature, bringing to mind Mexican chocolate.

M: Lower full body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is chewy, sticky, silky, and viscous. Hill Farmstead nailed this aspect of the beer.

Overall: I'm really enjoying this. The beer has a nice blend of flavors that go well with the base Porter. It really opens up when allowed to breathe.

 1,411 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown almost black with khaki colored head. Coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, and roastjavascript: RadioSel(overall,16);ed malt on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a roasted vanilla malt note.

 219 characters

Photo of WoostaBia
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

10 ounce Belgian glass at Armsby Abbey - Worcester
Color: black ale that allows no light with brown edges.
Smell: light vanilla, hops, dark fruit. Full bodied porter with a smooth taste of dark fruit, light roasted malt, dark fruit, light molasses, with no rough edge from the hops or roasted malts which are mute here. Medium thickness mouth feel. This is a hoppy beer with pronounced grassy notes that dissipate as soon as they hit your tongue. No bitter finish. The porter's taste does not linger. It's a good beer but forgettable.

 534 characters

Photo of mtomlins
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.
Bottled on 11/2014; Poured 2014/03/31
Thanks to UncleJazz for the bottle!!

A: Pours a dark black and up to a tall creamy, tan head that sticks around for a while, gently falling to a thin creamy collar and leaving nice lacing as it goes.

S: The nose is assertive and dominated by dark roasted malt, coffee and some spice. Their is an off note in the background (stale inner tube air?), but it might just be the spice.

T: On the palate, the dark roasted malt comes through big, rich and sweet and is accompanied by dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, espresso, holiday spice cake and vanilla. The finish dries out a bit with a slight hoppy bitterness and maybe a touch metallic.

M: There is a medium + body and nice carbonation delivering a silky smooth, round and creamy mouthfeel.

O: Overall an excellent beer; the nose and taste are very enticing and complex (though maybe a touch off). The subtle treatments and additions to this beer at the various stages of brewing (coffee, cinnamon, vanilla beans) all work very well together making a beer greater than the sum of its parts.

 1,136 characters

Photo of dickieb
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a slightly bigger than average coffee head and average lacing. The smell is quite faint with nothing but grains and chocolate malts coming through. The flavor on the other hand is rich and complex with chocolate vanilla coffee and lingering spice and cinnamon notes finish it off. The mouthfeel is not overpowering and just about right and this is a very drinkable brew. The first "dark" beer I have had from Hill Farmstead and another great beer.

 464 characters

Photo of davewlfpckfan29
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

WOW. I am lucky enough to have this brewery so close to me. I have had this on tap both at Hill Farmstead, and now at Parker Pie. I have purchased the 750ml bottle as well because I like this beer so much.

Beautiful dark brown color, tan lacing which sits at the top

The smell of the beer is very pleasing.

Vanilla and coffee. Yes. But also much more taste from spices, such a great balance of so much that is going on in this beer.
Delicious.

Smooth mouthfeel, very easy to drink a couple glasses of this.

 514 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Crop. Served in a nonic glass with a small dark tan head. The color is very black.

The aroma is not very strong, but some mildly sweet chocolate.

The taste is excellently rounded with lots of sweet chocolate and vanilla. The finish has a nice coffee emphasis without leaving any harsh bitterness.

The body is medium with a nice soft carbonation; this is a little smooth.

The flavor is unbeleivable here. Hill Farmstead remains one of my all time favorites.

 470 characters

Photo of pwoods
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kels bf for picking this up for me.

750ml growler poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with no light. Moderate head with only some retention. Decent lacing.

S: lots of fresh brewed coffee with a hint of vanilla but with a pepper/chili kind of spice... Though I don't think there's any in this beer. Some light roast.

T/M: Coffee is big but not dominate. Vanilla is mild and not very sweet, as well as the spices. Roast is slightly bigger. Body is medium full to full and creamy with medium to mild carbonation.

D: Pretty drinkable for the weight of the body, but everything is very balanced and pretty tasty.

 630 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chilled growler into a glass. I think this was shared by nickd717. From long-ago notes.

A: The growler was a bit cold, so the beer (black body) initially poured flat and eventually generated a tan head that lasted briefly before receding into a thin collar. No lace.

S: This is more chocolate-forward than Everett (which to me is primarily roasty). Vanilla, coffee, roasted grain, and some smoke are noted.

T: Again, chocolate-forward, but roasted grain is stronger here than the nose implied it would be. Coffee and vanilla are also weaker than the nose implied. There is a nice spice kick (cinnamon?); that and a nutty molasses flavor give the beer a wintry feel.

M: Medium-bodied, with low-medium carbonation. It has a little lingering stickiness, but it's not oily.

O: An outstanding porter. I think Everett takes the cake for me, but this is a fine entry in Hill Farmstead's recipe book...

EDIT: In retrospect, uploading this review maybe 2 years later, I realized that this must have been the base beer for Birth of Tragedy. Nice. No wonder that beer turned out to be so exceptional.

 1,101 characters

Photo of Myotus
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured at 46°F from a 500ml bottle (2015 vintage) into a nonic pint glass. Consumed on 24Jun16.
LOOK: One finger of cinnamon colored foam halves itself into a khaki foam head within thirty seconds. Black in color with a dark orange luster. Subtle amount of small, rising bubbles. Lacing is moderate in quantity and mostly thin with some areas of thickness.
SMELL: Massive waves of bittersweet  chocolate are backed by strong aromas of bittersweet coffee and vanilla along with mild aromas of oak and bitter roasted malts. Subtle aromas of caramel, cinnamon, and hints of alcohol elaborate the dark complexity.
TASTE: A bold statement is instantly made by very strong bittersweet chocolate and strong bittersweet coffee flavors. The intensity is immediately balanced by mild flavors of vanilla and oak. The balance between sweetness and bitterness is disrupted by mild bitter roasted malt flavors. Subtle caramel flavors attempt to restore balance with little success. Subtle cinnamon and hints of alcohol close the taste profile as all prior flavors maintain.
FEEL: Somewhere between full-bodied and medium-bodied. Carbonation is moderate. Goes down somewhat smooth and creamy. Finishes with a strong and unpleasant dryness. NOTE: A vigorous brew not for the faint of heart. More Stout than Porter, this robust delicacy boasted large quantities of bitterness that left me desiring a more sweetening balance. This was still another great offering from HF that I hope I can come across again in the future.

 1,507 characters

Photo of axeman9182
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Cafe D'Alsace, and served in a tall thin glass.

Twilight of the Idols pours a solid black, with about a finger of mocha foam left crowning the beer. Head retention is just average, and there's a little bit of lacing left stuck around the glass. The nose is nice, dominated by milk chocolate with a strong spicy cinnamon presence. The flavor profile takes things to the next level though, starting with a creamy chocolate open. Cinnamon comes in for a short time in the mid palate, before coffee and more chocolate close things off. The finish is like the liquid equivalent of snacking on chocolate covered coffee beans. The mouthfeel is also top notch, very full and creamy for a 7.5% beer, with a subtle and understated carbonation. I'd be shocked if there weren't a healthy dose of oats in the grain bill, because the body is just that silky smooth. Twilight of the Idols was the first non hoppy beer I've had from Hill Farmtead, and it left me just as impressed with them as I was by their outstanding IPAs.

 1,021 characters

Photo of rodkin
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark black, with a small tan head. Decent lacing.

Smell is mocha coffee, vanilla, honey-like sweetness, slight roasty bitterness, some fruitiness, spice.

Taste is great. Coffee, vanilla, honey, slightly astringent burnt roasted coffee, sweet fruitiness, caramel, cinnamon spice. Very sweet, but the burnt coffee bitterness and bit of spice balances it nicely.

Medium thick, maybe slightly on the thinner side but it doesn't detract too much. Fairly carbonated, maybe slightly more than I'd like. But not much more.

This is a great beer. My first exposure to HF, and I'm definitely a fan.

 600 characters

Photo of homebrew311
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark brown with barely any head.
Nose is dark bitter chocolate, earthy hop character in the middle with a little bit of of vanilla at the back. The coffee is present on the nose but much tamer than I would expect for a coffee porter. The taste features a stronger presence of vanilla, chocolate, a touch of cinnamon on the back. Very nice. Overall, tons of flavor and decent balance, coffee is more backseat than I expected.

 438 characters

Photo of koopa
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at the Black Back Pub this past weekend.

It was explained to me that the recipe has been tweaked once as batch 2 sat on vanilla beans for an extra month.

This review is for batch 1...

Appearance: Pours a deep attractive brown mahogany with a brown crown that displays decent retention and lace.

Smell: Nice roast malt, cinnamon, and the tiniest hint of vanilla.

Taste: Same as nose but the vanilla doesn't make much of an impact.

Mouthfeel: Thick side of medium bodied with subtle carbonation...nearly perfect for the style in my opinion.

Drinkability: The abv and mouthfeel hold it back a touch but I definitely wanted more than one pour and had more than one....heck I had more than two :)

 720 characters

Twilight Of The Idols from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,055 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe