Twilight Of The Idols | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Twilight Of The IdolsTwilight Of The Idols

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

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

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Reviews: 183 | Ratings: 1,030
Photo of WanderingFool
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Twilight of the Idols pours dark brown/black into the glass with a small, creamy brown head on top. The foam dissolves quickly to a ring around the surface leaving behind only a couple spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is malty with notes of chocolate, coffee and roasted malt.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is creamy on the palate, somewhat dry with moderate carbonation. The flavor is roasty with tastes of chocolate and coffee blended in. Hints of vanilla and a touch of spice at the end are also present. An earthy nuttiness is also present. Once gone the chocolate and spice lingers on the palate.

This is a very tasty, easy drinking beer. The flavor really improves as the beer warms.

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Photo of 05Harley
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased @ Hill Farmstead Brewery, Greensboro VT

Price - $16/growler

A Winter Porter brewed with Coffee and Cinnamon…Aged on Vanilla Beans.

This is one dark beauty with a thin red edge noticeable only under the light near the top. A delicious looking beer with a half inch creamy tan head and patches of lacing.

Aroma is perfect for winter with vanilla, caramel, gingerbread, fresh roasted coffee and cinnamon spices.

The flavor mirrors the nose with the addition of dark chocolate but the spicey cinnamon steals the attention and takes center stage. A definite sweetness is noted from start to finish.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a medium body and slightly sticky. The bitter/dryness is held in check keeping it very much a dessert beer. Very low in carbonation, pretty much nonexistent.

Overall this is a good example of the style and a perfect fit for the holiday season. An easy drinking porter and a candidate for a Christmas after dinner menu.

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go to BA Deuane for sharing this growler over the weekend. I got to have several pours into a snifter. The brew appears black in color with thick mocha colored head. The cap fades slowly producing a full wall of lace. A light swirl revives a finger back to the surface.

The smell is pretty strong with vanilla beans. Almost a sticky feeling to the nostrils before the onset of roasty coffee, charred grain, earthen elements and then citrus hops. Across the back as this brew warms up, it is somewhat reminescent of an oyster stout with its mineral inclusion and roasty elements.

The flavor is super roasty with dark kilned grain and an accenting bitterness of citrus bitter coffee coupled with herbal hops. A pronounced sticky vanilla bean flavor and sweetness persists though the middle of this brews flavor profile. The finish goes back to a bit of that previous mentioned oyster stout feel with plenty of mineral character somewhat earthen and reminescent of cinnamon bark.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is smooth and easy drinking with lots of pleasant roasty stout quality contrasted by sticky sweet vanilla bean addition. I had no problems finishing my glass and reaching for more. My only complaint is the mineral aspect thy seemed a bit out of place.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Fall/Winter 2012 bottle.

Appearance - Black with a khaki head. Chunky bubbles unbalanced around the edge. Slightly transparent at the edges.

Smell - Lots of vanilla. Coffee, but not the most interesting or intense coffee flavor. Sweet malt and some roast.

Taste - Still lots of vanilla. Chocolate and coffee. Lacking the roast I'd like from it. Bitter chocolate and a slight herbal character. Tastes like spices in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Slick and chewy for its size. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Lots of vanilla. Needs more roast. Good without being Hill Farmstead's best beer.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2L growler poured into a Tumbler.

Pours a very dark brown that's near black, slowly a small deep dark brown head arises and slowly fades into some very fine lacing. Nose is all coffee, quite impressive. There are some light sweet spicy & vanilla notes as well.

Taste is again strongly coffee. It's a bit dry and bitter with a lot of coffee characteristics as well. The cinnamon comes in on the finish very faintly and subtly that's super well done. A great holiday beer that's flavorful and drinkable.

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Photo of DaveHack
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a HF tulip.

Pours pretty typical for the style. Very dark, virtually black. Mocha colored head rests nicely on top.

Smell is very roasty. I can catch a hint of bitter chocoalte as well.

Taste is in line with the smell. It's very roasty up front along with a little bitterness.

Considering the smell and color, I would've expected this to be much heavier and thick. It isn't a light beer, but it's certainly not heavy. It's really a smooth beer.

Not my favorite of styles, but I enjoyed this.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a HF stemmed tulip

Pours a near black with a thin dark khaki cap. Bit of a creamy cap as it clings to the sides and leaves faint sip marks.

The aroma is of roast, dark chocolate, vanilla beans, fresh coffee and a faint hint of cinnamon lays low. There is a fresh citrus hop presence that pokes through all of the other aromas.

Up front, the roast, dark chocolate, and fresh coffee take the lead before a rush of citrus and a finish of roast, vanilla, and cinnamon. Some citrus lingers, but the lingering flavors are mainly roast and cinnamon.

Full bodied porter, rich and creamy. The feel is really the best part of this beer. So smooth for how big it is.

This is a fine porter that I would seek out again. Rich, bold flavors, a nice hop profile and the added touch of cinnamon for a little flair.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hill farmstead twilight

A - pours a deep velvety black color with a hint of chocolate brown. A fingers worth off white foam caps the liquid which dissipates slowly to just a thin film and ring around the glass.

S - roasty notes of oily espresso beans, burnt grains and a wisp of charcoal at first. As it warms more notes of sweet melted chocolate, mocha and a dusting of cocoa powder. Maybe a hint of smoke and vanilla as it warms further.

T - big flavors of roasted grains and smooth city roast coffee up front. Mid palate the chocolate comes through bringing out a mocha note. Slight hint of smoke and iron on the backend. Bright spice character on the finish. Finish is long with a lingering chocolate flavor.

M - a round and supple medium body. Texture is like freshly spun silk. Medium carbonation.

O - I love how it really changes and opens up when consumed over a long period of time. A great beer to sip and savor.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a rich dark brown, not much of a head, just islands of creamy foam on top of the beer.

Smells of lots of sweet vanilla, espresso/latte style coffee, chocolate and other rich malt.

Basically the same--delicious vanilla, creamy coffee without much bitterness, sweet milk chocolate. HF definitely lean toward the sweet and malty end of the spectrum with their porters/stouts.

Very good porter, but again am slightly disappointed in that I expected something really special and got something merely very good. I like Victory at Sea a lot better than this.


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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Couldn't wait any longer! 500ml bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black with a 1.5 finger mocha head with average retention. Lacing is stringy and thick with good cling. Oily legs coat the glass. Solid, but not great given a comparison to Everett.

Nose is burnt coffee beans, roasted malt, a very mellow vanilla presence and some cocoa powder. Aromatic. Decent but I wish this was a bit sweeter.

Opens big coffee notes upfront. Some bitter chocolate, roasted malt, and sweet liquorice in the back. A slight tartness from the coffee and roasted malt towards the back. Finishes sweet with a touch of vanilla and fudge. Cocoa and just a touch of booze on the aftertaste. Really good balance.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Some bubbles in the mouth but smooth, warm, and silky going down. Messy finish with a pleasant, lingering aftertaste that leaves my lips sticky. Perfect.

I much prefer Everett over Twilight but that's not to say this isn't one of the better porters out there. Exhibits great balance in flavor and as always, a perfectly crafted feel. Worth a try but if you're into sweet porters, the vanilla is very subtle in this beer and you'll likely prefer Everett over this.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Stoutfest 2013, Armsby Abbey. Served in a tulip glass.

Pour is black with about a half-finger of tan head. It retains as a mostly full cap leaving some good lace behind.

Solid, well-rounded scent with decent potency. Just about even distribution of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, with a good amount of spices and vanilla.

Taste follows suit nicely. The cinnamon is noticeable but nicely restrained and unique, definitely gives it a 'winter' feel. Cocoa and coffee are just about equal, with vanilla and roasted malts there as well.

Nice, full mouthfeel with highish carbonation. No alcohol, fitting for a highish-ABV porter.

This was quite good, a very stellar porter with a wintery twist - loved the amount of cinnamon used here, just the right amount - though one glass would be enough for me I think. More well-rounded and solid than the bourbon-barrel aged treatment (birth of Tragedy).

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Photo of papat444
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, thick unmovable head latches on. Cinnamon, cardamom and coffee in aroma. Flavor is very smooth, cold brewed coffee with a cinnamon bite at the end.

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Photo of UnderJoath
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle. Aroma is a bit bitter with hints of coffee. Vanilla smell could be confused as a smokey character. Nice dark brown with a quickly disappearing tan head. Nice malty porter with a perfect balance of coffee. Sweet subtle vanilla finish. Doesn’t taste nearly as bitter as the aroma. Very nice porter.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, split

Note: Despite the description on this page and the claims of some reviewers, there does not appear to be cinnamon in this beer. It's not listed in the description or ingredients list, nor is it detected anywhere in the beer.

A good porter, but not really stand-out. Dark and roasty with a big dry roast finish. The vanilla beans are subtle, cocoa and cocoa dust seem to permeate. Heavy on the dark chocolate, chocolate malt, and a secondary blast of coffee. I liked, but not really an upper class porter to me.

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Photo of Gfunk720
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle out of my Stone glass.

A- A deep pitch black, quite dark for a porter. Pours with a dark tan/coffee colored head, that quickly reduces to a light froth. Light lacing.

S- Nice roasty malts, and a touch of smokiness. I get a little bit of coffee, and some acidity and spice. Some creamy chocolate notes as well.

T- Smooth and creamy as it enters my mouth, which transitions to a nice robust coffee porter. The vanilla and spices are also evident, but I would argue it could take even more vanilla. The aftertaste is a roasted malt flavor with a hint of smokiness. I also get what tastes like cinnamon and perhaps some nutmeg that lingers in my mouth.

M- As with every Hill Farmstead beer it is perfect. Not one complaint.

O- Overall, this is an extremely nice spiced coffee porter. I hate smokey beers, but this has just the right touch of smokiness to compliment the roasted malt character. It reminds me of Victory at Sea, but has a much different spin on it. It's highlights are really the malt and spices, with the vanilla and coffee somewhat taking a back seat.

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Photo of kevanb
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured in a stemmed Hill Farmstead glass.

Hill Farmstead Twilight of the Idols

Named for the famed Nietzsche text, Twilight of the Idols is Hill Farmstead's annual Winter Porter, brewed with coffee and aged on vanilla beans. It pours a delightful jet black color, very opaque, hues of deep brown and dark amber when held to the light. A nice thick, tightly packed caramel colored head rises about 2 fingers high, has moderate retention with some light spotted lacing. A nice chocolate forward aroma leaps out of the glass, strong roasted coffee follows with nice dark rich grain and a light smokiness with just a touch of sweet vanilla at the end. The flavors are great, milk chocolate and mild vanilla with just the lightest of cinnamon lead to some nice dark grains that are chewy, add some sweetness but have a nice savory character to them as well. There is a nice amount of smokiness and roasted espresso in this beer as well, balanced very well with the sweeter flavors. The body is perfect, very rich and creamy with a lightly dry finish that really compliments the chocolatey and coffee forward flavors.

Verdict: Delicious porter from Hill Farmstead, a really nice treat to have as desert. Rich and complex flavors complimented by a nice roast character, what else could you ask for in a porter?

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Photo of drabmuh
4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

At the time of this review, this beer is #8 on the "Top Beers - American Porter" list on Impressive, at least to me for sure. Served in a stemmed tulip from Hlil Farmstead. This has been a long time want and brings me slightly closer to finishing the BA top 250 list. So that's pretty sweet (four to go).

Beer is black with a thin tan head of small bubbles, head needs coaxing to come out but once it does it is made up of tiny bubbles, some lacing, moderate retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, mild chocolate, no cinnamon unfortunately.

Beer is medium in body and fairly sweet, the finish isn't bitter or spicy at all, it is super drinkable and makes me happy. I really enjoy this beer and hope to have it again in the future, perhaps on draft or fresher when the spices are still dominant.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Received as part of a trade from fellow BA AnthonyB123. Enjoyed out of a brown 500 mL bottle with a bottling date of 10/25/15 and enjoyed on 1/2/16. Poured into a curved pub-style pint glass.

Appearance (4.5) - Off to a good start, this one pours brown-black with a slightly viscous look to the liquid. Once it's all settled in the glass, it's black enough to prevent any kind of light penetration through the glass, even around the edges. Atop the body sits a healthy three fingers of mocha tan foam consisting of tight, smaller bubbles and a pockmarked, meringue-like surface. Retention is moderate, leaving curtains of heavy looking lace shellacking the sides of the glass after foam slinks down to a permanent half finger of hefty-looking foam.

Smell (4.25) - I have to admit I'm a little disappointed. On the positive side, nothing reaches out of the glass and smacks you in the face, with the various profiles melding together into a more cohesively balanced aroma. On the negative side, nothing reaches out of the glass and smacks you in the face, so it comes across as a little bit muted and polite. With flavor profiles like coffee and cinnamon, you expect a certain aggressiveness to the aroma, even though most of the HF beers I've had admittedly exhibit a great deal of balance and restraint (in a good way). Here, the cinnamon and coffee are present but just so, and the vanilla's presence seems to be indicated more by how it impacts the other elements than by making a stand itself.

Taste (4.0) - Unfortunately, the politeness of the aroma belies a similarly toned down collection of flavors on the tongue. It does allow the base porter to shine through with gentle roasted malts and light bitterness, as well as some light roast coffee and chocolate sweetness. The coffee presence is restrained enough that it's honestly hard to tell the difference between the natural coffee-like flavor profiles that are common in some darker beers and the actual addition of coffee. While I can appreciate balance as much as the next guy, it is not good to use an additive and leave drinkers wondering whether it was the additive itself or the inherent nature of the style that they tasted. The cinnamon is much less present in the taste than it was the aroma, and the vanilla is the exact opposite, providing a nice rich sweetness on the finish. The cinnamon's primary contribution to the beer is aroma and some impact on mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel (4.25) -Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. The cinnamon also imparts that feel that is common for the spice--coming up just shy of feeling chalky on the tongue. Finish is semi-sweet.

Overall (4.0), a beer that, while delicious, I can't help but be a little bit disappointed by. A classic case of over-expectations based on an ingredient list that speaks directly to me and a brewer with a stellar (and deserved) reputation. The sad thing is that I would probably pick this porter up off the shelf over the vast majority of standard porters out there, but the beer doesn't quite match the effort it takes to acquire.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a creamy mocha head that persists forever leaving lots of lace on the way down the glass. Smells of chocolate and a hint of roast and coffee with a solid shot of vanilla, a touch of ash and earthy hops. The flavor is rich chocolate, caramel and coffee up front with again a bit of vanilla contrast. Sweet flavor with little to no hop flavor or bitterness. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a creamy velvety smooth mouthfeel. I tried this on tap this weekend and thought the vanilla was a bit too forward, but trying this bottle its seems just right to me. This is a really nice porter, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Dat for looking out on a recent trip to the brewery. enjoyed from a HF wine glass.

a - brew pours an 8 ball black into the glass with some visible tan carbonation jumping to the surface. brew initially poured with a finger plus of rich creamy head but that quickly dissipated to a thin skin of off light tan bubbles. lacing was streaky in large chunks of mini bubbles.

s - really nice roast with a very appropriately balanced amount of baker's chocolate and coffee notes. some vanilla and milky creaminess coats the scent giving it an almost milk stout or sweet stout vibe. not much char that i would expect, but smells pretty outrageous.

t - coffee crossed with chocolate and then roasted. subtle bitterness on the finish. the chocolate is fairly heavy giving this a rich blast of dessert porter flavors.

m - the feel jumped out at me first when i took my initial sip as the char that was missing from the nose is definitely present on the feel, and dialed in at an appropriate amount to give it a porter vibe but not being too burnt.

o - overall, very nice porter. a bit decadent and rich for the style, but enjoyable none-the-less. something in that Hill Farmstead water, i tell ya.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from jbeatty and hotpipes a while back. Cheers for the bottles gents!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
Fall/Winter 2012

APPEARANCE: A clear, dark pour yields a two finger, medium looking, fluffy, light tan head with great retention. Black body with lower amounts of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full foamy cap and sticks to the sides of the glass. A half, swirly wisp remains leaving some good lacing down the sides of the glass.

SMELL: Dark malts, caramel notes, coffee and hints of vanilla as well. Quite a bit of vanilla with some lactose and milk chocolate as well. Pretty big nose for sure.

TASTE: Dark and roasted notes with coffee flavors, espresso and sweet cream. Lots of flavor here. A big finish with vanilla, sweet cream, milk chocolate and roasted espresso bitterness as well. Flavorful and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Very velvety and creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a touch sticky. Nice stuff.

OVERALL: Surprising that this is the base beer to Birth of Tragedy actually, as the abv difference is quite large. Nevertheless, this is an excellent beer and quite drinkable for it's size. Perhaps a little more bitterness at the finish would make this perfect, but it is a really tasty and enjoyable treat as it is. Another great porter/stout from Hill Farmstead. Cheers again for the bottles guys!

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Photo of Retail1LO
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sampler from a 750mL swingtop. Pours jet black with a thin head. Nose is roasty and sweet. Taste is mildly smokey with a nice tinge of bitter ess. Mouthfeel is pretty decent. Well carbonated, slightly astringent. Im not a huge porter fan, but this is one of the beat examples of the style I've had.

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Photo of Florida9
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, but still a little translucent with a slightly reddish note around the edge. Forms a small tan colored head that sticks to the edges on the glass. No lacing. Aroma is strong and full of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. Flavor is lightly sweet, with notes of chocolate, molasses, coffee, roasted malts, and vanilla. Medium bodied with a very mild bitterness. Overall, a good beer, but considering how good of a beer Everett is, this one was not exactly up to what I was expecting.

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Photo of silentjay
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml growler. review from notes from a week or so ago.

pours black as a starless night with an avg mocha head that laces well while quickly settling to a thin film.

coffee, vanilla, molasses, a touch of cinnamon as it warms (though I'm not sure I would have noticed it without reading it had it in there). sweet, roasty, and balanced.

smoooth. vanilla, molasses, day-old coffee. a touch of a cinnamon cuts through the sweetness on the finish.

velvety smooth, medium bodied with a subtle carbonation.

an easy-drinking beer that has plenty of flavor, is well balanced, and is slightly complex. A very good beer, but it doesn't wow me as much as a few other Hill Farmstead beers.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with a decent amount of light passing through the edges and surface. Tight tan head. There was quite a bit if sediment that was noticeable when I tipped the glass.

Heavy aromas of fresh ground coffee beans and vanilla. There's also an earthy tobacco scent.

Strong coffee and vanilla flavor with a touch of root beer. There's a faint metallic aftertaste.

Smooth mouthfeel with medium-light carbonation.

It's a really solid porter that had a couple slight flaws in appearance and the finish.

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Twilight Of The Idols from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,030 ratings.
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