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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 claaark13
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to jedwards for sending this my way. He's been talking it up for a year now and I just missed it when I was at HF in 1/12. 2012 Fall release, 500ml bottle. Poured at cellar temp into a HF tulip.

A - Pours a translucent brownish-black with a thick, creamy off-white head. Great, full lacing remains. It really looks great for a Porter.

S - Dark malts, smooth and mild coffee, hints of sweet vanilla in the back.

T - Much like the aroma. Malts, mild coffee, vanilla. The coffee is a main flavor, but it seems to come from a mild blend. The vanilla give a good sweetness to the flavor and keeps the bitterness from the coffee away. There is a great balance.

M - Medium body, expected for a Porter.

O - This is a fantastic Porter. It falls short of Birth of Tragedy, but that's to be expected. I can't think of another better Porter that I've had. Overall balance, great but not overwhelming flavors. This is everything I wish all Porters could be.

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Photo of PVMT
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle dated 11.18.15. Dark pour with a tan head. Roasty aroma, with flavors of coffee and cinnamon leading the way. No vanilla to speak of. Very smooth, no bitterness. Decent, but not on par with most of the HF offerings.

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Photo of iadler
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml growler courtesy of dciBA. Much appreciated!

A- Pours a deep black with a small light mocha head that dissipates into a thin cap. Some spots of lacing are left behind.

S- Freshly roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, roasted malt and vanilla.

T- Coffee beans with dark chocolate, vanilla, start anice and some roasted malt in the finish.

M- Low to medium carbonation with a smooth rich body.

O- A smooth and easy to drink porter. The flavors complement each-other as nothing was too dominant. The spices weren't as evident as I thought they would be, but still another solid offering from Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of Rutager
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big thank you to Franklinn for this treat from Vermont. Into the ol' Bruery tulip for you, Twilight!

Appearance. Pours a very dark brown, pretty much black in the glass. Topped with a finger of thick and creamy, slighlty orangy, tan head that leaves a little patchy lacing.

Smell. Dark roasted coffee, some vanilla and maybe some other sweet and peppery spices that I can't identify along with a little chocolate, dark malt ...even some grassy hops.

Taste. Dark coffee and some peppery spice, dark roasted malts, dry bakers chocolate and a touch of vanilla. Pretty dry overall with a ton of flavour.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with with smooth, below medium carbonation.

Overall. A very nice flavourful porter with plenty of coffee and a unique bit of spice. Very enjoyable on this Friday afternoon! Thanks again, Franklinn ...the only one who has correctly guessed the source of my internet name that I've been using for around 15 years now. Very impressive!!!

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Photo of FosterJM
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1761st review on BA
Bottle to snifter

Thanks to GuruDel for sharing.

App- A very dark pour. Not at all the brown porter I was expecting. Much more of a black inky pour with a big and full brown head. Good scattering of cling and falls semi slowly.

Smell- I liked the addition of the vanilla in this one. The base porter wasnt as malt forward as I would have thought and instead was a bit sweeter on the nose. A bit thin on aromatics and draws more from the additional vanilla. I like vanilla. I dont mind.

Taste- This porter was damn tasty. I like the balance struck between the line of thin stout vs. full porter. The flavors are balanced and complimentary without overshadowing the malt line. Additional vanilla really enhances the flavors and balance on this one.

Mouth- A thicker body and a thicker carbonation make this one a better sipping beer. A bit full for the style but the residual vanilla and char make up for it.

Drink- I really thought I would have to trade a ton for this one. Thanks for sharing vince. I appreciate it.

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Photo of Holden
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Small but sustaining head, totally opaque, dark brown. Sweet roastiness aroma from the coffee. Vanilla and coffee come through lending a flavor sensation similar to Star Anise. Nice brew.

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Photo of sposter4
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz into a sam adams glass. Pours dark with toffee colored head. Seemed light on both smell and taste but to be fair Ive been drinking a lot of higher ABV and BA beers recently. Vanilla is present upfront with some coffee floating around in there. Nice lacing. Good beer to drink if you want something dark and drinkable.

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Photo of flexabull
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of cbeer88, thanks again!

Pours a dark brown almost black color with a very nice tan head. Great looking beer.

Aromas are of dark ripe fruits, brewed coffee, roasted malts, and a hint of vanilla.

Taste is sweet up front, milky and creamy, with notes of cocoa and vanilla. Finish is crisp, with a slightly earthy hop note.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky, with nice full body.

Overall, a very nice beer. Leans a little too much to the sweet side for my tastes, but still well crafted and enjoyable.

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Photo of Brad007
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black color with a nice, thick brown head.

Aroma is full of cream and chocolate. Just a hint of roasted coffee.

Taste is dark and rich with roasted coffee and a light hint of cream and chocolate.

Only a touch of roasted coffee remains. It pretty much seeps into your pores.

This ale is marvelous. I would expect no less from Hill Farmstead. Shaun knows how to take a style and make an excellent interpretation of that style.

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Photo of ThreeLions
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle split with Hab11

Appearance: Jet black. Bottle pours softly with little to no but noticeable carbonation. Even darker in color than Everett.

Smell: Chocolate malts come through the strongest. Not sure I would even know there are caramel malts if the bottle didn't mention it. The coffee is there in the nose as well, but the chocolate is the most pronounced smell. Not sure I pick up the vanilla either. Almost pick up a creme de menthe smell that I wonder whether or not it will translate to the taste.

Taste: Absolutely delicious. The taste has much more of a medley of flavors than the aroma. Chocolate comes through at first but takes a step back to let the vanilla, coffee and roasted barley come together in perfect harmony. Very well balanced beer this one.

Mouthfeel: Not overwhelming but very good malt presence. Far from a watery mouthfeel. Creamy, but not silky. Sessionable and very pleasant feel.

Overall: Damn good beer. Great balance overall. Very sessionable and rewarding beer. Quite complex for what can sometimes be a style that can be overpowered by a particular ingredient. Not my favorite offering from Hill Farmstead but honestly I don't have a single complaint about this. Very nice job.

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Photo of justforrazors
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler on 10/24/13

A- Pitch black with a 1/2 inch tan head that fades to a thick ring around the glass. Medium carbonation evident in bubbles.

S- A ton of roast malt with a touch of cocoa and vanilla, although the roast malt dominates the nose.

T- the cinnamon is huge- vanilla is also present with some chocolate malt (maybe cocoa nibs too) and a nice roasty finish that provides some astringency. The astringency is actually pretty nice, is makes for a quicker finish and leaves minimal alcohol burn.

M- Medium-high body, low carbonation, astringent finish from the roast malt/tannins.

O- I don't remember it being this big of a cinnamon flavor last year. Also, there seems to be less vanilla. Very good, although not the beer I have loved in past years. Still amazing, although I wanted something that simply wasn't there, mainly less roast and astringency, and more vanilla and chocolate.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown black color with a decent tan head and some lacing

S-chocolate, coffee, dark malt, molasses

T-dark roasted malt, chocolate, espresso, molasses, hint of cinnamon, vanilla,slight char, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-very nice porter, good flavor and balance, not as smooth as Everett

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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.

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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 :)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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