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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 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.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2013 release was fantastic. It had vibrant vanilla, cinnamon, and coconut notes on the palate and drank very well.

The 2015 release seemed to lack most of those tasty characteristics, falling far short of my expectations.

Here's to the hope that time in a bottle will make the most recent batch taste like the beer I remember having a few years ago.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nearly pitch black color with minimal head. The smell is chocolately, roasty, with hints of vanilla and spice. The flavor is more roasty when cold, but as the beer warms you get wonderful notes of vanilla and chocolate with a good residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is full with low carbonation. I did sit on the full growled for a few days without opening. I wonder if it would have been more carbed if I had drank it fresh. Overall this beer is awesome, it really is one o the best porters I have had.

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Photo of pagriley
3.57/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml into snifter. About 3 months old

Pours black with huge foamy mocha head
lots of coffee and roast on the nose, but no sign of vanilla or cinnamon
more of the same on the palate - vanilla is completely AWOL. Ashy on the finish - too much black patent malt for my tastes
medium to lighter bodied given the ABV

Overall disappointing. When you tell me to expect vanilla, well... I expect some vanilla. nothing happening; not so much as a whiff.

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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 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 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 SABERG
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a modified tulip. Growler from the brewery within 24 hrs.

A - Dark, some light head and short lacing. The color of caramel.

S - Vanilla, caramel, roast malts, some spice winter based, cinammon, cocoa. What a pleasure.

T - All those smells come roaring through, what a smorgashbourg Difficult to track but a pleasure to enjoy. Vanilla, cocoa, a hint of bourbon?

M- Smooth feel with a moderate oils, not a dry ending. The lingering is spiced, vanilla, a touch of coffee, and cocoa.

O - This is a fabulous winter treat. The balance is spot on. Delicate and well defined. Thanks to the fine folks who crafted this remarkable offering.


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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 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 beerdrifter
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked this up from a great trade with Evan! Nice black pour with two fingers of thick, foamy beige head with great retention and lacing. Complex nose with hints of roasty coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, and a bit of mocha. The taste follows suit with lots of dark roasty coffee up front along with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, sweet cream, milk chocolate, and some subtle black pepper. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, extremely creamy, and smooth as silk. Overall, this is a really nice Porter with a unique holiday twist. It's a bit too sweet for my taste, but still enjoyable.

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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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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 gcamparone
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Acquired as an extra in a trade!

A- The pour is translucent and brown, once in the glass it has an opaque black body with a thick, creamy 3" mocha colored head that reduces slowly.

S- Coffee, dark fruits, roasted malt, cinnamon, vanilla.

T- Starts off with some very heavy roasted malt flavors, transcends into notes of dark fruits, apples?, the finish is roasty coffee and fresh mocha-coffee-chocolate aftertaste.

M- Medium carbonation, medium body, slightly thin.

This is a beautifully crafted porter. Not thick enough that I'd consider it a stout, but hugely flavorful and complex.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 500 mL bottle chilled and poured into my Dogfish Head tulip glass. Picked up from the brewery today.

Appearance: Obviously, near pitch black in color. Doesn't pour a really aggressive head, but the beige head does recede into a nice lacing around the glass.

Aroma: Coffee and chocolate notes really stand out in the aroma. After the initial burst of roasty, porter notes, there is definitely a nice vanilla presence. The vanilla is definitely there but not overdone at all. Some nice cinnamon also peeks through.

Taste: Really nice fresh coffee and milk chocolate notes. Really nice combination of coffee bitterness and sweetness from the chocolate and caramel of the malts. The vanilla is not too strong, but compliments the other flavors very well. Some light cinnamon notes as well. Very complex and extremely drinkable and most importantly, tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with average/low carbonation for the style. Warming throughout.

Overall, probably my favorite non-barrel aged porter ever. Incredibly drinkable and complex. All the additions to this beer (coffee, vanilla, cinnamon) work well together and complement each other. Nothing is too heavy handed and it makes for an incredible porter. Having this released during the winter season was also a great choice as it drinks great in the cold weather.

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Photo of unclejazz
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap on Sunswick 35/35 last week and have been thinking about it ever since. I have had some good porters since then, but they all bring me back to this.

A-is for alluring. The velveting reddish tan color of the head about a finger thick laid on top of black body with ample carbonation.

S-is for sultry. This mixture of anise, coffee, and cocoa with a roasted smoky background. dang amazing.

T-is for toffee. this came through in taste and i must have missed the smell, but it is delicious. this flavor cuts through me like the wind outside.

O-I had seen good things about Hill Farmstead and thought I would not have a chance to sample their wares. Thanks to the great taps of Queens. Vermont is not too far away, maybe a road trip is in order.

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Photo of fmccormi
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Straight pour from a 500ml pry-off bottle to a 10oz stemmed tasting glass (TH small stemware). This beer is about three (possibly four?) years old. It was sitting in my basement for the past couple of years, but it recently migrated to my fridge, where it’s been for the past week or so.

Appearance (5.0): This pours a very dark, translucent mahogany brown/nearly black body, capped by a good three fingers of cappuccino-colored foam, which dies down at a slow pace to leave a cookie-like platform of bubbles. It leaves a collar all the way around the glass, linked to the head with little stalagmites of thin, lacy foam. This is unbelievably attractive.

Smell (4.25): Molasses, pumpernickel, dark cocoa, a light espresso note, and raw cacao come through in the nose. The malt body is most obvious, driven by the dark, molasses-like sweetness, balanced out by the cocoa and espresso aromas. This smells great—richer and deeper than the average porter, and more like a stout.

Taste (4.5): Compared to the nose, this is more driven by the dark (but surprisingly soft, not acrid) cocoa, with a drying coffee flavor, like what you get in cake made with espresso powder. There’s an almost jammy, nimble, underlying sweetness propping up the drier cocoa and coffee flavors. This is bright and surprisingly fruity (a little strawberry and sweet raspberry, even), but does a great job maintaining a balance between the lighter and darker notes. Unbelievably drinkable.

Mouthfeel (5.0): Whereas the aroma and flavor reflect more of a stout profile, the mouthfeel is more porter: the body is on the light- side of medium-weight, slick and smooth, but also somewhat dry. The carbonation comes in quiet as a mouse, propping up the body with velvet-smooth bubbles before foaming up with a plush feel just before washing out. It manages to be light but rich at the same time, and generally full of character.

Overall (4.5): There’s not a bad thing you can say about this beer—it’s rich, full, light, soft, dark, somehow fruity . . . I honestly don’t know how they fit all of this into one beer that still manages to be flexible, nimble, and thoroughly drinkable. And, I’m amazed at how well this has held up after so much time. Shawn Hill’s talent has, evidently, been clear for a long time.

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Photo of JizackFH
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Sunswick 35/35 in Astoria, NY on 11/27/11.
Review taken from notes.

This beer pours a really dark brown color. There is a small finger of light tan head on top of it. The head sticks around for a bit, and it leaves behind a few specs of lace behind as it recedes. The nose is roasty and there are aromas of coffee, chocolate, and a bit of dark fruit. There is also a bit of vanilla and molasses that comes out. The taste starts off with a strong roasted malt presence. There are some good flavors of milk chocolate and coffee that stand out. Also, there are flavors of vanilla, dark fruit, molasses, and a bit of cinnamon. The finish leaves some lingering roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate behind on the palate. This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a rich velvety feel to it. There a good amount of roasted malt bitterness here, as well a nice dose of sweetness. It coats the mouth nicely and really lets you taste all of it. The roasted bitterness and sweetness sticks to the palate and lingers for a bit. This has good drinkability. It is a really tasty beer, and I could easily have a few glasses of it in an evening. Overall, I think this is a good beer and a good example of the style. This is a solid beer, and I recommend trying it out. I would buy it again.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 ML bottle poured into a grand service glass. Liquid comes out dark brown and is black in the deepest parts of the glass with brown highlights around the edges. The hard pour came out with dark tan cap that leaves better than average lacing.

Smells is very, very good. Lot's of dark roasted, to slightly charred grains. In additions there are hints of a of coffee with a back aroma of vanilla. All of the aromas mesh together nicely and even gives a slight liquorish smell to it as well, overall it's pretty robust.

Taste is also very good, maybe a slight but not as strong as I expected based on the smell. Immediately you can taste the earthy sweet grains. A little bready similar to toast that got left in a little too long with some molasses. Definitely a coffee flavor a darker roast than the smell would indicate. At the end there's a slight hint of the vanilla.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's certainly full with a good carbonation level. It's very smooth, almost silky then leads to a nice dry finish that's pretty clean. Very drinkable, one to slowly enjoy and/or even share, but anybody who likes porters could very easily polish this one off. A well done seasonal brew. Huge props to BBG for sharing this one.

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Photo of davey101
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fall/Winter 2012 vintage. 500ml bottle into a tulip glass. The HF website lists this beer as being brewed with coffee and cinnamon, but the ingredient lists and description on the label has no mention of cinnamon. Recipe change perhaps?

A - Pours a very dark black body. Holding it up to the light lets just a bit shine through to show a very dark brown color. Dense and creamy two finger mocha head forms and dissipates rather slowly into a thin cap with thick edging. Lacing and retention is just insane on this beer. Super sticky and clinging foam.

S - Roasty and smoky with intense espresso beans and rich vanilla. Finish is of sweet milk chocolate and a touch of spice. Excellent aroma, very dark and roasty.

T - Roasted malts lead into a strong vanilla presence. Notes of coffee and sweet milk chocolate intertwine. The intense roastiness of the beer is cut by an almost syrup like level of sweetness. Extremely decadent and delicious but slightly cloying.

M - Creamy and silky with a perfect level of carbonation. Swishing the beer in your mouth causes it to instantly froth up. It finishes surprisingly dry which helps with the intense syrupy sweetness of the beer. The mouthfeel is just perfect here.

O - An exceedingly complex and intense porter. I assume Everett is the base beer due to matching abv's. I do prefer Everett in that its much simpler and basic while perfecting all the qualities that make a world class porter. The addition of ingredients seems to make a great thing a bit less great. Still a world class porter that is exceedingly enjoyable on a cold ass night.

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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 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 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.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours solid black with 1/4 inch of mocha head. Sticky lacing.

S-Fresh ground coffee, baking chocolate, banana peel, dulce de leche. A hint of star anise.

T/M-Smoky and roasty, with a rich, velvety smooth body and a lightly warming finish. A little anise bitterness up front, followed by soft, mellow notes of drinking chocolate and foamed milk. The finish shows delicate notes of bittering hop and cocoa powder.A little warming alcohol on the back of the throat.

O-First beer I've had from Hill Farmstead and it's impressive. Totally worth driving to the middle of nowhere to pick up a growler.

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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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