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Twilight Of The Idols | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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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:
1,057
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
20.51%
 
 
Wants:
445
Gots:
168
For Trade:
18
User Reviews
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Reviews: 187 | Ratings: 1,057
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.

 915 characters

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 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 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 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
500ml

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 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 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 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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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 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 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 beeradvocate.com. 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 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.

 1,082 characters

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 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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Twilight Of The Idols from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,057 ratings.
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