Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
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Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Stout - American
Ranked #67
Ranked #8,873
4.06 | pDev: 15.52%
Apr 03, 2022
Mar 07, 2011
Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Notes: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Coffee Oatmeal Stout

We brewed a richer, more complex version of the beer and aged it in select bourbon barrels for more than two years, harmonizing its flavors with a light touch of organically grown vanilla beans from Mexico and coffee from Finca Vista Hermosa in Guatemala, sourced and roasted by our longtime friends and collaborators at Coffee Collective in Copenhagen.
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Photo of SABERG
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by SABERG from Massachusetts

Poured from the 500 ml bottle into the test glass. This is the Guatemalan coffee and Mexican vanilla bean version.
A - Bottle opened with a nice solid hiss, pour yields a quick to recede mocha cap. Color is a bit of cobalt black and bakers chocolate brown. During the experience a solid ring of mocha clings to the glass interior.
S - Coffee forward, with a bit of dark nougat, vanilla, toasted pecans, Dark cocoa, like 70+% Madagascar, Bourbon barrel treatment adds that hint of char, added vanilla depth touches of toffee, candied chocolate dipped orange.
T - With all thats going on in the nose, the flavors also include a beautiful spicy element, I suspect from the coffee, a bit of black pepper. The barrel treatment shines on the palate with all the usual suspects, toffee, vanilla, a bit of fusel alcohol.
M - Medium in body, stays on the dark bitter chocolate track most of the sip. There is a full coating of palate, a bit of an oily mid, with a quick clear nod to the bourbon. Then an esspresso dry wave rolls through. The linger is forever.
O - A beauty on all fronts. the base coffee stout is a treat in itself, the additional treatments build off of that treat. Adding depth and complexity.

Apr 03, 2022
Photo of jcoleMA66
4.84/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by jcoleMA66 from Massachusetts

Batch 2 - 2021 Release

Pours beautiful deep dark brown that has almost creamy appearance coming out of the bottle. Generates small mocha head that dissipates into foamy swirls. Smell is sweet bourbon, vanilla with spicy coffee notes. Taste follows nose with addition of mocha, chocolate and caramel. Soft, creamy mouthfeel. I don’t believe that the 8% abv listed here on BA is accurate - it’s not boozy , but it drinks like a bigger beer. I assume the abv listed here was from first batch years ago. Hard to believe that a “more complex version of the base beer” (HF’s words on batch 2 bottle) only gains less than 1% abv after 2 years in bourbon barrels. Would be good to know but no abv listed on the bottle (shrug). Regardless, I do love this beer and wish I had another bottle! I split the 2/person allotment with a friend since he wasn't able to make it up to the brewery - right thing to do, I know. Maybe I can convince him to share his bottle with me... Overall, this beer has the balance and finesse that one comes to expect from Hill Farmstead. Another winner from them.

Mar 13, 2022
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by GreesyFizeek from New York

Batch 2, 2021 release.

This one pours a very dark color, with a small head, and a bit of lacing.

This stout smells like rich, spicy, and roasty coffee, dark chocolate, salted caramel, fudge, and vanilla.

I can tell this isn't gonna age well - that coffee flavor is absolutely delicious now, a month after release, with the beer kept refrigerated the whole time. But - it just sort of has that spicy and earthy feel that seems like it might turn green peppery at some point in the future. The vanilla is very well done here, adding a hint of creamy sweetness to the rich coffee character. There's also some spiced salted caramel type flavor, roasted malt, dark chocolate fudge, oak, burnt brown sugar, and bourbon.

This is creamy, and rich, and drinks a lot heftier than 8% would suggest. It's really, really drinkable.

The time in barrels has really transformed this beer, and rounded off some of the more rustic and sharp edges of the base Earl.

Mar 08, 2022
4.17 by acurtis from New Jersey on Feb 12, 2022
4.75 by rjp217 from Massachusetts on Jan 16, 2022
Photo of Bhubbard34
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Bhubbard34 from Pennsylvania

2021 Release - consumed 12/26/21

Great mouthfeel, perfect blend of chocolate, coffee and barrel. Smooth, and feel like I could drink this all day, which is not common of stouts. Not boozy, not overly sweet, just another gem from HF

Dec 29, 2021
3.77 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania on Dec 30, 2016
4.04 by jzeilinger from Pennsylvania on Dec 30, 2016
3.85 by Jdschroepfer from Delaware on Feb 23, 2016
3.74 by ncaudle from Virginia on May 06, 2015
4 by POTABLE83 from New York on Oct 20, 2014
Photo of madtowndmb1
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
by madtowndmb1 from Wisconsin

A pretty nice beer, the barrel was pretty subtle which was great.

Oct 11, 2014
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by BarrytheBear from Wisconsin

Didn't get the infection others have mentioned....solid barrel with a hefty dose of coffee. Better than the base.

Oct 10, 2014
2.75 by ygtbsm94 from Utah on Aug 25, 2014
3.5 by oline73 from Maryland on Aug 23, 2014
3.25 by duceswild from Heard & McDonald Islands on Aug 22, 2014
4 by goldspire from California on Aug 20, 2014
3.25 by mendvicdog from Maryland on Aug 11, 2014
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.66/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

Bottle shared by yourefragile. Thanks Michael.

Served alongside Earl.

Gusher! Upon settling, the beer appears dark brown with a lasting tan head. Aromas include oak, bourbon. Coffee presence is minimal in the nose. Ok flavor. Nothing off putting. A bit bland, but hey, this beer is getting old. Some distant port / sherry notes attributed to age. Light oxidation. Regardless of the current status, a treat. Fun to try.

March 20, 2022
Bottle shared by Brennan. Absolutely phenomenal in every way. Considerably better and different than my first experience.

Aug 10, 2014
4 by VTBeerTrade from Vermont on Oct 03, 2013
4 by gratefulbeerhead from Indiana on Jul 05, 2013
4.25 by doremite from Vermont on Jul 02, 2013
Photo of Skrip
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by Skrip from New Jersey

500ml bottle poured into a Craft Gear snifter.

A~ black as night, with a slight tan head and a little bit of lacing. very inviting!

S~ tons of bourbon sweetness, dark malts and not much else...

T~ alright i'm glad it opened up! i can't believe the coffee still has a huge presence! huge bourbon sweetness up front, followed by charred coffee, bitter dark chocolate, then slight oatmeal comes smashing through the bourbon wall of death, and vanilla caramel sweetness on the finish. this remind me of a perfectly aged KBS. mmm..!

M~ nicely carbonated, extremely smooth, and the thickness really plays its part but its not overkill, thats for sure!

O~ one of the best BA stouts i've ever had! once again the balance and complexity shines. the vanilla that comes from the bourbon adds such a nice aspect to the charred coffee flavor. its like the perfect balance of a vintage Bourbon County and a KBS. holy shit get a bottle right now!

Jun 23, 2013
4 by cadaugherty from Illinois on May 08, 2013
4.5 by Kelp from New Hampshire on Mar 03, 2013
4 by wildcats10 from New Hampshire on Feb 10, 2013
4.75 by bklynj from New York on Jan 20, 2013
3.5 by largadeer from California on Jan 14, 2013
3.75 by Luk13 from Canada (QC) on Jan 09, 2013
1 by trob1971 from Vermont on Nov 04, 2012
4.25 by franklinn from Vermont on Jun 08, 2012
Photo of Jeffo
1.81/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2
by Jeffo from Netherlands

Got this bottle from jedwards a while back. Cheers for the trade man, and thanks again for all the cool HF bottles. These guys are slowly becoming one of my favorite stout/porter brewers in the USA.

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: This one slowly started to foam out after opening. A brown pour yields a huge, four finger, medium looking, light tan head with good retention. Transparent bistre brown in color, almost black, and no carbonation evident. Head is massive, but eventually fades to a rocky, foamy, bubbly thick cap and leaves some chunky lacing down the sides. A half bubbly wisp remains and leaves lots of bubbly lacing down the glass. The foaming and massive head make this one look infected.

SMELL: Definitely smells infected as well. First wiff is tart cherries and vinegar. Yikes. After a few more wiffs, there is a touch of bourbon and oak in there, as well as a light hint of cocoa powder. Still, this smells tart, which is never a good thing for this style.

TASTE: Sour and tart as well. Some roasted malts and a touch of cocoa in there, as well as oak, vanilla and bourbon from the barrel aging, but there is definitely a sour and acidic flavor that dominates it all. Tart cherries and vinegar accompany a touch of bourbon, oak anf light bitter coffee in the bold and lingering aftertaste. This is 100% infected. Unfortunate.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly dry. Some acidity definitely lingers.

OVERALL: Can't imagine this was the point. While it calmed a little as it sat, this bottle is clearly infected, which is very disappointing to say the least. HF has been nothing but phenomenal so far, what with BoT, Damon, and Daybreak being spectacular, so ignoring this little blip will be easy. Be wary of searching this one out. Drain pour. Cheers again for the trade jedwards. The rest of the beers were world class.

Jun 07, 2012
3.75 by chrispoint from Connecticut on Jun 06, 2012
3.5 by funkel81 from Colorado on May 21, 2012
4.25 by Yabev15 from Massachusetts on May 20, 2012
4.5 by stonequarrywest from Ohio on Feb 08, 2012
4.5 by phingdong from New Hampshire on Jan 31, 2012
4.5 by jsilva from Massachusetts on Jan 13, 2012
4.5 by monsterzero from Massachusetts on Jan 05, 2012
4.5 by rowingbrewer from Massachusetts on Jan 04, 2012
Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 69 ratings