Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,508
Ranked #7,607
4.09 | pDev: 14.91%
Aug 26, 2023
Mar 07, 2011
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.44 by Uconnelmo from Connecticut

Aug 26, 2023
Rated: 4.15 by johnlatona from New Jersey

Jan 27, 2023
Photo of jrc1093
Reviewed by jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Bottled on 12/7/2020; consumed on 1/17/2023

Pours a silky, motor-oil ack body topped with a finger of creamy, brilliant pale mocha foam; solid head retention leaves a slim cap, expansive, frothy collar, and a limited, temporary display of webby lacing along the walls of the glass.

Aromas of fresh, slightly nutty coffee roast present atop a rich chocolate base, with creamy vanilla subtext engaging prickly oak through soft bourbon and a mild malt roast accentuating over time.

Taste opens to rich chocolate against semi-bitter coffee; subtle malt airs through edges of warming bourbon over the mid-palate as a vanilla flush washes over nutty husks on the back end of the profile.

Mouthfeel offers a medium body alongside a rounded fluff of moderate-high carbonation, leaving silky textures trending creamy over the mid-palate while an easy grit prickles delicately through the back end and a delicate barrel warmth feeds steady dryness on the finish.

Coffee is brilliantly expressive atop a rich chocolate underbelly as vanilla remains the primary contributor of sweetness against the slightest predilection toward bourbon essence throughout; a pure-to-form display of lightness and coordination from this Hill Farmstead stout.
Jan 18, 2023
Rated: 4.84 by SadMachine from New Jersey

Jul 31, 2022
Photo of Alieniloquium
Reviewed by Alieniloquium from Florida

3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
500 mL bottle. Black body. Smells of coffee, bourbon, a little vanilla. Tastes of oatmeal, coffee, sweet vanilla, finishes with bourbon. Medium body. Pretty sweet. A little too sweet.
Jul 30, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

Jul 12, 2022
Rated: 4.53 by JLK7299 from North Carolina

Jul 02, 2022
Photo of edthehead
Reviewed by edthehead from Maryland

4.64/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Dark brown oily appearance, sticky tan head, good retention, delicate lacing. Roasty coffee, chocolate, vanilla, fig, oak, and sweet bourbon tones. Medium to full body, moderate to high carbonation.
May 24, 2022
Photo of SABERG
Reviewed by SABERG from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
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
Reviewed by jcoleMA66 from Massachusetts

4.84/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
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
Reviewed by GreesyFizeek from New York

4.59/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
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
Rated: 4.17 by acurtis from New Jersey

Feb 12, 2022
Rated: 4.75 by rjp217 from Massachusetts

Jan 16, 2022
Photo of Bhubbard34
Reviewed by Bhubbard34 from Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
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
Rated: 3.77 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

Dec 30, 2016
Rated: 4.04 by jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

Dec 30, 2016
Rated: 3.85 by Jdschroepfer from Delaware

Feb 23, 2016
Rated: 3.74 by ncaudle from Virginia

May 06, 2015
Rated: 4 by POTABLE83 from New York

Oct 20, 2014
Photo of madtowndmb1
Rated by madtowndmb1 from Wisconsin

4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
A pretty nice beer, the barrel was pretty subtle which was great.
Oct 11, 2014
Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 77 ratings