Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
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Stout - American
4.07 | pDev: 15.48%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 63 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by whartontallboy:
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whartontallboy from New York

4/5  rDev -1.7%

Nov 15, 2011
More User Reviews:
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not being a coffee fan, I was approaching this one with mixed feelings,thinking it would be the least favourite of 3 HF I received. This was not the case at all. Tremendous intergration of coffee and barrel. As good an aroma as is possible with these ingrediants. Big soapy head on extreme dark brown body, three-eighths of an inch retained soapy head. Thick lace. Full mouthfeel, satisfying. Tremedously drinkable rich coffee and canila and some bourbon. Not too boozy.Absolute masterpiece. One of the better beers I have had in a long time.
Thanks Steve S.

Sep 15, 2011
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 30, 2016
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SFLpunk from Vermont

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL brown glass pry-top bottle. Opened at about 55 degrees from the cellar.

Pours a moderate black with some creamy light tan colored head.

Nose is all about spicy whiskey and charred oak. Some graham cracker, maybe a hint of aged vanilla beans, and coffee grounds.

Palate medium bodied and crisp with coffee. Fairly dry for a bourbon-barrel-aged stout. Toasty, roasty notes aplenty. Carbonation is creamy and low, true to the HF style. I like it a lot in this beer.

Notes: The bourbon flavors here are really well integrated and are more spicy than sweet, more about toasted wood than vanilla. This version seems drier than the draft standard Earl I had the other night at the Farmhouse event.

Mar 07, 2011
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doremite from Vermont

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Jul 02, 2013
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ColForbinBC from New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a snifter
Big thanks to Jebus3513 for this one

Pours an ink black with a large, fluffy, tan head, which, considering the barrel aging, was a welcome sight. Excellent retention and loads of lace along the glass.

Bitter dark roast coffee grounds and dark chocolate dominate the nose with layers of bourbon, toasted oak and vanilla round everything out.

The dark coffee grounds are leading the charge as the bitterness lingers. Bourbon, toasted oak and light vanilla take a bit of a back seat while the bitter coffee, oats and licorice take over the palate. I am a little disappointed in the barrel aging, as it never really presents itself as a force.

Medium body, lacking in some overall heft, but still smooth and creamy. Carbonation is on point.

Overall this is a nice oatmeal stout with some interesting things going on, but it never fully won me over. I like the barrel aging, but it such a small component of the big picture it almost gets lost in the shuffle.

Jul 26, 2011
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Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +22.9%

Nov 23, 2011
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ygtbsm94 from Utah

2.75/5  rDev -32.4%

Aug 25, 2014
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mendvicdog from Maryland

3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Aug 11, 2014
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largadeer from California

3.5/5  rDev -14%

Jan 14, 2013
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yourefragile from District of Columbia

3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle shared with Adam and Jeff.

Near black with a light tan head that fades to a thin collar with minimal lacing. Roasty, slightly acidic, burnt coffee aroma with mild bourbon barrel sweetness. Flavor is fairly light, dominated by roast and stale coffee with a mild, sweet vanilla, molasses and bourbon finish. Smooth, medium bodied, light carbonation. I enjoy regular Earl much more than this iteration of the BA version as the barrel doesn't seem to be very well integrated with the beer.

Nov 23, 2011
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Chris. Served in a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A - A finger of tan foam settles to a thick collar, leaving wisps on top and spotty lacework. Black body with a glint of red-brown at the fringes.

S - Coffee, wood, charred malts, dark chocolate, and oaky vanilla that emerges as it warms up. Whiskey character is present but fairly mild - is this one of those re-purposed Utopias barrels?

T - Taste seems more bourbon/spirit forward, and also has more chocolate sweetness. Less char and coffee ground character than the aroma for sure, but still plenty of oak and vanilla.

M - Body is a bit light for the speculated ~9%. Carbonation is medium-low and quite pleasant, and the texture is quite smooth and creamy as oatmeal is wont to do. Lightly tannic finish that evokes barrels and coffee grounds.

D - It's an extremely well-executed barrel-aged coffee stout, and its indicative of the overall quality that comes out of Shaun Hill's workshop. I had a similar beer from Rock Bottom - Chicago a few weeks ago and this is a definite step up. Would gladly have again in the future.

May 15, 2011
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rtepiak from Poland

4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


a well blended porter with a balance of coffee, english mineral notes, chocolate and coffee. coffee is added. a firm but not excessive and dominating amount. looks as it should with a nice head. solid nose of bourbon vanilla... and hints of tobacco notes. palate of bourbon warmth, tobacco, coffee. nice and cream but not an elixir... the accent is turned by the bourbon-izatioin. not a word but populate. a different act but something that is smooth which counts a lot in this case.

May 27, 2011
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madtowndmb1 from Wisconsin

4.27/5  rDev +4.9%

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

Oct 11, 2014
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

Aug 10, 2014
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BarrytheBear from Wisconsin

3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Oct 10, 2014
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JAHMUR from Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Nov 24, 2011
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stonequarrywest from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Feb 08, 2012
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Kelp from New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Mar 03, 2013
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spycow from Illinois

4/5  rDev -1.7%

Dec 13, 2011
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Gtreid from Florida

4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another rarity opened by urwithdave during stout night.

A: Black with reddish hues around the edge. What head does appear fades rather quickly.

A: Big roasted malts with hints of chocolate and coffee. Bourbon barrels bring the typical vanilla and caramel notes.

T: Barrel is not overpowering, I still am able to pick up on the nuiances of the base stout. Chocolate and coffee with roasted malts. Vanilla, caramel, and a nice earthy profile as well. Finishes dry, with a noticable alcohol heat.

M: HF does a nice job with their barrel aging, again, this is not oily and slick. Heavy body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is nice for a brew like this. Overall, I thought this was one of the highlights of the night that included some fantastic brews. Well done HF. Skal.

Mar 15, 2011
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Reagan1984 from Massachusetts

3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to BearsonAcid for providing this in a trade a couple months back.

Pours with a 2 finger tan head that stays for a while, then vanishes almost in an instant. Funny how quickly it went once it decided to exit the scene. The beer is a dull dark brown with just a hint of light getting through at the edge. Only a spot of lacing.

Aroma is nice. Bourbon & coffee dominate with lots of straight wood notes and a touch of alcohol. Seems to be coming from the bourbon vs. the beer itself.

Coffee (unsweetened) a shot of wood (oak) and a hint of bourbon. More bourbon aroma than flavor. Interesting. A touch of sweetness would have made all the difference here. Rather dry finish. Roasty coffee comes back late.

Prickly dry carbonation. Medium body.. I would have expected the oatmeal to provide a little more softness in the mouth feel.

This is a pretty good beer, but I was hoping for a little more. A touch of sweetness and a slightly more rounded mouth feel would have been nice.

Jun 25, 2011
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brokensail from California

3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Unlabeled bottle courtesy of Todd.

A: Pours almost black in color with a couple fingers of off-white head.

S: Lots of coffee and coffee grounds on the aroma. Some dark chocolate and roast with only a little bit of oak/barrel. Maybe a hint of acidity from the roast. Faintly sweet, too.

T: The coffee flavor is quite strong on the palate, too. A bit more chocolate and roast than were present on the nose, and a more pronounced oak and vanilla flavor. Not too much spirit character.

M: Medium on both body and carbonation.

O: A pretty decent stout, but it didn't blow me away.

Jun 21, 2011
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to sisuspeed for opening yet another Hill Farmstead bottle at the Rosso release. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours nearly black with a nice tan head that sticks around for a bit before falling into a nice collar. The nose immediately brings some nice bourbon as well as some chocolate. The oak plays in very well and adds a bit of a vanilla character. Slight roast in the background. The flavor is an excellent mixture of bourbon, chocolate, oak, and mild roast. Really well blended. Hard to beieve this is such a young beer. Mouthfeel is incredible smooth with moderate carbonation. Another fantastic brew from Shaun. Thanks again, John.

Apr 20, 2011
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Verecund from Texas

4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black (with the tiniest bit of mahogany hues at the edge of the glass) with one finger of mocha head that recedes to a thick lens. Lacing is thin, but dense.

Lovely espresso nose. Rich fudge, roasted malts that evoke the tiniest bit of charred oak, and a pungent sweet bourbon and vanilla aroma à la KBS. Coffee through and through.

Opens with roasted coffee beans, along with a caramel nuttiness found in espresso roasted beans and burnt toast. The barrel contributes a nice bit of spiciness mid-palate furthered by an earthy and spicy bitterness on the finish - finally, the coffee peeks through once more on the tail end of the finish. It's warming.

Quite dry. Lower carbonation (unlike most HF beers, it falls a little flat here), Earl is creamy and medium-bodied.

Definitely a different beast than most coffee stouts. It has little of the sweet bourbon typical for such stouts. I like this, but I'm not in love with it.

Apr 08, 2011
Earl (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 63 ratings