Hill Farmstead Brewery

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #227
Ranked #898
4.34 | pDev: 6.68%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: One of our most coveted Nietzschean narratives, Genealogy of Morals, inspires our bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout of the same name. We present to you the opportunity to enjoy the non barrel-aged base beer, simply named Genealogy. brewed with malted wheat and locally roasted coffee, then conditioned in stainless steel. Dark, rich and smooth, its complex flavors belie the singular vision with which we create it - echoing the work that inspires it.
Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 272 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Cyoung1313
Cyoung1313 from Ohio

3.96/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle from 2018. Pours an inky black with full tan head. Grains and coffee dominate the nose. These are accompanied in taste by chocolate. Medium mouthfeel and nicely carbonated. Overall a solid brew from Hill.

Nov 07, 2020
Photo of Buck89
Buck89 from Tennessee

4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An opaque dark brown color with a thick and sturdy tan head, reflecting the wheat presence. The aroma was fairly pronounced for this style and presented roasted grains, milk chocolate, floral hop notes, and faint coffee. The taste largely followed suit with a thick and rich chocolate presence that was balanced with soft, floral hop bitterness. The coffee flavor was subtle and most noticeable on the finish, after the chocolatey malt notes faded away. The feel was full and velvety. Slightly sweet with a slight warming on the finish, but not boozy. Overall this was an outstanding Imperial Stout, but the coffee seemed to be dominated by the chocolate notes. Quite alright with me.

Dec 15, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 2/10/16; drank 5/13/16 @ Golgi Apparatus.

Black/brown appearance.

A nice, noisy dark tan head which quickly dissipated; minimal lace.

Fresh flowers, honey & milk chocolate notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Cherry & milk chocolate flavors up front; fresh flower & honey notes on the finish. No booze heat.

A bit sweet (and where's the coffee?) but this was above average & interesting.

Mar 31, 2019
Photo of kevanb
kevanb from Illinois

3.64/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle, dated February 21, 2018, poured into a Hill Farmstead etched Rona wine glass. Enjoyed on 11.24.18, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a jet black color, a bit thin out of the bottle with a massive tan head, excellent retention and lacing. The aroma is pleasant, strong roasted grain, toasted wheat with dark bitter chocolate, light stone fruits and a touch of mild coffee that is lightly acidic. The flavors are very roasty, lots of toasted wheat, bitter dark chocolate, acrid coffee that does have a mild bourbonesque presence and a lingering touch stone fruit. The mouthfeel is okay, medium body that is very lively and carbonated, a bit thinner than I'd like for nearly 10% ABV, coats well and finishes nicely but with a drying sensation.

Verdict: A good coffee stout from Hill Farmstead. For my tastes, too roasty, a bit too harsh and the coffee gets lost in this one. It's pretty sessionable for the ABV, which is nice, but all in all, a good beer but nothing special from Hill Farmstead.

Jan 02, 2019
Photo of SomethingClever
SomethingClever from Ohio

4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was a small four ounce pour at the brewery of the original 2011 batch.

A: dark brown and black body with a huge creamy light mocha colored head that stick around.

S: Lots of chocolate and dark fruit like figs and raisins.

T: More if the same lots of depth here. It starts off just a mouthful of thick syrupy figs and candied fruit. Then transitions into light grainy chocolate and finishes with a little more of the fruit.

M: Syrupy and full

O: This has held up remarkably well for being 7 years old. I suspect the deep fruit flavors developed as the years went by.

Oct 07, 2018
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

550ml bottle poured into an oversized wine glass
2018 Vintage

A- pours pitch black in color with a two-finger creamy and silky khaki colored head that has great retention and leaves a bif of lacing behind

S- malty and rich aroma with notes of chocolate malt, caramel malt, bitter chocolate, herbal & earthy coffee that gives just a hint of green pepper. Undertones of toasted wheat, anise, vanilla creme & charred malt that compliments the coffee

T- charred malty notes up front gives notes of dark chocolate, caramel/toffee, molasses & anise, Mid-palate brings out the coffee addition and adds some earthy and green pepper notes, along with vanilla whipping cream. The finish gives more charred malt, as well as chocolate and caramel into the linger

M- heavy body with moderate carbonation produces a thick and creamy mouthfeel that continues into a silky and velvety finish

O- in the flooded market of barrel aged beers, sometimes it is nice to have a simple, well made coffee stout. This is certainly one of them

Aug 19, 2018
Photo of AyatollahGold
AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

So this will be my first brew from Hill Farmstead. Let's see what's in store. Pouring from a 500 ml. bottle into a tulip glass. This beer pours out a beautiful coffee like dark brown and forms a creamy caramel colored crown. The smell brings a roastiness that is like fresh brewed coffee. The first taste I was amazed at how creamy and smooth this was while still letting that roastiness go all the way through. Very nice coffee flavor that lingers on the lips with a vanilla like sweetness. The grain comes through in the after taste. The feel is even on the coffee side, not too thick but just full of flavor. Overall, you can just tell how well this beer is made.

Jul 14, 2018
Photo of Hyptochrons
Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

had this on tap. beautiful looking brew, aromas and palate are matched nicely and overall this one is very rich, roasty, and smooth. brings some dark chocolate, toasted malt, and sweet molasses/sugary qualities. mellow amount of bitterness from the hops and the roasty coffee and malt notes are balancing the sweetness beautifully. full mouthfeel is velvety smooth and overall this one is complex and rich while still being quite drinkable.

Jun 03, 2018
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I only wish I'd had this on a cold winter's night. But still, an amazing stout. Deep brown head, complex flavors with a nice bite of wheat. The aftertaste doesn't just last, it marathons. Delicious! A wee bit of bitterness creeps in as it warms, but that's quibbling. Sensational stout.

May 12, 2018
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.79/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Obsidian black with a large, dark tan foam dome that settles to a persistent lumpy blanket leaving an insane array of leopard print lace completely decorating the entire glass.

The aroma is an unfortunate misstep, with an old school American hop profile of Brillo Pad, pine wood and rug. A deep roast and dark coffee is present, but far in the background, as more almond and chocolatey-ness arises as it warms, somewhat successfully leaving the hops behind, thankfully.

Taste is bitter coffee and a strong, savory dark roast with cocoa and toast and even a hint of smoky maple. Hops become slightly woody and cedary, as a backing peanut butter wafer emerges with time.

Slick and smooth with a medium-thin body, the mild minimal carbonation brings you to a finish that is chewy and paper dry.

Apr 29, 2018
Photo of ManapuaMan
ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Gifted a bottle dated in February and consumed while on vacation in mid-April.

Black body with a tan head that lingers for a few minutes before slipping away; like dark roast coffee with a head.

Aroma is coffee-forward but not imbalanced or acrid; there’s a rich, robust roasted malt aroma complemented by dark chocolate and cocoa powder.

Taste is espresso, fudge, bitter chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark roast cold press, and a light char.

Just nails the feel - that classic juxtaposition of a big, flavorful beer with a smooth, somehow soft feel on the palate. Fantastic beer.

Apr 15, 2018
Photo of bobv
bobv from Vermont

4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 06/15/17:
Moderate pour yields a one+ inch mocha head over a dark brown body with sticky lacing. Nose of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bourbon, caramel, vanilla, and espresso. Flavors follow aromas almost exactly with some honey and malted milk as well with a feel of velvet. Jeezum crow, what a nice beer. Overall, a special experience for any stout/porter lover. Cheers!

Earlier rating from 02/25/16:

4.32/5 rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Jun 16, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a black color with a slim less than finger’s white to off white foamy head that dissipated at a nice pace. The smell had a nice crisp to sweet to bitter to roasty coffee/cocoa bean blissful sweetness. Light vanilla opens up the aroma nicely. The taste was moderately sweet with a delicate roasty, slightly wheaty/grainy flavor. Light grainy sweet roasty coffee aftertaste. Dry sweet wheaty/grainy finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a nice sweet/roasty balanced texture to feel. Good sipper, almost sessionable. Overall, I dig the wheat that HF put in this to give a bit more body and "oomph" that a lot of people tend to look for. Coffee portion gives a really nice aroma and taste. I’d have again.

Jun 08, 2017
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp from New York

4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick and dark with 3 fingers of mocha head. Great retention and lace. The nose is loaded with molasses, pumpernickel and medium roast coffee. Licorice, molasses, burnt toast, and coffee through the flavored profile.

Apr 02, 2017
Photo of KevSal
KevSal from California

4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500ml into a fw teku

looks great in the glass! nice thick head, completely dark

the nose is heavy roast and some malty sweetness. not much coffee

flavor follows the nose, lots of roastiness upfront followed by some sweetness and pretty good. faint coffee at the very end, definitly mellow coffee. comes out more as it warms

mouthfeel is real nice as usual for hf, no alch but i don't know the abv. thick in the medium category

overall this is pretty good, in glad i got to try it but won't be trading for it anymore. your better off grain g a 4pack of narwhal. it's well done tho. would make a nice extra. pretty crazy what this becomes out of the barrel tho!

i'm not sure what it is but hf hasn't been knocking them out for me lately

Mar 24, 2017
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared with the guys.

Dark brown body with a quarter inch of beige collar. Roast, chocolate. Hill Farmstead truly has a unique aroma and flavor profile. Coffee rind, roast, chocolate. Delicious.

Dec 24, 2016
Photo of Mpontiakos
Mpontiakos from Virginia

5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured out of a bottle into a Teku glass by BrianS52 at thebluejerzzzz's house. Clever mix of malt, wheat, and coffee. Very balanced. BrianS52 great recommendation.

Sep 25, 2016
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson from Virginia

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer pours an oily thick, jet black coloring, with a flurry of carbonation throughout the body feeding a low profile, bubbly, tan head. Aromas are robust, with roasted, bitter coffee, molasses, subtle char and woody notes, bitter cacao nibs, and a toasted grain characteristic. Very rich and heavy nose. Flavors are heavily roasted and richly sweet forward, with a huge blast of bitter roasted coffee blending amazingly with rich milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate. All of this accented with notes of smoke and charred wood, as well as hints of molasses, toffee, and burnt caramel. Amazingly layered flavor profiles, opening more and more as you drink. The body is velvety smooth and heavy, almost chewy, but still remaining slick and drinkable. Wow! The aftertaste is a bit more of the coffee and char, but still with the heavy sweet and rich characteristics. Cloying, slick, coating finish, with an appropriately long linger on the palate. This is a fantastic beer!

Sep 20, 2016
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim from New York

4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16oz. capped bottle into a Surly teku. Shared with schen9303.

Really a luscious looking beer. Nose is coffee, fudge, cocoa powder, chocolate and roasted malt. Deep and chewy. Flavor is of anise, logan, chocolate, fudge and molasses. Some dark fruit mixed with cocoa sweetness throughout. Syrup and more fudge at the end. Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Slick and oily in the mouth and soft going down. A velvety finish.

Geneaology reminds me of what Hill Farmstead is capable of even though some of their regular offerings have started to fall off a little bit in recent years. Certainly a beer worth trying.

Jul 28, 2016
Photo of CaptCleveland
CaptCleveland from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle from trade, bottled 2/10/2016 per label.

Dark black, opaque elixir poured into snifter. Two finger mocha head, thick, large bubbles, maintains rim as brew is tasted. Thick lacing.

Chocolate, char, earth, oat and subtle pine with mild coffee. Really the malted wheat crushes the aroma.

The chocolate, oat, malt and char predominate. Dark fruits and molasses in the middle. There is coffee at the back end but subtle.

Smooth, medium body, mildly carbonated. Slick.

This is a nice complex brew but isn't my style. The malt, oat and char are here in spades but the coffee is muddled.

Jun 11, 2016
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Roasted malts, figs, bitter dark chocolate, cocoa, milk chocolate and coffee. Soft mouthfeel. Medium bodied. Balanced sweet and bitterness. Dry. Not bursting with flavor, but it's balanced. Think a European style stout.

Jun 09, 2016
Photo of John_M
John_M from Oregon

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really liked this beer. While it was overshadowed at a recent bottle share, I thought it had a lot going for it.

The beer pours a blackish brown color, with good head retention and lacing. The beer was viscous looking, and that was replicated on the palate as well. On both the nose and palate, I picked up plenty of coffee, vanilla, and light dark chocolate. The beer smelled as if it would be pretty rich and sweet, and in fact it was. However, the sweetness wasn't over the top, and the mouthfeel was fairly full, very smooth, and almost creamy. The finish was long, with no sense of heat or bite from the alcohol.

Really an impressive effort from the folks at HF.

May 19, 2016
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu from Romania

4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap. Black color with mocha head. Aroma has dark fruits and dark malts, chocolate, coffee but also a good dose of hops. Taste follows with sweet coffee and dark fruits but finishes with a nice hoppy bitterness. Body is heavy with smooth carbonation. A really well done imperial stout with some good coffee and hops.

May 17, 2016
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tan head. Black color.

Typical hf house stout flavors. Roasted malts and some char. Chocolate. Caramel and toffee. Molasses.

Medium to full bodied.

The hf stouts haven't been my thing and this one doesn't do it for me.

Apr 15, 2016
Photo of CayseyW
CayseyW from Connecticut

4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'll admit, my first impression of this beer was one of disappointment. It pours beautifully with a black body and mahogany head that laces the glass nicely. However, the wheat flattens the aroma when you first pour it, but it opens up once the beer nears room temp. At that point you pick up coffee, dark chocolate and dark fruits. The taste was difficult at first as well, indicating that this beer really needs to be a little warmer to fully enjoy (not like that's super unusual). Once it was an appropriate temp the coffee really shines and it finishes with really fruity dark chocolate flavors. Love the body on this beer—it's thick and full but drinkable. Overall this isn't my favorite imperial stout but it's still an excellent brew. I'm going to cellar one and am hopeful it will improve.

Update: Drank one a year later and found it to be phenomenally better. The flavor profile didn't change a lot, but I would describe it as much rounder and smooth.

Apr 04, 2016
Genealogy from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 272 ratings