Daybreak | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout brewed with Citrus at Hill Farmstead Brewery with the company, hardwork, and input of our good friend Mikkel Borg Bjergsø of Mikkeller.

Added by bark on 09-28-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 327
Photo of CliffBrake
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black color with a small light tan head that maintains a slick of foam and leaves many small spots of lacing on the glass.

Aroma of chocolate and roasted malt with orange and a touch of alcohol. Very aromatic and complex.

Chocolate and orange are the primary flavors, and great complimentary flavors at that. Roasty with a tart acidity.

Velvety and creamy body with a bit of tart juiciness to balance the smoothness. A great mouthfeel for sipping and contemplating on its own, even independent of the flavors.

Decadent and intense. This is a great beer for sipping and enjoying slowly over the course of an evening. An awesome experience. I first had this on tap at the harvest festival last fall and it impressed me as one of the greatest beers of 2011. Now with a few more months in the bottle, it still has the power.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes, on draft at HF Harvest Festival.

Viscous black pour with a thick, dark brown head. Great retention. Aroma is rich blend of roast and chocolate malt with citrus peel and light citrus hops. Molasses, burnt sugar, citrus zest and pine also present throughout. Crisp, smooth and creamy body with moderate carbonation. Flavor is remarkably unique and unlike anything expected. Initially typical stout flavors of roast malt, ash, molasses, dark chocolate and brown sugar before finishing with a zesty and fruity orange punch (nothing like an IPA however). Somehow, it all works in perfect balance and this is one of the most unique and enjoyable stouts I've had recently.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A buddy took a photo of the first glass of this beer to hit our table. It was posted on Facebook and our group of friends have been admiring it all day today. It’s a perfect looking beer. Just beautiful.

Thick creamy tan head with awesome retention. In same lacing. High Sheen black color.

Aroma is of chocolate, dark roasted malt. For quite a while I was commenting that I could not detect any orange notes. This slightly changed as the beer warmed considerably. There is a VERY slight sense of citrus peel oil. But that’s about it.

Tons of chocolate notes some dark fruit. As noted above, would not have noted orange in anyway without knowing this. Also, could detect some citrus oil later, but very mild. Nice rounded roasted malt flavors without any harshness.

Very smooth and silky mouth feel. Rather bold body.

Very nice beer. Hill Farmstead’s consistency in building these beers is rather impressive.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Cheers to SneezyAchew!

A: Pours near black with 3 fingers of dense and frothy milk chocolate head that slowly faded into a thick and lasting film. Solid sheets of sticky lacing were left down the glass.
S: I definitely get notes of the orange, with a little bit of chocolate coming through as well. This smells like those orange flavored chocolate orange slices that come in the foil.
T: Much less citrus than the nose. Dark chocolate, coffee, mocha, and a hint of grassy hops come through in addition to the orange. Dark chocolate really stands out, and the finish is full of it. The aftertaste is bitter and full of hops and roasted grains.
M: Very soft and creamy full body with a rich and smooth mouthfeel and velvety carbonation. This beer goes down smooth and easy and feels great on my palate.
O: Great head, great lace, great smell, great flavor and great feel. This was a wonderful stout on all accounts. Thanks again for hooking it up Mike!

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Photo of Jeffo
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle from jedwards in a recent trade. Cheers man. These HF beers were well enjoyed.

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
Collaboration with Mikkeller
Brewed with oranges

APPEARANCE: Pours out black, pretty sludgy, and yields a two finger, medium looking, creamy, fluffy, tan head with very good retention. Jet black body with no visible carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full cap and sticks to the sides of the glass a little. A slight wisp and ring remaind until the end, leaving dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking.

SMELL: Lots of citrus on the nose still. Citrus hop notes and orange peel for sure. Some roasted malts and dark chocolate in there as well, but lots of citrus, lemon and orange aromas steal the show. Touches of espress in the back as well. Very bold and enticing.

TASTE: Some roasted malts, smoky notes, and dark chocolate up front, but some citrus hops up there as well. Lots of citrus, lemon, and definite orange peel at the swallow. Bold and lingering finish of roasted espresso, cocoa powder, and lots of orange and citrus flavors hang around nicely. Strong bitterness as well. Very flavorful and interesting for sure. Lots of citrus flavors and hop qualities, but still a big roasted malt, chocolaty backbone.

PALATE: Fuller body with medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes with a bit of a hop bite. Relatively dry finish. Nice, full, creamy feel.

OVERALL This is great. I normally don't really fall for overly hoppy stouts, but this one had a huge roasted, chocolaty, malty backbone to support it. The orange is still holding strong as well, and is in perfect balance with base beer at this point. With plethora of complex flavors and a nice, big, creamy palate to support it all, this one is definitely worth seeking out. Thanks again jedwards. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a HFS Tulip glass

A: Pours black with nearly a finger of mocha brown head. The head disappears rather quick to a stead layer of big brown bubbles on the surface. Just a touch of lacing, good alcohol legs.

S: Chocolate fudge, deeply roasted malts, citrus (chocolate covered oranges), a little coffee, dark fruits.

T: Heavily roasted malts that verge on char, somewhat dark chocolate, coffee & oats. A fudgey chocolate mocha bomb initial impression. Citrus is in the background with mainly orange and doesn't appear to have that much bitterness. Moderate dark caramel/molasses sweetness that hints licorice. Alcohol is really well hidden. Finish is chocolate covered oranges with lingering coffee, char, and dark fruits. Fairly complex and absolutely delicious.

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation. Very smooth and a little chewy. Drinks incredibly easily for over 10%.

O: I had this on tap fresh at the Fall Harvest Festival and while I enjoyed it, it seems a little too bitter and astringent for my taste. 2+ months in the bottle has eased the hop bite and bitterness while retaining most of the citrus hop flavor. Well balanced, complex, and delicious. Another homerun from Shaun. I'm really not trying to hype all his brews, but I can't help but be blown away by a lot of his beers.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

nice balanced large porter without a heavy note. when first poured has that orange chocolate. you know the kind. the one that you pound and it splits into slices. this is properly doughy. it adds dimension but not syrup sugars. velvet. orange is quite evident... but malt complex. chocolate, toasty dry hint, opens up into something a bit more smoky. savory sweet balance. not that same aged hop aroma note but resin. aged i'm sure would have some interesting fruit cake notes. perfect amount of christmas but not christmas. looking forward to the release.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, dark black with small cap of brown bubbles. Scent contains solid roasted and charred grain, light bits of dark bitter chocolate and a strong fresh squeezed orange note. Strong roast leads taste and chocolate, coffee and char accompany, big juicy fresh orange and orange peel, light bit of sugary sweetness with moderate bitterness join the profile, ends with a splash of dark fruit. Fuller side of medium bodied, smooth and creamy and finishes dry. What a unique brew... must be sampled to be appreciated, goes beyond a simple highly hopped stout with the strong orange notes.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received from Aberration. Thank you for all the effort that went into getting me a bottle of this, Nick. I had to come out of my Mikkeller boycott to trade for this.

In my Great Divide tulip, this beer sits a picture perfect black with a dense, creamy dark brown head with excellent retention. The head slowly falls off to a disk, leaving nice, dense lacing. The nose is nice and robust without being ashy or astringent, which happens all too easily. Robust, mildly smoky, a little vanilla and some caramel are present. I guess this has been around for a while, the citrus peel is a little hidden in the mix, lending a brightening spritz to the nose quite unlike what a hop would add. A creamy note presents a base to tie the nose all together. Pretty excellent IMO.

The beer really shines on the palate. With a moderate roasty, dark chocolate malt character with some caramel and a little coffee and cream, this is quite robust and well-done. A touch of licorice root appears on the finish, along with a citrus oiliness . The flavor of mildly sweetened dark( ~70%) chocolate (this aspect is *perfect* IMO) is bookended by a little grainy bitterness and a creamy sweetness. Despite its relative youth, I the hops aren't as assertive as you'd expect, especially on the flavor, considering that the who's who of currently favored hops including Citra, Galaxy and Summit are on the bill. While I do wish there was a little bit more of a grainy bitterness (by way of either black patent or roasted barley), this beer is very enjoyable as is. The oats help keep the mouthfeel ridiculously smooth, and the carbonation is soft and creamy. This is a very creamy and smooth imperial oatmeal stout.

An excellent beer, a wonderfully executed hybrid between the more traditional imperials (of which aged Expedition and Abyss are my favorites) and the newer age stouts a la Eclipse or Black Tuesday. Highly recommended, though I'm not sure this beer necessarily needs to age. Drink fresh IMO. And if you can, please pair this with the Rogue River blue wrapped in pear brandy soaked grape leaves, you will not be left wanting. The combination of the brandy (especially!), the funk and the creaminess from the cheese and the flavors from the stout is simply marvelous.

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Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice fluffy 1 finger head of darker color, fades slowly with nice lacing, over pitch black colored beer and some yeast chunks swimming at the bottom.

Nose is an imperial stout alright. Nice dark malts, not really any roast, but some darker crystal, and a bit of chocolate. There is plenty of caramel and milk chocolate with a hint of darker baker's chocolate, and a candy bar like essence. Light hops, bringing hints of floral and grassy earthy hops, and a bit of citrus. Just a hint of booze as well.

Taste is again very imperial stout like. Dark fluffy malts, with plenty of caramel and a bit of toffee. Just a hint of a roasty malt flavor but not much. Then chocolate, not a huge chocolate kick, but enough, with some milk chocolate candy flavor, and some dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Bitterness is present, with a decent bitterness, some from the charred malts, but more from some light earthy, hint spicy hop, and a bit of citrus. The citrus seems more like it comes from the hops than actual citrus brewed in the beer, but there is a hint of orange peel. It also brings a light fluffy oat like taste, with a candy chocolate oatmeal flavor. Finish is smooth and drier but still semi sweet and sticky, bitterness ramps quickly on the finish with an earthy almost spicy chewy hop flavor, and light citrus, and a smooth chocolate caramel lingering flavor with the hops. The booze really isn't there, it's surprisingly drinkable.

Mouth is full bodied, creamy and smooth, rich, decent carb for the style, and barely any booze warmth.

Overall wow, very nice stout, drinks like a 7% instead of 10.5%. The bitterness and the hop flavor balance well with the light sweetness, dark malt flavors, and no overpowering roasty or burnt flavors. Just a hint of citrus which is good since I was worried it would taste like a chocolate covered orange peel. Another winner from HF!


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Photo of Phelps
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Shared by ejyoung and poured into a tulip. This stout brewed with oranges is a collaboration between Hill Farmstead and Mikkeler. It boasts 1,000 ICUs, a made-up measurement for the amount of citrus in a brew.

Looks like a milkshake. The beer below is a deep black; the one-inch head is the creamiest, densest foam and the color of melted milk chocolate. It eventually recedes, leaving meandering trails of lace.

The ICU measurement may be warranted. Big orange notes in the nose, along with alcohol, cocoa, dark chocolate and toast.

Great flavor. Bittersweet cocoa nibs, a touch of toast, orange peel and sweet oats in the front. The swallow brings the rounder malt flavors that really smooth out the edges and add complexity. Vanilla, chocolate malt, orange slices, burnt toast. A lovely blend.

As expected, the body’s creamy like a milkshake, a nice medium-full. It fills the mouth up as it moves. Very soft nudges of carbonation add a little life to the brew, as does a quick heat of alcohol heat in the nostrils.

Daybreak is a better Black Butte XXIII. Creamy, smooth-flavored, delish.

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Photo of MexicanSkittel
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just opened this and am really enjoying what I've found inside.
Poured at cellar temp into a crystal tulip.

An inky black semi viscous beer with a dark brown with an orange tinge head rests about a half inch thick.

Strong dark chocolate, bittersweet, orange zest, smoke, espresso, all held together with soft oak.

The espresso and bitter dark chocolate take over the palate, with the orange zest pulling down the finish. It a little tart finish which cuts some of the sweet tones from the beginning.

This was a little lighter in the mouth than I anticipated from the viscosity, but since the carbonation is pretty decsent it kinda softens things out.

Overall I like this,
I'm having it with an espresso stout cake for desert so it's pairing very well. I like the addition of the orange as its a subtle but still noticeable characteristic of the beer.

Thank you ashleymiller for the bottle.

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Photo of cbutova
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to Emma for sharing this.

January 2014 date on the label.

A- Poured from the 12oz bottle to four glasses for the tasting with a pitch black body. Light mocha tan head forms to about a finger even on a small pour with a frothy texture. Head retention is decent as it falls to a small ring leaving spotty lace as well as a few patches.

S- Deep roast malts make up basically the entire nose of the brew for me. Dark roast maltiness, dark bitter cocoa powder, toasted oats, cereal grains and a tiny bit of an ashy burnt quality. Fair amount of hops and citrus round it all out, not sure if all of that comes from the citrus but it is nice and fresh feeling.

T- Follows the nose with a great base Imperial Stout. Roast and toast qualities really come out in all capacities with a breadth of flavors coming to mind. Notes of charred dark grains, cereal, toasted oats, rich dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, licorice and caramel. The citrus is trumped by the roast grains at first but starts to open more and more with warmth and it really adds a new dimension to stouts for me. Citrus zest oil hits the palate in the finish and compliments the deep roast grains. Slight liqueur edge that opens a lot with time.

MF- Not the thickest of all Imperial Stout bodies for me but at a moderately high chewiness after all. Carbonation at a decently high level which usually isn't that great in big stouts but without it the citrus might not shine like it does. Roasty and citrus peel bitterness in the finish.

At a certain point in the experience this beer hits a warmth where the zest, barrel and massive roast base stout open up and shine together. I personally think each element is done well and they balance and work off of each other. Another fresh, delicious HF brew, no surprise anymore.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jedwards for sharing this brew. Pours an inky black with a loose, mocha-colored head that quickly dissipates into a cluster of bubbles. Nose expresses citrus, dark malts (chocolate), char, molasses, a slight coffee character and some piny notes. Taste expresses a light charred quality and mocha flavors that slightly favor the coffee over the chocolate. The citrus present in the nose also nicely complements the other qualities without being overly assertive. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a carbonation that falls just short of crisp. The citrus also adds a nice feel without being too much in the foreground. Overall, this is a really interesting offering. I have yet to try a bad beer from this brewer; I just wish his offerings were more accessible. That said, the char and coffee flavors in this brew are really nicely complemented by the citrus.

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Photo of Verecund
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First beer sampled at the Hill Farmstead Harvest Festival. October 1, 2011.

Pours black as night with a dense, fallow two finger head.

The nose features bitter dark chocolate, molasses, and dried fruit esters, alongside some substantial roasted maltiness. Pithy citrus bitterness. Fresh orange (and orange zest) sings potently on the finish.

Similar to the aroma. Rich and sweet dark maltiness (especially dark chocolate, caramel, and then roasted coffee beans), but a hefty dose of bitter roasted coffee and burnt toast tears through the sweetness on the mid-palate. And then, wonderfully, there's the fresh citrus on the mid and late palate. I'm not sure if any orange juice was added straight to this, but it tastes like it. Bitter, with a hint of astringency on the finish.

Medium to medium-full bodied with just under medium carbonation. Creamy and full.

An exceptional beer. I see this as a kind of imperial hybrid between a robust and Baltic porter, but it's unlike any beer I've had before. Very well integrated and executed, if not a touch too roasty.

NOTE: From a force-carbonated keg, so appearance and mouthfeel may differ from the forthcoming bottles.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. Thanks to Kirchhoff for this bottle!

Appearance - Pours with a nice mocha head. It settles into nice swirls of foam atop a black body until it finally fades into a ring. The foam clings to the glass.

Smell - I've been reading reviews where people are saying that the orange flavor is an afterthought, but I think it's fully integrated into the stout/porter aroma. Huge hop presence, which certainly blurs the line between what is hops and what is orange, but the orange is distinct from the hops. Smells like a black IPA with a giant chocolate backbone and a nice aroma of orange peels.

Taste - Huge hop profile at first. Citrus hops. This feels like it was dry hopped like an IPA. Chocolate in the background that eventually comes to the forefront. Distinct orange flavor throughout the drink. It neither fades nor becomes more prevalent. It adds to the flavor nicely. Really terrific.

Mouthfeel - It's got a bitter finish, but it's negligible considering the hop presence of this stout. It tastes nowhere near 10% ABV. I keep taking sips to wrap my taste buds around the citrus flavors and the alcohol never makes an impact.

Overall - This is great. Definitely something that needs to be consumed fresh. It has probably already faded, but it's still delicious. I could go for a touch more roasted malts to really bring out the complexity of the base stout, but the oranges are a great touch. Yet another exceptional HF beer.

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Oily black with a big 3-4 finger brown/mocha head from aggressive pour

S - Chocolate, anise, fairly sweet smelling, good amount of citrus.

T - Roasty, chocolate, anise, some slight espresso flavors, a bit of citrus, good amount of bitterness, a touch of alcohol, molasses/brown sugar in the finish.

M - Full, very smooth, fair amount of carbonation.

O - Great, looking forward to having this again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by yourefragile. Thanks Michael.

The beer is dark brown, nearing black. The beige head is nearly a half inch thick, fading to an oily thin layer atop the beer. The aroma is classic Mikkeller. Dark roast, oak, booze, chocolate. Roasty and smooth on the palate with a nice hop finish. Lots of chocolate and bitter roast in the flavor. Medium bodied with solid carbonation. A very good stout, I would definitely have this again.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into a couple of glasses. This is another one courtesy of Stakem.

Pours black with a thin frothy head of milk chocolate foam that flares up quite nicely when swirled, dotting the sides of the glass with a good bit of spotty lace. The aroma smells of bitter orange citrus, roasted coffee, cocoa and a ripe herbal feel. The orange probably has the strongest presence here.

The taste has a bitter orange rind character to it that stands out against a backbone of flavorful coffee and sweet notes of chocolate and caramel. The finish is dry and burnt with some lingering pithiness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a slick and creamy feel that dots the tongue a bit with a touch of crispness. This is extremely smooth feeling overall for 11% ABV and I probably never would have guessed that it was that high without looking at the bottle.

I dug this. It’s got a pretty nice Double Stout base to it as is but then that orange zest added an interesting dynamic to this that worked rather well with those other flavors. And I still can’t believe that this is 10.5% ABV. This is a smooth, flavorful and quite unique sipper for sure.

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Photo of bashiba
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark black with a thick dark tan head.

The smell is a nice misture of chocolate and citrus, nice fresh hops, a touc of orange.

A nicely hoppy imperial stout, the chocolate mixes well with the oranges. Nice contrast of citrus and dark malts.

The mothfeel is a nice mixture of creamy and resiny, thick and oily.

Drinkable and very tasty, more like a really good black iipa

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Photo of jaasen64
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle thanks to SneazyAchew. Poured into CCB snifter.

A- Pours an opaque dark black with a thin layer of mocha brown slightly orange head that recedes fairly fast. About average to slightly above average carbonation for a stout. Some spotty lacing.

S- Dark chocolate, oranges, lemons, espresso, a little bit of booze in the background.

T- Dark chocolate balanced with citrus flavors of oranges, a little bit of lemon, roasted malts, finishes with a lightly sweet + citrus taste. Nice sweet citrus aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, a little bit on the lighter side for a stout, average carbonation, a tiny bit creamy but not too much.

O- This was a great stout that I really enjoyed drinking. The citrus provided a very nice flavor that mixed well with the dark stout flavors. Not my favorite offering from Hill Farmstead, but definitely did not disappoint. I definitely am glad I had the chance to try this, thanks again SneazyAchew!

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Photo of TampaRainman
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark brown and generates a bit of frothy brown heady that recedes. The smell is the best feature here--chocolate coated candied orange. Taste doesn't quite deliver the smell's promise, but is certainly pleasant--roasty, bitter dark chocolate and a bit of charred orange peel. Barrel lends some smoothness, but not much oak, booziness or body. As I tend to find with most HF stouts, the mouthfeel is just slightly on the thin side for my personal taste, but like with most other HF stouts, that's only a minimal detraction to a very solid beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you Michael, a nice beer to end the night with. Beer served in a snifter, beer is black with a thin tan head of small bubbles, lacing, some carbonation, nice retention.

Aroma is sweet and roasty, not much citrus in the nose.

Beer is nice, it tastes like a Mikkeller stout honestly, moderate mouthfeel, lots of carbonation, a nice bitterness, sweetness, almost all the citrus is gone in here, an interesting and good beer. I'd have it again.

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Photo of Roguer
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thin head, even from a vigorous pour, ~ 1/2 finger of dark brown foam, relatively quickly fading to an oily, bubbly sheen. Not completely unexpected for the style. Dark black brew, with a nutty red/brown highlight to it. Little flecks of lacing slowly slide down the glass.

Barrel aroma is immediately present with a light tartness and slight funkiness. Dark cacao and roasted malts behind, grain-heavy. Is there a hint of citrus there? If so, I can't really separate the "brewed with citrus" aroma from the liqueur barrel aroma. What the nose portends is a delicate and complex mystery.

Dark cacao first, followed by a thick, chocolatey and roasted malt body which rolls in strongly. Final third gives way to the barrel: slight sweet tangerine citrus, and a fairly strong, but well-balanced, liqueur (alcohol) flavor. Difficult to describe the barrel: woody and earthy, with a vanilla-and-liqueur blend that is hard to quantify.

Very thick mouthfeel, oily with a long finish. Lively with no real sting, virtually no hint of alcohol strength, no foam. Not chewy at all, but silky smooth.

The liqueur barrel isn't right up my alley, but it certainly adds a different kind of BA edge to this complex and very enjoyable stout. Very drinkable, although the liqueur presence causes you to pull up and slow down every couple of sips. Very interesting.

Bottled 2 1/2 months ago. Excited to try this one again in a year or more.

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Photo of TychoNDC
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed on 4/8/2014. Bottled January 2014 and poured into a HF tulip.

A - Pitch black in color. This beer pours with a gloss that provides a lovely orange/brown hue around the edge of the glass. A whispy white head evaporates almost immediately. A wonderful looking beer.

O - Malt malt and more malt. I am immediately reminded of Edward (the only other dark beer I have had from HF) perhaps because the malt aroma is frank and pure. I get some liquor and barrel following, and some minor citrus at the fair end. A bit more coffee as it warms.

T - Malt, coffee, and a bit of liqour up front. The barrel really lingers, and presents a warming orange at the finish. When cool, the alcohol is well hidden; as it warms you get much more of the barrel presence. Still, it's a surprisingly mild beer, and when its cool the ease of drinking is marvelous.

M - Silken. Just extremely pleasant. I definitely enjoyed it a bit more when cold, as its surprisingly light on the tongue while remaining oily and bold (kind of like a nice rich cup of coffee). Once warmed, it drinks more like a watered down BA stout, though still enjoyable.

O - I wish this came in a bigger bottle. Only after finishing my share could I start to feel much of the alcohol, though at 10.5% its probably best savored in that fashion. A wonderful sipper which begs you do gulp it down. Another wonderful beer from Hill Farmstead. Who would have guessed!?

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Daybreak from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.09 out of 5 based on 327 ratings.
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