Daybreak | Hill Farmstead Brewery

60 Reviews
no score
Send samples

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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 327
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle courtesy of Cody. Thank you for the opportunity! I believe this is my first Hill Farmstead beer and one I am excited to try.

Pours a rich looking black with milky hot chocolate colored froth that pools to a ring of medium sized bubbles. Subsequent sipping yields some spotted stickability.

Bitter dark roast and hops. An earthy bark quality as well along with a spot of orange and booze.

Bigger than the nose indicates and very bitter. Drying baker's chocolate mixed with orange rind. Juiciness of the citrus hops really clashes against the roasted stout base. Lingering earthy bitter finish plays yin to the hops' yang.

Mouthfeel is light despite that weight and bitterness. Carbonation may be higher than needed.

Overall, I think this beer works better in theory than execution. I can't believe I'm saying the hops should be dialed down, but it would benefit the beer in my opinion. A kitchen sink of citrus hops atop a very dry and roasty bitter base just doesn't quite work. I can see how this beer would be desirable, as it was for me. I just can't help but feel this is a bit disjointed.

 1,114 characters

Photo of starrdogg
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to SneezyAchew for this bottle. I love me some Hill Farmstead, let's see how this one stacks up.

A: Beer is nearly jet black and opaque with a thin tan head. Beer leaves some pretty significant lacing on the sides of the glass. Looks like this one has some body to it.

S: Smell is very interesting and unique. You definitely get some of the big Hill Farmstead DIPA hop blast aroma in there, but it's mixed with a mild roastiness and some orange as well.

T: I have to say, after the incredibly complex smell, I'm a little disappointed in the flavor here. The components are definitely all there: hops, roast and citrus, but I feel like it all gets a bit muddled when they come together. The hops are big on the front end, but when the roastiness kicks in, it seems to give it a bit of a chalky flavor. It's got a pretty bitter finish as well.

M: It's pretty thick, but there's some weird chalky/dryness in the finish which is a bit of a turnoff.

O: I should admit that Black IPAs and hoppy stouts are not usually my favorite style, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I guess I had hoped that Hill Farmstead would blow me away yet again and open my eyes to a style I'd given up on, like they did for me with Everett and porters. Unfortunately I think the bitter hops combined with bitter roastiness is hard for me to enjoy. Not to say that this is a bad beer by any stretch. If you like these types of beers, this is a great one, and I don't want to deter you from drinking this particular one. It's just not to my preference, but the idea is interesting and I commend HF and Mikkeller for trying something a little different.

 1,653 characters

Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to koopa for sharing.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a one finger beige head that slowly settles into lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Intense aroma with a huge citrus presence along and a good bit of roasted malt. The citrus presence is really strong with lots of zesty orange peel/citrus rind.  The malts are underneath with hints of toast, dark chocolate and toffee.  At first it's all citrus but as it warms the nose becomes more balanced.

Medium bodied with a blast of sweet citrus and a subtle bitter hop presence up front. The citrus orange peel and hop flavor linger throughout but are nicely complimented by the dry roasted  malt notes. Lots of dark chocolate, toffee, toast and oatmeal providing a decent amount of bitterness without becoming acrid of overpowering.  At first there is a bit of a citrus overload but as the palate adjusts and the beer warms, the malt presence really comes through. When I first heard about this beer I was a little skeptical of how it would turn out but it was very well balanced and flavorful.

 1,081 characters

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the release

This beer pours dark dark brown to black with no light getting through. There is a nice sticky brown head that lasts. The smell is citrus hops and orange zest proinently up front with a slightly roasty malt presence in the finish. The flavor follows the smell with the citrus hops and orange zest prominently up front followed y the full roasted stout mouthfeel. Tue beer has a medium to full mouthfeel with good carbonation. Overall I was not expecting much going into this beer, but was quite surprised by it and bought the full allotment. Definitely try this one.

 593 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Hill Farmstead release. Poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

A - Pours like thick, viscous melted fudge with a rich, creamy one finger mocha head that leaves nice lacing and retention.

S - Lots of that dense fudgy chocolate aromas and slight roasted malts with light orange peel on the end along with some citra? hops.

T - More of that nice fudge chocolate and roasted malts. There is a lingering citrus (orange) flavour and bitterness on the finish. Doesnt quite taste like a chocolate orange, but, it gets rather close on the end.

M - Mouthfeel is so incredibly dense and thick and creamy, like liquified fudge.

O - Overall I really enjoyed this mellow style merger. Like a super fudgy light on the hops black ale. Good subtle citrus with strong rich fudgy stoutness.

 801 characters

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.

 678 characters

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.

 406 characters

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.

 556 characters

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.

 590 characters

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.

 1,172 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Daybreak from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.09 out of 5 based on 327 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.