Birth Of Tragedy | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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97
world-class
180 Reviews
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Birth Of TragedyBirth Of Tragedy
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Birth of Tragedy is the imperial and oak barrel-aged version of our annual winter porter, Twilight of the Idols. Brewed with locally roasted coffee and Vermont honey, we age this beer for a year in personally selected bourbon barrels from our favorite distilleries.

Added by s1ckboy on 11-20-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
180
Ratings:
1,178
Avg:
4.39
pDev:
8.66%
 
 
Wants:
1,060
Gots:
206
For Trade:
23
User Reviews
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Reviews: 180 | Ratings: 1,178
Reviews by CrellMoset:
Photo of CrellMoset
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle courtesy of new trading partner as part of a recent trade - thanks! Poured in to a 22 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: A vigorous pour - a really vigorous pour, I'm talkin' straight vertical, 180 degree, glug-glug-glug vigorous - creeps and crawls out of this bottle like used engine oil, smashing and sloshing in to the snifter. It's obscenely thick, viscous, and you can tell right away this one's gonna be a sugar bomb. Even that most extreme of pours only coaxes (gradually, very gradually) three-quarters of a finger of dark tan but not-quite-cocoa head out of depths, settling in to a creamy, meringue-like foam for about a minute before it relaxes to a loose, bubbly collar, much like chocolate milk when you aerate it (you know, like if you were to shake up one of those half pints that you used to get in grade school before pouring in to one of those crappy little poly-plastic glasses you used to get in grade school). Despite the relative lack of retention (which, of course, is forgiveable given the barrel aging and abv%), there are still dribs and drabs of lace that cling to the side of the snifter, quickly drying and leaving patterns throughout the drink.

Aroma: The honey is very prominent in the nose, a sweet, vaguely fruity presence, hinting at tropical and spicy notes, sort of like the cane sugar you get out of processed canned fruits but without any of the negative connotations that very approximate simile is encumbered with. The sweetness rolls in to the underlying malts, bringing the earthy, toastiness around to creamed coffee, the cocoa around to milk chocolate, and the handful of lighter roasted notes around to well-kilned toffee. The barrel presence is definite, too, with hints of char, vanilla, and caramel all being augmented by the added sweetness in different ways. The caramel and vanilla overtones, in particular, combine to take on the obligatory crème brûlée gestalt when cast over the honey notes.

Taste: A thing of beauty. The thickness and richness of the nose don't prepare you for the delicate balance of the mouth, which is sweet, sure, but has a ton of fruity esters, malty overtones, and earthy underpinnings to balance the whole thing out. Up at the very top of the range are bright fruits, hints of grapes, apricots, and slightly heavier notes like cherry all the way down to plump, juicy, sweet raisins and dates. The sweetness also augments the malts in ways similar to what I described above in the aroma. The barrel notes are a little less forward than in the nose - sweet, caramel bourbon is strong, and the oak sort of slides behind the other "extracted" barrel notes, each of which lends itself well to being "sweetened." All in all, the flavor is incredibly well-rounded, showcasing a little bit of everything.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, slick, slimy, and s-mildly effervescent. It works pretty well given the flavor components here - the sweetness is balanced by the persistent and slight carbonation, but none of what otherwise be fairly abrasive notes are augmented by excessive carbonation.

Overall: A really excellent beer from one of the biggest "up and coming" breweries out there. A definite treat, as it is on the sweeter side. Dry this out a smidge - either by adding less honey or letting it attenuate a little longer - and you'd have a true world-class brew here. As it stands, it's merely excellent, a whole greater than the sum of its parts, and surprisingly easy to put away at 11.0%.

 3,479 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of wingwalker3
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Taste: beautiful, complex. subtle intermingling of flavors.
The bourbon and chocolate notes were both subtle and distinctive.
thick and substantial mouthfeel...The bourbon presence is perfection.
I absolutely loved this, from the moment I took my first sip,
and it immediately became my favorite beer of all time.
this is phenomenal! I cannot wait until the time I may be fortunate enough to have this truly special offering again.

 433 characters

Photo of mn_nuge
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 10/2013. An absolutely beautiful beer. Restrained coffee notes on this bottle but a very pleasant coconut aroma and flavor typical of a bourbon barrel aged beer. Better than Black Note, on par with BCS. Rich, but slightly drier than BCS.

 250 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tjk135
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tectactoe
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of tbryan5
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of lateralundertow
4.36/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of joel66
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of jamato3000
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of TimoP
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of bierdabbler
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Marius
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Warpigs, pre-CBC. Pitch black with a tan head. Smells of bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, chocolate, toasted coconut. Medium body with a bitter-sweet aftertaste.

 163 characters

Photo of Prospero
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of jaminjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of kingcrowing
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a hill farmstead tulip.

Pours a pitch black that's thick as oil. Nose is sweet, malty lots of vanilla and a bit of honey.

Taste is chocolate and roasty, sweet lots of oaky vanilla with a bit of a hot finish. Overall its really creamy and delicious. I don't quite taste it as an imperial twilight but its still very good.

 347 characters

Photo of JitsuBrew
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of jburchett
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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Birth Of Tragedy from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.39 out of 5 based on 1,178 ratings.
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