Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Birth Of Tragedy | Hill Farmstead Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Birth Of TragedyBirth Of Tragedy
BA SCORE
4.46/5
Outstanding
1,229 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#182
Reviews:
190
Ratings:
1,229
pDev:
8.3%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,060
Gots:
206
Trade:
22
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,229 |  Reviews: 190
Photo of PSU_Mike
4.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sep. 2016 Batch. Says to drink within 6 months. Oops. At least I kept it cold. 500 mL bottle poured into snifter and let warm.

L: Pours completely dark with 1F tan head with good retention. Leaves no lacing, but persistent cap and ring.

S: Bourbon barrel, honey, coffee, and roasted malts. Always odd to have honey and coffee together, but it seems to work here.

T: Man this is good. These flavors shouldn't work together, but they do. Coffee and bourbon barrel up front and then honey comes in and persists through the finish. It comes thisclose to running away with it and being too sweet, but stays on the good side. You also get some dark fruits and orange peel up front and in middle. Lots going on here, really.

F: Full-bodied, obviously. This drinks like the ABV is significantly higher than listed here (there is nothing on the bottle). Not much in the way of carbonation. Construction just dead-reckoning perfect, balance fantastic.

O: Well, wait are you waiting for? Jump in your cars and hope they have some at the brewery (I think this is a fall release).

 1,073 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.81/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'16 batch, I think.

This one pours a dark silky looking black, with a small head, and just a little bit of lacing.

Smells just absurd- honey, bourbon, maple sugar, oak, vanilla, fruity coffee, dark chocolate, etc.

This is one of the luxurious beers I've ever had. There's just a ton going on here, and everything is in perfect balance and harmony, which is impressive. The coffee used here is not bitter in the slightest, with fruity and chocolatey overtones, like chocolate-covered cherries. I also get bourbon, honey, and maple. The bourbon is sweet and doesn't really add any heat to this, at all. There's creamy vanilla, a hint of earthy tobacco and light cinnamon. This is absurdly tasty.

The mouthfeel on this is so killer, so creamy and balanced, like drinking silk. The carbonation level is lower.

This is probably the best barrel aged porter out there. It's nearly perfect.

 887 characters

Photo of happyreefer
4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2011 version. Had a 4 oz pour at the brewery.
L: Close to black. Not much head, but the thin line did stay around for a while.
S: Mildly spicy coffee, oak.
T: Chocolate and coffee. Oak barrel, and a little bit of booze to it, but that seems to have settled to the background.
F: Super Smooth and rich.
O: so it's 6 years old. Older than my 2 kids lol. Had to argue with the wife over how much she was allowed to drink :)

 421 characters

Photo of redfox405
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Zonian1
4.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Pearlstreetbrewingco
4.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a deep brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of coffee with some bourbon notes and nice vanilla notes. Taste is a complex and rich mix of nice vanilla notes with bourbon and rich black chocolate notes and a sweet honey-laced finish. Body is full with deep oily texture and good carbonation with hints of warming alcohol notes. Very rich porter but a bit too much honey for my taste.

 451 characters

Photo of SoCal_Matt
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jhavs
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Most recent batch bottle poured into fluted snifter.

Very dark, near black and mostly opaque. Not thick, but able to block light out effectively. Head is light brown and settles slowly.

Aroma has hint of spice, medium roast coffee and floral sweetness. The oak is definitely noticeable with just a slight hint of the booze after warming.

Flavor is bold. Lots of wood, vanilla, and the earthy bourbon flavors push forward. The coffee flavor is dark and bitter, but balances the sweetness of the honey and bourbon well.

Smooth, hint of alcohol burn remains, moderate carbonation. Just under full body.

The barrel aging adds a ton of complexity to this already flavor packed base brew.

 693 characters

Photo of bkbeer17
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of KevBot89
4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Brian29
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of wordemupg
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at a tasting a ways back, from notes
Cinnamon, nutmeg, more wood then bourbon, coffees late, honey comes through as maple, licorice, a little smoke in the mouth but it might just be burnt coffee, sticky on the lips…

 230 characters

Photo of CharlesK
4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Markyg21
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Phineasco
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of djgustafson
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Furlinator
4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2016.
Pours opaque and near black. A half inch beige head forms and settles as a thick ring on top and leaves strands of lace. The smell is of burnt wood and faint coffee. The taste is of roasted malt, honey, black cherries, coffee and subtle bourbon notes. Thick texture with medium carbonation. I was expecting more coffee presence. This is a world class porter nonetheless.

 384 characters

Photo of KevSal
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i've had this guy before and thought it was alright. this is the most recent batch

500ml poured into a perfect stout glass

looks good in the glass, completely dark with a khaki head. darker than expected

aroma brings forth bourbon, some sweetness, tasty malts, some more oak and alch at the tail end

taste follows the aroma, but the oak wallop is fantastic! much more vanilla in the flavor. finishes sweet with some alch. malts have some baltic porter notes

mouthfeel really carries this one. alch is still present, unusual for hf. but the velvet body really makes this nice

overall i wasn't expecting to enjoy this one so much. real tasty, i wouldn't mind having it again. a few steps behind gom tho

 706 characters

Photo of Ryannotbryan
4.24/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of FreshZ
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DaPan
4.94/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of ScientificSquill
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Birth Of Tragedy from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 1,229 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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