Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

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:
1,061
Gots:
205
Trade:
22
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,229 |  Reviews: 190
Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of aapp. Served in a Hill Farmstead long-stem tulip.

Pours black with a good tan-mocha head and nice retention. Lacing on the glass. The nose brings forward very smooth bourbon with a bit of roast and chocolate. Some coffee there as well. Flavor integrates bourbon and chocolate quite well. Nicely done, but nothing to really bring it over the top. Mouthfeel is ultra smooth without any trace of alcohol. Fantastic barrel usage, but lacking the final oomph to really make it world class. Still, a great beer.

 525 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of vfgccp
4.36/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of billab914
4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rhettroactive for sharing a 500 ml bottle of this the other night. It poured Pitch black with a trace amount of tiny tan bubbles sticking to the edges of the glass. Pretty still looking, but the color is pretty good.

The aroma shows off the coffee and vanilla notes very well. Very light on the bourbon but I get a little brown sugar sweetness. The dark chocolate notes I get are very rich in it and really good.

In the taste I get more bitter sweet chocolate mixing with the roasted coffee favors. Vanilla, brown sugar and some honey sweetness come out in the finish with just a bit of bourbon as well. The roasted, bitter malts and the sweetness of the additions and barrel aging balance each other very well. Very drinkable with some very bold and delicious favors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style and slick. Carbonation is very low, but I like low carbonation in these type of beers. Overall it had some very good and unique flavors to it. The bold, bitter coffee really worked well with sweeter honey and vanilla flavors. Really good beer overall.

 1,079 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.02/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of Kegatron
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into a couple of glasses. Thanks go to Stakem for sharing this one.

Pours a deep black, with some bubbly edges of dark mocha froth that coat the sides of the glass with spotty lace and gooey brown oils. The aroma smells of charred bourbon warmth, which gives way to notes of coffee, chocolate, brown sugar and a honeyed sweetness. This has a nice density to it with the flavors in the nose.

The taste is similar, with a rich mix of chocolate, honey, coffee, green citrus, a touch of molasses or brown sugar notes on the edges and then a dry and burnt oaky feel on the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a chewy firm creaminess to the carbonation. That 11% ABV naturally brings some alcohol to the table and while it mostly serves to bring out a bit of aggressiveness from some of the more assertive flavors here, it does stick with you for a bit.

I really liked the richness and balance of flavors here but unlike some other recent Hill Farmstead offerings that I’ve had, this doesn’t quite mask its alcohol quite as well as you as I would have liked. It doesn’t doesn’t bring any stinging heat to the profiles or anything like that but does slow the drinkability up a bit. This is still a really nice beer though. Thanks again for sharing it Adam!

 1,284 characters

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

Photo of atrocity
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of nathanmiller
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Paul for sharing this one.

A: Pours black with a small mocha colored head on top. A small head forms upon pouring, but quickly reduces to a thin ring on top. Very thin lace randomly forms on the glass.

S: Lots of dark fruit upfront, some cherry and plum. Underneath is plenty of chocolate, a little mocha, oak, and some bourbon. The spices and vanilla are rather faint.

T: Great cherry chocolate flavor upfront, the chocolate is quite rich, almost like brownie/fudge. The bourbon comes through very even and smooth, not overpowering at all, with some vanilla and a little oak.

M: Medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

O: A very good beer, the flavor profile was fantastic - the blend of dark fruit and chocolate was great. The flavors imparted by the barrels blended in very nicely.

 807 characters

Photo of duceswild
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 02/03/12

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of dark tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, sweet milk chocolate, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, sweet dark fruits, oak, and toasted malts. Very chocolatey and sweet, and the bourbon comex through nicely, but doesn't overpower. Really awesome nose.

t - Tastes of sweet chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon, coffee, oak, vanilla, and dark chocolate. A tiny bit hot, and a step down from the nose, but still pretty nice.

m - Medium to full body and low to moderate carbonation. A tiny bit hot but not bad at all. Smooth and creamy.

o - Overall a really nice porter. I think I pretty much liked this just as much as Everett, but for different reasons, as this one focuses more on bourbon. Would like to get a bottle of this.

 809 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 bottle. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Viscous black with brown edges. No head. Big mocha bubbles, though.

Smell - Bourbon and coffee blend nicely. Vanilla. The coffee has a nice earthy character. Not a lot of porter comes through, but it doesn't matter much.

Taste - Nice bourbon and vanilla. Lots of coffee. Reminiscent of KBS in its earthy coffee flavor. Milk chocolate with a slight winey finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy. Viscous for a porter, although that's arguable. Very low carbonation.

Overall - So it isn't as magical as I had hoped, but it's still damn good. Remarkably good, but the bar that Hill Farmstead has set for itself makes me feel the slightest disappointment when the beer isn't perfection.

 757 characters

Photo of BEER88
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow.. super delicious. They are #1 for beers like this!

55 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of orangesol
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of womencantsail
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pretty much black in color with a very small khaki head. Intense roasted malt and bourbon aromas. Lots of vanilla notes to it. There's a bit of the honey coming through as well as the coffee. I don't get much spice, though. A nice bit of chocolate in the back ground. The flavor is a touch boozy at first, but otherwise quite nice. Excellent vanilla and bourbon notes with some roast, coffee, and dark chocolate. Really smooth and well done. Medium to full bodied with a low, smooth mouthfeel.

 499 characters

Photo of dfhhead25
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

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.