Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
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Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #8
ABV:
10.5%
Score:
99
Ranked #158
Avg:
4.52 | pDev: 7.96%
Reviews:
125
Ratings:
866
From:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
 
Vermont, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  1,195
Gots
  128
SCORE
99
World-Class
Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Notes: Damon (1993-2004) The time spent with loved ones, now lost, seems to affect our mind and body perpetually: memories happen upon us, unsuspectingly, and bring about tears of fond remembrance. Damon was our brother – devout and patient in an age of busyness and distraction. In his honor, we crafted and conditioned this Imperial Stout in bourbon barrels from our favorite distillery. We still reflect, daily, upon our Damon and his scruffy chin of grey – of his loyalty and his love.

Aged in Blanton's bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 866 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.49/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

500ml black waxed bottle poured into HF white etched logo Charente glass (aka wine stem "bulb" glass).

75th unique beer from Hill Farmstead.

bottled on date is Jan 10, 2020.

Appearance: black bodied stout. 1-2 fingers tall; medium brown head. Big loose bubbles break the head down into a thin cap that drops down to an uneven ring. Booze legs with each sip. spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: While taking the wax off the bottle, I could immediately smell bourbon! Nice bourbon note and heavy barrel char once poured into the glass. Chocolate and smoke.

Taste: Bourbon leads this beer with a nice sweetness and the bourbon is also lightly spicy. Dark fruits, brown sugar, molasses, & moderately roasty malt profile. Tobacco and leather. Smoke, peat moss, and ashen barrel char begin to build after each consecutive sip; deep earthy and woody character as well. Umami richness in the middle of the stout. Light oxidation notes in the form of soy sauce; it's very faint and does not distract from anything here. Meaty smoke and peat moss finish that lingers for a little while after each sip. Unique flavors here that I don't taste very often in barrel aged stouts; it's rich with mature barrel notes without being overly sweet. Complex. Interesting. Well done bourbon barrel aged stout by Hill Farmstead.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied stout. Low and adequate carbonation levels. Creamy carbonation. Smooth and rich texture. It's not motor oil and its really great exactly where it is... in regards to this stout's texture. Damon is not at all boozy, but it does have a noticeable warming presence. This stout actually drinks heftier than the 10.5% abv & I do not mean this in a bad way at all. It's a really robust bourbon barrel aged stout and the texture lends itself to this without being abrasive at all. The beer remains smooth from fridge temperature all the way to room temperature. I solo domed this bottle and drank it over the course of two hours, it retained smooth sipping status the entire time.

Overall: Well, this beer has eluded me for a really long time. Really excited for the opportunity to finally get to drink it and see what it's all about. I got to try port Damon back in July of this year and I think that I prefer the port barrel version just a little bit more than the bourbon barrel. Hill Farmstead stouts always tend to distinguish themselves from the crowd. It shows that a stout does not need to be sweet to be rich especially when the stout has such great texture.

Nov 03, 2021
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 4/27/21

Note: April 2016 batch

Black with some deep, dark brown around the edges, opaque, pours with a small tan head, fades to virtually nothing (not shocking after 5 years)
Deep spectrum of chocolate, dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, brownies, chocolate cake, caramel, molasses, some dark fruit, nice balance with the bourbon, woody notes, oak, some vanilla, lingering sweetness balanced with some barrel dryness
On the light side of heavy, smooth, low carbonation

I believe I have had this beer as many as 3 times since April 2016, but I never reviewed it. Better late than never, and I may never have this beer again. Shocking news: this is an amazing beverage.

Apr 28, 2021
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Sandis from Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2018 version poured from the bottle into a snifter. Drank this beer on 4/19/2021 in remembrance of dad's birthday. This beer is wonderfully creamy, smooth and filled with chocolate. Just a touch of bourbon sweetness.

Apr 21, 2021
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DefenCorps from Oregon

4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 28 March 2018, received in trade with rodmanfor3.

Jet black with a dark brown head with good retention and lacing. The nose has a lot of dark chocolate, licorice, a little anise, soy, vanilla, a little booze and plums, a little tobacco. Rich and deep.

The palate opens moderately sweet, with plums, dark caramel, dark chocolate and some bourbon. Dark honey, buckwheat honey and licorice follow, with an anise spiciness complementing the bourbon notes. While sweet, this isn't cloying, favoring balance and structure instead ( but what did you expect?). Fruit cake, dessert like and rich, but still approachable and also uncompromising. Flavors of molasses, particularly the bitterness one finds in treacle, temper the sweetness. Full in body, softly, creamily carbonated, this is spectacular on the palate. Luscious, full,creamy and luxuriating. Sweet on the finish with lingering plum and tobacco to go with the leathery booze note, this is quite stellar. This beer is an older school stout barrel aged in an old school way. The flavors lean heavily on the malt, especially the licorice and tobacco notes, and the barrel provides a little heat but also oxidative softness to the flavor profile. Impressive.

Despite my limited description above, there is incredible depth, balance and poise to this beer.

May 04, 2020
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ktr5010 from Illinois

4.84/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a pitch black. Small amount of mocha head. Smells incredible with lots of bourbon but not overpowering. Taste is complex and nuanced probably due to the extended time in the barrel and it lasts a long time after finishing a sip. Feel is very smooth and coats the mouth. Overall a standout non-adjunct barrel aged stout.

Feb 25, 2020
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gcamparone from Rhode Island

4.54/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a hill farmstead bulb.

Pours a deep black body, pretty viscous with a dark brown head that reduces slowly to leave good retention and lacing that sticks around for a while.

Heavy bourbon and dark chocolate aromas, cocoa, molasses, caramel.

On the tongue there’s a rich medley of what I’d describe as dark chocolate hot cocoa with sweet marshmallow, oaky bourbon, fudge brownies, heavy roast on the finish and follow through. Moderately sweet, velvety rich body, low carbonation.

I really enjoyed this beer. It opened up more as it warmed it. Perfectly balanced and complex, easy to drink and indulgent.

Jan 09, 2020
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jheimbigner from Washington

4.61/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Late 2019 release

Pours onyx with a mocha head that leaves minimal lacing. Nose is of strong bourbon, oak, vanilla tobacco/leather, fudge. Taste vanilla,dark chocolate, smooth bourbon and oak. Feel is milk like thickness, and coats the mouth like wax, minimal carb. Overall, excellent complexity for being non adjunct, very drinkable and balanced with a great mouthfeel.

Jan 01, 2020
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.88/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled march 20, 2019
Pours out looking like motor oil, very minimal head
Aroma is pretty mellow, there is some molasses, bourbon, fudge, tobacco, and oak qualities.
On palate is a beautiful blend of decadent barrel sweetness that really develops as it warms – there is caramel and vanilla truffles, rich fudge, some roasty character invoking roasted nuts, plenty of oaky wood quality, burnt brown sugar, molasses, marshmallow covered in melted bourbon chocolates, toffee, warm spice quality. Dark fruit flavor becoming more noticeable as it warms and opens up, definitely some raisin in there and a licorice flavor dancing around. Lots of complexity led by some truly decadent flavors, a perfect brew to enjoy on a holiday evening. I am sipping on this one with family over the course of a few hours, must say that the flavors are always delicious but become absolutely stunning about an hour in.
Despite the bold flavors mentioned above, the end result is smooth and almost restrained, everything is so balanced and harmonious. The mouthfeel is medium plus and has a velvety texture, very complimentary and accentuates the flavor profile without being sludgy or cloyingly thick.

Dec 24, 2019
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Phineasco from Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The beer smells of bourbon, wood, bakers chocolate, raisins, and tobacco. It tastes of chocolate fudge, licorice, char, molasses, and powerful bourbon barrel. The beer is rich, with some drinkability.

Nov 11, 2019
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Vidblain from Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2018 vintage - drank on 7/13/2019. Definitely bourbon to the taste; plenty of anise, very complex. Thanks to jhavs!

2019 vintage - drank on 7/13/2019. Counterintuitively, this is smoother and has more pronounced chocolate. I prefer it to 2019. Awesome. Thank you to jhavs again!

Sep 30, 2019
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.74/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a very dark black color, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

This one smells like roasted malt, caramel, coffee, oak, bourbon, vanilla, smoke, leather, maple, and dark chocolate fudge.

This is just about as good as it gets for non-"adjuncted" barrel-aged stouts. There's a ton going on here - it's primarily deep and fudgy. There's also caramel and maple sweetness, a bit of smoky bitterness, heavy roast, barrel vanilla, oak, toffee-heavy bourbon, and a little bit of coffee. This is hard to beat.

This is silky, but not super thick, with a very high level of drinkability. It just feels good in your mouth, you know...nothing weird?

I can see why Shaun thinks this is one of only a small handful of beers that he has nailed completely. It's really quite amazing. I bet Damon was a really loyal and excellent friend - to inspire a beer this well-crafted.

Aug 04, 2019
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eppie82 from Illinois

4.68/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2019 bottle. Minimal foam head upon aggressive pour, with color being deep deep dark brown, with caramel color foam that disappears quickly. Aroma is of rich bourbon barrel sweetness, which also is beautifully present in the flavor. The barrel presence and sweetness shines without coming across too boozy. Still somehow very smooth and balanced. The mouthfeel is perfect, especially as it warms, and thicker than 2018 Damon . This beer should be served and consumed around 10-12 degrees C.

Hill Farmstead does it again.

Jul 06, 2019
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.09/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Stark black with a fuzzy mocha head settling to a persistent creamy blanket leaving minuscule tan spots on the glass.

Like many of Hill's non-adjunct barrel aged stouts, this is absurdly woody with a smoky hickory character. At the same time, it's easy drinking, as the smooth fluid light body delivers sweet chocolate and accents of ground walnut before finishing semi-dry. As it warms, creamy vanilla and some waxy oak develop before the warming bourbon exhale.

Jun 20, 2019
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NotAlcoholicJustAHobby from Vermont

4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 3-28-18

L-The beer pours glossy and black allowing no light penetration even at the edges. The head is a modest 3/4 finger high and mocha in color. The head recedes to a thin film with thicker central island. Lacing is minimal but can be raised by swirling.
S-The nose is dark chocolate with bourbon riding over the top of it.
T-The nose translates to palate exactly. There is a fantastic dark chocolate base which transitions mid palate to a pleasant medium strength bourbon presence. The two elements mix in the finish with the chocolate from the malts lasting slightly longer into the aftertaste.
F- Mouthfeel overall is on the higher side of medium. Carbonation is light. This is one of the thicker barrel aged stouts that I've had. It has a slick, silky feel on the tongue which coats and allows the flavors to linger.
O- A beautifully crafted sipper of a beer. None of the flavors are new or innovative, just crafted in a way which demands your appreciation. Honestly I can't recommend it highly enough.

Jun 16, 2019
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Dankacheese from Illinois

4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. However, I still felt somewhat disappointed considering its hype and trade value. GoM and Beyond Good & Evil were better offerings in my opinion.

Apr 16, 2019
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M_C_Hampton from Georgia

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: served draft at the brewery into a long stem tulip glass, intensely dark with a massive tan head that lingered leaving great lacing, clear, side note: this beer was from a separate tap served warmer than others

S: supreme sweetness and bourbon, molasses, toffee, roasty malt

T: like a marshmallow chocolate milkshake with a hit of coffee and a generous pour of high quality bourbon, a hop snuck in there at the end to remind me this is a beer

M: thick milkshake with no taste of alcohol

O: I almost wish I hadn't tried this, because I think it ruined me. Every other barrel aged imperial stout will now be judged against this. Sorry KBS; I still love you.

Apr 06, 2019
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured inky black. Minimal head. I (as I believe most) love and have loved this label for years. Finally got around to trying it. Honestly I thought it was lacking in barrel character. The other flavors and aromas were tasty but I think it needed more barrel. Still good. I actually believe I had the Port version a few years ago and remember liking that one more than this.

Mar 25, 2019
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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

4.41/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Luxurious, oaken, bourbon-y, smooth, warm, silky, sweet and slightly bitter. What a gem of a barrel aged beer.

All components march in lockstep, which the silkiness and balance of the beer being the two standout characteristics. Dark malts, bitter chocolate, oak, earth, fudge, licorice and a hint of leather. Complex, dark, deep, robust - all of these apply. Alcohol warmth without giving off any heat.

Thick but not viscus, substantial but not heavy - it's a sipper that won't occupy your palate for en entire evening.

Jan 29, 2019
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MeLoynes from Missouri

4.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Aromas of caramel, toffee and chocolate. The taste of milk chocolate with a hint of roast hits your tongue and lingers to the finish. The mouthfeel is fluffy. Overall terrific unpastried BA stout.

Jan 03, 2019
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AMCimpi from New York

4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A black, beautiful beer with a tan head. Dark fruit, bourbon, char and vanilla are the dominant smell. Just the most wonderful stout you could want, big barrel character with the dark fruits and vanilla to round it out. If I could knock it a little, it would be mouthfeel. It could be a touch chewier, but overall this is a delicious beer. Cheers!

Dec 24, 2018
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VABA from Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Revisited 101/12/19
A-Pours a very dark hue with a nice chocolate brown head and lacing
A-Aroma has roasted malts, dark chocolate and generous bourbon hints
T-The taste follows the nose with roasted malts, dark chocolate and a generous bourbon flavors
M-A medium bodied moderately carbonated beer with the flavors opening up as the beer warms
O-A very nicely balanced Russian Imperial Stout

Nov 11, 2018
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Radcpa from Washington

4.56/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark appearance with slight tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is a pleasant vanilla and bourbon. Taste is also a nice blend of vanilla and bourbon.

Oct 29, 2018
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500ml bottled on March 28, 2018

This beer pours pitch black with a lasting dense creamy tan brown foam head. Smells like beautiful black cherry, dark chocolate, charred oak, some meaty smoke, smooth rich bourbon, caramel, vanilla, dark brown sugar, some toasty roasted malts, with mild hops to balance. Taste is off the charts with huge robust dark chocolate notes, beautiful black cherry, some meaty smoke, charred oak, smooth rich and sweet bourbon, caramel, vanilla, dark brown sugar, toasty roasted malts, with mild earthy herbal floral grassy pine. Feels super luxurious and smooth, rich and sticky, thick and viscous, medium plus bodied with low carbonation. Overall a really great and truly amazing bourbon barrel aged imperial stout that I thought would be hard to live up to it's hype and the wait in line, but it’s worth it.

Oct 25, 2018
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SABERG from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a 2013 vintage into the test glass
A - Deep dark delight on full display.and aggressive pour yielded an off white cap, thin french lacing clings to the glass
S - Sweet dark vanilla, toffee, coffee, white oak, cedar, a bit of alcohol in the nose
T - Wow, complex, toasted malts, dark cocoa, mashed with vanilla bean, cinnamon, tobacco, anise, and a hint of smoke
M - Thick in body, palate is fully coated with a slick feel. alcohol cleans that up, just enough to keep things moving, linger is sweet and dark
O - What a treat, so well constructed, the bourbon barrel adds to an intense stout.
World class on all levels

Oct 22, 2017
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alpineclimber from Canada (AB)

4.03/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle date of August 2013.
Cracked on a nice warm October night.
Look: Pitch black like the bottles namesake pooch.
Smell: Sweet melted caramel toffee, charred oak. Smells a little hot for 10.5 points.
Taste: A huge hit of bourbon, the base stout is in there somewhere but I can't quite place it. Fairly sweet and boozy overall.
Feel: Thin to medium mouthfeel.
Overall: This bottle being four years old maybe past it's prime unfortunately. I can almost imagine the stout being more robust in taste and thicker in mouthfeel. Now that the stout is starting to fall apart the barrel treatment is overpowering and is out of balance.

Oct 07, 2017
Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 866 ratings