Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged) | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 112 | Ratings: 790
Photo of Sabtos
4.19/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | 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.

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Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.45/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of Dankacheese
4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
5/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.03/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.41/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of MeLoynes
4.71/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of AMCimpi
4.85/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

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Photo of VABA
4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of StoutElk_92
5/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of SABERG
4.42/5  rDev -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

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Photo of alpineclimber
4.03/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of amano_h
4.96/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I don't normally start by stating the overall impression of the beer, but Damon is quite possibly my platonic ideal of a barrel-aged stout.
This is definitely a labored metaphor, but remember the first time you tried Everett and realized all other porters are child's play compared to Shaun Hill's magnum opus "Robust Porter"? If there were a genre of beer called "Robust Barrel-aged Imperial Stout" Damon would definitely fall right into that categorization. Every little complex nuance that captivates fans of dark viscous liquids aged in wooden containers is amplified beyond the wildest of imaginations, while at the same time striking a perfectly harmonious symbiosis.

An impossible concoction of charred oak, french vanilla, chocolate fudge, medium-roast coffee, raisins, tobacco, molasses, and jammy figs form the heavenly aromatic range associated with this tributary beer. As the brew warms up, the malt-based features of chocolate and coffee take precedence over the more bourbon-inspired olfactory attributes of the pitch-dark nectar of the gods.

I quite possibly use this phrase to the point of cliché, but the nose, as expected, is flawlessly replicated on the palate. Every sip of this obsidian magical concoction screams "bourbon! coffee! chocolate!" followed by quiet whispers of "molasses, dark fruits, light vanilla." The flavors that bombard the tongue throughout the drinking experience remain remarkably consistent; I drank this over a span of twenty minutes sandwiched in-between pours of a different BA stout from OH and a half-barleywine half-stout half-whatthefuck madness from WA, but the flavors remained steady and uninfluenced by the imposing characteristics of both brews upon revisiting. I almost want to call this the Heady Topper of BBA stouts, given its consistency and ungodly balance of flavors throughout the entire drinking experience.

The body is thicc like Mya's thighs. I'm about 97% sure that this beer goes to the gym and squats three plates four to five times a week. The no thigh-gap thickness is accompanied by a velvety creamy initial mouthfeel which oddly feels somewhat cool and refreshing to the touch; I might as well just start stringing together random positive-inspiring adjectives to describe this beer and I'd probably still be in the ball park of what it actually smells/tastes/feels like. Gentle simmering carbonation.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.41/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Flat black with a thin layer of tan foam. No leave. Aroma of oak and vanilla. Smooth creamy body, low carbonation. Flavors of dark fruit, oak, vanilla, roast malt. Nutty and grassy finish. Lingering oak and vanilla when time.

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Photo of yasky
4.59/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black pour, offwhite head. Amazing aroma, bourbon , dried dark fruit, coffee, roasted malt. Black chocolate giving way to bourbon, coffee, blueberry, dark malt. Fuller body. Amazing.

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Photo of aleigator
4.87/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours an oily black color with a small, dark brown head, which vanishes immediately.

The aromas of this are simply amazing - there's a lot going on with licorice, scorched malts, tobacco and dark chocolate. The barrel adds a tremendous depth with dried apples, rock sugar, peppers, dried plum and lots of spicy wood, tickling the nose by developing a boozy warmth.

Drinks silk and velvet, full bodied with lots and lots of alcohol soaked layers of rich maltiness.

Tastes right from the beginning of burned malts, wild honey, whipped cream as for its awesome mouthfeel, and fudge. Develops a spicy licorice roastiness once the barrel gets noteable, together with cinnamon, toasted nuts and a luscious amount of bitter chocolate. Finishes with molasses, melting chocolate, long lasting tobacco, dried earth and a flowery note from the otherwise still pleasantly spicy barrel.

This is like an amped up Bourbon County - not necessarily thicker on the tongue, but even creamier with more roast and bitter chocolate, countered by an even sweeter fudge note, balanced by earth and spices. Awesomly intense and balanced throughout.

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Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.71/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I never cease to be amazed by Hill Farmstead beers. Any style that I have by them is one of the better examples of the style that I have had. This beer is so smooth with nice bourbon tones that just add to the enjoyment. Love me some HF!

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Photo of edthehead
4.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damon rocks in typical HF fashion. Great looking stout and nice soft two finger mocha head. Nose is primarily coffee, bourbon, and raisins. Taste is bourbon up front and semi-sweet bakers chocolate finish. Velvet smooth mouth feel with a tingle of carbonation on the finish.

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Photo of brewmeister1984
4.98/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Amazing beer. One of the best bourbon barrel aged beers I have ever had. So smooth for 10.5 percent. Wish I had more to have. ! A++++++. Cheers Mates!

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.78/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from 2013.
Poured on Christmas morning 2016 into stemmed Hill Farmstead stemware.
Pours nearly jet black with one half finger of deep caramel colored head.
Aromas are incredible, a perfect mix of deeply roasted malt and bourbon.
Flavors are wonderful and balanced. Notes of bitter coffee, sweet chocolate and mellow bourbon.
Mouthfeel is perfect. Silky, thick enough.
Overall, this is completely on par with BCBS if not better.

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Photo of rabbott2
4.58/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage drank in a snifter on 12/8/2016

Deep dark blown look with some lacing and a nice tan head. The smell of this was heavy oak and milk chocolate. Really enjoyable. I got some similar notes in the taste but some sweetness opened up as well, almost like a dark fruit or cherry flavor along with some caramel. Really nice. Not super thick which is similar to their style, but the complexity of their barrel aged stouts continues to impress me. I love their stuff.

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Photo of fireazzi
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was a great barrel aged stout. Very dark. Carbonation was low as others said. Great barrel bite. Has that chocolate bourbon feel. Love the smell. Such a nice thick body.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tracked this one down quite a while ago and enjoyed with a friend to celebrate Iowa knocking off Michigan? Nice standard Bourbon Barrel stout with nice smooth bourbon and some roasted chocolate notes!

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Photo of Wolberjs
4.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

8/2013 bottle. Pours pitch black with just a tiny bit of carbonation. Smell is muted. Oakey and chocolatety smell with a bit of the bourbon. Pretty standard bourbon stout nose. Taste is better than the nose. The same flavor as he nose but in damn near perfect balance. Nice lingering Oakey bourbon on he finish. Mouthfeel is a little thin and hot on the finish. Overall lacking in balance a little. Great taste but a little lacking in the other departments.

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Photo of mattsmith413
4.88/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Begging HF to make more stouts...not that their other selections are anything to scoff at. Pitch black pour with a coffee colored head and a terrific nose.

The taste is a fantastic mix of chocolate, roast, and bourbon. As it warms, sweeter notes of molasses and dark fruit shine through.

Thick mouthfeel. A very well-rounded beer.

Overall, one of best beers I have had from HF...but I am a dark beer drinker.

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Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.51 out of 5 with 790 ratings