Genealogy Of Morals (Madeira Barrel Aged)
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Genealogy Of Morals (Madeira Barrel Aged)Genealogy Of Morals (Madeira Barrel Aged)
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American Imperial Stout
4.23 | pDev: 8.04%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Genealogy Of Morals (Madeira Barrel Aged)Genealogy Of Morals (Madeira Barrel Aged)
Notes: Madeira Barrel Aged Rye Coffee Imperial Stout.
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 96 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Genealogy of Morals, batches 1 & 2.

The beer is dark brown, nearing black, with a half inch of beige collar. The aroma offers roast, coffee, barrel character, red wine - smells great. Still lots of coffee presence. A hint of spice, perhaps cinnamon. Big barrel notes. Delicious beer. I prefer this to Damon and Port Damon, but Double Damon is superior IMO. Medium to full bodied and slick on the palate. Chocolate notes. hints of dessert wine. Very good.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Appearance - Almost completely black. Reddish brown at the edges. Mocha head that is well retained.

Smell - Intense coffee immediately. Almost a smokey aroma, too. Red wine. A little bit of tannins.

Taste - Burnt malt, almost smokey malt character. Coffee flavor lends itself to the burnt malts. Red wine flavor is more prevalent in the finish, along with a bitter malt aftertaste. Intense flavors.

Mouthfeel - Not thick, but a palate wrecker of flavor. Intense in every respect. Medium heavy with ample carbonation.

Overall - Excellent combination of flavors. The barrel is unique and adds to the barrage of flavors that is this beer.

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Photo of Skrip
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured in a Founders Doom glass.

A~ pitch black, with a nice tan head and a tiny bit of lacing. a slightly oily look to the top as well.

S~ ohhh! bitter chocolate, roasty dark malts, lots of oak, a tad bit of coffee, dark grapes, tiny bit of figs and an abundance of wine sweetness.

T~ pretty much follows the nose. definitely less coffee notes here, i assumed they would fade by now, but thats ok theres soo much more to offer! this is very sweet, with a nice tartness. i'm fine with loosing the coffee and gaining the tart! the Madeira barrels are really what makes this an amazing brew and i'm sure the year of age helped as well!

M~ a little more carbonation then i like a stout to have but its still very nice. super smooth and i guess i should have mentioned this in the "taste" but its not boozy once so ever.

O~ an all around amazing stout, especially if you like em' tart! soo much going on but you can still easily pick out whats what. wine barrels make everything better! haha i would like to try this fresh next time around to see how much coffee is actually there.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I picked a couple of these up at my last visit to HF, and opened one at a recent tasting.

Opaque brown-black pour with a small but sturdy cap of mocha head, that retained well and left some spotty lacing on the glass. In the nose, coffee, earth and oak, ash, with a slight vinous quality. A solid toasted rye profile came out in the taste, complimenting the barrel, coffee, and roasty malts, notes of ash, yeast, some vegetal hop bitterness; the wine was definitely present, but surprisingly subtle, with just a hint of grape-skin tartness coming through. The body was medium to full, though the mouthfeel was not as smooth as I prefer in a good stout. Overall, this was not quite what I expected, but I still found it quite enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to opening my other bottle soon.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Todd - thanks dude! Served in a snifter.

A - Big mocha foam that lingers for quite a while, leaving behind spotty lace and a thick cap. Opaque black body with a hint of brown at the fringes of the glass.

S - Interesting aroma - there's a mix of slightly stale coffee, oak, roasted malts, char, fruity yeast, and light chocolate and caramel. There's an aged quality to this and I'm not sure if it's from the Madeira, faded coffee, or light oxidation from the barrel-aging.

T - The taste has a bit more spicy rye, chocolate, oak, light coffee, and some sweet caramel malts mid-palate. A bit fruity, either from yeast, coffee, or Madeira. Quite nice, and a bit more vibrant than the aroma.

M - Surprisingly zesty and active carbonation. Medium-bodied, with an oaky, dry finish, and minimal alcohol presence.

D - I liked this quite a bit, as I wasn't sure the mix of Madeira and coffee would be a good fit. Somehow Shaun makes it work, and while this isn't my favorite Hill Farmstead beer I'd happily drink it again at any time were it offered.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.62/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful complex dark brown, with a dark coffee brown head with a reddish tint.

Smell is definitely unusual, rye spiciness with malty dark chocolate, tangy dark fruits, bitter coffee. Maybe some woody smoke.

Taste is pretty similar. Not very coffee forward (probably my fault for drinking it some months after the release) but it's a pretty even balance of slightly faded coffee, wine/dark fruit, bitter dark chocolate and rye malt.

A pretty unusual beer, and it doesn't come off unambiguously as a success, but I did enjoy this even if I liked it better for being weird than for being really well integrated and drinkable.


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Photo of PeterIngemi
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a bruery tulip.

A: pours black with two billowy fingers of mocha colored head, very nice retention as the head slowly settles to a film that remains for the remainder of the glass... Nice lacing as well. Great looking brew

S: right off the bat I get oak and a touch of char, followed by booze and chocolate. Rye and coffe become more and more apparent after a few more whiffs, along with a you h of boozy Madeira sweetness. A touch of pruney darkfruit in there as well... Alot of complexity here.

T: a bit of chocolate and rye... Going into Madeira and oak... Just a touch of coffe in there... A touch of smoke and char, perhaps from the barrel? And a bit of Madeira sweetness with light darkfruit notes... Everything works together very well here. Alot going on here.

M: thick and dry... Almost chewy from the rye... Viscous... Light carbonation... Very dry finish.

O: this is a very dark, very tasty, very complex beer. I have to say I was abit doubtful about how a rye coffe stout and a Madeira barrel would work together... But I thought this worked out very well. I felt like the light boozy Madeira sweetness was rounded out excellently by the dry, roasty, and grainy rye characteristics.

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Photo of largadeer
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oily pitch black appearance. The head is thin but lasting. Dessert wine and oak are strong on the nose, bringing a dark fruit sweetness that works well with roast, subtle tar, molasses and chocolate. The palate shows strong flavors of dark fruit, port and bittersweet chocolate. The body is chewy, carbonation low. Lingering dessert wine finish with mild bitterness. Very nice.

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Photo of jlindros
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Rudzud for sharing this one.

Nice fluffy head, darker mocha colored, some lacing but tons of legs, pitch black no light.

Nose is explosive, booze right out, big malts, roasted malts galore, black malts with a hint of char and what used to be acrid but that seems to have faded. Light coffee, some dark cocoa and bakers choc, caramel, nougat, hint of vanilla barrel too.

Taste starts with dark roasty malts, light coffee, charred black malt and hint acrid, big fluffy malts, nougat, caramel, dark bakers choc and chalky powered cocoa. Syrupy and light acrid roast. Rye is there in the background and light, with light vanilla barrel but just a bit of the Madeira. Booze is fairly strong with warmth and even light booze taste. Bitterness from light earthy hops and the charred malts, and light sticky sweetness from the malts and wine. Finish is sticky and syrupy, some booze and big roasted malts, light vanilla and Madeira barrel.

Mouth is fuller bodied, rich syrupy, big fluffy carb.

Overall not what I expected, a bit of over roasted acrid, bitter char, syrupy, decent barrel but not a huge fan of Madeira barrels, light rye and coffee, not their best stout.

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Photo of rudzud
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a palm tulip a deep rich dark brownish black with a one finger mocha head that left nice legs and a light lacing with nice thin mocha blanket. Quite nice.

S - Very faint rye notes along with coffee. Soft chocolate with nice slightly biodegradable Madeira barrel notes. Pleasant.

T - Taste is not bad, more of the light coffee and light rye spice nice bakers chocolate with light vanilla from the barrel. The Madeira is there, nice and faint but it makes its presence known towards the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is very nice with lightly sharp finish.

O - Overall this was not my favourite hill farmstead stout. Definitely prefer Damon and birth of tragedy to this as the barrel doesn't do much for me.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Moll for a pour of this one. Nose is quite interesting with some lightly-tangy fruit and nice barrel character beside roast and chocolate. Nice stout base and good barrel character. Really interesting. Smooth body. Quite good. Very happy to have been able to try this one.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to cbutova for sharing this rarity.

Black beer with a big brown head that started foaming out of the bottle upon opening...infected? Head sticks around well.

Smell is very unique and strong, lots of dark fruit and oak bring on a big red wine vibe here. Chocolate, roasted malt, and some coffee meld surprisingly well but are on the weaker end.

Very wine/dark fruit forward, cherries, dark chocolate, caramel, some rye spiciness, light coffee and oak. Good mix of flavors but the wine barrels definitely have a strong grip on this one.

Lots of foaminess shows some light signs of infection, a bit boozy and thin as well, but not too bad of a mouthfeel. Good taste makes up for it more or less.

Definitely has lots of potential - the coffee stout/red wine barrel combo is pulled off well, maybe just needs some kinks worked out.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into HF glass split two ways.

A- Pours an opaque jet black with a thick 1-finger mocha brown head that has excellent retention but doesn't leave much lacing. About average carbonation. Excellent appearance, doesn't leave as much lacing as other HF beers but that definitely doesn't detract from the appearance.

S- Red wine, coffee, roasted malts, light chocolate fudge. Fairly aromatic, the first scent that hits you is the dominant red wine however as the beer warms it balances out a little bit more but the red wine is still very prevalent.

T- Coffee balanced with red wine that gives it a very slight wine acidity taste. A hint of spicy rye on the finish that doesn't dominate the beer too much but adds a nice presence to it. After 15 months in the barrel not only is it amazing how well the coffee held up but also how well it balances with the rye and red wine characteristics to give it a very nice complexity.

M- Fairly thick, a little bit fudge-like, definitely one of the thicker beers that I've experienced. Decent carbonation (slightly more carbonated then I was expecting). Very easy to drink.

O- This might not have been my favorite HF beer, but overall it was a very nice barrel-aged coffee stout that had nice red wine notes balanced with a nice presence of coffee and very subtle rye spiciness. While the red wine dominated the nose a bit too much, it had a nice balance in the taste. I feel like I always say this, but this yet another fantastic beer from HF. I highly recommend trying this beer out if you get the chance, it is full of flavor and you will not be disappointed.

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Photo of cbutova
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes over the weekend. Shared with Chico1985.

A- Pitch black pour with a massive, foamy brown head that fills a large portion of the glass after a very loud hiss and even a slow gush of bubbles out of the bottle (something alive in the bottle/early infection? or just overcarbonation). Head has decent retention but it fizzes out after a while leaving a small creamy pillow which leaves nice blankets of lace.

S- Coffee and milk chocolate notes really open up nicely here, especially when allowed to warm up some. Other things include vanilla, brown sugar, wine. The barrels lend a nice wood and big dark fruit presence. Ends up being dessert-like.

T- The wine and fruit flavors take over more on the flavor than the nose. Dark grapes/raisins/cherries lead the way for the underlying stout which has dark chocolate, coffee and rye notes. Nice oak hints after some time. The coffee seems to take a back seat here. Slight vanilla and alcohol as well. No real signs of infection here.

MF- Creamy and moderately thick body with a LOT of carbonation. The feel really reminds me of other beers that had something alive in the bottle. Foam just fills the palate upon sipping. Alcohol warmth feels nice with the amount of wine flavor here.

A nice wine and cocoa flavor with a pretty big influence overall from the barrels it seems (unless it is a really dark fruity stout to begin with). Huge carbonation hurts just a bit and it seems like something might be alive in the bottle. A nice blend of flavors.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.67/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Starrdog for another HF tick. How do you do it? Amazing.

Beer served in a snifter. Beer is dark, low carbonation, lazy head, small bubbles, minimal lacing, minimal carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, oaky, vinous a little, fortified. I like the aroma.

Maybe it is the barrel, Madeira?, but I don't really care for this one. It is pretty sweet, not horrible, the wine character is pretty overpowering, almost making the beer solventy. I am being too harsh on this beer but it is a miss for HF. Saying that it is a B beer. I would try it again for sure but I won't be going out of my way for it.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle shared by Starr.

Pours a dark, thin chocolate brown with a retentive dark tan head, little lace. Aroma is reminiscent of Genealogy, with slight spice, roast coffee and malt, with the addition of the Madeira barrels adding a slight tangy fruitiness; very balanced. Barrel aging is much more prominent in the flavor and first thing noticed on the palate. Similar to the year old keg of Genealogy at the 2nd Anniversary party my first thought is that this beer is... old. After that, a slight tang, with port and dry oak, with spice from the rye and less malt or coffee than the nose or base. Medium thick and moderate carbonation; slightly thin and a light coffee acidity in the finish. Well integrated and unique, but doesn't live up to Damon or the base beer fresh. An unique, remarkable stout, would love to have the base beer fresh again.

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Photo of starrdogg
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours black with a thin off-white head. Smell is very interesting, there's certainly coffee happening here, but also a bit of red wine/vinousness. Flavor is very interesting , but doesn't quite nail it the way I had hoped it would. The beer seems to have gotten a bit oxidized while aging. That said, it certainly brings a unique flavor profile to the table. The coffee certainly is still present and the sweetness and tanginess of the madeira combines with the base in a very interesting way. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side and carbonation is high. I like this beer, but I feel like it wasn't quite what it could've been. The oxidation and high carbonation distract from what could've been a very unique and well done flavor profile. You can tell what Shaun was going for here, but the base beer didn't hold up well enough.

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Photo of Pinknuggets
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into HFS belgian sniffer (been waiting for this for a long time)

A: dark brown with a red hue and a ruby red head that thins quickly a d stays in a ring, looks good but id like to see imperial stouts black.

S: very boozy at first almost a red wine smell but it goes away as it Settles you can definitely smell the black coffee with a hint of oak and/or rye doesnt blow me away though

T: holy coffee imperial stout batman it starts off with a fiz but fades quickly and there is black coffee exprsso blast with basically no alc taste has definitely mellowed out this fades into a hop/rye bitterness that mixes with the bitterness of the coffee as both fade together for a fantastic finish, extremely well crafted.

M:the light carbonation is delicate and makes it taste lighter then a standard imperial stout. it is thick chewy almost like toffee but smooth and easy to drink on point for sure

O: I really like this one and it is dead on in terms of style and the oak aging definitely mellowed out the alc and made it really smooth. The coffee flavor is there in truckloads for those who love it (like me) but the rye does a great job of balancing everything out to make it taste like a beer. Hill farmstead amazes me once again almost perfect but can say its the best ever...yet.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gorgeous thick black. Lots of brown head. Looks great. Smells coffee heavy. Very European in its stout base. Dry.. Coffee heavy. Almost fruity. Very nice nose and taste. Overall thus beer is very solid. More European than most of Shaun's stouts. The coffee is very solid. Overall a very good brew!

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500 mL bottle chilled and poured into my Kate the Great tulip glass. Opens a foams up ever so slightly right before being poured.

Appearance: Initial pour is about two thirds head, but settles down pretty quickly into a lacing. The head is medium to dark brown in color. The beer itself is a nice dark brown, almost black as well.

Aroma: I'm usually not that sensitive to rye notes in beer, but there is definitely a really noticeable rye spice note here that is amplified nicely by the coffee. Definitely some sweet chocolate and caramel notes to balance out the bitter and spice. The ABV is pretty subdued. There is also a sweet character from the Madeira barrel that stands out.

Taste: There is definitely a nice coffee presence that stands out here more than in the aroma. It also gives this beer a slightly acidic edge that I wasn't really expecting. The bottle states this was in barrels for 15 months and the base stout definitely has an aged feel to it. A touch of oxidation is present, but the chocolate and caramel of the base beer does well to diguise it. The rye adds another layer. The barrel presence is light and definitely adds a nice complexity throughout.

Mouthfeel: Definitely lighter in body than most imperial stouts. I find coffee stouts can be a tad thin and this follows that. The carbonation is definitely on the lower end but it works well with the beer in this case.

Overall, a really complexing and fascinating coffee stout. The rye does add a really nice dimension, especially to the aroma, that elevates the coffee tones. As I have never experienced any other beer in Madeira barrels, I can say that the barrels balance the beer out and add a nice layer but it is not overwhelming in the slightest. Another really solid HF beer that I'm glad to have tried. Definitely unique and complex but not my favorite.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks!

A: Pours a pitch-black body with a pinky finger of short-lived beige head. No lace.

S: A spicy chocolate nose leads the way; I was under the impression this was a coffee porter while consuming it, so I didn't realize that the spicy aroma was from rye. It's well-integrated, lending the earthy coffee a little kick on the back end of the nose. The kick was initially mistaken for alcohol, but the taste doesn't have any of that. Great oxidation (which could really be the madeira influence); I couldn't tell.

T: Genealogy of Morals is well-crafted in flavor. The use of rye gives it a prickly bite from start to finish, contrasting neatly against the earthy coffee and soft grape notes of the madeira barrels. The base beer imparts chocolate, roast, and a touch of smoke in the mid-taste.

M: Full-bodied and flavorful up front. The finish is a little weak, leaving only a spicy character (initially mistaken for heat). Some chocolate in the aftertaste.

O: I was comparing this to Birth of Tragedy and found BoT much more impressive, in part due to the better integration, a tighter finish, and more nuance (I particularly liked what appeared to be cinnamon in BoT). This one has a lot going on, but it falls a bit short on the finish. Nonetheless, it's an excellent beer, and it will not disappoint.

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Genealogy Of Morals (Madeira Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 96 ratings