Damon (Port Barrel Aged)
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Damon (Port Barrel Aged)Damon (Port Barrel Aged)
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #64
Ranked #1,036
4.32 | pDev: 9.72%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Damon (Port Barrel Aged)Damon (Port Barrel Aged)
Notes: Aged for over 16 months in port barrels.
Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 267 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 12/12/19 batch.

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

This smells like tobacco, roasted malt, dark fruit, raisin, dark chocolate, and oak.

This is a classic take on a port barrel aged stout. There's loads of dark fruit (raisin, black cherry, etc) and bittersweet tobacco, along with heavy but clean roast, a hit of oak spice, and dark chocolate. This is not something for pastry boiz.

This is medium bodied, clean, with no real booziness to it. It's quite drinkable for the style.

This is very intriguing and very complex, and one of the best uses of port barrel that I've ever had.

Aug 31, 2021
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4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Full beer review #1550.

500ml bottle poured into HF wine stem.

Per the bottle label- "bottle conditioning since 12/12/2019"

Appearance: black bodied beer with khaki colored head. The head is dense & creamy and has a lots of staying power. Heavy lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: dark chocolate & milk chocolate medley. Raisins & cherries. Port wine notes with ashen oak & light smoke.

Taste: Tons of milk chocolate and "extra dark" gourmet dark chocolates. Layers of dark fruit flavors; mostly raisin & some prunes. Roasted malts. Earthy coffee notes. A hint of brown sugar and caramel sweetness. Lightly tart cherries and berries; providing the anticipation of flavors resulting from port wine barrel aging. Rich port wine with deep tannin's. Leathery barrel notes; lightly charred dry oak barrel with a light smoky note. Complex layers that complement and balance each other so flawlessly. Earthy coffee, cocoa powder, and red wine all balance well together in the finish & aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied stout with the carbonation level on the lower end of medium. Impressive texture, its got such a creamy body. Lightly dry finish. Not a hint of 10.5% abv. No bite or heat to this stout at all.

Overall: My first experience of Damon; an experience I have waited for, for quite some time. Port barrel Damon is all about layers of rich flavors with an incredible texture. A stout that is both rich and savory, yet extremely well balanced through all the layers this stout keeps throwing at your palate that have such discernible flavors. It's a really classy stout. I have drank several Hill Farmstead stouts and they all have this trait in common... Based on the texture of the stout & balancing of flavors, I could tell you with utter confidence that Shaun Hill brewed/blended any stout he brewed in a blind stout tasting. This is his calling card and no one in the craft beer world can brew and blend stouts like Shawn does. Sure, I love my motor oil from Toppling Goliath and Side Projects... Yet I continue to have a strong affinity for the balance of flavors, layers of complexity, and just straight elegance that all the Hill Farmstead stouts I have drank truly embody. The finesse that Shaun Hill has for this beer style is dripping with raw talent.

Jul 15, 2021
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

has the robust flavors that you get from regular damon, but with a sweet vinous character that adds a lot of dark fruit presence. there is a nice chocolatey roast, hints of plum and a wonderful sweet cherry flavor. there are some sugary aspects invoking molasses and caramel, oaky and hints of grape. the texture is wonderful, full bodied but not overly so - completely avoids that sludgy quality that you get form some sickeningly sweet stouts. this one is sweet but not too sweet, bold but not too bold, vinous but not too vinous ... just perfectly balanced and complex.

Jun 29, 2021
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kevanb from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle, 2016 vintage, poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. Enjoyed on 4.12.17, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a beautiful jet black color, thick and viscous, oily and sludgey with a firm finger of khaki head, good retention and loads of soapy lace. The aroma is excellent, mild roast, lots of chocolate and a very impressive amount of stone fruit character, port wine shines well, mild vinous acidity, a bit of oak with lightly toasted grain with some licorice at the finish. The flavors are great, tons of dark chocolate, mild roast, dark grains with tons of stone fruits, port wine barrel, light counterbalancing acidity with some pleasant sweetness, chewy oak, licorice and anise at the finish. The mouthfeel is very good, coating, creamy, thick and chewy with a low level of carbonation but the heavy body does just fine without much in the way of bubbles and a warm but soft finish.

Verdict: A delicious stout from Hill Farmstead and perhaps my favorite take on Damon. The balance is very good and the nose is exceptional. The port wine character is right up my alley, really enjoyed this beer.

Sep 05, 2017
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yasky from Canada (ON)

4.71/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Properly cellared since 2013. pitch black pour, larger swized brown head. Aroma of fuge brownie, port, wood, toasted malt - very rich! roasted malt and fudge up front, port wine, bakers cocoa, woody, light smoke, cherry notes. - yep, thatès a full 10! Full bodied, zero alcohol warming, perfect carbonation.

Jul 04, 2017
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SABERG from Massachusetts

4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2013 bottle lovingly aged into a large snifter.
A - Dark as the times, loose knit mocha cap fed by relentless carbonation.
S - Cocoa, fig, merlot, touch of vanilla, and grape seed.
T - Strenuous stout, port barrel adds depth to a hefty base beer, lots of bold flavor with wonderful tangents, leather.
dark tobacco, vintage port sweet and tannin.
M - Glorious, no other word needed.
O - The time is the basement has taken nothing away from this gem, rich, full, luxurious all superlatives. Another
fabulous stout from Hill Farmstead


Jan 09, 2017
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Shaun_S from Maine

4.88/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2016 poured into a snifter.

Uncomparable to the Double Damon and unfortunately was unable to taste the bourbon barrel variant but this was still an incredible beer.

Poured near pitch black with a massive mocha head that dissipated at a snails pace. Taste was a lovely mix of cherry, chocolate with the coffee and a light smoke on the end far more bitter and less thick than the 2016 Double Damon. Creamy, just slightly thick, with pleasant moderate carbonation. Truly lovely and well worth the price.

Jan 09, 2017
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edthehead from New York

4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a mocha brown foamy head that dissipates after a couple minutes. Strong port wine on the nose and palate, with additional nutty and dark cherry flavors on the palate. Moderate mouth feel. Great dessert stout!!! Loved it!

Jul 25, 2016
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BoldRulerVT from Vermont

4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the 375 bottle into Hill Farmstead stemware.
Bottled 10/2013 enjoyed 2/13/2016...cellared responsibly in northern Vermont.
Pours thick and near jet black with two finger of deep brown head with good retention and incredible lacing.
Aromas are incredible. Dark fruit abound, with black cherry, dark chocolate, coffee all present.
Flavors are right in line with aromas, complex and round.
Mouthfeel is close to perfect. Nice and thick just as I like.
Overall, this beer is incredible...it looks beautiful, it smells and tastes incredible, the mouthfeel is near perfect. This beer is phenomenal.

Feb 14, 2016
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OleBruin from Illinois

5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HF does such a great job with their ba beers. This port version is another knockout. Dark fruit flavor with great depth, chewy mouthfeel, not cloyingly sweet and really well balanced.

Jan 01, 2016
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ironchefmiyagi13 from Tennessee

4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Searching through HF beers and surprised I had forgotten to rate this one.

I remember loving it. Red wine and port really shine and give this beer a lot of berry characteristics, but it still keeps it's roasted malt flavors and aromas. Great dark beer from the masters up in VT.

Sep 19, 2015
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another thanks to rudzud.

Super dark chocolate fluffy nougat creamy thick 1 finger head fades at a med pace, nice messy lacing, thick pitch black beer.

Nose is lighter, some dark choc ad's fudgey cocoa, mild perfumey port notes and little alcohol, fluffy nougat, little caramel and roasted malt, hint of licorice, and char, burnt caramel.

Taste brings more dark malts, super dark roasted charred malts, thick fudgey cocoa, bitter acrid dark roasted roast, little smoke and licorice, charred roast, cocoa notes. Mild port barely there, a touch of a fruity port but barely. Big roast and soul snatching blackness, fluffy nougat and burnt caramel. Very bitter acrid roast. Finish more acrid roast, mild char, some dark fudge again.

Mouth is full bod, thick fudgey, mild warming booze, decent carb.

Overall eh, it's like the port barrel made it darker, roastier, more charred and less tasty, and boozier, instead of the opposite which I expected. After that long in Port I wanted a port bomb, but it's far from it. So it's a decent beer but disappointing.

Jul 16, 2015
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a dark brown almost black hue with a big thick mocha head that fades to leave thick lacing and creamy blanket.

S - Aromas of light chocolate, fainter port. Little roast, light dark fruit, dark malts.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Loads of chocolate, super faint port. Licorice, dark fruits, really faint barrel notes. Light smokiness. Fair amount of booze throughout. Really confusing as I don't remember Damon tasting like this.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, little creamy, alcohol is strong on the finish.

O - Overall this beer was rather underwhelming. Almost no port and lots of flavours I don't recall getting with regular Damon. Rather odd. Hmm...

Serving type: bottle

Jul 15, 2015
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leighton from England

4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared in London - picked up in a trade! Cheers! Pours deep black with a massive, cascading brown head; looks perfect. The nose has lots of burnt toast, raisins, torched wood, old leather-bound books. Medium sweet flavor, some burnt marshmallows, more raisins, baking cocoa, strong roast, prunes. Medium to full bodied with fine, massaging carbonation. Lightly warming on the finish with more torched wood, dried dark fruits, bittersweet baking cocoa, slight dark cherries. Rich, extremely complex, exceptionally well balanced.

Jul 09, 2015
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/2013

Appearance: A very impressive bubble show produces a massive mocha head on top of the obsidian liquid; impressive stickage and a few strands of lace

Smell: The port comes through on the nose, bringing a fortified wine element to the chocolate and oak tones

Taste: The chocolate, roast and port wine tones meld together, up front, with the fortified wine building through the middle, both in terms of fruit and alcohol; the port tones continue to build in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: It took a while for me to warm up to this beer but I found myself really enjoying the port influence after a few sips

Thanks, Nuwanda, for the opportunity

Feb 22, 2015
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zoober911 from New York

4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L - Pours black. Small brown head forms, half a finger width. Head dissipates to small ring of bubbles circling the glass.

S - Smell of chocolate. Cinnamon. Roasted malt. Port on the back end...but faint.

T - Similar to the nose. Chocolate, little bit of cinnamon, and a tiny bit of the port on the back. This was probably more prevalent without the age on it.

F - Mouthfeel is nice. Smooth.

O - Overall this is a very good beer.

Feb 14, 2015
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John_M from Oregon

4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a blackish brown color with great lacing and considerable, pillowy head. This beer looks quite impressive. On the nose, I get a complex mélange of winebarrels. roasty malt, light vanilla and coffe. On the palate, this is more of the same. The roasty malt dominates on the palate,,along with some interesting licorice on the finish. Mouthfeel is soft, plush and expansive. The alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can tell it's up there.

An interesting, complex, well crafted beer from HF. Impressive.

Jan 24, 2015
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beerdrifter from Germany

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up from a great trade with Evan! Pitch black pour with a huge two finger caramel-colored head with crazy retention and great lacing. Big roasty nose with the port coming through nicely along with hints of cocoa, dark chocolate, and booze. The taste is rich and roasty with the port front and center again. Lots of espresso and dark chocolate along with hints of vanilla, oak, booze, and some interesting vinous notes. The mouthfeel is thick, creamy, and mouth coating with medium carbonation and a warming, bitter, boozey finish. Overall, didn't enjoy this as much as the bourbon version, but still very tasty, albeit a bit hot.

Aug 09, 2014
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

3.41/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

Served alongside Damon and Double Barrel Damon.

Gargantuan head, akin to an infected stout. A moderate pour yields 90% head 10% beer. Whatever. After settling, the beer offers a red wine and chocolate aroma. Ok flavor. On the lesser end of Hill Farmstead beers. Not near the quality of Damon or Double Barrel Damon (which was world class). Port notes, mild sweetness. Roast chocolate. Odd. Eh...I had my hopes up for this one, but it wasn't to be.

Aug 09, 2014
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured one shade shy of black with a tight, quarter inch, mocha-colored head that dissipates into a skim. Nose expresses malt, roast and char. Taste expresses char, molasses, ethanol and a slight metallic quality. Mouthfeel is medium in body with a syrupy consistency and a pleasant, lively carbonation. Overall, a very good BA beer, but I don't get much of the port barrel and I have to say that I enjoyed standard Damon a bit more. This isn't a bottle I would sit on.

May 23, 2014
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Jeffo from Netherlands

3.48/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Was very happy to see the three different Damon treatments at our big Moeder Lambic tasting a few weeks ago. Cheers for bringing these along Tommy. Lots of fun.

From a 375 into a tasting glass.
Vintage 2013

APPEARANCE: Thick black pour yields a very large, slightly foamy tan head with very good retention. Pitch black body with no real carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a half foamy cap and leaves lots of lacing down the glass. Thick and nasty looking, but a bit too much foamy head for the style.

SMELL: Decent strength aromas of port, oak, with some dark grapes on the nose. Slight notes of coffee in the back, but the wood and port definitely take center stage.

TASTE: Oak and port wine up front with some chocolate and bitter coffee notes at the swallow. Flavors of hay and some funky flavors run into the aftertaste as well. This is also rather hot, with lots of alcohol in the flavor profile. A medium but lingering aftertaste of wood, port, some grapes, funky notes for sure and some alcohol.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. Very creamy on the palate, goes down okay with a burn and finishes silky. Very creamy for sure, but a bit harsh and over carbonated.

OVERALL: This was okay, but not nearly as impressive as touted, and definitely the lesser of the three. The port barrel is interesting but it seems to muddle the rest of the beer, while the over carbonation makes it less pleasurable to drink. An interesting beer that I'm very glad to have been able to try, but not something worth writing home about. Thanks again Tommy!

May 10, 2014
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Axnjxn from North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle into a tulip
pitch black pour with a surprising inch and a half red head. smell is big on port..as well as booziness. taste is big and boozy. very sweet. I get a lot of the port barrel on the back end. a very big beer. excellent.. full bodied, super thick. carbonation is pretty high as well.

overall very well done . good job!

May 03, 2014
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jaasen64 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into HF stemmed wine glass.

A- Pours a dark black, a half-finger mocha head (much more then any other HF stout), head recedes fairly fast to a wispy top leaving thin spotty lacing.

S- Dark fruits, leather, port, slight oak, plums, cherries, some underlying slight roast. Nice complexity, nice aroma strength, slightly weird smelling though.

T- Dark fruits, decent amount of smoke, some roast, dark chocolate, some very light oak. Nice complexity, decent balance, flavors conflict a little bit.

M- Medium bodied, very drinkable for abv, unlike other HF stouts a bit overcarbed.

O- We opened this during a big HF stout tasting, unfortunately Port Damon was one of my least favorites. The port added a nice complexity however I felt like it didn't complement the base beer as well as I was hoping (unlike DB Damon that has the best of both barrels). This is definitely worth trying but I wouldn't go crazy trying to obtain it.

Apr 26, 2014
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jegross2 from Illinois

3.66/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Port Damon from the Hill Farmstead Brewery out of Greensboro, Vermont.

Score: 86

2013 vintage bottle served in a stemmed "blackjack" tulip and enjoyed on 02/11/2014.

Appearance: Pours a black color with less than a finger of dark khaki head, which slowly settles to a thin layer. Good lacing and retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Chocolate, grape/port, and oak. Simple, but nice. 4/5

Taste: Tannic oak and lots of port flavor with a little tartness/berry flavor. Chocolate underlies. A little fruit on the finish too. Average integration. Simplistic, without shining in any of it limited dimensions. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low (but appropriately so) carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. 4.25/5

Overall: A bit to astringent and oak-forward for my taste. Definitely a step back from bourbon barrel Damon in my opinion.

Cost: $15 for a 375 ml bottle.

Mar 24, 2014
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huddyball from New Hampshire

4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A) Jet black with a dark brown head that leaves nice lacing.
S) You get the stout, slight roastiness with a bit of booze. Then you get the port.
T) Very similar to the nose. Very smooth and the port is more prominent. I get a bit of sweetness in there too. Char is coming through as it warms.
M) Smooth with slight carbonation. Fairly viscous but not too thick.
O) First ever HF stout and it is good. Can't wait to try more.


Mar 16, 2014
Damon (Port Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 267 ratings