Madness & Civilization #1
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Madness & Civilization #1Madness & Civilization #1
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American Imperial Stout
4.46 | pDev: 6.95%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Madness & Civilization #1Madness & Civilization #1
Notes: Madness & Civilization is a panorama of our barrel aging program—oak-aged beers that emerge from their individual silences to find structure and voice as a unified composition. This is the result of an unpredictable state of permanent happenstance—a dialogue with our evolving approach to blending that challenges convention and circumstance. Each release will include multiple threads and is likely to approximate the style of an imperial stout.

Release #1 A blend of multiple barrels: Buckwheat Rye Porter (aged 24 months in Elijah Craig 12 year barrels), Imperial Stout brewed with Maple Syrup and Wheat (aged in select barrels for 16 months), and Everett aged in Bourbon Barrels with Cacao Nibs and Vanilla Beans. Anticipated ABV: 12+%
Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 337 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by amnesia85:
Photo of amnesia85
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle purchased at release. Chilled to 45 deg, served around 47deg F in a Hill farmstead stem. The bottle is nice, Im really liking the new labels ive seen on these past few bottles. Plain black and white on this one. Not much info about the contents of the bottle, but interesting back ground info regarding it. Instructions to check website for full details of the contents.

A: the Beer is jet black. No light will pass through. But the head, the head is fruitful. Nice dark molasses, thick with huge frog eyes peaking through. This head truly complements the color of the beer and when swirled in the glass it chokes right up. Watching the beer run through the head as it settles on the bottom you get a good idea of how thick it really is.

A: Bourbon, raw cacao, hints of vanilla, a nice roasty robust smell from the porters. The bourbon smell is really powerful and I can definitely pick up the Elijah Craig barrel.

T: WOW! This beer packs a powerful punch. The alcohol is right out front, and not fooling me. The flavors in this beer are all so strong and there is so much going on here that it takes a long time to get a good idea of what im tasting. Again the Elijah craig is the first thing I can put my finger on. As this beer warms the other flavors take the stage. Next is the cacao. The cacao flavor is fighting with the bourbon flavor and starts to win. There is a slight subtle vanilla flavor and maybe a slight taste of maple syrup. I really had to dig for the maple syrup though. The cacao comes back into play moments after the beer is gone from your mouth. Then you can try and point to brownie, chocolate cake like flavors.

M: soft yet thick. This beer is viscous and moves slowly in your mouth. The carbonation is perfect, and I really love these naturally carbonated beers when they are fruitful. Syrupy, milkshake like.

O: This beer is huge, simply HUGE. First of all to say the alcohol is well hidden is subjective, and quite an understatement here. All of these ingredients are really strong and pungent so even if it was 5% it would still have boozy qualities. I enjoy the flavor of bourbon so I could hang with it. My wife however drank possibly 2-3oz. If you have some hair on your chest im sure youll be fine. I cant say enough how much I enjoyed the treated Everetts. With this blend however The cacao really overpowered the vanilla and battled constantly with the bourbon throughout the entire show. I would not say this beer is sweet what so ever. Not any sweeter than bourbon is on its own anyway. I loved this Complex blend of powerful flavors and wonderful porters. This beer will keep you company, and I would not share if I were you. With the amount that has been released you will have plenty to lay down for years to come and enjoy some over this winter. Whom ever blended this beer was a genius.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this brew.
Deeply dark and earthy in appearance. The smell is somewhat shy unless encouraged out with a strong swirl. Noticeable hot alcohol esters, with wet barrel, brandy booziness, sweet dark malts and smoothing of vanilla over the top of it all. The flavour leans to the sweet verse hoppy bitters, with burnt toffee, dark honey, vanilla and a full bourbon warmth. The barrel aging assertively adds depth to this brew.

 450 characters

Photo of Pahn
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle split with Morningthief. Served in pint glasses.

Appearance: Black with a frothy tan head. Good lacing.

Smell: Oak aged chocolate chip cookie dough. Powerfully strong. Come on; this is too good.

Taste: Tastes red wine barrel aged. Deeply integrated oak. Nice cookie dough malt flavor. Pretty deep, but could go further (other HF BBA stouts do).

That's about my only complaint; other 1-off amazing beers by this same genius brewery are MORE amazing than this.

...well, and it's not deep enough relative to the best BBA stouts. Really great, but could benefit from some more complexity.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. A touch overcarbonated (more than a touch). Full side of medium bodied and creamy. Beautiful dry finish. Most elements are maximally good, with one flaw (bit overcarbonated).

Overall: I'd drink this all day every day, but it's not *the best*. If that's a flaw, there you go.

To put it in perspective, the mouthfeel and overall balance are better than Bourbon County Stout, and the aroma is equal or better, but flavorwise, BCBS (garish and unbalanced as it may be) delivers a lot more.

Trifling complaint.

 1,136 characters

Photo of RAKeeler
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of heffnate77
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of cbgoods
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of HoldenDurden
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of BeRanger
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of rondufresne
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Mike
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of thebigredone
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Shilt
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Bockerdoppel91
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of jaasen64
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into HF stemmed glass. Thanks Don for sharing this!

A- Pours a dark brown that appears an opaque jet black in the glass, a thin creamy mocha brown head forms that recedes fairly fast to a flat top, leaves some sparse spotty lacing.

S- Sweet bourbon, integrated creamy chocolate, hints of oak, slight fairly hidden booze, very subtle dark fruits hiding in the back.

T- Creamy chocolate, hints of fudge, dark fruits, maple syrup, some vanilla on the backend, a tiny bit of wheat, finishes with fudge, creamy chocolate, and dark fruits with a nice lingering aftertaste. Nice complexities that balance nicely.

M- Smooth, lightly creamy, abv very well hidden, fairly low carbonation but fits the style nicely.

O- This was a nice, complex barrel aged stout blend that did not disappoint from HF. The cocoa nibs, vanilla, dark fruit tastes, and bourbon all came out very nicely. I feel like MC2 might have had a slightly better taste, but MC2 definitely wins in aroma.

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4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

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4.65/5  rDev +4.3%

Photo of Lare453
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

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4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

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3.5/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of ScottP
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Madness & Civilization #1 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 337 ratings