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+%
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 337
Photo of Kinsman
4.81/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fills the glass with a viscous black body and capped by a creamy and rich looking tan head. Wonderful head retention too... something I often don't find in barrel aged beers.

Lots of vanilla and oaky bourbon notes right up front. Cocoa comes through a bit more as it opens up.

First sip has quite a lot going on and it's hard to wrap my head around it all. Definitely the barrel notes play a significant role with sweet vanilla and boozy bourbon. Add in a nice touch of maple and rich cocoa notes and I'm simply amazed by this beer.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied and oh so rich and creamy. Overall, this is an absolutely excellent barrel aged beer. Deserves to stand right up there with the best of them.

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Photo of justforrazors
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed live 7-30-13

Poured from bottle into HF glass.

A- Pours a thick black with a long lasting mocha head with high carbonation visible. Over the 5 or so minutes I left it to sit before drinking, the head has not dropped at all, and you can clearly see bubbles rising from the bottom to the top. A nice thick half-finger head made it all the way down to the point where I finished with the review.

S- Bourbon, chocolate, some subtle roast and vanilla along with a caramel sweetness.

T- The taste follows the smell. Bourbon followed by vanilla, chocolate, and caramel. The vanilla really stands out and provides a nice marshmallow sweetness to the beer. On the back end, alcohol is evident as well as some oak. There is also a bitter note that lingers for a while after the other flavors disappear.

M- Definitely a bit over carbonated for a RIS in my opinion. Maybe this was an attempt to make sure this one didn't end up like BoT? I could literally hear the carbonation when I went to take a drink, although it didn't feel as overly carbonated as it appeared. The beer has a full body, although it is very smooth and easy to drink. There is a lingering bitter note, as well as some drying qualities on the finish, most likely from the oak.

O- Interesting beer for sure. This isn't the greatest Barrel-Aged stout I have had, but very good either way. The alcohol was still a bit too upfront for me, although hopefully it will mellow a bit with time.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

thanks to pjl44 for this fantastic extra!
poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 2 fingers of medium tan colored head. Good head retention that drops slowly. Thick and sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lots of milk chocolate, vanilla, and rye notes. Mellow oak, earthy and roasty grain. Everything has a nice balance in the nose. Fairly sweet smell nose on this beer.

Taste: A quick blast of chocolate and cocoa sweetness that is quickly interupted by huge rye notes. Middle of the beer is roasty and oaky. Mild roasty flavor that trancends through out the entire flavor profile of the beer. Then the sweetness returns and takes of vanilla and a hint of marshmellows. More rye notes in the finish with a touch of warming booze and a slightly bitter cocoa flavor that make the beer have a slight dryness. Great balance and complexity. As the beer warms the rye intensifies considerably and some smokiness emerges as well.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is silky, slick, smooth, slightly oily, and creamy. All the flavor just coats your mouth in richness. Just a touch boozey for a 9% beer, but its nothing that is distracting.

Overall: This is the first stout that I have tried from Hills Farmstead. It is a wonderful blend beer, but its biggest crutch is that it has just a little to much rye for my personal taste. It is very complex and rich beer. It has a very nice mouthfeel as well. I have only dabbeled in a few Hills Farmstead beers, but every beer I have tried so far from Hills Farmstead tells me that they flat out brew fantastic beer!

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Photo of lovindahops
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thought the mild weather tonight would be the opportune time to crack open a madness and civilization 1

A- dark as dark can be. A massive darkened mocha foam with a creme brûlée type frosting stocking to the edges. Floating foam is fuzzy and refuses to recide. Essentially perfect look for a double stout

S- bourbon laced marshmallow scent blends with oak, dark chocolate nibs, sugar, and brown sugar. Very sweet with alcohol present at the forefront. A sweet a tasty bold scent profile no doubt dominates. Very luring with the scent of maple towards the end. This is amazing

T- a creamy onslaught of unfermented sugars, lactose, marshmallows, bourbon, and of course oak blasts the palate. Incredible stout that has a desert profile that calls for a sipper, but delivers with a beastly stout taste. The barrels enhance this stout to the extent that its truly up there with the best of the best. Incredible

M- creamy and coating flavor slaps itself all over. Firm a detailed flavor components enrobe the tongue.

O- BCBS and KBS.... You have been out done. Madness and Civilization #1 is a delicious treat

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.1/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger dark mocha head with moderate to low retention. Beer is thick and pitch black. Lacing is patchy with good stick. Decent.

Aromas of wine grapes, bourbon, dark chocolate, roast, and cocoa. Some molasses and chocolate sweetness wafts through the layers of booze. Solid though I could go for a bit more oomph here.

Opens sweet chocolate and molasses. An extremely mellow wine-y tartness floats in the background covered by layers of booze, fudge and chocolate. Very sweet throughout. Some woodiness at the back end adds some depth. Finishes chocolate with some slight roast coarseness. Aftertaste of booze and molasses. Very complex but a touch sweet for my taste.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and silky in the mouth and goes down warm and slick. Finishes messy with a sticky sweet, lingering aftertaste. Nice.

An extremely well made beer, this is certainly one of the most complex imperial stouts I've had in a while. The flavors work well together too but there's just a touch too much sweetness for my liking at times. Still, definitely worth trying.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead stem.

Pour: Pours a semi splashy black with two and half fingers of deep khaki head. Head hangs around for a decent while, and leaves some nice lacing throughout.

Smell: Burnt toffee and rich milk chocolate up front. Some sticky vanilla bean, rye whiskey, and caramel. A touch of oak. Awesome.

Taste: Rich, roasted marshmallow and creamy milk chocolate up front. Some toffee and coffee, with a touch of spicy oak through the middle and end. Definite mellow rye whiskey presence. Simply amazing.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side for a imperial stout - akin to Birth of Tragedy b2. Fantastic coating throughout however... like milk chocolate melting in your mouth. Lightly boozey, but not real burn. A great sipper.

Overall: Fantastic. Ready to drink now. Can't wait to try #2.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had as part of a tasting with the NWIBDU. Thanks for sharing!

S - Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, light astringency from the alcohol and oak

T - Caramel, chocolate, good amount of vanilla sweetness. Light booze and alcohol comes through as well as oak to give it a slight heat. Well balanced and delicious stout.

M - Medium smooth body with light astringency from the oak and the bourbon

O - Really a great stout that is right up my alley with the great balance between the sweet chocolate, vanilla and caramel flavors balanced with the slight heat from the booze and astringency from the oak. Another great HF beer.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Black with one finger of cocoa brown head.

S - A huge sweet bourbon aroma up front with a vanilla notes. Chocolate fudge, toasted oak and a touch of coconut.

T - Big barrel notes initially - bourbon, vanilla and charred oak with a big sweetness. Chocolate fudge mid-palate with some roast and vanilla in the finish.

M - Full body. Chewy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of Skrip
4.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a Noda snifter.

A~ black! obviously! with a nice tan head and a good amount of lacing for a stout.

S~ lots of bourbon and booziness up front. all followed by some chocolate, caramel, and vanilla beans.

T~ a ton of chocolate and cocao nibs. spicy rye malts, vanilla and caramel as you start to swallow. all followed by bourbon boozy goodness, which literally tastes like a glass of Elijah Craig on the rocks. i've never experienced so much bourbon barrel presence, like as if it was the actual thing. total hybrid stout/porter. the Everett aspects give this a baltic style, which adds a fantastic roasted sweetness.

M~ heres where the maple comes out, very rich and thick. also has some what of a cocao nib feel, if you know what i mean. still very smooth and nicely carbonated.

O~ definitely an all around complex, completely balanced stout. which comes as no surprise! could definitely use a little age though to let the booze fad a bit, but if you like Elijah Craig i'd dive right in!

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Photo of ehammond1
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, AdamJackson!

Very close to black in color with a somewhat persistant, slightly creamy, small-bubbled dark brown head. Gorgeous lacing left down the glass. A simply gorgeous stout. Hill Farmstead always makes beautiful beer.

Layered, complex, and delightful aroma. Coffee, chocolates, marshmallow, and integrated, fine bourbon integrate into something truly special. Some dark fruit emerges as the beer warms some along with a toasted, nearly burnt, fresh out of the oven pie crust character. Exceptional.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, though the bourbon takes a touch more of a firm presence upfront--but not in a stinging, harsh way. The bourbon is flavorful, integrated, and complementary to the chocolate, vanilla, and pie crust flavors. Incredibly drinkable.

Medium to nearing full in body with moderate carbonation. Not an overly heavy or viscous stout.

Fantastic. So much better than Damon, and I had to beg, borrow, and steal to taste that one. This one just showed up unexpectedly. Thanks again, Adam!

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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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Photo of vonnegut21
4.69/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a HF wine glass.

A: Pours a deep black with a billowing tan head that persists for quite a long time.

S: Bourbon, caramel, toffee, vanilla up front. Roasted notes, oak and baker's chocolate follow.

T: Chocolate, caramel and vanilla sweetness dominate. Light bourbon notes. Some light spiciness that I can't quite pick out. Very subdued.

M: Soft, smooth and creamy. It has that perfectly smooth mouthfeel that so many HF beers share.

O: This is a really excellent beer. But it's also very subdued. The bourbon and barrel notes are very resigned and it's a bit sweeter than I'd have liked. Overall, a very good beer, but not on the level of some of their other barrel-aged offerings.

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Photo of eatonale1
4.71/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Would like to give this 5's across the board, but there is always room for improvement. Pours a very dark brown (almost black) with a thin head. Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, etc. notes come together perfectly - no aroma overpowers the others. Very glad that the purchase limit was increased to 6 per person at the bottle release. Very curious to see how this ages.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a 9oz snifter thick, rich & black. The aroma precedes and leads the nose with its rich chocolate, maple...hints of rye...promises. The taste is full-on luxurious like an initiation into a secret society...decadence (but not in an elitist way) a warmth that reaffirms one's abiding(in this case abiding means something well beyond an addictive attraction) love of beer. Fulfillment in a glass...By this point you've realized that I really LIKED (if liked meant something like sensuously contented) this beer. Clearly something special...keeping in mind that all the adjectives are lacking the definition necessary to convey just how enjoyable this glass of beer was. Thank You HF!!!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.31/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 01: poured out as a thick looking black beer with a creamy tan head on top. The retention is thin and lacing this minimal. The smell of the beer is big, lots of oak and lots of roasted malt and dark chocolate. The taste of bold, very roasted and nice fresh oak with some dark chocolate bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is heavy, nice smooth thickness with a subtle carbonation. Overall this beer is very good, ton of complexity and depth. Long lasting flavors sure to please most stout lovers. Very good stuff, glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of Caleb
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured from the bottle to a hill farmstead tulip glass.

Aroma: It has a nice musty and roasted malt smell. It isn't an overly strong aroma but easily detectable and adds nicely to the overall enjoyment of the beer. There is an oak presence up front and a bourbon/booze background. It also has strong notes of vanilla, maple, and a hint of black cherry or fig. As the beer warmed the aroma grew stronger and the maple, vanilla, and bourbon grew stronger.

Taste: It is a very rich, dark drink. It immediately tastes of dark chocolate, a bit of dark roasted coffee, booze (growing stronger as it warms and hiding the maple), creamy vanilla, maple, and undertones of figs or other dark dried fruits.

Mouthful: It is nicely carbonated with just enough to open the beer up to carmalized flavors.

Overall: The richness give a feeling of indulgence and luxury. It doesn't lack for a full range of complex flavors from start to finish. Recommended.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 500 mL bottle from the release today. Decided to open one of my bottles after the long drive back home. Chilled slightly before opening and poured into a Hill Farmstead tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. Pours a nice, light brown head with good retention that sticks well to the glass.

Aroma: Marshmallow sweetness, light bourbon, maple and chocolate notes upfront. Definitely a touch of burn from the alcohol. Bursts of maple and vanilla as well as dark fruits.

Taste: Light bourbon tones tones come together with caramel and marshmallow sweetness with the base beer. The combination of the chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, and rye really provide an interesting background contrast. A touch of sweet maple as well. Really nice balance and drinkability. The barrel is nicely integrated and not forced at all.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied overall, but definitely lighter for the style. There is some nice creaminess and a solid amount of carbonation.

Overall, a really tasty blended stout with a really sweet backbone. The sweetness works well with the barrel and the alcohol is not too overbearing at all. Definitely happy to get the chance to try this and look forward to trying it again.

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Photo of Luk13
3.84/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Hill Farmstead third anniversary. Black pour with brown highlights, decent moka head. Aroma of chocolate, coffee, bourbon, maple and dark fruits. Taste has chocolate, vanilla and maple but seem a little muted . Medium bodied. Not nearly as decadent as Damon. The beer was so cold because of the weather, it might have opened up a little bit if it had warmed up a little bit.

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Photo of unclejazz
4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had on draft at the 3rd Anniversary snow-event. I think I had 3 samples if this before it kicked. Excellent carbonation level, great crisp flavor from that amazing well water. Vanilla takes the lead and them some great oak bourbon notes. Head to head against Damon, this just edged it out. World class blend, this could hold its own against any of the big boys. I wonder if BCBVS is as good?

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