Madness & Civilization #2
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Madness & Civilization #2Madness & Civilization #2
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Stout - American Imperial
not listed
4.5 | pDev: 7.11%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Madness & Civilization #2Madness & Civilization #2
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 #2 A single bourbon barrel that housed fractions of the following: Buckwheat Rye Porter, Everett, Damon, Birth, and Port Barrel Damon.
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 146 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out as a rich black color with fast fading tan head on top. The smell has a heavy Bourbon aroma with some coffee in the mix. The taste has a nice coffee, chocolate and vanilla flavors. The feel has some heat on it and some soft creaminess in the finish. Overall it's still a very solid beer after 4 years.

Sep 03, 2017
Photo of rodmanfor3
rodmanfor3 from Vermont

4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice blend of Hill Farmstead's dark beers, one that exemplifies what the brewery is capable of doing so well in this style.

Though the sum of the five beers may not live up to the greatness of many of the individual components of the blend, this beer is still very tasty.

Jul 13, 2016
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle of blend 2. Served in a snifter glass. Pours a dark black body, opaque, half finger offwhite head, minimal retention time, no lacing. As dark as a stout gets, though it doesn't have Pugachev Royale-type legs. Smell is decadent, rich roasty chocolate, oak, whiskey, a little bit of espresso. The chocolate is deep. Smells phenomenal. Flavour is similarly chocolate-forward, nice amount of whiskey, dry oak, a bit of heat, roast. Clean whiskey. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not quite full bodied, but certainly full enough. Lower carbonation as expected, whiskey with chocolate and a bit of heat on the backend. Overall, another excellent imperial stout from Hill Farmstead. I enjoyed this a slight bit more than M&C #1, but I do think Genealogy of Morals is superior to both of these.

Sep 08, 2015
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mtomlins from Canada

4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to UncleJazz for the bottle share. Delicious blend of beers to produce a tight final product, smooth, rich and creamy with no one component overpowerinig another. The barrel is a big component from start to finish but still allowed the subtle complexity of the grains and hops to shine through. Delicious!

Dec 30, 2014
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ThrewRedButter from Massachusetts

4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled May, 2013. Couldn't get to the Anniversary party, so I brought a part of it to me.

A - Pitch black. Actually had a finger's worth of dark brown head that disappeared quickly.

S - Complex is an understatement. Bourbon, oak, roasted notes, burnt notes, slight vanilla, dark chocolate-covered cherries.

T - A sweet, non-cloying bourbon hits you first. A lot of oak and dark fruits. The Port Damon is more on the taste than the nose.

M - Nice and fluffy.

O - HF barrel-aged beers tend to be too sweet for me, but this has changed that perception. In additional to all the flavors, this is also incredibly (borderline dangerously) smooth to drink.

May 25, 2014
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Rifugium from North Dakota

4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the brewery. Had this side by side with M&C1, and this was the clear winner.

"A single bourbon barrel that housed fractions of the following: Buckwheat Rye Porter, Everett, Damon, Birth, and Port Barrel Damon."

Poured into a HF etched-logo fest glass, opaque black, with some dark brown around the edges, topped with a thin cap of mocha head that sank to a ringlet; lacing was minimal, with the thicker liquid leaving a few legs on the glass. In the nose, dark malts, bourbon/vanilla, toasted marshmallow, cocoa. A little chalky at first, but this faded after a couple minutes of breathing. In the taste, fudge, caramel, molasses, smooth roasted coffee, bourbon-soaked oak with a good vanilla/coconut quality coming through, lighter notes of dark fruits and licorice. Smooth and tasty, with the bourbon very well-integrated, and the port being a subtle afterthought. Smooth mouthfeel, full body, appropriately lower carbonation, easily sippable. Overall a very nice blend and a great beer. How really can you go wrong with Everett and two Damon varieties in the same bottle?

Apr 02, 2014
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pour is black coffee ring head. Nose is olive, light bakers chocolate, malt sweetness, faint berry and some barrel. Taste is wood, faint char, olive, dusty malt chocolate, salty. not as bright or balanced as 1. Medium bodied, a hint emptier than 1, Strong carb. Actually worse than 1.

Feb 02, 2014
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390 from Indiana

4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A-Black when pouring and in the glass, one finger deep brown head that leaves some lacing.

S-Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, earthy notes, roasted malt.

T-Amazing balance. Starts with a great bourbon flavor, oak, smoke, roasted malt. Chocolate, slight coffee, vanilla. Mild bitterness. Molasses and caramel

M-Medium to heavy bodied, tad creamy as well.

O-Wow. Just wow. An absolute knockout. One of the best beers I've ever had. The balance is amazing with some of the best bourbon flavors around.

Jan 30, 2014
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Jeffo from Netherlands

4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part two of the M&C series from jbeatty. Thanks again man!

From a 37,5cl bottle into a snifter
Drunk right after part one of the series.

APPEARANCE: A clear black pour yields a 1+ finger, fuller looking, creamy head with great retention. Head slowly fades to a bubbly cap and wisp. Black body with no carbonation evident. A bubbly ring and a light swirly wisp remain leaving dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Oak, bourbon, coconut, sweet vanilla cream, with both milk and dark chocolate on the nose. Caramel notes as well. Similar to part one in the series but slightly milder.

TASTE: Really nice. Bourbon, oak, vanilla cream and coconut up front. Caramel sweetness wraps it all up as well. Big finish of alcohol, bourbon, coconut, vanilla cream, some milk chocolate and heat from the alcohol as well. Very flavorful and the aftertaste lingers and lingers.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Fuller on the palate, enough weight, creamy and smooth going down and finishes sticky. A touch of heat lingers. Fuller, creamier and more weight than part one.

OVERALL: Really good. This was similar to part one for sure, though the nose was a little milder while the feel was definitely superior. Since feel is more important to me than nose, I'd probably take this one over part one if given the option. Nevertheless, both are fantastic and I'm happy to have had the chance to try them. Thanks again jbeatty. World class stuff.

Jan 21, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black but not inky. Medium khaki head.

Smell - Bourbon is strong. Distinct bourbon aroma. Vanilla and oak.

Taste - Bourbon is the strongest flavor. Chocolate. Vanilla. Super oaky. Coffee.

Mouthfeel - Sharp alcohol. Not really heavy. Aids in drinkability.

Overall - Had this before Madness & Civilization #1. Maybe shouldn't have, but this is great.

Dec 17, 2013
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peensteen from Canada

4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Huge thanks to hoppypocket for sending this

Jet black, ring of tan head, light lace. Smell is an incredible mix of roast and chocolate, liquorice and oak, port wine like with bourbon, oak, some vanilla also, just so much going on here, nice complexity. Taste is even better than the nose bourbon, vanilla and chocolate at the forefront, nice roasty flavours, a little oak, lightly sweet with a bit of liquorice, chocolatey fudge finish, so complex and flavourful. Medium carbonation, medium full body and lightly oily as well. Just an incredible stout, one of the best I have ever had, complelty worth seeking out.

Dec 16, 2013
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lovindahops from New York

4.93/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally review #700. Saved this for a special day and I hope today truly is. I really do. Next week heading to hill farmstead so this makes it worth it.

A- M&C 2 pours a dark body of charcoal richness with mocha orange lacing on the edges. Some frosting lacing clasps to the edges while rest of the brew glows from the bottle

S- powerful blasts of molasses, mocha, chocolate, toasted marshmallow, and cocoa nibs burst onto the stage. A soothing bourbon undertone shows up to essentially capture the stouts aforementioned scents in one collective theme. Very soothing

T- UNBELIEVABLE creamy mocha bourbon flavor is compiled as a caramel and molasses chocolate bar. The flavor is 110% smooth and positioned as a flawless taste profile. The taste is captured perfectly and respectfully delivered as smooth as possible

M- creamy, coating, and flavorful. Really laces the pallet with excellent flavor properties

O- well this is the best barrel aged stout I have ever had. While the bourbon doesn't burn you, you still get a full blast of flavor that isn't complex... Just good. Like really good. Better than Damon and better than M&C 1 IMO

Dec 07, 2013
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JoEBoBpr from Missouri

4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Prohibition Pig (Waterbury, VT) tulip glass from a 375ml bottle.
Batch: 2
Bottled: 05/2013

Pours a dark ink slightly viscous liquid with minimal head after an aggressive pour. S little swirl kicks up some slight carbonation but it barely rises up to anything. The liquid is sexy and it hugs the glass very well. No light can get through the brew.

Aroma starts with delicious and awesome caramel and molasses sweetness. Some mild butterscotch notes with some whiskey sweetness and heat follow. Underlain sweet chocolate fudge notes are present with some nice balancing vanilla notes. There is also some dark fruit notes in the nose. Some raisins and prunes linger around on the back end. There is definitely some slight boozy heat perceived in the nose.

Flavor is amazing! Sweet, sweet and super sweet but also quite approachable and delicious. Notes of sweet caramel and molasses dominate. Not as chocolatey and fudgey as the nose might suggest. There is more of the caramel and whiskey type sweetness as opposed to the darker malts. There are some notes of raisins and definitely prunes in the flavor. There is some good heat that somewhat cleans the palette. The finish has some more caramel sweetness and some more of that milk cocoa notes. Mouthfeel is delicious but seems a bit lighter than expected; its definitely thicker than most brews and carries a nice silky finish to it.

HF has done well with these BA stouts. This is sweet and yummy but not overwhelming has good heat but is not too crazy. Definitely a sipper though. The barrel notes are present but well balanced with the base beer.

Aug 14, 2013
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AdamF625 from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-black with a thick creamy brown head with great retention.
S- bourbon, sweet candy, and caramel, cocoa, and fudge brownies.
T- bourbon, tons of chocolate, honey, licorice, a sweet finish.
M- low to moderate carbonation. It is not super thick like comparable beers but syrupy and creamy, alcohol is present as it washes down.
O- This beer is surprisingly not dominated by bourbon but it is pleasantly sweet.

Aug 12, 2013
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SpeedwayJim from New York

4.14/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours some coarse mocha colored bubbles that dissipate quickly into a thin ring atop the brew. Beer is pitch black. Lacing is thick and stringy with good stick and oily legs. Decent.

Nose is chocolate, cocoa, fudge, roasted malt and a bourbon booze with just a touch of molasses at the end. Moderately aromatic. Simple and straight to the point.

Opens chocolate, fudge, and molasses. Cocoa and roasted malt bitterness balances the sweet notes nicely. Some sweet raisin and plum in the middle. Bourbon booze at the finish with more molasses and sweet dark fruit. Aftertaste of honey and bourbon. Great balance and complexity.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and soft in the mouth and goes down mildly hot. Finishes messy and boozy with a lingering, filmy aftertaste. Great feel but a bit thin.

The body is a bit thin here and the nose doesn't blow me away. However, the flavor has great balance and this is just a well-rounded beer all things considered. The bourbon presence is there but not overwhelming and complements the dark fruit, chocolate, and roasted malt notes perfectly. Worth seeking out.

Aug 09, 2013
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64 from Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into HF stemmed glass. Thanks Sam (ptrc) for sharing this with me since I couldn't make it to the release.

A- Pours a dark brown that appears a pitch black in the glass, pretty much no head after pouring and lies relatively still in the glass, some very light spotty lacing with decent alcohol legs.

S- Aromas of bourbon, a bit of wheat, some underlying chocolates,

T- Chocolates, hints of wheat, very well balanced bourbon, fudge on the back end, with more fudge coming out on the finish, hints of port and a bit of subtle dark fruits consisting of blackberries and grapes balancing nicely with the bourbon counterparts. Very nice subtle complexities, tasty, and quite enjoyable.

M- Medium bodied, fairly low carbonation but fits the style, very drinkable with very little alcohol burn.

O- This was a very nice blend of stouts and another great beer from HF worth seeking out. The smell wasn't anything amazing, but the taste had nice subtle complexities and a great drinkability. The different barrel treatments are definitely differentiable but balance nicely. If you are into barrel aged stouts that have a lot of subtle complexities this is definitely the beer for you.

Aug 03, 2013
Photo of DonFrap
DonFrap from Massachusetts

4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle into a tree house snifter, thanks to ptrc for bringing this to our epic stout tasting.

Was excited to try this bottle, m and c 1 was awesome. There was not much head, no retention. There is a minor offputing smell, not as smooth as I would have liked. I was disappointed with the taste. It's good, but it's not great. Not getting a ton of barrel characteristics. The mouthfeel was the best part of the beer. So incredibly smooth. Surprisingly good carb here that wasn't visible in the pour. Overall i was a little disappointed. I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I liked m and c 1 more, and definitely liked this years GoM more. I know it's virtually impossible to trade for this beer, and it pains me to say it as someone who frequents HF, but it might not be worth the asking price.

Aug 03, 2013
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Skrip from New Jersey

4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a Funkwerks snifter.

A~ dark as hell, hardly no head and no lacing once so ever!

S~ bourbon up front followed by dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and some burnt coffee. finishing up with vanilla, caramel sweetness lingering from the delicious bourbon.

T~ follows the nose perfectly. with dark fruits on the mid palet, figs, dates, etc... also a lot of maple syrup on the finish which adds a nice sweetness to the malts and adds to the vanilla and caramel flavors from the bourbon quite nicely. very rich, and just as complex as M&C#1 if not more so. hardly any booze notes as well, unlike M&C#1.

M~ super thick, maple syrup like for sure! sooo smooth considering the complexity. oh and of course super nice carbonation.

O~ extremely nice BA stout! one of the best from HF, probably not... i still can't get over how good BA Earl was, definitely my favorite of all time. it definitely could of had to do something with the age. but don't get me wrong this is still really amazing but kind of more of a Black Note rather then a KBS. if i have to put it that way haha.

Jul 10, 2013
Photo of Caleb
Caleb from Colorado

4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I poured from the bottle to a Hill Farmstead Tulip glass and compared it simultaneously with Madness and Civilization #1 (my second bottle of M&C#1), and enjoyed over a savory well paired dinner.

Appearance: As expected being aged longer, M&C2 is less carbonated and produces less froth, less head. Otherwise it appears very similar, darkly opaque, black with hints of dark brown.

Aroma: It has a big luxuriant aroma that leaps from the glass inviting you in for every drink. It carries a similar aroma to M&C1 but bigger, fuller, with stronger notes of vanilla, roasted malt, roasted coffee, and chocolate. As expected, it has a stronger booze aroma than M&C1.

Taste: Super rich, intense, and luxuriant, even more than M&C1, however, it is also a bit more syrupy. The notes of fig, dark fruits and smoke are somewhat hidden in M&C2. The vanilla and roasted flavors are bigger as well as the bourbon.

Mouthful: It is distinctly less carbonated that M&C1, which, although still full prevents it from fully exploding in the mouth like M&C1. The loss of carbonation removes the marshmellow fluffyness of M&C1. The mouthful provides terrific flavor throughout the entire drink. It is chewy and complex. It is more syrupy.

Overall: A truly special beer that strikes the taste buds on so many levels. The taste and aroma are definitely improved by the increased aging in comparison to M&C1 but that aging also detracted from the appearance (lost some of the pleasing rich chocolate colored froth rimming the surface of the beer) and mouthful. There's probably a perfect beer to be found somewhere in between #1 and #2.

Jul 04, 2013
Madness & Civilization #2 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 146 ratings