craftycarl21 (2025) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - NOV 28, 2011
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
HUGE thanks to the man oteyj for picking up this gem!!! Thick black pour with a frothy, cask-like tan head. Nose is absolutely mindblowing, with epic notes of vanilla, dark cherry, uber rich chocolate ganache, mocha, and superb clove and cinnamon hidden in the depths. Further notes of dark rum, dark molasses and true New England maple syrup with that strong and genuine bark and nuanced sweetness. Both ends of the bourbon gamut also shine through; spicy rye and smooth wheat presence. Truly superb aroma.
The flavor, if possible, might be better than the nose. The whiskey barrel comes through with even further vanilla extract, wood, spice, caramel, maple sap, chocolate truffle, smooth white chocolate latte, and even a touch of citrus, much like a chocolate orange. The mocha and lactic cream presence doesn’t contribute any bitterness or roast, but just a supremely balanced, complex, and intricate sweetness. The barrel aging yields a creamier, richer, and smoother than most of Shaun’s beers; that crisp effervescence that marks most of Hill Farmstead’s saisons, IPAs, and even his darker beers is replaced by a luxurious, smooth, wave-like texture that glides across the roof of the mouth, tongue, teeth, and gums with remarkable ease. The 11% ABV hardly shows, though there is a whisper of its presence, enough to make the fortitude of this beer felt in the deep reaches of the consumer’s mind. I am truly blown away. A marvel in the world of beer.
Fred82 (1992) - Québec City, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 25, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
500ml thanks to MtGoat.
Appearance : Black with medium head.
Aroma : Big rich roasted malt. Licorice. Sweet.
Taste : Chocolate with roasted malt, light coffee. Rather spicy with big rich vanilla on the finish.
Palate : Velvety and soft palate. Great palatable finish.
Overall : Very nice. Awesome vanilla that lingers all along the very long and persistent finish along the dark chocolate and light coffee. A great example of a well done bourbon ageing. Great nose and taste but the finish is what made the biggest impression on me. Awesome stuff.
dcschiller (1989) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - DEC 16, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2011 (22oz bottle courtesy of dak). Pours near black with thin espresso head. Aroma is heavy vegetal, chocolate, light bourbon. Taste is sweet malts with chocolate and caramel. Full bodied with oily texture. Alcohol heat. Good.
PhillyCraft (1963) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 2, 2013
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle generously shared by Tim/Bill once they saw I brought the base beer for this. It was nice trying them back to back to note the differences. Silky black color with thin beige head. Aromas and taste are delicious with roasted coffee bean, bitterseet choc bar, cinnamon, and loads on chocolate chip cookie dough as it warmed! Mostly in the aroma, other notes of graham, bourbon, Pap, and light citrus. I liked twilight better but this one was seriously rich meh.
Damico (1914) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 19, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours dark thick oil in color with virtually no head, some light dark caramel bubbles on top. The aroma is sweet notes of the bourbon barrels with no alcohol at all. The flavor has nice sweet and light boozy bourbon notes that are very smooth on the palate. The body is medium thickness with almost no carbonation at all, but that isn’t a bad thing by any means. Thanks again Shaun!
sonnycheeba (1901) - Federal Hill, Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 31, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours opaque black with a flat trace of tan head; short retention and no lacing. Aroma is roasted malt, vanilla, licorice, dark fruit, bourbon, earthy notes, and some oak. Flavor is malt dominate with some supporting dark fruit esters; bourbon and vanilla undertones throughout. Medium/full body, low carbonation, and medium warmth.
AirForceHops (1846) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - SEP 23, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft at HFS harvest festival. Deep brown with ruby highlights. Head is tiny beige bubbles. Nose and taste is deeply complex. Bourbon up front, followed by rich coffee beans covered in caramel. Charred malt with a high viscosity that you can actually see sticking to the side of the glass. The coffee and bourbon show up again in the finish however, a sweet finish. ABV does not exist anywhere in this brew. Absolutely wonderful. Shaun Hill makes yet another masterpiece. Well done sir!
piscator34 (1798) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA - MAY 18, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled sample via and shared with oakbluff. Near black in colour with moderate carbonation. Aromas are of coffee, molasses, booze, and wintergreen. Flavors are pretty much what you’d expect, with elements of coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, bourbon, and a bit of wet stones on the finish. Heavy bodied in a good way. Solid overall.
_angst_ (1743) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - OCT 20, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle received in trade. Thank you Glouglouburp! Pours Black with a thin mocha head that quickly dissipates without leaving much trace on the glass. Smell is sweet, malty and spicy with toasted malts, ginger, vanilla fudge, cinnamon, bourbon, dark roast coffee, roasted coconut, cloves, dark piney honey, black pepper and alcohol. Taste is sweet and slightly malty with roasted malts, coconut, bourbon, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla fudge, dark roast coffee, dark honey, oatmeal cookies, slightly dry grass and hints of sheet metal. Mouthfeel is smooth, round, slightly boozy and medium to full bodied. Finish is sweet and bitter with roasted malts, dark roast coffee, dark honey, cinnamon, coconut, vanilla and bourbon. Bit unbalanced.
JulienHuxley (1705) - Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 26, 2012
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at HF Harvest Fest. Black pour with a few scarce brown bubbles. Aroma is very bourbon forward, really clean, spicy aroma with lots of anise and molasses. Taste is sweet, maybe a tad overly so - could have used a bit more bitterness. Palate was a tad flat which did nothing to help the impression of sweetness. Good barrel use however, the bourbon was perfectly incorporated.