MartinT (7760) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 3, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2013 My Bottom Line:
Wood, coffee, rye and cereal cookies merge before fruit and wood take over this complex Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A sheet of foam protects the impenetrable darkness.
-The second half is particularly fruity.
-Mouthfeel is quite chewy, almost viscous.
-Complexity is out of this world, as usual for Hill Farmstead.
-A touch of chocolate adds even more depth.
-This is aging very well. Was very good when it came out, but it’s even better now a few months later.
AdamJackson (2390) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 1, 2012
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 13/20
Picked this up at Hill Farmstead a few weeks ago. Enjoyed at 60 degrees F in an HFS tulip. Thanks Shaun for your time and care.
A - 30-seconds after I uncapped the bottle, foam starting pouring out so I quickly grabbed a glass to catch it. Poured black out of the bottle. Not as viscous or midnight-esque as Damon. More like a darker version of Everett. 3-Finger coffee colored head that faded to a thin ring after a minute or so.
S - Big coffee notes, oak and sweet raisins / figs on the nose.
T - This is a far sweeter beer than expected. Very much like a sherry or (no surprise) Madeira wine taste up front. The middle is a nice spicy peppery sweet porter taste with hints of cocoa. The finish is dry burnt espresso and very sweet Madeira wine with toffee, caramel and sugar.
M - High-Medium body, heavy carbonation and very sweet finish.
O - I expected a beer that was just a little smoother, a bit less sweet and, unfortunate to say, a bit more balance on how the coffee, Madeira and chocolate come together. The rye is there but it comes at the finish as sort of a masked nuance to the coffee. This is still a great beer but not a beer that I will seek out again. Sorry Shawn.
Reynolds314 (2248) - Connecticut, USA - OCT 23, 2012
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared with Ernesto987. Pours black with large light brown head. Aroma is mellow coffee, milk chocolate, vinous notes, and light cinnamon. Taste is medium sweet with a lightly bitter finish. Flavors are intense and fantastic. Reminds me a bit of maple/brown sugar oatmeal with a subdued coffee element. The finish is very heavy port and spicy rye/oak which does a perfect job of balancing some of the sweetness. WINNER.
Ernesto987 (3611) - Connecticut, USA - OCT 22, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2012 YES! The perfect blend of vanilla roast and wine characteristics. This is incredible. I like this a lot more than damon, there is perfect balance here. Great job Shaun!
oteyj (2130) - New Hampshire, USA - OCT 10, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
From a 500ml bottle purchased at the brewery. Pitch black pour with a mountainous tan head that prevails throughout the glass. Oatmeal cookie and freshly ground espresso gives way to huge port like vinousness, hints of spicy rye, chocolate brownie, and a very slight hint of alcohol. The palate is thick and rich with caressing pillow effervescence and a dry chocolate-port like finish. An excellent variation of one of my tried and true favorites.