mcberko (4053) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 28, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
500mL bottle, sent from cstromberg (thanks a lot, Chris), pours hey black with a substantial foamy tan head. Aroma is very complex, with notes of rye, coffee and red wine barrels all surfacing about equally. There is a mild roast character as well. Flavour brings out the rye upfront, with subdued coffee and roasted malt notes, leaving fairly vinous notes on the finish from the red wine barrels. The barrels are not overdone, accentuating the other characteristics nicely. Age has probably greatly diminished the coffee. Palate is quite carbonated, often a problematic effect from barrel aging. Great stuff, but below the par excellence usually produced by Shaun et al.
nightrider (751) - encinitas, California, USA - DEC 16, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pour from a bottle into a glass gave a dark brown black color with a nice tan mocha head. Aromas of cocoa, coffee. Medium bodied with perfect mouthfeel. Flavors are immensely complex and delicious. Roasted smoky malt, dark roast coffee, vanilla, oak and in the background the Madeira wine from the barrel. Not overly sweet or sticky and finishes dry enough. Fantastic beer and one of my new favorite stouts!
hopscotch (8215) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 9, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle... Pours midnight black with a small, creamy, brown head. Decent retention. The nose is a warming, luxuriant assortment of fudge, coconut, roasted nuts and ethanol. Medium-bodied with a milky mouthfeel and lively carbonation. The flavor is intensely sweet, carbonic and acrid, featuring loads of charcoal and heaps of deeply-roasted coffee. Finishes burnt and bittersweet. Bottle courtesy of landhoney!
brystmar (455) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - DEC 7, 2012
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 13/20
Been wanting to try this for awhile. Tiny bubbles galore clue me in that this is MASSIVELY over-carbonated, especially for the style. Coffee on the palate, roasted malt joins but not really that much complexity overall. Hmm, I really expected more from HF.
Thorpe429 (4844) - , Illinois, USA - NOV 18, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Big thanks to Moll for a pour of this one. Nose is quite interesting with some lightly-tangy fruit and nice barrel character beside roast and chocolate. Nice stout base and good barrel character. Really interesting. Smooth body. Quite good.
yourefragile (105) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - NOV 16, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500 mL bottle shared by Starr.
Pours a dark, thin chocolate brown with a retentive dark tan head, little lace. Aroma is reminiscent of Genealogy, with slight spice, roast coffee and malt, with the addition of the Madeira barrels adding a slight tangy fruitiness; very balanced. Barrel aging is much more prominent in the flavor and first thing noticed on the palate. Similar to the year old keg of Genealogy at the 2nd Anniversary party my first thought is that this beer is... old. After that, a slight tang, with grape and dry oak, with spice from the rye and less malt or coffee than the nose or base. Medium thick and moderate carbonation; slightly thin and a light coffee acidity in the finish. Well integrated and unique, but doesnít live up to Damon or the base beer fresh. An unique, remarkable stout, would love to have the base beer fresh again.
TheAlum (4289) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - NOV 12, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled at GonzoIlliniís Birthday Party (Western Springs, IL). Happy Birthday, Tony! Pours a rich blackish pour in body, deep and dark with a good haze, some amber dark edges. A big cakey tannish head that sticks, laces well. Aromas are gentle spice and yeas(, coolness, estery fruit, gentle toastiness. Initial is really nice, rich flavors, some toast, apple, kiss of cocoa. Some more apple, pear, citrus, spice and yeast. Gentle toastiness, kiss of marshmellow, roast, toast, and kiss of cocoa. Faint coffee, yeasty gentle fruit, touch of tartness and dryness into the backend and finish. Some toast, gentle roast, faint cocoa, and richer fruit and dryness. Quite nice. I must say the barrel on this one really ups the complexity. Nice.
MartinT (6934) - 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 itís even better now a few months later.
adamjackson (1229) - Canaan, 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 (1480) - 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.