Madness and Civilization #9 by Hill Farmstead Merry Christmas indeed!

Madness and Civilization #9 Hill Farmstead

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Madness and Civilization #9

Tasting: December 31, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
Beer #: 1,123
ABV: Not listed. My guess, 9.0% based ABV of components.

This bottle of Madness and Civilization was a surprise Christmas present. On the sight of the label, my eyes lit up like an eight-year-old. The only word I could utter out of my slack-jawed mouth was “wow”. Why wow? First, you have to appreciate that this is a beer that is only available at the brewery. Then you have to realize that this brewery is in the most remote area of northeastern Vermont. For persepctive, Hill Farmstead is about an hour from Stowe and about 25 miles from the Canadian border. On the drive to the brewery, you may spend a half an hour on unmarked dirt roads questioning your GPS. Lastly, you have to account that releases like this may only happen over a few days each month.

Notes from the brewery: This batch of Madness & Civilization is composed of Barrel-Aged Everett (PoH note: 8.0% ABV) and Birth of Tragedy (PoH note: 9.0%), each aged in our favorite bourbon barrels for 2 years, blended with fresh Genealogy (PoH note: 9.5% ABV), and then conditioned further with coconut and vanilla. After months of bottle conditioning, this beer is now ready for release and enjoyment.

This motor oil colored stout was a little cold at first pour and flavors were limited to a charred roasted flavor. Let it sit quite a bit, hoping that some of the adjunct flavors of vanilla and coconut would come through but I didn’t get any of those flavors. I shared this bottle with two others and they reported the same. I did pick up some cocoa, nuttiness and coffee. Mouthfeel is rich and decadent. Not as great as I was expecting but not as bad as getting underwear for Christmas. Madness & Civilization is a very good 92 points.

Read my thoughts on some other Hill Farmstead beer including Everett 97 points

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Skadoosh and Alena, The Alchemist A Pair of American-Style IPA

Skadoosh American IPA and Alena American IPA by The Alchemist Brewery, Stowe, Vermont

(C) 2017 popsonhops

After a quick trip up to Hill Farmstead for the PBS Weekends with Yankee shoot, it was back on the road home. My friend had an early day the next day, so he was a sport in agreeing to a quick stop at the Alchemist in Stowe. I wish I thought to take some pictures but it really was a quick grab and go. Next time. My haul was some Heady Topper, The Crusher, Focal Banger and a four pack of Skadoosh and Alena.

Skadoosh:

Beer #: 1,121

This nonsensical word was used by Po, the main character in Kung Fu Panda. Apparently, it means “goodbye” or “peace”. On-line references say that this term is often used right before you beat someone’s ass. So, I assume the assaulting bitterness of this brew are appropos. There are progressive versions of Skadoosh, I believe this is version 12 as I see some on-line commentary about number 12 at the same time this was purchased. I’ll give Skadoosh 88 points.

Alena:

Beer #: 1,122

Start typing Alena in your Google search box. A few letters in Google takes over returning the most popular searches. Mine returned Alena Shiskova. It’s a beauty…uh the beer, well uh both…Here are John Kimmich’s thoughts

Yes, some mellow dankness up front. Definitely more polish than Skadoosh, some mellow juiciness, 90 points.

A flash back review of Focal Banger before it had a label!

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Careful Man, There’s a Beverage Here and Fall Saints, Exit 18 and Boris the Crusher Reserve

Fall Saints by Kane Brewing Company, Ocean, NJ
Exit 18 Baltic Porter by Flying Fish
Hey, Careful Man, There's a Beverage Here, White Russian Imperial Milk Stout by Pipeworks Brewing Company
BORIS the Crusher Reserve by Hoppin' Frog

Careful Man, There’s a Beverage Here by Pipeworks Brewing

Tasting: November 10, 2017
Style: White Milk Stout
Beer #: 1,117
ABV: 10.5%
Line from the movie, Big Lebowski. The reddish brown color of Careful Man, There’s a Beverage Here threw me for a minute but a double take on the label does say white stout. Looks more like a barley wine and tastes a bit like a barley wine. Boozy, caramel sweet, and mellow vanilla coffee flavor. This unique beer grew on me as I worked my way through but still a so-so beer, 86 points.

B.O.R.I.S. Reserve by Hoppin’ Frog

Tasting: November 11, 2017
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Beer #: 1,118
ABV: 10.4%
Called a reserve for the use of better, darker grains. I guess regular B.O.R.I.S. uses crappy grains. Lots of roasted grains, mellow chocolate underneath. A tad boozy. All-in-all ,92 points.

Read about regular old B.O.R.I.S.

Fall Saints by Kane Brewing

Tasting: November 19, 2017
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Beer #: 1,119
ABV: 9.4 %
A few sips in and I’m reminded why I don’t like pumpkin beer. Well in this case, butternut squash beers. Spices give this a chemical flavor. Not enjoying this at all, 70 points.

Exit 18 by Flying Fish

Tasting: December 9, 2017
Style: Baltic Porter
Beer # 1,120
ABV: 9.5%

Another release in the series named for New Jersey Turnpike exits. This time, Bergen County’s Exit 18. It’s noted that the Baltic reference is a tribute to the many Baltic residents in the county. That’s Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden. A pretty broad brush. Frankly, this beer should have been named for the Hudson River as it’s quite demure in watery flavor. Offers up some boozy burn. Very disappointing. 72 points.
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Difference & Repetition Hill Farmstead or Difference and Repetition or repetition and difference

Hill Farmstead Difference & Repetition American IPA brewed by Hill Farmstead, Greensboro Bend, Vermont

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Sometime over the summer, a friend told me that he was going to be working with a PBS program that was filming a segment featuring Hill Farmstead Brewery. He asked if I’d be interested in a quick road trip. I guess by now, you know my answer.

Hill Farmstead Cans of Difference & Repetition brewed with Simcoe, Galaxy and Hallertau Blanc hops. Hill Farmstead, Greensboro Bend, Vermont(C) 2017 popsonhops

Beautiful crisp fall morning in Burlington. A quick stop at a local coffee shop and we were on our way driving through the back drop of peak fall foiliage. We were probably the first people at the brewery and were welcomed to hang in the tap room while waiting for the crew to arrive.

Hill Farmstead Difference & Repetition American IPA brewed by Hill Farmstead, Greensboro Bend, Vermont along with Brisket Tacos

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Enjoyed lunch and a fairly nice sized haul of goodies including twelve cans of Difference & Repetition. I had the opportunity to ask a couple of questions of the brewery manager. A new addition to the brewery was the availability of cans in the bottle shop. He said that they tested cans and were pleased that they held the flavor. He did say that they might notice a subtle difference after a few days but a consumer probably would not. The use of Hallertau Blanc hops was a new one on me. I know Hallertau hops as being one of the German noble hops but it doesn’t necessarily excite as part of an American-Style IPA. He explained that it was a newer variety, possibly in reaction to onslaught of New Zealand, Australian and hops from the American northwest.

My thoughts on Difference & Repetition…

Style: IPA
ABV: 6.0%
Beer #: 1,116

First few sips, explode with white wine grapes and the signature smooth polished mouthfeel of a Hill Farmstead ale. Orange, grapefruit rule. Really nice, 95 points.
The philosophical reference: Difference & Repetition is a 1968 book by philosopher Gilles Deleuze. I won’t even attempt giving you the Cliff Notes.

Visit the Brewery Website

Here’s another series of Hill Farmstead Ales

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