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James Black Ale - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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James Black Ale
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310 Ratings
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Ratings: 310
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 7.57%
Wants: 28
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
James was our Uncle (Edward James Hill Jr.). Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his four siblings. In his honor, this Black Ale is dutifully crafted from American and German malted barley, American hops, our ale yeast, and water from James’ well. It is unfiltered, naturally carbonated, and dry hopped. Roasty and smooth, with accents of chocolate and a balanced hoppy finish, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with James.

Pale and Caramel Malt; Roasted Barley; Centennial and Columbus hops; Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.

(Beer added by: SFLpunk on 06-27-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 310 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by NoLiberty:
Photo of NoLiberty
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great to see the Black IPA style gaining popularity and serious attention from brewers. Thanks to GrassrootsVT for brewing and sharing.

James pours completely black into my Euro pint glass. A thick, creamy head builds from the depths of the beer into a solid 2 finger oozing, cream-colored cap on top of the beer. This mellows into a persistent cap with sticky lacing dripping down the edges of the glass. James is completely black allowing no light through but clearly has a lighter, more athletic body.

The aroma is a wonderful blend of sticky, resinous hops - pine tar, ripe tropical fruit, citrus oil - with a backbone of mahogany - trim but deeply rich. There's a light alcohol kiss and subtle sweetness that softens the edges and entices a sip.

This is a completely hop-forward version of the black IPA, bordering on double IPA. Wonderfully clean, fresh, ripe, resinous, and addictive. Flavors of charred pine logs blend with ripe tangerine, grapefruit and Greek retsina wine. The hope forward biting front moves to a slightly more sweet middle that leads to a more roasted end that finishes clean with subtle lingering bitterness.

Carbonation is great, clean and effervescent. Body is light to medium with structural strength to mirror the dark complexion but light enough to make for an extremely refreshing and drinkable beer.

I would come back to this again and again, as long as it's available.

NoLiberty, Dec 01, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of thetommo
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

thetommo, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -5.4%

warnerry, Mar 22, 2013
Photo of kingcrowing
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64oz growler poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours dark, dark black with a small brown head that quickly fades, thin lacings starts to slowly form. Nose is awesome, it's hoppy and fruity, wild fruit and pine nots come through strongly. There's a bit of maltiness but it's not over the top which is good.

Right off the mouthfeel is really nice, it's light and sharp and quite creamy, very similar to a good American IPA, with a nice sharp finish. The taste is quite roasty and a bit grainy - I get this from all Black IPAs, and I'm not a big fan of it, but it seems to just be inherent in the style. There hop flavors are well balanced with the dark malts, and the citrus and mango flavors come through well. I think this is one of the best examples of a Black IPA that I've had to date.

kingcrowing, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of doremite
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

doremite, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of williamjbauer
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

williamjbauer, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of Bizoneill
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Bizoneill, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of SPRichard
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

SPRichard, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

stereosforgeeks, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of tugg407
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

tugg407, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -5.4%

acurtis, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of Dawkins
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Dawkins, Sep 23, 2013
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Black Back Pub. An IPA that happens to have a shwartzbier element,resiny,piney, chocolate stoutish and grapefruit. Dark body and some lace.Hops and some roast aroma. The roast was lightly done which was nice to drink. Average mouthfeel.

Sammy, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of RyanOooh
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

RyanOooh, Dec 19, 2013
Photo of HopsSlayer
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%

HopsSlayer, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Big khaki head. Eternal retention. Great lacing. Very nice looking beer.

Smell - Really citrusy. Some of the roast comes through, but it's mostly citrus hop.

Taste - Bright citrus hop and roasted malt blended with the hops. Grapefruit hops. Roast is very strong, but the hops never let up. Lends a nice complexity. Slight bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Very carbonated.

Overall - Excellent. Love how hoppy it is. Really impressive.

Alieniloquium, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of gr8zehaman
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

gr8zehaman, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of robgage
4/5  rDev -5.4%

robgage, Oct 16, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Kevincredible, Jan 19, 2014
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4/5  rDev -5.4%

Kinsman, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of dave00100
5/5  rDev +18.2%

dave00100, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of Kmlund
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Kmlund, Friday at 03:33 PM
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4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

dexterk1, Sep 28, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Drumomatic, Dec 24, 2013
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4/5  rDev -5.4%

trevorpost, Oct 05, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
James Black Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 310 ratings.