1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

James Black Ale - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
James Black Ale
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.

350 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 350
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 7.58%
Wants: 30
Gots: 7 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 350 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Willytee3:
Photo of Willytee3
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Blackback in Waterbury, VT, poured into Hill Farmstead stemware.

Pours a dark chocolate black with rich cappuccino color head. Incredible lacing clings up and down the side of the glass for the entire drink!

Smells of apple pie and light spice, the strange richness of kiwi fruit comes to mind. A nice variety of lightly roasted malts complements well the hop esters.

Tastes of mild bittersweet chocolate, light and complex roasty malts with a pine hop character. I would say the middle is made up of a kind of tropical fruit but on the darker side, the hops and malts blend well in a complementary way. The pine hops contribute to an overall bitterness throughout the drink and brighten a bit on the finish.

Feel is medium body, on the lighter side and ultimately quafable, this one goes down easy.

I was pleasantly surprised, this is truly an IPA character with a mellowing light black maltiness.

Hope this one makes sense cause it was a pleasant surprise to drink an delicious IPA without all that hop bitterness. And I do appreciate the hop side of an IPA.

Incredibly well balanced and very drinkable, I would definitely recommend trying this one.

Willytee3, Feb 26, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%

tectactoe, Nov 02, 2014
Photo of thetommo
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

thetommo, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -5.2%

warnerry, Mar 22, 2013
Photo of kingcrowing
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
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 +6.6%

doremite, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of williamjbauer
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

williamjbauer, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of Bizoneill
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Bizoneill, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of SPRichard
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

SPRichard, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

stereosforgeeks, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of tugg407
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

tugg407, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -5.2%

acurtis, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of roostor07
4/5  rDev -5.2%

roostor07, Oct 27, 2014
Photo of Dawkins
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Dawkins, Sep 23, 2013
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
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 +6.6%

RyanOooh, Dec 19, 2013
Photo of HopsSlayer
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%

HopsSlayer, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of CraigMack61
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

CraigMack61, Yesterday at 02:07 AM
Photo of markcp
4/5  rDev -5.2%

markcp, Oct 26, 2014
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
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 +6.6%

gr8zehaman, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of robgage
4/5  rDev -5.2%

robgage, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of Kevincredible
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Kevincredible, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of Kinsman
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Kinsman, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of dave00100
5/5  rDev +18.5%

dave00100, Jan 01, 2012
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
James Black Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 350 ratings.