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James Black Ale - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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James Black Ale
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

353 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 353
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 7.57%
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
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Ratings: 353 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hill Farmstead on November 4, 2010. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass. Thanks to Shaun for his incredible generosity for spending a good deal of time with us.

Pours a deep, dark color that verges on black. A single-finger tan head and some nice lacing. The aroma hits the parameters of the newly-formed style head on with some really resinous piney hops as well as some roasted malt. The taste is pretty hoppy with some mild roast. The feel has a great combination of roasted malt and pine-based hops. This drinks quite well and is a really well done hoppy black ale.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler: Poured a clear deep black color ale with a large dirty brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of piney hops is incredibly intense with great floral qualities. Taste is a mix between roasted malt notes with light bitter and dry notes submerged by a huge amount of piney hops with some citrus notes. Body is average with good carbonation. This a great demonstration on how dry-hopping should be done to limit the bitterness of hops but ensure floral piney notes are prevalent.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of Knapp85
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured out as a rich looking deep brown color what essentially looks black in the glass. There is a very nice creamy tan head on top that leaves a great lacing and a pretty strong retention also. The smell of the beer has a really nice balance of roasted malts and aromatic hops. Very nicely done. The taste of the beer is also quite good, the malts again balance out flawlessly with the hops being used in this one. Chocolate roasted flavors with the subtle bite of pine in the finish. The mouthfeel of the beer is pretty smooth, it's medium bodied with a healthy carbonation. Overall this beer is very good, Can't find much to really complain about here.

Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tap at the Hill farmstead tasting room.

Dark almost black color, hint of ruby light coming through, creamy head with lacing.

Nose great spicy earthy hops, light citrus, some pine, dark caramel malts and molasses, chewy malts and hops.

Taste chewy spicy earthy hops, bit of pine, creamy dark malts, caramel, light roast, fairly bitter. Dry very bitter finish, bit of darker creamy malts.

Mouth is creamy med bodied, good carb.

Overall pretty good, less of the darker malts and more of the big bitter hops, not quite what I was expecting but maybe what I should have expeccted from Hill Farmstead. A taste drinkable beer but less dark malts than I expected.

Photo of oline73
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler into a snifter.

Pours a dark brown color with a layer of off white head. The nose is full of citrus peel hops. There is just a touch of roast. The flavor has a nice balance to it. Just a touch of roast with a nice citrus peel hop note. The finish is bitter but smooth. The finish is quite dry.

Photo of MasterSki
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sean for sharing this growler. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - A finger of tan foam settles to some wisps, a thin collar, and minimal lacing. Very dark brown body.

S - Aroma is great! If I were blindfolded I'd *almost* be fooled into thing this was a regular IPA (or at least a hoppy amber). There's a faint hint of chocolate and roast character in the periphery, but this is heavy on the citrus, tropical, and lightly herbal hop flavors.

T - The taste tends a bit more towards the balanced side of things, although there's still a ton of hop character. Juicy citrus, earthy hops and roasted grains, and a touch of tropical fruits. Pleasant moderate bitterness in the finish that stays at a manageable level.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, lightly chewy texture, with a dry finish. Some resinous hop oils linger on the palate.

D - This is exactly how I like my Black IPAs. Hopefully John Kimmich makes El Jefe again so that I can do a side-by-side showdown between these two beers. I'll probably trade for this one in the future, as I really enjoyed it.

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Hill Farmstead

Dark brown-black pour, looked to lack most haze, but was still nearly opaque; a small beige head sank to a small ringlet leaving streaks of lacing on the glass. Piney hops dominant in the nose, mixed with some chocolaty malts, touches of citrus zest. Pretty typical of the style. Similar taste, plenty of hops, mostly pine, some citrus, roasted dark malts, cocoa, toasted grains. Medium body, decent balance. It's hard to get too much variety with this style, but that doesn't mean there aren't good ones and bad ones. This one was pretty good. It is HF after all.

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of yourefragile
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL growler.

Pours a clear dark brown, near black with a bubbly tan, ruby tinged head. Aroma is resin, pine, roast malt, and light citrus hops. Mouthfeel is suffering a little from sitting on this growler for too long. Light carbonation on a medium thick body with a slightly watery finish. Much less roast in the flavor than the nose, pine hops dominate, bitter and resiny with light citrus in the finish. Aftertaste lingers more malty than the body with soft roast and light chocolate. Having had this fresh, I won't ding the mouthfeel from this sample; one of my favorite Black IPAs.

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of corby112
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on draft at Capone's.

Pours pitch black and almost complety opaque with only the slightest hint of deep, dark mahogany edges when held to a light source and a one finger beige foam head that settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic chunks of lacing left behind.

Interesting aroma with hints of roasted malt as well as some sweet citrus and earthy pine hop notes. Slightly roasted with hints of chocolate and caramel but not as malty as I expected.

Medium bodied with a nice bitter blast of earthy hops up frotthat is immediately coutered by sweet citrus and tropical frut notes. The roasty malt is minimal and is actually used to counterbalance the hops. Subtle toasty bread, chocolate and caramel but this beer is all about the sweet citrus and tropical hop flavor. Only slightly bitter with some earthy pine as well as some grapefuit, lemon, pineapple and orane peel. This was a really interstig beer and one of the better black IPAs ibe had.

Photo of mothman
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the Blind Tiger in NYC.

The beer appears black with a thick, tan head. Long lasting retention with copious lacing. Hill Farmstead beers are beautiful. The aroma brings roast, pine, a hint of chocolate. Nice flavor. Well balanced, with a healthy pine bitterness on top of a roasted malt bill. Medium bodied with lingering chocolate in the finish. A solid beer.

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James Black Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 353 ratings.