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James Black Ale - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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James Black Ale
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259 Ratings
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Ratings: 259
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 7.55%
Wants: 28
Gots: 4 | 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: 259 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on draft at Farmhouse in Burlington.
Poured into a snifter glass.
Oil dark with minimal caramel colored head.
Smell was hoppy, cloves and molasses.
Tasted great! Deep roasted malts with cloves, floral hops, molasses.
Mouthfeel was clean with a much cleaner finish than I was expecting.
A wonderful black IPA.

BoldRulerVT, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of jzeilinger
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

jzeilinger, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of facesnorth
4/5  rDev -5.7%

facesnorth, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of cbutova
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Last growler from my recent visit to HF. Never tried this one at all and always pumped to try new brews from Greensboro. Best by December 14th on the tag.

A- Snifter pour from the 750ml growler with a black body all around. Head forms to a finger high, a nice sight for a growler being in the fridge for seven days, no difference here from the wait. Puffy head recedes to a small, fizzy ring at the edges and small clouds on the top. Lace starts thick with rings at each sip and falls off as the glass gets wide.

S- The first black IPA I can think of having where I might not even know it was black from the aroma. Hops are packed in here in the same manner as many other HF IPAs with fresh citrus and floral notes mostly coming to mind. Slight black roast malts but hops are dominant.

T- Follows the nose with some minor differences in hops and malts opening up just a bit. The malts are still super clean and refined but there is a bit of sweetness, caramel and general roastiness here. Hops are once again bright with fresh notes of grapefruit, orange zest, stone fruits, pine and slight floral hints.

MF- Moderately thick body with a nice creaminess when agitated on the palate. Carbonation somewhere between a medium and high level but super smooth. Ends with a clean low-moderate hop bitterness on the palate.

Good to see that in the fridge the HF 750ml lasts at least a week. I wouldn't push it after their best by date (7 days) but I don't see much changing for even a few days past it. Shaun's system of fresh, hoppy growlers always produces great results. If I was blindfolded I would be thinking great IPA first and then the black malts secondly. Keep up the good work.

cbutova, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of WVUbrew
4.75/5  rDev +12%

WVUbrew, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of thetommo
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

thetommo, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

DrunkinYogi, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of campfirebrew
4/5  rDev -5.7%

campfirebrew, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of BTVflatlander
4/5  rDev -5.7%

BTVflatlander, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of lovindahops
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

lovindahops, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of TroyS62
5/5  rDev +17.9%

TroyS62, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of pisano
4/5  rDev -5.7%

pisano, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of Sean802
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Sean802, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of Chico1985
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The Hill Farmstead spoilage continues. Currently in the process of taking down a 2-liter with the help of Kevin and Scott...

Drinking it out of a newly acquired Rock Art mason jar. Black beer, beige head. Retains well as a thin cap for most of it leaving some lace.

Pretty much full-on hoppy scent, but good in that sense. Loads of orange, grapefruit, earthy pine resin. Only some toastiness otherwise.

Taste brings on some very light roasted malts, chocolate, and toasted malts, but still very much leaning more towards IPA. Nice citrus fruits, pineapple, tropical fruits for sure, underscored by resiny+earthy hop oils.

Smooth mouthfeel with medium amount of carbonation, hops are quite bitter which hinders the palate, but otherwise quite quaffable. Nothing noticeable for alcohol presence.

Reminds me alot of their other black IPA (Foster), just enough 'blackness' to let you know it's there accompanied by loads of great hops, this one is probably even hoppier. It's good but maybe would've liked to see something different/more balanced with this time around.

Chico1985, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of bahnfire
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

bahnfire, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of pendabev
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

pendabev, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of Brendog9
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Brendog9, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of iatethecloudsfor
4/5  rDev -5.7%

iatethecloudsfor, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of mPaxtonS
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

mPaxtonS, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of Lunch
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Lunch, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of Dawkins
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Dawkins, Sep 23, 2013
Photo of The-yetti
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

The-yetti, Sep 21, 2013
Photo of nootch23
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

nootch23, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of kctobin72
4.75/5  rDev +12%

kctobin72, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of Hophead717
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Hophead717, Sep 09, 2013
James Black Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 259 ratings.