Jim - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
JimJim

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

117 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 117
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 129
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sisuspeed on 10-03-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Jim (1954-1998) is the name by which our Uncle was best known. Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his four siblings. In his honor, we barrel aged our Black IPA (James) in a French Oak Pinot Noir barrel for four months and dry hopped the beer with Simcoe. Naturally carbonated and hand bottled, this is one of only 300 bottles.

Pale and Caramel Malt; Roasted Barley; Centennial, Columbus, and Simcoe hops; Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 117 | Reviews: 53
Reviews by Beerdster:
More User Reviews:
Photo of kingcrowing
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours jet black with a nice one finger dark brown head that slowly fades into a nice ring of sticky head. The nose is fresh and hoppy. a bit sweet, and certainly oaky.

Mouthfeel is a bit of a let down, the carbonation is a bit low, making it feel a bit flat in the mouth (but this beer is NOT flat, just not highly carbonated). It's quite juicy and hoppy without bring too bitter at all. The wood flavors are there and balance it out nicely.

Photo of 05Harley
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased @ Hill Farmstead Brewery, Greensboro VT.

Price - $12.00/bomber

Pours near black with a moderate amount of lite tan foam and looks delicious. After sitting for several minutes a creamy film remains. Lacing is heavy and proves to be quite decorative.

The aroma is sort of mild at first, but after several minutes reveals citrus and pine followed by a very faint smell of smoked malt.

Wow, I can actually taste apricot, with out question. A piney resin is next followed by caramel, ash, burnt wood and alcohol. Individually I love all these flavors but for some reason together here somethings not right.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lingering bitter finish. Carbonation is lite and in the end very dry which puts the smoothness to bed.

Overall finishing the bottle by myself took a little bit of effort. Not to say it wasn't good, just not my flavor I guess. By far this one is my least favorite from Hill Farmstead. I'm not sure if it's the wine barrels or what. Definitely a unique experience for the style.

Photo of nkersten
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from growler into Saison DuPont glass. Black body with a mocha tan head and excellent laving and retention. Huge hop aromas, pine balanced with roasty malts and amazing bitter combination, some molasses sweetness. Bitter hopiness, herbal, thyme, roasted malts, not overpowering in any way. Black malts make their presence known in the finish while the hops take over everywhere else. Medium bodied with a light carbonation. Drinkability is exellent - the balance of flavors and the smells are wonderful.

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

John S's bottle, recently acquired. The aroma is chocolate and orange (reflecting the Simcoe). all in a very dark brown to black appearance. very smooth and understated carbonation, even less than many cask ales. The wine barreling overcomes everything, so that the hops are understated as well. A rich worthwhile beverage more akin to a wine itself.

Photo of mikey711
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown, near black with a frothy mocha colored head that holds very well and leave great lacing.

S: Nice roasted coffee aroma followed by a light pine hoppines. there is a nice fruitness from the pinot noir. some light vanilla notes from the barrel

T: the roastiness is very present and quite enjoyable and the hops add a nice balance. nice pine hoppiness and a tough of grasiness. the pinot adds a very nice fruit characteristic as well

M: Very nice creaminess with no rough qualities, thre is no heat and it is very smooth

D: A slow sipper with lots of full flavors. definitely one i would like to try again

Photo of ororke5000
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

first review! thanks to Jon for a surprise package!

French oak aged black IPA, then dry hopped with simcoe and bottled by hand. (from the label)

pours dark brown/black, when held up to light it is a nice brown/red sienna edge. thin tan head of tiny bubbles. smells of oak, earth, sage bush and hops, with rich earthy leather/sage being the most noticeable.

tastes of resiny hops and the soft earthy leather upfront, melds with a dry sage/smudge (all the hippies know what i mean) coming in last, with some roasted malt bitterness hitting the back of the tongue. with a soft and clingy mouth feel.

this beer if great! i was skeptical of the the whole thing but i love this beer. wouldn't mind having another bottle and sharing it with friends.

bravo!

Photo of nickd717
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle thanks to grassrootsVT.

Pours darkest brown with a small but lasting tan head and very good lacing.

The aroma is great, roasty with a hint of dark chocolate, coffee, and big hops, mainly of the piney variety. Slight dark fruit and oak notes from the barrel.

Really tasty with a great malt base to it, with roast, coffee, charcoal, and dark chocolate. Big piney hops, and a nice red wine and oak character to it.

Very crisp and resinous on the palate, medium bodied with an intense charcoal-like dryness. Really excellent mouthfeel on this one.

Well, looks like we've got a hype-liver-upper-to here, or however you say that. Hopefully this one comes back with a bigger bottle count.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to nickd717 for sharing this one on my recent trip to Cali. Served from bottle into a goblet. Poured a massively dark brown with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, smoke, and slight citrus hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this brew wasn't that bad, but it also wasn't that great. To me, the smoke drowned out a lot of the flavor and might have covered some up in the process. Just wish that aspect of the brew was a little more mellowed out. With that said however, this is a brew that you must at least try if you are a fan of smoked brews or Cascadian IPAs.

Photo of Neffbeer
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blind Tiger:

A: Black body and a tan frothy head. When held up to the light a ruby hue emerges revealing that it is not quite opaque. There was good head retention and lacing.

S: Roast and smoke hit first followed by some pine hops and and a woody character. I pick up some chocolate and coffee somewhere in there along with a hint of wine as well. This is a really complex assembly of aromas.

T: Roasted malt and wood hit first, followed by some pine hops. I taste chocolate and coffee with a hint of fruitiness as the beer warms. Man oh man is this good.

M: The mouthfeel is superb. Thick and viscous and manages to be pillowy smooth at the same time.

D: Overall I am very impressed with this beer. I would struggle to call this a CDA, but it is truly an excellent brew.

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Blind Tiger's Very Special Keg Night on 11/3/10 in Manhattan, NYC.

A: Black with a dark tan ring.

S: Hoppy! Vermont at its best.

T: Smoky, hoppy, and just a touch of oak. A perfect blend of flavors and unique.

M: Nicely carbonated. Perfect body on this one.

D: No issues getting through not one but two tulips of this.

Overall, a special treat delivered by Alan!

Photo of mikesgroove
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

prepping myself for hobo tasting number 3 or 2.5, i sit here eating pizza with a bottle of Jim(somneone please send me more!) served in a pint glass and enjoyed on 1.16.11.

the pour is dark as night, black with a nice little head of dark tan that falls to a quarter inch and hangs there throughout the entire session, just sitting and mocking me as i drink.

then i take a whiff, one of the best smells i have ever come across, deep pineapple and citrus hops, roasted malts, ash and campfire, tobacco, leather, and a wonderful warming alcohol. my god this is what dreams are made of. the flavor does not dissapoint. creamy and luscious feel is spot on not too heavy at all. first flavor to hit is pineapple and ripe citrus which folds into heavy smoke and ash. roasted malts everywhere with tons of wonderful favors, dark fruits, rich leather like back lash, amazing beer. i am not sure what to call this except amazing. finishing with a smack of grapefruit and smoke that dries the palate and leaves a smokey flavor at the same time, this was quite simply an amazing beer,

overall honestly one of the best beers i have ever had. every sip was better then the one before. each smell better then before, just simply awe inspiring and amazing. top notch in every way.

Photo of largadeer
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Nick. 500ml bottle.

Dark, perfectly clear brown with an opaque black center. A thin off-white head quickly recedes.

The nose is layered, complex. Sharp resiny hops, evergreen, grapefruit. More digging brings out smoke, roasted malt, tar. Vinous notes come out as it warms, along with oak, earth. Complex and nicely balanced.

Citrusy, resiny hop flavors hit the palate first, leading into a mid-palate that's more roasted and and smoky, slightly vinous. Bitter grapefruit, tannic oak, pine and burnt malt linger on the tongue.

Despite the many layers of flavor, this is light and easy to drink. Unique and enjoyable.

Photo of oline73
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was lucky enough to be invited over to try batch 1 and 2 side by side. Poured into a goblet.

Batch 1 - The smell is rather smokey with some wine notes as well. I'm getting some bacon and bbq sauce notes. The flavor it quite smokey as well. This is like a wine barrel rauchbier. There is a slight roast bitterness that builds towards the finish. Just a touch of cardboard due to the age. The body is smooth and dry with a ton of carbonation.

Batch 2 - This one is missing the smoke that made batch 1 so interesting. There is more of a hop bitterness to this one. Just a hint of roast with a higher bitterness level.

I enjoyed both of these, but the older version won the night in my opinion.

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From 500mL bottle to Portsmouth glass on 4/5/12
*From notes

-- Another winner pulled from the cellar of IrishColonial --

A: Dying autumn leaf brown. A good pour yields a .75 finger head. It lingers for some time, and a thick collar and above average lacing follow. A lovely beer.

S: Quite a bit of smoke. As I swirl it in my glass and allow it to warm a bit, I get a lot of freshly picked garden herbs and crushed rose petals. Wildly unique.

T: Extremely complex, and not too far off from the bouquet. It comes off a little salty up front, followed closely by a massive amount of natural smoke. A touch of red vine fruit rides in on the mid. The charred and smoked malts tone down on the back, revealing a vinous, wine-like finish. This literally keeps evolving in my glass like no other beer I've come across.

M: A bit odd. It sort of washes over my palate instead of sticking to it. Oily yet ever-so-slightly velvety. It lacks what I would call proper carbonation. It just feels thin.

O: Hill Farmstead's Jim. What a great beer, folks. I'm not a smoke beer guy in the slightest, yet I found this so inspired and one-of-a-kind. Almost unclassifiable in it's flavor profile. Worth seeking out. My HF sleeper pick.

Photo of rfgetz
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, near black with thin cap of brown froth, little retention save for a ring of brown that leaves good, sticky lacing the first half of the glass. Scent brings heavy roasted malt with notes of char and smoke, strong grapefruit and pineapple notes come through almost as strong, hints of oak and leather. Taste brings a complete balance of roasted malt and fruity hops not found in many Black IPAs i've had. The oak keeps the hops fruity without too much bitterness. Roasted malts and hops both very strong in flavor but the balance makes it fantastic. Medium bodied, lightly oily. dry on the finish. A fantastic barrel aged IPA, would have loved to have sampled fresh and this aged version side by side.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

Pours nearly black with a single-finger tan head and a bit of lacing plus a nice collar. The nose brings some strongly resinous pine along with a bit of roasted malt character.

The taste is more of the same as the nose with a pungent pine character and quite a bit of resin. A bit of earth there as well in addition to some roasted malt. Mouthfeel is nice and medium with a really bitter, dry finish. Drinkability is high as well. A really, really solid brew from Shaun and I'm glad to have been able to nab a bottle of this.

Photo of AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jrallen34 for busting this out.

A - A very dark brown that looks black if you don't hold it up to the light, reddish tint on the edges when you do. Nice tan one+ finger head that dissipated to some spots and chunks on the sides.

S - Truly unique, and unlike anything I've ever smelled. I wish I were more of a wine drinker so I could pick out some of the subtleties here, I know it's red, and a little bit sweet. It's very nicely layered onto a not-overpowering malt backbone with some light hops. The smoke really stands out to me, also not dominating, but the strongest note on this one, and it combines nicely with some oak.

T - I like this beer quite a bit, while not as good as the nose, it is exceptionally unique and complex. Smoke is again the strongest characteristic, along with a wine finish. The malts are not overly biscuity or sugary like I've come to expect from black IPAs, and the hops are present, but subtle. I honestly would not have thought this was an IPA unless someone told me. I'm not going to say it's the best beer I've tasted, but it is multi-dimensional and nicely complex, and it tastes good.

M - Lighter side of medium, carbonation seems appropriate for the style and doesn't overpower the wine flavor.

D - Could do a bottle, but couldn't session this, flavors are too unique and could start to get a little much after a lot of this. Good beer though, wouldn't mind having it again, very different.

Photo of Ryan011235
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 2/27/11

Much appreciation to Nickd717

Pours a dull drown. It's dark in the glass - muddy brown at the stem and slight ruby highlights throughout. One and a half finger head that thins after a few minutes leaving impressive swaths of clumpy lace. Wispy retention but a solid wall of lace.

The aroma is rather subtle but offers equal complexity. Dry, vinous overtones of grapes and berries; musty oak; soft hints of coffee beans and a spot of roastiness buried deep down. Simcoe adds a subtle citric blend to the fruit notions imparted by the Pinot Noir barrels. A tad earthy.

The wine characteristics are first with dry, dark fruit. Earthy, piney hops shy from sheer bitterness. Roasted coffee, espresso and bittersweet chocolate manifest toward the finish. Modest hits of wood linger, too. Each aspect seems a bit disjointed initially but really comes together as it warms and opens up.

Medium body with gritty underpinnings, almost to the point of having a dirt-like feel (fine with me). Despite the initial cap of foam, carbonation is reasonably low. Slightly coating feel.

At first I thought this was ok. Now, after most of the bottle, I'm really digging it. This is definitely one to let warm up a bit. I added this to my wants because it sounded interesting; never thought I'd actually get to try it. Thanks, Nick!

Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Nick.

A: The pour is a very dark brown color with very little foam/head to speak of.

S: A good hoppy aroma to start out with. It seems to be mostly pine with some grapefruit peel in there as well. I get some smoke and ash, too. A definite oak presence as well as chocolate and roast.

T: The oak and specialty malt flavors are the strongest ones here. Lots of wood, peat, and smoke, with maybe a touch of ash. Grapefruit hops along with a pine bitterness and a touch of bitter chocolate.

M: Maybe it's just me, but the body seems a little thing. The carbonation is low to medium.

D: Not entirely sure how to feel about this one. It's quite complex, which is nice, but for some reason, not all the flavors really work all that well.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased my bottle of Jim at the Hill Farmstead harvestfest.

Jim pours black into the glass with a small light tan head on top. The foam fades slowly to a sheet on the beer, leaving behind lots of lacy spots on the glass.

The aroma has notes of oak. chocolate, and piney hops. Some roasty malt notes are also present.

Each sip of this medium bodied brew is slick and oily with light carbonation. The flavor is rich and malty. Chocolate, oak, toffee and dark fruits are followed by piney hop notes. Once gone the pine and oak linger on the palate.

This is an easy drinking, delicious beer. Get it if you can.

Photo of abuliarose
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Hill Farmstead goblet glass, revealing thick, tall and slightly tanned head over an essentially black body. Pretty lacing. Smells like intense, fresh floral hops with a little smokiness and a slight fruity, woody sweetness maybe derived from the barrel. Nice smells that intermingle well on the nose to make it a complex bouquet.

Tastes very well-hopped, but with a lingering just-sweet fruity finish (sangria-type fruity) and a tannic astringency that mingles well with the hoppy bitterness. Nice fresh citrus rind presence, grapefruit and orange. Mouthfeel is a little creamy with a tickling of carbonation that adds volume. Medium to heavy-bodied. Very drinkable, very well-layered flavors and no trace of the alcohol. I would say this is quaff-able but it's just so tasty.

The best black IPA I've ever had, for sure.

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks ramnuts.

Appearance- Black with some brown hightlights around the edges. Tan head and decent lacing. 4

Smell- Pine tree hop aroma and a small amount of dry Pinot Noir grape aroma. 4

T- Pine and some coffee flavors. Good bitterness. It finishes with a Chardonay dryness. 4

M- Good. Style appropriate.
4.5

O- An interesting beer to be sure. I am not a big fan of barrel aged IPAs, but this has an interesting twist with the wine barrels. Even though this is a black IPA I would enjoy it in the summer. 4

Photo of jzeilinger
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours dark brown/black with a MASSIVE billowy, creamy caramel colored head.

S - Dark roasted malt, dark fruit, light smokiness, and some pine.

T - Mild roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, pine, light hints of wine, some light oak and char.

M - Medium body.

O - The overall blend is delicate roasty bitterness.

Photo of HopHead84
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10/18/10

Thanks! Poured into my Bruery tulip.

A: Deep brown, near black. Mountainous frothy beige head resulting from a hard pour. Great retention, with a quarter inch froth lingering forever after the initial recession. Lacing is scattered in thick sheets on the glass. Great looking beer.

S: Pine, light citrus in the form of grapefruit, and oak. The wood, in conjunction with the smoke character, is redolent of beachwood; applewood smoked bacon is also brought to mind. The aroma displays just the right amount of smokiness, never overwhelming the other notes. Malt is lightly roasted and shows a dash of chocolate with just a whisper of coffee. Not really noticeable at colder temperatures, the vinous aspect of the beer comes out with substantial warming, but it remains light at all times. Many different aromas are in harmony in this one. I could smell this all night. A damn fine aroma. *edit* when the beer warms up quite a bit, the combination of smoke, chocolate, wine, and pine is intoxicating.

T: Red wine, oak, tannins, pine, grapefruit, light notes of chocolate, roasted malt, and a light smoke character. The beer is dry and moderately bitter, with a great grapefruit rind and pine bitterness attack The beer is increasingly vinous with warming. The smoke character is most evident in the dry bitter pine and grapefruit finish roasted finish. There's a trailing vinous sweetness that comes to life after what seemed to be the terminus of the finish.

The beer is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry, creamy, and lightly tannic.

Though the original beer was a Black IPA, the barrel aging and the blending in of Fear and Trembling have transformed this into a delicious Strong Ale. A unique and thoroughly enjoyable beer.

Photo of GatheringBrews
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitchy black color with a khaki head that holds well and laces nicely. Abundant hop aroma and a hint of resin from the dry hopping. Definitely a Vermont black IPA in both body and flavor with plenty of hop bite and a nice sharpness in the finish. Not a lot of the barrel comes through initially, but as it warms, more of the character of the barrel emerges.

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Jim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.