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Jim - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
JimJim

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

114 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.84%
Wants: 133
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: sisuspeed on 10-03-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by starrdogg:
Photo of starrdogg
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batches 1 & 2 served side-by-side. Thanks Michael! Scores are for Batch 1.

The beers look nearly identical, both pour a very dark brown with fluffy white heads. This is pretty much where the similarity between the batches ends, however. Batch 1 smells excellent, it's got some roastiness and a bit of smoke which combines very nicely with some hints of red wine and oak. The Batch 2's smell is much more muted and sweet smelling. I'm getting more wine out of the batch 2, but that's really all I'm getting. Flavors on both follow the nose. The Batch 1 has y wou up excellently, and the mix of roast, smoke, red wine and even a little hops comes together in a really nice way. Batch 2 seems to have really fallen off, on the other hand. The flavors have really faded except for the roast and some wine barrel, and it's just not all that exciting. Batch 1 has a nice, medium-full bodied mouthfeel, where Batch 2 is a little thin and overcarbonated. Overall, it's pretty incredible how different these beers are and how much better Batch 1 has held up than Batch 2. We went to Shaun Hill for the answer, and he said that Batch 1 had a small amount of Fear & Trembling blended in which has worked as an excellent preservative (and was the source of the unexpected smoke flavor). I really wouldn't recommend seeking out Batch 2, but if you can get your hands on the original Jim, I would highly recommend it.

starrdogg, Jan 26, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of kingcrowing
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

kingcrowing, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of doremite
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

doremite, May 10, 2014
Photo of 05Harley
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

05Harley, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of Aberration
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Aberration, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of nkersten
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

nkersten, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Sammy, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of DJButters
4/5  rDev -6.3%

DJButters, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of mikey711
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
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

mikey711, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Gonzoillini, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of ororke5000
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
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!

ororke5000, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of nickd717
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

nickd717, Jan 21, 2011
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.

thagr81us, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of JohnQBeer
5/5  rDev +17.1%

JohnQBeer, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of Neffbeer
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Neffbeer, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of hoppymcgee
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

hoppymcgee, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of rondufresne
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

rondufresne, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

mikesgroove, Jan 16, 2011
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.

largadeer, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -6.3%

HopsHopenstein, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of BGsWo22
3/5  rDev -29.7%

BGsWo22, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of oline73
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

oline73, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Rhettroactive, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of alalvarez75
4/5  rDev -6.3%

alalvarez75, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of phingdong
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

phingdong, Jan 31, 2012
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Jim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.