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Foster - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Foster
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

143 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 143
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 8.45%
Wants: 27
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jwale73 on 02-12-2011

Foster is our Black Wheat IPA…
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 143 | Reviews: 47
Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Blackback, Waterbury. Foster is black in color with a nice khaki head, depositing some good lacing on the glass. A balanced roasted and chocolate malt body with a low sugar presence and laid over with dense, dark pine hops and touches of acidic citrus rind. Oily and bitter. Moderate in body and dry to finish. Earthy. Enjoyable.

Photo of ThirstyBird
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

catching up with an old rating from 2010. From a growler thanks jedwards! Appears super dark cola color with a nice tan head than falls to a blanket. Smell is citrus, chocolate and dark malt. The taste is slightly sweet up front, lightly bitter in the middle with a subtle dryness on the aftertaste. Medium body with elegant, smooth fine carbonation.

Photo of oline73
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the growler into a goblet.

Pours black with a finger of tan head that sticks around nicely. The smell is a bit strange with the dominant notes being chocolate and roasted malt. There is more roast and bitterness in the flavor than there was in the nose. There is a light bready undertone that backs up the roast. The finish is quite bitter. The carbonation is smooth with a dry finish.

This was a very different beer. The intense and refined flavors worked together, but I'm not sure I got it. Well made but not my favorite.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL growler paired with original Nintendo and a wife.

The beer is a deep, dark shade of brown nearing black. The head is wet sand hued, standing in at nearly two inches tall and plastering the tulip glass with sticky lacing.

The aroma offers pine, hops, roast, chocolate.

So fresh and flavorful. While I'm not normally a huge fan of black IPAs, this one is delicious. Hop forward, yet well balanced, offering chocolate, bready malts and lingering resinous pine.

Medium bodied and smooth on the palate. Lightly bitter for the style with an elegant roast character.

While Hill Farmstead Jimmy is undoubtedly my favorite black IPA (though barrel aging certainly plays a role in this instance), Foster stands in second. A great example of the style.

Photo of MDDMD
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown black color with a light tan head and good lacing

S-dark malt, pine, hints of citrus and coffee

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, pine , citrus , nice bitter hoppy finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-a solid black ale with good balance, easy drinking

Photo of MasterCraft
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 750ml growler, though I've had this on tap.

Pours black with a nice light brown head

Nose is fruity, tropical hops followed by a little pine, coffee, chocolate, toffee. Very very nice.

Taste is assertively bitter, robust dark malts combine nicely with a hop bite. Coffee, chocolate, orange peel, pine, bread dough. Don't remember the bread dough from having this at bars, but I keep tasting it now.

Mouthfeel is nice, medium bodied, typical of style and nothing to complain about.

By far the best black IPA I've had, and the only one that has made any sense to me. While the flavor profile still looks out of whack on paper, it makes a delicious beer, and one of my favorite semi-regular offerings from HF

Photo of cfrances33
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury. Served in a nonic pint.

Pour: Dark black, splashy body, with a finger of khaki brown head. Head hangs around for most of the glass, and leaves some solid lacing.

Smell: Big bitter pine and some citrus up front, followed by a very enjoyable roasted aspect. Almost coffee like. Some light breadyness comes through.

Taste: More bitter pine up front, that gives way to a melding of roasted malts and citrusy hops. A light floral aspect. Some bitter chocolate, and a very nice fresh bready sweetness. Finishes bitter and roasty.

Mouthfeel: A very, very drinkable Black IPA. Goes down easy. Medium bodied.

Overall: Was really looking forward to trying this, and it did not disappoint.

Photo of rlee1390
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black, two finger brown/tan head with lacing.

S-Roasted malt, coffee with lots of hops.

T-Roasted malt, some burnt, good though, tad vanilla, ends with a nice bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation and a tad creamy.

O-Easily the best Black IPA I've had, great balance, nice bitterness, the flavors mesh well.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to JealousChalice for sharing this one at mrbubbler's "end of the world" tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors.

Photo of jaasen64
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler filled at the brewery yesterday. Poured into HF glass. This is my second time having this beer, first time was at Lord Hobo during Zwanze Day.

A- Pours an opaque dark black with with a finger and a half of mocha brown head that has great retention and slowly recedes to a thin creamy mocha brown head coating the glass in nice layered lacing. Nice consistent rising carbonation.

S- Pine, grapefruit, greeny hops, and roasted malts. Fairly aromatic and very well balanced.

T- Grapefruit, pine, greeny hops, roasted malts, a hint of chocolate and lightly bitter hops on the finish. Lingering aftertaste of greeny hops and chocolate. Extremely well balanced and definitely flavorful.

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation, very smooth, and highly drinkable.

O- This beer was fantastic for a black ale and quite possibly the best non-barrel aged black ale that I've had. This definitely needs to be drank as fresh as possible, when I had it on tap at Lord Hobo it was good but definitely not as good. Overall this beer was extremely well balanced, very flavorful, and I can't see how this style could get that much better. I highly recommend it.

Photo of Chico1985
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Armsby Abbey 9 days ago, at the Zwanze release.

Black beer, bubbly tan head, retains quite well leaving plenty of thick lace behind.

Smell is hop-forward, lots of grapefruit, tropical, earthy, with some toastiness there as well.

Taste is similar - there is an emphasis on hops rather than any stouty notes. Nice citrus, grapefruit, earthy, and spicy hops present. A light tropical feel. There is some darker malt presence (roast, chocolate) but I found the malt to be more bready and toasty than anything.

Smooth mouthfeel with ample carbonation, easy drinking.

I prefer more stoutiness in my black IPAs usually but there was a fair enough balance. The interplay of toastiness and hops works well here. Hill Farmstead, man.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Foster pours black into the glass with a big, rocky light tan head on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thick sheet on the surface leaving behind clumps of lace on the side of the glass. The layer of foam remains on the surface as the beer empties from the glass.

On the initial pour a lot of hoppy pine notes were present. As the foam fades away the pine lessens and aromas of chocolate, roast malt and a touch of toffee are detected. It's not a very strong aroma.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft on the palate, dry with moderate carbonation. The flavor is roasty and bitter with a hoppy finish. It begins with roast malt and chocolate, which is quickly followed by toast, nuts and a touch of fruit (grape?). It finishes bitter with piney and grassy hops. Once gone the roast malt and pine flavors linger on the palate.

Another tasty beer by Hill Farmstead. I thought the aroma was rather faint for the style and the body seemed a little thin. Overall though I could drink this beer all day long. I'm glad I had some friends who went to the brewery recently and filled a few growlers for me.

Photo of tobelerone
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Farmhouse Tap and Grille in Burlington.

Such a lovely take on this style. One of my two favorites, along with an example brewed by that other Vermont genius of beer. Black body, sizeable tan head that settles slowly, strong creamy lacing. Aroma balancing roasted malts and vivid hops; floral, pine, citrus, caramel notes.

The flavor is typical of a black IPA, just done with the utmost finesse. The hops, with their piney, floral character, roasted, almost burnt-tasting malt, a distant hint of rye; bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and citrus. Medium length bitter aftertaste, dry finish.

The body is where this one really shines; so smooth and creamy on tap, still with appropriate, medium to slightly low carbonation, and a medium body. Another winner from Hill Farmstead.

Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12/03/12 notes. Had 2 8oz. pours of this on tap at Pony Bar on the UES in NYC.

a - Pours a very dark mahogany brown color with one inch of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of pine hops, roasted malts, chocolate, citrus hops, light caramel malts, light floral notes, and light fruity malts. Very nice nose with a lot of things going on. Nice hops and malts mixing together; great nose.

t - Tastes of pine hops, roasted malts, coffee, fruit, bready malts, citrus, and toasted malts. Taste has a little bit of light bitterness but not much, and the roasted and pine dominate a little more than the nose did.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation, with great mouthfeel. Very smooth and easy to drink; like it a lot.

o - Overall another good beer from HF. Nose is great and everything mixes together really well, and there is a great mouthfeel that is easy to dirnk with no bitterness. If you're a fan of the style it's definitely worth seeking out, and would like to have it again.

Photo of Gatch
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Armsby Abbey for Zwanze Day.

Deep black of course with a big, frothy, bubbly head of a light brown color similar to cappuccino but settling into big pillows of foam and bubbles. Tons of lace and good retention. The nose is all roasted malt with faint but bright hops with notes of pine and cedar. Cocoa and charred wood dominate. The flavor is all roasted malts and some wheat with plenty of hop flavor. Citrus and sap show up but most flavors are masked by the heavy roasted character. A charred and bitter finish. Super smooth and crazy easy to drink. So roasty and such great body that this could be a dry hopped stout in a blind tasting. Phenomenal beer but not enough IPA to keep this to the intended style. Dont get much wheat but I know it's contributing in ways other than flavor as this beer is so smooth and sooo creamy! Another beyond well-crafted beer from these guys.

Photo of Pinknuggets
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on tap into worthy burger sniffer at the bar

A:pretty dark I would describe it as black with a big mocha head like two in

S:looks like a stout smells like a glorious citrus floral hopped ipa

T: wow this is really different it's tastes like a super hoppy wheat ipa with just hint of the dark roasted malt but its definitely there through out the bitter finish

M:smooth clean mouthfeel that makes it much more drinkable the it appears thin and oily but there is lots of flavor too

O:I really like everything about this beer it really is a great black and wheat ipa a little more malt but its excellent hfs kills it again

Photo of johnnnniee
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the source.
Pours a solid dark brown, black color with a decent sized off white head that persists forever. Smells of garlic and green onion with a nice hit of caramel and light chocolate along with a nice earthy spicy wheat aroma. The flavor follows the aroma quite well. sweet caramel and bready spicy malt accentuated by hints of chocolate and countered by onion and garlic hops. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a creamy grainy mouthfeel. I normally don't go for a wheat beer, but I enjoyed the hell out of this one.

Photo of corby112
3.34/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Capones in Norristown, PA.

Pours pitch black with a half finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Streaks of lace left behind.

Slightly floral hop aroma countered by slightly roasted malt notes.  Hints of pine and citrus along with chocolate, toffee and toast.  Not much wheat character and the nose is kind of bland.

Medium bodied and fuller than expected with a nice balance of dry, bitter hops and roasted makt.  Could use some sweetness and there's not much wheat character. Dry, bitter, piny hops up front linger over hints of chocolate, coffee, toast and oatmeal. Subtle citrus presence along with some grapefruit and faint orange/lemon zest.  Decent and well balanced but nothing about this reminds me of wheat beer. Also, could use more sweetness.

Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another enjoyable beer from Hill Farmstead shared by yourefragile. I had no expectations about this beer, at first i thought it was a stout, then a black ale, now i find out it was a rye, very well done.

Beer is dark brown / black with a wispy head of tan bubbles, low retention, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is piny, hoppy, mild fruits / citrus, not what I expected but am excited now.

Beer is roasty and dry on the finish with this moderate hoppiness / bitterness, the midpalate of the beer is piny and sweet, I like it a lot and would have more if possible.

Photo of rudzud
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Armsby Abbey during Hill Farmstead tap takeover. Reviewed from notes.

A - A very nice deep black pour with a one finger head that faded to leave a nice cloud and some light side lacing.

S - Wow, this is pretty darn different and enjoyable. Heavy notes of dark rye and pumpernickle bread along with roasty malts.

T - More of that nice bitter roasted malt and rye/bread qualities. Nice fruitiness, sweet malts, and light floral hops.

M - Slightly lower carbonation than I'm used to from Hill Farmstead. Fairly thin.

O - Overall this was a very, very delicious beer. Really love the rye/pumpernickle aspect to this. Wish the mouthfeel was better though.

Photo of yourefragile
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL growler. Thanks Tucker.

Pours a clear dark brown, near black with a thick foam tan head. Good retention and sticky lacing throughout. Strong roast malt aroma with a strong punch of pine, light smoke and faint citrus. Flavor has a strong roast malt backbone with a subtle spice and breadiness throughout before a dry finish with strong pine hops and mild citrus sweetness. Enjoyed the balance of malt and hops more so with this than James. Creamy, medium thick body with light carbonation. A very nice black IPA with subtle rye spiciness.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL swingtop growler shared by yourefragile. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours black with a good tan head and some nice lacing on the way down. Thin collar throughout. The nose carries a good dosing of roast plus a really nice bouquet of pine hops with just a touch of citrus. Flavor has a nice roasty character with a bit of a dry maltiness in the background. Nice hops throughout. Finishes bitter and dry; just right. Really good brew.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Blue Dog.

Foster looked nice and dark with a brown look, a deep dark brown look with a light browish wallop of foam up above with great retention and stick. Looks good enough.

Smell is packed with a nice smoky quality and some lavender with roasted malts out the sides. A nice earthty semi piney hop presence surrounds all of this. a nice smeller.

not being a dark beer guy I was surprised by this. alot of flavor is packed into this. some roasted malts followed by some smokey quality. Trace amounts of chocolate/cocco, with some piney quality. Not boring.

Feel is a nice medium, maybe a step down from that in body. Some roast sticks with me in the end. Carbed up nice for the style I guess, not too bitey.

All in all a flavorful beer from a brewery that puts out great work. A whole pint might be an issue, 10oz was enough though.

Photo of FosterJM
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1072nd Review on BA
Growler to Pint

I am told this is new recipe with shift from Rye beer to Black IPA/Black Wheat beer.

HUGE thanks to mjtiernan for this gift. I owe ya buddy!!

App- A very murky deep brown with some crimson in the center. A first pour produced about a 1/2" finger of head and that was about it. Fell to about a single line of cling. Second pour only gave me a little bit of a pond layer.

Smell- When you take a large pull I really get a mix of malts and some sweetness. To me it does feel like a Black IPA. A little malty, a little wheat and some bakers chocolate. Not a vibrant citrus note but more muted and a bit dried or peel in aromatic note.

Taste- Okay so this does have a lot going on. It's missing a punch though. Maybe it was the removal of the Rye. I get very little. Could be that peppery note in the beer. That one elevating flavor. It is good but just needs a bit more. It really starts as an IPA. A little bit of bitter citrus. This moves more to a wheat beer next with a blend of wheat lightness and a little bit of creaminess in its blend. The taste finishes with more damp fruits than expected.

Mouth- A light medium body with a paired matching carbonation. This does somewhat border on a low carbonation level to give it a creamy finish with deep malts a little residual bakers chocolate and a little peppery note.

Drink- Matt, I can't thank you enough for the generosity!! You are a great BA for this one. I appreciate it very much. Foster, is a blending of style and I wish it had more Rye in it. I would have this again though. Very clean and simple. A bit tamed compared to Stone 15, but arent most beers?

Photo of CliffBrake
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

New batch; new recipe this year. Now it is a black wheat IPA.

Black and opaque with a small brownish head that dissipates leaving a few wisps of head and light lacing on the glass.

Light fruity aroma of lemon and citrus that blends well with roasty notes from the dark malt and a bit of pine. The flavor is well integrated between the hops and dark malts. Goes down easily for the style.

Very smooth mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to lighten things up a bit. Light-medium body.

Overall this is a very pleasant black IPA. Nothing stands out...it is just well balanced, drinks easy, and is very refreshing.

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Foster from Hill Farmstead Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.