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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
-
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
Reviews by rlee1390:
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of kingcrowing
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark black color with a small light lacing of light brown foam. Nose is sharp and hoppy, dark malts and coffee.

Taste is bitter and sharp, earthy hops and a coffee bitterness. Mouthfeel is rich and full with a dry roasty finish. Bright and tasty, works really well with seafood.

Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Farm House in Burlington VT. A rye beer? It looked and smelled like a black IPA to me. There was a huge floral hop character in the aroma and flavor, with milder roasty, dark cocoa malt undertones. I loved the piney hops, but wish the malt could stand up a little more. I didn't notice any rye character, but it didnt matter. This is still a heck of a beer and something for hop heads.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a Growler of this in the Regional Growler BIF. Thanks baconsausage.

Pours a deep black with a very nice off white head. Nice lacing.

Aroma is awesome. So much hops and a nice roastyness. Smells great.

Taste wasn't as good as the aroma would suggest but still very good. With the roastyness it could use a bit of sweetness. But it's got a nice hop bitterness and bite.

Mouthfeel is dry and good carb. Could use a bit more maltiness.

Overall it's a great beer. My first from hillfarmstead. Can't wait for more.

Photo of Kegatron
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewery filled 2 liter "genie" shaped swing-top growler into a couple of tulip glasses.

Pours black, with a ½ finger of silky looking mocha head. The flare-up on this is rich, dotting the sides with a ton of robust spotty swathes of lacing. The aroma is fresh, floral, and leafy smelling with some underlying bitter citric character. A blend of doughy, spicy rye, coffee, and sweet chocolate malts across the back of the nose really makes this smell delicious!

The taste is full of fresh hop flavor, with a lightly herbal citric bite and a moderate amount of leafy bitterness. This is just wonderfully balanced here by a flavorful backing of chocolate and caramel sweetness, dark roasted coffee, and then a dry spicy bite of rye in the back. The rye is really out there but isn't overdone but it definitely hangs the hardest in the finish, along with some lingering green hops. Very dry and spicy finish here. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm crispness that gives way to a silky creaminess that spreads out across the palate. No alcohol presence at all leaves this very easy drinking.

Man, I think I liked this even more than when I had it on draft. Mostly because I got to spend much more time with it here over several glasses. Yeah, I'd definitely say that this needs to be re-categorized as a Black Ale, as the rye isn't the driving force here but instead nicely compliments a very well done example of the style. The mix of citrus, chocolate, coffee, and rye here is just a delicious mix. This is another awesome effort from Hill Farmstead.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft serving into a pint glass for $6.50. BA and HF websites indicate 6.5% ABV while the beer menu I'm looking at says 6.3%. Also, between these 3 references, only BA says Rye Beer. Hill Farmstead's website doesn't mention rye in their description at all. Sampled 1/11/12.

A: Arrives with 1 1/2 fingers of compact foamy head. Light brown in color, great retention and great stick. The body is extremely dark brown and affords little opportunity to see through the glass. Lacing lays down in continuous sheets.

S: Absolutely bursting with dank pine resin goodness. Grass + orange and grapefruit zest supporting. There is a dark roasty underlying character in the background, made up mostly of wholesome and hearty bread aromas.

T: Big hop presence bites the tongue and provides a firm bitterness from the front of the palate through the finish. Bright orange and citrus punch through at the end. The roasted notes are present but they stay out of the way on the palate for the most part. The wheat in the malt bill adds a little spice.

M: Spot on. Fine fizzy bubbles graze the tongue. The crispy finish is elongated through lengthy flavor duration. Medium-dry.

O: Honestly, not a single mis-step here. Each characteristic of the beer is a half point away from being perfect in my mind - and I don't even know where improvements can be made.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Glad to have shared this with myself at my nightly tastings in my living room with my wife and my cat.

extremely hazy, and nealy opaque orange. A huge white pillow like frothy head on top did not want to fade, eventually it relented leaving behing a ton of white lace dripping down the glass.Hops Hops and more hops. The smell was just wonderful. Lots of citrus flavors, heavy hints at orange, pineapple and grapefruit with just the slightest hint at some sugar, very nice indeed. Wow is all I can say about that. The bitter hops hit you up close and personal and in a big way. Sweet orange flavors gave way to a nice bitter pineapple front. Small hint at the alcohol hear and a nice dry finish. Very smooth, like silk and very easy going down. Big full flavor and feel. Very nice indeed.

Overall this was awesome and definatly a winner

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

Tap at the Armsby Abbey Hill Farmstead takeover.

Big creamy 1 plus finger head fades at a med pace lots of lacing, pretty much pitch black colored beer.

Nose fresh hops, light earthy pine, dark malts, light porter roast, bit of chocolate, creamy dark malts, hint of rye and dark.

Taste bitter hops, light pine and earthy, rye is dominant, earthy dry gritty malts and rye, bready malts, bitter from hops and rye, light choc and roast. Finish is sticky and bitter, rye and earthy biter hops, some darker malts.

Mouth is med bodied, little creamy, decent carb.

Overall nice, I tried a rye black IPA style as homebrew and it was so-so, and this seems to be similar. overall the style just doesn't seem to work as much as it seems it would, although this seems to hit it right on the head. It's a tasty beer with plenty going for it, just not something I could drink a lot of, which I found from my own homebrew.

Photo of AgentZero
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big props to Spycow for bringing this to our Fedor-gets-his-ass-handed-to-himself tasting.

A - An almost black beer that turns brown in the light. Tan head that had good retention with a nice amount of lacing, kind of what you would expect with this style.

S - A great mix of hops and rye. This is classified as a rye beer, but if is much more hop-forward than rye forward. A lot of coffee in there as well.

T - Really hoppy, with great rye character coming in. I get healthy doses of coffee from this one, which is kind of confusing, but really awesome. The coffee and bitter hop combo are just great, really like the taste on this one. For the style this might be about the best I've ever had.

M - Medium bodied with a cleanly bitter finish.

D - Love this beer, right up there with my top 2 or 3 Black IPAs ever. Would definately recommend and want to drink again.

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 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 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 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 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 Deuane
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A growler picked up on a recent visit to the brewery.

A-Dark, black/brown with a thick tan head that settles into a thin cap of retention and leaves heavy swaths of lace.

S-WOWZERS! Burnt orange peels and fresh crushed orange meat combined with a lightly floral hop aroma. A dose of dank, earthy wet tobacco in the background on top of a light base of roasted malt.

T-The hop bite is there and certainly pleasant but are slightly back burnered by the roasted malt and spicy rye. Dank earth and tobacco notes meld with muted orange peel and floral hop qualities. Very nice but comes in second to the aroma.

M-Medium bodied, sharp and biting with plenty of lingering bitterness from the hop and malt combo. Drying finish with a flurry of orange oil bite in the background.

D-Sweet Jesus! Certainly the most intense, smack you in the face, yet incredibly drinkable, Black/Cascadian IPA I have had the pleasure of tasting. A delicious blend of hops and malt in one fantastic package. Hill Farmstead impresses once again!

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 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 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 Brad007
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black color with a brown head into my glass. I really don't have anything much to say about the color.

Citrus and mind dominate the nose, followed closely by spiciness from the rye malt. Very unique mish-mash of aromas.

Again, the taste places an emphasis on citrus and mint from the hops. Literally, the only two things I can really taste.

The mouthfeel is helped by the rye malt. It's warm and dry with plenty of lingering hop goodness.

I like Foster. It's certainly more hop forward and the use of rye demonstrates the desire of the brewmaster to dispel any notions of rye being a less-than-desirable malt. Really, it's a notch far above the standard rye beer.

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 Jwale73
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to jedwards for bring this back from the Winterfest and sharing. Described as a black rye beer. Served in a tulip. Pours an inky black with a frothy, khaki-colored head that quickly recedes into a textured mass of ringlets and bubbles. Some specks and swaths of lacing present during the tasting. Nose expresses dark malts, roast and earthy hops. Taste consistent with nose, with the addition of earthy dark chocolate (perhaps baker's chocolate) and a light, lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a pleasant, even, medium carbonation level. Flavorful, complex and really quite quaffable. I definitely need to visit Hill Farmstead in the near future.

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

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