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Foster - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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53 Reviews
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 53
Hads: 184
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 14.83%
Wants: 25
Gots: 2 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 53 | Hads: 184
Photo of dragonWhale
4.82/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Goddamn, hit after hit from Monsieur Hill. On tap at the Tiger. Black Rye IPA, could easily got into the ABA category and receive these same scores. Dark brown, a beautiful dark chocolate color, like a foamy liquid bar. Sweet jesus this is lovely, tangerines and grapefruits, chocolate, coffee and spicy rye. Chocolate dominates the flavor, bitterness is solid and wonderful and the chocolate and citrus cuddle up with each other and whisper sweet nothings amongst themselves. Darling. Creamy mouthfeel with that chocolate and citrus and sweet rye. Lovely.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
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

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Photo of Gatch
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of MasterCraft
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
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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Photo of jaasen64
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for sharing a growler on 3/20/11.

A - This IPA is darker than the tobes of Hades and bordering Imperial Stout territory. The liquid is onyx black with a creamy tan cap that reduced to a fine patch, leaving behind swatches of foamy lace around the glass.

S - Wow! Aroma is pretty amazing! This is a beer I could sit and smell all day. Foster just reeks of fresh, leafy homegrown oily hops. In addition to the amazing hop character, there is plenty of coffee, chocolate and toffee notes as well as a hint of roast to give the aroma a vivid, colorful palette. The freshness and dankness of the aroma reminds me of Selin's Grove's Snafu IPA. Yum!

T - Foster is brimming with fresh hop flavor. Think earthy, herbal and grassy with a splash of citrus fruit tang, but with plenty of dark, roasted malt as well as chocolate and coffee notes. A hint of nutty astringency also emerges in the backend, but is overtaken by a wash of hops and a hint of spicy rye character in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with an oily/syrupy mix and bristly carbonation. Finishes quite dry and bitter on the palate with some residual spiciness.

D - One of the best, if not THE best Black IPAs I've come across in my travels. The aroma of this is simply amazing! Hill Farmstead is seriously sending blips all over my "Beer"dar as of late. I am REALLY looking forward to visiting VT in June. Booyeah!

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of dar482
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a dark brown to black color.

The beer offers grapefruit, lots of zesty citrus, leaning tropical, bright and minty hop flavors with medium minus roasted malt, espresso bean. The finish has an herbaceous bitterness with lingering earthy hops and chocolate.

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Photo of Deuane
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

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Photo of Sean9689
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

HF growler, thanks to Chris! Poured into Bruery tulip.

A - Pours black, cream-colored head, large bubbles here and there, a thin film as the cap.

S - Huge hop aroma, bitterness, more hops, wow!

T - Lots of hops, and I mean lots! Dankness, rye notes, bitterness, some coffee (???). Really nice hops, rye, and dankness. Excellent!

M - Light to medium, good carbonation for the style, oily finish.

D - Quite possibly the best Black IPA I've ever had. Tons of hops, dank, rye, awesomeness. Wow, this one is really stellar. Love this one, Shaun.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2015-10-15 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge

A - Opaque dark brown with a 2 finger tan head and good lace

S - Fresh hops that are quite strong, sweet chocolate, toasted rye bread.

T - Hop forward. Vegetal. Dark chocolate. Pepper. Medium roasted grain. Finish is fairly bitter but not over the top.

M - Thick body and light carbonation. Creamy and rich.

O - Very good example of the style. One of the best I've had.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of Pinknuggets
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
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

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Photo of JAXSON
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capones. Poured a frothy, dark brown bordering on black with a large creamy beige head. Nose is an attractive manage of fresh hops, pine, cocoa nibs, smoked malt, leather. Mouth is creamy, showing leather, pipe tobacco (per the menu description which was pretty accurate), lightly smoked malt, dry cocoa nibs, and bright fresh hops that sit somewhere in the middle of the palate and aren't too upfront. Creamy, some light vanilla sweetness, the darker roasted/smoked aspects of this marry really well with the fresh hops. Very good.

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Foster from Hill Farmstead Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.