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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 corby112
3.34/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL growler. Black with a small off-white head. Thin collar and wispy surface. Aroma of grapefruit hops and black roasted malt. I think I smell wheat? Nice. Taste is really strong on the wheat. Grapefruit hops. No sweetness. Roasted and almost burnt flavor in the back end lends a bitterness. Interesting. Medium body. Well carbonated. Not sure what I was expecting. Nothing over the top in any way. The flavors are interesting, but maybe not a really approachable combination.

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Photo of maximum12
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to baconsausage for this lovely growler. I've been on a massive rye kick, so anything that spanks of rye is welcome in my gullet.

Full pour into my old Dunedin Brewery pint glass. Very dark, with russet potatoes around the edges. Smell is very tame, roast, earthiness, not much else.

Foster brings two of my favorite things, a storm of rye & hops. Neither dominates; instead, they clasp hands & arrive together, in step. Rye brings a warm spice rack, & the hops are fresh-picked with a side of fall mustiness. Roast provides a framework to drape the others over. Not quite peppy enough for me, but that's probably the cross-continent trip it took in a foreign object, so I can't really blame the beer for that. Half the pint glass is gone. Huh.

Very good beer. The rye speaks to me as it always does, 7 the hops rip a good counterpoint. Love to have this fresh out the tap someday.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of Retail1LO
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Capone's.

Pours a black shade with a very thin head that produces ample lacing. The nose is roasty with but a very mild presence. There isn't much here, to be honest. The taste is REAL nice, with a nice malty backbone. The hops are present, but take a back seat to the malt. The moutfeel on this is very pleasant. Medium-high carbonation with a slightly bitter finish. Overall, this was surprise. I'm generally not a fan of rye beers, or black IPA's, but a rye IPA...it came together quite nicely. This was good.

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Photo of SABERG
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a fresh growler into a modified tulip glass.
A - Dark, intriguing, fabulous mocha cap, steady carbonation.
S - A touch of roast, pine, orange peel, and grassy notes
T - Hop forward, nice touch of cocoa, and a grain quality that strings it all together.
M - Medium bodied and a bit crisp in the finish, simply delightful
O - A wonderful example of the craft, Hill Brings to bear.
So very well executed.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of oline73
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
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?

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Photo of CliffBrake
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
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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Photo of Chico1985
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on draft. Deep dark brown, borderline black with a tan creamy head. Great lacing and retention. Aromas of wheat, fresh grassy hops, slight citrus with some roasted barley. Flavor has plenty of bitter pine/grassy hops up front, slight roast but the finish is just all wheat. Really enjoyed that.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Andy for taking the trek to Vermont and grabbing some growlers. Awesome! Pours a cola color with a nice light off white head.

Nice hop aroma on this. Grassy hops, kind of citrusy with a bready rye aroma. A bit of coffee on the aroma. Really nice here. Bitter hops through and through. Very present coffee flavor but it's not off by any means. Seems like it could be classified as a black IPA also. This really has a huge hop flavor.

Light crisp mouthfeel on this. Good carbonation, this holds up nicely in the growler. Amazingly drinkable. Really just another great offering from Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler provided by Chris, drank from my Hill Farmstead glass... Dark brown body with a light tan head that is very bright. Good retention and lacing... The aroma is very nice lots of rye, coffee, hoppy finish... The taste has more hops than anything, a very hoppy rye beer. Light roast coffee with lots of pine hops. The roast and hops are perfectly intertwined and compliment each other perfectly.

A great hoppy rye ipa.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Hill Farmstead Glass. Nice black color with a solid layer of mocha head. Looks like a nice porter. Lacing is very sticky.

The aroma indicates nice piney hop flavor. The maltiness is difficult to detect, but the hop aroma is enticing to say the least.

The taste starts out with a nice coffeelike bitterness from the roasted malts. The malty dry bitterness is quickly accompanied by a nice piney hop flavor. Great balance for the style, incorporating the hops, rye, and roasted flavors without overpowering anything.

The body is light to medium, and the carbonation is on point providing a lively drink.

Love this one from Hill Farmstead. Great beer, as usual.

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Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of silentjay
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

as described: a black rye IPA. as described on the HF website, a black wheat IPA, knowing Hill Farmstead it's probably both.

pours a slightly viscous jet black with a nicely sized mocha head that recedes slowly to a finger in height leaving behind tons, and tons, of lacing.

roasted malts and piney hops in a somewhat subdued aroma.

roasted malt and cigar tobacco hit the tongue first. piney, woody, and slightly bitter hops hit next. some bitter chocolate, a bit of a spicy character (peppery), a bit of caramel and light molasses. tons of contrasting flavors that come in waves and create a complex, tasty beer that defies styles. I can think of 3 or 4 that this beer could fit into.

lighter side of medium with a carbonation that is, at first prickly, but goes down smooth with a nice finish that combines sweetness, bitterness, and some spice into a nice aftertaste that lasts forever.

Another winning beer from Shaun Hill. It seems he has the Midas Touch. Every style, every beer he brews turns to gold, and this is no exception. Though it curtails on many different styles, it manages to create its own identity, while still keeping a bit of the house Hill Farmstead flavor. Love it.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
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

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Photo of Skrip
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the brewery poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

A~ dark brown in the light with red undertones. big tan head and a lot of lacing.

S~ dark roasted biscuity malt up front followed by slight caramel and tons of bitter hops.

T~ bitter hops rush the pallet which smooths out into some nice roasty malt, finishing with dank grass/earth.

M~ very dry bitterness with great carb.

O~ really solid offering of the style! i know its not suppose to be a black IPA but the bitterness really puts it over the top, i would prefer more fruity hops, the bitterness kind of takes away from everything else. dial that back a bit and this would be outstanding! but don't get me wrong i still want more! haha!

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Photo of jlindros
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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