Foster - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Foster
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

47 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 47
Hads: 143
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 3.32%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 143
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (540 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (451 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
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 (839 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (539 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (1,562 characters)

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. (912 characters)

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. (1,044 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (568 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (756 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (848 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (545 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.34/5  rDev -20.9%
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. (792 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (550 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (790 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (687 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (424 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (677 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at khyber

Pours an opaque black color with a light tanned head sitting on top. Sticky lacing on the glass with a layer of filmy retention.

Complex nose with a mix of rye spice, juicy hops, and dark malt sweetness. Faint roasty tones with a hint of alcohol warmth. Very slight tropical touch.

Hoppy and bitter up front with an explosion of juicy hop flavors. The rye spice is pretty apparent with a soft touch of smoke. Citrus peel and sweetness with some lighter tropical notes. Darker malt backbone with understated chocolate and nuttyness. Finishes bitter, hoppy, and slightly warm.

Medium body, slightly higher carbonation, sticky and chewy on the tongue. Another hit from HF, excellent balance between rye, hops, and malts to create an interesting brew. (770 characters)

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. (676 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (871 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (898 characters)

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (338 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
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? (1,654 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (321 characters)

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Foster from Hill Farmstead Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.