Society & Solitude #2 - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Society & Solitude #2
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

55 Reviews
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Reviews: 55
Hads: 291
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 2.3%
Wants: 65
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 01-12-2012

Imperial Black IPA
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 55 | Hads: 291
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler pour into a tall tulip glass

A: Pours pitch black with three fingers of dense tan head.

S: Piney hops are most prevalent in the beer with a faint dark chocolate and roastiness in the background. Hops really dominate, but I can tell there is some nice roast and dark chocolate in the background.

T: An interesting mixture of intensely piney hoppiness, dark chocolate, and roasted malts. I get light caramel sweetness in the background that builds as the beer warms. The hoppiness also takes a back seat to the dark chocolate as it warms. They end up balancing each other very well.

M: Medium to thick body with creamy carbonation.

O: This is an odd beer that balances stout-like roastiness and dark chocolate with lots of piney hoppiness. Very nice. Hard to describe as it's not just a stout that is very hoppy, it's got a great balance between some stout-like characteristics while still keeping the beer very drinkable. (933 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler - Thanks to lubiere for this

Appearance - Dark brown/black colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fantastic lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, chocolate, coffee, grapefruit/oranges

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lots of fresh hops mixed with some citrus notes and some chocolate and coffee. There is also some malts and a touch of pine. It ends with a bitter hop and sweet malt aftertaste.

Overall - Whoa.. one of the best beers I've ever had. The hops are very potent and the beer basically smells like a DIPA. I'd be more than happy if I could drink a beer like this for the rest of my life. Worth seeking out. (793 characters)

Photo of Gushue3
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

#250. Fresh growler filled at HF this past weekend at the Damon/Mimosa release into Hill Farmstead Bulb

A Pours very dark and can see some through some spots. A smaller head that's a little less than one finger forms and goes away pretty quickly. The body is black and can see though the shallower sides..

S Citrus and pine are the most obvious components along with come bitter grapefruit, roast and some tropical fruits. smells really good

T Dark malt sweetness and bitter pine take charge out of the gate. Some bitter grapefruit and tropical hops come through in the middle along with a roast. Nice combination of strong bitterness and dark roast.

M Mouthfeel is on the heavier side for the style but not too thick. Carbonation isn't too heavy which could be a result of being in a growler. Very smooth and easy to drink.

O Nice ABA that hits everything I'm looking for. Very bitter but still a noticeable roast. Citrusy hops make for a tasty drink. (958 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by yourefragile because he doesn't go anywhere without a box of Hill Farmstead beer with him. Served in a snifter because I couldn't locate my HF glass.

Beer is black with a thin tan head, small bubbles, low retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is nice, mildly dark but mostly piny hoppiness with hints of fruits.

Beer is medium to light in body, a good beer overall I thoroughly enjoy it. It has a moderate but smooth bitterness to it on the backend, a good beer, one of my favorite black ales for sure. I"d have this again. (540 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A couple friends of mine brought some of my growlers to Hill Farmstead on a recent trip. This beer was reviewed less than a week after being poured.

Society & Solitude #2 pours black into the glass with a medium sized, light brown head on top. The foam fades quickly leaving lots of spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is loaded with hops. Mainly grass and pine. Some rich malt notes of chocolate and roast are also present.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is soft and smooth with a mild carbonated fizz on the tongue. The flavor is hoppy with a rich malt back bone. Pine and grass with a touch of orange citrus are balanced nicely with chocolate malt, roast and an earthy nuttiness. It finishes bitter with lingering grass and pine notes when gone.

This is a beer packed with flavor. Mostly hops, but enough malt to make this an easy drinking beer. A great black IPA that I wish was easier to obtain. (919 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler

Acquired via trade
Thanks, AdamJackson!

Very dark brown, nearly black, in color with a small dark brown head that doesn't last for too long. This does, however, leave the glass completely messy with thick ribbons of lined lacing. Very pretty black IPA.

Though this beer really is exceptional, the aroma is (only) very good. There's good pine and citrus character, butting up against roast and mild coffee. I like it, though I have smelled (slightly) better.

The flavor is wonderfully balanced, though fully delicious. There's lots of pine hop flavor along roasty black malt. There's a little bit of chocolate and coffee as well, but the pine is dominant, and I like it--a lot! Awesome stuff!

Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation. No alcohol presence whatsoever.

Simply sublime.

Thanks again, Adam. I'm all out of Hill Farmstead. Can I have some more, please? (886 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the abbey.

A - Poured a deep dark black with a creamy one fjnger mocha head that leaves thick side lacing.

S - Lots of amazing pine and chocolate with good earthy qualities.

T - like the nose with super nice pine and chocolate with roasted malts. Deep and pleasant.

M - nice mouthfeel on this. Slightly bitter and nice carbonation.

O - Overall this was a very enjoyable beer. Good ipa notes with like chocolate and roast malts. Super crisp and refreshing. (478 characters)

Photo of DaveHack
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler into a HF stem

Pours dark, pretty much black. Huge, tan colored head fills the glass, slowly settling but leaving tons of reminders down the sides of the glass

Smells of faint chocolate and coffeesque roast. There is a bit of earthiness and some fresh hops

Taste is similar...slight chocolate and roastiness. There is a bitterness that mixes with the hops at the end

Feels really good in the mouth. Carbonation is about perfect and it is slighty dry, but in the perfect way for this beer.

Black IPAs aren't my thing, but from the ones I've had...this is a stellar example. Certainly worth a try either way, but if you dig on Black IPAs...it's a MUST try (680 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml growler poured into HF stemmed glass. Growler was filled almost exactly three weeks ago which is way longer then I usually take to open growlers but was refrigerated since purchased and seemed fresh when opening. Had first time at brewery when purchased, review from growler though.

A- Pours a pitch black with decent carbonation, light mocha head with slightly yeasty yellowish hue to it, head is just over a finger and has nice retention receding at a moderate pace leaving nice layered lacing along the sides of the glass and eventually setting to a thin creamy layer.

S- Aromas of greeny hops, pine, malts, a hint of baker's chocolate, fairly aromatic and very well balanced.

T- Greeny hops, pine, some light citrusy bitterness, baker's chocolate. Finishes with more baker's chocolate and citrusy bitterness. Nice balance between the IPA and dark beer aspects, alcohol extremely well hidden, full of flavor but I wouldn't say there is anything that really stands this out significantly compared to other black IPAs.

M- Extremely smooth, lightly creamy, nice carbonation, fits style and complements flavors very nicely.

O- This was a fantastic black IPA that easily lives up with the other beers in the Society & Solitude series. There was a ton of flavors that came out and was perfectly balanced with an incredible smoothness at a staggering 9.5%. This was easily one of the better black IPAs I've had but still doesn't even come close to Jimmy (one of HF's Barrel-Aged Black IPAs). (1,498 characters)

Photo of wchollif
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml growler thanks to my buddy KingKong.

A generous pour into a snifter generated a finger of mocha colored head. The beer was a very dark brown, reminiscent of a heavy porter. The smell is where this beer lives. Smells like the best DIPA you've ever put your nose to. Not sure of the hop variety, but there's a bunch of it. Close your eyes and remember the most outstanding citrus fruit dry hopped DIPA you've ever had. The mouthfeel is smooth and well textured, not heavy like the color suggests, but more silky than the standard IPA. Flavor is crossed between nuts, toffee, pine and malts. Finishes as bitter as a big IPA should. I'm not a hop-head or a DIPA apologist, but this beer rocks. This beer is 9.5% ABV? Drank the 750, no problem. (760 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at The Boilermaker in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a half finger light beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.

Sweet and roasted malt aroma with some piney, grassy notes.  Malts dominate he nose but hops shine as it warns with subtle citrus, dank buds, pine needle and grass. Roasted dark malt character with hints of chocolate, oatmeal, toffee and coffee bean.

Medium bodied with an explosion of dank, piney hops that linger over the sweet and roasted malt notes into a dry finish.  Finally a black ipa that's hoppy enough.  Dry, dank and bitter with subtle citrus sweetness cutting through.  Underneath, there is some roasted dark malt for balance with sweet and dark chocolate, oatmeal, caramel and toffee.  Really nice beer. (821 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a stemmed tulip

Pours an opaque black with a small mocha cap. Some sheeting lace covering the inside of the glass. Head never truly recedes, only falls to a thin layer.

The hop aroma pierces the air. A ton of pine and citrus on top of roast, dark fruit and some charcoal.

On the palate, this guy follows the nose, only with some cocoa powder. Pine an citrus rind up front with malt carrying through the middle. The finish is another rush of hops before lifting away, leaving a bitter citrus wake.

Medium body, extremely smooth. Nearly velvety, but the piney hops cut through just a tad.

I have never had James, but I have to say this is delicious. Smooth, fresh hop bite, mild bitterness. The abv is extremely well-hidden. I had no idea this was 9.5%. (776 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to my wagon Andrewinski1 for getting these guys. Poured into a tulip. This one pours dark brown with about a finger of khaki colored head with some sticky lace.

Very chocolaty nose with lots of roasted malts here. A good citrus and bitter hop profile with nice roasted malts show up nicely. This one is very chocolaty on the pallet with a tropical citrus hops with a bitter finish. Nice and roasty with lingering bitter flavors.

Medium body here with sharp carbonation. Lingering sharp carbonation. Real tasty stuff here. Nice balance between roasty malts and fresh hops here. You really can't beat the freshness here. (633 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead Wine Glass.

The beer pours a deep black color, hues of dark brown when struck by the light, quite opaque, with a big 2 finger khaki head that has great retention and leaves lots of soapy lacing. The aroma is nice, lots of resinous and piney hops with some lightly roasted coffee and bitter bakers chocolate and faint citrus with some softly toasted grain and alcohol. The flavors are right in line, lots of piney hops, chocolate covered orange that has a nice bitterness and a touch of tang, with some coffee roast and smooth dark grain and a lightly astringent alcohol touch at the finish. The body is nice, coats the mouth well, moderate to low carbonation but just enough lively zip to keep things interesting with a solidly dry finish.

Verdict: Yet another quality brew from Hill Farmstead. While rather tame at times, this beer is quite balanced and showcases the full range of flavors a well made Black IPA has to offer. (971 characters)

Photo of silentjay
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml growler filled at the Damon/Mimosa/Flora release this past Saturday. After falling ill, this is the first beer I've had in about a week. It's been all Green Tea, Gatorade, and Water. Looking forward to a damn beer.

pours black and almost opaque with a nice deep mocha head that doesn't fill the glass too much, but cascades nicely and leaves behind chunky lacing like an uber-fresh hoppy ipa would do.

even with a slightly lingering congestion I can smell the piney hops from over two feet away. bringing it up to my nose... damn piney as hell with grapefruit and citrus in there and a slightly burning brownie batter maltiness. like sitting in front of the christmas tree, peeling an orange while someone is burning brownies in the kitchen. some light tropical fruits in there too. hops definitely more evident in the aroma than the malts.

sharp hoppiness at first with a quickly appearing dark roasted maltiness that never quite makes it to the forefront, as the piney, grassy, bitter, citric, and tropical flavored hops are too busy dancing on your tongue. a bit leafy and resiny on the finish with a slight hint of cocoa.

medium bodied with a perfect effervescence that really keeps the hop flavors popping and a hoppy resin left behind to keep a nice linger.

another tremendous beer from Shaun, would have maybe liked to see a bit more malt presence, but the hop flavors alone make this beer as tasty as they come. (1,430 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at abbey
Huuuuge creamy slightly darker smoky colored head of 2+ fingers, fades slowly with a huge layer of lacing, pitch black beer no light.

Nose explodes with earthy spicy hops, centennial, warrior, maybe chinook, etc. a decent kick of pine and light resin even, and just a hint of citrus tangerine like. all those hops blend in the background with a light cocoa and chocolatey creamy dark malt, hint of roast, and a light bready biscuit malt that all adds to a malted milk ball and chocolate covered orange pine candy.

Taste starts with more piney resin, hops again rip in with a decent bitterness but explosive flavor. More earthy spicy hops, chewy hops, and but of citrus. Malts bring more of the cocoa, milk chocolate, and biscuit, for again malted milk ball but with a big earthy pine hop center. A slight hint of booze tickles with warmth. As it finishes it dries a bit but not much, long lingering earthy piney hop and decent bitterness, and a juicy malt with caramel, toffee, and light chocolate fade slowly a the pine keeps steady.

Mouth is full bodied, bit creamy, good carb.

Overall pretty friggen good. I haven't had the earthy piney hops for a while that was done as well as this. the hops, bitterness, piney earthy flavors, malts and chocolate all blend well together, and smoothly for a tasty delicious beer. (1,334 characters)

Photo of tewaris
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml growler. Poured into a snifter.

I stuck my nose into the growler, as much as a 750 ml growler would permit, and I was instantly reminded of mangoes. Good news. Some guava too, but mangoes ruled the aroma. Poured a dark brown color with good clarity and a medium sized brown head. Not much by the way of retention or lacing, but I didn't mind.

Fruity and lush hops, mangoes as remarked, some pine too. Then once in a while, it starts to smell like a regular stout, almost, with roast making its presence felt. Taste is sweet with residual malts and juicy with hops. Roast appears only at the end. Mouthfeel seems to be a very strong suite of Hill Farmstead beers. Creamy and smooth, this one (also) goes down damn easy.

Overall a great job with what I consider to be a ho hum style. Kudos!

4, 4.5, 4, 4.5, 4 (819 characters)

Photo of jegross2
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Solitude & Society #2 from the Hill Farmstead Brewery.
Score: 92

Three week old 750 ml growler served in a Half Acre tulip and enjoyed on 04/09/12. Review is from notes.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black, essentially opaque, color with two fingers of foamy tan head that settles to a ring around the glass and foggy cap. Amazing lacing and retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate, lemon zest, grapefruit, orange rind and pine sap. There is a light amount of oak as well behind the juicy tropical citrus aromas. 4.5/5

Taste: Roasted chocolate malt, zesty tropical citrus and extra sticky and resiny pine sap. There is a heavy and lingering hops bitterness present. The finish is a little chocolate-y. Loads of hops to boot, with a growingly bitter finish as the beer layers on the tongue. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied with carbonation on the higher end of medium. Oily mouthfeel. Dry and bitter finish. 4/5

Overall: One of the better black IPA on the market.

Recommendation: Fans of black IPA should seek this one out. Haters of black IPA should seek a bottle of this out too, if only to demonstrate that the style has it's highlights.

Pairings: Hamburgers.

Cost: $10 for a 750 ml growler or $18 for a 2 liter growler (plus the deposit). (1,264 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Hill Farmstead, Greensboro, VT

Dark brown pour with a rocky off-white head that receded to a wispy layer of bubbles. Aroma thick with resin and hops, roasty malts and cocoa also detectable. Taste followed the aroma well, with the piney and citrusy hop profile typical of the style, in a great balance with dark chocolaty malts, caramel, charred wood. One of the better balanced CDAs I've had. Oily mouthfeel, can be a bit astringent and bitter in the aftertaste, but nothing too overbearing...a palate-wrecker for sure though, so make sure you do this either at the end of a session, or followed by a good water-cleansing. (644 characters)

Photo of vonnegut21
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a delightful dark deep black with a finger and a half of brown-white head. It smells intensely of roasted malt with a healthy dose of hops. The hop presence is more floral and less fruity than other HF brews. The first sip is quite good, the richness of the malt doesn't overpower the hops as is the case with many black IPA's/American Black Ales. For an almost 10% beer, it goes down easy. Overall, a very nice brew. Second in my mind only to Stone's Escondidian Black IPA in the style. (493 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 02/25/12 notes. Again, big thanks to yourgrafile for sharing this one.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, citrus hops, lemon, pine hops, light chocolate, and light floral hops. A very nice mix of fresh pine hops and roasted malts, really good.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, toasted malts, pine hops, and light citrus hops. Still very nice, but the hops don't come through quite as much as the nose.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. No bitterness, pretty easy to drink. Couldn't believe it's 9.5% ABV.

o - Overall a very good beer. Loved the nose as I thought the hops and roasted qualities mixed together very well. Would like to have it again. (770 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-06-09 in Wayne, PA at Teresa's Next Door during Philly Beer Week.

A - Opaque black with a 1-finger tan head and good lacing.

S - Mild aroma with citrus and chocolate.

T - Dark chocolate, black pepper, dark roasted grain, mild sourness, plenty of hop bitterness. Well-balanced.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Mildly creamy.

O - Not my favorite style but I enjoyed this one, (396 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Teresa's Next Door.

In the Tulip, Solitude two looks very black, An American Black Ale actually, whatever that is? Im not the biggest fan of the style, I don't see it's purpose, if I wanted a high ABV hoppy porter, i would get one.

Either way this one is black with a nice amount of firm dark tan head gracing the top and leaving some notches on the way down. The nose smells great, rich and fresh with big pine bursting, nice grapefruit notes with some florals poking out with warming. A nice roast lingers in the background, where it's usually the other way around. Society two tastes like it should, hoppy, malty, roasty and flavorful with a nearing ten percent ABV. A nice mix of pine with some grapefruit and other light tropics. The maltiness increases as the temp does so cold is the way to go, if your looking for the hops. Hits of roast with light tootsie roll and cocco. Feel is a strong medium with a big bitter hit followed by some soothing malt. It's big beer, I am not going to lie. A lot going on at once. If you close your eyes, you would think this is an DIPA up front, but that black ale portion comes through just as quick and turns the table. A glass will do for me. (1,198 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler from gn0sis. Thanks.

Appearance: Black as pitch, and surprisingly viscous. A dark tan head retains well.

Smell: Citrus and char, orange and chocolate. Resinous, pine-like hop notes pop out as it warms up. Hints of lime.

Palate: Chocolate covered oranges. Pine, bitter herbs, a touch of burnt malt. Pretty thick body - drinks more like a hoppy stout than a DIPA. Resinous, bitter finish with an additional kick from roasted malts.

Overall: Not what I was expecting, but really enjoyable. Something of an imperial stout/DIPA hybrid. (542 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is black, faintly lighter on the edges, lots of tan head and leaves a huge lace. Nose has a light roast, hint of sweetness, loads of citrusy and peachy hops. Taste follows suit, roast is light, faint touch of chocolate, load of hops, citrus and peach flavors. Moderate bitterness, creamy light body, soft carbonation. (325 characters)

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Society & Solitude #2 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.