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Society & Solitude #2 - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Society & Solitude #2
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BA SCORE
96
world-class

215 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 215
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 7.36%
Wants: 52
Gots: 3 | 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:
Imperial Black IPA

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 01-12-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 215 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pendabev
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

pendabev, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of ngeunit1
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a dark black color with just a hint of brown and a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lace.

S - Aroma is full of pine hops and roasted chocolate malts. There is also some citrus hop alongside some lightly burnt malts.

T - Starts off with some pine hops with some deep roasted dark chocolate malts with some light bitterness. Through the middle, some more chocolate malt flavor comes through alongside some citrus hops and a touch more bitterness. The finish is a mix of chocolate malt, citrus and pine hop, some bitterness, and a touch burnt malt character.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a dry, roasted, and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. The mix of roasted chocolate malts and hop flavors is incredible in this one. The balance here is just perfect.

ngeunit1, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of TychoNDC
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

TychoNDC, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of sailorastro
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

sailorastro, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of Wowcoolman
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Wowcoolman, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of freebirdbm14
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

freebirdbm14, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of Crafty99
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Crafty99, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of Scottz5
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Scottz5, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of vtbeerandbud
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

vtbeerandbud, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of DaPan
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

DaPan, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of AdamF625
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours black with a khaki brown head. It has excellent head retention and lacing. Poured from a growler that is 2 days old.
S- Fresh citrus hop aroma and roasted malts.
T- Roasted dark coffee and malts, dark chocolate, and resinous hops.
M- This beer is very smooth with medium carbonation. Sticky hops linger on the palate but not long enough to influence your next beer.
O- This is the framework for a black IPA. Perfect balance between roasted dark malts and sticky citrus hops. Its not going to blow you away with any flavor in particular, but that is what makes it so good.

AdamF625, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of Bardwashrind
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I missed the first release in this hoppy experiment, pleased to have this opportunity even if joining a bit late. Thank you Robert, once again.

Amazing how full these growlers are filled.

The beer is tightly structured with tan colored bubbles and collects wonderfully to the side of the glass. Appears like a porter as there are slight hints of color at the edge of the glass. Very straight forward with aromas of grass, toast, and hops but a very unique floral/rose pedal type of note comes out as the beer warms. Subtle but so very nice.

The flavor is varied and transitions from a smooth start of chocolate and mocha, then into a rounded caramelized sugar perk that finishes bitter and balanced. Amazing texture as the beer's carbonation hold a creamy sort of quality. Beautiful on the palate. Interesting for a Black IPA as the hops are obvious and present but the soft fruitiness of almost tropical qualities make this a remarkable beer with a wide range of flavors.

The Hill Farmstead rocky/stoney/earthy backbone is here and so masterfully represents where this beer comes from. Truly an achievement as so many Black IPAs are simply heavily hop driven porters that don't really achieve the need for the proclaimed style. This is the extreme exception, so much grace, such a balance of flavors and simply one of the top beers of this category. Top ten hoppy beer experience for sure!

Thanks also to Shaun and the Hill Farmstead crew, for obvious reasons.

Bardwashrind, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of cfrances33
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Growler poured into a Hill Farmstead wine stem.

Pour: Pours a dark, deep brown body. Nearly black. Almost looks more like a stout than a Black DIPA. Two fingers of frothy, khaki head forms and leaves some really nice sticky lacing.

Smell: Lots of roasted malts up front, mixed with a nice resinous pine, bright flora hops, and a touch of citrus hoppiness. Finish is a combination of roast and piney hops.

Taste: Incredible. So roasty, yet balanced perfectly with juicy hops. Slick, and decadent. Hop character is a fusion of pine, citrus, and floral notes. Roast is pronounced and forward throughout the entirety of the sip. Finish is bitter with a linger roasted coffee.

Mouthfeel: For a beer that is so flavor forward and higher in ABV, it is surprisingly drinkable. Roastiness lingers very nicely. Medium bitterness.

Overall: Easily the best Black DIPA I've ever had. Drinks almost like a very hoppy stout, and I really enjoy that. Awesome.

cfrances33, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of 05Harley
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fresh (Feb/2012) from the keg @ Hill Farmstead Brewery, Greensboro VT
(285 calories)

Price - $10/750ml growler

The second batch of this beer brewed with buckets full (literally) of Simcoe and Columbus hops, in the kettle and, as dry hops, in the fermenter.

The appearance is a near black pour with a tan creamy dense head that fades quickly to a thin silky veil. Lines of lacing add to the artistic look. Legs, lots of legs like at the beach.

Smells like an IPA. So much so if I had a blind fold on and was asked to guess the color, I wouldn't guess black. Strong nose of grapefruit and pine (thanks to the simcoe hops). As it warms a more pronounced roastiness is detected from the malt but doesn't overtake the hop aroma.

A delicious tasting beer with flavors of grapefruit, pine, roasted malt and an underlying taste of unsweetened coffee. A complex and truely amazing balance between hop and malt flavor, nice...

Mouthfeel is silky smooth on the tongue at first with some carbonation afterburn followed by spices. The body is medium and has a sticky dry feel in the finish that works well here.

Overall I could live exclusively on Shaun's beers. With his many successful varying styles let's add this one to the ever growing list. Brewed once but should be a regular in the lineup it's that good. Way to drinkable @ 9.5% (no booziness taste at all) which puts this in my dangerous category. Oh yeah!!

05Harley, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of Luk13
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 growler, drank one week after purchase and on tap at the Ann release. Appearance: Beautiful black pour with thick moka head. Aroma is roasted grain, coffee, chocolate, burnt toast but also incredibly hoppy and resinous. So resinous, it smells like weed. Taste: Lots of coffee and dark malts and also very hoppy and resinous. Full bodied and lively carbonation. Didn’t suffer at all from the wait unlike Double Galaxy. I’m not a big fan of Black IPAs but I absolutely loved this.

Luk13, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of raveskdr
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to get a growler of this when Starrdogg and I were up at HF. Poured out of the 750ml swing top growler into my HF high tulip.

A - Nice black color with great carbonation. The head is a brownish white. Nice lacing.

S - Great mixture of tropical fruits, slight pine and roastiness.

T - Starts out with the prototypical amazing HF hop combination. Rounds out on the end with a good amount of roastiness. It finishes with a combo of roast and hops that lingers on your tongue.

M - The hops and roast really interact well to make this a really drinkable beer. A bit lighter than the other imperial black IPA's that I have had.

O - A stellar beer. I am confident in saying that this is the best black IPA I have ever had. Another beautiful beer by Shaun.

raveskdr, May 04, 2012
Photo of yourefragile
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Imperial James you say? Yes, please. 750 mL growler muled by starrdog and raveskdr.

Pours a dark mocha brown, near black with a thick, dense dark tan head. Long lasting retention and thick sheets of lace. Deep, complex aroma of roast malt, caramel, dark fruit and pine hops. Minimal traces of alcohol and great balance. Smooth, medium thick body with light carbonation and a sweet, sticky finish. Strong roast malt presence with some dark chocolate sweetness balanced by a strong pine and resin hop presence. Delicous. So, I normally don't like Black IPAs, but... I liked this. Thanks to me for opening this.

yourefragile, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of Sean9689
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml growler into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours darker brown/nearly black color, cream-colored head, thin collar, wisps on top.

S - An excellent mix of hoppy bitterness and malty roast. The hops hit you first in the form of pine and citrus, and then that's followed up by a nice dose of roasted malty sweetness. Mostly a hop-focused nose, but there's still a nice mix of both.

T - The roasted malty sweetness shows up a little bit more on the nose, but the piney hops are very much still there. There's also some dark chocolate and citrus that's really outstanding throughout. An excellent mix of hops and malts.

M - Medium to full body, good light carbonation, creamy finish.

O - I was really impressed by this one. I don't think I've ever had an Imperial Black IPA that this kind of notes and flavors mixed together. There's no harsh char from the malts and it's not overly hopped...it's exactly what I would want from this type of beer. Simply a must-try.

Sean9689, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of andrewinski1
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a wine taster. There is a black body with a large tan head that leaves a lot of sticky lacing.

The aroma is full of piney hops and chocolate malt.

The taste is chocolate covered hops with a huge bitter finish. The hoppiness is mostly piney.

The body is medium, with a lot of nice carbonation. This has great drinkability.

This is great. There is great hoppy bitterness and lots of hop flavor.

andrewinski1, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the brewery purchased on June 28 and consumed on July 2.
Poured in to HF tulip.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black with two fingers of light brown head. Great retention and lacing.

S - Bitter hop profile up front - grapefruit, pine and peach notes are evident. Some roast and chocolate aromas are also present but very much secondary.

T - Bitter up front with grapefruit, pine and some lighter tropical fruit notes coming through. A good roast profile with hints of chocolate in the background. Overall a nice balance.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Light carbonation.

TheSevenDuffs, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

SkiBum22, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

stereosforgeeks, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Lord Hobo (Cambridge, MA) on 2/3/12. Served in a cervoise.

Pours black, with a thin layer rich mocha head. This maintains some frothy edging that flares up to a full ½ finger when swirled, leaving back robust spotty lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass. Grapefruit and pine stand out in the aroma with a zesty assertiveness. Herbal notes, sweet chocolate, and roast sit underneath with a flavorful smoothness in the nose but the overall focus of this is definitely on that robust combo of Simcoe and Columbus hops.

The hops just POP in the taste, with grapefruit and pine, and an underlying danky feel. That herbal character melds well with the acrid smokiness of the roasted malts across the back, while a hefty dose of chocolate and caramel sweetness comes in off the edges and offer up extra flavor and balance to this. Those bright hops sit at the core of this though, finishing things dry and resinous with a bit of extra burnt character that sticks to the tongue. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a slick and creamy feel to the carbonation at first, which then firms up on the middle of the tongue with a tight sharpness where the hops sit. The high alcohol gives this a little headiness on the palate, maybe even adding a little extra sweetness and spice to the profile but never feels stinging in any way.

Wow, this might be the best Black Ale I’ve ever had, Imperial style or not! There is just a ton of robust and intense flavor here from the hops, malt, and alcohol but it’s all in harmony with each other with a finesse that I wasn’t expecting and helps make this super drinkable for the size! This is another stellar effort from Hill Farmstead.

Kegatron, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of Keith_R
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Keith_R, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of Mattgruv
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Mattgruv, Jul 07, 2013
Society & Solitude #2 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 215 ratings.