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Jimmy - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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124 Ratings
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Ratings: 124
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 58
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: silentjay on 07-15-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial Black IPA (Society and Solitude #2) aged in French oak wine barrels for four months.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 124 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Verecund
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 release. Opened on July 27, 2012.

Pours halfway between buffalo brown and black with a thick, creamy tan head. Sticky layers are left as the beer disappears.

Aroma bursts with toasted oak, roasted malts, chocolate malt, pine, cherry, and grilled plums. As it nears room temperature, revisits yield a stronger red wine vinousness. Remarkably balanced, rich, and intriguing.

The same complexity is found on the palate, and this is a case where listing adjectives can confuse how subtle and wonderful this wine-barrel aged black ale is. But: just-sweet chocolate, roast, oak (with a hint of spice), restrained-but-evident pine and citrus bitterness, and a full dose of juicy red grape on the mid-palate. Lightly vinous.

Creamy. Full of finesse.

SS2 was fantastic, so there's no surprise this works as well as it does. I prefer this to Jim by a good bit.

Photo of Rymar9
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of rudzud
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at the latest release.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a thick deep light black with a nice half a finger mocha head that left light side lacing down the glass.

S - Heavy on the roasted malts here with lots of nice wine notes. Not getting a whole lot of hops though.

T - Well, this is a taste experience thats new to me. Starts off with lots of roast, ALOT of roast. Light chocolate with lots of almost burnt roasty malts. The finish is nice and bitter pine and light caramels. The win though, thats something special. Nice barrel notes and the vinous qualities that are added to this are really unique. Lends a rather nice fruitiness to the beer.

M - Mouthfeel is nice for a black IPA, good carbonation. That 10% is hidden very, very well.

O - Overall this is a solid beer from Hill Farmstead. I think I prefer the base beer (SS2) a little bit more than this. Still, a tasty beer.

Photo of DonFrap
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of ErrandWolfe
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour courtesy of Wowcoolman at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form all around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and some slight wood and wine aromas. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of 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 very good beer that is super tasty and easy to drink.

Photo of DaveHack
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poures jet black with a thick, brown, 1 1/2 inch head. Head settles nicely and leaves some heaving lacing behind.

Smells strongly of hops with a touch a roasty scent. Once the head settled, the roasted flavors are more pronounced.

Initial taste is roasty and lightly bitter. The bitterness lasts through the swallow. This is also where you can feel the 10% abv...as it goes down your throat there is a little warming.

Upon looking at this beer it looks deceptively thick. As my girl said...looks like motor oil. It actually came off a little less than medium bodied.

This is yet another win for HF. It isn't particularly my favorite style, but it is done well and very enjoyable.

Photo of Gushue3
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of billyshears
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottles acquired from the release last weekend. Couldn't wait any longer. Shared this with Brad while watching Le Tour de France.

Served in my new Hill Farmstead wine glass.

The beer has a beautiful appearance. Dark brown with a thick, lasting, oily beige head. Seemingly everlasting retention with a thick sheet of lacing on the glass.

The aroma offers roast, pine, malt, caramels, wine, oak. Fabulous.

The flavor is fabulous as well, imparting an elegant sour and tart character. Gracefully balanaced. Oak, pine, hops, caramel malt, wine, sweet and sour.

The feel on the palate is ridiculous. Alcohol...where?!? Silky smooth and wonderful.

Overall, this is without question the best black IPA I have ever had, although this is a bit of a diversion from that style. Regardless, a phenomenal brew. So glad I made it to this release.

Photo of drabmuh
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by yourefragile, thanks. Served in a snifter. Beer is black and has a nice brown head of small and medium bubbles, some lacing, aggressive carbonation, nice retention.

Aroma is oaky with a sweet roast malt and piny / earthy hops. Smells nice, mild alcohol.

Beer is sweet and medium to light in body, hoppy but not hop bitter. It is oaky on the finish, mild vanilla, nice malt body, a little boozy but not distracting. I really enjoyed it and look forward to my bottle of this soon.

Photo of Mag00n
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of abuliarose
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Hill Farmstead glass, producing a creamy tan head over black body. Smells... wow. Juicy, grassy hops mingling with an even roasted aroma with a tinge of barrel at the back end. Hard to beat that for a barrel-aged imperial black IPA. Tastes sweet, almost fruity, with a rich hop character and a pleasant warming finish. Body is just thick enough to hold the flavors to the tongue after swallowing. Relaxed, creamy carbonation. It’s very, very easy to drink a whole bottle of this. Overall I’m having a hard time imagining how a black IPA can get much better than this.

Photo of Luk13
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Nice black pour with off white foam and tons of lacing. Aroma is absolutely enticing - tons of roasted malts, burnt oak, vanilla, piney hops, pepper, five spice, ginger and tons of raisins and plums complete this über layered aroma. Taste is roasty, hops and wine barrel flavors coexist remarkably well - I wasn’t expecting it to be this harmonious. Palate is quite dry, well carbed, medium bodied, long lasting winey finish. Surprising, and amazingly good. This is one of many beers that I wish to have not shared with Fred ;)

Photo of phingdong
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of yourefragile
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle, 2012 batch out of 900 bottles. An Imperial Black IPA (aka SS2 aka Imperial James) aged in French Oak wine barrels for four months and double dry hopped with Simcoe, Columbus and Centennial (aka Imperial Jim). Served in a HF tulip because drabmuh would want it this way.

Pours an opaque mahogany tinged black with a rich, fluffy light tan head. Excellent retention and creamy streaks of lace. Oak and pine (simcoe) hit the aroma immediately and are followed with a subtle blend of roast and chocolate malt with a vinous red wine character drifting in and out of each whiff. Remarkably balanced and complex, yet each time I nose the beer I settle on a different dominant note. Creamy body, medium thick with soft carbonation and a smooth, oaky and vinous finish. Remarkably no alcohol present throughout (though finish has a strong "warming" sensation) and this strikes me as more subtle and balanced than Jim is with age or fresh. Oak and chocolate malt dominate the flavor with light caramel, roast, red grape, and citrus throughout. Finish is drier and more hoppy though not bitter. Probably my least favorite bottle of this weekend's releases (Ann and CD 4). :)

Photo of jaasen64
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle picked up in-person at the HF release yesterday (900 bottle count). Poured into Hill Farmstead stemware.

A- Pours an opaque dark black with about a quarter finger of creamy mocha brown head that recedes slowly to leave a very thin swirly mocha brown head. From what I can tell about average, maybe slightly below average carbonation (too dark to really see). Leaves some spotty lacing.

S- First thing that hits you is the heavy presence of dark fruits from the red wine (plums, cherries, etc.), followed by roasted malts, hops, some oak. Pleasant smelling, but a little bit too dominated by the dark fruits.

T- Roasted malts, a little bit of dark chocolate, some light hops, red wine, mildly acidic dark fruits, with some more red wine and oak on the finish. Just the right sweetness- not overly sweet, but sweet enough. A lingering aftertaste of a little bit of chocolate, red wine, and oak. Complex, delicious, and incredibly well balanced.

M- Medium bodied, creamy, not too much carbonation, drinks incredibly smooth, can't tell it's 10% abv in the slightest bit.

O- I definitely appreciated this beer. Perfect balance between the hops, red wine, oak, roasted malts, etc. with a very nice lightly creamy mouthfeel. This is definitely one of my new favorites from Hill Farmstead, and probably one of the best beers in general I've had. I wish I could compare it to Society and Solitude #2.

Photo of wesley14
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of sisuspeed
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into some Hill Farmstead stemware. Beautiful dark brown body with a fingers worth of creamy tan head. Nice lacing. Looks great. Lots of chocolate and oak on the nose with a hint of alcohol. Earthy pine hops with a touch of citrus and grape. Really nice aroma. Taste follows the nose, but adds in some vanilla and toffee. Wine profile from the barrels comes through bit more in the flavor. Body is super smooth and creamy. Touch of hop resin. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Overall, another stunning brew from the Hill Farmstead.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500 mL bottle my friend bought from the release yesterday. Served chilled and split into two tulip glass. My pour was a little less than 8 oz.

Appearance: Really nice deep dark brown, almost black with a nice brown, one finger head. Pretty good retention.

Aroma: Some nice earthy and piney hop notes shine through upfront. Definitely some coffee and and chocolate backing from the malt. Not overly hoppy as it feels if they faded a touch. Really strong oak presence as well.

Taste: The combination of the hops and the oak start this out with a nice, earthy flavor. It's very sharp, almost spicy when together. The background feels a lot like a hoppy stout. The coffee and espresso hold up well and pair nicely with the earthiness of the hops. There is a sweetness in the background that I might attribute to the wine barrels, but the oak is really what shines through there. The rest is a bit muddled behind the strong hop and malt notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with crisp carbonation. As it settles, it does have a nice creamy coating around the mouth.

Overall, a really interesting variation on a black IPA. The flavors added from the oak do the most to transform this. This is not always my favorite style but I really enjoyed the interplay of the oak and hops. Would definitely try again.

Photo of polishkaz
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of silentjay
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours similar to Society and Solitude #2, the base for this beer, jet black with a huge light mocha head that sticks around for a bit and laces in droves.

hoppy aroma with plenty of wood behind that. tree bark, tobacco leaf, sweet malts. definite oak, but no red wine character... just the woodiness.

starts boozy and earthy. lots of wood and dark malts start off sweet before the hops take over and linger through the finish. a bit citric, herbal, and dank, the columbus hops really shine on the back end.

medium bodied with great bottle-conditioned mouth-feel with a bit of sweetness and some resiny hops lingering.

Not sure that I like it a whole more than the original Society and Solitude #2, but it definitely adds a woodiness and some more complexity to what was already a complex brew.

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Jimmy from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.