James Black Ale | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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James Black AleJames Black Ale
BA SCORE
4.22/5
Exceptional
405 Ratings
James Black AleJames Black Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
James was our Uncle (Edward James Hill Jr.). Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his four siblings. In his honor, this Black Ale is dutifully crafted from American and German malted barley, American hops, our ale yeast, and water from James’ well. It is unfiltered, naturally carbonated, and dry hopped. Roasty and smooth, with accents of chocolate and a balanced hoppy finish, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with James.

Pale and Caramel Malt; Roasted Barley; Centennial and Columbus hops; Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.

Added by SFLpunk on 06-27-2010

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,850
Reviews:
61
Ratings:
405
pDev:
7.35%
 
 
Wants:
33
Gots:
12
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 405 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of Rub_This_BBQ
3.79/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kevanb
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml growler, poured into a Hill Farmstead etched Rona wine glass.

The beer pours a dark cola brown color, nearly jet black but with nice bits of garnet and ruby red when struck by the light. A foamy head appears, about two fingers tall, khaki color that has incredible retention and yields plenty of sticky lacing. The aroma is nice, lots of resinous and piney hops, dark roasted malt, light chocolate, mild citrus peel. The flavors echo the nose nicely, lots of pine and resinous hop flavors, grapefruit peel, lightly floral before the dark grains really take over. Almost chocolatey but with a nice roast and toasted biscuit quality. The mouthfeel is good, coating, lively and crisp, medium body with a very dry finish.

Verdict: A nice Black Ale/IPA from Hill Farmstead. Hoppy, crisp, earthy but nicely balanced with dark malts that offer some nice counterbalances and aren't too sweet or out of line. There is a nice harmony and cooperation between the flavors.

 969 characters

Photo of TheDoctor
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Can
Canned: Aug-20-2018


It pours dark mahogany with a couple fingers of fizzy tan head. Good retention and rings of lacing.
Citrus and juniper hit the nose right away. As it warms a little there is a background of maple and toffee.
In the flavor department, the malt holds off at first letting a biting, resinous snap of grapefruit pith hops take over and then there is a rush of rich chocolate in the finish.
This is a soft-feeling beer with moderate carbonation and a hop-shellac finish.

This beer is about as balanced as could be. Both sides are assertive, but neither ever fully takes the wheel. There is probably more hop presence since there is a lingering hop oil presence, but the malt side is very nice as well with rich chocolate and caramel notes.

 773 characters

Photo of BenBreeg
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of redsoxjim
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerBucks
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.03/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The appearance was a dark brown to black color with a thin off white foamy little head that quickly dissipated. Lacing was few and far between (barely there). The smell started off with grassy bitter and hop indulgent citrusy notes rolling into a light bitter cocoa and coffee bean, it’s good. The taste was mainly the same with the bitterness really taking the lead and amplifying the dryness rolling into the aftertaste and finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium in body with a nice sipping to almost sessionable sort of feel to it. Carbonation feels good allowing the bitterness hitting my tongue appropriately. Overall, Black IPA, well, it works, but it’s not the best one of the market, better ones.

 720 characters

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of s35keith
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jbarletto
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of outoffocus
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jason3125
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PeterPGH
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TBonez477
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of chivermac
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of richj1970
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Casey3236
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dolphinsmarlins1
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hootie159
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap. Looks just like a porter. Dollop of foam just sits. Beautiful lacing. Smell is a bit fragile but nice. Mostly getting the toasted malt. Taste is nice but a little maltier than I'd like, even for black ipa. Presence of some coffee and a hint of chocolate. Smooth and creamy but carb is a touch high. Black ipas might never be my thing, but this is a good beer.

 367 characters

Photo of twillingthenoz
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jhavs
4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dfhhead25
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BigMike
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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James Black Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 405 ratings