Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Black IPA
Ranked #6
Ranked #2,640
4.22 | pDev: 7.35%
Nov 17, 2023
Jun 27, 2010
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.
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Reviewed by papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
From a 16oz can, dated 10/30/23. Served in a cervoise.

Pours a thin-appearing acorn-brown with a finger of soft, creamy suds. The head hold holds up for a minute or two, leaving a creamy, bubbly cap and a solid sheet of foamy lacing.

Nose is faint but, to be fair, the beer is served quite cold. Aroma is a little bit of char and a lot of pine forest.

Taste is very much like the nose, a little bit of earthy char up front - like a burnt coffee pot - and then it’s all pine needles and grapefruit juice with a twist of lemon. Clean, peppy bitterness.

Feel is clean and bright, relatively light bodied and vigorously carbonated.
Nov 17, 2023
Rated: 4.48 by Bhubbard34 from Pennsylvania

Nov 11, 2023
Rated: 4.25 by Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

Dec 24, 2019
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Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Coffee black-ish brown with a short, fuzzy tan blanket settling to thin wisps.

This is a very measured, crushable black IPA. Characteristics of roasty stout and toasty brown ale pair with hints of coffee--all of which are mild and not overbearing--while the hops have a brightening, semi-bitter presence, becoming zesty and zippy in just the right balance. The body is crisply medium and finishes semi-dry.

Much more enjoyable than I was expecting.
Apr 16, 2019
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Reviewed by Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
poured from a 12oz can into a rastal tumbler. pours a weird brown. almost like coffee that didn’t have enough grounds in the filter. smell is a nice mix of piney hops and subtle chocolate and caramel. taste is similar although it doesn’t work quite as well as it does on the nose. feel is a little bit thin and watery. nothing terrible though. pretty solid black ale. preferred S&S#2 over this but this is a much lighter, more approachable version of that beer.
Apr 14, 2019
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Reviewed by VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Growler. Surprised I haven't had this before. Pours dark, muddy brown. A Black IPA done right. Nice mixture of bitterness and dark ale elements. Pleasant fruity hop notes mixed in. Flavors balanced well in a style that isn't easy to nail.
Mar 25, 2019
Rated: 4 by jkrug5 from Maryland

Mar 25, 2019
Rated: 4.21 by Uconnelmo from Connecticut

Mar 23, 2019
Rated: 4.1 by SkiBum22 from New York

Mar 22, 2019
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Reviewed by FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Dark with caramel, char, grapefruit, floral notes and pine. Tastes lightly sweet up front with a lot of citrus and pine. Finished with some char and pine resin. Nice carbonation and good mouthfeel.
Mar 21, 2019
Rated: 3.9 by Jhfinn from New York

Mar 19, 2019
Rated: 4.76 by StormAles from Canada (ON)

Mar 17, 2019
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Reviewed by angrybabboon from Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Consumed 3/15/19

A: Dark brown with some medium brown around the edges - clarity around the edges as well, not exactly opaque - pours with a small tan head, maintains a small collar and leaves some streaks of lacing

S: Nice balance of chocolatey and hoppy aromas - citrus, with some orange and grapefruit juice and zest - floral citrus - herbal notes and some soft pine - nicely roasty with some hints of burnt, some semisweet and dark chocolate notes - notes of caramel as well - nothing aggressive

T: Maybe even more balanced than the aroma - tangerine and orange juice, notes of grapefruit zest - floral citrus - herbal notes and soft pine - moderately roasty, lightly burnt, lightly toasted - dark chocolate - medium low level of bitterness despite bitterness coming from both the hops and the roasted malt burnt bitterness - some slight caramel and pale malt at the base, finishes impressively clean

M: Medium body, medium-low carbonation, smooth

O: Damn it, Jim

If more Black Ales/Black IPAs/Cascadian Dark Ales/whatever.jpg were made like this, the style wouldn't be essentially dead. Some have the subtlety of a chocolate orange blasted with a flamethrower. James is so impressive because it's so impressively balanced.
Mar 16, 2019
Rated: 4.21 by zotzot from Vermont

Mar 14, 2019
Rated: 4.33 by edthehead from Maryland

Mar 10, 2019
Rated: 4.35 by jvillefan from California

Mar 08, 2019
Rated: 4.22 by xtonytx from Connecticut

Mar 03, 2019
Rated: 4.04 by moltch from Massachusetts

Feb 28, 2019
Rated: 3.85 by rogacks from Massachusetts

Jan 02, 2019
Rated: 4.31 by CharlesK from Pennsylvania

Nov 08, 2018
James from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 427 ratings